Mini Cart

Summer time and the living is easy, except for ticks fleas and allergies…

Summer is upon us and whilst this may be a very exciting and festive season, it can be very traumatic for our companion animals. This is when our pets become very vulnerable and riddled with fleas. They are exposed to a variety of allergens and it is a normally a time when our pets struggle with skin allergies and skin irritation.

Summer is also a time when we travel more or go out and leave our pets alone.All of this impacts on their generally well being and state of mind.

Herewith, the first of a three part holistic approach in dealing with some typical characteristics of summer and how best to look after our companions:

1.  Change in appetite

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 there 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 descendents 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 everyday?

Using some exciting tit bits added into the food to enhance the taste would also be a good idea, like chicken liver, melted butter, home-made chicken stock, sardines, etc

2. Is your dog a cold or hot dog?

Some pets are just hot in nature. It is important to identify whether your pet is a cold dog or hot dog (not that which can be eaten).  In summer, hot dogs become even more uncomfortable.

Always have loads of fresh water available. Include blended cooling herbs into their meal like mints, sages and lemon balm.

You may even wish to bath your dog in a bath of cooling ingredients like Rooibos Tea, Mint, Chamomile, Khakibos and/or buchu

3. Outdoor activity and beach

In summer we tend to wash of pets a lot more, even daily. This because they are outdoors or swim in the sea. But we make the mistake of washing with chemical shampoos which strips them of their natural skin bacteria. I would suggest a good fresh water rinse, rather than shampooing each time. You could even soak or rinse you dog in a basin of rooibos tea, apple cider vinegar and khakibos. The exact recipe I have presented previously.

Next week we will look at the typical summer problems of fleas and flea bites, long grass and dust mite allergies and how we can boost immunity to deal with these irritants.

Continue Reading

“My dog continuously licks its paws”

Paul’s Response:

This condition is very common in dogs and particularly with German Shepards, Bull Terriers and Staffies. This, I classify as a skin ailment and should be addressed accordingly.

Over the months of writing for Furkidz I have dealt with skin conditions and holistic and natural treatment. Readers would be well advised to peruse previous editorial to gain insight and solutions. Or alternatively look at our direct site,

However, specifically, the continuous licking of feet and paws is a clear sign that your dog lacks probiotics. You would be well advised to administer natural probiotics or spirulina. Even better, and certainly a must for the three breeds mention above, is to include Raw Dirty Tripe in their meal. German Shepards, Bull Terriers and Staffies metabolize the enzymes found in tripe better than other probiotics. It is essential for their diet.

In these breeds I would recommend including 250grams twice to three times per week. In other breeds, once a week would be adequate. This can be supplemented in conjunction with other probiotics. Raw tripe is available from your butcher or local supermarkets.

Externally and to discourage the habit of licking the paws, one could rub aloe bitter gel onto their feet.

“My Dog often eats its own Stool”

Paul’s Response:

This is a sure sign that your companion is lacking something nutritionally. It is not uncommon for your dog to eat its own stool, the wood from your skirting board, toilet paper or other disgusting objects. Also very common, but pleases me greatly, is when your dog eats your garden, the herbs within, the flowers, roots and grass.

He is merely fulfilling the nutritional void from his daily feed and finding relief in other nutritional ingredients.

In the wild, dogs and cats would graze a variety of mineral enriched grass, flowers and herbs, instinctively identifying the healing and cleansing agents that they contain. The medicinal and mineral wealth in herbs is well documented and is essential to the health of all animals.

It still amazes me that after thousands of years of being domesticated, our canine friend is still able to instinctively know what his body requires to make him nutritionally complete and to treat sickness and ailments.

Therefore, if your companion is exhibiting strange eating habits, then I would certainly include a variety of natural and wholesome ingredients into his meal. You will be surprised what fantastic results you will gain from just adding vegetables into your companion’s diet.

Most people have fresh herbs at home or can easily acquire some. Having a variety of herbs at home is the equivalent of having a walk-in pharmacy on your door step. Depending on the mood of your companion, health and ailment he will automatically know which herbs to choose. This is quite amazing.

I would also supplement diet with supplements that we know to support digestion:  pro-biotics, spirulina, diatomaceous earth, apple cider vinegar, a natural and vitamin supplement.

