Our dogs are fed an All Natural, RAW species appropriate diet... We also use holistic/alternative medicine whenever possible. We have realized the dangers of over-vaccination and no longer partake in that practice. We not use or promote the use of chemical flea/tick/heartworm preventatives. There ARE good alternatives to conventional medication that don't have the unhealthy or even deadly side effects of modern medications. Learn more about this by following the links provided below.
One thing that we have come to learn with breeding and training dogs is that what you put into your dog impacts EVERYTHING about them as a whole. This includes how they feel and behave, how their coats look, their endurance, their ability to deal with stress and their general overall health and happiness. After years on kibble we were frequently seeing things like reoccurring ear infections (not serious ones but the dogs always had that brownish red 'crud' in their ears), bad breath, yellowish teeth, itching and scratching for no apparent reason, not to mention large and very smelly stools. I have seen the fall out from poor nutrition. These poor dogs are dying of cancer and other ailments that could have been prevented had they been fed right!!! There is absolutely NO reason for this!!
Before my switch to raw I thought I was doing the right thing for my dogs and did feed the best kibble that I could afford but could not attain what I called optimum health. There was something missing and my male Donar showed me what that was. He was about a year old and I could not keep any weight on him. He would also get a loose stool on and off. Because of this Donar had been taken to the vet on several occasions to try to figure out what the problem was. The vet had been tested Donar for all kinds of worms, coccida, and finally was tested for EPI (Endocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency) all the tests came back negative. Changes in the brand of kibble did nothing to help either. My vet who was also a long time friend told me that he did not know what was wrong and that I would have to take him to NC State and see if they could figure it out. I took Donar home and was going to have Dr. Greene refer Donar to NC State on that next Monday morning. Dr. Greene never got to make that appointment.
Later that evening he acted hungry so I gave him some ground turkey that I had. My thoughts were “you are skinny and don’t feel good at least you can enjoy this”. I got up the next morning and there was no diarrhea. So I got some more turkey and fed him some more still no diarrhea. I called a friend of mine and he told me that I should try a raw diet for Donar. I was given some resources so I spent the next few days researching and bought Kymathy Schutz’s book Natural Nutrition for Dogs and cats. I read the book from cover to cover then started to feed Donar exactly like she describes in the book. Within 3 months he gained 12 pounds and looked like a different dog. He has now been raw fed for almost 8 ½ years and looks like a much younger dog. At over 9 years of age he is still siring litters and enjoys phenomenal health.
I'm the kind of person that goes with what feels right to me and this couldn't feel any better. In a world that thrives on convenience and fast food for people (which isn't doing us any good!!) I knew that feeding "kibbles" to my dogs day in and day out couldn't be good for them. Now, our dogs truly enjoy their meals and I enjoy watching them eat what they were meant to eat! It is extremely satisfying and rewarding to know that our dogs are getting the BEST food I can possibly provide for them...natural, healthy and unprocessed!
Information about feeding a raw diet...
There is little doubt that dogs have evolved from wolves. Although as humans we have made many changes to the modern dog's outward appearances, their insides are still exactly the same. And so are their dietary needs! The basic principals behind feeding a raw diet are to give our dogs what the wolves would have eaten. This consists of about 5-10% offal (liver, heart, kidneys), 10-15% raw meaty bones (we use chicken leg quarters, necks and backs most often) and 80-85% muscle meat. Some eggs and canned salmon/mackerel or sardines are also fed once or twice a month. There are many different "versions" of the raw diet and some will say that dogs do not need any veggies at all. We found that adding a small amount of pulped veggies to each meal adds some fiber and extra vitamins. Whether they need it or not, they enjoy it, and it's certainly not doing any harm. We also supplement with Dogzymes Ultimate, fish oil, and vitamin C.
Below are some links to various web sites that go into much more detail about how you can change your dog’s diet, and life, for the better!! Keep in mind that as I mentioned above, there are many different ways to feed a natural, raw diet. The best thing to do is try different things and stick with works best for your own dog.
Myths about raw feeding: http://rawfed.com/
Raw feeding FAQ: http://www.rawlearning.com/rawfaq.html
Vaccine Articles: http://www.pets4homeopathy.com/articlesvaccs.html
Titer test info (the best way to avoid over vaccinating): http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/titer_test.htm
Hip displaysia is not entirely genetic. Article by Dr. Wendall O. Belfield http://thewholedog.org/wholedognews/?p=87