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Holistic Animal Health: Rearing Healthy Pups and Kittens

Pet owners often complaint that their new puppy or kitty is sick with diarrhea, vomiting, running eyes and ear infections. Breeders are seeing more incidence of complications with pregnancies and premature birth in their kennels; frequent C-section required; smaller litters; tiny, weaker or sick whelps and high rate of mortality. A lot of money is spent on veterinary care and medication, often with poor result. Breeders using a natural rearing approach are improving the health of their animals resulting in larger and healthier litters.

Rearing Healthy Pups and Kittens

Rearing Healthy Pups and Kittens the Natural Way Natural medicine such as homeopathy, herbs, natural immune support supplements and good nutrition can play a very large part in the successful rearing of our animals. Natural healing modalities assist our animals to regain health by stimulating the body's natural self healing forces.

The world of veterinary medicine is changing. People are realizing that if alternative medicine is better for them, it's better for their pets, too. Dogs are visiting acupuncturists, chiropractic doctors, and homeopaths. Still, many dog owners are unaware that such simple measures as changing their pet's diet and using vitamins, herbs, and other natural cures can help prevent or heal ailments ranging from excessive scratching to depression to a host of serious diseases.

"Wild animals do not rely on the pharmaceutical industry to cure their ills. They have had to find ways of thriving without artificial input. Because of this, they make fantastic models of a healthy natural lifestyle."Cindy Engel, DVM

Simple Step to Protect Puppies and Kittens

Puppies and kittens are constantly exposed to environments and substances that can compromise their health. Pesticides can be difficult to avoid as neighbors and farmers spray their yards and fields. Our furry companions are exposed to viruses, bacteria and parasites in vet offices, training buildings, dog parks and even open parks and fields.

Holistic veterinarians use a unique natural immune support supplement that balance and optimize the animals immune system. "A four month old kitten had a severe skin condition that was diagnosed as ringworm. After four months of conventional therapy, the resistant ringworm infection was not resolved. We put the kitten on a special immune modulating product and within 5 days there were no apparent ringworm lesions remaining. Within a few weeks all the hair had grown back - and the now 9 month old cat has a beautiful, glossy coat. The ringworm lesions have not returned."

"A little over 2 years ago I bought a 4 year old Cocker Spaniel, she has had only 1 live puppy out of 3 litters. After taking one of the puppies to the vet for an autopsy we found out her puppies were born with pneumonia, loaded with e-coli and staph (mom's uterus was infected). Her puppies would be born alive and normal weight but start to die over the first 48 hours. To back up a bit... we put her on clavamox from the vet for 10 days after the 2nd litter. She then had her 3rd litter, which is when we did the autopsy, and put her on clavamox for 2 weeks.

Puppies and Kittens need to develop healthy bodiesOn this last heat cycle we tried it again, my vet said she was such a nice Cocker she didn't see any reasoning to spay her and discontinue trying to breed her (this was our last attempt at breeding her, if no healthy babies we were going to spay her). Two weeks before her delivery date we put her on this immune support product, we will keep her on it until the puppies are 2 weeks of age. She has 3 strong and healthy babies, all are doing well. Momma is healthier than ever and also doing very well. I am just thrilled! "

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Healthy Diet for Puppies and Kittens

Puppies love to eat raw meaty bones! By understanding what carnivores eat in the wild, you will learn valuable clues as to what you should be feeding your domestic pup and kitten. You will find out exactly what the digestive system of a domesticated carnivore is programed to eat by centuries of evolution. By looking at young wolves and young cubs growing up we are actually observing their ancestors. If we couple that with modern scientific discoveries about diet, health and aging, we are able to produce a realistic, health promoting, evolutionary diet.

Healthy Kitty diet Diet is extremely important in the growing months of a dog's life. There are many processed food products designed especially for puppies which offer a convenient method of feeding. But as with all dogs and cats, regardless of breed or age, puppies and kittens benefit from variety in their diet. Holistic veterinarians strongly recommend feeding fresh, mainly raw food to your puppy and kitten because the best nutrition maintains the best health, especially over the long-term.

Raw Feeding

When feeding vegetables, process or grate the vegetable, this is necessary to assist the pup ( or dog) to break down the cellulose. Cooking also breaks down the cellulose but destroys some of the nutrients, hence the benefits of feeding raw foods. Obviously foods such as oats, grains, and pulses will need cooking. Raw meat may be minced or cut into small pieces for small pups, though bigger pups will tear up a bigger piece of meat.

