One of the cardinal principles of functional medicine is biochemical individuality- i.e. every dog is different. This makes it difficult to formulate recommendations as to the best food to feed a given dog.
However, there are general guidelines that are important. Avoiding by-products and artificial preservatives is the minimal standard for good nutrition. Feeding organic foods is even better. In human nutrition, processed foods are considered by many nutritionists to be pro-inflammatory. The same is true of pet foods, especially dry foods. Recently, concern has been raised about the heavy metal (lead, mercury, arsenic, etc.) content of commercial pet food. It has even been suggested that if one chooses to feed commercial pet food adding detoxification supplements would be a good idea.
Because of these concerns I recommend feeding home prepared food made from ingredients purchased at a grocery store. In order to ensure an optimal diet, I also recommend adding a good multiple vitamin and mineral supplement. Feeding home prepared food can be less expensive than commercial pet food. You will also probably find your pet has regained her lost appetite. When food tastes good, eating is one the pleasures of life- both for people and pets.
If a home prepared diet with good supplements does not produce the desired results, functional medicine provides a means of determining a given pet’s biochemical uniqueness. The urine amino acid profile by Doctor’s Data analyzes the amount of various amino acids in urine, which will show the pet’s need for vitamins, magnesium, and protein. It will show the adequacy of digestion and absorption and whether the pet’s GI tract microflora are normal. Impairment of the pet’s detoxification system and need for anti-oxidants is also part of the analysis. Measuring the amounts of various minerals in urine or blood provides valuable insight into the nutritional status of the pet. Functional tests are extremely useful in treating pets with complex chronic diseases. They can also be used as true preventive medicine tests as they will reveal abnormalities.
Food plays an important role in your puppy’s good health, so diet is discussed during your first puppy visit, as well as recommendations for supplements such as multi-vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and probiotics. Your pet should start his life strong, healthy and happy.