About Nature's Way Carolina Dogs

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Seymour, Tennessee, United States
Welcome to my site about my Naturally Reared Carolina Dogs! Carolina Dogs are a relatively new, rare breed recognized by the UKC, AKC-FSS & ARBA, and are quite possibly America's own indigenous wild dog. CDs make wonderful companions, athletes, hunters, and bedwarmers! Natural Rearing is the philosophy wherein we raise our dogs and puppies by following the 8 Laws of Health, employing Biologically Appropriate Raw Food and no toxic chemicals on, in or around our dogs. We have found this way of life fosters balance, health and longevity in our beloved companions. For our puppies, we welcome homes that have a very similar philosophy about dog rearing, or wish to learn. Check us out, follow us and share us in other places!!! YouTube@ Susan NaturesWayCarolina Dogs NaturesWayPets and FaceBook @ https://www.facebook.com/mycarolinadog on Twitter @https://twitter.com/NaturesWayCDs Thank you so much for visiting our site, feel free to leave us a comment or send us an email! susanlewelling@yahoo.com

8 Laws of Health and Natural Rearing

The 8 Laws of Health and Why They are Important in Raising Your Puppy

The 8 Laws of Health are the foundation of Naturopathy. It will be the basis of how I instruct you on raising your puppy and care throughout his or her life. Therefore, I wanted to give you a little primer on what these laws are and how they apply to NR(Natural Rearing) puppy rearing.  
Before we begin, know that your dog is more than just a physical body, she is a whole being consisting of mind, body and spirit. These laws apply equally to the whole dog. Conventional veterinary medicine (and human medicine) only address the physical with suppression of symptoms through medication and surgery. Natural Rearing is a wholistic paradigm where we practice prevention, allowing the dog to be healthy by following these laws of health and address challenges by looking at the whole being, and supporting the dog through natural methods to overcome the challenge.
1. Nutrition
Nutrition is first, as it is the foundation of all health. Without Species Appropriate nutrition the body can never thrive to its full potential. For dogs this means a diet of raw meat, bones and organs. 
It is only in the past one hundred years or so that "dog food" has become kibble. The kibble companies have convinced the public that it is appropriate and complete nutrition that our dogs cannot survive without. They have even taken over the nutrition classes in veterinary colleges, leaving the vast majority of our vets without proper nutritional knowledge. All we need to know to feed our dogs properly is taught to us by nature and history. Our dogs have a drive for small prey, and their anatomy and phisiology tells us what they are intended to eat. what did dogs 1,000 years ago eat...flavored biscuits with synthetic vitamins and flavorings sprayed on them? NO.  
When the body doesn't get the proper nutrition it begins to be out of balance. When your dog eats kibble, any brand, any "quality", the immune system sees it as an invader and attacks, part of this process is the release of chemicals called histamines. What happens when histamines are released in the body? Inflammation. This acute, low grade reaction becomes chronic over time. Chronic inflammation can lead to issues such as cancer, arthritis, or gastritis. 
The diet of our dogs affects more than just their gut. A proper meaty bone diet keeps the teeth clean, gums healthy, and provides mental stimulation. As you can see the Nutrition affects the whole dog. 
2. Exercise
All animals must have exercise that is appropriate for the species and for their specific self. In the wild a dog may have to travel miles to find food or mates, they may have to run at top speeds for short distances to catch prey. But are not moving all day long like a horse. They spend about half of their day sleeping! Appropriate exercise means appropriate for the age and physical condition of a specific dog, but not too much or injury or exhaustion can result. Appropriate movement for your dog will provide mental stimulation, burn calories and pump lymph around the body. Exercise will burn energy which could otherwise be used in inappropriate activities like chewing up your couch. For puppies you will need to provide short walks and opportunities for your pup to romp in the yard throughout the day. 
Exercise as a law of health does not just mean the physical, it also means the mental. Your puppy/dog needs mental stimulation. This can be short training sessions or things like brain games and complicated recreational bones. 

