As a naturally rearing breeder all our dogs are fed a SARF diet- Species Appropriate Raw Food. Food that was designed and made available in nature and which the species has thrived on since their beginnings.
All our pups are weaned onto a SARF diet.
We do not start feeding pups until at least 4 weeks and better closer to 4 1/2 weeks if the dam has sufficient milk. Feeding too early contributes to food allergies and intestinal problems later in life.
The dam and pups will usually let me know when they are ready for real food!
Dams are allowed to raise and wean their young on their own schedule, without the intervention of removing pups from their mother’s care to "artificially wean" them. Most mother’s will start the weaning process at approx 7 weeks of age and the pups are totally weaned at 8 weeks.
Pups interact on a daily bases with all older dogs in the house and learn good canine communication skills.
All older dogs were raised on a minimal vaccine schedule. In recent years we have been raising our own dogs totally vaccine free, they are allowed to build their immunities naturally the way nature intended. All litters are raised either on a special vaccine protocol or we prefer they also go to vaccine-free homes.
Our pups are not routinely wormed. A pup raised on a raw meat diet, rarely, if ever has problems with worms. We have fecals done at 3, 5, 7 & 8 weeks old. They are always negative. While most pups may have worms from birth, a healthy, strong immune system can deal with them on it’s own - its the perfect way to teach a pups system how to heal itself. And even though wormer meds are fairly mild on the system, worming very young pups who have such immature immune systems on the schedule most breeders use - 2, 4, 6, & 8 weeks old - can cause undue stress. Most pups who contract parvo at a very young age, have a very slim chance of surviving if they have been on a heavy worming schedule. (Their chances decreases again dramatically if they have been
We do not use chemical products on our dogs. No flea sprays or topical flea treatment. Dogs that are fed a SARF diet and have a strong immune system very rarely have a problem with fleas. Fleas do not reproduce well on a truly healthy dog. (The same concept as a plant - when a plant is grown in nutritionally deficient soil, then the plant itself is deficient. It then has a problem with pests and fungi, so then we spray our plants and crops with pesticides, instead of enriching the soil that they are grown in to restore nature's balance.)
If fleas ever are a problem there are many natural remedies available to rid dogs of fleas that do not include harmful chemicals. Diatomaceous Earth - Food Grade is one of the best and most effect natural products for fleas and worms. It also has many other health uses for pets and people!
This video explains how it works
We do not give our dogs Heartworm medications. These also are full of VERY harmful chemicals. The best way to ensure against problems with heartworm is to keep the immune system strong with appropriate healthy food, no use of toxins/chemicals and healthy exercise for the mind and body. For more info please see our Heartworm page.
We use a holistic vet - Dr. Cynthia Harcourt, in Queensville, Ontario. The idea behind holistic health care, is that symptoms are the body's way of dealing with an imbalance. When those symptoms are suppressed or removed, you throw off the balance that body was striving to achieve.
Dr. Harcourt treats the “whole animal” and uses their body's natural healing tendencies to correct imbalances. Everything about the dog’s life is taken into consideration - environment, past health issues, diet, daily activities, possible stress factors and the relationship with us and other dogs in our home. She is only a phone call away at any time of the day or night. We entrust the lives of our dogs to her!
For more clinical needs like x-rays we use Dr. Chidiac, at the Chidiac Animal Hopsital, - Integrative Care - the combination of traditional and holistic care.
Something to think on -
By the time the average dog is 2 years old it has gone through the following schedule -
- Wormed at 2, 4, 6 & 8 weeks of age
- Vaccines approx 3 times before the age of 16 weeks, often times including up to
7 different live modified viruses.
- Rabies vaccine at 16 weeks old.
- Topical flea treatments monthly during the warmer weather.
- Second rabies vaccine at 1 year old
- 5 or 7-way booster vaccines at 1 & 2 years old
- Heartworm meds monthly during the warmer season.
While on their own, some of these things may seem “minimal”, (except for vaccines, they are a huge assault on the system) when they are put together they are a constant barrage on your dog’s immune system - month after month and year after year.
It is no wonder that today’s canine suffers from so many chronic health problems and autoimmune diseases.
We prefer to raise our dogs and pups in a natural method - to let the immune system
work as nature has designed it to. When the immune system is strong it can, in most cases take care of it’s self - rid itself of fleas and worms (even heartworm), fight off viral infections such as Parvo with little, if no outward signs of sickness....but when the immune systems is constantly weakened by the use of chemical substances then it can no longer care for itself.
Good health is nature's greatest safeguard against disease.
Germs and bacteria do not cause disease by themselves.
Disease occurs when the body’s immune system becomes weak and it’s resistance is low.
Alternatives 4 Animal Health is a great website to visit, outlining most of the health problems that confront our pets today and the best ways to deal with them in a natural manner.