Pups will also eat small pieces of raw meaty bone such as chicken wings or frames. We start to offer chicken wings from approx. 6 weeks of age. Obviously this varies from pup to pup. A very small piece of chicken wing should be offered at first, to assess how well your pup will cope. Chicken is good for starters because it is soft, easily chewed and digested. To assist a very small pup, the wing can be placed on a chopping board, given a good smack with a mallet to break up the bone – of course one does this before handing the wing to the pup ! This action is also reassuring for the owner, who has visions of their pup choking with a whole bone stuck in its throat. Rest assured, they won’t!

raw meaty bones We give 4 small meals daily till 10 to 12 weeks, then reduce to 3 meals with a biscuit snack for supper . We give mid morning and afternoon snacks sometimes but not every day. By watching for the growth spurts which are generally preceded by increased appetite, its easy to increase their food as they need it, then ease back a little as the rapid growth phase slows up again.

At six to seven months we reduce to two meals a day. The pups still have a lot of growing to do over the next few months, because they grow more slowly than kibble fed puppies, so they still need reasonable amounts of good food.

Each pup is different and each pups needs can vary from day to day, just as your own needs vary. So if the pup still seems to be hungry after a meal, listen to him. You can give him extra right away or give a small snack later. However, be wise to the greedy pup who will eat till he bursts if you let him !

If you prefer to feed mostly dry or canned food for convenience and cannot be persuaded to change, it’s a simple matter to top it off with a spoonful of cottage cheese, yogurt, or substitute some of the canned food with a serving of some of the meat and vegetables that you are eating yourself. Your pup will certainly appreciate the change !

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Are You Meeting Your Pup and Kitten's Nutritional Needs?

Is Your Animal Deficient In A Key Nutrient? According to Donald R. Collins DVM author of The Collins Guide to Dog Nutrition, dogs will eat anything they can get their paws on if they are lacking in the nutrition to supply them with adequate energy. Dr. Collins states in his writing, "If there are insufficient amounts of nutrients in the food to furnish all of the calories a dog needs, then the dog will not gain weight and will remain hungry all of the time.

It will eat almost anything, including dead animals, feces, carrion or garbage to fill the hollow feeling within its belly." To help ensure a wholesome diet with the appropriate nutrients avoid diets that are made of inferior ingredients or is made using high heat for processing and choose a diet for your friend that is comprised of human quality whole food ingredients.

Using Calcium in Home-Prepared Diets

Need help? Dogs and cats, their kind in the wild, eat a large amount of calcium. This happens because they chew on, and swallow, bones which have large quantities of calcium in their makeup. It is assumed that with time they have adapted to having this kind of diet. It is not completely clear that they must have this much calcium to be healthy. In other words, perhaps they can adapt to lower levels. It certainly seems that way for many of the animals I have known that, for one reason or another, have had small amounts of calcium in their diets. They often seem just fine.

There is evidence that the growing animal is the one most sensitive to calcium deficiency. This makes sense if we remember that it is during this time that the bones of the body are rapidly enlarging. They are made up primarily of calcium and phosphorus. In any case, it seems wise to supply the amounts of calcium that are typical of the natural diet and our recipes are formulated with that consideration. To give you some idea of how much more calcium is "required" by a dog compared to a human being, consider this comparison. The amount of calcium the average woman needs is the same as that required by a small 10 lb. dog. A larger dog, say a 100 lb. German Shepherd requires about 10 times as much as this average woman. It is difficult to find sources of calcium that can add this much to the diet. The natural source is bones and we find that this is also the most ample source with which to formulate diets.


In the process of population control and survival of the fittest, the medical establishment has convinced people that mass inoculations are for the good of all, overlooking the health of the individual. Where vaccinations have helped in eradicating or reducing the incidence of severe, acute disease processes, the result has been to plague humanity with more insidious, chronic diseases that are much more difficult to treat and that lower the quality of life for many individual animals and people. In all of this, there needs to be BALANCE, and the following are my recommendations for vaccinating or not vaccinating and some comments about diet. 1. Puppies under three months of age should not be vaccinated. Vaccinations are much more stressful on the underdeveloped immune system.

