“Forever Dog”: Longevity Enhancing Secrets For Maximizing Your Dog’s Lifespan & Healthspan, What To Feed Your Dog, 8 Ways To Walk A Dog, Vaccines & Much More With Dr. Karen Becker

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longevity for dogs
Body, Family, Health & Wellness, Lifestyle, Nutrition, Podcast, Podcast-new

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Are you ready to learn how new science can teach you how to delay aging and provide a long, happy, healthy life for your canine companions?

My guest on today's podcast – Dr. Karen Becker – is a true expert in natural pet care.

See, like their human counterparts, dogs have been getting sicker and dying prematurely over the past few decades. Why? Scientists are beginning to understand that the chronic diseases afflicting humans—cancer, obesity, diabetes, organ degeneration, and autoimmune disorders—also beset canines. As a result, those beloved companions are vexed with preventable health problems throughout much of their lives and suffer shorter life spans. Because pets can’t make health and lifestyle decisions for themselves, it’s up to pet parents to make smart, science-backed choices for lasting vitality and health.

In this show, Dr. Becker gives practical, proven tools to protect your loyal four-legged companions. She galvanizes the best wisdom from top geneticists, microbiologists, and longevity researchers and reveals people whose dogs have lived into their 20s and even 30s!

Dr. Becker's pet prescriptive plan focuses on diet and nutrition, movement, environmental exposures, and stress reduction, and can be tailored to the genetic predisposition of particular breeds or mixes. She discusses various types of food—including what the commercial manufacturers don’t want you to know—and offers recipes, easy solutions, and tips for making sure dogs obtain the nutrients they need. Karen also explores how external factors you may not think about can greatly affect a dog’s overall health and well-being, from everyday insults to the body and its physiology, to the role your own lifestyle and your vets’ choices play. Indeed, the health equation works both ways and can travel “up the leash.”

Medical breakthroughs have expanded choices for canine health—if you know what they are. This podcast is the definitive dog-care guide that empowers you with the knowledge you need to make wise choices and keep your dogs (and pets in general) healthy and happy for years to come.

So who is Karen, exactly?

Karen Shaw Becker is the most followed veterinarian in the world, and for good reason: Dr. Becker believes in a deliberate, common-sense approach to creating and maintaining vibrant health in companion animals. She advocates a functional medicine approach for re-establishing well-being in ill pets, choosing species-appropriate whole food nutrition and lifestyle medicine as the primary modes of recovery. When managing chronic disease, Dr. Becker incorporates pharmaceutical interventions last.

Millions of pet lovers around the world have embraced Dr. Becker’s refreshing, purposeful approach to creating (or restoring) well-being. Her “Longevity Junkies” movement is growing exponentially, as pet lovers experience firsthand the incredible benefits of intentionally creating health. Dr. Becker opened the first proactive animal hospital, an exotic animal hospital, and a rehabilitation and pain management center in the U.S. over twenty years ago. She has spent her career as a small animal clinician and wellness consultant for a variety of health-focused companies and organizations. This is Dr. Becker's 35th year as a federally licensed wildlife rehabilitator. She writes and lectures extensively and is the first veterinarian to give a TEDx talk on species-appropriate nutrition, a lifelong passion of hers. Dr. Becker finds immense satisfaction in empowering animal guardians to become knowledgeable advocates for their animals.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-Who is Dr. Karen Becker?…05:17

-The raw food diet for dogs…07:28

  • Animals need to eat what is biologically appropriate for them
  • BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food/Bones and Raw Food) diet
    • Follow nutritionally complete recipe
    • Minimally processed
  • Eating processed food for the whole life makes no sense
  • Cats – obligate carnivores
  • Dogs – scavenging carnivores
    • More omnivorous
    • Can handle more plant matter than cats
    • Dogs evolved eating human leftovers
  • There are 32 vet schools in the U.S.
  • Vet schools are well supported by pet food companies
    • Veterinarians are not taught about fresh food for animals
    • Taught to recommend processed food
  • Rabbits as dog food

-Problems with average dog food available in stores…13:13

-Adopting a mutt and genetic tests…22:20

  • Proponent of rescuing and adopting a dog
  • Good breeder – life-long relationship
  • Puppy mills – breeding dogs for profit
  • Genetic testing – getting all the information to make the best decisions
  • Embark genetic testing
  • Requesting a test from a breeder

