021: Is Your Dog The Best Medicine? | Tamar Geller
When dog trainer and bestselling author Tamar Geller first moved to the United States, she had no experience working with animals. She describes her former self as a ‘dog liker’ – but she was yet to become a dog lover. In fact, she would go on to become the official dog expert for the Today Show, would publish multiple books and work with A-list celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, and help them form lifetime bonds with their beloved pets.
As a guest on the podcast, Tamar Geller tells Dr. Gundry her unique methods for building a loving relationship with your furry friend, and even shares her experiences of following Dr. Gundry’s Plant Paradox diet!
[00:00] Hey there. Welcome to another exciting episode of the Dr. Gundry Podcast, the weekly podcast where I give you the tools you need to support your gut, boost your health, and live your youngest, healthiest life.
[00:19] Each week, Dr. Steven Gundry, a cardiologist, medical innovator, and author of New York Times Best Seller’s The Plant Paradox, and The Plant Paradox Cookbook, shares the latest in cutting edge health information. He’s excited to be a part of your unique health journey. Let’s get started.
[00:36] Before we get into this week’s episode, let’s take a look at our review of the week. “Great podcast. I look forward to future shows,” by Scott 253. “I was looking for an additional podcast to add to the Zig Ziglar and Dave Ramsey Podcast that I listen to during my commute every day. I have the book, The Plant Paradox, so I searched on Dr. Gundry, hoping to find another nugget of gold, and it was awesome to come across your podcast. I look forward to making your podcast a part of, I assume, my commute.”
[01:09] Thank you very much Scott 253, and tune in every week, and I’ll be talking to you from the car. If you want me to read your review, make sure to rate and review the Dr. Gundry Podcast on iTunes.
[01:24] Welcome to the Dr. Gundry Podcast. You know, I’m really looking forward to today’s guest. We’ve been trying to get her on, and you’re going to be so excited. She’s a life coach for dogs and their people. This is Tamar Geller. She works with so many celebrities, I can’t keep track of them, including Oprah, Ellen, Kelly Ripa, and Ben Affleck.
[01:46] Now, many of you know I own dogs. Usually a lot of them, and going for a walk or a run with them is really, I think the most peaceful and centering parts of my day and I’ve written a lot about this. Today we’re going to talk about the health benefits dogs provide you, and what you can do to keep them healthy. I understand that you actually eat mostly Plant Paradox,, was that true?
[02:13] I’m a huge fan of your work. I’m a huge, huge, huge, huge, huge fan. You know, I’ve been eating that way for a long time, but nobody was corroborating what I was feeling because I grew up in the Middle East, grew up in Israel. Then you came with your information, and tada.
[02:30] That’s the end of our show today. Thank you very much. Speaking of Israel, you were Army Intelligence Officer.
[02:41] I was Intelligence Officer with the Elite Special Forces, yes, and I was focusing on behavior, yeah.
[02:47] You were trying to get the troops to behave, or …?
[02:52] It’s really funny because if you think about Osama Bin Laden, the way they caught him, it was the delivery guy who was delivering his medicine that that’s how they tracked where he was staying. My job was to pay attention to the unimportant people, and to pay attention to their behaviors. I was completely nobody’s important paying to the unimportant people because oftentimes, these are the key to do or undo a mission.
[03:21] How do you go from there to listening to dogs. You’re not a dog whisperer, right?
[03:29] You’re a dog listener.
[03:30] Listener, yes.
[03:32] How do you do that?
[03:35] You know, Dr Gundry, it’s one of the most incredible things in life because what happened to me, I had a dream. I never intended to work with dogs. I like dogs. I was not a dog love lover, I was a dog liker. I thought that I had a plan to become a therapist to focus on holocaust survivors and all of that because that’s my family and I really wanted to understand my family. And then I had a dream when I was helping research of wolf behavior and bird behavior in the desert. The dream said you must work with dogs. It really rattled me, but I still didn’t know how to go about it. You know, I’m a nobody in Israel.
[04:13] Life started happening for me and one thing led to another and I came here for a visit. I had a dream. I volunteered for a dog trainer for a minute. And one thing, just introduced me to people. I became the resident dog expert for the Today’s Show. Simon & Schuster chased me down to write a book about my method. Oprah, my beloved angel, called the CEO of Simon & Schuster and said, “I want to launch her book.” There is this history, but I really didn’t do it. I really truly believe that there are bigger forces that support each one of us if we’re really going for what our calling is and we’re serving the greater good.
[04:52] Yeah, that’s absolutely true. So, you just put it out there …
[04:56] Did a dog show up on your doorstep or?
[04:59] No, the detail [inaudible 00:05:02] is I was already a meditator. At age 19, I changed my diet and I became a meditator. I went to listen to a lecture on meditation and I walk into a room full of people and I didn’t know anybody. There was a dog in the corner so I went to talk to the dog because I’d just finished studying wolves in the behavior which was completely mind opening, and I went and I interacted with him. And the guy who was giving the lectures came running, “Tamar, you can’t talk to the dog. You can’t be with him. He’s not nice to people.” Meanwhile, the dog and me are French kissing.
[05:35] So, we became friends, and at one point he needed somebody to go to Southeast Asia to take pictures of Sri Lanka and Singapore, places that I would find interesting because he was trying to reach my generation. I was in my 20s. He sent me there and my ticket-
[05:51] You’re now in your 30s, right?
[05:53] Thank you. Thanks to your diet. We’re 50s.
[05:55] We’re DHing, that’s the whole idea.
[05:58] Well, that’s your new book.
[05:59] Yeah, it’s the new book. That’s right. The longevity paradox.
