Normalising Wellbeing

Author: Bella (proHOUND Co-Founder)

The pet industry (worth over $103.6 billion) is filled with misinformation and disinformation. Your pet can still have the best possible chance in life!

Feeding your dog

The only diet I will ever feel comfortable feeding is a fresh diet comprised mainly of raw meat.

- It’s species-appropriate (the list of health benefits are therefore endless – mainly: cleaner teeth; smaller, firmer, less smelly poop; shinier, softer coat and it’s less fattening)

- I would much prefer to give my dogs actual food – I wouldn’t like to eat processed nuggets of starch (probably in one ‘flavour’) for my entire life! 


I do understand that kibble is more convenient in terms of storage but really all you need is freezer space. Freezers are usually pretty cheap second-hand – can you stick one in the garage maybe? 


There are lots of premade brands to choose from nowadays too; you don’t need to lift a finger. 

Raw feeding isn’t as expensive, difficult, dangerous or as inconvenient as made out.

- I joined a game group on Facebook and regularly feed squirrel, rabbit, pigeon, duck or pheasant for pennies! Whole prey is great for enrichment too. 

- Use the 80-10-10 model as a starting point; feed as many proteins as possible; add fish, eggs, seeds, cooked veg & fur (e.g. rabbit ears) here & there on rotation and you’ll be fine!  

- Scaremongering is rife when it comes to fresh feeding but don’t worry – there’s actually more salmonella in kibble! Also, most households in Britain regularly handle raw meat for their own meals; it’s just about being hygienic! It also WILL NOT turn your dog aggressive (resource guarding is an important behaviour to consider due to high value but it is not related to the fresh diet itself)

- A species-appropriate diet means less trips to the vet for ailments such as stomach problems and rashes, saving you money!


I only vaccinate dogs when required. This does not mean I am an anti-vaxxer! I would never risk my dog’s health or the health of dogs around us. I titre test my dog’s blood to find out what antibodies are present and if any vaccinations are needed. I’ve never yet needed to give a dog a ‘booster’ and I don’t like to vaccinate puppies immediately. They normally have their mother’s immunity until about 14 weeks. 

It’s expensive, potentially harmful and often unnecessary to vaccinate your dog every year.

Some people don’t vaccinate their dogs at all. I don’t completely disagree with this either to be honest but I won’t expand on this now; I am generally happy to vaccinate a healthy dog if it’s needed. 

Nosodes are used a lot nowadays as well; I am considering using these in the future once I’ve done more research.

Flea, tick and worm medication

I do not give these medications unless my dog actually has one of the parasites. Once again, it is expensive, unnecessary and potentially harmful. 

Part of being a good dog owner is regularly running your hands over your dog’s entire body, checking for abnormalities. During this process, you would easily feel a tick (if you didn’t spot it!) in the unlikely event one latches onto your dog. Ticks do not latch onto your dog nearly as often as we are led to believe, although I would recommend briefly checking your dog’s fur if you’ve been for a walk in long grass. You should always have a tick fork in your kit box too; I think they’re about £2 and you can easily remove a tick by placing the fork around it and twisting (you must twist to ensure the head is removed from under your dog’s skin). I would then clean the area regularly for a few days and keep an eye on it :) 


I’ve never had a dog with fleas; you would spot these immediately. Basic hygiene in your own home, keeping away from strange dogs and using diatomaceous earth can deter fleas without needing to apply strong chemicals at cost every month. A species-appropriate diet also makes a dog more hygienic themselves on the outside and inside, meaning their coat is a less hospitable environment for pesky fleas! 


As for worms, pumpkin seeds are a great natural de-wormer, as is fur (e.g. rabbit ears or whole prey). You can also do a worm count by sending a poo sample; I bet you a tenner there will hardly ever be an issue. I think I’ve had a low quantity of one type of worm a couple of times but that’s it; easily treatable with natural remedies.


Billy No Mates is a popular natural parasite deterrent too, as is apple cider vinegar. Don’t forget chemical products (the ones typically sold in your local vet surgery) aren’t ‘preventatives’ because there’s no such thing; you’re just treating your dog every month for something they don’t have!


I would of course use mainstream products if my dog had a severe infestation of a parasite, but using them in a ‘preventative’ manner does not necessarily mean they will repel parasites – plenty of dogs still pick up ticks.


Whatever your opinion on parasite medication, please DO NOT be tempted to purchase cheap ‘preventatives’ from places like B&M or even Pets at Home. These are often packed with chemicals and can often be dangerous, leaving a rash or even causing a fit – I say this with as little bias as possible. If you absolutely must use them, please buy them from a vet.


Balanced training 

This is a big topic nowadays!  

- Dogs themselves aren’t ‘force-free’ – it’s perfectly normal and healthy for a stable, neutral dog to correct pushiness. It doesn’t mean the dog is aggressive. 

- Ethically training a dog involves ethically informing them when their behaviour is undesirable, allowing them to stop practising that behaviour sooner and therefore becoming happier & healthier sooner 

- Punishment in the dog training world is not the same thing as ‘punishment’ in the English dictionary. It is ANYTHING that reduces the likelihood of a behaviour and its effectiveness is dictated by the learner (the dog). 

- Correct balanced training is nothing to do with pain, fear or abuse, contrary to popular belief. 

- Balanced training is nothing more than providing feedback in response to a behaviour in order to help the dog live a more harmonious life with you and everyone around the dog. 


Please note these bullet points alone do not describe balanced training and I have not exhausted the topic here either. 


Thank you Scott from Off-Leash K9 for the excellent Webinar Wednesdays event about balanced training.




That really is my main thought on this topic! I’m wondering if the term ‘socialisation’ needs to be scrapped – to be replaced with ‘life exposure’ maybe? 

Socialisation is exposing your dog to the world in a safe, ethical and controlled way so they learn to be neutral to all stimuli and behave in a way that is respectful in their environment. 

A dog (particularly a puppy) of course needs to learn dog body language and play skills; these can be taught by a stable, neutral, KNOWN adult dog.

The dictionary definition of socialisation is below:


 "the process of learning to behave in a way that is acceptable to society."

"pre-school starts the process of socialization"





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