Also, these vaccinations are much less effective at providing immunity before three months of age. If you feel you must vaccinate, do so with one vaccination of Distemper at three months, followed by a vaccination for Parvovirus at four months of age, and stop with that. If you can't find a single Distemper vaccine use the Distemper-measles combination. Use killed vaccines only.

2. Kittens should only be vaccinated for Panleukopenia and not before three months of age. All other vaccinations should be avoided. One vaccine is sufficient.

3. Puppies and kittens can be given homeopathic nosodes beginning at three weeks of age, if there is a potential for exposure to Distemper, Parvovirus, or Panleukopenia. These nosodes can be used until vaccinations are given or continued periodically for the first year of life, if vaccinations are not given. Common sense should be used in avoiding exposure of very young animals to other, possible unhealthy, animals of the same species.

4. Booster vaccinations are completely unnecessary. Studies are now showing that these vaccinations are effective for many years and most probably for life. Vaccinated animals do not need any boosters. Homeopathic nosodes can be given periodically if you are concerned or if you think your animals live a high risk, life style.

Homeopathic care for cats and dogs5. Rabies Vaccinations should be given as dictated by state laws. Lyssin, the homeopathic nosode, should be given within a few hours after the vaccination. Clearly, the rabies vaccination is effective for many years more than state laws require booster vaccination.

6. Booster vaccinations can cause SEVERE set-backs when an animal is being treated homeopathically for chronic problems. They can completely erase any progress that has been made towards improving an animal's health.

7. My personal recommendation is NOT to vaccinate at all. The best road to good health is feeding a diet rich in fresh foods, raw meats for the carnivores, and avoiding vaccinations and allopathic medications. Antbiotics and other allopathic drugs should only be used in situations where their use is clearly indicated, and this should be only in potentially, life-threatening situations. Every time you suppress a symptom the body produces, you are potentially lowering the health status of the body system. Treating with the correctly prescribed, homeopathic remedy, herbs, or other non-invasive therapies, not of a chemical nature, will enhance your health and your companions health.

"These 200+ dogs in a kennel in Germany are given a distemper vaccine and a Parvovirus vaccine only, at age 10 weeks and 1 year. No other vaccines are given except occasionally rabies, when needed. Their diet varies from home-prepared to commercial. These dogs are having litters and showing at 10 years of age, and live to 16 or so. In the States, many Shepherds are dying by the age of 10. Other breeders have found that stopping vaccination has made their line much healthier, and usually immune (through good health) to the infectious agents that usually cause disease. Not always, of course. Some dogs or cats are very susceptible to disease and will become infected and may die. Most survive epidemics with mild disease, if treated holistically."

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Solutions for a chewing puppy
Dr. Andrew Jones, DVM

Toddler with puppySPICE UP THEIR LIFE. One of the reasons dogs chew is boredom. Regular vigorous exercise will burn off emotional energy. A tired, exercised pet is less likely to chew.

THE RIGHT THINGS TO CHEW. Provide several chewable toys, and rotate them weekly. One of my favorites is a Kong toy, filled with peanut butter and frozen. This keeps my dog entertained for hours.

MAKE THE BAD BITTER. Bitter Apple is a safe, non-toxic repellent spray. Place it on your couch or shoes. Tabasco sauce is another effective repellent, as some pets will even lick bitter apple.

EASE THEIR ANXIETY. Anxious pets can be chewing pets. Bach Rescue remedy, can be used to decrease anxiety and calm your pet. Try it before you leave. Valerian, a sedative herb, can be given as a tincture of 1 drop per lb of body weight twice daily. A flower remedy using the plant Clemastis has also helped some pets. Place 10 drops of the flower remedy in your pet's water twice daily.

CRATE TRAIN. If the chewing can't be controlled then confine your pet. Dogs often feel more secure in a small, more confined space. Begin by only leaving your pet for a short time, no more than 1 hour, gradually increasing the time away. The maximum time should be 4 hours.

Puppy Parenting Issues From 8 weeks to 4 months

Richard Wm. Bernhard, a Board Certified Master Trainer

Owner training classes should start immediately, before you become frustrated of not knowing how to solve his housebreaking, chewing and nipping problems. Classes should start almost immediately after having had acquired your new puppy to get both you and your puppy started on the right path. Experience has taught us by working one on one with each pet owner, how little the owner knows about pet training and what he needs to know about understanding how the dog's mind works. We are also aware of how much time it takes to privately teach, counsel and thoroughly "re-train" each owner.

