The 10 Ways to Raise Your Pet Naturally and Holistically

The Beginning

You’ve just adopted a new animal companion and want to start out right. You’ve heard from friends and read that the healthiest pets are raised naturally.

It makes intuitive sense to try and raise your pet close to nature. After all, Mother Nature knows best, right?

But how exactly do you promote a long and happy life for your new best friend?

happy and healthy puppies and kittens are among Dr. Jeff Feinman's patients in Weston CT

“I plan to live a long and happy life filled with many balls!”

As a responsible guardian of a new pet, the first thing you do is to visit your family veterinarian. A smart proactive move, right?

Your First Vet Visit

Your new buddy was just found to be vigorously healthy. But there’s a problem. The vet wants you to give him multiple vaccinations, feed processed food out a bag or can and apply chemicals to his skin (that you’re not supposed to touch).

Huh? Something doesn’t jibe. Didn’t you just read that vaccinations can cause cancer and other serious dis-eases? Isn’t it well known that eating fresh food is more healthful than eating processed food? Insecticides on the skin. C’mon! What’s wrong with this picture??

Needless to say, you leave the vet’s office even more confused about how best to help your new best friend.

Who Do You Trust?

What to do? What information do you trust 100%? Your highly trained professional family vet or something you read on the internet? The answer is straightforward. Neither.

How can that be? Why would a veterinarian (me) say not to trust vet advice over something we read? Simple. We (vets) don’t know everything about every facet of animal care. It’s impossible to know about all of the available information. That’s why we specialize in areas like internal medicine, surgery or get trained in veterinary homeopathy.

When I was an intern and later working in the animal ER, I would only advise the diagnostic tests and drugs that I knew. When I learned more about natural and holistic treatments like home-cooking, omega-3 fatty acids (fish oils), etc. these were added to my therapeutic armamentarium.

Many similar alternative holistic treatments have become mainstream.


I could then recommend these to my allergic patients or those with arthritis.

I still knew nothing about homeopathy and therefore would never recommend it. Twenty years later all of my patients are treated homeopathically and are healthier than ever. Tweet

Vets usually recommend the treatments which they know best and with which feel most comfortable.

What To Do

OK, fine. So how does that help you. If anything, you might be more confused now than when you started reading.

your pet has many holistic treatment options and certified vet homeopath D. Jeff Feinman can help sort them to.

“This is all too confusing. What should I do now?”

Theres a simple solution.It does take a bit more work however. Consult proessionals and educate yourself. Keep an open mind in order to find the best ways to care for your pet. Scientists do. We are constantly learning.

I want to share what I think are the most important ways to keep your pet healthy (and treat disease):

These 10 Guidelines Will Help You Have Have Healthier Pets

1. Do your homework before adopting a puppy or kitten. Closely research the families with the healthiest and longest-lived animals. Run fast and far from pet stores/puppy mills.

Please ignore this step if you might be willing to save a life and rescue your new family member. Mixed breed dogs and cats benefit from “hybrid vigor” and are often healthier than pure breeds.

2. Feed the freshest meat-based food that you can afford. Not only processed dry or canned foods. Avoid fillers ( most grains, potatoes, tapioca, etc). My experience shows that raw foods fed in variety and moderation best promote healthy dogs and cats.

There are also some great foods commercially available. The Honest Kitchen, ZiwiPeak, Vital Essential, Wysong etc. make some great raw-based foods. The only dry food I like for dogs (avoid all dry food for cats) is the unique Carna4.

3. Avoid most vaccines. Nurture the immature immune system of puppies and kittens. When feasible, wait to vaccinate until they are at least three months old. More and more chronic and severe dis-eases associated with vaccines are being found.

Rabies vaccination is the only vaccine required by law. Unfortunately many pets are also suffering from rabies vaccinosis. Early homeopathic care can both prevent and treat this artificially-induced internal imbalance.

4. Minimize drug use. Especially “antis” which work against the body (like anti-biotics and anti-inflammatories). Use homeopathic treatment to safely and gently stimulate natural healing. Don’t “bully” the body with strong drugs.

5. Try to avoid environmental toxins. Use safer (and “green”) cleaning products and those that reduce outgassing from paints and carpets. Don’t walk your dog on grass sprayed with insecticides like golf courses.

6. Minimize emotional and environmental stress. Never scream at or leave your pet alone for long periods. Interact and mentally stimulate your pet as often as possible. Enrich his environment, provide stimulating toys, training classes, etc.

7. Maximize exercise (in fresh air when possible). You can not overdo exercise if your pet is healthy. If s/he is overweight, poorly conditioned otherwise, or has some other health problem please consult your vet before starting vigorous exercise.

