When people get a new puppy, naturally they’re super-excited about all the fun and love to come! Puppies are lots of fun, but also require daily work and a certain amount of knowledge about dog health care. Let me guide you on a quick path to understanding the natural, holistic approach, which is definitely safer and less expensive than other more mainstream approaches.
All natural and holistic methods of pet care for dogs include an understanding of the species-appropriate raw-meat diet, as well as natural methods of treating minor health issues. This way, you aren’t relying on the vet’s office for all your information and knowledge. There, you will be told to put your new dog on many un-natural treatments over the long run. Including 'scientific' diets of extruded, overcooked, denatured kibble, chemical pest control, way too many vaccinations then are needed, then often antibiotics and other drugs for any little aliment, which as you will learn, are dangerous and mostly unnecessary.
Besides all the responsibilities, you’ll want to make sure your new puppy gets tons of playtime and love! If you are not prepared to give those things, think about postponing your acquisition of a dog as a pet for a better time in the future.
Dogs are naturally pack animals, and they love being part of a family unit. They are completely dependent on their pack leader (you!) for comfort, protection, food and parental love. They need to be with their human as much as possible. Get them familiar with going places in the car, such as walks, hikes etc. But when they are home let them live in the house right with you as a part of the pack.
Your new dog will give you hours of companionship and love, including a lifetime of loyalty and devotion. They give, give and give with their big heart and loving nature.
In return, you provide them with all they need to thrive! Your pup counts on you for everything it requires to be healthy and happy.
The very best kind of pet care for dogs includes all natural dog care. There are many articles touting conventional dog care, which includes all the vaccines, pesticides, chemical drugs, microchips, and other unnatural methods that they promote. However, there is a healthier, all natural way to raise dogs so that they will live a long disease-free life without the need for such unnatural methods.
One of the best all natural dog care methods around is our High Vibe lifestyle, one that doesn’t need regular vet visits, over-vaccination and regular chemical pest treatments. This article is meant for those willing to try the natural approach. Those of us in the tribe of unconventional thinking understand that true health comes from within and are willing to provide our pets with the lifestyle that creates a “high frequency” state of being.
If you are only seeking the fastest, easiest way to care for your dog, then you’ll probably choose the conventional methods mentioned above. We are probably not your tribe.
But really, if this is all new to you, consider getting educated about natural holistic pet care. You need to learn about why this way of pet care for dogs will keep your dog in a higher vibration that enables them to resist disease and maintain a perfect state of health and harmony in their bodies.
You will get a good understanding of why raw food, filtered water, pack living, holistic health care, and a good exercise program are so important. (As well as sunshine and earthing, which is spending time in the soil and on the earth.) These are the basics for healthy pet care for dogs.
Read on to find out the 12 most important natural pet care keys to take into consideration
If you take care of these twelve requirements, you can be fully confident that you have done the right things for true health and fulfilled the basics of natural pet care for dogs. You will be sure to have a rewarding and long-lasting bond of health and love with your new best friend.
12 Keys to All Natural Dog Care: How to Have a Happy, Healthy, Holistic Dog
1) High Quality Food: Species-Appropriate Diet
We recommend a species appropriate way of feeding that is referred to in the raw feeding community as “the prey model diet”. This is a method of feeding dogs with a raw meat diet that duplicates the diet of a wild carnivore without requiring your dog to hunt and kill wild prey while removing all unnatural, cooked and processed foods, including all carbohydrates and grains. Read more about a raw food diet for dogs and why that is the cornerstone of super natural health care for dogs. RAW DIET FOR DOGS
Some other sites to check out:http://rawfeddogs.org/
2) Pure Water
It is a good health practice to give filtered or even distilled water to all pets, as well as to yourself and children. City water contains chlorine, one of the most toxic chemicals on earth, as well as dangerously high levels of minerals including iron and fluoride. All untreated water can harbor parasites, viruses, and bacteria. I recommend adding colloidal silver to the pet’s filtered water to help remove pathogens and to keep their teeth clean and boost immunity. If you are giving pure distilled water you can add minerals back in. I recommend Fulvic minerals. Add 1 T. into their distilled water daily.
