Biohacking for Pets: How to Supercharge Your Pet's Health & Longevity

Dr. Gary Richter

America’s favorite veterinarian, Dr. Gary Richter, shares all you need to know about biohacking your pet from his latest books, Longevity for Dogs and Longevity for Cats. You’ll learn which foods and supplements are best and about genetic testing that leads to a longer, healthier life for your pet.


In this Episode of The Human Upgrade™...

You’ve heard lots on this show about biohacking, longevity, and how to help your brain and body perform better. But what if you could do the same things for your pet? I’ve spent most of my life with pets and/or farm animals so I’m thrilled to have my longtime friend, Dr. Gary Richter, America’s favorite veterinarian, here to tell you all you need to know about biohacking for your pets.

Dr. Gary Richter, DVM, is a distinguished veterinarian, international bestselling author of The Ultimate Pet Health Guide, and founder of Ultimate Pet Nutrition. He’s also the author of two new books, Longevity for Dogs and Longevity for Cats. Dr. Richter is certified in veterinary acupuncture, as well as veterinary chiropractic, understanding the benefits of both conventional and holistic treatment methods. He also places great emphasis on the well-being of the pet owner, knowing that a sick pet can cause great strain on a person’s life.

Today, we talk about what supplements your pet should be consuming, how you can regenerate their health, genetic testing for pets, what’s coming in the future, the things a lot of people believe about pet diets that are absolutely not true, and a bunch of other stuff from a top expert in the field.
All the studies show that having a pet raises your oxytocin. It makes you live longer. It increases heart rate variability. It makes your kids have healthier gut biomes, on and on. Tune in to start learning how to support your pets as well as they support you.

“When you start custom tailoring the lifestyle and medical care of animals, you see them live quite a bit longer.”


00:03:00 — How Long Can Our Pets Really Live?

  • The truth about vegan cat food 
  • How long cats and dogs can live
  • Why biohacking pets may be easier than for humans
  • Why dogs like cat poop
  • The oldest animals he’s worked with 
  • Physiological differences between dogs and humans 
  • How much it costs to invest in your pet’s longevity
  • Pillars of aging for pets 
  • The root of genomic instability and suggested solutions 

00:16:22 — Nutritional Support & Preventative Care for Pets

  • What to feed your pets for optimal health
  • Easy and readily available supplements for your pets
  • Upgrade Labs: ownanupgradelabs.com
  • Dave’s experience with electroacupuncture for his dachshund
  • Documentary: daveasprey.com/heal
  • Testing you can do for your pet to find out predispositions
  • How much Vitamin D you need in your pet food

00:39:41 — Top Supplements to Support Your Pet’s Optimal Health

Enjoy the show!

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[00:00:00] Dave: You’re listening to The Human Upgrade with Dave Asprey. You’ve heard lots on this show about biohacking, about longevity, and anti-aging, and aging more slowly than your friends, how to perform better with your brain, your body. Basically, how to win so you have a good life. What if you could do the same things for your pet?

[00:00:24] I’ve spent most of my life with pets and/or farm animals. I tend to gravitate towards dachshunds, wiener dogs because they think they’re big dogs. They don’t know that they’re little dogs, and there’s nothing funnier than seeing a Labrador bossed around by a dachshund. I think it’s hilarious.

[00:00:44] And, uh, they’re also just fun dogs. So all of my dogs– I’ve had six dachshunds in my life. All of them have lived to at least 15 and sometimes 17 or 18. And smaller dogs live longer, but there are things you can do to biohack your pet. And I’ve talked about this very briefly, in the first couple of hundred episodes, but I have a long-time friend on, and we are celebrating International Dog Day. Now, I know that, uh, everyone– in fact, it’s a national holiday mostly around the world. No one’s ever heard of International Dog Day probably, unless you’re a breeder or a vet, but, hey, what the heck? 

[00:01:20] Now this is my longtime friend, Dr. Gary Richter, who’s a well-known veterinarian. He’s a bestselling author in a book about pet health. And he’s the guy behind Ultimate Pet Nutrition, which is food and supplements. He also does veterinary acupuncture, which is really interesting. And in fact, I’m going to talk with him about one of my experiences with dogs and electroacupuncture and some miraculous level healing that’s possible.

[00:01:48] But Gary’s also known as America’s favorite veterinarian, and he has a Longevity for Cats and Longevity for Dogs book. But since having a pet makes humans live longer, other than goldfish– I don’t think those count. And the jury’s out on turtles, and snakes, or iguanas. I did have an iguana named Skippy who was four and a half feet long at once in my life.

[00:02:09] For you today, we’re going to talk about what supplements your pet should be taking, how you can regenerate your pets. Guys, things that work on pets work on us too with a few differences, but there’s a lot of commonalities here. A genetic testing for pets, what’s coming in the future, things a lot of people believe about pet diets that are absolutely not true, and just a bunch of other stuff from a top expert in the field. So you can biohack your pets. There’s no reason not to do that. 

[00:02:43] So first question, Gary. Is it true that vegan cat food can save the environment?

[00:02:52] Gary: It might be able to save the environment, but it sure as heck isn’t going to save your cat. 

[00:02:56] Dave: It won’t save the environment either.

[00:02:58] Gary: Yeah, I know. I mean, cats are very much obligate carnivores, and trying to turn a cat into a vegetarian is a quick route to not owning a cat anymore.

[00:03:07] Dave: Ouch. Isn’t it the same, like, trying to turn your kids into vegans is a quick route for having unhealthy kids who don’t live as long also?

[00:03:16] Gary: You know what? You may be baiting me slightly as you know I am a vegan. My child is not a vegan however. Um, although I think–

[00:03:21] Dave: I know how–

[00:03:22] Gary: That it can be done if one’s careful and a human

[00:03:26] Dave: That was totally me causing trouble. You know me because we’re friends. Listeners only know me. I will never miss out on a chance to tease a vegan, and they will not miss out on a chance to tease me because we actually have the same value. We’ve come up with different solution sets. And obviously, each of us has our reasons for it, but it’s done in the spirit of humor, and the idea is we all want to be healthy. We all want to improve the environment. We all want to reduce suffering in animals. So those are commonalities.

[00:03:53] Gary: True.

[00:03:54] Dave: Let’s get into pets. Uh, let’s start with cats, even though cats are pretty much evil and want to kill you compared to dogs. I just have to put that out there. Also, that is me teasing cat lovers. Yes, I like cats too. I’m just teasing you. How long do cats live today?

[00:04:09] Gary: Probably the big deciding factor there is, does that cat live inside or outside? But an indoor cat living an appropriate lifestyle can easily live into their late teens, early 20s.

[00:04:22] Dave: Awesome. And what about outdoor cats?

[00:04:24] Gary: Outdoor cats, statistics are pretty abysmal. The average lifespan of a strictly outdoor cat is three years, four years.

[00:04:33] Dave: Is that because cars hit them or because they’re killing so many birds that at night the birds get together and eat the cats?

[00:04:39] Gary: That could be the explanation of a lot of mysterious disappearances. But it is a very, very dangerous lifestyle out there for cats that are outside, whether it’s dogs, or cars, or wild animals, or any number of other things.

[00:04:51] Dave: They’re a great hunter, but they’re also great at being hunted as well.

[00:04:55] Gary: Yes, exactly.

