After 8 years of following what could be deemed the conventional way, with the dutiful and responsible annual visit to the vets, where we would unquestionably permit the vet to administer various vaccines and parasitic control treatments to our dogs, along with the frequent dispensing of more antibiotic ear ointment for the recurring ear infections, which never cured the root cause, we started to make the change to a more holistic and natural way to care for our dogs.
After loosing our beloved Oscar to a deadly failing of veterinarian care, we took stock of how our dogs had been treated medically over the years, if we wanted different health outcomes for the young dogs in our family, we needed to do things differently.
When Jack was diagnosed with cancer I did what I always do, I logged on and started researching, traditional treatments, holistic, alternative, Western V Eastern medicine, or a combo of both, what I learned more than anything was how diet played a massive role in the healing or life extension process. Along the way, i learned more about gut health and the link to immunity, the role that toxins play in upsetting that balance and how they can lead to disease, vaccinations and how over vaccination, or too much vaccine in one go , especially in tiny puppies , is overwhelming for a puppies immature immune system, and how 2 out of 3 of the core puppy vaccines are likely a waste of time, due to the effects of maternal antibodies and an unnecessary toxin to put in a small puppy, these things our traditional vets will not tell us.
So armed with far greater knowledge and a network of support systems I decided to make the switch to a raw diet and a life of minimal toxins. That was the start of something beautiful!
Now we raise all our dogs and puppies naturally, as close to nature as possible, dogs are carnivores, meat eaters, their teeth are shaped to tear and rip meat off a carcass, they are not not omnivores, which is a term the multi billion dollar pet food industry is trying to imprint into pet owners minds, to justify the use of plant and non meat products in their 'pet food' which are cheap and maximize their profits. Be under no illusion, kibble is not a natural product by any stretch of the imagination, but clever marketing and a relentless campaign over the past 50 yrs to make pet owners believe that the highly processed and unnatural product they sell is the most complete and balanced diet our dogs need and to feed anything else will be detrimental to the dogs health. Marketing has us believing we would be an irresponsible pet owner to feed anything else. Canines are scavengers and will eat anything to survive, like eating a discarded pizza and the box! They can survive on it but Is it good for them? Heck NO! Meat, bone, intestine, organs, now thats what they really need. The nutritional requirements of canines has been studied by far better qualified than I, but the data I have extrapolated from reading lots and lots of studies is that kibble is shortening our dogs life and making them sick, sure there are some dogs who live long healthy lives on the cheapest kibble out there, but thats not my experience.
My main reason for going down this rabbit hole was allergies, Jack suffered from the day he came home, he arrived with an ear infection and it remained out of control for 8 long years, until I intervened with what Dr Google told me!! I know, I know...... but seriously, a 1 line question of "what is this black gunk in my dogs ears?" garnished an answer in nanoseconds...... I booked an appointment with a holistic vet that very day and never looked back. My only regret, I didn't google it sooner, I could have saved him all those years of discomfort.
My next question then was "why am I seeing so many dogs suffering allergies and food intolerances? A resounding.....Vaccines.
Once you start learning about how closely related digestive and gut health is to the immune system, and learn about how vaccines are made, the toxins - adjuvants, heavy metals, preservatives, antagonists and the virus which is grown in 'animal proteins' usually chickens brains..... there is quite possibly a link to the immune systems desire to fight against 'chicken' because the vaccine gene modifier tells the body to fight off parvo and chicken??? I'm clearly not an immunologist, but to my layman's brain it sure is a plausible theory.
So we advocate for minimally vaccinating, which means we vaccinate after maternal antibodies have worn off, anywhere from 6-16 weeks, typically though, by 8 weeks maternally derived antibodies have depleted and a vaccine administered will start to provide the desired immunity within a few days. Some vets, both holistic and traditional like to see a minimum of 2 rounds of vaccine, so 8 and 12 weeks, then titer test at 14-16 weeks to check if immunity exists in circulating blood, via a blood draw, typically costs $150. for me the extra $100 at that point in a puppies life is worth it, if it means a dog wont suffer allergies or autoimmune disorders for the rest of its life, the cost of which far exceeds $100! But thats not the only way to 'vaccinate' your puppy. We are open to discussion with any pet owner who wants to defer vaccination to a later date, or who wants to practice building natural immunity, or wants to use homeopathic nosodes. Practitioners who use nosodes are rare in our area, but I plan to implement the use of nosodes in my program in the coming months. you can read more about nosodes in the link Find out More to the right above.
Below is an excerpt from the Natural Rearing website, I wouldn't paraphrase it any differently!
One of the goals of natural rearing is to minimize the need for any veterinarian assistance. Prevention of ill-ness and fostering of well-ness can be achieved if a total program is followed. Providing your animal with the best chance of "being all that it can be" is a lofty goal, worthy of the extra effort it takes to accept the responsibility and think for yourself. There is no substitute for fresh, wholesome food, clean water, exercise, plenty of fresh air and avoidance of chemicals and drugs to the greatest extent possible.
That sums it up!
There are lots of additional resources available to read about topics such as vaccinations and all the different types including Leptospirosis which is sneakily put into 5 or 6 or 7 in one vaccines - these are the type of vaccines that can cause adverse reactions, some life altering - to have 7 diseases jammed into one vaccine and injected into a tiny body (the vaccine dose is no less for a 2lb puppy verses an 80lb lab), flee and tick treatments, dewormers, immune suppressant drugs like Apoquel or Cytopoint for allergic dogs, the side effects of which are deleterious, Dr Jean Dodd - immunologist, Dana Scott of Dogs Naturally Magazine based in Ontario, a natural rearer and breeder of Labs & Dr Judy Morgan are all great resources for a more holistic and toxic free approach to raising your dog.