3. Water
All living beings need water to survive. Water should be pure and clean, free from toxins like chlorine and fluoride. Your dog is made up of about 70% water and water is the main ingredient in healthy living cells.  Water carries nutrients to cells, aids digestion and is used to flush toxins, it lubricates joints and helps cool the body. As you can see pure clean water is needed in every aspect of your dog's health. 
 Make sure your dog's water bowl is kept clean and the water is changed at least once per day. The bowl should be washed with soap and water every few days to weekly as needed. Be sure your dogs water is out of direct sunlight and away from drafts. A heavy flat bottom glass or food-safe ceramic bowl works great and is free from leaching contaminants. 

4. Sun and Supplements
Dogs know instinctively that they need sunshine. Have you seen a dog laying in a shaft of sunlight coming through a window? While they don't need full sun all day long, they do need the opportunity to sun themselves. A dog will lay out in the sunshine for a time then move to the shade as needed. It may  be bitterly cold or scorching hot but your dog(and you) still need to spend a time in the sunshine. 
Unfortunately in our modern times our soils are depleted, making our food less nutrient rich.  We all know there are no guarantees in life and Natural Rearing cannot guarantee a disease free life. We are continually exposed to toxins in our air, foods, and man made items like our very homes, cleaning products, vehicles and furniture. In this modern world imbalances happen.
Supplements are needed to bridge this gap and help us balance things out. The most common supplements you should be aware of are Probiotics, Digestive Enzymes, Colostrum and Herbs. 
5. Temperance
Some people describe temperance as total abstinence, and some think of it as license to do whatever they want as long as it is in moderation. I think it is somewhere in between. This quote sums it up well.  "Temperance is moderation in the things that are good, and total abstinence in the things that are foul" -Francis E Willard. 
 Water is good for us but one can still die from water intoxication. Also, while the theory is noble, vaccines contain some very foul ingredients indeed(aluminum, thiomersal, and foreign DNA) so even one vaccine can cause adverse reactions that linger for a lifetime and can even cause death. So Moderation in the good, abstinence in the corrupt. 
6. Air
Your dog needs fresh air daily. While she will get some on daily walks, be cognizant of the air in your home as well. If you have to leave your dog at home for long periods of time, consider a doggie-door to a contained area outdoors or cracking a window to allow fresh air to flow through the house. 
Another thing to consider is the products you use in your home such as air fresheners, cleaners and candles. Many of these products contain unsafe ingredients that are breathed in and can build up in your dog's system and cause breathing, eye, ear or skin problems, even cancer. 
7. Rest
We all need good rest, but dogs have different sleep cycles than humans, with shorter and less periods of REM sleep. On average dogs sleep about 12-14 hours a day and puppies sleep 18-20 hours per day! Rest is needed for rejuvenation of the body, and restoration of the mind. Your dog may prefer to sleep with you at night or not, but it is important to give your dog a space of their own to rest that is dark, quiet and free from Electrical Magnetic Frequencies. So right beside your TV or refrigerator may not be the ideal spot. A covered crate in an out of the way spot is a good safe place for them to rest and relax. 

8. Trust
This is not a thing we often think of when we think about health, but it is very important. The definition of Trust is the "firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of something or someone". A synonym for trust is confidence. 
We need to have trust in the laws of health listed here. These laws are our way to health and a quality life. If we lose confidence in the nutrition for example and switch to feeding kibble, our dog will become unbalanced and eventually chronically unhealthy.  Sometimes this happens when we don't have a complete understanding of one of these Laws of Health. If this is the case, ask me for more educational support. Have faith, stand firm, if you need support or guidance, that is what I am here for you for! Your precious pup is depending on you, and I am trusting you to continue what I have just begun with your pup. 

Read on for more about Vaccinations, The raw diet and more....


 I want my dogs to be the happiest and healthiest possible and I want our puppies to go to homes who want that too!  Before deciding on when & how much to vaccinate your dog, please do some research, read the materials at the links I have provided in this section and on the Links page  Also, at least, consult with a Holistic Veterinarian in your area. Ultimately YOU have to decide what is best for your dog, your situation & your family. 

I do not vaccinate my dogs for unnecessary things just because it is what everyone else is doing. The recent dog flu "outbreak" is one such example. I kept my dogs home from dog sport events, dog parks and pet stores for a month or so. Soon the wave of fear passed and we continued our normal routines.  If presented with an offered vaccine, I would want to know why that specific shot is given, if it is really needed, what my dog's risk level is, what benefit will that shot be to my dog and what are the possible side effects. I want my dogs to be the healthiest they possibly can be, so after years of going along with what the vet told me my dog needed, I got involved and started reading & researching vaccines. I asked questions. I find out what is best for my dogs and discuss my beliefs with my vet before vaccinating. If a vet does not respect my questions or my choices, I would then find a new vet who did. I have done just that. 