[00:04:57] Dave: Yeah. Coyotes, that’ll do it for you.

[00:04:59] Gary: Yeah. That’ll do it, for sure.

[00:05:01] Dave: What about dogs?

[00:05:03] Gary: From a longevity perspective, you mentioned a moment ago as far as differences in longevity between small dogs and larger dogs. And there is a real difference there, but I think depending on the breed of the dog, it could be looking at early to mid-teens for your average dog. Smaller dogs can go upwards of 20. Much, much larger dogs, Great Danes, mastiffs, and whatnot, for the most part, if you get 12 years out of those dogs, most people are pretty pleased. 

[00:05:28] Dave: Have those numbers changed over the course of your career?

[00:05:32] Gary: That’s a really good question. I would say they have changed over the course of my career in the sense of the way that my patients are cared for tends to have them leaning towards living longer than I think probably the averages are. Because I spend a lot of time with my clients talking to them about what to feed pets, what medical care they need, and what medical care they don’t need. 

[00:05:57] As you well know, there’s a lot to be said about Western medicine, but left to its own devices, Western medicine can do as much harm as it can good. And that’s certainly true in the veterinary field as well. So when you start custom tailoring the lifestyle and medical care of animals, you will and do see them live quite a bit longer.

[00:06:18] Dave: So it’s almost like we can control how long our pets live with decisions we make. Oh, but don’t worry. You can’t do the same for yourself, or maybe we could do it for both of us.

[00:06:29] Gary: Maybe we can. Although arguably, I have said on many occasions, I think, pushing the longevity envelope is actually easier for our pets than it is for us because we are in 100% control of what goes in their mouths and what medical care they get. If I had somebody handing me every bite of food that I was eating over the course of the day and it was all perfectly balanced and nutritious, I’d be in great shape. I don’t have that in my life. Hopefully, you do. I don’t. But our dogs do. And because of that, we’re really in the driver’s seat of how to keep these guys healthy.

[00:07:05] Dave: Yeah, we do have more control. Actually, we have as much control over our dog’s food as over our own. We just don’t exercise that control very well.

[00:07:11] Gary: There’s less willpower involved.

[00:07:13] Dave: Yeah, I think I’m pretty good at it. And also, you and I aren’t going to eat those little Tootsie Rolls that cats manufacture that dogs just keep wanting to eat. Why do dogs do that?

[00:07:24] Gary: I’ve often said that, uh, if somebody wanted to make a medication that all dogs would eat, they would make it cat shit flavored.

[00:07:32] Dave: Okay, yes.

[00:07:34] Gary: Yeah, that’s a free business idea for anybody out there who wants to run with that.

[00:07:39] Dave: Do we know why dogs are doing that? Is this some probiotic benefit, or are they just gross?

[00:07:44] Gary: I think it’s a combination of gross and the fact that if you think about– cats are largely eating pure protein. So it’s not super shocking that a dog might find that tasty. And they’re dogs, so they’re just a little bit gross. They also roll in dead skunks.

[00:08:00] Dave: Yeah, anything that’s dead, they’re going to roll in. I don’t understand that. Actually, I do understand that. There’s reasons that they do it, having to do with hiding their scent and all. Oldest dog you’ve ever worked with.

[00:08:12] Gary: Twenty three.

[00:08:13] Dave: Wow, what flavor of dog was that?

[00:08:15] Gary: It was a Chihuahua.

[00:08:17] Dave: Ah, those little tiny ones.

[00:08:18] Gary: Those little tiny ones. And, uh, I will say that that 23-year-old Chihuahua was not in great shape at the end.

[00:08:25] Dave: I imagine not.

[00:08:26] Gary: She was a bit of a mess, but yeah, 23 is pretty impressive for a dog.

[00:08:33] Dave:  Wow. You might not know the answer to this, and I don’t, but is it true for humans? I’m pretty much a Great Dane of a human, but are little Chihuahua people more likely to live longer than me?

[00:08:43] Gary: I don’t think so, and if you were a Great Dane of a human, you probably would have been dead 15 years ago.

[00:08:48] Dave: Uh, that’s a fair point. So maybe the size difference doesn’t matter. I haven’t seen any data about odds of dying based on your height or your weight. Well, with weight I have, but it’s more about obesity. So interesting. All right. How about cats? Oldest cat you’ve ever cared for?

[00:09:03] Gary: Twenty six, I think.

[00:09:07] Dave: Wow. What’s the longest animal of any type you’ve worked with? 

[00:09:11] Gary: I don’t do it as much anymore, but many years ago, I used to do a lot of work with wildlife and, to a certain extent, zoo animals. So now you’re talking about a tortoise that can live well over 200 years, these sorts of things. It’s fascinating when you start thinking about, you’re working with an animal that might have been around when the Declaration of Independence was signed.

[00:09:33] Dave: That’s really cool. I was going to get a tortoise or maybe a parrot because some of those parrots can be very long-lived as well.

[00:09:39] Gary: Yes, they can. Yeah.

[00:09:42] Dave: What are the major differences between working with dogs and humans? I know you don’t work with humans, but you and I are anti-aging masterminds. You’re interested in living longer enough to be dangerous on that front. So what are the big variables that are different?

[00:09:57] Gary: Clearly, there are differences physiologically between, say, dogs and humans. To a certain extent, mammals are mammals. Most of the broad strokes apply across species. Probably the single biggest difference is nutrition from the standpoint of an optimal nutritional profile for a dog is going to be a little bit different than it is for a human.

[00:10:19] Perhaps not as different as some people may think. It’s certainly very different for a cat with them being obligate carnivores. But beyond that, I think the other difference is everything is somewhat accelerated in a dog. So for better or for worse, you’re going to see things happen faster in your dogs, which also means, and this is so true on the human side as well, the earlier you start your interventions, the better off you’re going to be. 

[00:10:49] Preventative planning is not something that it is hardwired in us humans. We’re more programmed to see the bear chasing after us and run rather than plan for the bear that might be chasing after us. But getting those interventions started early is so important with pets because their aging curve is so much faster than ours.

[00:11:13] Dave: It’s one of those things where you can spend as much on anti-aging for your pet as you can on a human if you really get into it. And it’s well known in the world of business that pet owners, at least in the US, they treat their pets like kids. And they’ll splurge. In fact, there are people who spend more on supplements for their pets than they do for themselves, which is [Inaudible]. It’s a measure of how much we love our pets, how they become family members really. What’s an average monthly spend for a mid-sized dog to keep it young?

[00:11:47] Gary: If you’re legitimately going to make some real efforts on the longevity sense rather than just general veterinary care, if you will, I think you might wind up spending a couple of hundred dollars a month between food and supplements. Obviously, larger dogs, it’s going to cost more. 

[00:12:06] It also depends on how you choose to feed them from the perspective of, are you making food for them, which is going to be less expensive, but more time consuming? Are you buying fresh whole food for them, ready-made? So there’s a lot of ways to do it, but, if you’re willing to put in a little bit of time, you can do it, for most people, in a way that’s reasonably affordable.

[00:12:27] Dave: I know that for my dogs, we made the food for them, but, uh, they eat mostly raw meat with a few additives. But they’re small. If they were Labradors, I think we’d be spending $15 a day. I grow my own meat, and I’d be spending $15 a day. I mean, they eat a lot when they’re big. So that’s a big part of it.