8. Practice proactive prevention. Learn to recognize the early warning signs of dis-ease (we’ll talk about these soon or you can jump over to to read more). Consult with your vet homeopath at least every three to six months.

9. Never stop learning and don’t be dogmatic. Be scientific and keep your mind open to previously unimagined possibilities. Most of what we now know to be true was originally considered to be science fiction. Flat earth medicine is one small example.

10. You can do everything else right but destroy your pet’s health by skipping this step.

NEVER suppress symptoms. The body never lies. Listen to it. Your veterinary homeopath can show you how.

If you have any questions or comments about this post, please share them below, on Google+, Facebook or my free online forum.

Stay well.

Dr. Jeff

  1. I remember the day 20 years ago when I fed my dogs raw, meaty bones for the first time. All my life of course I had been told never to do it. But I had 2 German Shepherds back then, both of whom were very ill from various separate issues, and who traditional allopathic veterinary medicine had been unable to help. I found a book at the pet store about feeding your dog raw foods and the benefits it could have. I did not know one other person who had done this, but I figured my dogs were probably going to die anyway so I had hardly anything to lose. They went right for the raw food and as they gobbled it down, their eyes rolled back in their heads with joy as if to say, “Mom, what took you so long?!?!?” That was over 2 decades ago and all my dogs have been raw-fed since. It has made such an ENORMOUS difference in their quality of life!!

    • Yeah Patti! Yes, I’ve observed the exact same phenomenon over and over again but still don’t know the answer (What *did* take so long??).

      Dr. Jeff

      • It was due to the indoctrination I’d received from EVERYONE I knew who said that raw bones would kill my dogs. It was all I knew & I believed it until I got desperate enough to try.

  2. “Hybrid vigor” does not apply to mixed breed dogs. Hybrid would be donkey to mule, for example: Crossbreeding between genetically different plants and animals. Dogs are dogs are dogs. Some mixed breed dogs may be or appear to be healthy because they were not vaccinated, or were minimally vaccinated, or they scavenged scraps that were healthier than kibble. Many mixed breed dogs are not healthy at all.

    • Thanks for your erudite correction Chris, so please let me clarify.

      I wasn’t necessarily referring just to dogs. More the general genetic concept of hybrid. Not necessarily dog breeds (or even species).

      I used the term (somewhat loosely perhaps) referring to chromosomal purity. The tighter the gene pool, the lower the degree of hybridization. By definition. “line” bred dogs (or mules, or Persian cats or…) have greater genetic similarity and decreased heterozygosity.

      Amplification of negative genomic traits occurs the closer the genetic proximity of dam and sire. You are absolutely correct that some mixed breed dogs are certainly not healthy but there are many, many reasons for that, e.g. poor nutrition.

      My point was that you need to do your homework to help start out right. For example, avoid the mother-son breedings (which are not that uncommon especially in the puppy mill world).

      I agree that “Heterosis” or heterozygosity is more accurate (though less catchy!).

      Have a great afternoon.

      Dr. Jeff

  3. Great article, Dr. Jeff!

  4. This is quite useful to promote longer life in a pet. My dog suffered diarrhea and had to resort to a vet because it just doesn’t stop for 3 days and have the fear of dehydration. I first tried to feed him with pumpkin and white rice which turned out great but didn’t really cure him.

  5. Thanks Johnson. Yes, sometimes the vet visit is needed. Of course homeopathic care reduces that need.

    Dr. Jeff

  6. I’m feeding my dogs grain free dry food.
    I would like know get advice on how to transition them from grain dry food to raw diet.
    Wouldn’t raw meat make them sick?
    Please I want my babies to be healthy and live long lives.
    I just lost one of my chihuahuas last week. She had Pyometra. Had emergency surgery and recovered well for 2 weeks but a few days later she got very sick and passed away.
    Please any advice I would greatly appreciate.
    I want my babies to live a holistic way of life.

    • Hello,
      What a great article. How did you go with the change Carmen? I am no means a vet. I have been researching the all natural balanced RAW diet (and commercial pet food) for the past 6 years. I now share what I have learnt through my Facebook group, “As Nature Intended”.
      If anyone would like some advice from people, from all walks of life, professionals, pet carers, cancer researchers and people who have taken on the challenge of researching the RAW diet themselves.
      People who have made the transition successfully or have been feeding their pet on raw for years, my Facebook group is there to help. Great tips, hints and advice and guidance. 24/7

      I hope you don’t mind me sharing my group Dr Jeff. It’s great to see people making the transition to a raw diet and I have found that they need all the help they can get as it’s an ongoing learning experience.