3) Grooming and Nail Trimming:
Keeping your dog well groomed, clean and cared for is a key aspect of pet care for dogs. Grooming your dog yourself is a foundation for connection and touch that is very important for you both. It allows you to work on obedience training and to spend more one-on-one time with your dog. They will come to look forward to this important daily ritual.
One of the main health benefits of a regular going-over for dog is checking for fleas and ticks. When your dog's fur is well taken care of, it is easy to spot ticks, fleas, hot spots or any other lumps or bumps. It is important to check regularly to see what's going on underneath the fur.
Fleas like to make their homes on our pooches, and the sooner you know they have taken up residence, the sooner you can kill them before they multiply. If you see fleas it’s time to bathe your dog with an essential oil-based shampoo.
Get a good organic dog shampoo. Keeping your dog clean is a healthy practice if you use natural substances, otherwise your dog absorbs nasty chemicals. As herbalists say, “The skin is a mouth”. Anything put on the skin goes directly into the bloodstream, organs and tissues.
NEVER use a commercial pet shampoo made with chemicals on your dog. It is way too un-natural and can penetrate your dog’s skin and end up causing other health concerns. I recommend our Colloidal Silver Shampoo for Pets, or make your own at home with natural ingredients.
Trim their nails regularly. Dogs hate having their nails trimmed. Make sure you do this often from the time they are young puppies. Use a sharp professional nail trimmer to trim off tiny amounts and then go over it with a dremel file, which is a battery-run type of file.
4) Building Natural Immunity
For the ideal pet care for dogs, building a natural immunity starts with a species-appropriate diet as mentioned above. This should include good quality: preferably pasture-raised raw meat, bone, and organ meats. This is what is needed to build a healthy immune system based on diet in an all natural holistic approach, leading to ideal health for your pooch.
Also a good probiotic and enzyme supplement can help to keep the gut healthy and balanced. They need to maintain a good balance of bacteria in their digestive tract for resisting a takeover of bad bacteria.
I use colloidal silver for my puppies as soon as they start drinking water. They get silver to boost their natural immunity and help them get a start on a good strong immune system.
5) Socialization and Vaccines
There is a widespread belief that vaccination is the most important thing to do to a puppy. I could not disagree more
with this concept based on brainwashing. The onslaught of all the vaccinations being giving to young puppies is actually causing an epidemic of sickly canines, constantly needing to go back to the vet. I recommend only minimal vaccination and then a yearly titer if there is a concern about immunity. Please read more about this in my article here, or google “vaccinosis” and “over-vaccination in dogs” for more info.
It is important to do your best to socialize your new puppy during its peak socialization time. This is between 4-12 weeks of age. Many people think you cannot start the socialization until the puppy has been through the complete vaccination protocol recommended by most vets. I recommend a very different plan of socialization, and with a few precautions it is totally possible. One of the easiest ways to prevent the many behavioral problems that arise in “teenage” dogs and continue into adulthood is to socialize your puppy very early. By early socialization, I am saying before your pup has all the vaccines you are going to give. I recommend, if you choose to vaccinate, the minimal core vaccines be given at 15-16 weeks old. Socialization should happen before that.
The crucial aspect to a healthy puppy is not to keep them home, avoiding any possible situation where disease may loiter. The best choice is to keep your little guy’s immune system in prime condition so he can efficiently fight off those pesky viruses and pathogens lurking in the environment. I also recommend getting them on a small dose of daily colloidal silver as a disease preventative.
To help allay some of the concern and misperception about the whole vaccination and socialization issue, I’ve put together some simple and safe methods and alternative approaches. Prior to their first vaccinations, their mama’s own maternal antibodies help protect your new pup from diseases.