Mr. Bernhard's knowledge of animal behavior is an excellent source of education for young people and adults alike. He Teach "People" How to Train and Parent their "Companion Dogs" I choose to link to Mr. Bernhard's site because he is also an advocate of holistic animal health care.

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Overcoming Disaster in Von Shrado Great Danes' Kennel

by Sandy Hann

In March of 1992, I had a litter born prematurely and lost all but one puppy. She was a very lightly marked harle puppy. A few days later my Ch Honey had to have a C-section to deliver two fawn boys. Two days later, my Ch Butterscotch, {Fridge's Sister} had to have a C-Cection to deliver one fawn girl. She also had to have a breast removed at the same time. Her puppy was so tiny and weak, it couldn't nurse so I began hand raising her.

Juliette of the Herbs The mother of the harle was being very rough with her puppy so I decided to see if Honey would raise her, she was being such a wonderful mom to her two boys. She accepted her immediately. Then I tried putting the fawn girl, at 6 days of age, on her and she accepted her as well. Now remember this fawn girl had never had any colostrum from the mothers milk. I had another litter of 3 whelped a couple of weeks later.

I had a total of 7 puppies from 4 litters. This was the problem I had been having with my bitches. Very small litters and C-sections frequently.

A couple of days shy of 6 weeks, the first born puppy got sick, vomiting and diahrrea. It smelled like Parvo to me but my vet said it couldn't be, she was too young. We lost her. Honey's two males got sick. He was able to save them but still didn't know what it was. When the first puppy from the last litter got sick and died within a few hours an autopsy showed she did indeed have Parvo and she was under 6 weeks of age. I couldn't understand this as I had boostered all the bitches prior to breeding. To make a long story short, the only puppy that did not get Parvo was the little fawn girl who never had any of the mothers colostrum. It really started me thinking. One of Honey's males got HOD and treatment was not effective and we finally had to have him put down. The other bloated at less than a year of age but did survive. The fawn girl has been very healthy.

In the past 4 years, I feel I have made a lot of progress with my dogs health. One in particular, Ginny. Her first litter, she whelped one live puppy, one dead and then a C-section to remove 2 dead puppies. After a lot of veterinary homeopathy treatments, her second litter was a litter of 7 whelped normally and her last litter, a litter of 4 sired by Fridge whelped normally. I had bred her 2 other times to Fridge when he was alive but she did not conceive.

My Ch Betty is another. She just whelped a litter of 8 live puppies in April. Her previous litter was another litter of 8 but 4 were born dead. Before that she had a litter of 2. She received extensive homeopathy treatment in between the last 2 litters and absolutely no vaccines. She had had a Rabies Vaccine a month before being bred with the litter with 4 dead puppies in it. You can continue to read the success stories that Jim and Sandy Hann have experienced with homeopathy for their champion dogs and for themselves

Learn more about Homeopathic Medicine for Yourself, your Family and your Pets "Homeopathy is one of the fastest-growing alternative medicines available today. By triggering the body's own self-healing abilities, homeopathic remedies are a safe and effective way to treat everyday ailments as well as acute and chronic symptoms of mind and body and are winning more converts every day." Dana Ullman

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Dr. Steven Hansen, veterinary toxicologist & ASPCA Senior Vice President, shows you examples of the most common potentially dangerous plants.

From the Natural Rearing web site :

alternative, holistic, complementary health care for pets

The following excerpt is based on the book:
" The Complete Herbal Handbook for the Dog and Cat "
by Juliette de Bairacli Levy

"I start the weaning in the fourth week (Juliette is very firm on not starting earlier). This begins with using goat's milk (raw, unpasturized, if you can find it) as a base. Thicken this by adding about 1 tablespoon of raw honey per quart of goat's milk. Then for extra nutrition, strengthen the milk by adding approximately 1 teaspoon of NR Tree Bark Gruel per puppy to be fed. This mixture is warmed to a tepid degree (lukewarm not hot) and introduced to the litter.""...Towards the end of the fifth week, I start to introduce raw meat (I use very fine lean ground turkey) as a separate meal. A little bran (oat or wheat) should be added to the meat for roughage. What we are trying to accomplish here is to imitate nature as closely as possible. "

