I have had a miniature schnauzer for one and a half years now and I never knew I could love a dog as much as I love this new furry addition to our home.  If you have a dog, you will probably understand this wonderful feeling.  We love our breeder’s work with her dogs and were thrilled to get a beautiful and intelligent dog from her healthy line.  Now I have to tell you, I am really quite intrigued with all things schnauzer.  For example, Caesar had a skin infection last year and I didn’t want to use steroid creams on him so I had to look for natural and safe treatment options for him.  No more skin infection.  Our Vet had found the beginning of a cataract in his eyes (which she believed was possibly from birth since he was only a year old when she discovered it),and I used natural supplementation to treat it (on last check, she no longer saw the cataract!).  Oh — I should tell you that I am also a Naturopathic Doctor.  I am not a Vet nor do I claim to have the expertise and animal-specific training that Veterinarians do.  But I do love my dog.  And I have found natural treatments can work as effectively on dogs as they can on humans.   I  have learned not only through my experiences so far with Caesar, but from research that I love to do in my spare time.  Yes, I actually enjoy using my spare time to do such reading!  So if you’d like to learn a little about miniature schnauzer health and natural tips for raising a healthy dog, do visit often!

My love for all things schnauzer is not limited to health even though that is certainly one of my priorities.  I am also interested in the miniature schnauzer brain.  These dogs are a true delight to train.  I find myself challenging Caesar to do more and learn more every day.  I find that my bond grows stronger with Caesar with each new task or trick that he learns.  I am sure he feels my excitement and pleasure from his achievements, but I also feel his excitement about mastering something new.  Here, I plan to share some ideas/videos for training with you and hope you can enjoy creating a stronger bond with your own dog through them.

In this blog, I want to inspire you to create loving and positive experiences with your dog(s).  I have certainly learned that this breed is intelligent, sensitive and incredibly loving (which may describe all dogs in general, but I can only speak from my own personal experience with miniature schnauzers).  I will be writing from a miniature schnauzer-specific perspective, but I hope that “parents” of all types of breeds of dogs can learn something about dog care, training and nurturing from this blog.

“Be the person your dog thinks you are”

Dr. Menen

7 responses »

  1. Jean Daniels says:

    I am a professional groomer, trainer, behaviour consultant, Level 2 Reiki Practitioner of Pets and People,and a owner of Miniature Schnauzers for over 12 years. I also have helped whelp 26 big beautiful healthy Miniature Schnauzer puppies for 7 years.
    I am concerned about your assumption regarding the eye condition and skin conditions. Assuming the cataract is a genetic flaw would that have been discovered by you vet at your first visit or with the breeders visit of the puppy. There can be numerous reasons why – perhaps dogs that are allowed to hang their heads out the window at 50mph and the bombardment of dust and pollutant may have done the damage to the surface of the eye setting up the environment for surface deterioration. I am a believer of natural alternatives but is best to remember that skin, ear, and other health conditions are not necessary contributed to the specific breed or of proper breeding practices. There is food that contains gluten, wheat, bi-products, preservatives, etc that are cause of a lot of internal and external conditions, Grooming and or lack of grooming or inexperienced grooming can also cause numerous skin and ear problems. Over vaccination and lack of exercise also contribute to illnesses that are not genetic. When people ask me about health guarantees, I will tell them that the health of the dog is their responsibility and the genetic lines have been proven to be a clean as possible.

    I also tell my clients regarding training and behaviour that it is 80% nurture and 20% nature. Blaming the professional breeder or the breed is just a cop out for many

    Teaching you dogs basic behaviours and tricks is a lot of fun and very rewarding for both the owner and the pet. I do suggest that offering your training expertise carefully to your bloggers. Many future behavioural issues have arose due to the inexperienced. Puppy classes, socialization and tricks is fun, but leave obedience and specific service training to the professionals

    I would be lost with my 3 Miniature Schnauzers

    Jean Daniels

    Canine Behaviour & Training
    Member IPDTA,Member of CKC, Doggone Safe
    Canine Appearance Specialist
    Reiki Practitioner for Pets & People

    • Dr. Menen says:

      Dear Jean,
      You have raised many concerns with your message that many non-medically trained individuals may also conclude and I feel must be addressed.
      So here goes:
      1. Our Vet did not check our dog’s eyes for cataracts in her first visit with Caesar as he had no visual impairment concerns. When I noticed his seeming difficulty in reaching for near treats, she looked more carefully in his eyes, where she discovered a small cataract. We are thrilled with her attention to our dog and her support for our Naturopathic treatment of this concern. Caesar has had no history of hanging his head out of a car window (he’s too precious for us to do this), but it’s important to know that cataracts are not a surface feature/sign on the eye. They are a concern with the lens of the eye and do have many reasons for appearing — including nutritional deficiencies (which is how we addressed Caesar’s concern), diabetes, overexposure to different types of radiation, genetics (most commonly) and severe trauma (see: http://animaleyecare.net/diseases/cataract.htm) for just one source of many providing much more information about cataracts in dogs. Surface deterioration is not a known cause of cataracts but can certainly lead to inflammation or damage to the corneal surface or conjunctiva of the eyes.
      2. We are absolutely thrilled with the work of our breeder. We would recommend her dogs to anyone as we have seen first-hand the meticulous care this breeder takes with her dogs and puppies and we feel confident about Caesar’s good genes. Our Vet indicated that Caesar’s cataract may have been genetic only because this is the most common cause and because he was so young. Since nutrition did help Caesar overcome his cataract, we can assume there was a deficiency there. I also know that genetic concerns/mutations can occur spontaneously in even the best conditions. As a Naturopathic Doctor, I believe that whether nutritional deficiencies or genetics cause a symptom, nutrition is an excellent way to work through or overcome a symptom. My nutrition and digestion page will be covering more about by-products and preservatives soon.
      3. Of course mentioning to an ND the connection between vaccinations/lack of exercise/poor nutrition to disease is like telling a firefighter how to put out a fire, but perhaps you shared this info for other readers’ awareness.
      4. I believe that professionals do teach best, and I also know many people that will learn some good ideas from this blog.
      Keep enjoying your mini schnauzers and thanks for your note.
      Dr. Menen

  2. Nicole says:

    what did you give your dog for a skin allergy my schnauzers gets skins allergies those red dots she went on a 10 days treatment and when it was she got the spots back again. what natural treatment did you give your dog

    • Dr. Menen says:

      For skin symptoms, I began giving our Caesar Essential Fatty Acids (I use a liquid form of fish oils for one month, flax oil for another month — 1/4 teaspoon per day on a meal), Vitamin E (100-200IU per day on food — also liquid form); Powdered vitamin C — 500mg per day. I also boosted his immune system — which is related to skin health in Traditional Chinese Medicine by using an herb called Astragalus — approx. 250mg per day dropped onto his food from a powder capsule. Hope these ideas might help your dog — try to use only one new supplement for 2-3 days before adding another so you can tell if your dog is sensitive to any of these new items — watch for any new/uncomfortable symptoms. And you can always check with a Holistic Vet near you to see if he/she has recommendations for dosing for your specific dog.
      Dr. Menen

      • Nicole says:

        THank you so much! i hope these works right now im her Equilibrium AGEs the yellow one that has omega.
        have a great day.!

  3. Heather Beaton OHare says:

    I am worried my mini schnauzer and poodle are not getting enough vitamins. I buy Fromm Surf & Turf..Grain Free..but they hardly ever touch it. I am concerned about my mini schnauzer getting diabetes some day..so instead of giving them ground lean beef mixed with carrots and white potato that I have been cooking myself..as of today I switched to long grain brown rice mixed with boiled chicken breast. I will be giving them this twice a day in small amounts. I got the diet from a lady on line whose schnauzer has had diabetes for 3 yrs…he is 14 yrs old. Is it okay to use a little olive oil or coconut oil instead of the canola? She puts a tsp of canola oil over it and a tsp of salmon oil as well. I am just concerned that they are getting all the nutrients they need as they dont seem to bother much with their kibble.

    • Dr. Menen says:

      Hello Heather and thanks for your question/comments.
      It’s probably a good time to try a different kibble for your dogs — but remember to introduce any new kibble slowly. For one week, use 1/4 of the new kibble you choose to combine with the 3/4 of the current kibble you’re using, then for one week use 1/2 of each of the kibble types; then 1 week using 1/4 of the old kibble with 3/4 of the new kibble before completely using new kibble in the food dish. The same goes for changing any cooked foods — slowly introduce new ingredients for your dogs. Luckily, dogs are generally not as fussy with their cooked foods.
      DEFINITELY use olive or coconut oil instead of the canola as these are healthier oils to use. Fish oils are excellent and my favourites are by either Genestra (“Super EFA Liquid”) or by Ascenta (NutraSea HP) which are both available at health food stores — add about 1/4 teaspoon to the meal once or twice a day. I would recommend also adding some vitamins and minerals, but you can check with a holistic vet to see what nutrients might be best for your dogs — it’s best to learn about the needs of your dogs for individualized care for them — and it’s likely they won’t have the same needs.
      Luckily, cooking your own food for your dogs will give them many of the essential vitamins and minerals. I would recommend that you add some veggies to the foods you prepare and alternate the meats you use for the foods you make your dogs (so sometimes use turkey, sometimes, beef, sometimes fish). I hope this helps you see fantastic health in your dogs very soon!
      Dr. Menen

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