[06:00] That’s your new book coming out. I know. I hope it has my picture on. Anyhow, so instead of going for two weeks to Southeast Asia, I end up staying a year. So, when I came to United States, instead of staying just for a week, I end staying 30 something years now. Following it, just one thing led to another. I truly just had the dream that would not leave me alone.
[06:26] It’s a great point because on the way over here, I was listening to an album from Ibiza.
[06:36] Ibiza, sorry. There’s this ongoing wrap through this song of Obama giving one of his speeches to kids. Basically, he says in the speech, you have to get an education and you’re gonna be great. All of us have a talent. No matter how little or how big, all of us has a unique talent and it’s your job to find that talent and foster it. And I don’t care what your talent is, but you have one. This is in a rap song and Obama’s voice.
[07:12] So, on the way over here, and you just found your challenge.
[07:15] When the first time I stayed with Oprah, she taught me about what just happened, that you just listened to it, and I just talked about it. Oprah talked to me, that is called God’s wink. The first time I stayed with her, she put a little book by my bed and she came in the morning and she said, “Did you read that book?” And the said, “No.” She said, “Read it.” And she sat at the foot of my bed and waited. She is such a magnificent, caring human being. The talks about the synchronicities or the unimportant things that all of a sudden sync with something else within a short period of time, and what it is if we walk around life recognizing those God winks, we’re part of the magic.
[07:53] It’s almost like Einstein when he said, “Either you see everything is a miracle or nothing at all.
[07:59] Very true.
[07:59] So, how do you go through life? Are you looking at your talent that is not important enough? Or you look at the talent that Obama was talking about and you realize, no, that is my way to contribute to the tapestry of life that we’re all a part of.
[08:15] Absolutely, very true.
[08:18] That was beautiful that we just had a God’s wink, you and me.
[08:19] There you go. Okay, getting back to dog. Let’s get to your talent. What makes your training so unique? You’re not a dog whisperer.
[08:32] No. So, here’s what it is. I do not believe in obedience. I do not believe in obedience. And the reason why is if you think about it, nobody gets a dog because they want more obedience in their life. Everybody gets a dog because the one more love in their life. We have science, and I’m a big believer in science. Science shows us the dogs cognitively and emotionally are very much like a human toddler. The way we raise children today is no longer the way we did in the 1950s which is about obedience.
[09:04] If we know that they’re like dog, that they’re like human toddler, and we changed the way they raise kids into empower the kid to find our own talent, to be the best version of themselves, then that’s what I do with a dog. I look at the dog and I’m saying, how can I serve you and serve your dog parents? Meaning, what is your gift? Where are the weaknesses that I need to heal you, to help, you so you can be the best? Kind of like what you’re doing with food. The other thing that I’m doing, which you’re doing too, you’re not looking, when somebody comes to you with a problem, you’re not looking at that problem. You’re looking at the hole.
[09:43] Yesterday, somebody came to me with the puppy nine weeks solid and she said, “All I need is housebreaking.” Two hours later, we didn’t even start with housebreaking because what we found out right away is, the dog has fear of even stepping from here to you. He was completely terrified. I said, “What we need to teach the dog is life skills.” How not to be afraid because if a dog is afraid, your life is not gonna turn out the way you want more than if your dog is not housebroken. We will get to the housebreaking, but right now, it’s like you as a physician, you have to prioritize what’s the first most important thing, and that’s what I do from an holistic point of view.
[10:24] So, it’s completely not dog training as usual. Just like you would hear what you’re doing is not.
[10:31] So, are you person training secretly or?
[10:34] Well, that’s what Oprah said to me.
[10:36] That that will be your little secret or?
[10:38] I truly don’t see myself qualified to tell anybody about their life. I know everybody is now a life coach. I do not see myself qualified for that. But what does happen is when I introduce people to a different way of looking at the dog and assessing situation and looking at the diet as a contributor to how we feel and how we behave, then all of a sudden, they’re starting to say, wait a minute, I tried it with my husband. I tried it with my wife. I tried it with my children. Just by them practicing it with their dog, all of a sudden, it’s a tool that works and they’re trying the tool in other aspects of their life. But I’m not coming from a place of, let me teach you, I’m not.
[11:22] Is there a right dog or a wrong dog for somebody?
[11:27] I actually agree with that. It’s not about a breed, it’s about your lifestyle. Right now, I’m dealing with a Husky, puppy Husky. Very, very hyper, that they got for an 11 year old boy with severe ADHD. And they want the kids to teach the dog. And it’s like taking two dynamites and expecting not to be explosive. It’s not gonna work. It’s just not gonna work and it breaks my heart because that Husky with a person who’s gonna exercise them, who’s gonna hike them, who’s gonna there for them, then Husky’s gonna be phenomenal. But right now is the wrong combination. It’s like dating. It’s not that the dog is wrong, just like with dating, it’s not that the person is wrong. It’s just, who is the best matching for your lifestyle, for your values, for your time management.
[12:22] That’s what I’m looking to see. How can I match? Because not all labradoodles are the same. You have two golden doodles?
[12:30] They’re not the same personality.
[12:32] That’s like …
[12:36] One is mellow and laid back, kind of very yodish, big 85 pound labradoodle. The other one is just a little dynamo and wants to play constantly. You know, if I’m sitting on the couch in the morning, she’s sitting there batting my hand …
[12:52] Yeah, saying, “Come on. Stop.”
[12:55] Chap chap.
[12:55] “Come on, let’s go.”
[12:56] Chap chap.
[12:57] I’ll say, “No, not right now.” “No, come on.” And the other one’s just sitting there going.
