Three months ago, I found myself at a crossroads with my oldest dog, Abby. A health issue preventing her from being a good candidate for surgery was the tipping point. In my quest for yet another supplement or something to add to her diet to help her, I found a healing diet that was nothing like what the experts recommend. I read up on it and decided we had nothing to lose, so I took a leap of faith and started Abby on it. Here’s why I recommend others look into taking that leap too.
Abby’s long history of health woes
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may have noticed I’ve written a lot about Abby, my Labrador. She was unexpectedly gifted to me in 2008 by my parents and is the only purebred dog (to my knowledge) that I’ve ever had. She has had numerous health issues that none of my rescues have ever had, including hot spots, seasonal allergies, and lipomas.
When Abby developed her first intramuscular lipoma behind her front leg when she was nine years old, I immediately researched the cause and found that lipomas are normally caused by toxins. Despite immediately switching her to a raw diet and trying different supplements, remedies, alternative treatments, and protocols for preventing and getting rid of the lipomas over the years, Abby has continued to get them.
Believing I was doing everything right for Abby, we plugged along, always in search of the best supplements to combat the seasonal allergies, lipomas, and as she aged, arthritis. I was always on the lookout for the magic pill or potion that would finally give her the life she deserved.
Surgery as the last resort
In early December, I finally broke down and decided to have Abby undergo surgery. For the last couple of years, I’d been trying hard to reduce or eliminate the large intramuscular lipomas, especially one in Abby’s armpit that was affecting her mobility. I’d given up hope on finding that magic bullet and just wanted her last years with me to be better than they were. Her awkward gait and inability to keep up on walks were heartbreaking.
Unfortunately, two pre-surgery blood tests showed abnormal liver and other numbers, preventing her from being a good candidate for surgery. Instead, to rule out anything serious, the vet and I agreed an ultrasound was a good idea.
Fortunately, Abby’s liver looked fine, but her left adrenal gland was twice the size it should have been. The vet said that could be the reason for the high liver numbers. She was kind of surprised Abby wasn’t showing any symptoms and was concerned Abby could develop Cushing’s.
As is customary for conventional vets, medication and more testing were recommended. I was so frustrated. How could I be doing what I thought was everything right for Abby and she still be having such awful health issues?
Just as I have been since the day I killed my beloved dog Sadie with a prescription medication, I was extremely reluctant to go down the medication path. I wanted to find a way to fix Abby without endangering her life.
Discovering the ‘Healing Diet’
Once I sat down and began researching how to help Abby and her enlarged adrenal gland, I found there was very little information about how to help her naturally. Then I stumbled across RMF (Rotational MonoFeeding) and a diet known as the ‘healing diet’. The premise was that the body can heal itself if given the right tools. But isn’t that what I’d been doing the past four years? Feeding Abby the best diet and all the right supplements?
Intrigued about finally finding something that could help Abby’s entire body and all her issues, I joined the accompanying Facebook group ‘Healing Diet for Dogs and Cats‘. I did a search of lipomas, adrenal gland issues, and seasonal allergies. I was kind of in disbelief when I read that just by tweaking Abby’s diet and stopping all the supplements, she would get better. That went against everything I’ve been reading and hearing from so-called “experts” for years.
As hard to believe as it sounded, I decided Abby had nothing to lose. I found comfort and motivation in reading all the testimonials people shared about how their dogs’ lives had been drastically improved by switching to this diet. I was especially encouraged when I read the testimonials from other former exclusively raw feeders. A common theme was that they all wished they had found and started their dog on the diet sooner.
Convincing myself to stop the supplements
The biggest hurdle for me to overcome with this new diet was stopping all the supplements I had Abby on. They included Vitamin C, Turmeric, MSM, Bilberry (for graying of her eyes), and a recently added liquid mix to help with her arthritis. I was scared that without at least one or two of them, Abby would be hurting and having a harder time walking than she already was.
After reading more testimonials and more information, my mind was made up. It actually all made sense. By feeding our dogs like they’d eat in nature and stopping the covering up of symptoms with supplements, the body can heal itself. While hard to do, I wanted this diet to work so badly for Abby, I did as the diet protocol instructed and put the supplements away.
The amazing results of the new diet
Within a couple of weeks of starting the healing diet, I began to notice Abby seemed to be a bit more energetic. Her hearing also seemed to improve. I watched in amazement as she never missed a beat getting around despite being off all of her supplements.
The amazement continued as Abby started having an easier time walking and became more agile. While I’ve not seen any noticeable reduction in her lipomas, something is going on that is making it easier for her to walk, despite her still lopsided gait from the large intramuscular lipomas in her right armpit and left thigh.
The group does say that the older a dog is, the longer, if ever, it may take for lipomas to shrink or disappear. Plenty of people did report their dogs’ lipomas shrunk within a couple or so weeks of starting the diet, but so far, Abby has not been so lucky. Part of me thinks her lipomas are more genetic than from toxin buildup, but time will tell, I guess.
Given how much energy Abby now has and how much better she’s getting along, I’m really looking forward to the future instead of dreading it. I’m also cautiously optimistic that we are halfway into March without any signs of her environmental allergies that have plagued her for 10+ years and have required treatment as early as February in the past.
