We are alternative breeders. What this means is, that we do not follow the mainstream. We feed fresh, raw food. We do the minimum amount of immunizations and titer to assess our dogs’ immunity rather than automatically do booster vaccinations. We do not believe in neutering until a dog is full-grown, (2 1/2 to 3 years). If you wish to never neuter we are on board with that. We do alternative flea and tick applications. We apply natural and homeopathic remedies whenever possible.
We love our vets and are grateful they are here to help us out in an emergency. They are a business, however, and some are promoting procedures and medicines that do not always work well for dogs. We always say; don’t take your dog to the vet unless he/she is sick. Trust yourself. You will know when they are not feeling well. Many will try and talk you out of raw food and talk you into many vaccinations. They will try and convince you to neuter early even though there are good studies out now that weigh the risks and benefits: the risks way outweigh the benefits. It is best to try and find a vet who is homeopathic or at least naturalistic. Often if they are doing acupuncture and/or herbs, they will be in this category. They will not read you the riot act when it comes to the raw food diet or try and scare you into thinking it is unhealthy for your dog and you. They will think titering is a good idea.
Studies have shown that dogs are often fully immunized with one vaccination if administered at 16 weeks or older. And we believe that not all vaccinations are necessary. The only one required by law is rabies. The others are up to you. Just remember, you are the customer. This is your dog and you must advocate for them. The first immunization is usually the DA2LPP. We recommend that you do not give this shot at all. It is never good to immunize a dog with more than one vaccination at a time. The wombo combo shots, which is what they are often called, contain multiple modified live viruses mixed with various bacteria.
Some are long-term vaccinations and can last over 3 years or a lifetime while others are not and may not last a year or are unnecessary, to begin with. If your dog has an adverse reaction, you will not know which one is causing the reaction. The A2 stands for Bordetella, or kennel cough and hepatitis. The L is for Leptospirosis. The P is for parainfluenza but does not protect against the canine flu and the last P is for Parvo. Distemper has pretty much disappeared but there have been cases in the south and in the cities where dogs are brought in from other countries. We do not have a quarantine time in this country.
We feed our dogs fresh raw food that is made up of some kind of protein such as meat, fish poultry, etc., and fresh vegetables, mainly greens, a variety of fruit, oils, garlic, probiotics, and different forms of supplements. If you feed your dog a variety of food, supplements are optional. Our treats consist of dehydrated animal organs. You can now buy this kind of food pre-made from raw food companies or you can easily make it yourself or you can do a combination of both.
If you live in the country or near it, you can always approach a butcher in your area that is butchering off the hoof, (meaning he is starting with the whole animal) and see if he’d like to grind up parts of the animal he is discarding such as all the organs and off cuts that people do not eat. Most butchers would be happy to do this as they would be able to profit from what they are now discarding. If you can get the butcher to add tripe, (the lining of a cow’s stomach), it is very nutritious.
But we warn you, it is stinky. Smells like manure. The vegetables we add are mostly greens such as kale, collard greens, dandelion greens, broccoli, and green beans and we also add sweet potato sometimes. We use olive oil, cod liver oil, and salmon oil and we also feed whole fish cut up with the bone in, head, tail, and innards. They love it! If our dogs could talk I think they would say that fish is their favorite meal. You can also feed canned fish such as sardines and salmon.
We add garlic for flavor because it is known, not scientifically proven as yet, to help fend off fleas and ticks. Whole chicken backs are great because they are so inexpensive. Nobody eats them. Raw bone is good for their teeth and bones, and a chicken back will occupy your pup for a while as their teeth are not fully formed so they will mouth it into mush. NO cooked bones. These can splinter. But raw bones are very nutritious. All kinds of fruit is fine. Your dog will have his favorites. Some love bananas. Some will spit it out.
Most like pears and apples. Some like oranges. You will have to try them out. Berries are especially nutritious. We add these to our dogs’ food. If, for the most part, you are a healthy eater, cooked food is fine for your dog. It is why they joined humans in the first place. They smelled the food around the camp fire and came around, offering up their services in exchange for food. So feed them your leftovers in their dish. They smelled it cooking. Now they get to share in the bounty. It will further bond them to you.