Keep The Tail Wagging with Kimberly Gauthier
Recently I did a podcast with Kimberly Gauthier of KeepTheTailWagging.com. Kimberly’s goal is to raise awareness of natural alternative canine care by sharing her experience raising five dogs. Her blog is an incredible resource for pet parents to learn about dog nutrition, raw feeding, dog health, behavior and more. She’s on the show to discuss pet health, the pet food industry, and Kimberly’s tips for pet parents who are interested in learning about raw feeding.
Listen in to the whole episode:
Kimberly’s Journey to Raw Feeding
Kimberly started her blog, Keep The Tail Wagging, in December, 2011. She had been a blogger since her teenage years, but it wasn’t until she had dogs of her own that she began her journey as a dog blogger. Kimberly shared with us how she was tired of sad commercials urging people to rescue dogs by making them feel guilty. She realized that she could instead make people excited to rescue a dog, by showing them exactly how rescuing can change a dog’s life for the better.
Two years into the blog, in 2013, her dog Rodrigo started having health issues. Kimberly was taking Rodrigo to her veterinarian, for visit after visit, only to be told that these issues were to be expected from a rescue. He was put on several rounds of antibiotics, and Kimberly still had no answers. Instead, she was told that Rodrigo wouldn’t live long past his third birthday.
Kimberly decided at that point to do her own research, reading other blogs and searching for help. She started learning about over-vaccination, the dangers of flea and tick medications and raw feeding. Learning that you can help heal your dog by first healing their gut, which is where most of the immune system resides.
Transitioning from Kibble to Raw
Raw feeding can be intimidating when you’re starting out, even for Kimberly, before she became the expert she is today. So she started out buying Darwin’s Natural Pet Food, who makes fresh, raw species-appropriate meals for pets. At first integrating raw meals into her dogs’ diets in addition to kibble, and eventually completely replacing kibble. Within two weeks of integrating a raw diet, she saw improvements to Rodrigo’s health, digestion and mobility.
However, raw feeding can get expensive when you’re buying prepared meals, especially for multiple dogs. At this point Kimberly had four dogs at home, so she knew it was time to learn more about nutrition and raw feeding, so she could make her own fresh, raw meals for her dogs.
Rodrigo is now 11 years old, and doing very well. Her dogs Scout and Zoey, who were started on a raw diet at six weeks, had minimal health issues until a recent cancer diagnosis for Scout. Thanks to his fresh, raw diet and a full spectrum hemp extract, Scout is doing very well and has remained in remission.
Related: Healing Pets Holistically with Dr. Marlene Siegel
Should I Switch to Raw Feeding?
Most pet parents will agree that feeding their pet high-quality food is important to them, and yet they continue to feed their pets dry kibble, not understanding the harm they’re doing to their pet’s long term health. Regrettably, a lot of pet parents look right past what we’re feeding our pets when health issues arise. But 70% of the immune system is housed in the gut. That means good gut health is fundamental to overall wellness.
“How many real ingredients are in the food that you’re feeding your pet? Because you don’t have to be a scientist or a nutritionist to know that food is food. And if you can’t pronounce it, or you don’t recognize those things in the ingredients, then don’t feed it to your dog. “ – Angela Ardolino
Unfortunately the majority of kibbles in stores are not even using food as ingredients. Almost 100% of the ingredients are actually EPA registered chemicals and condemned rendered meats. Many companies also use high pressure pasteurization, which can damage the product, removing important nutrients.
Toxins, chemicals, pesticides and herbicides harm the membrane lining the gut. Glyphosate for example, is the most popular herbicide in the world, and it’s often found in dog food. This causes a leaky gut, allowing those toxins into the body, where they end up triggering an inflammatory response.
Even common pet food ingredients, such as corn and grains, can cause a constant level of inflammation in the gut. You may know probiotics as the good bacteria in our gut, but inflammation kills this bacteria, leading to more health problems.
To heal the gut, a fully balanced fresh, freeze-dried or raw, species-appropriate diet can be supplemented with a natural source of probiotics to support gut health.
Learn More about Raw Feeding
Kimberly shared some final thoughts for pet parents on our podcast this week:
“Don’t wait until your dog is diagnosed with cancer or some other autoimmune disease to switch to raw. Start doing it now. You don’t have to do cold turkey if you’re not ready. But just start adding fresh food to the bowl and start looking up things like, if you’re eating a banana. Google “Can dogs have bananas? Can dogs have strawberries, can dogs have apples, can dogs have kale?” and start educating yourself about what you can add to your dog’s diet. So that you can slowly start working your way to more of a fresh food diet.” – Kimberly Gauthier
To learn more about raw feeding or Kimberly’s journey, visit Keep The Tail Wagging for personal articles, books on raw feeding, videos, local and online events, recipes for dog food, and more.
About Angela Ardolino
Angela Ardolino is a holistic pet expert who has been caring for animals for over 20 years. She operates a rescue farm, Fire Flake Farm, in Florida. She is also the owner of Beautify the Beast, a natural pet salon and shop. Angela got her certificate in Medical Cannabis Biology and Therapeutic use from the University of Vermont School of Medicine. She then founded CBD Dog Health to provide high quality, all-natural medical cannabis products designed specifically for pets.
Angela has seven dogs. Odie a 12-year-old mini-schnauzer, Nina an 8-year-old Doberman. Jolene a 7-year-old mutt, Maza a 7-year-old mutt, Rhemi an 8-year-old poodle. Potato a 15-year-old shih-tzu, and Miss Daisie a 15-year-old black lab. Plus 4-10 more at any time she is fostering or boarding. Additionally, she uses Full Spectrum Hemp Extract on all her pets at her rescue farm every day, and has since 2016. She is a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians and the Veterinary Cannabis Association. In fact, Angela has educated hundreds of medical doctors and veterinarians on the therapeutic uses of medical cannabis on animals. Visit www.angelaardolino.com for more information.
About Kimberly Gauthier
Kimberly Gauthier is a professional Dog Nutrition Blogger, and the author of A Novice’s Guide to Raw Feeding for Dogs. A book that shares her experience raising four dogs on a raw food diet. It includes the benefits of raw dog food, transitioning dogs to raw, and more. The blog Keep the Tail Wagging has grown from a hobby into a woman/minority-owned small business. Kimberly’s passion for blogging and raw feeding is inspired by her five dogs, including two sets of litter mates, and can be seen on her blog Keep the Tail Wagging. Her goal is to raise awareness of natural alternative canine care.