January 25, 2015

A Holistic Approach to Caring for your Dog

Stud: Atticus

Welcome …

Dog lovers everywhere. If you have a dog or are thinking of getting one in the future, this blog will be about how to keep them healthy once they are in your care.

My advise will not be for everybody. It is alternative to the mainstream and will often go against the status quo. The dog biz is a multi billion dollar industry which is sometimes more concerned about the bottom line than the health of our dogs.

I was raised in the ’50’s before the dog food industry was able to really take hold in this country. People fed their dogs cheaper cuts of meat, vegetables, fruit and all the leftovers. Neutering was the exception, not the norm. Fleas and ticks were handled with home remedies. And there were no immunizations.

There were no well vet visits either. You went to a vet when your dog got sick or hit by a car. Most dogs ran free back then. There were some common diseases like Distemper and Rabies but not all the myriad of disorders there are today such as thyroid, diabetes, addisons, dysplacias … the list is endless.

What has changed? The way we feed our dogs for one thing. The amount of immunizations for another. The automatic early neutering of both male and female dogs and the systemic flea and tick applications such as Frontline and Advantix and the like.

I love my vet. I am not about to perform a C-Section on one of my girls should she need it. I am very grateful for all of his help and advise and respect the years of schooling he imbibed in order to become a vet.

A vet has to make a living. I understand that. But what he/she decides to include in their practice to make that living is where the water can become a bit muddy.

In the 60’s, dog food companies devised plans to spread the word about their product. They entered vet schools where the soon to be vets were young and impressionable and convinced them dog food was the only way to feed. They sent them to wonderful, exotic places and made deals for them to sell the dog food once they set up their practices.

Convincing the public to buy it also proved to be pretty easy. It was inexpensive and convenient. You just bought a bag at your local supermarket, emptied it into a dish. Wa la! Breakfast. And lunch. And dinner. Then you threw it into a closet for storage and since it did not have an expiration date, it would keep for a very long period of time. We are all about convenience and saving time and money. But in the end, I believe it is costing dog owners far more than they could ever imagine. Add up your vet bills over the years. And for those of you that have lost a dog at a young age, think not only of the money you spent to save your beloved pet but the emotional toll it has taken on the family.

This is what my blog will be about. For all the mainstream practices I will be questioning, I will present other ways to do things that will include homeopathic, Chinese, household remedies, and other alternative pharmacopoeias that have been used on dogs for centuries. They are inexpensive and effective. They do not have side effects.

As breeders, my husband and I have had many dogs over the years. We have not extended their life expectancy all that much but we have given them a good quality of life. For the most part, they do not get sick, they do not have allergies, they do not seem to get all these other things we hear and read about. They breed well; our males have healthy libidos and remain fertile all their lives and most of our females become pregnant when bred, carry their pups to term, and nurse well.

I do think nature is in charge. And I do think there is luck too. But I also believe the alternative practices we follow as concerns our dogs, has made all the difference.