When those maternal antibodies begin to wear off and the pup’s own immunity has to kick in is variable. The antibodies from the mother generally circulate in the newborn's blood for a number of weeks. There is a period of time from several days to several weeks in which the maternal antibodies are too low to provide protection against the disease, but too high to allow a vaccine to work. The continuous protection through the likely transition period will create overlap and protect your dog. However, natural immunity from mama’s milk continues in most puppies until about 12 to 16 weeks of age.
That means you can begin socializing your puppy soon after you get it home, which will help create a more confident and stable dog.
Vaccinating your precious “fur child” before they are 12 weeks old will actually wipe out the mama’s special protective antibodies, which can leave your baby more susceptible to those viruses you got them inoculated against.
Most people do not realize that vaccines contain harmful preservatives such as thiomersal, which basically is mercury, formaldehyde and other harmful carcinogenic chemicals. I personally do not do this to my dogs. I do not vaccinate my puppies, I build healthy immunity instead.
Regardless of whether you will be vaccinating or not, these are some things you can do regarding taking your pup out into the world before its first immunizations (and while it still relies on mom’s antibodies).
- Invite children over to play with your puppy
- Take your puppy to the stores where dogs are allowed
- Car rides
You can take your unvaccinated puppy to a dog park at a quiet time let them sniff around for just a couple of minutes. Pick them up and leave after that. This is going to expose them to some micro-organisms to stimulate and strengthen the immune system. Do this a few times a week, increasing the time by a minute or two. It is not a bad idea to let them sniff around where other dogs have been to build some natural immunity. Of course, only do this if your puppy is healthy.
6) Sunshine and Supplements
Sunshine and being out of doors often, are very necessary for the health of our canines. The hedgehog, which is basically a nocturnal animal, when ill or not feeling well, will go out into the sun during the day to help itself heal. Sunshine has many health benefits, including vitamin D, that dogs need. Do not overlook the importance of providing a way for your dog to sun herself on a daily basis.
Supplements are often recommended in those times of low immunity or because of the depletion of our soils. This basically means that the foods we feed our dogs are lacking in nutrients. Adding artificial nutrients back into the kibble is not ideal by any means.
We should be raw-feeding meat the way nature intended. However, often meat we are feeding comes from herbivores that are not fed properly themselves. This means our dog is missing nutrients, unless they are being fed wild or pasture-raised meat, you can be sure it is missing nutrients. Due to this supplements are needed in some cases. I often recommend probiotics and enzymes for dogs coming off being kibble fed. I also recommend a green food supplement we make called HIGH VIBE NUTRIENTS made with greens, grasses, roots, soil and soil probiotics. In this day and age some supplementation can be useful but not always. There are many other good, natural supplements on the market. Some people recommend a product called Transfer Factors. This can be bought on amazon.com or on their actual website. I think it is a good product for helping build natural immunity, although it is not %100 organic itself.
Daily exercise is always a must. Animals (and humans) are designed so that they need to move every few hours. In the wild, foraging and hunting (depending on the species) is done daily, in fact for many animals, all day every day. Movement is needed to find food, to grow and stay strong, to lubricate joints, to move toxins from the body, and many other things.
8) Identification: Is Micro-Chipping Necessary?
This section is for anyone considering micro-chipping their pet. I am mentioning micro-chipping because it has become the most popular method of pet identification and yet it is not without concerns and some very minor risks. Whenever something unnatural is inserted into the body it has potential for rejection by the tissues, contributing to autoimmune diseases, or even worse, can cause a sarcoma, a type of tumor.
There have been known and documented cases of sarcomas or fibrosarcomas, soft tissue tumors developing at the site of where the microchip is implanted. Many conscious pet owners these days who have dogs or cats that are at a risk of getting away are having a tattoo put on their pet. You can use your phone number (only if it is a permanent number) or an id number that is registered with a service. See here:http://www.tattoo-a-pet.com/
My thought about this is if you’re being told that chipping your dog is best done by your vet, just consider it. I personally do not microchip my dogs because I never let them out of my sight as they are smaller house dogs. I personally, do not like the idea of a small computer chip injected into my dogs. Any tattoo ink is going to be partially absorbed at the time of application.