“My dog continuously scratches”

 Paul’s Response:

Almost every dog is struggling with itchy skin and allergies. Whether I am lecturing in Cape Town or Guateng, every pet owner complains about itchy skin. I don’t believe that even the veterinarian industry knows how grave this problem actually is, because people would certainly be reluctant to report such an “insignificant” matter to their vets and at a great expense.

I personally deal with about 20 emails each day relating to skin disorders alone.

What ever advice you may heed, you certainly do need to make a change in your habits. If not, this problem will not go away. Skin disorders are a sure sign that something is going wrong. I see it as your pet’s saving grace. Your change in attitude and habits may actually steer your companion towards a healthier life and improve longevity.

I have written much on skin disorders for Furkidz and offered some valuable advice. Some of the relevant editorial that I presented previously was “flea, ticks and skin allergies – natural remedies”. I also offered “a solutions to solving your pets itchy skin and allergies – internally and externally”. My article on “Rooibos Tea” and “Apple Cider vinegar” also showed how useful these supplements could be I treating skin disorders.

The success we have had in treating skin related ailments is advising our clients to stay away from feeding sugars, dairy or any preserved food. This includes dry kibble as they are all preserved. Rather experiment with natural diets that are wholesome and full of vegetables.

Refrain from using hard chemicals and poisons when grooming or dealing with fleas and ticks. There are many natural remedies available.

Skin disorders and allergies can be cured. All that is required is a holistic and natural approach.


Paul’s Response:

Some people prefer feeding once a day and others twice. Obviously, for young puppies they certainly should be feeding a few times a day. But for the rest, it’s really your own preference.

I personally have only ever fed my companions once a day, at night, and to be honest I can’t really remember why I chose this routine.

There are those who feel that their dogs are derivatives of wolves or jackals and if this is the case then these predators or scavengers would have only eaten a meal from time to time. Therefore, feeding once a day would be more appropriate.

Interestingly, when I was lecturing in Darling some time ago, the local vet advised that people feed their pets twice a day. This is because that area is known to infested with ticks and the dangers of biliary were rife. Should your pet be infected, then you could already pick up the danger signs when he missed his first meal. You would then be more observant and monitor his eating habits thereafter and take the necessary medical action.

Generally, in summer the eating habits of our pets change as they do for humans. When the weather is very hot we loose appetite. Perhaps during the hotter months one could feed once a day. Conversely, during winter our companions need to build body fat and would benefit from two meals a day.

In the end, I honestly believe that it makes absolutely no difference feeding once or twice a day. It is your own preference


Continue Reading
Breath in, Breath out


Ensure your pet is calm, happy and relaxed by making sure their diet is not dominated by over-processed, high-carb dry dog food.

Meditation, yoga and controlled breathing go a long way in helping us put aside our daily stresses and feel more relaxed. If you were a dog or cat, how would you control your breathing? How would you live in the moment, relax and revel in life’s jewels?

Well, our companion animals are inherently happy beings who naturally breathe calmly. They are our true gurus. Unless their state of well-being is changed on a physiological level – and diet plays a very important role in this.

With the recent introduction of dried kibble into our households, the nutritional base of our animals has shifted towards highly processed and chemically laden food that is high in carbohydrates.

Even though manufacturers claim that our pets can thrive on a diet consisting of nothing but commercial dried food, increasingly this processed food is being implicated as a source of disease or as an exacerbating agent for a number of degenerative diseases as well as affecting behaviour and anxiety.High-carb and sugar diets will affect an animal’s physical stateand well being.

It is certainly not recommended to sit down and meditate after drinking a can of Red Bull or a cup of coffee. The same applies to our companion animals, who surely can’t be expected to behave normally after consuming high-carb energy diets.

Professor Tim Noakes, Professor of Exercise and Sports Science at the University of Cape Town, recently shook up the diet world when he published his views on the impact that high-carb diets have on our health. Drawing on years of research, he has discovered that based on his own biology (he is pre-diabetic), a high-carb diet causes high insulin levels which leads to weight gain, continual hunger, lethargy, and over time, pancreatic failure and the onset of diabetes.

In the past, athletes would “carbo-load” to build up energy resources. Professor Tim Noakes now believes that in order to perform consistently and with endurance a wholesome, balanced diet is more effective.

