This page is a work in
progress, so please forgive the limited content.
Welcome to the Health & Nutrition Information page of the GSRSV Website.
This is a page that is only about 18 years overdue (as long as the GSRSV Website
has existed)! I feel that information on this page is more important than any of
the other content in this Website. After all, whether it applies to your
children or your pets, what's more important than good health? The only thing
that has kept me from creating this page sooner is that it is a daunting
task--and my main mission of rescuing and rehoming dogs is a full-time job
There is so much
misinformation out there about what's best for your dogs' health, much of it
propagated by the industries that profit from the sale of their drugs and other
products that are potentially harmful to your dogs. Sadly, some of the
misinformation about what is good and what is not good for your dogs' health is
passed along by veterinarians who either have not been exposed to
non-traditional--yet factually based--ideas and information, or who simply feel
that what they've learned in veterinary school is gospel.
There are also many natural
supplements and remedies that are not only safe alternatives to their
traditional medicinal counterparts, but are just as effective and often much
less expensive. I hope that this page will introduce you to some of these
supplements/remedies and help you maintain the good health of your dog(s) with
the fewest risks to their longevity.
I want this page to be as interactive
as possible, so if there is some info that you would like to see provided on
this page, please let me (Brian Foran) know about it at
This page was last modified
August 15, 2018.
The Natural Approach: Effective and
Recently I discovered the
Website for a holistic
veterinarian named Deva Khalsa, DVM ("Dr Deva"). After thoroughly reviewing
Dr Khalsa's Website, I am confident enough to simply refer people to her site
for much of the information that I would like to provide on this page. Why
re-invent the wheel? Dr Khalsa has done an amazing job of amassing natural,
safe and effective health advice for companion animals into her Website.
Please visit Dr Khalsa's Website, and pay particular attention to the section on
Cancer" and to the video
"Are Vaccines Dangerous for Your Dogs?" under the "Pet Health Videos"
Another good online resource for
natural/holistic veterinary information is the
page of Hemopet.org. This page contains numerous posts written by
Dr. Jean Dodds, DVM, and focuses on vaccines, nutrition and thyroid issues.
(Thanks to Dianna Cheung for informing me of the Hemopet.org Website.)
Bloat (Gastric Dilitation/Volvulus)--every
GSD owner should know about this condition! Several of my adopters have lost
their GSDs to bloat!
Gastric dilatation/volvulus, more commonly
known as "bloat", is an all-too-frequent, often fatal event for German
Shepherds. Basically, gastric dilatation refers to a condition in which the
dog's stomach fills up with air due to various reasons, the main ones being
eating too fast or eating large quantities of food (such as when a dog gets into
a full bag of kibble). The dog's abdomen becomes visibly "bloated", and can
cause great discomfort. If the bloat persists, often what happens next is
volvulus--the stomach literally rotates on its intestinal axis, shutting off the
blood supply both to and from the stomach. At this stage, the dog usually has
only hours to live, and the condition must be treated surgically. The sooner the
dog is treated, the better its chance for survival and full recovery.
Learn how to avoid bloat in your dog,
and how to recognize the symptoms.
Please click on this link to open a very informative Webpage about bloat. I
recommend printing the article and placing it where you can immediately access
it if you suspect that your dog is experiencing bloat. Click
on this link for a printable MS Word version of the article.
Obesity in Dogs: Just as Harmful to
Dogs as to Humans
"Keeping Your Dog Thin is a Lifesaver"--Click the link at left to download
an excellent article about the beneficial health effects of keeping your dog
thin (not just "normal") by Denise Flaim, Whole Dog Journal, Jan
I have found the
Whole Dog Journal
to be the most comprehensive source of information about what makes a dog food
"good" or "bad", and for ratings of all kinds of dog food, including
pre-packaged, refrigerated or freeze-dried raw foods. While the Whole Dog
Journal does tend to lean towards the very top-shelf dog foods, which are great
but cost an arm & a leg, they also cover the less expensive good-quality dog
Raw Dog Food
There is a ton of information (and
misinformaiton) out there about the pros and cons of feeding you dog raw food.
(I, for one, am a huge advocate.) An excellent, inexpensive reference on the
nutritional benefits of raw food for dogs is the book Natural Nutrition for
Dogs and Cats: the Ultimate Diet by Kymythy R. Schultze. This paperback book
only costs about $12-15 new, and used copies can be found online for just a few
No other company that I've encountered
manufactures so many highly effective nutritional supplements for dogs (and
horses), at reasonable prices, as
Springtime, Inc--an independent company based in
Maryland. I have been feeding my dogs several of Springtime's supplements for
years, and believe in them so strongly that I provide a one-month supply of one
of them ("Bug-Off Garlic") to every one of my adopters, and include their
product catalog in all of my adopted dogs' adoption packets.
is the ONLY company that I endorse on my Website, and I do so voluntarily with
no "kickback." Springtime, Inc does provide GSRSV with a 10% discount on
their products, but they have done so without any knowledge of my endorsement.