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Interview With Veterinary Naturopath
Dr.Kim Bloomer & Shadrach (of course)

It's not just in the human health arena that a natural approach and more holistic view is being taken.

Natural remedies and products for dogs (and all pets) are increasingly in popularity as concerned pet parents do their best to protect their dogs health and wellbeing.

Dr Kim Bloomer VND, is a veterinary naturopath (with a degree from Kingdom College of Natural Health) and is a proficient, and popular, blogger and writer on natural pet health.

Kim worked in traditional veterinary medicine for many years and is now dedicated to sharing her knowledge and passion for natural health care for dogs and cats. She is also a regular contributor to many pet publications, has co-authored a book 'Whole Health for Happy Dogs', and has a weekly online radio show, 'Animal Talk Naturally'.

Shadrach is Kims' big, handsome Neopolitan Mastiff, who is also a proficient blogger at Bark-N-Blog. Shadrach was rescued when just a pup, and now owes his excellent health and wholesome good looks to his 'all natural' diet and lifestyle.

If you've ever wanted to know more about natural pet care, pet nutrition and natural holistic alternatives to conventional pet care - this is your chance!

Dr Kim and Shadrach have very generously given some very thought-provoking answers to my questions, and I hope you will all find them as enlightening and fascinating as I did. Enjoy!

Since the time of this interview, Shadrach has sadly crossed over to the Rainbow Bridge. RIP big boy, you were an inspiration and tremendously loved.

Okay, let's get this interview started.....

The questions I ask Kim appear in bold print, her (and Shadrach's) answers follow.

  • Kim - I know that you have been involved in natural healthcare for quite some time, and are passionate about it. Can you tell us what initially sparked your interest in using natural foods, remedies and products when caring for Shadrach?

    First Sue let me take this opportunity to thank you for allowing me and Shadrach to share here on your site.

    Yes, I have been involved for some time now. I’ve been interested in natural health for humans most of my adult life. I was a Fine Arts Major at the University of NM with a dance emphasis. Nutrition and diet are critical to a dancer. So I began delving into supplements, nutrition, etc., then. I strayed back and forth over the years but ultimately it was my dog Shadrach, a Neapolitan Mastiff, who led me to be ever vigilant, ever focused on caring for myself, my husband, AND him the way God and nature intended.

    When Shadrach came to live with us he had been nearly starved to death he was so horribly malnourished and he had been abused. I had never had a rescue before so I didn’t know the baggage I was going to have to deal with – emotionally and physically. I started researching on his breed, nutrition, etc.

    Keep in mind I was a former veterinary assistant – I went back and forth between the world of dance to veterinary medicine over the years with some years overlapping. I had worked in traditional veterinary medicine for years prior to Shadrach coming to live with us so I thought by doing things the way I was trained would be fine. After all it had worked for all my other dogs, hadn’t it? NOT.

    I embarked upon a journey with Shadrach that has taken me down paths I never dreamed existed.

  • Shadrach - You must be very happy that your mom is working so hard to make sure you stay strong and healthy. Can you tell us a couple of the biggest differences you’ve noticed in your health since you went 'all natural'?
  • Hi Sue, YES I am tail waggin' happy, WOOF!

    I can barely remember not being fed… I try not to remember anyway. I used to have a lot of bad dreams when I first came to live with my forever humans but not anymore. I’m pretty much the boss of my house now, WOOF! As Mom said, I was pretty malnourished and also not treated well by my other humans. They were mean to me. I don’t know why bepaws I didn't know anything but dog language then. I wanted to learn, but they thought I should just know it I guess.

    I am still not totally healthy bepaws I have baggage Mom says. She means from my parents and grandparents, etc. You see this ill health stuff carries over into our genes. That’s pretty scary. But Mom has REALLY helped me. I’ve been through an initial detox off of the vaccines by a holistic veterinarian. And I even got acupressure and chiropractic adjustments that have helped me for other things. Something one of the vets noticed a few years ago is that I have a very shiny coat and white teeth for what she considered to be an 'older' dog. What she failed to realize is that six years old isn’t old for a dog – UNLESS they are not naturally cared for, WOOF! So we poo pooed that. I’m almost ten years old now.