High-carb diets may have similar effects on our pets. Many pets are overweight, and experience “sugar highs” and crashes, becoming irritable and anxious. A kibble-only diet could result in our pets becoming more out of control, less disciplined and irritable.

Our companion animals once lived in bliss and were masters of living in the moment – breathing deeply and calmly. Unfortunately their modern, unnatural diets and lifestyles has seen them becoming more and more stressed – just like us.

While you may not be able to get your pet to join you for a yoga session, one of the most important things you can do is look after their diet.

Just like us, their bodies are not designed to consume over-processed, high-carbohydrate cereal-based diets packed full of additives, preservatives, flavourants and colourants.

Continue Reading

A natural, wholesome diet that includes a variety of fresh veggies is recommended for both human and animal alike. Added to this nutritious diet should be a variety of natural herbs.

Most people have fresh herbs at home or can easily acquire some. So I wish to focus on the nutritional and medicinal values that herbs can contribute to your companion’s diet.

The medicinal and mineral wealth in herbs is well documented and is essential to the health of all animals.

In the wild, dogs and cats would graze a variety of mineral enriched grass, flowers and herbs, instinctively identifying the healing and cleansing agents that they contain.

It is not uncommon for even our domesticated pets to consume grass and roots.

In our own brand of natural food we include a variety of over 20 freshly pick herbs.  As a result we have had amazing success in treating skin allergies and eczema, bad breath, bladder disorders, obesity, eye ailments, diabetes, cancer and nervousness.

Herewith a list of some of my favorite herbs:

GARLIC – is a miracle herb and has a powerful natural disinfectant which helps to destroy harmful bacteria in the animals system and helps detoxify the body. It also tones the lymphatic cells and helps purify the bloodstream and intestines. It prevents viruses from multiplying and creates hostile conditions that repel most parasites and strengthens the immune system.

ROSEMARY – It has traditionally been used for asthma and lung difficulties, bruises, wounds, colds, depression, eczema, dandruff, hair loss, headaches, heart palpitations, muscle spasms, rheumatism and sores. It also produces glossy coats and shinny eyes.

THYME – It has very strong antiseptic & anti-inflammatory properties. Used to fight infection, poor digestion, lung infections and skin inflammation. It is also known as an eye strengtherner.

MARJORAM – is a relaxing herb and used in the treatment of nervous tension and stress related conditions. 

MINT – reduces excess acidity and calms nerves. It is digestive, soothing, relaxing and sleep inducing. It is a digestive alkaliser and prevents mucus formation and sinus blocking.

PARSLEY – is rich in iron builds blood, promotes oxygen absorption, gives good pigment to skin and hair and nourishes the nerves, muscles and internal organs. It also refreshes bad breath.

FENNEL – is enriched with so many wonderful minerals and medicinal properties are enormous. It strengthens the nervous system and stamina for highly strung animals but at the same time reduces acidity and calms nerves. It maintains brain, teeth, eyes and all bones of the body.


Continue Reading

ImageContinuing from my last editorial and my preferred supplements for pets, despite our best efforts to provide wholesome and natural diets, the mineral and vitamin wealth is often found wanting due to GM products and inorganic farming. Therefore, one would be well advised to enrich your and your pet’s nutrition by way of natural supplements.

Some of my preferred supplements included a high quality fish oil, apple cider vinegar and spirulina. Herewith some others that I believe will be of great value for your companion animal.

DEVILS CLAW AND ROSEHIP – an effective treatment for pain and arthritic problems.

Supplementing your companion animal’s diet can be very beneficial. As a puppy or kitten it is very important to enhance nutrition whilst in the growth phase.

For adult or aging companions, supplementing diet with enriched natural minerals and vitamins is well advised. This is especially true for dogs and cats that are likely to experience arthritic and hip dysphasia problems, which is very common with large breed dogs and almost all aging animals.

Devils Claw and Rosehip is a must for all aging animals and for that matter, humans.


Native to southern Africa, devil’s claw is a shrub that has lush foliage and red flowers. The plant gets its name from the miniature hooks that cover its fruit. For thousands of years, the Khoisan peoples of Madagascar and the Kalahari Desert have used devil’s claw root in remedies to treat pain and inflammation and many other medical ailments.