      • Thanks Karen! Is your Facebook group human or animal oriented?

        I love learning about new raw feeding (and other holistic) vet resources.

        Dr. Jeff

  7. That’s great (that you are choosing a healthier path for your pups) Carmen!

    Depending on the gastrointestinal (vomiting, diarrhea, etc.) history of your Chihuahuas, you could make the change in a matter of days. Most, do fine with a gradual (1-2 week) transition.

    Good luck!

    Dr. Jeff

  8. #7 needs a little more clarification… in GIANT breed puppies, you CAN overdo exercise. You don’t want to take a 4 month old mastiff puppy on a 5k marathon on pavement. The repetitive pounding will do a nasty number on their growing joints.

    If you call “exercise” free roaming play on grass, dirt, and hills… I agree, you can’t over do that, as the puppy will most likely plop down for a nap when they’ve had enough.

    But if you’re dragging your tired puppy down the sidewalk… you’re over doing it.

    I’ve also seen puppies (mine included) that don’t know how to say “no” to playing with other dogs and puppies. They can and will over-exert themselves, which can lead to sprains and other injuries.

  9. Thanks so much for your reply Tina. You are absolutely correct.

    Perhaps it would have been clearer to say that “you can’t overdo mindful low impact exercise.”

    Dr. Jeff

  10. We have a beautiful 1 1/2 year old lab/border collie mix. She’s been on a raw diet since she was a pup. Very active and healthy. We do not use any type of Frontline. We give her a B Complex tablet every day and use essential oils to ward off pests. (She’s been tick and flea free all summer.) Only vaccination has been the required rabies, nothing else. She’ll be 2 in October and has gone through 2 heat cycles so we are getting her spayed this week. When calling for info on procedure, I was told she would receive “medication” (pain medicine and antibiotics). I’m assuming that both will be necessary, but I have my doubts about trusting vets to always do what is right for their patients. In your opinion, should we give her whatever the vet prescribes? Is there anything more holistic that we can do for her after the surgery?

  11. Great article. We have had several dogs through the years with various problems noticing the problems were getting worse with all dogs period. That’s when I really started researching. Our 3 yr old Airedale we have now had been fed a raw diet since she was a puppy. We go to a holistic vet she has had minimal vaccines. She is given nosodes for heartworm and has never contacted fleas. We use Diatomaceous earth on our grass in the summer. We have never used any pesticides or fertilizers on our grass. She has no dog smell to her, her coat is beautiful. Her breath smells great, her teeth are white. What a difference all this makes. It’s disgusting all the diseases dogs are a developing now. I wish I would of known this with our previous dogs.

  12. Dr. Jeff,

    Thank you for this informative article! It’s so refreshing to find a vet in the industry that has an open mind and is willing to find new, healthier avenues to treat our beloved pets. So many vets are either ignorant or knowingly refuse to adopt more natural ways.

    When I made the complete change to naturally treating my dogs with a 100% raw fed diet and homeopathic remedies my vet of 20 years and I had a huge fallout. He was not happy and told me in no uncertain terms that I was going to kill my dogs. But by that point I had done all the research I needed to know that I was making the best decision for my dogs.

    I still visit the same vet. Despite his short-comings he is still a brilliant vet but I only allow him to diagnose. Then I go home and research natural ways to treat the diagnosis. On the rare occasion that we do visit the vet, it amazes me how he always compliments my dogs condition, looks and health status but will never attribute it to the way they live. 🙂

    I treat my GSD who has EPI with raw porcine pancreas and Homeopathic remedies of Haronga and Eichhornia. My female who has HD is treated with Homeopathic remedies of Cornium, Ruta and Arnica. When I see she’s in discomfort I’ll take her for a visit to the acupuncturist, this happens more so in winter than the summer months. And of course they are fed 100% raw.

    And I treat their coats with DE and also add it to their food for internal parasites. However I’ve never seen any parasites when doing ‘poop patrol’.

    I’m so pleased I opened my mind! My dogs are happier and healthier for it.

  13. Greetings! I am a blessed human who has a 3year old terrier mix come into my life. WHO I LOVE. She is due for a rabies vaccination. What wisdom might you share with me? For example, is there a remedy to take prior to the shot? OR after? Signs to look for? I have received contradictory advice. A local vet said to look for
    symptoms after the shot and then offer a remedy if needed. Another person said: give the Lyssin 30c the day of the vaccine and for five more days. You will need to find a homeopathic vet to give you this or have me send it to you as being a “nosode” you will not be able to acquire the Lyssin.

    Ideally, I would love to drive to CT from MA to see you. Tina of Ben Dotters recommended you. I welcome your advice and reply. Thank you.

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