When I was growing up, I remember that animals were treated a bit differently than they are now. For the most part animals lived outdoors and had a particular function to perform.
Cats were mousers. Dogs were guardians. Chickens produced eggs. And so on. All of them lived outdoors. The only pet that I know lived indoors with me when I was a toddler was my Pekingese dog named Geronimo.
It wasn’t until my Mom married my stepdad when I was nine, that we had began to accumulate a variety of indoor pets. Up until that time, all of “my” pets had lived with my grandmother. All of her pets were allowed indoor-outdoor access – to free roam as it is now called. They all got fed table scraps. In fact, because my grandmother owned a restaurant (several in fact over the years), the animals all got fed from the kitchen – cooked and raw.
My parents of course fed the only packaged foods at the time which were Purina and Alpo. However, ALL of our pets were fed scraps in conjunction with their kibble or canned food. The dogs and cats got the raw fat, meat and bone scraps. The guinea pigs got the raw vegetable scraps.
The disconnect for me from a more logical way of raising animals came when I “grew up” and went to work in veterinary medicine. There I learned that the only way to care for our animals was to feed a so-called “science” formulated diet that came in a bag, to vaccinate yearly, and to use prevention type medications to protect our pets from fleas, ticks, heartworm, mites. My goal in working in veterinary medicine was to get hands-on training and then proceed on to vet school.
That was the plan anyway.
Mistake #1: I continued to stay and work as an assistant in three different veterinary practices.
Mistake #2: I grew more and more jaded and frustrated as a result of staying because animals were always sick. They never seemed to get better.
I could not believe it, but it seemed that working in this profession was changing my attitude and feelings towards animals. I was beginning to feel less inclined to want to help them. In order to preserve my love of them, I left veterinary medicine and decided I’d not pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a veterinarian. I suppose if I’d just gone to college and then vet school without ever having worked in a clinic I might have pursued that dream. As I look back now however, I know things worked out for the best. .
After I left I went back to pursuing an interest in personal training and human nutrition – something else I’d always been interested in. My stepdad was an exercise physiologist and a professor at the University of NM. Because of that, I got to learn a whole lot about how the human body works and functions. And since he was Swedish, he also taught me some old world ways of health care.
What he taught me resonated so well with all that my grandmothers had taught me and so began my journey in earnest into natural health – for human and animal.
It wasn’t until I got my Neo Mastiff, Shadrach, however, that my journey snowballed out of necessity. Through a series of events Shadrach took me down a path I’d only ever peeked at for animal care. From all I learned for and from Shadrach, I decided to go back to my first love which was animal health only this time as a naturopath. I studied animal and later human health.
Which leads me to natural rearing. Natural rearing is really just a term that is applied to raising ANY and ALL animals according to their species needs, not human convenience.
The hardest part of it all is that the concept of natural rearing is so simple that people want to try and complicate it all. Maybe it seems more sophisticated and allopathic to do so, I don’t know.
Natural rearing simply means following the laws of health and rearing each animal according to what it needs to thrive.
For our carnivore pets (dogs, cats, ferrets) that simply means:
Feeding a raw meat, bone and organ diet, regular exercise, pure water (leave out the unnecessary and toxic fluoride and chlorine chemicals), fresh air, sunshine (sans sunscreen which is toxic), moderation, proper quiet rest, and trust in all of this as the true health care plan for them.
It took me a while to let go of my conventional training – one step at a time and wholly embrace natural rearing. I took the long route to raw feeding. I was the stubborn one not my dog. He kept showing me what I needed to do through his actions until I finally listened.
The more I have learned and continue to learn about vaccines, the more I dislike even the notion of them as having anything to do with immunity. This means they have no role in natural rearing although some will disagree with me – which is of course their prerogative. However, from a naturopathic perspective they will never play a role in immune function, immunity or protection.
Natural rearing means forgoing any type of “prevention medication” in controlling fleas, ticks, mites, heartworm or any other pest or parasite. The standard medications – whether they are OTC (over-the-counter) or prescription – do not stop any infestations or infections. They are toxic pest control products that kill the pests and parasites. And over time, with prolonged use they also kill our pets.
Ultimately, natural rearing our animals will translate to a more natural lifestyle for ourselves. We must forgo all of the toxic cleaning products, personal care products, pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, etc., in order for our pets to truly live a naturally reared lifestyle. All of these things are contributors to ill health both in our animals and in ourselves.
Why natural rearing?
Because quite simply it means real health and real health care for our animals. By being cognizant of how nature works, then we can bring balance, harmony and health to our animals and ultimately to ourselves as well.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Copyright 2013 Aspenbloom, Dr. Kim Bloomer, All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the Author/Publisher. This article is intended to be educational. However, it is not intended to be a substitute for diagnosis or treatment from a qualified animal health professional. Dr. Kim Bloomer and Aspenbloom Pet Care, do not assume any legal responsibility for misuse of the products discussed in this article.
Dr. Kim Bloomer is a certified animal naturopath consulting on canine and feline nutrition and wellness. In addition, Dr. Kim is a proficient blogger, writer, speaker and presenter on natural pet care as well as the Co-Founder of the American Council of Animal Naturopathy. She is the author/co-author of three books including Animals Taught Me That and the newest Essential Oils in Animal Care: A Naturopathic Approach co-authored with her two colleagues. Dr. Kim’s articles have been featured in various publications in both print and online. Visit her Website:www.AspenbloomPetCare.com
PHOTO ATTRIBUTION: Meshach the Great Dane by Dr. Kim Bloomer, Copyright 2011, All Rights Reserved.