 Today, devil’s claw is used for degenerative joint diseases such as arthritis, for  back pain, and as an appetite stimulant and digestive tonic. Scientific evidence supports the use of devil’s claw root to help relieve pain and inflammation in people with arthritis and other painful disorders.

Studies have found that taking devil’s claw for several months substantially reduces pain and improves physical functioning in people with osteoarthritis. In addition, those who received devil’s claw experienced fewer side effects and required fewer pain-reducing medications throughout the study.

In addition to the treatment of osteoarthritis and other painful disorders, devil’s claw is also very useful for upset stomach, loss of appetite, headaches, allergies, and fever.


Another natural remedy that compliments the positive attributes of Devils Claw in dealing with arthritic and pain issues is Rosehip.

The pain-relieving properties of rosehip, which has previously been linked to reduced inflammation in osteoarthritis, have been suggested for decades.

Scientists have found that powder made from a wild variety of rosehip, Rosa canina, is better at reducing pain in patients than glucosamine, a treatment prescribed by many vets.

The latest studies led to a reduction in glucosamine use by many arthrisits sufferers and that rosehip powder was an effective alternative for those seeking a natural remedy for these symptoms.

The evidence for the benefits of rose-hip powder in osteoarthritis appears consistent, and, if pet owners wish to use this natural remedy in addition to any other prescribed treatment by their vet, this would be perfectly in order.

The Daily Telegraph  in its headline claimed that Rosehip was ‘better than painkillers’ for arthritis” . “Researchers have found that it is three times more effective than standard paracetamol at relieving pain and 40% more effective than Glucosamine.

Feeding Requirements

Both Devils Claw and Rosehip can be bought at most health shops and some pharmacies in a powdered form and they are both very palatable. Your companion animal will have no problem digesting them when mixed with their food. Obviously, it would be a lot easier to administer if you were feeding a home cooked or natural diet.

I would recommend for small dogs and cats a half tea spoon of each, mixed with the food, daily. For a medium breed, 1 tea spoon of each and for a large breed, 1.5 – 2 tea spoons of each.

DIATOMACEOUS EARTH – a natural dewormer and parasite

Diatomaceous Earth is the fossilized shells of unicellular microscopic water-dwelling plants known as Diatoms.

These tiny unicellular plants use soluble silica (sand) from their environment to make their cells walls. When these organisms die, the shells pile up on the bottom to form thick beds of sediment.

These beds, called Diatomite or Diatomaceous Earth, are then mined from ancient dried lake bottoms.

One can obtain synthetic or processed Diatomaceous Earth which is often used in paints, filtering systems, chemical insecticides and cosmetics. However, NATURAL DIATOMACEOUS EARTH has not been altered in any chemical way and is derived from a fresh water source and contains less than 1% crystalline silica. Any Diatomaceous Earth that exceeds 1% is referred to as pool grade and best used in pool filtration systems.

Natural Diatomaceous Earth is made up of microscopic shells of 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.

There are commercial products available to de-worm 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 registered, certified and approved by the Department of Agriculture and approved by almost every international agricultural body including the F.D.A, the E.P.A and the E.U.

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, when internally digested is known to kill parasites mechanically by scrapping the gut, literally piercing their structure. Externally applied, it is very effective in killing fleas in the same manner. Both are totally safe and work mechanically rather than chemically. Remember, chemicals and poisons will certainly have an adverse effect on skin conditions and general health.

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.

Diatomaceous Earth is very effective in helping to support your pet’s immune system and enhance matabolism by scrappping the gut and getteing rid of toxins. Daily exposure to a wide variety of toxins can seriously affect your pet’s health. A highly-processed diet filled with colorants and preservatives, chlorinated water, commercial flea collars, insecticides and pollution  are all contributors to a toxic and unhealthy life style.

Diatomaceous Earth also contains an array of trace minerals to feed and nourish your pet.  One of the minerals that it contains in abundance is Silica. Silica is a vital trace mineral required by the animal’s body for strong and flexible joints, glowing skin, coat health, stronger hair and bones.

