Supporting your dog with species-appropriate meals, a healthy, non-toxic environment and breed-appropriate activities (while incorporating natural remedies only as needed) will give your dog the best possible quality of life, preventing both disease and the reduced lifespan associated with disease. There are many resources below to get you started in each of the areas of Natural Rearing.
About Livestock Guardian Dogs
Before I jump in to natural rearing information for all dogs, I’d like to highlight a book that I think all prospective livestock guardian dog owners should read.
Livestock guardians are a unique group of working dogs, that require an understanding of their nature and instincts in order to reach their full potential. They are intelligent and independent thinkers, but often sensitive. They need firm, loving guidance and immediate correction of undesirable behaviors while young. The most successful guardians usually learn by being born into a working pack of established guardians, as well as closely working with humans.
This book will teach you everything you need to know to make your decision about whether a livestock guardian dog is right for you, which breed would be the best fit and what to look for when choosing a puppy.
Maremmano.com is also an excellent resource, full of practical and detailed information. Most of the information applies to all breeds of livestock guardian dogs, as there are more similarities than differences among LGD breeds, but the site is specifically about Maremma Sheepdogs.
Learn how to feed your dog a species-appropriate raw diet in three steps here:
Natural Rearing Breeders Association
Natural Rearing: Breeding and Raising Dogs The Way Nature Intended by Jeannie Thomason, VND: This book provides practical information explaining virtually every part of natural breeding, whelping and raising a healthy litter of puppies. Dr. Jeannie takes you to a new level of breeding and raising healthy, vital, and long-lived dogs.
Dr. Thomason also created the Natural Rearing Breeders Association for both breeders and the dog community. The website is full of information about the benefits of natural rearing and of holistic/natural health preventative programs promoting health and well-being for your companion canines
We highly recommend this book to all dog owners. There is a wealth of information about canine health in a compact format. It is an eye opening and empowering read.
The sad truth is that thousands of dogs are injured and even killed by vaccines every year. What you will learn in this book:
- Why vaccines don’t work and their actual impact on the body
- How nature governs the laws of cure and prevention
- What the actual risks are from infectious canine diseases
- Step-by-step protocols to safely immunize a dog of any age
If you’ve read the book and decide to use standard vaccinations, we recommend you read A Safer Vaccination Protocol by Dr. Peter Dobias for additional cautionary information.
Nutrition, Supplements and Remedies (Homeopathic, Herbal and Essential Oils)
The Complete Herbal Handbook for Dog and Cat by Juliette de Baïracli Levy: Originally written in the 1950s and updated through the early 1990s. In addition to being another resource on canine nutrition and disease prevention, the book delves deeply into the details of the raw meat diet and supplementation and also offers an extensive list of canine aliments and the homeopathic and herbal remedies that work for those ailments.
Using Essential Oils with Dogs: a virtual class, right here on our website, that will show you everything you need to know to get started. You can order supplements, essential oils and essential oil infused products for dogs through Young Living. Another option for supplements is the collection offered by Dr. Peter Dobias.
The books we recommend are:
- Essential Oils in Animal Care: A Naturopathic Approach – a quick read that will give the overview you need to begin using oils with animals with confidence.
- Essential Oils for Animals Desk Reference will tell you all the oils, supplements and other essential oil infused products and recipes you need for specific situations. We have also looked up recipes for our chickens and sheep in this reference as well.