Pearl is our 11 1/5 yr old redbones hound. She has always been our beloved family dog, but recently she became one of our biggest health inspirations. Here’s a little background on Pearl’s contribution….
This fall due to some unexpected health problems I began to question what I was doing to support my health. I was fortunate to be directed to Dr. Shauna Young. Shauna placed me on the Spectrum Protocol Diet. Let me tell you, changing the way I ate was hard. I have gone gluten-free, low-carb, low-fat etc., and I’ve had some success but sticking to a program for the long haul has always been a challenge for me. At one of my appointments Shauna suggested I had some Bulletproof Collagen to my diet to boost my nutrition. She also mentioned that she added a little collagen to her dog’s food and she noticed a difference in her dog’s health. I decided to give it a try with Ol’ Pearl.
Pearl was showing some signs of aging, as expected. She had been getting very arthritic. My mother in law saw her and said, “It just makes me hurt watching Pearl get up and lay down, she looks like she’s in pain!” At this point we started adding the collagen to her food and we noticed within a week she was moving better. We decided to start adding bone broth in addition to the collagen for a little more nutrition. Pearl’s movement and energy continued to improve. By this time we are starting to waste a lot of things from our new diet: free range chicken gristle, grass-fed bones, sweet potato skins, kale stocks etc. It occurred to me that I could be utilizing all of this food and feeding it to Pearl. (Pearl has always loved vegetables and fruit and we have consistently fed her whole food leftovers as treats.) So we made a decision to quit buying “high quality” dog food from the pet store and we also quit buying expensive oil supplements to help improve her coat. We started feeding her our whole food leftovers: chicken skin, beef, fish skin, bone broth, animal fat, veggies and some fruit.
As mentioned earlier we were facing our own mental challenges with a change in diet. For me part of the difficulty was the detox process taking place which included feeling great with alternatively feeling pretty darn awful, and this seemed to be on a 3-4 week cycle. This is why I am glad we decided to change Pearl’s diet too.
Watching Pearl change from an older pain ridden hound into a youthful happy dog was POWERFUL. The effects on her health were nearly immediate. First she started trotting on our walks, and then she started running and baying to greet strangers and other dogs. Soon she was acting almost puppy like. One day my husband took her for a walk and she decided to leap down a snow bank and ended up barrel rolling to the bottom. At this point she ran up to a mom with a toddler, the mom not knowing Pearl, grabs her child in horror, Pearl then starts leaping up to smell the child. The terrified mom yells: “GET CONTROL OF YOUR DOG, THIS IS INAPPROPRIATE!!” My husband whose completely dumfounded by this new old dog behavior says, “Yes, you are right! Totally inappropriate!” Pearl was happy to feel good, and feeling good enough to be bad.
Other health improvements we noticed: No more horrible dog breath and overall bad dog odor, a bright shiny coat, remarkably less shedding, and a decrease in gray hair, seriously!
Watching Pearl has given us the motivation to continue to make healthy changes in our diet and when we feel like regressing we watch Pearl play, leap, howl, and be bad, then we think… well if it’s working for her, it’s gotta be working for us.