Complete wellness requires that all systems of the dog are functioning optimally, and disease is not present in any form. This is not a common finding in our canine populations today. If we ask ourselves why, we would have to look to the following reasons. Hello I’m Dr. Bill Barnett. Today’s dogs all evolved from the Graywolf hundreds of thousands of years ago. Yet, most of our 400 registered canine breeds have recently been created within the past few hundred years. This process of breeding for form rather than function has led to a myriad of genetic diseases affecting the overall health of the dog. We are all experiencing the effects of a different environment today. Grass and soils have been stripped of natural nutrients. Air has become polluted and the environment is full of toxins and poisonous substances. Finally, the dog’s digestive system and physiology suggest that they are still a carnivore. Yet, most of today’s diets provide very little high quality protein and a whole lot of cereal grain carbohydrate. Diets developed for convenience or purely economic reasons stress the digestive system and are poorly assimilated by the dog. As veterinarians, we don’t have to look very far to see the result of today’s commercially prepared diets. Obesity, diabetes, allergies, and skin problems… just to name a few. In other words, we are not controlling the three most important keys to optimum health and longevity: Genetics, environment, and nutrition. My recommendations for achieving optimum canine wellness include the following: provide sound breeding advice when appropriate, identify environmental hazards found in your area and most importantly recommend a complete wellness feeding program starting with a biologically appropriate diet. Include a balanced and concentrated nutritional supplement to assure that all needs are being met during those periods where nutritional needs increase. To learn more about the specific nutritional needs of the dog, and how nutritional supplementation can provide the flexibility needed to help meet different life stages or activity levels read the web section titled complete canine wellness with ProBalance.