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What is "Natural Rearing"?

By Krystal L. Beers, C.S.A.N.

"I pray you who own me, let me continue to live close to Nature. Know that: I love to run beneath the sun, the moon and the stars; I need to feel the storm winds around me, and the touch of rain, hail, sleet and snow; I need to splash in streams and brooks, and to swim in ponds, lakes, rivers and seas; I need to be allowed to retain my kinship with Nature." – Juliette de Bairacli Levy, The Complete Herbal Handbook For Dog and Cat.

Natural Rearing is much more than just one thing like a diet; it is a holistic approach to life. Simply put it's about utilizing the old-time natural ways, essentially caring for animals as close to nature as possible.

Juliette de Bairacli Levy coined the phrase "Natural Rearing". Around 1930 while studying to be a veterinarian, this intrepid Englishwoman began rearing her Afghan Hounds naturally- feeding raw foods, and treating illness with herbs. For decades her book "The Complete Herbal Handbook For The Dog and Cat" and the formulas therein have been a relied-upon reference of owners and breeders around the world. The very foundation of Natural Rearing is building a strong immune system. A dog thus fortified is better able to handle All dis-ease from within. This is accomplished by feeding raw meaty bones and organs, fresh air, clean water, minimal stress, appropriate exercise, and lots of love; using natural alternatives to chemicals/medication when appropriate; supporting natural immunity so each dog has the opportunity to live a long life full of vitality, in turn, passing this strength to future generations.

Natural Rearing is about eliminating inappropriate and toxic substances from every area of life. The avoidance of chemicals in the garden and landscape, household and laundry cleaners, air fresheners, and both human and animal grooming products. It's about not putting toxic substances in, on, or around animals. Period. This includes flea and tick products, deworming medications, and vaccinations. In fact, Natural Rearing is better for your human family’s health too, environmentally friendly, and even beneficial for livestock and wildlife! Natural Rearing involves a vaccine-free protocol relying on the dog's own natural immune responses and healing ability to see it through a dis-ease cycle; along with the help of natural modalities when needed be that herbs, homeopathy, essential oils, or any other. Evidence confirms that dogs not given vaccines are far stronger and more resistant to dis-ease than those who have had annual vaccinations. Natural Rearing is not a passing fad... it is a lifestyle. Commitment to it will change your dog or cat’s life and your view of the world!

I don’t mean to imply that this is the only way of rearing dogs and cats. However, experience and scientific evidence show it is the optimal method of feeding and rearing which raises and maintains an animal's overall good health and vitality.

A Brilliant Gem

To me, Natural Rearing is like a high-quality diamond to which many precisely cut facets are applied in order for its brilliance to shine outwardly, like a fire within. Those “facets” in Natural Rearing are a species-appropriate raw diet, being vaccine-free, no chemicals in, on, or around the environment, and the use of natural modalities if needed (allopathic veterinary methods are reserved for trauma injuries, emergency, and diagnostics). Natural Rearing is about getting back to basics and the nature of how animals were created.

Some feel there is no need to follow all of the Natural Rearing principles; that it is just as beneficial to simply include some raw meat in the diet or to “minimally” vaccinate. There is some truth to this reasoning in the sense that if one weren't doing even those things their dog or cat would be much worse off. However, the problem with that reasoning is that removing even one principle significantly reduces the overall and long-term beneficial effects. Each and every facet must be present for Natural Rearing to brilliantly shine like the beautiful gem it is!

As stewards of their chosen breeds and commitment to the increased health and longevity of future generations, Natural Rearing breeders are committed to keeping every principle of Natural Rearing.

Photo Attribution: Fahey the English Shepherd by Krystal L. Beers, Copyright 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright © 2010 Krystal L. Beers. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the Author/Publisher.

About the Author: Krystal L. Beers, C.S.A.N. is a Board Certified Small Animal Naturopath consulting on animal nutrition and wellness. With years of experience in natural animal care, Krystal is a blogger, writer, and presenter on natural animal care as well as the published author of animal care books, including Rabbit Care… Naturally, Give Your Dog a Species Appropriate Raw Food Diet, and The Eight Laws of Health in Animal Naturopathy. Krystal’s articles have been featured in various publications in both print and online. Visit her Website:

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