“Animals who are healthy are not in need of a specific preventive; their lifestyle is their preventative.”
- Dr. William Falconer, Holistic Veterinarian in Austin, Texas.
What is Natural Rearing?
Natural rearing is how dogs have been born and raised for all of history up until just recently when commercial kibble, vaccines, and chemical dewormers came on the scene.
We breed and raise our Shibas as naturally as possible, by following the 8 laws of nature as outlined in "Natural Rearing: Breeding & Raising Dogs The Way Nature Intended" by Jeannie (Jeanette) Thomason, VND:
1. Nutrition. Dogs are carnivores, and are designed to eat raw (not cooked), whole small animals. They sort out what is good and what is not good. Dogs do not have the correct enzymes in their saliva and stomach to digest carbohydrates and cooked and processed foods. If a dog eats these foods void of enzymes and nutrients, then the enzymes they need to try to digest it are pulled from other parts of their bodies, robbing their organs of the enzymes they need to function properly. This can lead to organ disease, diabetes, pancreatitis, etc.
Since getting whole animals to feed our dogs is expensive and more difficult, instead we have a source of organic, raw chicken backs which contain meat and bone. These are fed raw, on the ground. The dogs oftentimes scavenge their own food from the array of mice, moles, birds, etc. on our farm, or whatever they find from the compost pile or pig pen. There are many days when I have tossed their raw meat to them, and they're not even interested because they are so full from what they have found on the farm. We also sometimes feed raw organs, leftover scraps from our dinners, and raw organic eggs, etc. Our puppies are weaned naturally (when their mother chooses to wean them) and they start participating in meals with their mother.
A diet containing primarily raw, meaty bones, is the best diet for a dog, and will help prevent disease by supporting a strong immune system. Remember, a strong immune system is a dog's only defense against disease!
2. Exercise. Most of the time, our dogs are roaming free on the farm, which we manage naturally, without chemicals. When the dogs need to be penned up, they are in a large grassy pen next to our house (free of chemicals like herbicides and pesticides). They get a ton of exercise running after each other, birds, the 4-wheeler, etc.
3. Water. Our dogs are given well water straight from the tap. They are not given city water (which is treated with chlorine, fluoride, etc.). City water is dead water and does not support health in humans or animals (and is actually harmful). City water contains fluoride which causes Skeletal Fluorosis (which feels like arthritis in the early stages), Dental Fluorosis, Bone loss, Bone cancer, Kidney Disease, Hormone Disruption, Cognitive Damage, and Gastrointestinal Upset.
Did you know that you can absorb fluoride through your skin, not just through drinking water? I actually had a friend that had bleeding during pregnancy that went away once she started filtering her water. City water damages! And dogs, especially dogs used for breeding, should not be drinking water that has fluoride in it. For more information, read this article in Dogs Naturally Magazine.
4. Sun/Supplements. Our dogs receive plenty of sunshine. They have shelter if needed, and they choose when/if they need it. Surprisingly, they will oftentimes choose to sleep outdoors under the stars, even when they have access to shelter. I was surprised when our border collie mix (farm dog) chose to sleep in the middle of our snowy backyard one winter day, rather than taking shelter in the barn! They know what they need, and we don't interfere and make them stay indoors when they want to be outside. We do sometimes let a dog into the house for a little while, but as a general rule they stay outside. They are farm dogs, and farm dogs love their freedom!
Supplements are occasionally used, and they are always natural (non-synthetic). We use Diatomaceous Earth to deworm our adult dogs. Puppies are dewormed using natural products as well.
5. Temperance. Too much of a good thing can be bad. We allow our dogs to determine how much they need of everything (exercise, sun, water, etc.). They know instinctually what they need.
6. Air. Our dogs have an abundance of energy due to their 24/7 access to fresh air.
7. Rest. Our dogs get plenty of rest as needed, and do not get much exposure to EMFs (besides the cell tower that is about 1 1/2 miles away) and stray voltage, which prevent the body from effectively rejuvenating while asleep.
8. Trust. We trust that the previous seven laws of nature are God's design and lead to health, longevity, and quality of life and that they will always work.
In addition to this, we have a no-vaccine protocol for our puppies. See our Dangers of Vaccines page for more info about the harms of vaccines.
We help keep our Shibas healthy by avoiding:
- Flea, tick, and heartworm medication (which are toxic)
- EMF exposure
- GMOs and other unhealthy foods, including commercial dog food
- Drugs/antibiotics, which mask symptoms and lead to chronic disease
- Toxic cleaning chemicals
- Pesticides and Herbicides on our grass (the neighbor does have a field which he farms and sprays)
Because naturally reared Shibas are so hard to find, we have had to buy our parents as puppies from conventional breeders. This means that they have received conventional food (kibble), dewormers, and/or puppy vaccinations at some point in their lives, and their parents have received the same.
In my research, I have learned that traits, health characteristics, etc. can get passed down from parent to offspring, but that diet, environment, exposure to toxins, and how a puppy is raised can affect how inherited genes express themselves. This is called epigenetics. If we do the right things and give our dogs the right nutrition, keep them away from toxins (like those in vaccines), and raise them right, they can grow to be old, HEALTHY dogs! Our dogs don’t have to die from cancer, and they don’t have to be miserable for the last few years of their life! (A lot of this applies to humans as well!)
Read this article for more information about epigenetics, how it works, and studies that prove that genetics is not everything!
Because the parents that we use were bred conventionally, there is the possibility of genetic damage to some degree (as with all dogs raised that way), and therefore your puppy's immune system may need a little help, in the form of natural supplements. If you do need to give your dog a supplement to help support a strong immune system, we recommend No More Worms. This contains Diatomaceous Earth (which flushes out parasites), as well as these immune supporting ingredients: organic lemongrass, organic olive leaf powder, probiotics, and vitamin C. We will send you home with a container of No More Dog Worms to support your puppy's immune system while they go through the life change of joining a new family.
"Natural Rearing: Breeding and Raising Dogs The Way Nature Intended" by Jeannie (Jeanette) Thomason, VND
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