Winter brings on an infestation of ticks and spring, fleas.
The modern consumer has become accustomed to applying and administering chemical and poisonous remedies for sake of convenience.
“Spot on” treatments and flea collars were very popular at one time, and still are. However, after the EPA (environmental protection agency) published thousands of adverse reaction and many chemical flea remedies where banned, the consumer started to look elsewhere. This opened the door to the modern trend of administering digestive chemical based flea remedies. Some advocating efface of up to 3 months.
What a great pity, in that this was the opportunity to look for safe natural remedies, rather than turning, yet again, towards poisons and chemicals.
Besides the importance of regular grooming and brushing, there are some wonderful natural alternatives that repel fleas and ticks without being dangerous to our pet’s health. Garlic has been used for centuries as a natural anti-biotic but also to repel parasites, mosquitoes and fleas. Aloe bitters is also very effective.
Khakibos has always proven to be a great flea and tick repellent. Many older folk will tell you of stories how they would cover their carpets and curtains with Khakibos.
All these natural repellents are readily available in South Africa, without the inherent dangers using chemicals and poison.
Omega-3 oil (fish oil) is totally different, and like chalk and cheese when it comes to coconut oil. Fish oil is DHA and EPA (two long words, but this is enough), and these are omega 3 oils.
Coconut oil has no omega 3 in at all, it’s a saturated (very stable) fat which is excellent for improving the health of the thyroid gland, preventing obesity and giving masses of energy. Also heart and brain healthy.
Omega 3 oil from fish is a powerful anti-inflammatory and is probably the most important supplement you can add to your dog’s diet, regardless of what type of diet you feed.
BENEFITS OF OMEGA 3 FISH OIL
Proven benefits from EPA and DHA include:
Improving the coat and skin.
Reducing inflammation due to conditions such as arthritis, allergies, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Regulating the immune system, boosting those that are suppressed and calming overactive immune systems for dogs with allergies or autoimmune diseases.
Aiding in mental development of foetuses and puppies, and improving cognitive function in older dogs.
Lowering blood pressure and triglycerides.
Providing support for dogs with kidney disease, heart disease, and cancer.
Promoting weight loss in overweight dogs.
BENEFITS OF COCONUT OIL
Antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal properties
Helps the dogs absorb minerals, and fat-soluble vitamins
Is said to help fight cancer
Makes the coat shine beautifully and naturally
Helps prevent skin irritation and infection – and dogs are CRAZY about the taste!!
Good for bone health, heart health, weight management, diabetes and digestion
Improves digestion and alleviates allergies
Deodorizes doggy odour
Reduces or eliminates bad breath in dogs
Aids in arthritis or ligament problems
In summary, and simply put, Omega 3 fish oil restores cell damage that may have been caused by incorrect diet, exposure to chemicals and poison and pollution. Skin is often the first consequence of this abuse and Omega 3 is essential in the restoration thereof. Coconut oil, in respect to skin, promotes a glossy, shiny health skin, but has no omega 3’s.
There are commercial products available to deworm and rid parasites, but they are all chemically based or poisons and can be a hazard to the health of your companion animal.
Diatomaceous Earth is the fossilized shells of unicellular microscopic water-dwelling plants known as Diatoms. These fossil shells have tiny points (similar to lemon grass), which puncture the insect’s or parasites exoskeleton and thus kills them. Thus Diatomaceous Earth operates mechanically and NOT chemically. Because of this, parasites and pests cannot become immune or resistant to Diatomaceous Earth.
Diatomaceous Earth is an effective natural de-wormer and parasite cleanser. Parasites live in an animal’s intestinal tract, causing nutritional problems and physical irritation, effecting the health condition and attitude of the host. You can safely and effectively eradicate them with Diatomaceous Earth.
Diatomaceous Earth has many other health benefits. It also helps to attract and absorb bad bacteria, herbicides, pesticides, food additives, artificial hormones, heavy metals, drug residues, viruses and toxins and helps excrete it from the animal’s body.
There is no doubt that nutrition impacts on your health, well-being and longevity. The composition or type of diet you administer is of utmost importance. World–wide there is a trend towards natural and wholesome food, preferably organic. Vegetables have been identified as a major source of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. Natural supplements are essential in restoring nutritional values from a life style and diet that has been compromised.
Our modern era has become materialistic, insensitive and careless. We have steered away from good business and moral ethics and we have distant ourselves from natural living. In this hectic life style convenience has become a priority with processed, preserved and chemical based products enjoying major support. Corporate business embarks on major advertising campaigns that cloud our clear thinking. Labeling of products is so obscure and illegible.