    Three years ago the traditional vet found some arthritis in my elbow and she said I’d never run again. She wanted to give me Rimadyl, HORRORS! But my Mom said NO WAY! Mom said I’d not only still be able to run and play but I wouldn’t get those awful drugs. Mom created an all natural protocol for just me! You see each dog is unique and individual so it’s best if humans really know their own dog and then can work together with a professional like my mom to create the best natural regimen unique for their dog.

    My regimen has changed some over the years to accommodate my changing body…right now I’m even on Traditional Chinese Medicine! Mom is working with a practitioner bepaws that isn’t her area of expertise. Natural health is slow but sure…it is not a quick fix and there are no magic bullets. I still have a shiny coat, I still run and play, and I still have white teeth, and SMALL poop for a big guy like me, WOOF! And I NEVER have to take drugs of any kind, and I never have to go to the vet for dentals, ear problems, fleas, none of that stuff, WOOF!

  • Kim - I’m sure many dog owners (myself included) would like to turn to more natural remedies, health practices and alternative therapies, but find the volume of information and huge range of products confusing, and a little intimidating. What would you consider to be the three most important things we could do to start off on the right foot?

    That’s true there is a LOT of information out there now about everything. We have information overload these days. I’d say seek out websites and people who are truly trained and knowledgeable in what you want to know and learn. For every truth there are ten lies to refute the truth. But as Mahatma Ghandi said, "An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation nor does truth become error because no one will see it." 

    The three things...
    1. Get your dog on a natural species appropriate raw diet. Nutrition is the foundation of health. Dogs are opportunistic scavenger carnivores. We’d not feed our horses hamburgers so why we feed our dogs things unnatural to them like grains is absolutely, utterly astounding to me. To learn about raw diets go to www.rawlearning.com, www.rawfed.com and www.rawmeatybones.com . Also check out our audio program sets from our online radio show, Animal Talk Naturally on this subject:Nutrition for Our Carnivore Pets, Vol 1Nutrition for Our Carnivore Pets, Vol 2

    2. Stop the overvaccinating. Listen to the Animal Talk Naturally shows we have done with veterinarians on this subject here Pet Vaccines: What You Need to Know, and a VERY vital one coming up with a veterinarian who is REALLY telling it like it is, Dr. Patricia Jordan, on April 15, 2009 at 2:30 PM Eastern at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/animaltalknaturally we’ll be discussing her new book that is very revealing about the agenda behind vaccines called "The Mark of the Beast".

    3. Become proactive in your dog’s health. We can only do that by educating ourselves. If we all knew and understood the true nature of our animals all of the above would be moot. When we bring an animal home to live with us, it is OUR responsibility to know their needs, their nature, their behavior, ALL of it so that that animal can thrive and not just hang on by a thread surviving. These are OUR animals – not the vets, not the health care practitioners, but ours.

    We owe it to them to know about them and honor that by caring for them accordingly. They need exercise, they need REAL food, and they need our interaction as the social creatures they are. Studying their wild cousins like wolves, coyotes, foxes, wild dogs, etc. can clue us in to what they need. It is not optional if we love them and want the best lives for them, optimal lives.

  • Shadrach - Nobody likes needles, so having to be vaccinated less often sounds enticing! But many dogs may be afraid that they’ll get sick if they don’t get their yearly shots. What would you say to them?

    Sue, what is scary to me really is the shot not the needles. I’m a pretty fearless guy as my Mom can tell you, but what’s IN the shots give me the shivers, not the needles, WOOF! I think my Mom addressed the "why" REALLY well above.