For you, consider how much risk there is that your pet will ever get out of your sight, and how much potential there is for being easily lost or stolen. But even then, it is not a tracking device. This is only if it is found and taken to a vet or shelter with a scanner for that particular chip, which has to be registered with the service that their scanner is from. The microchip’s own program has to be registered with the finder of that dog or the owner will never be found.
Also, something to consider: maybe the person who actually finds your dog is not going to have scan done. A tattoo might be more obvious to a vet or other person examining your dog compared to needing a scanner to read the chip.
If you have an indoor dog or cat, or if your dog is well-trained with a good recall, or is always on a leash outdoors, the gamble of getting your dog microchipped is probably not worth the potential unknown harm it might be doing to your beloved pooch.
9) Spaying and Neutering: The Holistic Perspective
You need to neuter or spay your dog, right? Of course that is what your vet tells you, that it’s just the standard because there are too many dogs in the world. There have been too many shelter dogs because of unwanted pregnancies and you need to be a responsible, conscious dog owner if you have an intact dog.
“Dr. Becker quickly changed her recommendation for her patients from automatic spays or neuters, and the younger the better, to a more holistic approach in which surgeries, including sterilization and desexing, should only be performed when there’s a medical necessity. She also believes shelter pets should be sterilized rather than desexed (spayed or neutered) in order to preserve their sex hormones.”
I completely agree with Dr. Becker’s point of view of spaying and neutering pets too young.
When spaying or neutering is done we automatically remove all of the sex hormones in our dogs including testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. All animals have these hormones for additional and important body functions beyond reproduction that we may not be aware of.
While neutering prevents pregnancy, you need to evaluate the risks against the benefits to decide where the balance point is for you and your animals. There are been several studies proving that spaying/neutering in dogs can contribute to disease as they age, including:
- Hip dysplasia
- Cranial cruciate ligament
- Mast cell tumors
Early neutering, especially, which is recommended by many conventional vets, has been the biggest complaint from holistic veterinarians. Since several of these diseases are found in early neutered dogs, you may want to consider an alternative altering surgery on your dog, which means considering a vasectomy over a neuter, or an ovary sparing spay. Ovary Sparing Spays (OSS) and Vasectomies preserve hormone levels while still eliminating the risk of unwanted pregnancies.
Here is a link to a document with more information on these procedures:ALTERNATIVE ALTERING
If you choose to spay or neuter your dog, after considering all the risks and reasons, and you still feel you cannot deal with an animal that has sex hormones intact, make sure you allow your dog to fully mature physically before having the operation done. Smaller breed dogs mature faster, maybe at about a year or so, while large breed dogs are not fully mature to two years or beyond.
10) Elimination of The Many Drugs From the Western Medicine Pet Care Model
Drugs and veterinary medicine go hand in hand. Disease diagnosis is quickly followed up with a plan to destroy, also known as the silver bullet approach. Kill everything as fast as possible is the line of thinking they take. While the western medical model may work temporarily to alleviate certain serious health conditions, it is not the most holistic or safe method. Looking at the whole picture to discover the root cause of the symptoms and eliminating that is a better approach than just getting rid of the symptoms. It is what I advocate on this website.
The holistic diagnosis looks at the entire body and all its systems. Holistic dog care is much more effective when treating chronic problems that have a more deep and underlying cause. Most conventional treatments are not interested in finding the cause, rather, it is more about suppressing the immediate symptoms and killing the pathogen. Often times this approach just causes the problem to go deeper and manifest later in a worse condition.
Western medicine is definitely useful in emergency situations that may require surgery or other fast-fix methods that will save your dog's life or repair their broken bones in times of need. We cannot discount the value of that for a second.
