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Most pets don’t need probiotic supplements continuously, but benefit greatly by getting a balancing dose of probiotics three to four times per year. It is a good practice to give probiotic supplements to your pet after a round of antibiotics or other medications, as well as with the change in the seasons to give your pet’s immune system a boost. Coconut Oil. Most of the benefits of coconut oil come


from Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) or medium-chain fatty acids. Fish oils contain long-chain fatty acids. Lauric acid, which is present in coconut oil, possesses anti-bacterial, anti- fungal and anti-viral properties. The only other place in nature where lauric acid is found is in human breast milk. So in the body, MCTs help the body metabolize nutrients effi- ciently and provide an immediate source of energy and fuel, can enhance athletic performance and also help with weight loss. For dogs, the MCTs in coconut oil can help to balance the thyroid, help overweight dogs shed extra pounds and can help older sedentary dogs feel more energetic. Coconut oil can help improve the condition of your pet’s


skin and coat, improve digestion and boost the immune system which helps reduce allergic reactions. It can be especially helpful in treating fungal infections and yeasty ears and also prevents and helps control diabetes. It has also been helpful in improving brain function in older pets. Dr. Karen Becker, author of Real Food for Healthy Dogs


and Cats recommends ¼ teaspoon for every ten pounds of body weight twice per day. There are many other supplements available that can help


you target specific health issues. For example, if your pet has chronic kidney or liver issues, there are supplements that pinpoint those specific organs and help them perform more efficiently. A whole food diet will give your pet a better chance to


thrive. Certain herbal supplements like milk thistle work to detoxify the liver and help it work more efficiently – some health practitioners say it can even help the liver regenerate new healthy cells. Supplements are available for pancreas support, cancer, urinary tract health, heart health, and so on. The series, Taking the Mystery Out of Raw Feeding has


been offered in The New Barker as a starting point to elimi- nate some of the confusion about feeding raw or preparing your pet’s food. If you truly want to provide the best nutrition and path to wellness for your pet, consider replacing at least some of the commercial kibble (hard, crunchy food) with some whole foods and seek the advice of a holistic veterinar- ian near you. On a cautionary note, if your pet has a chronic health


condition, it is important to work with a veterinarian who understands the unique nutritional needs of your pet. U


To read Taking the Mystery Out of Raw Feeding in its entirety, visit The New Barker blog at TheNewBarker.Wordpress.com. Special thanks to Yvonne Guibert of Groovy Cats & Dogs for her research and efforts in writing this important, albeit controversial subject. You may call her with questions at 813.265.1333.


www.TheNewBarker.com


ANESTHESIA-FREE DENTALS 407.902.3883


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