7 Pillars of Pet Health with Dr. Odette Suter

Updated on: January 20, 2023

Introduction to the 7 pillars of health

Dr. Sutter lists reasons for the importance of the 7 pillars of health. Her first suggestion in the 7 pillars of health is to test, not guess. Having lab work done to pinpoint the true underlying cause of the medical condition is the first step in helping your pet overcome its medical needs. Her second recommendation is to focus on the cause, not the symptom, instead of covering up the symptoms with prescription medication. We then need to address the body as a whole from a systematic approach. 


Dr. Sutter then gives recommendations on wanting to learn more about the systematic approach. She starts by recommending having a mentor in the process of learning. She compares learning about health to flying a plane, you wouldn’t fly a plane without a teacher, would you? She recommends using your local holistic vets to help with this process. 


The Missing Pieces

If we build a house with just one wall, we will not be able to have a structurally sound place to live. Dr. Sutter relates this to our pet’s health because we need to cover all of the pillars of health to have our pets regain their health.

  • Diet
  • Digestive Health
  • Detoxification
  • Address the nervous system
  • Hormones
  • Fitness and exercise
  • Emotional and mental health



Pillar #1 - Nutrition

Dr. Sutter starts with nutrition to ensure we have the optimal nutrients for healthy cell function. Dr. Sutter recommends sticking to a species-appropriate diet, or in other words, the closest diet that your pets would be on if they lived in the wild. It is recommended to keep the diet as organic as possible with minimally processed foods, along with keeping low carbs in their diet. Food either heals or harms. 


Pillar #2 - Healing the Digestive Tract

“All disease begins in the gut” - Hippocrates.

After we have optimized the diet of our pet, this will mean we can start to treat chronic infections. Whatever underlying issue is causing problems within the gut (Parasites, mold toxicity, etc.). If food sensitivities are present, you will also need to remove these foods to ensure that inflammation in the gut is not present. With a compromised GI Tract, digestive aids are a huge benefit. Lastly, Dr. Sutter mentions rebalancing the Microbiome and repairing the gut lining with supplements. 


Pillar #3 - Detoxify the Body

Dr. Sutter talks about the importance of healing the gut and fixing the diet before you start to detoxify the body. After this has been established, Dr. Sutter lists different ways that you can remove toxins that you can control that your pets are being exposed to. Limiting exposure to toxic drugs and vaccines is another benefit that you can do to ensure toxicity does not enter their body. Other ways to help lower the number of toxins they are exposed to are choosing non-toxic alternatives, providing clean water, and reducing EMF exposure. The last step that we can do to help detoxify their body is to do biannual cleansing with the aid of supplements.


Pillar #4 - Nervous System Health

Dr. Sutter recommends lifelong maintenance of the nervous system. Every part of the body receives input, and every nerve communicates with the brain. Brain health is dependent on how much information is coming from the body. Exercise is a huge benefit due to the stimulation sent to the brain. The brain is very sensitive to inflammation, we want to ensure that we keep inflammation down in the body to ensure that the brain is not being affected. Brain deterioration starts early in life, we want to ensure that we take care of the brain early on to prevent any problems down the road.


Pillar #5 - Hormones

Hormones are a part of the communication system in the body and affect all aspects of life, including behavior. If you suspect hormones cause different medical conditions, it is highly recommended to test to ensure that they are or are not playing a role in their condition. You can support the hormonal system with supplements, decreasing stress and improving the communication between the hormone glands. Lastly, we need to aid hormone metabolism through detoxification. After the body uses hormones, they are then sent through the liver. If the liver cannot process these hormones efficiently, hormones can accumulate in the liver. 


Pillar #6 - Fitness and Excercise

Fitness and exercise are essential to preserving mobility, balance, mental stimulation and the key to longevity and joint health. If your dog is not moving and has weak muscles, this will lead to unstable joints. Exercise also releases endorphins for the pet and is fun for them. 


Pillar #7 - Emotional Health and Stress Management

Not only is stress management important for our pets, but it is also important for us as their owners! Not only can animals sense our stress, but their mood will also become affected by ours! We can also help our animal's stress by creating safe environments for them to be around, and communicating with them will aid in their stress management. The last way that we can aid with their stress is through supplementation. 


Putting the pieces together

Now, how do we put all of the pieces together? We must ensure that we apply all of the pillars of health to create a lasting life for our pets.