It’s a health thing

Here it is, the information for the most commonly asked questions, that are above and beyond ‘what to feed’ type questions, that I receive about nutrition during my lectures, talks, and workshops. I work in the field of behavior, so by default I have learned a tremendous amount of nutrition. Why? If a dog does not feel well they do not act well, which means nutrition directly effects behavior.

So, I put it all the information in one place – I hope this helps, and as always, if you have concerns about the information, the quantity, the uses, please google it, lots of info out there. Reading from more than one source is a good way to make healthful decisions for you and your dog, Nancy


BANANAS are a healthy snack, and not harmful to your dog in anyway, if given in moderation. Psst – they are super good for you as well.

Bananas have vitamin C, vitamin B, fiber, potassium, and because they are a bit sweet, dogs tend to like the flavor. They are also low in sodium, and HIGH in antioxidants which will benefit your dog’s skin and coat.

Bananas are also fairly high in carbohydrates, and calories, so for the active or working dog, desirable.

Feed only RIPE bananas, this means the skin will be brown spotted.

Riper bananas are beneficial for good gut health, in particular to dogs that have colitis, or other bowel issues. If your dogs gut has been hammered or rather harmed by over vaccination, bananas are essential. The natural enzymes tend to soothe intestinal irritation.


Large to medium sized dogs can have about ½ of a normal to small size bananas a day. Small breeds, just a few small pieces each day.

My personal opinion, bananas are an awesome addition to your dog’s diet, especially if they are active, have gut issues, or need help with skin issues and healing, but please don’t feed bananas each day if your dog is not active.


SUN SHINE and D3 , we need vitamin D3 from the sun, so do our dogs, however, we come about it in different ways. When it comes to furred mammals, they don’t get their vitamin D the same way we do.

Vitamin D3 isn’t really a vitamin.  It’s actually more like a hormone.  The importance of it is that it helps regulate your mineral metabolism and subsequently maintains the calcium balance in your bones.  It is thought that this vitamin plays a role in affecting the expression of over 200 genes. BOOM!

Side note – sun screen inhibits D3 absorption and disrupts the expression of about 200 genes.

The oil that naturally comes from our skin is a type of cholesterol.  Whenever we stand under direct sunlight, the ultraviolet rays react with this oil.  The ultraviolet radiation breaks some chemical bonds in the oil so that it forms a different molecule.  This molecule is known as the infamous Vitamin D3 which is why it’s also called the ‘sunshine vitamin.’

Once the cholesterol is converted to vitamin D3, it is then absorbed back into the skin and enters the blood stream.  You need about 10-15 minutes of full sunshine to get enough, but most people aren’t always able to do that, so it’s highly recommended you take a supplement.  This is especially important for fair-skinned people who just can’t hang out in the sun too long anyway because they will burn.

DOGS secrete the same oily cholesterol from their skin, just like us.  When they lay in the sun, that oil is converted to Vitamin D3.  The difference however, is that because they have so much hair, the vitamin ends up on their fur and doesn’t get absorbed through their skin. When a dog licks their body, seemingly cleaning themselves, they ingest the vitamin D orally.


COLOSTRUM has been used by Ayurvedic doctors for physical and spiritual purposes throughout the history of time, and now there are over 4,000 studies available about the benefits of colostrum as a supplement. Pssst – it is an awesome addition to your diet as well!

Here are two of my articles regarding colostrum – COLOSTRUM FOR PUPPIES and RESOLVING PUPPY RINGWORM

Bovine colostrum was used in the United States, and all over the world, for immune problems, prior to the discovery of sulfa drugs and antibiotics.

Colostrum contains all of the immune factors necessary for protecting the newborn from bacteria, allergens, toxins and viruses. It also contains a balanced proportion of growth factors that are required for growth and healing. Current research shows that colostrum triggers at least fifty different functions in the newborn.


We like SURTHRIVAL’s Colostrum (Daniel Vitals company in Maine), it is the cleanest we have found. Check out their on-line store.

1 tsp – 1Tbs a day – given before or during feeding (before is preferred if possible)

A fascinating fact about colostrum, it is one of the most regenerative, adaptogenic, and immuno-modulating supplements you can add to your dogs diet, and yours.


