My dogs are fed almost entirely a raw diet. This means that their diet is composed of a carefully balanced blend of raw whole meats, bones, organs, etc. I also add in other foods like eggs, raw milk, vegetables, and some grains or pasta, depending on our dogs' current nutritional needs. In addition, they receive a carefully planned blend of commercially produced supplements several days a week. They only eat traditional dog kibble in rare circumstances where providing raw food is not possible or practical. (For instance: carrying 5 lbs of raw chicken into the backcountry on a backpacking trip would probably not be a good idea!)
Feeding like this has a wide variety of benefits. My dogs maintain a healthy weight, good muscle tone, healthy coat, and spotlessly clean teeth. They are generally healthier than most dogs fed a kibble diet, and have strong immune systems, high energy, and healthy bones and joints.
My health testing for performance and breeding clearances come back with excellent results, and I largely credit the diet for this.
Health and Vet Care:
I utilize a holistic veterinarian for the majority of my vet care. When they get sick or suffer an injury, they receive gentle, natural treatments like herbal blends and homeopathics rather than harsh, conventional drugs. I also utilize natural preventatives whenever possible. My dogs receive chiropractic and accupuncture treatment whenever needed to treat injuries, clear up aches and pains, and to prevent potential performance injuries.
Also, I practice a strictly minimal, limited schedule of vaccination, following the advice of my veterinarian and protocols similar to those recommended by Dr. Jean Dodds of Homeopet. The only vaccine they receive on a regular basis is rabies, as required by law. Otherwise, I utilize titers and common sense to ensure their health.
I do give a conventional, monthly heartworm preventative.
I do all their grooming myself, and I groom carefully and regularly. Whenever possible, I use natural products here, too, and so am able to correct most skin irritations that arise with a simple bath.
My dogs live in the house with me, with free access to a large yard via the dog door. They sleep in the bedroom on their dog beds, in the chair, or on my bed with me. I do not believe in leaving dogs alone for long periods, keeping them in kennels outside, leaving them to live in the yard, or using extensive crating indoors. My dogs are members of my family in truth and are treated as such, living with me, out free in the house, and spending as much time with their family as possible.
I am also careful to provide a wide variety of exercise and mental stimulation outlets for my pack, from classes at local training facilities, to trips and activities, to daily walks and runs.
My dogs enjoy amazing health, recover astoundingly quickly when they are ill or injured, and possess healthy, vibrant coats and teeth. I believe my dedication to a natural, holistic lifestyle for both myself and my dogs is to thank for this!