    Did you know that Dr. Stephen Blake said that ALL of the cases of distemper and parvo he has treated have come from what? VACCINATED dogs! Yep! I’d be far, far more afraid of what is in those vaccines than any naturally occurring disease that will play itself out when allowed to do so and with a properly supported and strong immune system that comes ONLY from proper CARNIVORE nutrition, WOOF!

    Let me just share some quotes with you to hip everyone to the facts – and these are conservative answers as one vet we know says that he has tittered dogs up to FIVE generations that had titers for the vaccines, even though NONE of the dogs in those five generations had been vaccinated ever! Do you know what that means? It means the protection was passed through the parents, WOOF!

    Donna Starita Mehan, DVM "Routine vaccination has adverse side-effects, either short or long term. With vaccines that are repeated year after year, the frequency and severity of these side-effects in our pets has increased dramatically. Most of the problems involve the immune system. After all, the immune system is what vaccines are designed to stimulate. But they do so in a very unnatural way that can overwhelm and confuse the immune system." 

    Dr. Ronald D. Schultz, Ph.D
    "Annual revaccination provides no benefit and may increase the risk for adverse reactions. The percentage of vaccinated animals (those vaccinated only as puppies) protected from clinical disease after challenge with canine distemper virus, canine parvovirus and canine adenovirus in the study was greater than 95%."
    Current and Future Canine and Feline Vaccination Programs. Dr. Ronald Schultz is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Pathobiological Sciences at the School of Veterinary Medicine, UW-Madison. Schultz, R.D. - Current & Future Canine & Feline Vaccination Programs. Vet Med 3: No. 3, 233-254, 1998 more.A chart provided in the report shows immunity levels for all vaccines currently given to dogs lasting a minimum of 5 years with most lasting 7-15 years!

    Don Hamilton, DVM
    Yearly "boosters" are unnecessary, provide no benefit if given (will not increase immunity). Thus boosters are either a legal issue (Rabies) or a manipulation issue (inducing clients to come in for examination rather than directly suggesting an examination).

    Charles E Loops DVM "Homeopathic veterinarians and other holistic practitioners have maintained for some time that vaccinations do more harm than they provide benefits. Vaccinations represent a major assault on the body's immune system.... Vaccine induced chronic diseases range from life-threatening conditions such as auto-immune crises to conditions destroying the quality of life of an animal as in chronic skin allergies."

  • Kim - With summer approaching, fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and other pests are on the horizon. Many of the commonly used preventatives/treatments are made from very strong chemicals – however they are effective. I noticed a recent post on bark-n-blog referred to the dangers of over-the-counter flea treatments in particular. What natural alternatives to these products would you recommend, and how effective are they?

    First let me say that those very strong chemicals are as effective at killing our pets as they are the pests they are targeting. Yes, they kill the fleas, ticks, etc. but over time they will kill our pets also. Whatever we put ON our pets goes IN to them. Over time they will harm the liver, kidneys, and so on – ever wonder why you have to wear gloves to put those toxins ON your pet? 

    The thing to remember is that if the immune system is strong, then the body will naturally be able to fend off the parasites. Those same parasites are also in place to motivate the immune system to grow stronger. And if your dog is fed a natural, species appropriate raw diet, then the immune system will be strong and that is not attractive to parasites. They want a weakened host – which most dogs that overvaccinated and kibble-fed are. I haven’ used any form of parasite or pest control on Shadrach for years and we never have any problems with any of that.

    A great article to read on heartworm prevention is by my colleague Dr. Jeannie Thomason: www.thewholedog.org/heartworm.html and we also did a show on this in February entitled 'Heartworm Prevention, Naturally If you feel the need to use something try a natural substance such as FOOD-grade diatomaceous earth. I get mine at www.earthworkshealth.com/pets-animals.php , which I use in my yard and even eat myself because humans get parasites too. I make aromatherapy sprays for dogs also. Be Free is the tick/flea deterrent I offer.

    However, a raw fed dog will do best at repelling these parasites naturally!Fear not, as fear is what drives the economic machine of all of this.