The details of the diet
To mimic how Abby would eat in the wild, per the diet’s protocol, I reduced her meat intake from seven days a week to two. The rest of the days she eats only fruit or sweet potatoes and quinoa. Rotating between meat and plant days is known as Rotational MonoFeeding or RMF for short, and is a vital part of this diet.
You might think that going from seven days to two days sounds like a drastic meat reduction, and I’ll admit, I did too at first. However, given Abby’s age, the severity of her health issues, and based on all the information I read, I could see how this reduction in meat made sense. Freeing up her body from the energy of digesting all that meat, has allowed it to focus on healing.
While the group strongly advocates fasting in many instances, Abby hasn’t done well in the last year with going too long without eating. She will forage disgusting things outside that come back up inside, so instead of fasting her, she just has several fruit and plant days.
The recommended feeding protocol is 2.5% to 3% of ideal body weight in meat and 5% of ideal body weight in fruits/plants. Being a senior and not overly active, I give Abby 2.5% of her ideal body weight in meat on her meat days. She gets around the 5% in fruits/plants, but I’m not as stringent on exact measurements there and mostly just monitor how she looks.
The transition from only eating meat
I knew that when they are in season, Abby is a voracious persimmon and blackberry eater around here, so I really didn’t worry too much about her eating fruit. I figured my biggest obstacle would be to figure out what other kinds of fruit would appeal to her. My personal take on the fruit trying situation was to buy fruit that I’d eat if she wouldn’t.
While I did have to eat several apples and a couple of watermelons in the beginning, the rest of the journey has been pretty smooth. While there is a very wide variety of fruits and vegetables that can be fed, I found that for fruit days, Abby has been happiest eating D’Anjou pears, frozen blueberries, dates, and after initial hesitation to them, bananas.
To get her to suddenly start eating fruit, I cut it into small pieces and while she watched, ate some myself. Then I offered some to her. For emphasis, I chewed loudly and made “MMMMMHMMM” noises. For the most part, that technique worked. After a week or so of hand-feeding, we transitioned to her eating her fruit off of a paper plate and eventually to her eating her fruit out of her bowl.
The sweet potato and quinoa mix was another matter. With the quinoa, if your dog is a licker of it, like Abby’s preferred way to eat it by herself is, you have to have plenty of sweet potatoes mixed in. That gives the mix a glue-like consistency and prevents your kitchen from being covered in quinoa. Most days, I find it easiest to just hand-feed Abby the mixture in ball-like chunks to prevent her from getting frustrated at her own slow eating method.
In the beginning, I boiled the sweet potatoes, but steaming is ideal, so once I determined she would eat them consistently, I bought this steamer pot, https://amzn.to/38JAMQE that works very well. I usually make the quinoa in another pot while I steam the sweet potatoes and they both get done about the same time.
Why I’m sharing this now
Normally, I like to get through whatever it is I’m healing/curing before I share it here, but because Abby is doing so well on this diet, I decided to go ahead and share it. I know there are so many dogs out there that are suffering from all sorts of health issues, and I didn’t want to delay getting this information out any longer.
In the testimonials on the ‘Healing Diet for Dogs and Cats‘ Facebook group, there are countless dogs out there who have suffered, sometimes for years, with skin issues, allergies, eye issues, arthritis, digestion issues, seizures, and on and on. All have been helped, completely healed, or have recently started and are doing so much better on this diet.
My advice to anyone with a senior dog who is slowing down from arthritis, or to anyone who has a dog with any health issues at all, please look into this diet. Join the Facebook group, read the posts and information in the files, then come to your own conclusion. If you are completely new to raw feeding and why all of this makes sense, or want even more information, there is an e-book available you can purchase.
I was recently kicked out of a holistic wellness group for cats and dogs without any warning or explanation after sharing Abby’s story and mentioning this group and diet. I’m not sure why I was kicked out and frankly, I don’t care. The travesty is that there are now fewer dogs who may be helped by this diet. Instead, they’ll just be given a supplement recommendation or worse case, told to prepare to put their dog down.
While everyone is quick to recommend an unhealthy food, a product, or a supplement that helped their dog, I want people to know that there is a diet out there that may actually CURE the problem, not just treat it. I can’t say for sure that this diet will help every dog with any condition, but why not at least look into it and consider it? If you’ve exhausted all of your other options, what do you have to lose?
Seeing such a drastic improvement in Abby from just a simple change in her diet has been so exciting. I want other dogs out there who may be suffering to have this turnaround in their health too. In the meantime, I’ll continue to share Abby’s progress on Facebook and possibly in a future blog post here, if the improvement continues.
While this diet recommends no supplements including homeopathic remedies, or anything cooked, including bone broth, I will say that I will not be that strict. While I do believe this diet has many healing properties and understand why they want to avoid the band-aid or hindrance of healing caused by supplements, I don’t necessarily agree that the body never needs intervention. To each their own on following that part of the diet protocol with their pets, but that’s where I stand on not ever using any sort of treatment or remedy while on this diet and I wanted to be clear about that.
Is your pet already on this diet? If so or if you are considering it, please be sure to share your experience (good, bad, or ugly) in the comments below. I’ll continue to share Abby’s updates on my Facebook page and any big milestones or negative issues will also be shared here on the blog.
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