Happy healthy dogs, that means healthy as well as happy, have lives very close to those of their wild cousins, the wolves. It isn’t possible to duplicate that life completely, but that isn’t necessary. Of course, many dog breeds would never manage to live such lives anyway. All we need to do is to adopt the basic essentials.
Focusing on how a wolf lives brings up some basic criteria for me. Maybe you can think of more, although these may come under the headings of the basic ones. They are:
Wolves live in packs, so they need a family. The pack has one alpha male and one alpha female. And they are the only ones who breed. The rest of the pack consists of puppies, fully grown past female puppies and immature male puppies not yet ejected from the pack. That comes as soon as they show any sign of sexuality or domination.
Wolf families are loving and supportive, caring for each other when young or not well. The younger members of the pack take it in turns to baby sit a new litter of puppies when mama is out hunting or having a rest.
The pack is directed by the alpha pair. They hunt only under the guidance of the alpha pair, who have wisdom and knowledge to hunt in the most successful way, with the least harm to themselves. Younger, inexperienced wolves may go hunting on their own, but are likely to catch only a small animal.
Wolves send to remain in their chosen home. They don’t migrate with the herds they hunt. So they have to be adaptable and look for food where they can. Although their preferred food is the raw food from their kill, they can survive on berries, root vegetables, small mammals, even earth worms when times are lean, such as the winter months.
Wolves can run miles after their prey or just looking for food. Exercise is good for everyone. They can also go for long periods of rest after a long run or when food is scarce.
With this level of health, wolves just don’t need much in the way of health care. Ill health in domestic dogs is largely man-made, from the unsuitable, even expensive dog food, to the vaccines and drugs, which serve to suppress the condition and immune system rather than cure. Injuries in the wild may be the exception, which is why experienced leaders are needed to minimise that.
Nature is abundant in her support for all life and wolves know where to look for herbs that help with any health issue. Injured wolves can rest to recover as the other members of the pack take care of them, even feed them
How To Provide These Basic Concepts For Domestic Dogs
Dogs do not survive well without a family. This is perhaps the number one criteria for happy healthy dogs. The human family is fine, even if it’s only one human. But they must be part of the family, live inside, not segregated or separated outside.
Dogs need to know their place in the pack. This training comes from the pack leaders. You may think your dog is well trained, but if they aren’t in their eyes, they aren’t. You have to learn ‘dog’. They don’t need to learn ‘human’. We invited them into our lives, so it’s up to us to learn what they need.
And it’s REALLY important that your dog understands (in their terms) that the human family is higher up in the pecking order than they are, otherwise they become anxious that they’re not doing their job. And that leads to all sorts of trouble.
To train your dog so THEY understand, to learn ‘dog’, one of the best places to start is Jan Fennell’s The Dog Whisperer. She has books, videos and classes.
Wolves are adaptable in their diet, making them omnivores. But their preferred food is the raw meat from the carcass of their kill. So they’re omnivores, but at the carnivore end of the scale.
If no other predator tries to steal their kill from them, they will consume everything – muscle meat, organ meat, bones, skin, the lot.
Happy healthy dogs NEED raw meat – the muscle meat, the organ meat and the bones. No dog will be healthy on the junk, commercial food that passes as dog food. Simply by changing their diet to raw, their health can dramatically improve. All ailments, including cancer, can even disappear altogether. Of course, that’s not good business for the vets, but you’ll soon discover which ones are genuine.
Holistic health care, such as homeopathy, can provide for any man-made, or genetic health issues, including injury. This can be started at any age, whatever went before.
A Healthy Dog is A Happy Dog
To have happy healthy dogs, you need to:
- provide a loving and supportive family (being left alone all day is highly stressful for them even if they’ve become used to it)
- train them by THEIR understanding, not ours (and they learn that very quickly)
- feed a good quality raw meat and bones diet (a labour of love for us vegans)
- provide exercise
- where needed, provide holistic health care, (preferably homeopathic, but then I’m biased!) which supports their immune system
This can all be easily achieved at any age, breed or condition and great results can be seen rapidly.