[00:12:48] In your book, you talk about the science of aging for animals, and it’s funny. The list that you have is very similar to what I have in Superhuman, my big book on longevity. And I have seven pillars of aging. I think you have closer to 14, but many of the ones you have, two of them would map into one of the categories I did. Can you go through the list of things that make a dog or a cat old and just talk about those briefly? And then later on, we’ll talk about what we can do to get into those.

[00:13:20] Gary: Yeah, let’s do that. And I’ll just, for the sake of mentioning it, the only reason why there’s more pillars of aging in my book than in Superhuman is because the research has advanced since you wrote that book. 

[00:13:29] Dave: It’s four years ago.

[00:13:30] Gary: We’re going to do exact same research that you did. There’s just more of it now.

[00:13:34] Dave: There is absolutely more, and it’s exploding, and it’s really cool. At some point, books are going to turn into AI constantly updated references. They almost have to, uh, because if I rewrote superhuman today, I’d probably add a couple more chapters about antinutrients that are apparently behind things. I’d add some more stuff about immune function we just didn’t know or weren’t included in the field yet. So it’s a constant evolution. And that’s why I do masterminds, and the conference, and all that, just so I can share the latest even just on social media.

[00:14:07] Gary: Sure.

[00:14:08] Dave: So let’s start out with genomic instability. What is it, and is it the same thing that humans have?

[00:14:15] Gary: It is exactly the same thing, and all of these hallmarks of aging, they are the same, but genomic instability, as you know, the genome is literally your genetic code, your DNA. And as we grow and age, our cells are constantly turning over, and they’re replicating, and old cells are recycled, what have you. And in this whole process, there are occasionally errors that happen in DNA replication.

[00:14:42] Now, the body has all manner of ways to deal with that and correct those errors, but over time, part of aging is those errors tend to pile up. And as those errors in your genome pile up, what you wind up with is proteins that are either not made or made incorrectly, or proteins that are made that shouldn’t be made. And as a result, you wind up with a body that does not function as optimally as it should. And that’s really the root of genomic instability, is the code that is telling our body what it needs to do and when is not as set and as stable as it should be.

[00:15:23] Dave: Okay. And this is a standard part of aging, and we can handle that with things that either encourage turnover or things that protect DNA from damage. What’s the best thing for dogs or cats that does that?

[00:15:35] Gary: And this is going to be across the board for many of these hallmarks of aging. The best thing that we can do is optimize their diet. Optimized nutrition is going to be the foundation for all of this. I mean, we can talk about senolytics, and we can talk about things that help stabilize the genome from a biochemical sense. But at the end of the day, our body is running on fuel that we put in it. And the same thing is true for our animals. And if we’re putting in the wrong fuel, you’re going to wind up getting the wrong results.

[00:16:08] Dave: Okay, so it’s all about the food. Can you buy a dry grain-based dog food that will keep your dog young?

[00:16:15] Gary: No.

[00:16:18] Dave: Okay. I was hoping you would say that. It seems like modern dog foods, and probably cat foods, they’re putting really low-quality protein in, and they’re filling it with crap, and they’re using bad oils, and they’re even using recycled animals that have been euthanized with the chemicals they use to euthanize the dogs at the very low end. You just don’t know what’s in it, right?

[00:16:44] Gary: Yeah. The whole pet food industry is quite frankly a mess. And everything you just said is true. Although the pet food industry will vehemently deny the part about euthanasia chemicals in the food, but the research is what it is.

[00:16:59] Dave: I mean, if I ever would deny euthanasia chemicals in some of their products too, but hey. 

[00:17:04] Gary: Yeah, exactly. You know what I mean? The bottom line is the pet food industry, obviously, it is a for-profit business, and in every for-profit business, the calculus is, how do I sell the most amount of food and spend the least amount of money doing it? 

[00:17:19] Dave: That’s exactly what big food is doing right, and we’re seeing the facts. If you allow them to do that to your pets or to you, you get what you’re paying for.

[00:17:27] Gary: Yeah, you very much do. And you can blame it all day long on the advertising, and the marketing, and about how these products are sold. Unfortunately, my own industry bears a fair bit of responsibility here because your average veterinarian is telling their clients to feed exactly that food.

[00:17:48]  Because, unfortunately, that’s how we’re educated in vet school. Your average veterinarian and your average physician doesn’t get much by way of nutritional training in school. And while I can’t speak to physicians after they go to school, I can tell you that most veterinarians are getting their updates on nutrition from either conferences where the research is funded by big pet food, or by the rep that walks into the office from Hill’s, Purina, IAMS, what have you. That’s where that information’s coming from.

[00:18:21] Dave: It’s almost like there’s this really good business model that works with medical professionals of any flavor, which is when you teach them that the only way to heal things is to buy your products, and then you mandate that with regulatory oversight and standards, things like that, and then all of a sudden, you end up with sick animals or people. And then that makes more profit for you.

[00:18:44] Gary: Yeah. And you know what? And combine that with you take a group of very, very busy overworked professionals and give them very easy, simple solutions to offer to people.

[00:18:55] Dave: Yeah. And these are people who mean well. This is not an attack on the medical profession, on the doctors themselves, but the infiltration of it with commercial interests has just got to stop.

[00:19:06] Gary: Yeah. And I appreciate you saying that because, I mean, I think a lot of people go down the road of like, there’s some conspiracy amongst doctors and veterinarians. There isn’t.

[00:19:14] Dave: No. I am dear friends with so many doctors, and they’re frustrated. They don’t like it any more than you or I like it.

[00:19:24] Gary: But we’re all trapped in that system.

[00:19:26] Dave: Well, I think the system is collapsing under its own weight and something dramatic will happen over the next few years over this because no one wants to pay for things that don’t work, and no one built that into the business model that, oh, if you lie to people for long enough, maybe they’ll notice you’re lying, and then they won’t listen to anything you say. And if you try and force them to buy your stuff, that’s when they get their pitchforks. If I was a betting man, I would be betting on pitchforks right now versus pharmaceutical companies for dogs or pets. 

[00:19:56] Gary: Torches and pitchforks, or just pitchforks?

[00:19:59] Dave: Torches apparently raise CO2. And if you believe that CO2 is more important than atrazine, which is feminizing our dogs, cats, and our kids– 

[00:20:07] Gary: Maybe LED torches then.

[00:20:10] Dave: Oh, so Burning Man. I got you. 

[00:20:12] Gary: There you go. Okay.

[00:20:14] Dave: Now, that’s genomic instability. Telomeres. Pets have telomeres. Humans have telomeres. Do you measure telomeres?

[00:20:22] Gary: So that is not something that is being commercially done right now. It can be done in a research setting. I’m actually having a conversation with a physician that you and I are both friends with about working on not only getting that done, but looking at a very specific telomere lengthening supplement as well. 

[00:20:42] Some of the telomere lengthening supplements that are out there on the market for people almost certainly would work in dogs and cats as well, although that hasn’t really been researched, a lot of the really effective telomere supplements out there are very expensive. So they’re not necessarily high on the list for most people. 

[00:21:00] And then of course, there’s this question that, of course, you are well aware of, about this question of how directly telomere length correlates to longevity. I think it’s part of the bigger picture. Is it probably the one metric we should all be looking at? No. But I think it is a big picture issue.

