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By Guest Blogger: Karen Wehrstein, Homeopath journalist

As organisms, both animals and people take things into their systems from the world around them, whether by ingestion, breathing, skin contact or other ways. And not everything that we take in is a nutrient. Some substances are neutral but unneeded; others are inimical to health (i.e., toxic).

The body—both canine and human—is well-designed to expel unneeded and toxic substances. (In fact, because dogs evolved as scavengers, their system can handle much worse biological toxicity than humans.)

The two first lines of defense are: the skin, which expels as well as protecting in the first place; and the digestive tract, which does the heavy lifting in terms of sorting out what’s good and what isn’t from whatever we ingest. But other parts — the liver, the kidneys, the gall bladder and the lymphatic system in general — take it from there, removing the harder-to-eliminate substances that have entered the bloodstream.

However, with any weakening of the life energy (or vital force, as we homeopaths call it), that natural detoxification process can get bogged down. And today’s world is full of increasing amounts of synthetic substances that neither dogs nor people were ever evolved to handle. The body can carry a certain amount of toxicity, but only so much before health begins to fail. Because of this, we’ve discovered various ways to purposely promote detoxification.

For humans, “purification” in the form of fasting, exposing the body to heat to promote sweating, exfoliation and other practices goes back thousands of years. Herbal medicine uses extracts of many different plants to promote detoxification, and homeopathy has remedies specific to initiating the action of the detoxification organs, as well as constitutional treatment which strengthens the vital force and thus causes detoxification automatically.

But anything that strengthens the vital force will cause detoxification. That includes healthy food for dogs such as Carna4, with its potent combination of protein-rich meat, eggs, vegetables, sprouted seeds and herbs and its lack of filler. This is why you’ll sometimes see detox symptoms, especially larger stools, in a dog transitioning to Carna4—and why you needn’t be alarmed. It’s just your pooch’s system kicking into higher gear and expelling the bad stuff. The result will be a healthier, happier, more energetic canine pal, with such changes as the glossier fur and cleaner teeth we noticed with Congo.

Karen Wehrstein is a journalist, novelist and Homeopath, who lives on 30 wooded acres in Muskoka with two sons, three cats and two dogs, a Rottweiler-German Shepherd cross named Congo and her daughter Kirby, a Labrador Retriever cross. Karen has been doing research on health and wellness issues since 1995, when she discovered homeopathy.