Notes from the TEDx video, “How to Build the Forever Dog.”

(Speech given by Rodney Habib)

5 Tips to increasing longevity based on his research:

1.  Stress Resistance – Your dog smells your emotions. Rodney quoted study done by Dr. Anna Scandurra, Dr. Biagio D’Aniello, and Dr Alessandra Alterisio at the University of Naples. They exposed the dogs to collected sweat samples of people who were either happy or fearful. Dogs smelling the “happy” sweat were friendly and outgoing. Dogs smelling the “fearful” sweat tried to hide and shy away from strangers. Find ways to de-stress so you aren’t adding to your dog’s stress levels.

2.  Caloric Reduction – Rodney cited the study, “Effects of Diet Restriction on Life Span and Age-Related Changes in Dogs” From the Journal American Vet Med Assoc. May 2002. For example, if feeding your dog kibble, reduce the amount by 25% (i.e. subtract 1/4 cup from every cup of kibble) and you could increase lifespan by 2 years compared to free feeding.

3.  Insulin Signalling – Eating high starch or sugar foods increase blood sugar, which increases insulin. High insulin is toxic and inflammatory. (My note: inflammation is at the root of most diseases) Kibble is approximately 48-70% carbohydrate, as per Dr Richard Patton (PhD in animal nutrition) Solution? Move toward real, fresh foods for your animals as much as possible (vs kibble).

4.  Repair of Damage – Our animals need a healthy immune system, which is primarily in their gut. (same with humans) We all need healthy gut microbiome for a healthy immune system.  Rodney referenced the study by Dr Misa Sandri and Professor Bruno Stefanon at the University of Udine in Udine, Italy. They studied two groups of dogs, one fed kibble and the other raw. The raw fed had the most diverse microbiome (healthiest). He also cited another study with the same basic conclusion (diverse raw foods = longevity)

5.  Environmental Factors – He briefly mentioned that things like candles, household cleaners and lawn chemicals were detrimental. Then he focused on exercise as a positive environmental factor. He gave the examples of Maggie, owned by Brian McLaren, who lived to age 30. Maggie ran approximately >12< miles per day and loved raw milk. He also told about Bramble, a border collie owned by Anne Heritage, who lived to be 25 years old. Bramble’s owner said she walked about two miles per day and swam as well.  Rodney’s point with these two dogs is that exercise reduces stress and insulin, which may have contributed to their longevity.

For the cat lovers out there, Rodney also talked about Jake Perry. Jake had TWO world record holding cats who lived to be 38 and 34. (in fact, he has had other cats live to 30+) He actually cooked them eggs, turkey bacon, and broccoli for breakfast!! He also made them a movie theater with nature documentaries playing just for them. Pretty good considering the average cat life span is 12 years.

Hope you enjoyed the movie and notes!