[00:21:18] Dave: It’s an important metric. The problem is that telomere from a blood test doesn’t matter very much because blood telomeres bounce all over the place. So if you get a brain telomere, or a cardiac telomere, just by going in with surgery and taking a little chunk of the brain out, I’m sure it would be a good measure.

[00:21:34] Since I don’t want to do that because that seems to not be good for longevity either, I take my telomere test with a grain of salt because I’ve seen the move by 20 years in two weeks. And I don’t think that’s a measure of magic biohacking, although that might help a little bit. I think it’s a question of just problems with where we’re getting the telomeres we measure and how we measure them.

[00:21:56] Gary: Agreed.

[00:21:57] Dave: All right. Let’s talk about mitochondrial dysfunction.

[00:22:01] Gary: That one’s high on the list because mitochondrial dysfunction sits right at the crux of so many other problems. I mean, if your cells are not effectively and efficiently creating energy, then where are you? So yeah, I think mitochondrial dysfunction is a big one. That’s another one that diet plays a big part in. But certainly, there’s plenty of supplements out there that are easily and readily available. Things that a lot of people may be using for their pets already. Easy stuff like curcumin. 

[00:22:32] Curcumin is one of the great miracles of nature from a supplement perspective. And it touches on so many hallmarks of aging, but mitochondrial dysfunction is a big one. And I bring up curcumin because it’s readily available. It’s inexpensive. If you get a bioavailable compound, you can do an enormous amount of good for pets. And I use it all the time, uh, in my patients.

[00:22:54] Dave: I want to be really clear, though. When you say curcumin, that’s extract of turmeric? Because if you’re using whole turmeric, it’s very high in oxalic acid, which will clog up a dog’s kidneys faster than a human’s, although it does it to both of us. So it’s the extract that you use, right?

[00:23:08] Gary: It is. And furthermore, if you’re feeding whole turmeric, it’s not really absorbing anyway. Curcumin is very, very poorly absorbed in its natural state. And there’s all kinds of stuff online that you can look at. Combining ground turmeric with things like coconut oil and black pepper.

[00:23:26] And while, yes, that will improve the absorption to an extent, it’s not really all that much. And then there’s also some question about– the reason why that works is because the compounds in the black pepper are increasing the ability to absorb all kinds of things through liver pathways. And there may be some other things that you’re allowing to get absorbed in that process that you don’t really want to, so that’s not really the best approach.

[00:23:51] Dave: And black pepper by itself doesn’t do too much of that, but it’s higher in aflatoxin and oxalate, neither one of which is good for dogs. But black pepper extract, BioPerine, is a supplement ingredient that I’ve been campaigning to get removed from supplements because it will increase your gut’s absorption of everything, including lipopolysaccharide. 

[00:24:12] So if your dog eats cat poop and then you give them a black pepper extract, curcumin capsule, they will absorb more of whatever’s in the cat poop. And if you take it, you’ll absorb more of your pharmaceutical drugs and all of whatever else is in your gut. It’s not technically leaky gut, but it’s an increase in membrane fluidity in the lining of the stomach, and then inhibition of the liver. So that’s something I would steer away from in dogs, cats, or people.

[00:24:37] Gary: No, I agree. I mean, you’re effectively cutting out the natural safeguards that the body has in there in the interest of absorbing one compound which you could get in a myriad of other ways.

[00:24:47] Dave: Yeah, exactly. So it does work though. It will increase absorption. It comes with a large downside, which is why I’d work on that. And from a mitochondrial perspective, about 70, 80% of all of the things on your list of things that cause aging in animals, when you boil them down, fixing mitochondria fixes things like proteostasis, even genomic instability. Better mitochondria will repair your genetics when they can.

[00:25:14] And cellular senescence, stem cell exhaustion, autophagy, all of those are mitochondrial powered or in origin. So I always look at, how do I do that? I used to give my last dog, um, who passed a few years ago– uh, his name was Merlin. He would get coenzyme Q10. He would get krill oil. He would get some of the compounds like astaxanthin. 

[00:25:37] He’d get four milligrams of astaxanthin, which I take for eyesight. Uh, he was already blind congenitally, but we gave him that for mitochondrial function. Uh, he got collagen. He got sea salt. He got magnesium, and raw meat, and a little MCT oil, and a sprinkle of collagen on top. What was I missing?

[00:25:56] Gary: You got enormous stuff there. I mean, the funny thing about natural medicine is there’s always one other supplement you can find to add in.

[00:26:04] Dave: Oh, I know what it was. I gave him vitamin DAKE, D, A, K, and E, and I also gave him a broad spectrum mineral supplement. The stuff I wrote about in my most recent book, in Smarter Not Harder. 

[00:26:14] Gary: And I think that that is an outstanding spectrum of things to give. I mean, another thing, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re about to tell me you were doing it anyway, ozone therapy.

[00:26:24] Dave: I didn’t usually stick things up their butt, um, because they just didn’t seem to like it. But if they were sick, yeah, ozone therapy is really potently effective for dogs and for people.

[00:26:34] Gary: Yeah. Ozone’s great. And that is actually something that people can do at home. Hyperbaric oxygen is a little bit more challenging for your average person.

[00:26:40] Dave: Yeah.

[00:26:41] Gary: But that is also a really great vehicle to do that with.

[00:26:45] Dave: One of the test things for Upgrade Labs. And Upgrade Labs, by the way, we are now opening in 15 locations as a franchise and many more coming. So you guys can go to ownanupgradelabs.com if you want to learn how to open a biohacking facility. But one of the pieces of gear that I tested that’s not in the franchise would rapidly cycle atmospheric pressure up and down, uh, to help cell membrane function. And we tried putting them in there, but I think they have a hard time clearing their ears. So that wasn’t a great success.

[00:27:14] Gary: Fair enough. Yeah. They do really well in a hyperbaric chamber, but, uh, rapid up and down cycling sounds challenging.

[00:27:21] Dave: Yeah. That wasn’t the right answer, but, uh, yeah, the hyperbaric, he was just going there and, uh, sit with us when we wanted to do it.

[00:27:27] Gary: Yeah. Usually, they fall asleep. They get bored and fall asleep.

[00:27:32] Dave: Now, I want to share, uh, a story about Max, one of my other dachshunds. Because you’re an acupuncturist, we’ll go a little bit, so I was going to explain what you think happened here. Max was dapple piebald, which means he was a dachshund who was white with black cow spots, but the black cow spots were dappled.

[00:27:52] He had one blue eye, one black eye. Honestly, the most striking looking dog I’ve ever seen. Also, the biggest jerk on the planet because to get the colors, they breed in rat terriers. So he was like a neurotic dachshund who thought he was a terrier, which meant that he ruptured his discs in his spine in two places and was incontinent and dragging his back legs like a mermaid.

[00:28:15] So the local vets said, well, $10,000 in neurosurgery, and maybe he’ll be able to walk again. I’m like, that’s a lot of money, and that’s also not a great outcome. So we took him in for electroacupuncture. And that means that they put the needles in around the places on the spine around a very gentle current.

[00:28:39] And we had him do treadmill therapy in warm water, basically bathtub treadmill therapy. And it took about two months and about 800 bucks. And he fully restored all function to where he was walking, running fully continent and lived another nine years after that without any more problems. So fully paralyzed dog, paralyzed for three months, recovered with acupuncture, electricity, and treadmills. What happened?

