In this section of our website, you will find information on raw and home prepared diets, vaccination, acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, holistic lifestyle, how to find a holistic veterinarian, and links to sites for further information on those subjects. But before you visit those pages, please consider this:
When we began naturally rearing our animals back in 1986, it was pretty hard to raise your pets this way. There was no Internet, with its myriad of holistic pet email lists and websites, no BARF buying co-ops, no seminars on natural rearing, few catalogues of natural pet products, no puppy buyers looking for holistically raised dogs, no endless array of super-premium "natural" pet foods, no commercially prepared raw diets, no shelves full of books on natural pet care, and almost no one else doing what you were doing.
Today, the world is completely different. There are thousands of email lists and websites out there, filled with so much information it's hard to sort it all out. There are cliques and camps and controversies. How do you know who to believe and what is true?
It's our earnest hope that each of you will stop looking for the One True Answer and instead, start using your minds and instincts to find the way that is best for you and the animals in your care. While there are tips and tricks and insights that more experienced people can share with you, ultimately it doesn't matter what I say, or what your veterinarian says, or what your dog's breeder says, or what some guru on an email list says (even if that guru is me!). All that matters is what feels right to you and what works for your animals.
Should you feed raw? Should you vaccinate? If your dog is sick, what should you do? Ultimately, you must take responsibility for those decisions yourself. Don't expect this or any other website to tell you what to do. Investigate the facts, look at all sides of an issue, consider what seems reasonable to you, don't dismiss evidence just because it upsets your beliefs, and then make up your mind. Never stop learning and questioning, and remember, as Susan Wynn, DVM, says, "Unanswered questions are not as dangerous as unquestioned answers."
You'll find the complete index of all articles on holistic are for animals here.
Holistic Health for People
As I stood at the counter in the kitchen preparing a beautiful bowl full of range-fed meat, sprinkled with organic green veggies and nutritious supplements for my dogs, it struck me: When was the last time I'd made a meal for myself? Why was it ok for me to live on crackers and cheese, pizza, and microwaved, reheated coffee, but not ok for my animals?
It's very easy to fall into the trap of taking better care of everyone else in your life than you do of yourself. But you have to remember: You cannot give what you don't have. If you are sick, weak, badly fed, not getting enough sleep, not getting enough fresh air, sunshine, companionship, and mental stimulation, if you are stressed, if your life is out of balance, then you won't really be able to do your best for the people in your life or the animals in your care.
We all have to make compromises. Life is full of stress and challenges. But remember that you matter, and that a life out of balance takes its toll, sooner or later. We are animals with an evolutionary history, a natural diet, a place in the order of things. Make an effort to learn about holistic approaches to caring for your dogs' best friend and your cats' favorite person! You can read more of my articles about human holistic care here, or visit the Body Politic section of my blog.