I often get inquiries about how I approach my dog Barley holistically.
Growing up on a ranch meant always having animals in my life at all times. From chickens to horses to cattle to goats to bunnies to cats to dogs—even a rat phase—I truthfully can’t remember a time that I didn’t have a pet. It’s like having an arm or a leg—an extension of myself. Since that is the case, I approach my dog the exact same way I approach my clients, Ryan, and myself—with optimal health as the number one guiding force. This approach—like us—is a preventative measure against massive vet bills & health issues down the road. So here are Barley’s staples & regime.
DIET | I’m so convicted in my interest in feeding any species their absolute native diet, so Barley’s primary source of food is Small Batch raw sliders. I love this company for so many reasons. Most of which are because all their animal protein is sourced from organic local farms, completely raw meat (with beneficial bone and organ matter), as well as superfood supplements mixed into the meat such as bee pollen, kelp, apple cider vinegar (natural anti-inflammatory and joint lubricator), wheatgrass (keeps cancer cells from multiplying), garlic (natural flea repellent). Each time she finishes a bag of her sliders, I rotate the type of protein (turkey, beef, rabbit, chicken) so she is getting different nutrients from different animals. I often get the response, OMG what if she catchs a parasite? As soon as you freeze anything, parasites are killed.
Aside from her sliders, I’ll toss some fermented vegetables with her food for their superfood properties and probiotics, and a bit of bone broth for deep mineralization and further medicinal properties. Once in a while when I’ve run out of her food, I’ll break her open a couple of raw eggs (with shells for deep minerals), and feed those to her which are ultra nourishing.
She drinks the same purified, remineralized water that we do. And I often add herbal tinctures to her water based on anything she has going on such as nettles for an allergic reaction to flea bites or lemon balm blend for her neighborhood firework freakouts.
TEETH | once a week, she gets a raw bone from the batch I pick up from my butcher to make broths. I save one for her where she’ll actively chew on this, which is the natural equivalent to a deep cleaning that doubles as a deeper mineral substance.
FLEAS | we don’t use any flea chemicals on her. I’m just not into chemicals in general—especially applied right on her skin, which is instantly absorbed into her bloodstream. Alternatively when bathing her, I pack her coat down tightly after soaping it up and let that sit for two minutes. If she does have a flea or two, this is wonderful for suffocating them. After and between baths, if I’ve noticed that she’s picked up a flea, I’ll also dab pure lavender essential oil on the same spots I would with flea medicine, and this sends fleas running for the hills. (I source the absolute purest local lavender essential oil from this farm in Ojai). Lastly, I’ll chop up ¼ of additional garlic and mix it up with her food for a few days, which fleas absolutely can’t stand in an animals’ blood stream. I use such a small amount for a short period of time because too much garlic can be toxic to dogs.
SWAG | Barley rotates between ceramic bowls in our house and old white ones from my early twenties. Her beds consist of our rugs, sheepskins and our couch. And she has a super basic leather collar and leash that Ryan picked up for her.
CONSCIOUS | I absolutely love the knowledge shared by Dr. Becker for those interested in learning about deeper holistic approaches to their pets. I’ve never purchased a purebred dog as I’m a firm believer in saving the lives of the many overpopulated pets in desperate need of homes. And I intentionally agreed to a smaller dog so that each of these holistic measures would always be within my means.