Juliette de Bairacli Levy "Juliette de Bairacli Levy has experienced eight decades of living a life dedicated to the "natural rearing" of her children and animals. She speaks the wisdom we long for, the knowledge of good health and a long happy life that is our right. Yet, somehow these details got lost, buried or ignored by the "scientific" community. Juliette is a champion of the health and loving treatment of cats, dogs, children, bees, and the gypsies. Her presence is a gently formidable figure in our modern world." Gail Colombo

Juliette of the Herbs" The food your animal eats should provide all of the nutritional components which are necessary for all organs and systems of a healthy body to perform in harmonious unison. A properly functioning body does an amazing job at preventing disease and healing itself, and to do this it requires the energies and nutrients of a well-balanced diet. In terms of finding the proper diet for our companions, this means learning to look beyond our own needs, opinions, and agendas to address the natural needs of the animals that we care take.

The business of selling pet food at times seems to be focused more on what appeals to animal guardians than on the dietary needs of pets. The market success of most commercial foods is judged by how convenient it is, and how good it looks, smells, feels, or even tastes to pet owners. The natural reality is this: what is good for our animals may be appalling to us, but if we really wish to provide them with the nutrition they truly need, we must learn to look beyond standards of human acceptance to consider what our pets might eat if we weren't around. Dogs for instance, wouldn't be eating sirloin-like chunks of meat with a rich gravy , or seafood buffet from a can--- they would be eating berries, grasses, rodents, and the rotting flesh of dead animals. This of course, doesn't appeal to us, so most dogs and cats eat dried kibbles or sterilized canned foods which lack live enzymes and dozens of other important nutrients that were destroyed by cooking. " Mary L. Wulff-Tilford

Dogs do not have the digestive system to cope with grains. Grains are one of the biggest sources of allergies in dogs. Grains make up the majority of dog food company food sources. Many people find when they switch to an all natural diet, the allergies their dogs had disappear. This is common.

Not only is BARF cheaper to feed than commercial dog foods, but there are enormous savings to be made by not having all those vet visits to fix your dogs' allergies. Are you asking yourself yet, "why hasn't my vet recommended this?" Yes, I would ask that of them too. Unfortunately most vets receive NO education at university on dog diet other than what the commercial dog food company reps tell them! (yes, this is the education they PAY to get - unbelievable. Luckily, some universities are realizing this mistake and are making amends).

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Home Made Raw food Diet for Animals

Your dog’s behavior, happiness, health, longevity and overall well-being are inextricably intertwined with what you feed him. Dogs, just like everyone else, have specific nutritional needs. And, not to complicate matters, the needs of individual dogs vary. "I've seen amazing results and health improvement in my dog Shasta, simply by switching her diet from kibble/canned food to raw food. The raw food diet strengthened her immune system dramatically. She no longer suffers from allergies to fleas and at 11 years of age her health and vitality are radiant." - Shirley

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Oral Disease in Cats and Dogs

"Puppies and kittens cut their deciduous teeth between 2 and 6 weeks of age.An inevitable consequence of this is gingivitis. A diet of processed food ensures lack of gum massage and the gingivitis persists. The growing animal develops grooming behavior and adds hair and fecal materials to the accumulated food scraps clogging the inter-dental spaces." "...give our cats and dogs their basic rights of a healthy functioning mouth. Supply raw chicken wings, chicken necks or oxtail to young/small kittens and puppies when they most want to chew and explore."

Raw bones are NOT harmful to carnivores. Only cooked bones can splinter and can pose a threat. Chewing on raw bones helps to strengthen the jaw bones, massage the gums while stimulating the salivary and digestive glands, help reduce plaques and calculus accumulation on the tooth surfaces, clean teeth and reduce occurrence of gingivitis. Bones are a good source of calcium and other important minerals.

Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats: The Ultimate Pet Diet
Kymythy R. Schultze

Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats Pet-lovers enable their dogs and cats to enjoy an ideal quality of life though a species appropriate diet of raw, natural foods. "My Golden Retriever has suffered from allergies most of her life.She has been on the diet in this book for six months. After a detox period (explained in this book) which lasted 6-8 weeks, her overall health has improved tremendously. My dog is off all of her previous medication (antibiotics and prednisone), and her skin is clear, her coat is soft and thick, and her attitude is great. I would definitely recommend this book. I would also recommend seeking help from a homeopathic vet when switching to the diet." Pauli Reading from Charlotte, NC, United States

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