In summary, Diatomaceous Earth helps to maintain all-round systemic functioning and maintain health and vigor in pets. Besides eradicating parasites, worms and pests, it other advantages are:


  • Improved Digestion and Nutrient Absorption
  • Improved Coat, Hoof and Bone Health
  • Enhances growth of animals
  • Contains 71 Organic Trace Minerals
  • Combats Arthritis and Joint Pains
  • Lower Cholesterol levels
  • Stimulates metabolism
  • Reduces overall animal stress

 Feeding Recommendations

Diatomaceous Earth is a fine powder which is very patatable and should be added to your pets food. Daily supplimentation is recommended:

Kitten/puppy – ½ t.spoon per day

Cat or Small Dog – 1 t.spoon per day

Medium – Large Dog – 2 t.spoons per day

Note: Vondi’s has recently developed a Natural 100% Organic Diatomaceous Earth, with added organic aloe. For more information on Diatomaceous Earth, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Continue Reading
A healthy dog is a happy dog!

Over the last weeks I have presented editorial on the benefits of vegetables in your pet’s diet and offering guidance in formulating natural and wholesome food for your beloved companion animals. But what about diet supplementation?

Natural supplementation is important for your pet, especially when treating an ailment or condition. Herewith is a list of my preferred supplements to include in your companions diet.

OMEGA 3 FISH OIL – for skin conditions and allergies.

A quality omega 3 is essential in restoring cell damage and should be your first choice supplement. Almost every Vet will recommend an Omega 3 when treating skin disorders and inflammation.

Sally-Anne Creed is one of South Africa’s leading nutritionists and her stance on whether to use fish oil or flax oil is very clear. She firmly warns clients to avoid flax.

Although flaxseed oil is often touted, even by some doctors, as a substitute for fish oil, new studies show it’s not a reliable alternative.

A new Emory University study found that taking high daily doses of flaxseed oil  caused no increase at all of omega-3 DHA in the blood of subjects.

Similarly, feeding animals alpha-linolenic acid, as found in flaxseed oil, did not increase DHA in their brain cells, according to research at the National Institutes of Health.

New British research says high doses of flaxseed oil may even cause a decrease in omega-3 DHA and that flaxseed oil does not adequately nourish fetal brains.

According to the study published in ‘American Journal of Clinical Nutrition’ flaxseed oil is found very less effective against inflammatory conditions. Generally, flaxseed oil has been considered to be anti-inflammatory agent. But few more studies reveal the shocking truth that
it actually increases inflammation in most of the cases.

My preference, especially when treating skin ailments, is high quality fish oil, preferably salmon oil.

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR – for itchy skin & arthritis

Apple cider vinegar is a remedy with multiple uses for dogs: alleviating allergies, arthritis, establishing correct pH balance.

If your dog has itchy skin, the beginnings of a hot spot, incessantly licks its feet, has smelly ears, or is picky about his food, the application of Apple Cider Vinegar may change things around. For poor appetite, use it in the food – 1 tablespoon, two times a day for a 20 kilo. dog.

Taken internally, Apple Cider Vinegar is credited with maintaining the acid/alkaline balance of the digestive tract.

If you have a dog that has clear, watery discharge from the eyes, a runny nose, or coughs with a liquid sound, uses Apple Cider Vinegar in his or her food. One teaspoon twice a day for a 20 kilo dog will do the job

After your weekly grooming sessions, use a few drops in his or her ears after cleaning them to avoid ear infections and to clean out mites. Two parts Apple Cider Vinegar to eight parts warm water would be the desired dosage

For itchy skin or the beginning of hot spots, dilute Apple Cider Vinegar, three parts water and one part the vinegar, and add into a spray bottle or dab onto the dog’s skin.

Fleas, flies, ticks and bacteria, external parasites, ring worm, fungus, staphylococcus, streptococcus, mange, etc., are unlikely to inhabit a dog whose system is acidic inside and out.

Your dog will also smell so nice that you may mistake your companion animal for your garden salad

SPIRULINA – for immunity and digestion

Vondi’s Spirulina Supplement


One of my preferred supplements is Spirulina.

Spirulina contains a remarkable combination of vegetable protein, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and powerful antioxidants. These vital substances work in synergy to assist in immune enhancement, disease prevention, the promotion of healthy bowel flora and general well-being.

All vitamins and minerals in Spirulina are present as natural, organically-bound complexes. Unlike synthetic combinations of isolated vitamins and minerals, these complexes are easily recognised by the body and are therefore highly bioavailable. Spirulina provides superior nutrition, especially at a time when many commercial foods are becoming increasingly more nutrient depleted.