So, if ever there was a need to investigate and challenge the commercial institution, it is now.
So how does a dry kibble diet compare to a wet diet, in the form of natural, raw or canned food.
Dry food is a high calorie carb diet and will certainly have an adverse effect on the energy levels of our companions and will impact negatively on behavior. Interestingly, we are also likely to gain more respect and discipline from our companions by doing the hard work and preparing home-cooked meals that are made with love and attention.
There is no doubt that the feeding of dried food is more convenient and depending on what brand you are using, may be even more cost effective, although this is not always the case. But like everything in life, there are no short cuts, and this may come at a cost. Certainly, we are finding that suddenly the longevity of our pets has decreased and that many of our companion animals are suffering from common ailments like skin allergies, diabetes, epilepsy, renal complications, arthritic conditions, dental disease and cancer.
So in essence, what is a kibble or pellet and why may it be offensive to many veterinarians and nutritionists?
Well, for one, dried food is so foreign to the feeding behavior of our domesticated pets and their ancestry from the wild, whom were accustomed to eating real, whole and wet foods. Moreover, gastronomically dried food has its limitations and may, in fact, be even “boring”. Variety is the spice of life and no more so than with our cats and dogs who have a fantastic sense of smell and taste.
But it is the nutritional component of dried food that is of concern and has certain specific preparation characteristics. All dried pellets must go through a cooking process called an extruder. This process reaches extreme temperatures and in many cases reaches up to 200 degrees.
Wet food, even canned food, is subjected to much lower cooking temperatures and in many cases may not be cooked at all, thus retaining all its natural nutritional values. Whole nourishment comes from whole natural and enzyme-active foods that are not refined, processed or laden with preservatives or chemicals. The highest quality nourishment can be obtained from organic foods grown on fertile soil and raised without harmful chemicals.
Dried food is also preserved to such a degree that it can maintain itself on a shelf for more than 12 months. Canned food, though still containing additives and colorants, is far less preserved because the canning process itself is a method of preserving food. Raw food or home-cooked food need not contain any preservatives. The natural process of freezing can also preserve food up till 6 months or more.
This is a fascinating subject to discuss and goes back to previous content we looked at as to whether our dogs are classified as carnivores or omnivores and whether they are derivatives of wolves, dingoes or jackals. This should surely determine what an appropriate diet is for our companions.
I say, “Animal rights organizations, world-wide, are fighting to change the rhetoric describing our animals as “pets” to “companions animals” or “members of the family”. Perhaps then, all our animals will be treated fairly, morally and with dignity and the way we feed and groom our pets will be no different to the way we care for our children.”
In Europe, there are plenty of commercially available, healthy vegetarian diets for pets. There is no reason why vegan/ vegetarian pet lovers in our country shouldn’t have the same choice. Moreover, vegetarian diets have been incredibly successful in curing many common ailments that we find nowadays like arthritis, bladder disorders, irritable skin and aggression. Remember that vegetable diets are mostly alkaline in nature compared to other acidic diets.
Some may argue that a vegan diet for a dog is unnatural in some way, but it’s important to note that in nature dogs wouldn’t eat anything like what is commonly found nowadays – in a can or in pellet form. Most commercial pet food is made of very questionable meats, not fit for human consumption that would otherwise be thrown away. These foods are filled with preservatives and other additives that, over time, can detriment the health of your pet.
Fortunately, even though many people would assume that a dog couldn’t possibly be fed a 100% vegetarian diet, nothing could be further from the truth!
In fact, one should be very weary of diets fed to our pets that contain copious amounts of raw meat. Just as raw meat can be dangerous to humans so it can be so for our pets. There are many reputable veterinarians and researchers who warn of the dangers of raw meat.
Herewith some of the ingredients that we feel are paramount to a basic vegan diet for your dog: brown rice, millet, lentils, peas, barley, wheat germ, rolled oats, beetroot, butternut, sweet potato, carrots and a variety of freshly picked herbs and green veggies. To ensure the perfect balance we also supplement with calcium gluconate, zinc gluconate, taurine, yeast, lecithin, kelp, dandelion and vitamin c.
So, not only is it possible to feed dogs a non-meat diet, it can also be very nutritious and balanced.
Just to let you know that I have been feeding my spaniel with the vegan diet since the beginning of Nov and he has never been so healthy or happy.