[13:03] That’s what I’m trying to teach people. Don’t go buy a breed. Let’s get rid of the nonsense of a breed and let’s look at all the individuals. That’s why I would really like people to get a little bit older dog, preferably from a rescue, preferably fostery, so you can date the dog and see if it makes sense if their dog is a good one for marriage.
[13:24] I love that. We’re gonna dog date?
[13:26] Yes. Just like you date to see if you can marry the person, if you can deal with their issues because we know the things that work out, but what about the things that we disagree with? I love your story when you told about your wife when she went through menopause and you were freezing your butt in the hotel.
[13:42] That’s very true.
[13:46] Do you know what I mean? If it’s forever, you may not be able to sleep in the same bedroom and ultimately, it’s going to impact your marriage. So, you got to look at things. Is it a temporary issue or is it a permanent issue? Whether it’s with a person, whether it’s with a dog.
[14:02] A lot of shelters will let you foster a dog for a period of time.
[14:07] Shelters, no, but rescue organization. And there are rescue organization did a rigid and you have rescue organizations that are benevolent, so it’s like with anything else, you have to find the benevolent one who would like for the dog to date because most of us who foster dogs, we become a foster failure, where meaning we keep the dogs.
[14:29] My wife has a very dear friend who fosters dogs and she’ll foster sometimes 10 dogs at a time. She, unfortunately, has a very large collection of dogs now and she’s perfectly capable of taking care of them. But you’re right.
[14:45] I think you’re right. Most foster families unfortunately adopt the dog, which is great.
[14:50] Which is fantastic. Because what it it is, they try, because to choose a dog based on look, it’s like choosing a life mate based on look. It is ridiculous.
[15:00] No, wait a minute. That’s how most people do it, right?
[15:02] It’s ridiculous. That’s why we have more than 60% divorce rate. There was just a research, they did research on loneliness, on people feeling lonely. And 62.5% of people who said that lonely when married. When you look at that, and again, we already established the dogs, they have very similar brain to human toddler meaning they’re not that different than us. Then, let them make mistakes with dogs that we make mistake with people. If you’re dumped in a relationship, which we all have, it’s heartbreaking. If you’re a dog and somebody dumped you in a relationship and you end up in the shelter, you have the label of defective, not that you people where have the issue, it’s you who have the issue. You can see I have a lot of work at hand to change the way society label.
[15:49] That’s a great point. I just finishing a book called “The elephant whisperer.” I don’t know if you know it.
[15:50] The what whisperer.
[15:51] The elephant whisperer.
[15:54] Elephant whisperer, interesting.
[15:56] You got to get this. It’s a guy who has a game preserve in, I think Uganda, but it doesn’t really matter. And he didn’t have any elephants, and he gets a call from another game preserve saying we’ve got a family of rogue elephants. They are intolerant of humans, they break out, they ravaged the villages, blah, blah, blah, and we’re going to put them down, but any interest in these elephants? The guy says, “Yeah, I don’t know anything about elephants, but I know a lot about animals.” So, he builds this big elephant area and they break out and they have to go get him. And he says, “This is not gonna work.”
[16:38] He says, This is not a bad animal. Something has made this animal bad.” And it turns out that these animals had witness these people kill two of the matriarchs.
[16:50] That’s goosebumps.
[16:51] Yeah, so he basically sat at the edge of this enclosure, camped there with a friend and every time they made a charge, he would get up and say, “No, no, no, it’s just me. You don’t have to leave your safe here.” He would talk to them. Long story short, they became part of his family, these rogue elephants. It was all because there was an incident where, for good reason, they distrusted humans.
[17:21] Traumatic, yeah.
[17:22] Yeah, and he said, “Hey, I’m right in your way.” In fact, later on in the book, he picks up another rogue elephant and she literally tries to kill him, run him over. At the last second, the elephant who he rescued, whacked her and kicked her off and she eventually came around. That element saved his life.
[17:44] See, we don’t have to go to Uganda to do it because we have so many dogs with PTSD, with post traumatic stress disorder, that people give to them under the guise of dog training. I’m not even faulting people because most people do not know that there’s a different way of doing things, which is my method. What it is, I look at the dog and how can I help you be everything that you can be, the way you look at the body, the way you look at the human being? Versus, let me harness you with medication, with strong medication, with obedience, with choke chain, with prong collars. No, no, no, no, no, can we all work together to bring each other, to be the whole? To Let’s get rid of emotional injuries.
[18:30] We have a rescue dog. He came to us very late in his life. He actually was found on the streets of Skid Row, in LA.
[18:40] He was rescued by a young man who got busy and couldn’t keep him and he was given to his mother who lived out in the desert, and she unfortunately recently, a couple of years ago, died of cancer. He looks, his name is George, and he looks like a wheaten that I had called George who passed away. So, George, she said, “Would you take him?” I said, “Oh yeah, his name is George. He’s half wheaten.
[19:07] How could I not?
[19:08] But, he was the most stand offish dog and just didn’t become a part of the pack, would never come to you. Just every day, I just sit on the floor and waiting and as he goes by, I’d give a zero, a little scratch and he’d just keep walking by. Well, eventually, now this guy is, we’ve had them for two years. He now comes up, puts his head on my knee and I scratched his head, and we have a thunderstorm of few months ago, shaking like a leaf could not be controlled. I brought him up on the bed, I locked him in my arms and he finally with his head sticking out, and he stopped shaking. My wife went, “Holy cow. This dog is part of the pack.” He’s now trusting in humans for the first time in his life.?” It’s really exciting.
