JOHN BURNS' PET HEALTH MANAGEMENT
may wonder why a single Pet Health Management Programme could
be suitable for all sorts of health problems and illnesses. The
answer lies at the root of Holistic Medicine, the principles of
which are described in the Introduction.
If the right conditions are present
the body can heal itself and this Pet Health Management Programme
provides those conditions. We are harnessing the innate healing
abilities of the body in order to achieve a proper, long-lasting
1 Gradually change to the chosen
trial food. Slow introduction allows a smooth change of intestinal
bacteria, thus minimising the risk of intestinal upset.
2 Following the introductory period
the trial food should be the only food given
3 Quantity of food must be carefully
controlled to meet but not exceed the dog's requirements. (See
4 Regular suitable exercise helps
to use up excess calories, discharge waste products, improve circulation
and provides mental stimulation.
5 Ask your veterinary surgeon to
empty the dog's anal glands. This aids in the elimination of wastes
from the system.
6 All family members must cooperate
by ensuring that no extras (titbits, treats, table scraps or other
foods are given.
This Management Programme has to
be tailored to the needs of the individual because there are so
many individuals whose differing needs have to be accommodated.
It is not enough to try the diet and hope for the best.
GETTING IT RIGHT
Getting the quantity of food right
depends taking account of individual variations viz.
THE FUSSY EATER Feed once daily,
usually 5 -7 p.m.. Offer less than the recommended amount for
the dog's weight e.g. if the dog weighs 20 kg offer 5-6 ounces
(125 - 150gr ) rather than 8 ounces (200 gr.) Any food not consumed
within 10 - 15 minutes should be taken up and no more food offered
until the same meal-time next day. At the next meal, offer slightly
less than the amount eaten the day before.
Experiment with quantities until
you ensure that your dog is READY for its meal each day, consumes
the whole amount and would even eat a little more if it were available.
After the first few days, if you have to offer extras to encourage
your dog to eat then your are probably overfeeding.
THE "HUNGRY" OR "GREEDY"
DOG. With these dogs, appetite is NOT a reliable guide to requirements.
Offer the prescribed maximum according to weight. This can be
given as one feed or split between two feeds depending on preference
and the amount can then be adjusted depending on results.
What if the dog won't eat?
Some older dogs may be underweight
yet have poor appetite due to loss of sense of smell and taste.
These dogs can be encouraged to eat by e.g. more frequent meals,
handfeeding, adding some home-made food, warm water or vegetable
stock to the food to increase palatability.
The anorexic dog
Some dogs will not eat due to stress.
This applies particularly to the dog with a timid or nervous disposition.
Initially they may benefit from handfeeding several times daily.
If possible, eliminate the cause of the stress. But too much effort
towards getting the dog to eat will itself cause stress to dog
(and owner) and perpetuate the problem.
The show dog
"Show condition" often
requires that the dog should have lots of "body". In
this case "body" usually means "fat" not muscle
and judges tend to pick fat dogs rather than healthy lean dogs.
Many owners of show dogs complain that they cannot get the dog
to eat enough to achieve the necessary "body".. This
is because the dog is eating enough to satisfy its own needs but
not enough to get the dog fat enough for the show ring.
Dogs with digestive problems
If your dog is underweight as a result
of poor absorption of food there is a strong temptation to increase
the food to build the dog up. But it is better to proceed cautiously
in order to avoid any setbacks. An occasional hard-boiled egg
can be a useful supplement. When changing to Burns you can expect
to see normal stools within a short time. But the intestines may
need several weeks of correct feeding before regaining their efficiency.
Increasing the food intake reduces the efficiency of absorption.
Choose a food
which is low in protein and fat but high in complex carbohydrate.
This tends to produce a lean, fit condition so one would expect
a slightly overweight dog to slim down. Most dogs can change to
a food such as this over the space of a few days. However, a small
percentage of dogs who are changing from a diet high in protein,
fat and sugars (the "normal" dog foods) lose too much
weight and become bony. If this happens, the solution is NOT to
increase the amount of
food but to slow the rate of change. It may be necessary to make
the change to a more natural diet over a few weeks. The same thing
can be seen in humans who change to a more natural diet from the
typical Western diet of meat, sugar and refined foods to a diet
based on wholefoods.
Common pet health problems
John Burns Pet Health Management