Previously, he was diagnosed with bowel disease (NOT IBS!!) at 6 months old and also had bouts of pancreatitis too. He has been on 20mg to 40 mg of steroids (Cortisone) daily ever since to control the disease. He has also been taking buscopan for tummy cramps and allergex. He would normally see the vet at least 2 – 3 x a month with severe pain, distended tummy, inflammation of the bowel. He has been for scopes etc. I was told by my vet that he would have to take steroids for the rest of his life and that he wouldn’t live past about 8 yrs old. He said I had to weigh up “Quality vs Quantity” – meaning that the quality of his life would be better with steroids but he wouldn’t live long. Also, due to the high amounts of cortisone, my spaniel (harley) is extremely overweight and his thyroid function has been depressed – which means that he will struggle to lose weight even on a “diet.”
At the age of 4 1/2, I found the Vegan diet online and changed him to that. He has never looked back. No more visits to the vet – only for a vaccination – and the vet was amazed at the change in Harley. His cortisone dosage is down to 2.5mg per day!!! No more buscopan or allergex. No more tummy cramps/severe pain and he has not had a single flare up of pancreatitis either. He is a happy, healthy and content dog now and has lost 3 kg’s. So, thank you very much for this wonderful vegan food. It is awesome and has changed not only my dog’s life but mine too!
Over the past few years we’ve discovered Vondi’s amazing range of what I like to call Wonder pet food.
Interestingly enough now that I think back at the time we made a decision to move away from a dry pellet food, there we’re several occasions that led us to believe that by changing the diet of our beloved companions to a more nutritious and healthy one, we are going to Naturally eradicate many common problems. (Which is what happened )
In just three weeks we were amazed to see that drastic changes in our two companions once we started feeding just the Vondi’s food … three years later and our companions are just as excited before meals. Their skin condition is now amazing, their eyes are sparkly, their teeth are spotless, their coats silky soft and shiny, and they have no odour… for the past two years our Vet just wants to know “What is your secret….” The only good answer we could think of was, “ You are, what you eat!” and this happens to be so true.
Veterinarians, micro-biologists and nutritionists have for a long time warned pet owners and humans alike, never to feed raw meat (especially minced). The ultimate temperature to kill pathogens, parasites and salmonella’s is 72 degrees. That means one has to sear the meat or steam or boil it until the red colour changes to pink. This is the responsible and safe thing to do.
So before pet owners revert back to a kibble/pellet diet, which a step in the wrong direction, there are other options that are safe, nutritionally sound and convenient.
For thousands of years we have prepared home-made meal with amazing success. Granny and Grandpa will testify as to the health of our pets when we used to offer table scraps. Now, we have science behind us that allows us to prepare home-cooked food that is even more nutritious, wholesome and balanced.
In the old days, when preparing a delicious nutritious meal for the whole family, we inherently knew what to do. Maybe there was even some element of luck. But nowadays, the subject of nutrition has advanced some much, that the guidelines are now deemed to be scientific.
Whole grains & pulses receive optimal nutritional value when cooked for a long period of time & at a simmer. In fact, the longer you slow cook these ingredients, so they convert from an acidic rating to an alkaline rating – brown rice, millet, lentils, peas, barley, wheat germ, rolled oats.
Professor Joop Boomker, of the Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases, University of Pretoria says one only need turn meat from red to pink, to kill parasites and worms.
That said, one should be weary of over cooking meat as the protein enzymes are very sensitive to heat. Over cooking will also turn fatty meat into high glucose. The optimum core temperature that your meat should reach is 72 degrees, whether you boil, steam, braise, bake, etc.
Vegetables provide great mineral and vitamin wealth. They are also essential in producing natural antioxidants that protect us from sickness and in controlling free radicals, which is the cause of many dread diseases and general poor health.
However, vegetables are very sensitive to heat and their vitamin and mineral structure can be denatured when exposed to heat or chemicals. Therefore, it is essential to your pet’s health that the green veggies, herbs and omega 3 oils are provided in their RAW state, without being cooked.
Preparing a balanced and complete home cooked diet for your four legged companion friend will be very beneficial and nutritious. But importantly, you can rest assured that your pets diet will be scientific like any other commercial brand.
It is very normal that your pet loses appetite during the hot months. During the colder months they tend to consume more, which is necessary to build up body fat. However, in summer, we all desire less bulky meals and may even skip a meal from time to time. This is also true for our pets.
Every year during the hot summer months I am often approached by concerned clients complaining that their pets have lost their appetite. Some even blame the brand of food that they are using.
I remind them that some believe that our beloved “Fido” is a descendent from the Wolf or wild dog and that our cats are descendants from any of the wild feline family. If that is the case then these “poor” creatures would only eat once in a while when they brought down their prey.