TURMERIC or Curcumin is a bright yellow chemical produced by some plants. It is the principal curcuminoid of turmeric, a member of the ginger family. Turmeric is not very ‘bioavailable’ in and of itself, the liver kicks it right out, SO the combination of black pepper, and oil help the liver to recognize turmeric in the body and in turn make it more ‘bioavailable’, and that is where the greatness happens!

Natural detox

Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant

Natural antibacterial

Reduces blood clots that can lead to strokes and heart attacks

Promotes digestive health, and heart and liver health

Offers allergy relief

Helps to prevent cataracts

Natural pain relief

Natural treatment for diarrhea


½ cup turmeric powder (as clean and fresh as possible)

¼ cup coconut oil

1.5 tsp finely ground black pepper

Use ¼ – ½ tsp per meal


DIATOMACEOUS EARTH can control internal parasites  It is very important to note that it must be FOOD GRADE. Psst – DE is super good for you as well!

Side-note – we use it in our smoothies in the AM, while our dogs get it in their morning meal.

DE can eliminate roundworms, whipworms, pinworms, and hookworms within seven days of being fed daily.

To be most effective, DE should be fed for at least 30 days, to catch all newly hatching eggs or the cycling of the worms through the lungs and back to the stomach.

Another use for DE is the control of external parasites and flies. This is achieved by dusting your dog with DE, along with his bedding area and surrounding carpeted areas.

DE has also been reported in scientific literature to absorb methyl mercury, e-coli, endotoxins, viruses, organophosphate pesticide residues, drug resides, and protein, perhaps even the proteinaceous toxins produced by some intestinal infections. Given this, DE is very useful as a detox solution, digestive aid and colon cleanser.

For dogs, use one tablespoon per day of food grade DE in food for dogs over 55 lbs. and one teaspoon per day for small dogs and puppies. For external parasite control, simply rub the powder at full strength into the coat for fleas and sprinkle on bedding.


BONE BROTH is awesome for you and your dog!

It helps maintain a healthy gut, especially for dogs with digestive issues.

It supports your dog’s immune system and detoxes the liver.

It helps protect the joints.

It’s full of minerals, including calcium, silicon, sulphur, magnesium and phosphorus


Variety of healthy bones (sourced organically or ethically or chemically free is best)

Chicken feet, marrow bones, turkey/chicken carcass, lamb legs

  • Enough to fit in a crock pot

Cover with filtered water

Add ½ cup raw apple cider vinegar (this leach’s out all of the micro nutrients from the bones and creates that jelly like consistency)

OPTIONAL – add, MEXICAN OREGANO (natures best source of flavinoids), garlic, parsley

Turn on crock pot for 12 hours or so, ¼ – ½ the time in a pressure cooker. You can also use a stove top burner and pot, and it is also around 12 hours.

Store in mason jars in the fridge.

Add 1/8 – ¼ cup to your dogs meals depending on the size of your dog. Drink a cup of day for your own health!


Some of our RECIPES



I hope this has been helpful, Nancy





5 Comments Add yours

  1. Curtisy says:

    I believe the gut benefits you mention only come from eating green bananas, rather than ripe ones, as it is the resistant starch in the green bananas that gives the benefits. There is a lot of research out there now about the benefits of resistant starch if anyone wants to research it.

    1. Nancy Tanner says:

      Hi Curtisy – the more dark patches a banana appears to have, the more ripe it is, and the more TNF it contains. TNF stands for Tumor Necrosis Factor, and it’s a cancer fighting substance that helps fight against abnormal cells in our bodies. Specifically, TNF helps to assist communication between cells in our immune response system and it guides the movement of cells towards areas in our bodies which are inflamed or infected, specifically the gut.

      Research has confirmed that the TNF found in ripe bananas interferes with tumor cells growth and inhibits them from spreading by causing cell death, or apoptosis. This, in conjunction with the high levels of antioxidants which are also found in bananas, boosts our immune systems,which 70% is in the gut, and can increase our white blood cells as well. Nancy

      1. Curtisy says:

        Hi, Nancy–
        I had not heard that, but I did research it, and from what I can find, that theory has been disproven. Here are just a couple of references.

      2. Nancy Tanner says:

        Curtisy, the skepticalraptor can suck it. That site has the most misinformed info, and likes to cause unnecessary/sensational debate. And anything ‘health’ in their eyes is a bad thing, unless it is 100% pharma related. ~ Nancy

  2. Jessica says:

    The “skepticalraptor can suck it”. 😂

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