[00:29:07] Gary: Gosh, there’s so much to say here. For starters, dachshunds are not what Mother Nature intended.

[00:29:14] Dave: You think?

[00:29:15] Gary: Biomechanically, they’re just not put together very well, and they’re a back problem waiting to happen. They really need a fifth leg right in the middle to support that back. Or maybe a wheel. 

[00:29:26] Dave: Yeah, that would work. 

[00:29:27] Gary: A strap on wheel would work also. But there’s all levels of back issues and blown discs. And clearly, that’s a very common thing in dachshunds in particular, but as long as the disc rupture was not so severe that their spinal cord was just destroyed in the process, a lot of times it’s a question of, can you get the pressure off of the cord by getting the disc to go back into place?

[00:29:51] And then can you go ahead and return neurologic function? And sometimes surgery is a way to do that. I wouldn’t knock it. But it can also, in many cases, be done without. Both the electroacupuncture, the treadmill therapy, the rehab therapy, that’s all stuff we do in my office. So we see these kinds of things play out a lot.

[00:30:10] And really what you’re doing with acupuncture and particularly electroacupuncture is you’re decreasing inflammation. You’re increasing blood supply to the area, which is going to allow those tissues to heal. And as you decrease the inflammation and the muscle spasm around those spinal segments, what you’re doing is you’re decreasing the pressure and allowing that disc material to settle back where it belongs and off of the spinal cord.

[00:30:36] And then at that point, it’s a question of effectively retraining those damaged nerves to do what they need to do. I mean, nerve tissue is understandably delicate. And when it gets banged around and damaged, it needs a little assistance. So physical therapy is a great way to do that.

[00:30:54] An underwater treadmill is one of the greatest inventions that ever happened in veterinary medicine because what you can do is you can get these animals walking in such a way that they don’t have to bear full weight. So effectively, it’s gait retraining. It’s teaching their body, from a neurologic input perspective, how to walk in a way that they can do it because they’re floating. 

[00:31:15] I mean, in my office, we would have added hyperbaric oxygen on top of that to flood that spinal segment with oxygen to allow that tissue to heal. Because anytime that there’s loss of blood supply to an area, like there’s going to be with a blown disc, oxygen becomes the rate limiting step to tissue healing. 

[00:31:33] So just getting oxygen to that area makes an enormous benefit. You probably already did this, but we would have put him on antioxidants. You mentioned astaxanthin, omega fatty acids, curcumin, boswellia, all kinds of things that are going to naturally mitigate that inflammatory response and just promote healing.

[00:31:54] The great thing about a biological system is, at the end of the day, if you give it half a chance, it wants to heal. The comparison I often make is if my car is broken, and I let it sit there, it will always be broken. Nothing will ever happen. With a biological system, if you give it enough time and you get the right nutrients anywhere close to that biological system, they’re going to find a way to fix it. That’s the great benefit of working with a biological system, is I don’t have to know how to fix everything. Oftentimes, I just have to give it a nudge in the right direction, and my patient will take it the rest of the way.

[00:32:34] Dave: That is so true. And it’s true in humans too.

[00:32:39] Dave: You talk about gait retraining. I did a documentary, I want to say, almost two years ago. daveasprey.com/heal is the URL. But I did bone surgery on my foot from an old yoga injury. And I healed twice as fast as you’re supposed to, which is cool, but I still had to do the gait retraining. But I didn’t have an underwater treadmill, but I worked actually very extensively with someone who’s great at foot fascia work until I finally learned how to bend a toe that had never bent right in seven or eight years. None of it’s conscious. It’s all unconscious movement stuff until you become conscious of it. And it’s the same with dogs, same with cats, I imagine. Although getting a cat into a water treadmill seems like that might be a bit of a challenge.

[00:33:27] Gary: We’ve done it, but it takes a very, very special cat. Not every cat is going to be okay with that. If you think about it, what we’re really doing is we’re putting an animal in a box that slowly is filling with water. It’s like a James Bond torture thing. You’re just waiting for the sharks with the laser beams to start swimming around.

[00:33:48] Um, so it takes a very particular disposition of cat to be okay with that. But to your point about gait retraining, the other thing that actually is a little bit more challenging with animals is for you and me, if you have a bad foot, you don’t really have a choice but to figure out how to walk on that foot. With a four-legged animal, it’s actually very easy to become a three-legged animal. A three-legged stool still works.

[00:34:13] Dave: It’s a dog named Tripod. It’s an old term. 

[00:34:15] Gary: Yeah, exactly. So the thing is once a dog or a cat gets comfortable on three legs, even if the other leg is completely healed, sometimes they don’t want to put it down because in their brain, they’ve already patterned their gait elsewhere. So retraining them takes some real work.

[00:34:31] Dave: Yeah, I can see that. It’s cool that we can do it. And it’s cool for ourselves too. And really, for humans, I think biofeedback is the way to do it.

[00:34:40] Gary: It’s amazing what you can get a dog to do with peanut butter.

[00:34:43] Dave: Oh man, is peanut butter good for dogs though? It seems like it’s got all the aflatoxin, all the bad fats, all the lectins, all the oxalate.

[00:34:51] Gary: In my case, it’s the lesser of two evils.

[00:34:53] Dave: Wouldn’t liver paste be better for them?

[00:34:56] Gary: Liver paste might be better for them.

[00:34:58] Dave: All right, that’s what I–

[00:34:59] Gary: I’ll take that under advisement.

[00:35:00] Dave: I know that I’m going to smell liver paste all over my finger, but okay. I got you. 

[00:35:05] Gary: Do you own a liver paste production company, sir?

[00:35:07] Dave: I own a farm. You squeeze the cow, liver paste comes out. I think it’s liver paste.

[00:35:11] Gary: It’s like a tube. Nice.

[00:35:16] Dave: Let’s talk about lab testing for animals, dogs and cats. What do we do that’s different between dogs and cats?

[00:35:25] Gary: So we do not have the degree of extensive testing available commercially in animals that we do in people. There are certainly things that we can do. Commercially speaking, you can’t really, for example, get your dog or your cat’s entire genome run, but there are companies out there that will run tests looking for very specific genetic markers that may predispose them to certain types of medical conditions, whether it’s heart disease, kidney disease, back issues, these sorts of things. 

[00:35:54] So these are really good tests for people to run, especially when their pet is younger. So for example, if you find out that your dog, say, is genetically predisposed to mitral valve disease, which is a heart problem, that doesn’t by definition mean they’re going to die of heart disease, but it does mean that it’s something that we can keep an eye on. We can look at supplementation to keep their heart muscles strong, etc. 

[00:36:15] So we can do that. We can do epigenetic age testing, which again, you can talk all day long about whether or not that’s really going to directly correlate to how long they’re going to live, but it’s a nice objective measure to measure how we’re doing from a treatment perspective, a supplement perspective, to get an idea of, is what we’re doing actually working?

[00:36:36] So we can do that. Some of the even easier things that can be done that really, unfortunately, are not being done a lot in veterinary medicine are things like omega fatty acid testing, vitamin and mineral levels, vitamin D, B vitamins. These things are so easy, to do.

[00:36:55] Take vitamin D, for example. You were asking earlier about the differences between people and animals. When it comes to vitamin D, there’s actually a really big difference because vitamin D is a purely nutritional thing when it comes to dogs and cats. There’s no sunlight conversion with dogs and cats, which makes sense when you think about it. If they’re covered with fur, what’s the point?

