How "Natural" of a Pet Owner are You?

Food, Fitness and how to keep them healthy.

Postby BritneyP » January 16th, 2009, 7:11 pm

I've been pondering this for awhile now, so I figured I'd post and see what everyone's opinions are...

My question is: How "natural" do you think you are when it comes to your pets? I know a lot of us feed "holisitc" human-grade type kibbles and/or a Raw diet, but what about all other aspects? flea/tick preventative? heartworm preventative? vaccines?

Many people take a 100% natural, holistic approach to many of these concerns, others go all out with veterinarian prescribed medications, several different vaccines, etc. Others seem to choose a path in the middle.

Personally, I feed my dogs a high, quality "holistic" kibble, in conjunction with raw. While I do give my dogs monthly heartworm preventative in the form of ivermectin, I prefer not to use chemical flea/tick medicines. I opt to feed garlic daily, as well as using natural sprays and oils like neem and citronella in the spring/summer/fall.

I vaccinate my dogs for Rabies and Distemper/Parvo every 3 years, as well as Bordatella once a year. I do not vaccinate for Lyme, Lepto, Giardia, etc.

What do you do for your pets and why? :)
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Postby SisMorphine » January 16th, 2009, 7:43 pm

I feed raw. Treats are usually freeze dried meat, but sometimes they'll get higher quality biscuits. Beyond puppy vax and first year vax, my dogs only get Rabies and are titered every 3 years or so. I use garlic as my flea/tick preventative. I am currently on the fence with HW meds. I go back and forth but I've seen just such horrible things when dogs are going through HW treatment that it's something that I have trouble giving up.

I use natural dewormers multiple times a year, and use holistic remedies wherever I can (on the off chance that the need arises). Now if only I could do the same for myself . . .
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Postby BritneyP » January 16th, 2009, 8:33 pm

SisMorphine wrote: I am currently on the fence with HW meds. I go back and forth but I've seen just such horrible things when dogs are going through HW treatment that it's something that I have trouble giving up.


Ditto!

SisMorphine wrote:
Now if only I could do the same for myself . . .


And Ditto! :wink:
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Postby Mickle » January 16th, 2009, 8:36 pm

I feed raw, I use citronella/neem oil spray and a all natural flea and tick powder in food, I titer and do rabies vacc every three.
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Postby Pit♥bull » January 16th, 2009, 8:50 pm

We feed Trouble prescription Royal Camin kibbles for allergy prevention.
Heart worm monthly (a must in our area).
Complete vaccinations yearly.
Worming when indicated (by medication).
No flea or tic protection (she has never had either) :)
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Postby nicole » January 16th, 2009, 9:41 pm

I pretty much do the same as you Britney....

my two resident dogs are on a raw/homemade diet...my foster is on a premium kibble supplemented with homemade extras.

I don't use any topical flea/tick meds and I vaccinate every three years for rabies, distemper & parvo. I don't do lyme, bortedella or giardia...however I gave the lepto vacc one year a few winters back, b/c our house had mice and I was paranoid. This was before I did any in depth research on it, I regret it now, but luckily my dogs didn't have an adverse reactions to it...which is common. I will likely be using titers from here on out.

As far as HW meds go, I only use monthly preventative in the warmer months...about April to October. My dog Olive was HW+ when I adopted her, and I would never want to see or put another one of my dogs thru the treatment.

I will try holistic/natural remedies and treatments before using traditional medicine...luckily, my vet is very supportive and is moving his practice towards a more natural approach, so I get an even balance of traditional and holistic.

Now if only I could do the same for myself . . .


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Postby pitbullmamaliz » January 16th, 2009, 9:44 pm

Inara used to eat raw but I can't afford it now, so she's on a high-quality grain-free kibble. She gets vaccinated according to the standard schedules, including bordatella every 6 months (required by Bright & Beautiful for therapy dogs). For about 7 months of the year she's on Sentinel for flea/tick/heartworm prevention. She gets 1000mg salmon oil/day, as well as a chew that has MSM (sulfur), glucosamine and chondroitin. She also gets 40mg of prozac/day.

I'm really torn on vaccines. I will keep doing them for now just because it's the "normal" way to do things, but I'm always thinking about doing titers instead. It's just a big step.

So apparently I'm not so natural at all! lol
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Postby Judy » January 16th, 2009, 10:19 pm

I would say I am one of the least natural pet owners here. I do monthly heartguard pills as well as Frontline Plus. Annual physical with the regular recommended immunizations. NaturVet ArithiSoothe-Gold hip & joint formula 1 1/2 pills per day. Food is Innova adult. Walking 1-2 miles each morning except in bad weather conditions.
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Postby BullyLady » January 16th, 2009, 11:02 pm

I am middle of the road. I feed home made raw to my dogs, and high quality kibble to my cats. They are all on Revolution seven months out of the year for fleas/heartworm, and the dogs get horsey glucosamine supplements and human fish oil pills. When the need for medication arises I DO NOT hesitate to give it, I had a dog previously who was on daily Deramaxx for horrible hip dysplasia.