My original Carolina Dogs were vaccinated as puppies but after their rabies shot I have not vaccinated them any more.  I currently do not vaccinate my personal dogs except for Rabies, as minimally as required by law. No puppies from our litters are vaccinated, they are totally Naturally Reared! Nature's Way Carolina Dog puppies are raised in our home, with all the noises, smells and happenings of a typical family. They are given plenty of time to play and explore the outdoors in the sunshine with the rest of the pack. They meet local livestock, are taken on car rides, visited by friends and family (and their pets). I (and other Natural Rearing breeders) believe this type of exposure helps them to be better adjusted, happier, healthier and on their way to building a superior immune system. 

From personal experience, research and anecdotal accounts, I believe Carolina Dogs are extremely sensitive to medications, drugs & chemicals, including vaccinations, dips, and 'routine' medications. The new AKC listing of Carolina Dogs in the FSS program lists that they may be sensitive to Ivermectin products. 
These sensitivities could be because after surviving in the wild for hundreds or thousands of years, their healthy bodies & immune systems could handle & fight off normal parasite loads, and infectious diseases, but the insult from the overload of abnormally introduced vaccines (ie injected rather than natural types of exposure) given by us humans confuses the already healthy immune system and it begins attacking itself & other systems, resulting in all sorts of misdiagnosed signs & symptoms! This, I believe is especially true after generation upon generation of over-vaccination. The sensitivity I have seen in CDs from all sorts of backgrounds could be for any number of other reasons, all I know is that I am hearing more and more stories about CDs having reactions to vaccination, including seizures, immune disorders, cancers and even death. 

Vaccination Protocol 

Please keep in mind this thought when deciding whether to vaccinate your puppy or dog.

 "As practitioners sharing responsibility for the well being of patients,
 veterinarians are faced with a challenge when dealing with acute diseases. 
Vaccinations may prevent these acute diseases, but if the exchange is for a lifetime of chronic disease, is that a viable option?"
Don Hamilton, DVM -Health Hazard of Routine Vaccinations

I cannot ethically recommend any Vaccination. Vaccines do damage on a cellular level, they change the very DNA of your dog. There is risk with every single shot, even one shot can cause a lifetime of Immune disruption and illness in your dog. Every single vaccine has a risk of severe adverse reactions. These risks compound the more vaccines(even over time) that your dog is given. The risk does not outweigh the benefit when the risk and probable outcome is a lifetime of immune mediated disorders. 

Instead, I prefer to focus on building natural, dynamic immunity in your pet, starting before they are ever conceived with the health of the sire and dam. Then continuing on with the puppies, weaning them at the appropriate time to the natural Prey Model Raw diet, boosting the immune system with Homotonic Nosodes and slowly building immunity through exposure in ever widening circles of exposure to their environment- as is done in nature. 

If you have an older dog that has been vaccinated previously, I would recommend you read this article By Dr Ronald Schultz about Duration of Immunity  and consider doing Titer testing before you re-vaccinate. 

"In veterinary medicine, evidence implicating vaccines in triggering immune-mediated and other chronic disorders (vaccinosis) is compelling." vaccination article By Dr. W Jean Dodds  
Even with the above statement of risk, Dr Dodds promotes a modified minimal vaccine schedule for those who absolutely insist upon vaccinating. By posting this, I am not condoning vaccinating but I feel that this information must be posted for those not ready to embrace the complete philosophy of Natural Rearing. 
Dr Dodd's Vaccination Schedule 

9 - 10 weeks
Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV (e.g. Intervet Progard Puppy DPV)
14 weeks
Same as above
16 -18 weeks (optional)
Same as above
20 weeks or older, if allowable by law
1 year
Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV
1 year
Rabies, killed 3-year product (give 3-4 weeks apart from distemper/parvovirus booster)