  • Shadrach - You’re a big guy (and handsome with it!). Can you tell us a little bit about the diet that keeps you in such great shape?

    Thank you for the handsome compliment Sue – Mom tells me that ALL the time so it MUST be true, hehe. My diet is VERY simple, WOOF! I’m a SARFER. That means I am fed a Species Appropriate Raw Diet. I do NOT eat that stuff in a bag or can, WOOF! I eat raw meaty bones NO veggies & no grains! I eat chicken, beef, sometimes lamb and buffalo, and I’d love to get me some venison but all the humans eat that up, sigh – and that means bones and all humans, not just the meat.

    I’ve been raw fed for a lot of years now and I’m really glad bepaws I didn’t like any kibble at all. When I first came home to live with my humans I ate any and everything but after I got my first taste of REAL dog food (ie raw meaty bones), there was no going back for moi, hehe. Mom posted some good sites for learning about raw feeding above. And Dr. Tom Lonsdale and Dr. Johan Joubert are my favorite veteriarians bepaws they are on a mission advocating for raw feeding of us dogs! They’re both coming on Animal Talk Naturally in April, again.

    They’ve been on a few times and you can check out those audios here Animal Talk Naturally Presents: Drs. Lonsdale & JoubertYou might wonder why we keep sharing all these audios for you learn from but it’s bepaws we know they are a great way to learn. Recently my Mom and Dr. Jeannie learned that their college, the the Kingdom College of Natural Health, will be incorporating over 120 of their audios into their curriculum for natural animal health, WOOF!

  • Kim - It seems that allergies of all sorts are becoming more and more common in our dogs, often turning into chronic conditions. Can you tell us how you feel commercial pet foods and mainstream healthcare have contributed to this, and what we as dog owners can do to help our pets avoid these problems?

    You know Sue, I’m going to sound like a broken record here but if the dogs are being fed a proper, species appropriate raw diet, then allergies will not be a problem. Allergies often lead to chronic conditions in the body because after all, allergies are a symptom alerting us to a dysfunction within the body, a body out of balance. Rather than suppressing those symptoms with allergy drugs the prudent thing would be to instead search out and find the cause of the problem.

    Treating allergies with allergy medicine is like repeatedly finding a puddle in the same place in your home but instead of searching out the leak you just keep drying up the puddle. If you don’t find the leak you’ll end up with a major plumbing problem in your home before too long. The body is no different. Most of the allopathic drugs are symptom suppressors, but from a naturopathic viewpoint that is NUTS! The body is alerting us to a problem so rather than seek it out and address it, suppress it with drugs until the body is so out of balance that there is often no turning back makes zero sense to me – and to the body also!

    Mainstream healthcare sees germs and viruses and bacteria as the enemy but in truth they are not the enemy. They can only thrive in a body that makes it suitable to thrive. In other words if the body is a good host the germs will arrive! That is a sick body. The germs don’t come and make the body sick, the body is sick so the germs arrive. Mainstream medicine has it all backwards but sadly there is a lot more money to be made when animals and people are sick rather than in preventing them from becoming sick in the first place. It has its place for diagnostics and ER but not as the panacea end-all-be-all we’ve come to believe in.

    Commercial pet foods in my opinion are another of the major culprits along with the overvaccinating. Honestly, naturopaths look at vaccines in general as toxins not as health aids at all. And feeding processed foods whether for animals or humans is still junk any way you slice it! Pet 'foods' are processed foods.

    As I’ve said repeatedly dogs are opportunistic scavenger carnivores but we’re feeding them a diet of cheap grains, floor sweepings, rendered dead animals, and human food industry refuse we proudly call 'balanced and complete' dog food in bags and cans. You can read more about what is in pet foods by doing a search.

    First recognize one fact: balanced and complete cannot happen in every single meal for human or animal. Balance comes over time by eating a diet rich in the nutrients your species needs requires. Dogs are not omnivores contrary to popular belief. Dr. Jeannie and I have recently written an article debunking that myth that will be published in Natural Horse Magazine. Funny thing that a horse magazine is publishing the article! We show through the dogs' own anatomy the fact of their carnivore state.