[20:05] Isn’t it most soul fulfilling, most fulfilling on the deepest way to help somebody? I know I’m getting emotional, but I mean, this is what I do. What I do to see somebody not go through life with that debilitating fear. It just is heartbreaking to see an innocent animal or children
[20:25] Yeah, from what I could tell, he had a horrible life, but now, we think he’s 16, and we adopted him. Yeah, he’s at the end of line. Now, the idio wants to go for a three mile run every morning. He’s there wagging his tail going, “Okay, let’s go. I’m part of the pack.”
[20:42] Oh my God. How beautiful.
[20:46] So, he’ll outlive us all.
[20:47] In the name of dogs, thank you, and your wife for adopting George.
[20:52] Thank you. So, how did you get your start in your health journey? Let’s shift over from dogs for minute, we’ll come back to dogs.
[20:59] Well, again, oftentimes, some of the worst things that happen in our life in retrospect become the best thing in our life.
[21:07] Very true.
[21:08] Very true.
[21:10] I was in a course to be an intelligence officer for the Elite Special Forces. I had high fever all the time when I was miserably tired all the time. It turns out I had mono, but it was misdiagnosed for a long time. The only doctor that helped me was an alternative doctor. What he did is he changed my diet completely, put me on … it was insane because I was at the hospital for three weeks. I couldn’t breathe. I had one lung shut, one lung operating at like 30%. It was terrible because it was so overlooked. He puts me on a diet that it was beyond clean.
[21:53] it was food combining. It was macrobiotic, no nightshade vegetables. He taught me how to meditate and he told me not to speak to my family, to my parents for one year. My parents, sadly, particularly my father had a narcissistic personality disorder, which completely create havoc on your system. I did not know this. As a matter of fact, I just found that out just like a month ago. I didn’t even know all of that, but he knew it. But when I was 19, he changed my life. And since I’m 19, I became a meditator, I became completely devoted to knowing more what life and a part of it is the way you eat. Part of it is to really honor your body and to look at your body as a whole. That’s with meditation, that’s with dogs, that’s with everything.
[22:45] I’ve been on the journey now for quite a few decades and that’s why I’m a huge fan of yours. These are not empty words. Because to see the journey that you’ve been on as a cardiologist and you say enough dealing with a symptom, let’s deal with the why, let’s deal with the calls. It was phenomenal. Your book is the only cookbook that I use.
[23:08] Thank you.
[23:08] I love it. It’s awesome because I can do stuff that I didn’t know I could do. Like now, I can go back to eating pancakes, which I didn’t get to eat for decade because I’m following … your recipes, they’re phenomenon. They’re beyond yummy. They’re phenomenon. Thank you.
[23:24] Well, that’s one of the things we’ve really tried to do is have food that you love, but will love you back.
[23:34] It can be done.
[23:36] I’m a true follower of your work because it is in line with my life’s journey and with my work.
[23:44] That’s great to hear.
[23:45] No, it’s sincere.
[23:46] Yeah, thank you. Thank you very much.
[23:47] Thank you.
[23:50] How comes celebrities are so attracted to your training?
[23:54] You know, when I wanted to get to know you years ago, it was impossible, and the only way I could get to you is by using my celebrity connections. What happened is, celebrities I think has the most access to innovation.
[24:10] That’s true.
[24:11] That’s what it is because I work a lot with regular people. As a matter of fact, it’s easier for me to work with regular people because they don’t have a whole team around them that I need to work. It’s usually smaller houses, regular schedule, people listen. Celebrities, I can put that these are my clients and people go, “Oh, okay.” But in reality, I work with everybody and I prefer to work with a common man like me, like you, who are dog lovers. It’s just easier life than with celebrities. But to answer, just because they’re more access to innovation and the want, the method that is gonna connect them to love because they want love.
[24:55] I remember one time I was sitting with Oprah in front of her home in Montecito and we had a conversation and I said to her, “Your dog’s don’t know that you’re Oprah.” she goes, “That’s why I love them.” I think celebrities will always get yes people around them, know without any shadow of a doubt that the dogs love them whether their movie was successful or tanked, whether they got $5 million, $20 million for the movie, whether they gain weight or lost weight. Dogs are there for them consistently, genuinely, authentically without holding back. And I’m the one who connects them and everybody to that part of the dog. I don’t want to go a dog to be obedient to you. I want you a dog to be devoted to you. Completely different.
[25:41] If the person you’re in a relationship with is obedient to you or devoted to you. I think celebrities who are dealing with so much BS in their life like a dog who is devoted to them because it’s true. That’s why.
[25:55] Very true. I’ll tell you a funny dog walking story. I’ve written about this. When I moved to Palm Springs, I was a very world famous heart surgeon. I was out running my dogs through the neighborhood that we had just moved in. And a car pulls up and rolls down the window and they said, “Excuse me, are you a dog walker?” And so, I came home and I said, “Penny, I can’t believe it. I’m recognized everywhere is a world famous heart surgeon, now they think I’m a dog walker.” She said, “You know, this is very good for you” She says, “I don’t want you to think of yourself as nothing more than a dog walker and that’s a good thing.” I’ve written about it in my book. If I start the day realizing me being a dog walker is a wonderful thing and a very high achievement, I’m good with that.
[26:44] You’re good.
[26:45] Anything from there is a bonus.
[26:47] Yeah, anything else is a bonus because my dogs like me for doing that. Okay, so we’ve established that you listen to dogs and celebrities trying you because they want to be loved by their dogs and they they have access to innovative things. I see a lot of celebrities as well and I think that’s one of the reasons. But, a normal person could call you and say, “Hi, come on over. I got a problem dog.”