Vaccinating Dogs: 10 Steps to Eliminating Unnecessary Shots   "When vaccinating our dogs, most of us rely on our vets, trusting that their advice is up-to-date and not biased by economic or political concerns.  Unfortunately,  unless vets stay current on veterinary journal reading (no easy task) … and actually assimilate new findings … and decide to forgo significant vaccination income, their advice may lag well behind many years behind what experts now advocate. Vaccination is a serious medical procedure with the potential for adversely affecting health, both in the short and long term. Experts now advise us to vaccinate each dog according to his or her individual needs.  But  how do you cut back without endangering your dog’s health?  Here are 10 ways to eliminate unnecessary shots while actually improving pet health."                           Read on at no-unnecessary-dog-shots

.... you may be wondering what is the best way to keep your best friend healthyOne may think that vaccines or “the shots” as many call them, would be the next step. However, it is not that simple... Read more at: Holistic Approach to Vaccination of Adult Dogs and Puppies by Dr. Peter Dobias

Always consult your Holistic vet for a specific risk assessment and a vaccination schedule that works for your pet's needs & risk level.  Find one here: Holistic Vet List

Keep in mind that the vet can not force you to do anything! You are the owner of the dog and the person paying the bill. You are always free to say that you are going to consult another vet/Naturopath/etc before you decide whether to give a vaccine. If you decide not to vaccinate, or to do only what is required by law, make sure they understand your stance and mark the chart in multiple places, it is also a good idea to put a note on your dogs's collar (especially if he is staying overnight) that "No Vaccines" are to be given. Always make sure your dog stays within your sight because sadly I have heard too many stories of vets taking a dog in the back to do a procedure and vaccinating the dog without the owners permission, then the owners found out because the charge was on the itemized bill!  

When you purchase a puppy from Nature's Way Carolina Dogs I am here to mentor you for the life of your puppy, to help you learn as you start or continue on this journey with your best friend! I want all our puppies and dogs to thrive for their entire long life and I want like minded families that fully understand at least the basics of Natural Rearing Philosophies for each of our puppies! 


Your dog IS a carnivore, contrary to what the BIG pet food companies 

would have you to believe. 

If you think about it, it's only in the last century or less that 

commercial kibble has been available.

 Before that, pets ate scraps thrown out the kitchen door or were hand fed from the preparations & dining tables of their families, and wild/feral dogs were predator/hunters or opportunistic feeders, eating off of another predator's kill whenever possible.  While they may have eaten a small portion of grains & other carbohydrates from the stomachs & intestines of their kills, their main food/energy source was meat, organs & bones.  
Before the last century, allergies, obesity, cancers, & the myriad of other medical problems dogs suffer from today, pretty much did not exist! The bad thing is that sometimes the effects from kibble are not immediately seen, but over the generations, they are becoming more & more apparent. Sadly, they are often misdiagnosed. 
For more information about Raw Feeding, see my blog posts on Raw Feeding. HERE 
There are MANY links on my LINKS page as well for additional reading. 
To feed the average quality bag of Kibble costs about $30-45 per month for a 40-60 pound dog. Feeding SARD (a Species Appropriate Raw Diet) can cost about the same, with the additional savings of less Vet visits and even zero medication costs! 

The Basics
* diet is based on the 80%-10%-10% formula.
 80% muscle meat -10% bone -10% organ- half that (5%) should be liver and half (5%) should be secreting organ(kidney, pancreas, brain, etc) 
* whole carcasses (portion/sections) whenever possible or large pieces. Food should not be routinely ground or cut up in small chunks except for special need reasons. Bone portion should be given as bone-in meat. 
* Adults- 2-3% of body weight, 1 time a day or you can divide it in two & feed half that in the morning and half in the evening(your choice, but I recommend only feeding once per day, except puppies)
* puppies feed- 2-3 % of expected ADULT body weight or 5-6 % of current body weight, 2-6 times a day depending on age.

* amount will be depending on your individual dog lifestyle/exercise level

* Judge if your dog is getting enough based on body condition. 
* a variety of meats is crucial, the more variety the better- any type 'prey' animal- chicken, beef, pork, lamb/sheep, goat, fish, bison, elk, venison, turkey, rabbit, quail, squirrel, mice, duck, eggs, etc. No meat-eating animals should be fed to dogs. 
You need "balance over time", so it is ok to feed the same type of meat for several days in a row. Over a month's time you should provide at least 3 or more different protein sources.
*try to think about the prey a dog, coyote or wolf would be eating in the wild and try to mimic that in variety & proportions. 

