Regenerative Agriculture is a holistic land management practice that produces healthy microbe-rich soil for healthy plants, animals, humans and the environment. Regenerative Farms work to be an active part of the solution through regenerative and sustainable practices based on science. They are soil doctors first and foundationally, potentiating everything above with more opportunity for health. Circumstantial evidence supports the hypothesis that with healthy soils comes phytochemical richness and this change to herbivore diets enhances biochemical richness of meat and dairy, which is linked with human and environmental health.
The dog’s microbiota — the community of microscopic organisms on and in his body — likely influences a tendency toward health or disease, including, but not limited to, the following conditions: allergies, obesity, diabetes, dental disease and gingivitis, dermatitis, cancer, arthritis, and cognitive decline and disease. Modern hypothesis states that exposure to healthy soil can help restore a dog’s ancestral microbial communities and therefore enhance his overall health.
Healthy soil is highly biodiverse; one gram, ¼ teaspoon, may contain 10 billion microbes, and 2,000 to 50,0002 species per gram, though some studies estimate as many as 10,000,000.3 Healthy soil is clean, not treated with herbicides, pesticides or chemical fertilizers, and sustainable, preferably produced on polyculture farms through Regenerative Agriculture methods. Modern farming methods cannot support soil health.
The canine ancestral environment was full of microbe-rich soil. Starting at birth, soil-based microbes colonized every canine environmental niche, externally and internally. Today, most puppies are born inside, in a radically different environment often full of harsh cleaning chemicals, antimicrobial soaps, and the accompanying indoor microbes that thrive in such environments. Many puppies may never play in soil until they get to their new homes, if then. They are not exposed to their ancestral microbes.
Just as we find that most dogs are healthiest when they consume their ancestral diets, we think they are healthiest when they have their natural — ancestral — microbial populations. Dogs co-evolved with the trillions of microbes that are in and on their bodies. The dogs who possessed the greatest harmony between their genes and the microbes to which they were exposed were the fittest and most successful. From a Darwinian perspective, the canine genes selected for were those that fit best with the microbes in the dogs’ environment.
I’m excited to collaborate with Solutions Pet Products. Their mission to support Regenerative Farms, soil health and education align with mine.
– Natasha Lilly, DVM, CVA – Co-owner of the Royal Animal Health University, the College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies, and RISObiotics