I have a new niece. Her neck smells like a corn chip and looks like a thick white sausage. Her body resembles a cross between a pig and a cow. She’s very noisy and she likes to chew on my comforter.

You’ve probably guessed by now that she’s a dog (that would be kinda horrible if she wasn’t, right?).¬†Her name is Mason. In our house she is also known as Pigcow. She’s a Staffordshire Terrier, a very dominant lady. She also happens to have red, ouchy-looking skin (that’s a clinical diagnosis) on her lower¬†abdominal and pelvic area. The first time I saw it I gasped in sympathy. I put a little coconut oil on it but she promptly licked it off.

“I’ve tried everything,” said her mom. She didn’t want to put Pigcow on steroids but was starting to consider it. Pigcow was so itchy that she sometimes dragged her underbelly along the floor. Pigcow’s mother, who is apparently good at making lemonade out of lemons, has now taught her to hump on command by synchronizing the word with Pigcow’s attempts to relieve her pain.

Like most pets, Pigcow is on a diet that her owner considers pretty good quality. But animals were made to eat raw meat. Our pets don’t. And if they’re fortunate enough to get some treats occasionally, it’s often the feedlot, corn and soy raised, antibiotic and hormone infested meat that most human Americans eat. Like our pets, we aren’t eating our native diet. So none of us are getting the nutrients we need. And many humans aren’t doing a whole lot better than Pigcow.

People don’t often connect skin problems and allergies with digestion. They are intimately related. I figured Pigcow would benefit from Cod Liver Oil, which provides supplemental Omega 3s and Vitamin A for her skin. She’s also getting a whole foods vitamin designed especially for pets (to replace what their food leaves out), and Quercitin for her allergies. It’s early days but her skin’s not looking quite as raw and red.

Many of you are probably reading this and getting ready to email me about your pet’s skin problems. I welcome that, and I think that’s great. I know you’d do anything for Fluffy. But I also notice people often treat their pets better than they treat themselves. Skin, hair, and nails can be a great barometer for your internal health. Are YOU experiencing any problems? Are you jumping at the opportunity to heal Fluffy’s pain, but ignoring your own?

  1. I think it’s great to bring to people’s attention that many issues with pets is a direct effect of the food they are feeding them, however I strongly disagree that dogs are meant to eat raw meat. I run a natural dog food business and all our dinners are fully cooked. We deal with alot of dogs with skin and intestinal problems and we have huge success on natural fully cooked food. We use real meat, no bones, fat, crap, whole grains or grain free for some, and fresh fruits and veggies. Dogs thrive on wholesome food, as do humans and have far less problems then those who eat a raw food diet.

    Comment by Natasha — February 2, 2010 @ 12:55 pm

  2. Your business sounds awesome! My understanding is that dogs (like people) used to eat raw meat…as well as (like people) fat and bones, so these are all good substances for them.

    Comment by Stephanie Small — February 9, 2010 @ 8:06 am