Spirulina has the highest protein content of any natural food.  Spirulina contains between 65 and 70% protein. This is 270% more protein than fish, 334% more than beef and 556% more than tofu.

Spirulina also excels with regards to protein quality. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Unlike non-essential amino acids, essential amino acids can not be synthesized by the body and must be obtained from the diet. Spirulina provides all the essential amino acids and is therefore considered a complete protein.  With regards to usable protein (as a percentage of the food’s composition), Spirulina is second only to whole, dried eggs. Furthermore, protein from

Spirulina contains various trace minerals and provides 475% more calcium than

whole milk and 5756% more iron than spinach. Iron from Spirulina is more than twice as absorbable as the form of iron found in most meats and vegetables. Spirulina is the best natural iron supplement available and has been shown to correct anemia, increase blood haemoglobin content and increase iron reserves.

In general, Spirulina enhances overall immunity, promotes a healthy gut and overall well- being.  Spirulina is an excellent supplement for a healthy skin and lustrous coat.  It enhances appetite even for finicky cats.  Spirulina fed pets have a fresher breath odor.

In short Spirulina has been shown to:

* Boost Immune System

* Improve Digestion

* Produce healthy skin and lustrous coat

* Improve Appetite (so eat more of your food)

* Improve overall well-being and freshen breath

In my next editorial I will continue with this important subject of supplementation and I look at the health benefits of Rooibos Tea, Diatomaceous Earth and Rosehip and Devils Claw for our pets.

Continue Reading

I have presented much on natural and wholesome diets for our companion animals, as a better alternative to processed commercial dried kibble. I have also written much on vegetables as a very important source of nutrition and even offered advice on vegan diets for dogs that would follow worldwide trends.

The skin, being the largest eliminatory organ of the body would be the first to suffer and show signs of poor nourishment. This is certainly the case with our modern dogs and cats and almost every one is struggling with some skin allergy and itchiness.

Nutrition is signally the most important component of health but also important is the chemicals and poisons that we commonly apply on our animals, with out due regard to the possible side effects and harm. In my last article we looked at skin disorders and I offered a holistic approach when treating such conditions. I touched on the dangers of flea and tick repellents that we regularly apply onto our pet’s neck and warned of their inherent dangers. I recommended some natural alternatives and treatment.

For those who were not convinced about the possible dangers of flea and tick chemical and poison based remedies, I have sourced and prepared some more information from abroad that is convincing and alarming.

NRDC is America’s most effective environmental action group, combining the grassroots power of 1.3 million members and online activists with the courtroom clout and expertise of more than 350 lawyers, scientists and other professionals. The New York Times calls us “One of the nation’s most powerful environmental groups.” The National Journal says we’re “A credible and forceful advocate for stringent environmental protection.”

MANY people have seen adverse reactions in their dogs after using permethrin-based flea and tick products. These reactions include any of the following: skin disorders (itchiness, redness, hair discoloration, hair loss, bleeding sores), lethargy, difficulty walking, loss of appetite, changes in behavior, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even death.

The NRDC report highlights the potential health hazards to humans and pets from flea collars and other flea and tick control products. The report recommends that the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) ban the use of an entire class of these products. It also offers recommendations for pet owners on combating fleas and ticks with a variety of simple non-chemical steps and/or by applying safer products

Each year, pet owners purchase and apply to their pets a vast array of toxic chemicals intended to kill fleas and ticks. These products are designed to poison insects, and they usually do just that. But they can also poison pets and the people who handle them. Moreover, when these products are combined in the home, as they often are, with other toxic chemical products in common use — pesticides, herbicides, and other products — they can pose a serious health risk,

The main active ingredient in these flea and tick products is known as permethrin.  It kills insects by paralyzing their nervous system (that is also how nerve gas works).  However, it cannot distinguish between an insect’s nervous system, a dog’s nervous system, or a human’s nervous system. That is why it is important to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling

I find it hard to believe that these products are not absorbed in to the tissues and organs of the animal, accumulating over time, with a consequent impact on the well-being of the pet.