[27:22] Do you see mostly problem dogs or do you just … if somebody says, “Hey, I want to train my dog.”
[27:28] It’s really funny. I see two type of clients, either the client that I’m either the seventh person they went to, the 11th person they went to or I see puppies. I really prefer to start with puppies because what I do, I do not do dog training. What I do is I look holistically at a dog and I’m saying where the red flags that if I’m not gonna take care of it when they’re young, that’s the only reason to get a puppy because puppies are pain in the neck. If they were not cute, nobody would get a puppy.
[27:57] That’s true.
[27:57] They’re really a pain in the neck. Grown up dogs usually don’t like puppies. So, when I get a puppy is because I want to catch the red flag when it’s young so it will not develop and we can eradicate it. Or I get those with the dogs been already traumatized under the guise of dog training with prong collars, with choke chain, when the person needs to be the master and the dog needs to be submissive and all of that nonsense. I called it the Saddam Hussein method of governing, where you are in charge and the dog needs to be submissive. I adhere more to the Gandhi way of governing, which you said, I’m just a dog walker. If you remember Gandhi, he was just making … weaving all day.
[28:44] I adhere more to the Gandhi’s way of doing things where he took a nation that was really third world, didn’t know how to read or write, and empower them to be more powerful, the strongest empire at the time, the British empire. My job is not to put a dog down. My job is to show the dog how to make the best decision possible. Meaning, not to be impulsive and instead to regulate their emotions and how to think. I wish somebody taught me that as a young kid. I wish, as a society, we would learn that, not to be so triggered by somebody cutting us in traffic, by somebody’s criticizing us or whatever.
[29:28] I teach it to a dog from a young age. When they come to me at a later age, I change the diet. I work with them on what … literally to create a new neuro pathway in the brain. Meaning, not to go on what God’s given impulsive way. I literally teach them and practice with them how to think and to connect with me, the mom, the dog mom for feedback. The way you teach a kid when your kid wants something, and they look at you and you go, or you can go, you know what I mean? I narrate every aspect of the dog’s life. I build an unbelievable secure attachment. It’s called, in psychology, the way you do it with young children, because the more you have a good secure attachment, the more resourceful they are when they grow up, so I do it either with a young puppy or with an older dog.
[30:22] And when you go on my website, on the testimonials, I sometimes blown away when they give a testimony and say, “Yeah, Tamar was the 11th person we came to and after one session, I couldn’t touch the dog, now I’m kissing the dog in the face. And I’m like, “I was the 11th?” Because I don’t come in from a place of, I know, let me tell you. I come from a place, “Look, I developed a protocol. I’ve been doing it for over 30 years. Let’s give it a shot if the Protocol gonna work for you.” It blows me away and humbles me how often than not it does work. But it’s a lot of homework for the people. And I said, [inaudible 00:30:59] that it took a lot of homework. I don’t have a magic dust. You have to follow what I’m telling you.
[31:04] So, you give them a little handout and say, “Okay.”
[31:07] They write down in their handwriting is we’re going through the session. Because as you know, when you write down, you remember.
[31:14] That’s very true.
[31:15] I use everything that is available for them to be a partner. So, it’s the dog, and them, and me. We are like the three legs of the stool. We become a partnership. Where I’m gonna be there for you, but you need to be there for your dog because if you’re not, there’s nothing I can help you. It’s like they can come to you, but if they’re not following, what can you do?
[31:36] Right. And so many people, same thing. I see a lot of people who have been to 11, 12 doctors, universities and they’re labeled with something and I’m kind of the last person. I recently saw a young actress, who I won’t mention her name, who had been diagnosed with idiopathic urticaria. All of a sudden, she would get huge rashes on her face, on her legs for no apparent reason. And literally had been, her parents who are in the show business, had the resources to take her all over the world, diagnosed as idiopathic urticaria, it means we don’t know.
[32:19] We don’t know.
[32:20] That’s what it means. I talked to her on the phone, I said, “Well, I’ll see you in Santa Barbara. In the meantime, I want you to start the Plant Paradox.” Two weeks later, she and her boyfriend walk in and she had sent me pictures of what she looked like and it was actually pretty scary. And she said, they’re all gone on. All my rashes are gone. In walks this beautiful woman with no rashes. I’m going, “Now, this is a come around. She says, “It’s all gone. How did you know? Everybody else didn’t know.” And I said, “Look, I’ve been doing this a long time and it’s usually people at the end of a long journey, like yourself. I didn’t get off the turn up truck yesterday, so to speak.”
[33:06] You’re right. I think there is some fundamental things that are missing in how we train our dogs and how we teach people to eat. That’s a good segue. You said you changed the dog’s diet.
[33:20] Okay. How do we feed our dogs? Huge question. And should we watch these commercials on TV? You should feed the dogs what you eat, you should give them healthy whole grains. What do we do?
[33:33] Okay. So, there is science. Are we adhering to science or are we adhering to commercial, to marketing? What I tell people is do not read what the bag says. I do not care what the big says. Here’s the sad part. I teach veterinarians student’s behavior. I go in and lecture in Cal Poly in the holistic program. My friend Dr. Barbara Royal, she used to be the president of the Holistic Veterinarian Association. I wrote the forward to her book, so she invited me to come and teach in her program. I said, “Show me what this, the veterinarian students learn as far as nutrition.” And they have three days, and guess what teaches them? The people who sell them the commercial dog food.
[34:16] Now, here’s the other problem that I have. When you look at the biggest hospital chain, it’s VCA. Who Owns VCA? Who bought VCA last year for $9 billion? Do you know who did?