[00:37:16] So many of my patients, even the ones eating what I would consider to be a really, really high-quality diet, you test them, they’re still low in vitamin D. And vitamin D has enormous impact on multiple hallmarks of aging, not the least of which being the effects that it appears to have as far as the prevention of cancer. So making sure that these guys have adequate amounts of something as simple as vitamin D and omega fatty acids can have a huge impact on their quality of life and their lifespan. And that’s a very easy thing for people to test for.

[00:37:50] Dave: It’s easy to test for. And if you think about it, where’s vitamin D in an animal? It’s mostly in the skin. So if you’re like my older breed of dachshund who would just love to catch gophers and eat the entire gopher if they could get away with it, it was like watching a boa constrictor eat something.

[00:38:08] I don’t know how a dachshund eats a gopher, but, jeez, they smell bad after they do it. But they’re getting all of the vitamin D because it’s made in our skin. I don’t know if gophers make vitamin D underground, but whatever. They’re eating entire animals when they can and getting all of that. But when we feed them muscle meats and ground up whatevers, they probably aren’t getting much of the parts of the animal that have vitamin D in it, uh, in commercial foods.

[00:38:29] Gary: Yeah. And you know what I mean? I think getting back to the whole conversation about pet foods, when you look at nutritional analysis and nutritional requirements for pet foods, there are requirements to make sure that pet foods have a certain amount of vitamin D in them. But the amount of vitamin D is to make sure that they don’t get rickets, to make sure that they don’t have a clinical vitamin D deficiency. 

[00:38:50] There’s a difference between not getting a vitamin D deficiency and an optimal level of vitamin D. There’s a world of daylight between those two places. So there’s no reason, no motivation for pet food companies to put extra vitamin D in there because it’s just more money. And quite frankly, it would look strange on the nutritional analysis if it said their product had 500 times the recommended amount of vitamin D in it. People would ask questions because people don’t understand the concept of nutrition and the fact that that’s actually a good thing.

[00:39:25] Dave: Yeah, it takes a lot of marketing to explain supplements to people. And surprisingly, the pharmaceutical industry just keeps making it harder and harder to speak truthfully. I know up in Canada, uh, where I’m based and where my farm is, man, they just took away human access to a whole bunch of supplements just with a regulatory swipe of the pen.

[00:39:50] And of course, that’s funded by big pharma. What I was doing is I was giving human supplements to my dog, but there have been times in the past three years when people have considered using pet supplements or medications for humans out of an urgent need. Is there any safety consideration? If it’s a pure drug, you give a dog. Is it the same one you give a human, or do they add impurities to it for dogs?

[00:40:18] Gary: I mean, generally, it’s the same. A lot of animal-based supplements, needless to say, are going to be, uh, flavored. So if you don’t mind your vitamin being liver flavored, that may be fine. Generally speaking, outside of that, I think the other real consideration is just dosing. And really, the concern would be more of giving an animal a human product purely from the standpoint of you might inadvertently be overdosing with something.

[00:40:46] Dave: It would be very easy for a small dog. So we would slice a supplement open and put a couple drops of Vitamin DAKE on it instead of putting the whole capsule because a 15-pound dog doesn’t need the amount of vitamin D that a 100-pound human needs.

[00:41:01] Gary: No. And that’s very true. And vitamin D for as beneficial as it is, it is theoretically possible to over supplement vitamin D. And over supplementation of vitamin D could literally kill you. 

[00:41:14] Dave: A very large over supplement. I do 500,000. I use once a month in humans, and it doesn’t kill them.

[00:41:20] Gary: You’d have to work at it. But if you think about it, if somebody decided they were going to give their small dog a human vitamin D supplement, over months or years, you could calcify their kidneys. It could be done.

[00:41:32] Dave: Especially if they’re on a plant-based diet or they’re eating grains because the primary calcifier of kidneys is oxalic acid, which is found in plants and not animals. So there’s that.

[00:41:44] Gary: So there’s that. I think, on the one hand, human supplements and animal supplements absolutely can cross boundaries. But I think there is a certain degree of appropriate due caution. Every medical professional and nutritional pharmaceutical company out there, I’ll say, that people should consult with their veterinarian before they do anything like that. But I will also couch that with saying that your veterinarian might not actually know how to answer that question. 

[00:42:12] Dave: That’s a really good answer. Um, it’s not like in vet school they’re going to tell you these are the exact same drugs they give to people. They just cost 10% as much for animals. I actually commercially do raise sheep, and I do deworm my sheep. So I actually had a large supply of commercial dewormer on hand because you do that every year. And I was looking at it going, hmm, I wonder. And I couldn’t get a clear answer about [Inaudible] that you would want to use that on a human or not. But since it’s the same chemical, and there’s nothing else in there, logic dictated that it was probably okay, but I don’t know.

[00:42:48] Gary: The difference is you’re smart enough to do the math and figure out the dosing because you saw those reports that came out on the news during COVID when people were causing neurologic problems in themselves.

[00:42:59] Dave: Oh, yeah. They’re taking huge doses because they just didn’t know what they were doing.

[00:43:03] Gary: And the problem with ivermectin is if you misplace a decimal–

[00:43:07] Dave: I hadn’t thought of ivermectin. What a good idea. Let’s talk– 

[00:43:10] Gary: If you misplace a decimal, somebody’s going to die. It’s like that. A 10 times overdose, yeah, bad things are going to happen.

[00:43:20] Dave: And it’s true for all drugs, and even supplements. You got to take the right dose. So yeah, people can and will do things that are not in their best interest thinking it’s in their best interests. I mean, I was a raw vegan for a while, which wasn’t in my best interests. See, now I’m teasing you again. You’re not raw.

[00:43:35] Gary: Nod, nod, wink, wink. No, I’m not raw.

[00:43:38] Dave: Thank you for answering that. I know that can be a touchy answer there. If you could do one thing for a dog, the very first thing to have it live longer, what would it be?

[00:43:52] Gary: Feed them a properly balanced fresh whole food diet.

[00:43:55] Dave: What does whole food mean in the context of dogs or cats?

[00:43:59] Gary: So for me, whole foods means minimally processed. That could look like raw food. I’m okay with lightly cooked food. I think that there are definitely animals out there that seem like they do better on lightly cooked versus raw. It really depends. I think the magic is in minimally processed whole foods.

[00:44:18] It’s funny because we all know intuitively that the more processed food we eat, the worse that tends to be for our health, but when you look at kibble or canned food for pets, there’s no way around the fact that that is highly processed food, even far beyond what is normal for processed food for people.

[00:44:39] And yet that’s what people feed their dog or cat every single day for their entire life, and then we wonder why the wheels fall off the cart later. To me, that is the foundation of the entire longevity discussion. You can talk about the stem cell therapy, and regenerative medicine, and all kinds of fancy stuff, but if you’re building that on a foundation of, I’m feeding my dog grain-free kibble, then you’re not really doing a whole lot of good.

[00:45:06] Dave: Although grain-free kibble is probably better than grain-based kibble. There are even degrees of badness of junk food for dogs. 

[00:45:15] Gary: Agreed. 