I have a friend who will only see holistic vets (who are not DVMs which freaks me out) and refuses any medication for her dogs. She didn't even vet her dane pup when it had HOD!! :o She fosters and adopts out dogs and won't even de-worm them for a new home. Also she won't vaccinate and doesn't even do titers because she thinks vax are worthless anyways, so why bother. I dunno, I just can't get behind that kind of attitude....... :|
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Postby SisMorphine » January 16th, 2009, 11:16 pm

BullyLady wrote:I have a friend who will only see holistic vets (who are not DVMs which freaks me out)

Yeah it varies by state, but in MA you can't practice animal homeopathy without being a DVM.
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Postby katiek0417 » January 17th, 2009, 12:35 am

Judy wrote:I would say I am one of the least natural pet owners here. I do monthly heartguard pills as well as Frontline Plus. Annual physical with the regular recommended immunizations. NaturVet ArithiSoothe-Gold hip & joint formula 1 1/2 pills per day. Food is Innova adult. Walking 1-2 miles each morning except in bad weather conditions.


Yep, I'm with you, Judy...I feed raw to my dogs, but they get both monthly heartworm and monthly flea and tick (I live in MD, so they get it year round b/c it sometimes isn't cold enough to kill off all the fleas/ticks, and mosquitos)...I do vaccinations every 3 years, however...Cy gets daily joint meds, as does Jue...

They all get supplements when they are working (they've been off the past few weeks, so they haven't gotten any)...
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Postby Malli » January 17th, 2009, 2:08 am

no,no, I'M the least natural here! :neener:

seriously though...
I have great faith in traditional western medicine.

I feed Purina DRM Dermatologic management kibble, but mainly because thats what my vet, who I personally know and work with, recommends it for Oscar, and I trust him. He also occaisionally gets Royal Canin Vennison and Rice Wet food in his Kong and special meals at work.

I vaccinate according to recommended protocols strictly (yearly for Parvo/distemper etc, every 6 months for kennel cough, and every 3 years for Rabies), I'm mainly as diligent about it as I am because I take Oscar to work (where we have mainly substantially sick animals come), and because there is a chance that, because of his ongoing issues with his skin, his immune system could at some point potentially cause him serious problems and I don't want him to have to try to fight anything he doesn't have to.

Flea prevention is pretty irregular, if we see a couple of patients at work with it, or its in the summer then he gets it...
I worm him every once in a while, when I remember that he hasn't had it done recently. He doesn't eat a lot of poop or have a lot of contact with other animals or a lot of fleas so I'm not all that concerned about it.

He is bathed quite frequently as this is indicated with skin allergies in dogs, I use medicated shampoo(s) recommended from my vet.

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Postby TheRedQueen » January 17th, 2009, 10:50 am

The dogs get Kirkland dry food (cheap, but good), with healthy mix in's (veggies, leftover meats, etc). The cats eat Kirkland dry food also, Fry gets extras (veggies, pumpkin, raw meat)...he likes it, Thorn doesn't. :| The dogs and Fry get raw beef bones for chewing pleasure and teeth cleaning. The rats eat a mixture of rat food and good quality dog food...mixed with extras (seeds, pasta, fruit). The degus, g. pigs and rabbits all eat pellets with extras added...timothy hay, fruit, veggies. During the summer months these guys all get as much fresh grass, clover and dandelions as they can eat.

My bigger animals all get a three year rabies...even the cats. Ripley, Sawyer and Xander get a fecal check every six months to maintain their Therapy Dog Status. They were getting bordatella intranasal every six months too, until they dropped that from the required stuff. I don't do bordatella with them now...any of them. All the dogs get a yearly Distemper combo vaccine also. They get Sentinel once a month, year round for HW (no heartgard for us...with the Aussies we steer clear of ivermectin).

Ripley gets a yearly T4 test for his thyroid levels, and takes Soloxine for thyroid. He gets Schiff Move-free glucosamine/chondrotin for his back and hip arthritis (the vet recommended this as it's cheaper, but still effective), and benadryl for seasonal allergies
Xander gets fish oil for his heart, and Move-free for his joints and an occasional Rimadyl for his ACL, and benadryl for seasonal allergies
Sawyer gets Move-free for his bad knees
Inara gets a benadryl if her eyes are a bit runny.
Score gets nothing, as he's healthy as a horse.
(well, they all get fish oil caplets too)
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Postby airwalk » January 17th, 2009, 11:10 am

Mine eat Canidae and get far too many questionable treats from the kids in the classrooms. They are vaccinated on schedule and protocal. Intranasal Bordatella every 6 months (they are at the shelter with me every day) and I rarely need any type of flea treatment or wormer (shockingly considering they are at work with me every day).
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Postby BritneyP » January 18th, 2009, 2:21 pm

TheRedQueen wrote:The dogs get Kirkland dry food (cheap, but good)


Erin, I think Kirkland is a GREAT upper-mid grade food, so much so that I'd feed it to my kennel/foster dogs if only we had Costco up here. :wink:

I've heard it costs like $26.99 for 40lbs and it makes very angry that I don't have access to it! :cuss:
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Postby TheRedQueen » January 18th, 2009, 3:37 pm

BritneyP wrote:
TheRedQueen wrote:The dogs get Kirkland dry food (cheap, but good)


Erin, I think Kirkland is a GREAT upper-mid grade food, so much so that I'd feed it to my kennel/foster dogs if only we had Costco up here. :wink:

I've heard it costs like $26.99 for 40lbs and it makes very angry that I don't have access to it! :cuss:


It used to be around $18/40#...but now it's up to $23/40#...still damn good! We have a Costco membership mainly for the dog food...well, and cat food now. It's cheaper now that we have two cats, as I can buy the Kirkland cat food (20#) for the same price I was buying 8# of pet store foods. Fry eats a ton, so it works out well...and the food doesn't go bad (Thorn is not a big eater).
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