[34:27] No, who?
[34:28] Mars. Mars Company, who makes, I believe, 7 out of the 11 commercial foods. The problem is, if you remember years ago, they found out that what the McDonald’s sells what’s called pink slime, that it was okay for people to eat. Do you remember years ago?
[34:50] If pink slime, which was the picking up what’s on the floor and they were bleaching it and putting in their hamburger okay for people, what do you think goes then for dog food? Because there’s no way they put the qualities that they put on the label and it’s that cheap. Just use common sense. It cannot be that inexpensive, the dog food. And yet, it’s better than McDonald’s. Do you understand what I’m saying? So, if McDonald’s give pink slimes, what do you feed your dog? To me, you cannot feed that to your dog. You cannot put garbage in your dog’s body. You cannot follow the nonsense that we’ve been taught of never change your dog’s food, never give human food. What do you think dog food is made out of?
[35:33] Human food and dog food is may not have the same stuff. There’s no human food trees versus dog food trees. What it is, is I invite people, whether they work with me with behavior, with training when it comes with food, let’s bring it down to common sense. We know the dog’s body is very similar to human body. They get most of the same diseases. Then, let’s do the right way. Let’s feed them the right way. So, my dogs it raw diets, they do not get carbohydrates. I mean, there’s carbohydrates in vegetables and stuff, that is okay, but they are not gonna get … of course, they’re not gonna get grains, but they’re not also going to get no potato, no peas, no garbanzo beans [inaudible 00:36:18], none of these things.
[36:19] Just July 12th, the FDA came up with a warning that shows, as you know, the heart condition that dogs are now dying like flies by age five. Because what happens, all these non-grain food, they’re not got rid of the grain and put more meat. They put other substitutes to keep the price in the margins that they need to make for their shareholders intact. So, what happens, you are now feeding your dog something that cause heart conditions, so you cannot do that.
[36:54] Going grain free.
[36:56] Going grain free. What it is, is a lot of veterinarians, they cannot say it. Number one, because they don’t know it, nobody told them. Number two, they are part of VCA. VCA wants you to sell that food. And they’re afraid also that somebody’s gonna go against them. I’m a dog trainer. I’m amazingly nobody, dog trainer, and I can say because you cannot take my license away, I can tell you what my belief system is. I can send you to literature where you can read and make your own decision. If this doesn’t agree with you, that’s okay. But I think you and me know that oftentimes when you got to regular doctors, they’re gonna tell your doctor Gundry’s crazy, or they tell me, Tamar is crazy.
[37:39] Eating sugar all day got nothing to do with behavior. Cable is balanced food. I say cable is not balanced food. It’s sugar. You cannot give sugar and not have brain fog. You cannot have sugar and be able to … I know it for myself. I’m very, as you can tell, outspoken and I can tell you a lot of people don’t like me, but I have to do what’s right for me. Somebody came to me recently and they sold their own on cable company for hundreds of millions of dollars. And the noncompete is over and they’re about to do a new one with probiotics. They said, “Come do it with us.” I said, “I can’t. I can’t.” He said, “Let me give you to the formulator, he’s a scientist.” I said, “Great. I would love to because God, there’re gonna be so much money I could make.”
[38:25] We all need to make a living and it will be lovely to make money, but I can’t do something that goes against my consciousness. So, I’m talking to the formulator, he’s a scientist and nothing makes sense. I said to him, I need to ask you, after 45 minutes of conversation, I said, “I need to ask you Dr. So and so, when was the research done that you’re referring to?” He goes, “1997.” I go, “But do you know Dr. So and So that since then we have a lot of research done about guts and …”
[38:55] Microbiome, yeah.
[38:56] “Microbiome and everything.” He goes, “I don’t believe in that.” I said, “Sadly, I would not be able to partner. I really love the man. He’s a good man, he does a lot of good of work in the rescue world that I would love to part with that man, but unfortunately it gets the wrong information from the scientists, and I had to walk away. So, it is that important for people and for dogs, for longevity and for quality of life to eat healthy. I’m sorry, this is just no two ways about it. So, row diet vegetables, particularly green vegetables, bone broth, all those things that are about health.
[39:37] Yeah. I was amazed recently I came across a website from a major University, a veterinary program in the Midwest. They have huge amounts of funding.
[39:56] They just got $20 million or $12 million like a month ago from the company who makes the dog food?
[39:57] Yes, I saw it.
[39:57] They actually have very interesting guides that they believe that grains are an essential part of a dog’s diet.
[40:06] And meat byproducts are actually incredibly important and there’s nothing wrong with them. And I’m going, “Wow, this is a major university. And so, I start digging through freedom of Information Act, one of their major donors is the Ralston Purina Company.
[40:24] Yeah. I saw it.
[40:27] And you have to dig to find these donors. There’s nothing on their websites.
[40:32] Exactly, right.
[40:34] So, here’s this information for a major university, who I would trust. They have a really good football team and yet, they’re getting their funding from the very people that …
[40:49] Come on, don’t we all know with also 60 Minutes, the pharmaceutical company. So many physicians get education from the people who sell the drug, right?
[40:58] It’s true.
[40:59] It’s not that different. People think of dog’s longevity is, oh my God, my dog is old, he’s 12 or he’s 13. No, your dog is old, is when he’s 17 or is in the 20s. Like people used to die when they’re 60s or 70s, now people live longer. But you see, it’s very difficult. You and me are in the same …
[41:19] You see so many dogs running around with the collar of shame and arthritis. They’re not supposed to have Eczema, they’re not supposed to have rashes, and they’re not supposed to be on steroids for this, and they’re not supposed to be on Ibuprofen.