*NEVER feed COOKED bones of ANY kind. Cooking changes bone structure. This can cause it to splinter, causing issues like choking and punctures of the gut. Cooking changes bone on a molecular level, and this makes it harder to digest, leading to impactions of stool, diarrhea, or gut infections. Cooking also removes most of the nutrients your dog needs.  

*Weight bearing bones (especially from large animals, like cows) tend to be dense and have been known to break teeth, try to stay away from those or take them away when all the meat is stripped off.

 *Unless pureed, veggies pass through a dogs short digestive tract without being used/digested, so the dog gets no nutritional value from them. Grains and vegetables need to spend time in the digestive tract fermenting in order to be broken down into useable nutrients, like happens with herbivores and omnivores which have a longer digestive tract and slower digestion. Canines do not produce the necessary enzymes in the mouth to begin digestion of fruits and vegetables, leaving their pancreas to try and produce enough of the necessary enzymes. Dogs do produce a small amount of Amylase from the pancreas, but this is not enough to provide what is necessary to digest these foods on a daily basis for long term. This small evolution of the dog is to ensure they can survive in lean times by scavenging rubbish from humans, until they are able to find prey. This is not a major change in the dog's digestive abilities, that would enable them to thrive on a diet with a significant amount of fruits, grains and vegetables for the long term. Dogs are built to thrive on a carnivore diet and get all the nutrients they need from their prey(raw diet in proper proportions and balance). Veggies, grains and fruits are not needed as part of the overall diet. 

* The world is not what it used to be and our soils are becoming depleted. So you may choose to supplement with a few things as needed. Fish Oil or Krill Oil if you are not feeding grass fed meats. Coconut Oil, Aloe Vera (anti-viral & anti-fungal) Probiotics, either fresh green tripe or SBO's (Soil Based Organisms) and Bovine Colostrum or some other Immune System Building product.  

* RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH!!! and consult a Small Animal Naturopath, Naturopathic Carnivore Nutrition Counselor, a Classical Homeopath or a (rare) raw educated Veterinarian to guide & assist you in your learning and picking the right option for your dog. 


There are several different (healthier than regular kibble) options if you can not or are not ready to feed full raw. I do feel that a 100% raw diet is best and my CD puppies are weaned straight to a raw diet. I have had puppy owners tell me that their raw fed puppy was offered kibble and refused to eat it! They know what is good for them! 
That being said, I wanted to make you aware of other options that you may find information on, and also why they are not the best option for your puppy. 

There are several alternatives to Prey Model Raw feeding.

1. Homemade cooked diet. First off Cooking changes proteins on a molecular level, even at very low temperatures. The nutrients in their raw, bio-available form are destroyed and changed. The food becomes less nutritious, and less digestible. Over time this can lead to chronic malnutrition, even though your dog is eating an acceptable amount. This can be detrimental to your dog's health, leading to cancers, low immune system, and many other chronic illnesses.
Secondly the cooked diet needs to be supplemented with calcium,, as well as digestive enzymes, probiotics and the vitamins and minerals that are lost through cooking. This can not be done correctly, consistently and successfully without a scientific evaluation of the exact diet you are making. We thought this was supposed to be simple! It's not! 

2. The half & half diet(half raw, half kibble) whether for convenience or fear, this is not a good idea in my professional opinion. The fact is that kibble is not a good diet choice, much like feeding McDonalds every day to a growing child, because it is from unknown, inferior sources,  cooked at very high temperatures until all the nutrients are destroyed, containing supplemental fake nutrients that are not bio-available, having its share of recalls for pathogen contamination, and the general makeup of kibble being from largely non species appropriate sources( grains, starches, fruits & vegetables). Also to consider, Kibble and raw digest at different rates, this can cause digestive issues such as constipation, impaction, diarrhea, and infections in the gut. The kibble needs time to move through the digestive tract, time to ferment and be somewhat broken down(although you can see kibble poo is mushily similar to how it went in) and the raw food moves through much quicker. The kibble slows down the rate of digestion, leaving the raw food to sit in the gut and rot, not good at all! Hopefully you can begin to get an idea of why this diet is not a good idea.   

