Building a Good Foundation
. . . Naturally
by Kymythy Schultze, Animal Health
There are many ways in which
Nature can assist in one of the most natural processes; the miracle of
birth. Before you breed your dog, she should be in excellent health and
condition. Holistic health care works with nature and your pet's body to
keep her in optimal health and an asset to your breeding program.
The foundation of health is
diet. Food is second only to air in what your dog takes into its body most
often. Food provides the energy for life. Good food provides lots of
energy, poor food does not. Your domestic carnivore's body was shaped over
eons of evolution to thrive on particular foods. The closer you can
simulate the diet that your dog's body is designed to eat, the healthier
your dog will be. The canine's short digestive system is equipped to
thrive on raw food. Cooking damages many elements in food that are vital
to good health. A balanced diet of raw meat, bones, vegetables,
herbs, and oils provides an excellent nutrient profile. Balancing
proportions of ingredients is made easier if one thinks in terms of
"prey animal" proportions. What would one find in a mouse, bird
or rabbit? A large part of any wild meal is raw bones...lots of them.
There would also be some muscle and organ meat, hide/hair/fur/feathers,
and stomach contents. The stomach contents would include grasses, plants,
seeds, nuts, bark and/or fruit - no grains. "Pottenger's Cats: A
Study in Nutrition" by Dr. Francis Pottenger should be required
reading for anyone feeding animals, especially breeders.* The study
demonstrates the health benefits of a raw food diet and follows a breeding
program of several generations. The difference in health between the
animals fed raw food and those fed cooked food is shocking. The raw food
cats thrived generation after generation, with no reproductive problems.
With the cooked food, cats had many health problems and were unable to
reproduce by the third generation.
ALL nutrients are important
for pregnancy and whelping: protein, vitamins, minerals, fats, enzymes.
They can all be obtained from raw food. Abundant raw meat, fish and eggs
provide good protein. Raw chicken or turkey backs, necks and wings provide
important calcium. Cod-liver oil and flaxseed oil provide essential fatty
acids. Raw pulpy green and root vegetables provide enzymes, carbohydrates,
vitamins and minerals. A good quality powdered kelp is nutrient dense and
can be added to meals daily as a vitamin/mineral supplement. Kelp also
helps balance the glands, especially thyroid. Thyroid problems often lead
to reproductive problems. Red raspberry leaf has been used for centuries
as a fertility aid and pregnancy tonic. There are also homeopathic
remedies that are very useful for pregnancy, whelping, and rearing
A pregnant dog that is eating
a nutritious raw diet will usually eat just slightly more than usual.
After the pups are born, she'll consume more to keep everyone fed. Feeding
her more raw poultry meaty bones will provide a wide array of nutrients
and make almost instant milk for the pups. In the wild, at weaning time,
Momdog would feed her youngsters the same things she ate; only in
regurgitated semi-liquid form. Human care-givers can follow her lead by
making adult meals mushy for weaning pups. Raw chicken necks can be put
through a meat grinder. Raw knuckle bones (devoid of fat) in the whelping
box can provide added nutrition, chewing practice and hours of
entertainment. Adding buffered vitamin C to the pups' meal helps them
build a strong immune system. As pups grow and develop, raw chicken necks
can be just smashed and then eventually left whole. If feeding large pups,
one can graduate to feeding larger chicken meaty bones as the pups grow.
My experience has shown me
that pups raised this way are exceptionally strong and healthy. They have
a high resistance to parasites and disease. Their bone is straight and of
good substance and their teeth are pearl-white. They are bright and learn
very quickly (I attribute this to feeling good!). Even my puppy families
notice the difference!
Kymythy Schultze is an Animal
Health Instructor, certified with the state of California, and teaches
Holistic Care for Dogs and Cats at a local college. She is a published
writer and promotes holistic care for pets through lectures and seminars
worldwide. For lecture information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kymythy has raised
Newfoundland dogs for twenty years. Her dogs have championships,
obedience, good citizen, draft and water rescue titles.
*Available from the Price-Pottenger
Nutrition Foundation, P.O.Box 2614, La Mesa, CA 91943-2614.
1-800-FOODS-4-U. Video of study also available.
**Contact Academy for
Veterinary Homeopathy (503) 342-7665 for homeopathic veterinarian.