The Story of Volhard Dog Nutrition
I gave up my career at the Wall Street Journal in the1970’s and literally went to the dogs. My beloved Landseer Newfoundland, Heidi, at the age of five, was diagnosed with severe liver and kidney disease and given a mere six months to live. Naturally, I was devastated.
Some time earlier I had come across a book written by the famous herbalist Juliette de Bairacli Levy, called “The Complete Herbal Book for the Dog”. According to Levy, feeding a dog an improper diet could cause untold damage. To get a dog well again, Levy advocated a 2-week fast, followed by her diet. “What,” I thought, “did I have to lose?”
I put Heidi on a fast with water and herbal teas, which flushed out her system. Every day she didn’t eat her regular kibble diet, she got better. Following Levy’s diet, I slowly introduced oats, buckwheat, honey, fresh meat, vegetables and herbs. Heidi never looked back and went on to live to the ripe old age of 12 ½.
When fellow dog lovers saw what I was doing, they wanted to do the same thing for their dogs. I would hold “cooking classes” to teach them how to do it and show them where to buy ingredients.
With the help of my veterinarian, I began a protocol of periodic blood tests to see if the diet was balanced for the dogs. For over twelve years, I took blood from as many dogs as I could, from different areas of the country, different breeds, and different ages. I had to tweak the formula to make sure the recipe was balanced. Satisfied, I finally published the recipe in 1984 under the title “Back to Basics.”