Having a dog is one of the biggest joys in life, but it doesn’t stop there. If you love your dog like a family member, then you want to raise them in the healthiest way possible from the time they are a puppy. For us here at Cali Raw, that means good nutrition, preventative care, physical activity, lifestyle, and socialization. We believe that taking a natural approach to raising your dog will give them a long, healthy, and happy life so that you can love them longer and spend more time together! Below, we will discuss what goes into raising a healthy happy dog naturally from the very beginning of their life, some natural dog products we love, access to finding an integrative veterinarian, and some natural health remedies for common health conditions in dogs.
How To Have A Healthy & Happy Dog Naturally
Feed A Fresh Whole Food Diet
Overall health begins with good nutrition! When choosing a healthy puppy food, we know you are faced with lots of options and information. It is hard to know what is the best food for your dog with so much information and differences in opinion on the subject. Let’s make it simple! Dog’s share 99.8% of the same DNA as their close relative, a wolf. Yes, dogs have been domesticated but their biology still calls for the same nutritional needs they would in the wild. A species appropriate dietconsisting of raw meat and fresh vegetables is the best food to promote enhanced health and longevity.
By starting your new puppy on a raw diet, you will avoid the negative effects of a processed diet and prevent health issues and disease down the road. Many, if not most, health issues in dogs stem from bad nutrition. The benefits of a raw diet on the other hand include reduced allergies, lower risk of disease, weight management, dental health, less inflammation, and so much more.
A whole food diet contains the appropriate nutrients for your dog to thrive, and nothing more. Puppies have high energy demands and are growing at a fast rate. By providing them natural dog food with raw meat and fresh vegetables, combined with essential vitamins and minerals, you will be able to set a strong foundation of good health for years to come. Dogs don't need ingredients, they need nutrients!
When you first get a puppy or new dog, everything is new for not only you, but for them too! Socializing your dog is also a very important part of their foundation for a happy healthy life. It is important to expose your puppy to new people, places, scents, animals, other dogs, and different activities. This will make your puppy comfortable with new experiences that come their way in life. We recommend having meet & greets with other friendly dogs, letting them stiff each other on walks, introductions to new people, and taking your dog to different places such as the car, the mall, the beach, and more. This will help them grow into confident adult dogs and prevent problems of discomfort and unfamiliarity in the future.
A very important part of raising a healthy and happy dog is making sure they are receiving enough physical activity and enrichment. Regular physical activity will prevent obesity and other health issues. Luckily, puppies have a lot of energy so creating a routine of consistent exercise from a young age shouldn’t be too difficult, just remember to keep up with this routine as they mature.
Create an exercise routine with your dog as your time to spend together and bond. Whether it be playing fetch, going to your favorite dog beach, taking a hike, or going on a walk with them every day, this will keep them active and happy with many benefits. Puppies need both mental and physical stimulation, as well as a lot of rest! During this stage of their life you can take them on short walks, socialize with other humans and safe dogs, training, and playing with toys.
As they mature, you can add hiking, running, sports, and other more “advanced” physical activities. Remember that exercise isn’t just for the body, it is for the mind too! Mental stimulation and enrichment can be achieved with puzzle toys and raw bones! Just remember not to give a puppy raw bones until they are over 6 months old as their teeth are fragile.
Along with physical activity and enrichment comes training! By training your puppy from a young age, you will prevent behavior issues and bad habits. We recommend finding a trainer you like and trust or training your dog yourself with positive reinforcement. Your puppy wants to please you and make you happy! By reinforcing positive behavior your puppy will learn from you and repeat these behaviors. This will provide them with mental stimulation and enrichment and lead to a happier life!
Just like humans, dogs benefit from having a healthy daily routine. This includes appropriate nutrition, access to water, a safe and positive living environment free of chemicals, physical activity, socialization, and of course lots of love and affection from you! Creating a healthy positive routine for your dog that aligns with your own personal routine will ensure a happy healthy long life. By incorporating healthy routines into your dog's daily life, your dog will have healthy habits they can maintain through adulthood!
Integrative Vet Support
If you want to raise your dog to live a healthy happy life naturally, it is important to have vet support from a veterinarian you trust. If you want to take a more natural approach to your dog’s health we recommend finding an integrative or holistic veterinarian. An integrative veterinarian will provide preventative care, natural health alternatives, and take a look at how nutrition impacts overall health. Dr. Karen Becker, a well-known and respected integrative veterinarian, states “proactive veterinarian medicine means you are partnering with a wellness doctor to create abundant health thought wise lifestyle choices, appropriate fresh food diets, minimizing or eliminating vaccine schedules and minimizing chemicals in the home”. We think it is important to also have a traditional veterinarian for specific health concerns and diagnosis, but having one of each is the way to go!
This natural treatment can be used to treat pain, inflammation, and lack of energy in senior pets while avoiding negative side effects.
Similar to human chiropractic, dogs can experience relief from having an adjustment to realign the spinal column and restore movement to joints and surrounding tissues. This natural approach can be used to treat incontinence, arthritis, upset stomach, and more.
Similar to using physical therapy for humans, this natural approach can be used with dogs after an injury as a recovery treatment.
This holistic approach can be used similar to physical therapy, by providing physical activity without heavy stress on the joints. This treatment can be used to speed up recovery time after an injury.
In addition to feeling good and providing relaxation, a massage can help your dog recover from injury and illness faster, improve flexibility, relieve pain and muscle tension, and stimulate blood circulation. This is also a good way to know your dog's body and recognize anything unusual.
Feeding a natural whole food diet with raw meat and fresh vegetables will help your dog achieve optimal health and prevent health issues from arising in the future. By feeding a fresh raw diet your dog’s immune system will be working properly, as well as providing nutrients, aiding in weight management, reduced allergies and inflammation, and a healthy digestive system.
Certain plant remedies can be used for allergies, bad breath, bladder and kidney disorders, wound treatment, coughs, incontinence, and more.
Adding a natural supplement to your dog’s diet can help supply extra vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids, and more. If you choose a fresh diet , your dog will receive these essential vitamins and minerals naturally from their food, but in some cases you will want to provide your dog with more. Supplements can be added for digestive problems, allergy control, or just for additional nutrients.
This natural treatment is a great alternative approach to medication. It can be used for digestive disorders, anxiety, insect bites, hormonal imbalance and more.