Bringing home your new puppy is always a fantastic experience but it will also be the start of a lot of agonising for dog owners. Which puppy food is the best?
Are there any supplements I can give her to make sure she is as healthy as possible? Are natural remedies and health care the best alternative for my dog?
This article looks to provide the answers all those questions and the dozens more which will go through your mind when you bring your new puppy home.
There is a growing interest in taking a natural or holistic approach to healthcare, both for people and animals. Many pet owners are now actively seeking out natural remedies and products for both preventative care, and the treatment of certain conditions.
Natural supplements and remedies are often a safe, and affordable addition to your puppy care routine, and don't have the potential side-effects of some conventional medications. Obviously, there needs to be a balance between conventional veterinary care and the use of natural remedies, but when you are able to take the best of both worlds, and use them in a complementary way, you can be sure your puppy is reaping the benefits.
The benefits of natural pet care for your puppy include :
Better Overall Health - many common dog ailments, such as digestive disorders and allergies, can be prevented or significantly reduced.
Longer Lifespan - due to better health and a stronger immune system
Improved Healing - your pup will heal faster after sickness or injury due to a stronger, healthier body.
Better Quality of Life - a natural approach to pet health care includes treating all the factors (environmental, behavioral, nutritional etc) that lead to ill health. By treating the causes and not just the symptoms, your pup will be happier as well as healthier.
Your new puppy is growing at a phenomenal rate, and the nutrition he receives during this critical growth period has a huge impact on his future health and well-being. Good nutrition is the cornerstone of good health.
Natural, holistic or organic dog foods can provide your growing puppy with optimum nutrition. Many are made from human-grade ingredients, and are free from hormones, chemicals, additives and other 'undesirables'.
Feeding a natural diet (and that could include a raw diet, or BARF), helps to strengthen your puppys' immune system, reduce the incidence of allergies, and research has shown that it can also help your pup live a longer life.
Some of the most popular names in natural dog food include Innova, Solid Gold and Canidae. Online stores often have a wide selection of natural and organic dog food that you can order from the comfort of your own home.
Although professional veterinary care is absolutely essential to the health of your new puppy, there are often situations where a natural supplement or remedy can be very effective. This is particularly true in the area of natural preventative care.
Many puppies have digestive issues, and constipation, flatulence and loose stools are common puppy problems. Feeding a natural puppy food is an important part of preventing these sorts of issues, and there's a good selection of food supplements you can use to prevent/treat specific problems.
Natural laxatives, pro-biotics, digestive tonics and other products can be very helpful for a puppy who has tummy troubles. They help to restore a healthy balance to the digestive system and can counteract some of the factors such stress, pollution and toxins that cause problems. Products like Digestive Support combines licorice, elm and marshmallow to create a natural approach to improving digestion.
Another common puppy problem, and one that seems to be increasing, is allergies. Many dogs suffer from allergies of one sort or another, some are sensitive or allergic to ingredients in their food, others to environmental or seasonal triggers or parasites such as fleas. Whether the increase is due to their growing exposure to chemicals, pollution and toxins in the environment, or to immune systems which are weakened due to over-vaccination, poor nutrition, or excessive use of medications, the results are the same.
Medications such as anti-histamines can suppress allergy symptoms, but natural remedies actually target the imbalances/weaknesses at the root of the problem. Holistic blends of natural vitamins, herbs, and other ingredients can help keep your pups' immune system functioning at optimum level. Soothing herbal salves and ointments can help relieve constant scratching, and food supplements can help keep your dogs' coat and skin healthy and supple. Natural products such as Allergy Itch Ease and Skin and Coat Tonic can help to relieve dog allergy symptoms and accelerate recovery from allergy related conditions.
Anxiety, fear and general nervousness are also fairly common puppy behavioral issues. From separation anxiety, to submissive urination and situational stressors such as thunderstorms or car travel, at some time or other your puppy may need something that will help reduce his anxiety levels.
Sedative medications have a place in the treatment of anxiety disorders, but many times a natural remedy is both gentle and effective in reducing fear, stress and anxiety - without the side effects of some medications.
There's a whole range of products to choose from in this category - Flower Remedy essences, pheremone-based sprays and diffusers, dietary supplements and more. Consider natural products such as Pet Calm.
There's no reason for your little guy to be cowering in the corner during thunderstorms, or shaking like a leaf on your road trips, when gentle, calming relief is so easy to find.
All dog owners know that there are some pesky critters who can cause your pup to be miserable - they're called fleas! Fleas aren't just annoying, they can cause disease, allergies and a whole lot of trouble. There are some very effective flea preventatives, but they do contain harsh chemicals, and often can't be used on young puppies. Natural remedies provide a kinder alternative, and can be very effective when used correctly. There are products that you can dust/spray on your pet, and others that can be ingested. You can also find homeopathic or herbal products to prevent/treat roundworms, tapeworms and other intestinal parasites.
Both puppies and older dogs can experience muscle or joint problems, especially the large/giant breeds. A natural diet, and the use of a natural supplement which promotes joint/muscle health such as Muscle and Joint can improve strength and flexibility and prevent a lot of problems.
All puppy owners want the very best for their new 'babies', and as the old saying goes 'an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure'. By using a combination of natural remedies and health care options, in addition to the routine veterinary care that your puppy needs, you will be giving him the very best chance of a long, happy and health life. Isn't that good to know?