By Dr. Roger L. DeHaan



A few weeks ago a new client brought her dog foods to my office, incorrectly believing they were “the best”.  I began by reading the main ingredients.  Three sources of meat: chicken, beef and salmon.  Wheat and wheat gluten.  Corn and corn gluten.  Soy bean meal.  And cellulose, which is sawdust for fiber.  OK, STOP!

  1. I began by explaining that back on the farm, decades and centuries ago when breed genetics were standardized, a dog might obtain a bird one day.  A rabbit another.  Or leftovers from farm slaughter or the family table.  Think about it.  Chicken is an flying bird.  Beef a warm blooded land mammal.  Fish are cold blooded water creatures.  Three totally different proteins all mixed and  consumed day after day.  Or typically for weeks, months or years at a time.  Which violate the basic “creation laws” of simplicity, rotation and variety.  Are we on the same page?


  1. Raised on an organic farm in the 1960’s I know what healthy food tastes like.  Comparing nutrient dense and historically healthy foods, I do not consider corn, wheat, nor soy healthy foods anymore.  Why?  Because most are hybridized,  genetically modified, and then planted, matured and harvested using chemical fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides and more.  Do they qualify as healthy foods under those conditions?  Good question.  


  1. A second question is this.  Canines are carnivores.  Do meat eating carnivores require grain…...especially industrialized,  bio-processed and genetically modified corn, wheat and soy?  According to grain companies, yes.  According to unbiased science, grains are not required to maintain excellent canine health.  For example, have you ever seen a dog raid a corn patch, a wheat field, or crave soybeans?  Likely only if starved!  Depending on the breed, more likely they relish a rabbit, bird, rat or other catch.  Happily consuming stomach contents, organs, meat and bones.  Although the stomach contents are likely vegetarian, they are predigested with enzymes at body temperature.  And if a companion pet on the family farm?  Then  also typically supplemented with leftovers of meat, vegetables, broth, potatoes, oatmeal, spices and so on.  


  1. Now consider the genetics and DNA of each breeds country of origin.  A Portuguese Water Dog on fishing vessels survives on fish--or else!  A Mexican Chihuahua on rats, rice, and fruit.  A German Shephard likely lamb, oatmeal, potato and cabbage (cooked or fermented).  Breed origin, therefore, and the foods common to that nation and culture, are essential data to comprehend which foods qualify genetically.  Therefore rice for Asian and South American breeds of origin qualify as a likely yes.  


  1. Speaking with Dr. Jean Dodds regarding on this subject, I concluded (based on food allergy food testing and personal clinical experience) that rice generally DID NOT test well on most European breeds.  She agreed.  The theory:  rice is not a common staple in Europe as their continent of origin.  In other words, the land of origin is key to understanding each breeds unique nutritional requirements.  Therefore genetics and DNA designed via centuries of breeding and survival speak loudly--to those who are listening.  


  1. Dry kibble cooked and factory processed foods are a modern invention for city dwellers.  Yes, there are superior dry ethical foods.  However in nature nearly everything a canine carnivore ate was wet and raw.  Their diet typically included berries, nibbling on a few herbs to balance their diet by instinct….all wet.  Therefore if one chooses to feed a superior kibble diet for convenience, one solution is adding bone broth, healthy home cooking broths, and left overs.  Or lacking those, warm water…..preferably filtered…..and definitely not chlorinated city tap water.  


  1. I strongly recommend superfoods supplementing both homemade and commercial dog foods.  Why?  Because our soils are severely compromised.  There are no perfect soils.  Consider supplements such as kelp, alfalfa meal, whole ground flax, spirulina and food grade diatomaceous earth.  Rotating virgin coconut oil, olive oil, occasionally fish oil.  Judiciously add sea salt, herbs and spices.  Which together are spark plugs initiating superior health and longevity. Are we still on the same page?   


  1. Back to meat and meat meal.  A single meat, and NOT a mix of land, air and sea meats consumed in a single smorgasbord meal.  It is not what is consumed, but what is digested and assimilated that counts.  In other words: Simplicity is the basic standard of “creation law”.  Also NOT the same meat month after month.  The solution is to ROTATE different meats on different days;  or perhaps rotate ingredients weekly or monthly.  In addition, depending on age, health, digestion, allergies and country of origin……judiciously include a minimum of carbohydrate supplements such as oatmeal, barley, lentils, peas, beans, potatoes or sweet potatoes as careful choices which qualify.  Many bags list chicken and rice, or beef and rice.  But is rice right for your breed?  And on a daily basis month after month?


  1. Building on this principle, is chicken a wise choice month after month?  Or year after year is some cases?  Therefore I query my clients:  do YOU eat the same foods every meal month after month and year after  year?  Typically in shock they respond: “Of course not! ! But I never thought about that for my dog.  Wow: that makes so much sense.”  Building on that same principle:  chicken is a “hot” food in Chinese medical terms.  Many pets arrive at my office with “hot” inflammatory conditions.  They itch. Their ears and gums are inflamed.  These indicate various chronic “hot” conditions. Frequently turkey is an “cooling” option, therefore qualifying  as a “cooling” meat.  Common sense, right? Shifting directions, serious kidney and liver issues often benefit by eliminating red meats as beef and lamb.  In other words, there is no perfect answer for every pet But PRINCIPES, Common Sense and Creation Law apply.  Our dilemma is that most dog food companies operate in ivory towers with white suits, computers and calculators.  However, if an educated population demands grain free food, they will comply.  If they demand single meats, having completed owner and consumer research, again many will comply--based on supply and demand.    


  1. Therefore it is up to us, the consumer, to educate ourselves.  Read the labels.  Experiment.  Research.  Pay for good counsel when it makes sense.  But above all be responsible.  Listen to your gut.  Listen to your pet,.  And return back to the BASICS!

         For a scheduled PHONE CONSULTATION with Dr. DeHaan call:  (704) 734-0061However first click on “Phone Consultations”, read and understand the requirements prior to calling.