[00:45:16] Dave: One thing that I noticed, dachshunds are known for being food obsessed, probably as much as Labradors. And my entire life, you drop something on the floor, they’re like a missile running in. They’re biting it. Uh, commercial feeding when there’s two dogs. So they toss up and throw their body over it to swallow it faster. I mean, it’s pretty much like I would have been in seventh grade at a pizza bar. 

[00:45:41] But once I started adding MCT oil, the C8 MCT brain octane, to the dog’s food after I interviewed a vet about it a long time ago, this, like, calmness came over the dogs where they weren’t food obsessed. They ate, but they ate at a normal rate. And the rest of the time they were less stressed. Talk to me about MCT oil and dogs and cats.

[00:46:05] Gary: I mean, MCT oil in dogs and cats has a lot of the same benefits that it would in humans, both from the standpoint of being a high-quality fat, being a medium-chain triglyceride. Obviously, brain octane is a very specific MCT.

[00:46:22] Dave: That’s a C8 MCT for people listening. And it just brainwashed me into a trade name that I made for Bulletproof because I’m like, oh, it fuels your brain. Let’s give it a name that describes that. But a pure C8 MCT from coconuts is what I’m talking about.

[00:46:34] Gary: Yeah. So great natural anti-inflammatory. And I think, clearly, fat in the diet is going to have a large effect on satiety. It’s going to have a large effect on how hungry these animals feel. And it’s interesting because, particularly, you look at dogs that are eating kibble, which is most of them, kibble is, generally speaking, somewhere in the ballpark of plus or minus 60% carbohydrates. 

[00:47:03] So what happens when we as humans eat enormous amounts of carbohydrates? We’re constantly hungry. Big surprise there. That is also the case with animals. Now, certainly, there is a food drive that is present in some dogs that is pretty intense. I mean, your average Labrador eats like every meal is going to be their last because one never knows when Armageddon might happen, so you might as well enjoy it.

[00:47:28] But yeah, I mean there is also something that is just systemically calming and balancing about medium-chain triglycerides. It does seem to really help them just be less obsessive, less intense, uh, particularly when it comes to food. And I think it’s a combination of that balancing effect and that satiety effect that they just don’t feel like they’re starving.

[00:47:51] Dave: Right. I was talking with a friend the other day. I finally got her to eat more protein. Someone who’s been low on protein. And she came back and said, I’ve been diagnosed with a binge eating disorder since I was 18 years old, and after three days of adding more protein and some MCT, I’m not hungry anymore.

[00:48:13] And for the first time in my life, I don’t have a gnawing background hunger that I’m constantly fighting against. And I don’t know what to do with myself now because I’ve never actually experienced the state of not being hungry. And I feel like we create that state in our pets of just constant gnawing hunger that can never be satisfied and eat a whole bag of kibble until they’re a stretched skin. They’re like a drum, and they’re still hungry because it’s not food.

[00:48:39] Gary: No, I agree. And couple that with just this American cultural thing where food is love. That’s how we show our affection to the dog, is by feeding them. And thus, they are conditioned to be looking for food because that’s where their affection comes from where instead, if it were I love you, let’s go out for a 30-minute walk, that would be a very different life view from that dog’s perspective. But we train them, and we condition them to look for food.

[00:49:13] Dave: That’s a fair point. So it’s all about the food when it comes to dogs and cats.

[00:49:19] Gary: It’s a lot about the food.

[00:49:23] Dave: Yeah, well, it is. You list of supplements from your book is impressive. And you’re talking about the right kinds of supplements. It’s a good 25 things. I take all of those things, uh, myself, except, uh, I don’t take oleuropein. I feel like it’s a– 

[00:49:39] Gary: That’s a mouthful. But, uh, olive leaf extract.

[00:49:43] Dave: No, I do take olive leaf extract. Okay, got it. I have the–

[00:49:47] Gary: I was trying to be technical and scientific.

[00:49:49] Dave: Wow. That’s like when they put the species of cricket on the back of the food packaging when they’re trying to trick you into eating bugs, uh, so they can get protein. All right. Got it. I also don’t take ashwagandha anymore. Uh, and I don’t take berberine. Uh, other than that, everything else on your list is stuff that I take, which is really cool. And the list is in your book.

[00:50:08] Gary: Yes.

[00:50:10] Dave:  With your permission, I’d put the list and a link to your book for the show notes for this just so listeners can see what we’re talking about here. 

[00:50:17] Gary: Sure.

[00:50:18] Dave: Okay, cool. And we’ll make sure to link back to you on that. And it’s funny. It’s got vitamin DAKE. It’s got spermidine, which I’ve been a very big voice in getting spermidine into the anti-aging movement here in the US. In fact, I wrote about it before you could buy it here. You put NMN, which is nicotinamide mononucleotide. 

[00:50:37] Now, most recently, in the US– this is an NAD precursor. I’ve done lots of shows on it. It’s now no longer available over the counter because of some pharmaceutical interventions and all. There’s a bunch of drama about that. Can dogs and cats still take NMN, or do they have to take nicotinamide riboside, which doesn’t seem to work as well?

[00:50:57] Gary: Yeah, I mean, obviously, that’s all happened fairly recently. Uh, this whole NMN thing, and it is– we’ll spare the discussion on how all that happened because it’s weird and not really relevant. But yeah, I mean, they can take NR. I think that there are going to be other derivations of NMN that are going to make themselves known that will serve a similar purpose.

[00:51:24] And just to your point about the list of supplements in the book, I said this in several places in the book, but just so people understand, I’m not advocating for people to give their dog all 25 supplements all the time. It’s a function of picking a handful of things and rotating through over time, so they’re getting multiple things over the long term.

[00:51:46]  It’s not generally beneficial to give anybody the same thing month after month, year after year, but also, when it comes to whether it’s pets or people, whatever you’re doing health-wise, you have to do something that’s sustainable. And for me to say, I need you to give your dog these 25 supplements every day, plus feed them a fresh whole food diet, nobody’s going to do it. Nobody’s going to be able to maintain that. And if you can’t maintain it, then what’s the point?

[00:52:13] Dave: That’s a very good point for humans as well, which is why I go to great lengths to make it easy for me to take all the supplements I take. I have a dedicated closet with special shelves, and it’s all set up so that I can quickly take the ones I want to do. And even then, some mornings, I’m like, I don’t want to take that one, and I just don’t take it because my body didn’t want it. So the same thing every day, I don’t think your pets need that either.

[00:52:35] We haven’t talked a lot about horses, and it’s funny because some of the best biohacks out there originate with racehorses. The first medical grade laser that I got 25 years ago, none of them were approved for humans, but I got one for racehorses that work just fine on knees, and jaws, and joints, and things. And some of the PMF things. So racehorses are a great thing there, but they’re biologically so different from dogs and cats. I don’t think most of what we’re talking about here applies to horses, does it? Other than the food is very different.

[00:53:05] Gary: Yes and no. Clearly, the food discussion, nutritional requirements for a horse is a world of difference, and I think the big thing to remember with horses, and I’ll preface this by saying that I am not an equine expert, but horses, because of their physiology as a rule on a milligram per pound of body weight basis, if you will, the dosages of everything for horses are dramatically lower than they would be for people, or dogs, or cats just because of the way they metabolize and absorb things.

