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As many of you know from my personal choice of a profession as a holistic MD, and to the way I care for my pets, family and myself, I have a deep personal commitment to a holistic approach to life. This is achieved through both through diet and exercise, and lifestyle choices. Action dogs raised in my home in Pittsburgh over the past twenty years have always been naturally reared.
Why did I begin this?
In the early 1970's when I was living in Seattle on an organic farm and attending naturopathic school, I was growing everything ate. Of course I was a vegetarian as were many others in the 60's. I wanted to be as natural as possible. I began to feed my dogs a natural diet. They hated it and one day I realized why. I was reading The Complete Herbal Handbook for the Dog and Cat by Juliette de Baircali-Levy. She described the natural diet of dogs as based on raw meats. Of course they were hunters and one only has to look at their pointed teeth to realize that they are different from our own. Juliette said "If diet is unnatural, disease will keep company with those subjected to it” I looked at my Great Dane and Blood Hound at the time and realized that she was right. One could not be in the same room with them after dinner as they had so much gas. Their teeth were coated, they had bad breath, dandruff, and their coats were smelly. My Dane was extremely irritable and could not be trusted alone with kids or small animals and my Bloodhound was afraid of her own shadow. With the help of Juliette's book we began to feed raw meat, herbs and whole grains and fast weekly for one day. Within six months I had two transformed and sweet smelling pets with normal behavior.
As we get busy in life we forget about things, something happens, and then we remember. I got my first Bull Terrier and she had skin problems as many whites often do. I was feeding the diet the breeder sent her home on. It was quick and easy and I was in my residency. But she had hives all over her body, was turning brownish red and her hair was falling out. Somehow I recalled my success on the farm, pulled out the old books and began the natural rearing diet. Good skin is a combination of food, judicious vaccinating, and genetics. Thankfully after six generations I have been fairly successful at breeding out the skin problems. Conditioning takes a lifetime, not just a few months.
Not Commercial Grade Dog Foods?
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