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Did you know that the world's oldest dog lived to be 30 years old? That's 210 dog years!
Her name was Maggie and she was a Kelpie living on a dairy farm in Australia. I often think about Maggie and wonder how long my dogs will live now that I've made so many positive changes to their diet and lifestyle. Rodrigo and Sydney were three years old when I became a raw feeder, feeding my dogs a hybrid diet of Darwin's Natural Pet Food and kibble. Scout and Zoey transitioned to raw when they were six weeks old. The difference in their health is astounding and I attribute the differences to diet.
While I'm constantly managing Rodrigo's digestive issues and Sydney's joint issues, Scout and Zoey are 100% healthy. We had one issue with Scout, a fever of unknown origin, two years ago. He hasn't been sick since. Zoey has been stung by a bee twice – the incident didn't require a vet visit. That's it!
Will My Dogs Live Long Life?
When I began to feed raw, I honestly thought all of my dogs' health issues would vanish. My dogs would be perfect and live a long life. Today, I know that raw feeding is only part of the answer, not the entire answer. Knowing several raw fed dogs that were diagnosed with cancer, I've become extra vigilant about my dogs' diet.
This is Maggie's, the Kelpie I mentioned above, diet:
- raw, unpasteurized milk – 1/2 cup twice daily with her human
- table scraps, raw grind (ground meat) raw bones
- raw placenta
Maggie also self-fasted, which is a great way to reset a dog's digestive system because a dog's gut shouldn't be work 24/7. A fast jump starts the gut and the immune system.
My dogs eat a raw diet, they enjoy raw goat's milk and kefir a few days a week, and I ferment the vegetables that I add to their grind. And I fast my dogs once a week.
My dogs haven't tried placenta. Yet.
Extending the Lives of Our Dogs
Extending our dogs' lives doesn't stop at diet. The increased toxic load (vaccinations, processed foods, air fresheners, weed killers) in our dogs' lives is also shortening their lives.
- I'm careful about where I walk our dogs; I don't have them they're not traipsing through grass that was just treated with weed killer.
- I only burn Pet House Candles in our home because they're the only scented candles that aren't toxic to pets that I trust; unless we start making beeswax candles.
- I use natural dog shampoo, feed natural treats, and I give my dogs CBD oil. And I'm conservative about vaccinations.
Fear of Over Vaccinations
My fear of over vaccination started after hearing stories of dogs that developed a serious illness as a result of too many vaccinations. This could be vaccinating too often or one of those combo vaccinations that deliver several in one syringe.
The damage that vaccinations can do over the lifetime of a pet is scary and I hope to see Washington State (where I live) accept current titer testing as an alternative to vaccination records for pets.
What is a Titer Test?
A titer test is a blood test that is taken by a veterinarian and sent to a lab to test for antibodies of previous vaccinations. Many people opt to do a titer test instead of vaccinating their dog to avoid over vaccinations or the side effects brought about by vaccinations:
- Loss of Appetite
- Flu-like Symptoms
- and more
A veterinarian told me that these symptoms are normal. But should they be normal? I can't imagine why I would revaccinate my dogs when their first vaccination is still protecting them. And I'm not alone in this line of thinking. Recently, I was challenged by The Two Crazy Cat Ladies to called my vet and ask if they offer titer testing and request the rates.
Affordable Titer Testing for Pets
I've been watching people share the titer testing rates quoted by their veterinarians all week and I think the rates that were quoted to me are some of the most expensive in the country.
No worries because there are less expensive options for pet parents. Two veterinarians, Dr. Robb and Dr. Jean Dodds, are offering more affordable titer testing for pets.
- CLICK HERE to download Dr. Jean Dodd's form.
- CLICK HERE to download Dr. Robb's form.
- CLICK HERE to read The Two Crazy Cat Ladies' blog post about titer testing our pets.
And, before you leave, do me a favor and call your vet and find out if the clinic offers titer testing and, if they do, ask about the rates. Please share what you learn in the comments. Thanks!