RHOAD
Old English Sheepdogs

Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA

Member of the Old English Sheepdog Club of America
Member of the Old English Sheepdog Owners Club of Canada

ditzik@sbcglobal.net   -   734-482-6864


How I keep my dogs extremely healthy.

As an OES breeder for over 20 years I have come to realize how important nutrition, a chemical free environment, and judicious use of pharmaceuticals is to the health of your OES. I want all the dogs that I breed to not just be free from disease, but to be extremely healthy, and live a long, happy life.

Several books have heavily influenced my view on how to breed extremely healthy dogs.

  • "The Whole Pet Diet" by Andi Brown
  • "Veterinarian's Guide To Natural Remedies For Dogs" by Martin Zucker
  • "The Nature Of Animal Healing" by Martin Goldstein
  • "Stop The Shots, Are Vaccinations Killing Our Pets?" by John Clifton
  • "Nutrition And Physical Degeneration" by Weston A Price

Feeding and Nutrition

To start with I take healthy, sweet tempered, show quality puppies into my breeding program, and begin my basic feeding program with a high quality kibble. Added to this is a special nutritional supplement program, designed to promote extremely good health. A high quality kibble is a good start, but because it is cooked at such high temperatures all the digestive enzymes, omega-3 oils and many other nutrients are destroyed. We need to add back in living foods and important nutrients that would be just too expensive to have in the kibble. This program creates a dog with a strong immune system, better able to ward off degenerative diseases that plague our modern day pets. One of my breeding girls Gracie was placed in a home with a Golden Retriever that was on 4 pills a day for epileptic seizures. They started Gracie on the supplements right away, and gave the same supplements to their Golden. Over the next six months he went from 4 pills a day to one pill a day. The veterinarians kept asking, what are you doing with this dog? The natural progression of the Goldenís illness would usually be more and more medications and a shortened life. Virgette and Mark told them about the program I had for my breeding dogs and how they put their Lab on the same program. He is seizure free on one pill a day, and has loved playing with his Gracie for the last 2 1/2 years.

My dogs get the following supplements according to their size.

  • Omega-3 fish oil capsules
  • Cod-liver Oil
  • Brewer's yeast
  • Alfalfa
  • E-200
  • Liver
  • Vitamin C
  • Garlic
  • Sea kelp
  • Spirulina
  • Chorella
  • Green grass barley
  • GreenPowder with probiotics

The Mama Dogs go on the following program as soon as they are bred.

  • Women's prenatal multivitamin
  • Vitamin C
  • Fish oil
  • Cod liver oil
  • Red raspberry leaves
  • Vitamin E
  • Calcium
  • Some of the following each day: eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt, fish etc.

I also really like the recipe for Spot's Chicken Stew, found in "The Whole Pet Diet" book. Make up a huge pot of that and add it to the high quality kibble.

Chemical Free Environment

Keeping your environment as chemically free as possible will go a long way to keeping your dog healthy. Chemicals stress the immune system of your pet, setting the stage for cancers and other degenerative diseases. The following is a preliminary cancer study from the 2nd Annual Canine Cancer Conference in Aurora, Ohio 2002.

  • Overweight or obese dogs have a higher risk of disease.
  • Dogs exposed to flea dips had a 2 time greater risk.
  • Dogs living near a marsh where mosquito sprays were used had a 3 time greater risk.
  • Dogs whose diets were supplemented with Vitamins E and C, had a 50% lower incidence.
  • Dogs whose diets included cruciferous vegetables (ie.broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower) had a 75% lower incidence.
  • Dogs who were administered NSAIDS (such as aspirin), had a 50% lower incidence.
  • Dogs who drank chlorinated water, had a 26% greater incidence.
  • Dogs who had access to chemically treated lawns had a 100% greater incidence.
  • Dogs who had exposure to herbicides had a 400% greater incidence.
  • Dogs who had exposure to phenoxy herbicides had a 100% greater incidence.
  • Dogs who have worn flea collars, had used flea/tick dips, shampoos, sprays or powders had a 300% greater incidence.
  • It was also cited that a dog using a combination of three of these products, the incidence was even greater.

Remember with your OES, think carefully when choosing the cleaning products for your home. Remember your dog breathes in the fumes too, and spends his time on that just cleaned floor. If you have a Whole Foods near you, they screen their products very carefully.

Pharmaceuticals, Prescription Drugs, and Vaccinations

I strongly recommend a Holistic Veterinarian in your area, who is very conservative in prescribing drugs to solve your petís health problems. Sometimes they are necessary, but often there is another herbal or homeopathic solution that is much less harsh on your dogís liver and other organs. I strongly recommend you get hold of the recommended books at the beginning of this article. I no longer vaccinate young puppies. I feel their immune systems are much too immature to handle exposure to five diseases at one time. Puppies have died from vaccinations, others have become very ill. Many vets feel over vaccination is one of the reasons our pets are dying early from degenerative diseases. Read the books. Educate yourself. Then make your own decisions in consultation with your Vet.

Click here to see pictures of where we live.


* Member of the Old English Sheepdog Club of American and abide by its code of ethics.

If interested in more information ....
call Betty Ditzik (Rhoad) at 734-482-6864 or email at ditzik@sbcglobal.net
(I check email every day and I also welcome your telephone calls.)


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