[41:38] Absolutely. God, but panting day out for the rest of their lives, you cannot do all these things without having side effects. See, I’m looking that I’m here to serve dog, so in any way that I can.
[41:53] Great, so do your personal choices and food affect your dog health, do you think?
[41:59] Well, of course, because when I make myself steamed broccolis, my dog stand around, when are we getting my steamed broccoli? When I’m opening a bag of kale, my dogs love raw kale. I don’t have garbage at my home. I don’t have [inaudible 00:42:15] food at my home, so that’s what my dogs are eating and they’re loving it. Absolutely loving it.
[42:21] I made this observation years ago, during the spring, my dogs, whenever there were young shoots of grass or young leaves, they’d stop and munch them. Not just throw up, with mature leaves they’ll throw up. Then I said, “That’s interesting. What are they eating all this green stuff for?” You studied wolves, and one of the things we know about great carnivores is they’ll eat the guts of the animal they kill first.
[42:46] Number one.
[42:47] And that’s where all the vegetable product was.
[42:53] Yeah, and they were lacking that vegetable product that would have been a normal part of their diet. And I’m going, “Huh, they’re, they’re good carnivores, they’re great predators.
[43:07] Exactly. It’s eating dirt.
[43:08] Yeah, and I’m not giving them that in their diet, so I started giving them kale and lettuce.
[43:15] A 100%.
[43:15] They love a good piece of lettuce.
[43:17] Absolutely, my dogs love my Mediterranean salad with the olive oil.
[43:23] Okay. How about omega-3’s for dogs? Fish oil.
[43:28] I Love omega-3 and I recommend omega-3 that is 60% EPA and 40% DHA based on research that was done for the best of brain. ‘Cause, I like to look at my brain and studying my brain. How can I make my brain the best tool that I can have? Because stress bring my brain down and dogs are under a lot of stress, so my dogs get omega-3 every day.
[43:55] I don’t think your dogs are under stress.
[43:59] They do. Because you know what? My dogs like to be my only dogs and I always have dogs coming in and out of my home. My clients come to my home and we do like a therapy session. We sit in my kitchen and we really, it’s a beautiful environment because I get to expedite the puppy that comes to me or the client dog will come to see when they’re getting triggered when they see other dogs, so I don’t have to do it. It’s kind of like learning a language. You can learn to speak French in school, in a class, or you can go learning speak French in Paris. You expedite it if you’re gonna do it in Paris.
[44:31] So, I asked my clients to come to me and then we’re doing it with other dogs around. So, I always have dogs coming in and out, and my personal dogs are my helpers. So, I think they would prefer to be sometime just, “Mom, can we just be your dogs? We don’t want you to give your time to add the dogs.” So, I think it’s stressful for them sometimes.
[44:50] Do they act territorial?
[44:52] No, it’s not about territorial, but I can say that just like looking at me, you know how to read the faces when you ever dog and they go like, “Really? Can’t we just be just us?” But, that’s part of what I do.
[45:07] So, what do you say to all the dog trainers out there that this is a power struggle? That you have to be the master and your dog house to submit and that’s how you train a dog.
[45:22] I would say welcome to the 1950s. If you think how dog training started, it started after Second World War. And that’s why dogs are, when they are healing, they’re on the left side. Why is that? Because the rifle was on the right side. Last time I checked, none of us walking around with rifles. Most of us are right handed, most dogs are lefthanded. And I look at that, that the divine intelligence did it so the dogs can be with their strong side, the dog, how much the brain next to us are strong so we can connect, so we can bond. When I teach dogs to work on the right side and I give them the option, that side or this side ’cause I always test. Everything that I do with the dog with each individual eye test, which one would you prefer?
[46:10] It’s always they’re coming to this side when I give him the option when they have not been trained before to do that, so what I tell people is we are not in the 1950s, we have behavioral research that is available to us that shows that when you teach a dog how to make decisions, just the way you teach a kid to empower them to make good decision, they become better individual and they become devoted to you. Like Tony Robbins says, you want a raving fan. We are all looking for a raving fan in our dogs. We may not always get a raving fan in our spouse or in our children, they have their own journey, but the one being in our life that we can have is a raving fan is a dog..
[46:55] Unfortunately, people get a dog because the one that, and then they go to a trainer who breaks the dogs spirit and breaks that unbelievable bond, unbelievable trust, unbelievable connection and faith that you are the best human for me, that dogs wants to feel. I really would like to make it, just like it was done with children raising that it’s not okay to hit your children. It’s not okay to do this. I would like to change it, that it’s okay to use prong collars on dogs. Just think about it. If I got to tell you now word in Hebrew and you are not gonna do it and I’m gonna put a prong collar that digs into your neck.
[47:42] By the way, no. Mother’s dog do not use correction on dogs and certainly not like that. If I’m teaching you a word in Hebrew and you’re not doing it and I’m gonna hurt you, would it make you want to learn for me more?
[47:56] I might learn faster.
[47:57] You’re not. Because when your stressed, as you know, you actually learn less because you know what happened to your body when you’re stressed, cortisol goes up. This is not the time to learn.
[48:09] Can we give treats to our dogs in the learning process?
[48:12] Absolutely. But what I do, I don’t teach dog a command. I present a situation for a dog and I want a dog to think, and I’m zipping it and waiting. If the dog is doing it wrong, I’m just keep looking, when he’s doing it right, I use the Las Vegas method, the jackpot. What it is, the dog realizes, oh my God, when I do that it’s so much pleasure. I showed him because I come from a place of respect, that they’re sentient being, that they’re mammals, that they can think and it’s up to me to be a good teacher to bring the most out of them.