-The BARF diet…35:16

  • BARF recipes
  • Make sure to cover minimal nutrient requirements
    • Avoid nutrient deficiency
  • Different breeds need different nutrients
  • “Never switch dog food” is propaganda
  • The goal is to build strong, robust microbiome
    • Nutritional diversity is essential
  • Dogs eating grass
    • The grass is mostly treated and toxic
  • D.O.G.S. – a strategy for dog lovers to create well-being for their dog
    • D – diet and nutrition
    • O – optimal movement or exercise
    • G – addressing genetic predispositions
    • S – stress
  • Animal Diet Formulator app
  • Supplement protocol for dogs
    • Can be an amazing addition
    • Cannot supplement a bad diet
    • You need to have a viable reason for supplements

-That dogs are amazing athletes…43:00

-Common things in a house that are toxic for pets…50:47

-What you need to know about pet vaccinations…56:35

  • Dogs are over-vaccinated
  • You can’t boost an already-immunized system
  • Antibody titer test (blood draw recommended to be done by a vet)
  • Finding the right veterinarian – wellness and proactive
  • CIVT

-How to discipline a dog..1:02:20

  • Dogs can tell you're mad but they don't know what you're mad about
  • Similar to a little kid
  • Raising voice and beating – teaching them to fear you
  • If you discipline with fear, dog sees you as unpredictable and untrustworthy
  • Fear Free Pets 
  • Dog who doesn’t know boundaries means that you are a bad dog trainer
  • Importance of building trust and communication with your dog
  • Your dog doesn't speak English and you don't speak dog
  • Every interaction is training – shaping the behavior
  • The Forever Dog contains some advice and resources but is not a training manual
  • Fear Free Happy Homes

-Dr. Becker’s Bites…1:09:19

  • Dr. Becker's Bites
  • Dr. Becker’s mom owns the company
  • Human-grade, all-meat treats for dogs

-And much more…

Upcoming Events:

  • Six Senses Retreat: February 27, 2023 – March 3, 2023

Join me for my “Boundless Retreat” at Six Senses from February 27th, 2023 to March 3rd, 2023, where you get to improve your functional fitness, nutrition, longevity, and the delicate balance between productivity and wellness. Complete with a healthy farmhouse breakfast, yoga spa sessions, and sound healing, you learn how to live a boundless life just like me, and I'd love to see you there. Learn more here.

  • Shine Event / VIP Dinner: March 10th – March 12th

I want to personally invite you to an intimate VIP dinner experience with my family and I in beautiful Sedona, Arizona. I'll be in AZ during that time presenting as a keynote speaker at the Breath, Body & Beyond ‘Shine' event from March 10th to the 12th, and I'd love to see you there for my formal dinner on the 11th. At this dinner, you'll be presented with an exquisite home-style dinner personally prepared by the entire Greenfield family, a free signed copy of Boundless Cookbook, a personalized Q&A with me, and entertainment by local vocal artist and my younger sister, Aengel Greenfield. Learn more here.

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Dr. Karen Becker:

– Podcasts:

– Other Resources:

Episode sponsors:

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Ben Greenfield Coaching: Personally vetted and trained by Ben Greenfield, these coaches will personalize your diet and lifestyle, and get you looking and feeling your best. Head over to BenGreenfieldCoaching.com to learn more today.

Shine Sedona: Join my family and me in Sedona Arizona from March 10-12, 2023 at an amazing event hosted by SHINE. I'll be giving a keynote talk on breathwork and biohacking, and hosting a VIP Greenfield-style home-cooked dinner prepared by my family. For tickets to the Shine Event where I'll be a keynote speaker visit bengreenfieldlife.com/shinesedona.  To book your spot for our VIP dinner visit bengreenfieldspeaking.com/sedona-dinner.

Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for Karen or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!:

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3 thoughts on ““Forever Dog”: Longevity Enhancing Secrets For Maximizing Your Dog’s Lifespan & Healthspan, What To Feed Your Dog, 8 Ways To Walk A Dog, Vaccines & Much More With Dr. Karen Becker

  1. amg says:

    Solid stuff, though curious if there are good dog longevity supplements she would recommend beyond just a healthy diet? For instance deprenyl seems to have intriguing research around dog life extension

  2. Carol Wagner says:

    Hi Ben.
    I really enjoyed listening to this episode. Really glad you finally did a podcast for our furry friends. I always wondered if what & how I was caring for them is the correct or best way I can. Really great info & have learned a lot. I will definitely pick up a copy of the book. Also will use what I learned to have my dogs live their best life.
    Thanks again. You Rock!!!
    P.S. Rosie & Charlie thank you too. 🐶❤

  3. Anthony Guastella says:

    Hey Ben, I’m curious if You’ve had the Hard to Kill Chaga Chai from organifi? https://www.organifishop.com/products/hrdkll-chaga-chai

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