There is a holistic vet in Birmingham.
Yep. It’s true. In this bass-ackward, close-minded, stereo-typically opposite-of-innovative state, we’ve got an Auburn University-educated holistic veterinarian.
I started down this road some 4 months ago, and was feeling very ‘out there’ on my own trying to get a handle on the proper way to feed a raw diet to my dogs.
I have relied heavily on my textbook, The Encyclopedia of Natural Pet Care, which has been a tremendous resource, but sometimes you need to talk through it a bit.
I tried to reach out to any of the veterinarians at the clinic I use to get some additional guidance on doing it the right way. They didn’t return my calls. #sads.
My good friends at Just Happy Hounds-Midtown tried to connect me to someone who is a nutrition manager at one of the big box pet stores, and after a few emails and unreturned phone calls, I decided he didn’t really want to talk to me either, and I might be barking up the wrong tree anyway. #fail.
Finally, through Melissa Campbell, the maker of the most delightful grain-free, raw, dehydrated treats (www.cahabones.com), we connected with Dr. Natalie Lenoir Blackmon at the Well Being Animal Medicine Society.
Dr. Natalie is about to change our lives. We were SO excited to meet her and talk with her about this Raw Food experiment, what I’ve done, how I’ve done it, and what I’ve observed. Here’s some of what I learned:
- I am over-feeding. With a raw diet, they don’t need to eat as much because the nutritional needs are more fully met. I have been feeding 6-8oz twice a day. For their body weights (25lbs each), they really only need about half that. So 6oz total per day will suffice.
- Pearl’s sweet tooth (her love of all manner of fruit) is likely due to the growth of candida in her system as a result of the massive amounts of antibiotics she was on throughout the summer while we were battling the bladder infection. We’ve got to cut back on the fruit and get her system balanced.
- My rotation of proteins is a good thing. I feed on a 3 or 4-day rotation of beef, chicken, and fish. Their bodies don’t have time get too used to one thing, which is important in controlling allergies.
- Feeding protein and starch together slows the metabolic process, which I knew for myself, but failed to consider for my dogs. I should feed them about an hour or so apart.
- Raw goat’s milk is a better source of milk protein than cow’s milk products. I have been feeding plain organic yogurt or kefir all this time. Raw goat’s milk is much easier for dogs to digest, and is better for them.
- Bones are super important. As I had read in my book, bone marrow, with all of its nutrients, is essential for good health in dogs. She gave us an ‘atta girl’ for feeding raw chicken bones in addition to the raw meat.
- Most of all, they look FANTASTIC! She called Truman & Pearl the Poster Dogs for a Raw Diet! She said most Pugs she sees have so many skin & coat issues, allergies, eye problems, etc., but my babies look amazing to her. 🙂
Dr. Natalie is our new bff. She gave us so many great suggestions, and she is excited about The HOL Dog!
If you’re in Alabama, she is at Well Being Animal Medicine Society, which is located at the Cahaba Beach Dog Park. She travels to Gadsden and Huntsville on weekends. Here’s a link to her Facebook page. You need to check her out.
pugs & kisses,
3 thoughts on “Our visit with Dr. Natalie Blackmon”
Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology
University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)
1900 University Boulevard • THT 930 • Birmingham, AL • 35294-0006
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WOW!!! You really took that info home!!! You must have photographic memory!!! 🙂
This is so great! Keep up the good work!!!!
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This is a very interesting and informative post! Best of luck with the raw diet. I would love to get our youngest dog on it, and maybe I soon will! 🙂