3. Home-made BARF diet (google it) This acronym can mean Bones And Raw Food, Biologically Appropriate Raw Food, and several others, but I am meaning the BARF diet as set forth by Dr Ian Billinghurst. Learn more here-BARF. I am not a big fan of this diet, because it usually consists of only 50% meat and 50% fruits, vegetables and in some cases grains. 

4. Commercially prepared raw for dogs. This is 100% raw meat, portioned or ground. you just measure the correct amount and serve. Here is one such company that sells this type of food. My problem with this type of diet is 1. your dog gets no mental benefit or the benefits of tooth cleaning that they get when eating large pieces and bone in meats. 2. Many of these diets are sterilized(using heat or High Pressure Pasteurization). the bad bacteria is killed, but the good bacteria is killed as well, the good bacteria(enzymes & probiotics) is something that every dog needs to thrive. Also when the good bacteria is killed, it cannot keep any later introduced bad bacteria in check, leading to listeria, salmonella and many other overgrowths. this can make you and your dog sick and is one of the reasons that so many fear the raw diet as dangerous.  

5. Freeze dried Raw. There are several different companies that sell this type of food for pets. Most of it is in  frozen patties or nuggets Primal and Steve's are 2 such companies that sell this type of food and this type can be found in many good boutique pets stores (not chains). Many of the commercial companies do add in grains, starches, and vegetables, putting us back to square one in trying to avoid these things.

6. Dehydrated Raw.  This type usually is in a chunky powdered form. You just mix with water and when it is absorbed then serve. Here are 2 examples of this type of diet. Addiction and The Honest Kitchen

*There are some drawbacks to serving these types of diets. For one they are more expensive. Another drawback is that raw bones still need to be provided for mental stimulation and teeth cleaning. They are less readily available. Also many of the commercial companies do add in grains, starches, and vegetables, putting us back to square one in trying to avoid these things. 

On the other hand they are a little more convenient, less messy and for 
newbies to raw feeding, less worry about if your dog is getting most of the correct nutrients. 

*I am sure there are other options available and there are many more quality companies that make these types of foods. Just GOOGLE Raw Diet For Dogs, Dehydrated Raw Food For Dogs or other similar phrases and you will find plenty! 

*There are also higher quality grain free kibbles available but these would be my last resort for feeding my Carolina Dogs, as they are not species-appropriate and are cooked, which removes all the healthy enzymes and the bio-available nutrients that you find in whole raw foods.  

*Also to help you when you are shopping for pet food, watch these 2 videos by Dr Karen Becker about how to read pet food labels. Part 1 and Part 2  She has many other good videos on You Tube regarding Species Appropriate Nutrition (as well as some great video interviews with other Naturally Minded Veterinary Specialists, including Dr. Ronald Schultz!). Here is a link to her 
channel: Dr. Karen Becker

I have been raw feeding for 7 + years(as of 2016) and I feed by body condition. I just weigh the food ever so often to see where they are at. Usually they get whole prey or as close to it as we can get. But they do get a mix of everything. And I do mean everything (raw). 
I feed whole prey (chickens, pigs, deer, squirrel, turkey, goat, fish, rabbit, etc) oth
er things like beef, tripe, cuts of meat from the grocery store or meat markets, etc as parts -bone in (franken-prey, some call it), or ground.
Also I feed different amounts every day, some days more, some less, some days will be a gorge, some days a fast, never the same amount.
Also I never feed at the same time of the day.
My dogs are in great shape.
I believe that in the wild, animals are not fed a portioned, prepared, balanced meal every day at the same time on a platter or in a bowl.
My dogs are usually fed as a pack, but can eat alone and in different areas, on different surfaces, etc. I do occasionally feed them in bowls or on a plate, or by hand, or on the ground, on the kitchen floor, different every day so they are used to anything.
I believe most of the peculiarities that many dogs have is caused by the "regulated" way of feeding and so I just avoid all that by doing things the way that I do.
Sometimes (usually) I do make them sit & wait until I allow them to eat, but not always, sometimes I have them hunt their food (in my yard or house) both are ways of working for their food:)

My pack do occasionally get to pick berries in season or herbs/grasses, not every day & not as a % of their meal. Sometimes they get a snack of a whole baby carrot or piece of cauliflower or broccoli, a piece of a pear or a peach, or whatever.