[00:53:42] So you couldn’t just take a milligram per pound dose of some vitamin or pharmaceutical and just do the math and figure that out for a 1,000 pound horse. That would not work. But that said, all of the hallmarks of aging, all of the biohacking still applies. It’s just going to take some adjustment when it comes to things that you’re going to give internally. 

[00:54:04] But to your point, uh, laser, PEMF, even hyperbaric oxygen, ozone therapy, all that stuff, absolutely applicable in the equine field. Horses are a fascinating creature. To me, they’re a miracle of evolution that that body system works at all. The biomechanics of how horses work, it defies physics.

[00:54:26] Dave: They don’t work that well. They break their legs a lot. 

[00:54:29] Gary: It’s like a brick balanced on four toothpicks. It’s a fascinating concept.

[00:54:33] Dave: Yeah, apparently it works evolutionarily, but, uh–

[00:54:36] Gary: It does. It’s not really so well on the track, but generally speaking, it works.

[00:54:40] Dave: Right, right. So it’s really interesting that over the course of your career,you’ve evolved these anti-aging strategies for cats and dogs and just for all animals that are so similar to what they are for humans. We see that it works in animals, and the supplement stack is pretty similar. The other regenerative therapies, like peptides, stuff that I talked about, rapamycin, ozone therapy, stem cell therapy, VSELs, you’re doing all this with dogs and cats. Is there a human biohack that just doesn’t apply to animals?

[00:55:17] Gary: So doesn’t apply versus is just not practical. I think doesn’t apply. Probably not. Not practical, probably the real big one would be something like plasmapheresis.

[00:55:28] Dave: Yeah, they’re going to hold still for that long, right?

[00:55:31] Gary: I think, realistically, you could do it. It’s so obscenely expensive.

[00:55:38] Dave: Yeah. Let’s talk about that for a minute. A lot of people might not know what plasmapheresis is. You might’ve seen I posted a while ago when I went down to RMI and did it in Costa Rica. This is when they take your blood out of one arm, filter out your plasma, and then put clean replacement plasma back in the other arm.

[00:55:58] So I think it’s 2.6 liters of my plasma. It looks like pee, but it’s actually changing the aquarium water around your red blood cells. But getting clean plasma, I think that’s a 5,000-dollar plus procedure. And if you’re going to do that for a horse, it’s got to be, 20 liters? I don’t know how much blood a horse has, but it’s a lot. 

[00:56:17] Gary: Yeah. Quite a bit.

[00:56:18] Dave: And dogs, it would probably be cheaper, but then you’d have to hold still for two hours to do it. And it would be very expensive. I can see why.

[00:56:27] Gary: Yeah. So just the equipment alone to do that, it’s not something that’s probably likely to be available in veterinary medicine any time soon.

[00:56:35] Dave: It’s a dialysis machine. It’s the same–

[00:56:37] Gary: Yeah, it’s dialysis. That’s exactly what it is. And like I say, as a practical matter, not so much. And then some of these higher end stem cell procedures, again, just not really practical. Although, as you mentioned, we are doing VSEL therapy in my office, which we’ve had a lot of good success with. 

[00:56:58] So that’s been a lot of fun to do because, from a financial perspective, it’s really no more or less expensive than doing more conventional mesenchymal stem cell therapy. But the great news is there’s no surgical collection of stem cells. So it’s actually much easier on the patient to do it that way, so it works out great.

[00:57:20] Dave: So guys, what that is, it’s very small embryonic like cells. And there are these cells floating in your blood that are tiny, and they act like stem cells, even though they’re not stem cells. And you can pull them out of the blood. You separate them out, you activate them with a laser, or you activate them with, uh, [Inaudible]. And then you reintroduce them to a site of injury or back into the blood, and you get a very similar effect to stem cells, but you don’t have to suck out fat with liposuction or tap into bone marrow. 

[00:57:51] And I’ve had my fat taken out twice and my bone marrow taken out twice to do stem cell procedures over the last 10 years. Neither one of those is very comfortable. And you wouldn’t want to do it to your dog if you didn’t have to. And there’s risk of surgical stuff. So this is drawing blood, doing some magic to the blood, putting it back. That gets better. So I love that you’re doing that. Where’s your office based? I realize the Upgrade Collective live audience is asking.

[00:58:14] Gary: I’m in the San Francisco East Bay, specifically Oakland.

[00:58:18] Dave: Awesome. You’re in Northern California.

[00:58:20] Gary: Yes, sir.

[00:58:21] Dave: All right. And your book, tell me the name of your book, the formal name of it.

[00:58:26] Gary: So there’s two. Longevity for Dogs and Longevity for Cats.

[00:58:30] Dave: God, those are the new ones. And the other one that I have a copy of is the Ultimate Pet Guide. Is that the one–

[00:58:35] Gary: The Ultimate Pet Health Guide.

[00:58:37] Dave: There you go. Got it. So those are your three big books for pet lovers. And how would one go about finding a really good longevity focused vet in their neighborhood?

[00:58:48] Gary: Honestly, that is a tricky proposition from the standpoint of– longevity science is pretty edgy even in human medicine. It may be even trickier to find a veterinarian in that sense, but a good place to start would be– there is a holistic veterinary medical association.  The website is ahvma.org. And if people go onto that website, they can find a veterinarian in their area, so at least they can start to look at integrative and whole health medicine, and then perhaps have a conversation with one of those in the more specific longevity space.

[00:59:23] I think you’ll be seeing more and more veterinarians getting involved in longevity science as it gains popularity. I think in many ways, veterinary medicine often is following on the coattails of human medicine, maybe about 15, 20 years in the past. So we’ll get there, but it may take a minute.

[00:59:42] Dave: In the meantime, you’re giving 40% off for listeners. You care a lot about pet health, and thank you for that massive discount. Go to ultimatepetnutrition.com. That’s ultimatepetnutrition.com, and use code PETHEALTH40 when you check out. So thank you for that. So if you’re listening and you have pets, dogs or cats, number one, read Longevity for Dogs, or Longevity for Cats. 

[01:00:08] Seriously, there are things you can be doing that are not expensive that can make your loved family member live longer and also just be more comfortable there alive, and then get 40% off. ultimate petnutrition.com. Use code PETHEALTH40, uh, to save a very meaningful amount on supplements and things that you need for your pets.

[01:00:29] Gary, thanks for coming on today. I know we hang out at human longevity events, and I love how you’ve so elegantly applied this with a different lens for dogs and cats. I think you’re going to make a huge difference in the health of pets because they need it. 

[01:00:46] Gary: I appreciate it. And you have been a great inspiration, so thank you.

[01:00:51] Dave: Very, very welcome.

[01:00:53] Guys, if you loved this episode, I would appreciate it if you shared a link with your friends who also have pets because biohacking isn’t just for humans. The definition of biohacking is change the environment around you and inside of you so you have full control of your own biology. Well, part of the environment around you is other life forms, including your pets. And all the studies show having a pet raises your oxytocin, makes you live longer, increases heart rate variability, uh, makes your kids have healthier gut biomes if you have young kids at home. 

[01:01:27] So yes, I don’t have a pet right now. I’ll probably get one when I travel less, but I do really, really think that you want to share this episode, plus 40% off is massive. It might be the highest discount I’ve seen on the show. So ultimatepetnutrition.com, and use code PETHEALTH40. Gary, thanks my friend.

[01:01:50] Gary: You are so welcome. Thank you.

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