Did you know that the level of toxins in a dogs body is twice that of a human? Why? How? One of the biggest culprits is glyphosate aka Roundup, its literally everywhere your dog walks outside of your home, even if you don't use it yourself, weed control of sidewalks and park, public playing fields and sports grounds, other peoples lush green lawns, even crops are sprayed with it to speed up the ripening process just before harvesting, this beast leads to leaky gut!
Heres a 'Roundup' of things that are toxic to our pets, which with continued exposure could lead to toxicosis.
*If a food is not good for humans, it is not good for our dogs. We've learned preservatives such as BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) and ethoxyquin are toxic to humans and dogs. Read your labels. Serve organic and free-range pet foods to eliminate exposure to these toxic chemicals. *Change your cat's (and Dogs) food often to lessen the chance of increased exposure to mercury in seafood. *Tap water is a game of roulette. Serve your dogs, cats, birds, etc., the same filtered water you drink yourself. *Be aware of what is in your dogs' beds. Many fillers are flame-retardant but those chemicals are toxic to your dogs. Educate yourselves and replace your dogs and cats beds with sustainable fabrics and non-toxic fillers. There are some very healthy, mite-free fillers that have been used for centuries. *We know that wood is treated with arsenic. If you have arsenic treated decks be sure to seal the wood at minimum every 6 months. And don't clean your decks with power-washers as this erodes the sealant and arsenic is released through touch and in the air. Instead, wash down your deck with mild soap and water. Do not allow your dogs or cats to sleep on or under your deck. The more exposure the higher the toxicity they accumulate in their bodies. *Many of us have used stain retardant on couches, carpets, etc., to prevent stains from our pets. However, they are full of toxic chemicals and should be avoided. Find other ways to protect your furniture and carpets, such as dog blankets and washable rugs. And clean your carpets as they become stained. Recently I was told that using diluted Listerine on urine in carpets and rugs. I haven't had the opportunity to test this out yet. As soon as I do, I'll let you know. *Did you know that if you cook in an overheated non-stick pan, the chemicals that are released into the air are bad for you but can kill your pet birds? Switch to cast iron. Good for you, good for your home and good for your pets. *Most of us vacuum often and we should. Use a HEPA filter to eliminate more health hazards that fall to the floor and work their way down into the nap of rugs and carpets. *We all love green lawns. However our dogs walk directly on the grass and eat grass. If you are treating your lawn with insecticides your dogs' paw pads absorb the insecticides. Clue: If your dog is continually licking its paws, this is a sign of allergies or insecticide exposure. Also dogs do eat grass now and then and the chemicals have caused neurological damage. Surprisingly, your dogs can even breathe in the chemicals while walking, laying and playing on the lawn. *Sorry but flea collars are ineffective and jam packed with chemicals. Do not use them. They are a waste of money and toxic to your pets. And sadly, pet food manufacturers are allowed to use euthanized pets in making dog foods and do not bother to remove flea collars before the bodies are added to the "meat sources" they use to feed your dogs. There are better ways to repel fleas, ticks, mosquitos and flies. Ask your vet. *Pet Products are not required to list any harmful ingredients on labels. Play it safe and use baby shampoo on your dog, even if you use a groomer. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5964414
Here at Scallywags our drinking water is as natural as mother nature intended fed straight off the glaciers into our well, but we are lucky, filter your water - especially for your pets.
As we feed raw food below is a link to our favourite suppliers of commercially prepared food.
Crudo, www.surreymeatpackers.com Best value and good quality.
www.petsgoraw.ca Good value for Econ Packs
Raw food also provides EHA and DPA which supports the brain, eyes and mood of developing Doodles and grown adults.
We also supplement with Fluid-kelp which contains full spectrum of vitamins, minerals and amino acids from kelp,
We are also lucky enough to have free run chickens at home who provide enough eggs for us and our dogs, we serve them up raw, or scrambled, along with the shell for added calcium, occasionally bake the egg shells, crush and sprinkle it on top of their food. Eggshell is a natural source of calcium so is absorbed easily.
But I hear you saying isn't raw expensive?
Some manufacturers are, but not the ones I use.
A 13lb bag of kibble costs $50 if feeding 2 cups a day it would lasts 25 days. (Acana)
I can feed a dog raw for the same money! Even If I budget $3 a lb, it only costs me $25 more. Most people I know are topping their kibble with extras, be it blueberries, or fresh chicken, or a 'fancy topper' all of these extras add up to being more than what I pay for a good quality ready prepared raw diet that includes fruit and veg, bone, organ and real meat. Cost isn't a barrier when you take all things into account but the benefits truly do outweigh any cost difference, if there is any.
The benefits of feeding raw:
Healthier skin and coat; Enhanced hydration; Improved digestion; Smaller, less frequent, more consistent and less smelly stools; Fresh breath & cleaner teeth; Increased energy & stamina; Increased mobility; Improved weight management; Improvement in allergy symptoms; Less vet visits = money savings!!! Feeding raw actually saves you money.
To learn more about natural rearing, please take a look at the Find Out More link above, or ask me anything you want to know - I might not have all the answers but I will get them!
For a wealth of information and to see how you can build some of the protocols of Natural Rearing into your dogs life, please click below