Scientists however, have confirmed that our furry companion friend may not have descended from the wolf as there are too many different genetic sequences for this to be possible. They propose that it is possible that our canine friends could have descended from the dingo, jackal, fox, or even a coyote. If this be true, then food was even more difficult to come by and they had to rely on scavenging and the odd small prey.
In each case, they were accustomed to eat very irregularly. Now, domestically, we force our pets to eat once and even twice a day, summer or winter. This is so foreign to their metabolism and inherent desires.
To make matters worse, in the last 50 years the whole nutritional base of our animals has shifted to highly processed and chemically-laden foods, an abrupt change from a natural diet that lasted thousands of years. Before, a “not so hungry dog”, could express himself by perhaps eating a lighter meal of vegetables and grass. Now his only option is a high carbo-loaded and calorie diet in the form of a pellet. The recipe remains the same and feeding quantity remains the same but the nutritional requirements may have changed depending on the season. He may thus eat his meal very reluctantly because the desired nutrition for that moment is not there.
For those who feel uncomfortable with their pet skipping a daily feed perhaps they may consider feeding once a day only.
Palatability is, also, as important to our pets as it is to us. In fact, we all know that our pets have an extremely sensitive sense of smell and taste. So, especially when the weather is hot, knowing that our pet’s appetite is poor, it is desirable to present palatable food that is tasty. Variety is also very important to enhance appetite. Who wants to eat the same food every day?
Here are some ingredients that one can add to your pets meal to enhance appetite and nutritional values:
Omega 3 fish oil, chicken fat, chicken broth, melted butter (not margarine), sardines, minced meat, apple cider vinegar and healthy left-overs.
Your ailing dog – dementia, poor health and being responsible…..
My beloved Chester struggled with Dementia. My beloved Jonty eventually died of a heart attack. Here are the lessons that I leant from my aging dogs and perhaps it may shed some light as to when is the right time to say good-bye to your companion and is there anything i/we could have done differently.
The elderly require dedicated attention and care and that applies to both pet and human. Somehow we think that our pets are more resilient but actually they require the same care.
Dementia is a common recognised ailment amongst humans but less known or understood for companion animals. Chester struggled with this ailment and would continuously return to his feeding bowl forgetting that he had already eaten. He would wonder aimlessly around the house and would often urinate inside the house. This was an inconvenience at the most, but never a reason to put him down. He still had zest and he still had a sparkle in his eye.
My irresponsibility and not understanding the challenges of dementia, caused Chester to fall off the promenade wall, under my poor supervision. But Chester survived without injury. Many months later, again, not through natural causes, he got his head stuck in a packet of Nachos and passed on. Again, I should have been more vigilant and I should have doubled checked that all cupboards were shut. But I did not and learnt a hard lesson. Chester had been my friend and companion for just under 20 years. May your soul rest in peace.
Jonty, Chester’s son was 17 and on a particular morning was reluctant to go for walk. The weather was warm but I insisted that he walk. On our return, he collapsed from a heart attack. Despite a half hour of CPR I could not revitalize him. I blew air through his nose but only later realized that the air was escaping through his cheeks. Lesson learnt.
Our companions leave us for many reasons through both natural and unnatural circumstances. Our pets age and ail just like we do as humans. It is my opinion that convenience or inconvenience should never be the reason to put your pet down. The only consideration should be their own state of being and wellness. The moment they endure pain and discomfort, it is my opinion, that it is then time to say goodbye, as difficult as it may be.
They don’t have an expectation of life, they don’t even strive for another day. They fear not death. They are the pure spiritual guru who lives for love and loves to live. A blessed moment with you as their carer is all that they desire and for you to cherish their love.
For all those who have lost a dear family member, a companion, a friend, a partner, remember those sacred memories of joy. We were blessed to have enjoyed even a moment with this most remarkable being.
The Holistic Approach – what does it mean and how can it improve our pets longevity and health?
Paul from Vondi’s Holistic Pet summarizes all his discussions from 2017 on Fine Music Radio.
I offered resolve with regards to the above ailments and asked the listeners to have faith in their own bodies and that of their pets. By strengthening our pets immunity they are able to repel pests, cope with viruses and bacteria and recover from dread decease
The holistic approach incorporates diet, supplementation and the appropriate grooming products. Conversely, one is well advised to steer away from products and ingredients that have a high acidic rating and that may cause any inflammatory disorders.
The reality is that most of our pets are in a dire state and applying conventional medicine and pet care really is not working.
It is time to make change and look at other favourable alternatives.