[48:50] What kind of treat?
[48:52] Protein or green vegetables. Yes, that’s it. I make my own. I don’t go and buy treats because I wanted that make it, I want them to fill the dogs that I cooked for them. It’s all about design, about, I’m here to serve you, Mr Doggy, and the dog parent. I’m here to serve them. That’s why I cook for them and have different types and they’re all living like, “Oh my God, we can’t wait to come back.” That’s what I want people to feel and dogs to feel.
[49:21] So, can dogs save your life?
[49:24] I think so. We have again, studies and study of people who were depressed, completely in a dark energy place and you bring a dog, even just from visiting them, anyway, to living with them and there’s like a flower, there’s something opens up. Dogs to me are the closest thing to that divine energy that people call God or whatever because they’re really all about, they want to give love, they want to connect, they don’t have ulterior motives.
[49:56] No, they don’t.
[49:57] They’re pure.
[50:00] I told you off camera, I give people prescriptions to get a dog. I actually write them on a prescription pad. A number of my patients have come back saying, “That’s the first prescription that a doctor ever gave me that worked.” It’s really true. In fact, somebody sent me the prescription frame recently, a picture of it.
[50:23] But you’re a cardiologist. What’s the best thing to a heart? Love.
[50:27] Yeah, that’s exactly right.
[50:28] What’s the most pure form of love? A dog.
[50:31] Yeah, that’s very true. Let’s not leave out cats.
[50:36] I love cats. I just don’t know them.
[50:38] I had a cat and medical school. Having a dog in medical school does not work.
[50:42] They demand too much.
[50:43] Well, yeah. You’re often on call in the hospital days at a time and a cat can go, “It’s okay. I got this. I can care for myself.” Please, folks, if you have a cat, I’ve had a cat, I loved my cat. This is a dog show today, but cats can be incredibly useful, pets. As well as birds. I used to have a bird. I miss my bird. But, yeah, dogs are really special. Okay, so we’re gonna wrap it up. As you know, we do an audience question and I’m actually gonna include you on this. So, today’s question comes from Barb. Barb writes in, “Can we eat coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil in phase one and phase two of your program?”
[51:30] I get this a lot. Here’s the deal. In phase one, almost everybody in the world, at least in America, has a leaky gut. Get over it. What happens when you have a leaky gut is we’re trying to keep, among other things, bacterial particles called lipopolysaccharides. LPSs, and as you know, I don’t swear, but I call them little pieces of shit in the book because that’s what they are. These things ride through our gut wall on saturated fats. Unfortunately, like coconut oil, they will also ride on olive oil. And everybody goes, “Dr. Gundry you love olive oil and coconut oil is okay for most people.” That’s true. But at phase one, and we really want to seel your gut and so I want to try to keep these guys out of you.
[52:27] Now, interesting. We’ve talked about fish oil and omega-3. It turns out that fish oil actually seals your gut and these little guys can’t ride in on fish oil. Early on, yeah, just go easy. You don’t have to avoid it, but it’s not the leader of olive oil that I want you eventually to get to. Once we seel your gut and we calm down your gut microbiome and get a lot of good bugs rather than bad bugs, then it’s fine. You’ve heard me talk about before that if you have the APOE4 gene, which is, unfortunately, nicknamed the Alzheimer’s gene, and 30% of us carry that gene. If you have that, I want you to be cautious with the amount of coconut oil that you use. Probably MCT oil is different, but I don’t have enough data to prove that yet. But coconut oil, if you’re an APOE4, not your best choice of fats. So, can we give our dogs coconut oil?
[53:30] I give coconut oil but very little. I switched from coconut oil. It was the fade to omega-3 oil in the last few years. The more I read about coconut oil, the more I realized you have to be cautious with that and Omega 3 is a little bit better.
[53:44] Yeah. I’m testing out a very high polyphenol olive oil that was originally made in Morocco for horses, race horses. Apparently, from the literature I’ve seen, was really, really useful for helping them recover from races, which is incredible stress on a racehorse.
[54:07] Very much.
[54:08] My daughter actually rehabs old race horses.
[54:13] Yeah. Anyhow, we’re gonna try this up. Look, it’s been great. We’ve had an a wonderful metaphysical experience here today. We’ve covered far more than just dogs. I can’t thank you enough for coming on the show.
[54:32] Again, thank you.
[54:33] Pleasure. I’m am doctor Gundry, you’ve been watching the Dr. Gundry podcast. Make sure that you sign up for the Plant Paradox 30-day challenge. The new book comes out and just a couple days. The challenge is gonna start January 15th, ends on Valentine’s Day. How appropriate. We’ve got 30 days of meals and the new Plant Paradox’s quick and easy. Sign up for the challenge. Go to drgundry.com or at Plant Paradox 30. I’m gonna do it even though the day after the start I have to fly to Paris and boy, is that going to be a challenge. I’m going to Instagram every day about what I’m eating over there. Until next time, thanks a lot. And Tamar, thank you very much.
[55:20] My pleasure.
[55:21] For more information about this week’s episode, please take a look at my show notes below and on drgundry.com. In the show notes, you’ll also find a survey and I’d love to find out more about you. Please take a few minutes to fill it out so I can do my best to provide information you’re looking for.
[55:40] Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of the Dr. Gundry Podcast. Check back next week for another exciting episode, and make sure to subscribe, rate and review to stay up to date with the latest episodes. Head to drgundry.com for show notes and more information. Until next time, I’m Dr, Gundry, and I’m always looking out for you.