However, the drugs and surgery approach need not be your primary method for health care. Personally I am my dog’s primary care provider and always will be. When something goes wrong I know what to do in almost all instances.
Keep in mind that allopathic medical treatments can get very pricey and have become a cash cow for the industry. Vaccinations, pest control, spaying and neutering and on and on. This is just the basic costs; it can cost hundreds, if not thousands, in out-of-pocket expenses.
Most holistic health care methods are much more affordable and offer equal (usually even better) long term results. Since colloidal silver, herbal remedies and nutritional supplements cannot be patented, the holistic approach can offer a wider variety of effective treatments that are safe and non-invasive for your dog.
11) Fleas and Parasites- The Holistic Approach
Fleas and ticks! Ugh! Most of us are sick of dealing with these annoying aspects of dog care. It can even be tempting to give up and buy lethal chemicals. There’s also an ongoing battle against parasites. If you don’t want to deal with it, don’t get a dog. But don’t despair. There is a safe and simple solution.
The sad truth is that as fleas are becoming more and more resistant to the toxic chemical products on the market today, manufacturers of these dangerous pesticides are creating progressively stronger and stronger flea meds for dogs. It’s not working. Every year, these become potentially more and more dangerous to dogs.
The good news is that a raw fed dog with a healthy immune system is not a flea magnet. There is an imbalance in the bloodstream of the kibble fed dog, created by the carbs that turn to sugar in the system, that the fleas crave and are attracted to. This keeps fleas procreating. I kid you not! Kibble fed dogs attract fleas. It is that simple.
There are many natural flea control methods that work really well to control parasites. The difference is that it’s a protocol and not quite as simple as just giving a once a month pill or applying a drop to the fur. But if those monthly pills and toxic drops kill fleas for that long a time, they are lethal substances that are going to have side effects, and deadly consequences in some cases. After all, they are designed to kill. Think about exploring the pro’s and con’s of natural versus conventional pest control. Please read this post before you decide: PROS AND CONS OF HOLISTIC VERSUS CONVENTIONAL PEST CONTROL
Also you might want to find out what the holistic approach to flea control is by checking out my more in-depth post here: No More Fleas-Without Chemicals
12) Trust In Nature and the Natural Healing Methods
People tend to run off to the doctor or the vet when any little illness or disease comes on. But ask yourself: Have theygiven their power away by blindly accepting this approach even though it seems high-tech and is (falsely) reassuring? To use the natural and holistic approach of health care also requires faith and trust in these methods. But they can stand up to research because they work without side effects to cure the root cause of problems. You can prove to yourself that the holistic methods do work. Keep in mind that sometimes there is going to be a healing crisis as previously discussed. This is a well known and logical aspect of natural healing. Understand it’s function and don’t let that deter you from all natural dog care.
A healing crisis is a natural part of the detoxification process necessary for healing, and also of eliminating pathogens. The process is also referred to as the “Herx Reaction” because the dog’s body will show disease-like signs as the disease passes out of its body. Once they are gone, it is easier to see that the body has actually been in the process of healing itself.
During the detox the vitality of your dog begins to repair and rebuild congested or damaged tissue and organs. The Herx Reaction usually lasts two or three days, but may go on for a few weeks in some deeper cases. Just don’t give up on using these deeper cleansing holistic detoxification methods. You have to trust and have faith, knowing that the reaction in the body is part of the healing process. This is a normal and even a healthy sign that the toxins, fungi, viruses, bacteria, and any parasites are being successfully eliminated permanently. This is unlike the allopathic approach where everything is suppressed or killed off by poisons. The drugs used in the elimination process often have damaging side effects.
Feel safe trusting in natural, holistic pet care for dogs. Trust these methods because they truly do work. They are a far superior way to have a dog who is happy and healthy. This is the whole point for a dog: to have an enjoyable lifetime filled with good health, love and fun.