Veterinary Care
DVM, Holistic, Naturopath... which to choose? As part of the overall Natural Rearing protocol, a well educated, caring health care provider is a MUST for your pets. At minimum, a yearly check up is needed for your pet, that way health issues can be identified before they become a problem and can be more easily dealt with. A raw-educated health care provider will be invaluable in helping you design a diet plan that is complete and balanced. A good health care provider that uses a Natural approach to health care can help you determine your dog's risk factors for certain diseases and can advise you on what vaccinations, if any, are truly needed. A good Natural minded health care provider can help you to make the best decision about what to use for fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and the like and can help guide you to the alternatives that really work. A natural thinking health care provider can advise you on alternative therapies for conditions your pet may already have, enabling you to possibly get your pet off the chemical medication roller coaster. 
There are many options now, and many alternatives to traditional western medicine. Some people have an established vet that they are comfortable with and can discuss these things intelligently and are allowed to make their own choices in these matters, but some feel bullied, pressured or deceived by their vets. 
The good news is there are other options! 
1.There are DVMs that have taken extra training in alternative modalities, some of these have practices known as Integrative Medicine, where they practice Western and Alternative therapies, based on what the client wants and needs. 
2.Others are known as Holistic Veterinarians(DVM), they can also be called Veterinary Homeopaths. These have completed their degree in Veterinary Medicine, others are certified in Chiropractic Medicine, Acupuncture or have other health care certifications and through further training have decided to practice using Homeopathic Remedies. For more information on this see http://www.theavh.org/ . Here is a link that you can use to search for Holistic Veterinarians in your area: http://www.holisticvetlist.com/
3.  Naturopaths, like Homeopaths, usually have some background in human and/or animal health care and a growing number are certified in Animal Naturopathy. Naturopaths employ the principles of nature to help our animal have a complete picture of health and thus ward off disease. They focus on the whole animal and use many different natural modalities to work with the patient's body to heal the whole of illness and achieve health and vitality. For more information on Naturopathy see http://www.animalnaturopathy.org/animalnaturopathy.html and http://www.cottnat.com.au/naturopathy-explained.asp
If you can not find a Homeopath or Naturopath practitioner in your area, many will do phone/internet consultations. Contact me for referral to several Animal Naturopaths if you can not find one online.  
 I use an excellent, caring Holistic Veterinarian, Dr Sandra Priest, DVM at Four Winds Holistic Animal Services.  "Holistic veterinary medicine emphasizes the use of natural treatments such as homeopathy, chiropractic,  acupuncture, herbs, nutrition, and 
supplements. But there is more to holistic medicine than just using natural substances and 
methods in place of drugs and surgery."  http://home.earthlink.net/~fourwinds/

The number one and number two reasons I hear of for owners giving yearly vaccinations, dangerous chemical "preventatives"  and feeding expensive, non- biologically-appropriate kibble is "It is what my Vet says to do and he has it all available in his office" and " It is what I (or the vet) have always done"... even when the person is questioning the safety and quality of these things for their pets, they get no explanation or alternatives.  
Whichever type of practitioner you choose, it is critically important to the life & welfare of your pet that you have a animal health car provider that you trust; that will listen to you and not just lecture; one that is open and respectful of your beliefs, opinions & needs. If you don't feel comfortable telling your vet what YOU really want for your pet, you may become just another number, just another 15 minute appointment for them to rush in and hurriedly administer the "routine" vaccinations and rush on to the next patient after a 1-2 minute chat about how sweet your pet is or you may end up being bullied into allowing toxins to be put in and on your pet that you don't necessarily want in/on them, but feel you have to, to stay in the vet's good graces... . You are paying them, therefore you are in charge! They can not force you into administering any vaccinations, or chemicals or drugs in/on your pet, you can always say "I think I will get a second opinion first" and leave that office.  In the past few years, the overall vaccine protocol was changed, yet through my own experiences, I found that either Vets are not aware of the change, or they just aren't telling their clients! You and your pet deserve better! 
* only a DVM is recognized by law for the administration of Rabies vaccination and any other vaccinations required by your state or local law.  

There are several other topics in the Natural Rearing conversation; worming, heartworm, household/environmental chemicals and so on. I'll bet if you've read this whole page, that you have an idea of where my thoughts on these topics lead. If you want more information, please visit my consulting website Nature's Way Pets or any of the links on the LINKS page of this website. 

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