    Consider this: the pet food industry is selling YOU the food not your dog. They appeal to YOUR sense of taste not your dogs’ because after all YOU are the one spending the money for the food not your dog. It’s Economics 101 plain and simple. Also consider that your veterinarian is taught what little nutrition they learn by the very pet food industry that desires for your pets to be on this food. That should be illegal because that is racketeering at its finest.

    My profession, naturopath, focuses on nutrition as the foundation for health, period. So we are trained and well versed in nutrition. Nutrition is one of the eight laws of health. Get that one right and you’re on your way to true health – and the same holds true for our dogs. Everything I’ve just shared is contrary to mainstream health so is it any wonder our dogs, our animals, are suffering from such ill health as they are?

  • Kim and Shadrach - With a website, two blogs, a radio show, ongoing research, and participation in so many other areas of animal health, what is next for you two? Any new projects in the works?

    Shadrach: Well I plan on continuing with my blogging as long as I have breath, WOOF! AND I plan on spending as much time in the sun as possible as that is some grrreat Vitamin D! And I probably will chase more rabbits as the weather warms up since those rascals come out in force then. I will search out more places to bury my bones…I especially love it when Mom starts her summer gardening bepaws those are the BEST places to bury my bones much to her consternation hehe. Oh and I plan on taking naps, yep naps. AND playing in the water hose my favorite!

    Those are my summer goals anyway. I’m perfecting the art of drool begging too – it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen if you’ve never seen a Neo Mastiff drool beg hehe. Those are my goals and aspirations for now, WOOF!

    Kim: That’s my Shadrach! Right now I’m studying for my doctor of naturopathy in human health. I have a ways to go so that is a constant for now.

    Along with our radio show audios being incorporated into our college’s natural animal health curriculum we were also named adjunct professors. That will add to the load but it’s a happy addition for both me and Dr. Jeannie. Dr. Jeannie and I are also collaborating on a new book that shares our philosophy about animal health and nature.

    Our goal is to have that finished by the end of 2009 and ready to publish. It has inspired an additional book for me on all my life experiences with animals and what they have taught me. That book will follow our collaborative effort.

  • Kim and Shadrach - Is there anything else that you’d like to pass on to dog or puppy owners who are reading this interview, and would like to learn more about natural healthcare for their pets? Any special tips or 'nuggets of wisdom'.

    Yes Sue there is. For us this is what being a 'doctor' means – to heal and bring health not treating disease. The original meaning of the word 'doctor' is teacher. The word physician was derived from the Greek root 'physis' which means 'nature'. So we are nature teachers in the truest sense of the meaning. Our goal is that many animals will be able to live the lives they were intended to live by helping their owners learn their true nature, their true needs…not what is dictated to us by the media, or by medical propaganda or for economics.

    The truth: because the goal is to heal not harm. As healers, our mission should always be about the healing not about the economics. If people would realize that and take back their power the animals would benefit greatly. Be empowered by getting informed! Seek out those who can help you learn. Join online groups. Dr. Jeannie & I have one, 'Natural Health Care for Dogs' on Yahoo at http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/NaturalHealthCareForDogs/

    If you are empowered with the knowledge then you can take back control of your dogs’ health AND your own!Fortunately there are many veterinarians who are educating themselves on these issues and following their passion to truly care for animals as they deserve not as economics demands.

    I am honored to shoulder with and support the work of these brave and noble veterinarians.  


  • Wow, thanks you guys!

    I really can't thank Kim and Shadrach enough for taking the time out of their extremely busy lives to share such a wealth of information with us.

    They were a joy to work with, and I really hope that you've found this interview as intriguing and thought-provoking as I did. Do take the time to check out the links and references that Dr Kim included, they're well worth a visit.

    Kim and Shadrach - Good luck with ALL your current and future ventures, you're awesome!

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