–       Summary literature from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

–       For a full report see


Continue Reading

Spring has sprung. Great for some but it is a problematic time for our pets. It is a time when allergens from long grass and dust mites are very rife and there is an infestation of fleas. Our pet’s immunity is tested to the limits.

Whilst, many of our pets struggle with allergies, digestive conditions and behavioral issues throughout the year, spring and summer is certainly a season that aggravates all these medical conditions.

It is always tempting to turn to allopathic medicine and chemically based remedies to cure our pet’s ailments but there are also some wonderful natural remedies that are very effective. One is well advised to stay away from remedies, shampoos and repellents that are chemically based, laden with parabens and preservatives. The long term consequences are dire for our pet’s health, well being and longevity.

Flea and Tick drops that we commonly use, nowadays, is a poison and may be putting our pets and children in danger. Many people have seen adverse reactions in their dogs after using flea and tick products. These reactions include any of the following: skin disorders (itchiness, redness, hair discoloration, hair loss, bleeding sores), lethargy, difficulty walking, and loss of appetite, changes in behavior, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even death.

I find it hard to believe that these products are not absorbed in to the tissues and organs of the animal, accumulating over time, with a consequent impact on the well-being of the pet. 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. Diatomaceous Earth is a new inclusion into the South African market and has some fantastic testimonials of success.

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 in order to repel fleas and ticks. Spray or powder your dog or cat and sprayed directly onto your pet’s linen, this is a must for every household.

One of the biggest mistakes we make is bathing our pets regularly and using harsh chemically based shampoos, especially in summer when our pets spend time in the outdoors or swim in the sea. Why not just soak and rinse your dog in a solution of Rooibos tea?

However, if you do insist on washing your pet then make sure that your shampoo is TOTALLY natural and contains absolutely no parabens or chemicals. We would recommend the use of a Buchu, Khakibos Shampoo or Neem. Skin allergies and conditions can be cured. Flea and ticks can be repelled. All that is required is holistic natural treatment and care.

Rooibos Tea Dip 

Prepare a basin:

Rooibos Tea, 5 – 6 tea bags

Add 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar

Add 1/4 cup of Vondis Khakibos Spray

Once the water has cooled and you have removed the tea bags, submerge your dog’s body and hold in this soothing water for 5 – 8 minutes. This will also help to drown the fleas. You may also wish to include chamomile in your Rooibos solution.

Continue Reading

The question as to whether you consider your pet to be a wolf or domesticated dog is a very important one, and the answer will prescribe to you, the diet that you should be feeding and that which is appropriate. The consequences of inferior diet are dire and effects behavior as well as general well being, health and longevity.

So, where did the canine evolve from?

Some believe that our beloved “Fido” is a descendent from the Wolf, and therefore these people believe that all canines need to eat only raw meat and raw bones.  Scientists however, have confirmed that our furry friend could not have descended from the wolf as there are too many different genetic sequences for this to be possible – 26 to be exact.  They propose that it is possible that our canine friends could have descended from the dingo, jackal, fox, or even a coyote.  If this were the case, then the canine would have been more of a scavenger and certainly would have been less dependent on raw meat as a primary protein source.
In 1868 Darwin wrote “We shall probably never be able to ascertain their origin with certainty.”
However, the one thing we do know for certain is that regardless of where they originated from, research has shown that domesticated dogs have been eating cooked food for thousands of years.

For thousands of years our pets have been fed table scraps and their metabolism has adapted so. Our dogs can no longer digest copious amounts of raw meat but prefer a diet

that is rich in vegetables and nutritional pulses, together with reasonable quantities of quality meat. In fact, many people believe that their companion animal can live on an exclusive diet of vegetables and grains. The Chow Chow, evolved to be almost vegetarian in nature, after been fed only grains and veggies by the Tibetans. Its whole physiological make has changed to metabolize a diet enriched with veggies and quality grains.

Some may argue that dogs are classified as carnivore and thus this classification should settle the issue? Absolutely not. Bears and raccoons are carnivores, but they are clearly

adapted to an omnivorous lifestyle. Giant pandas are also classified as carnivores, despite the fact that they have a diet consisting of bamboo. Evolution can do funny things with animals, so classification won’t help settle this issue.

Another notable issue in determining whether our dogs are carnivores or omnivores revolves around the ability of dogs to digest grains and vegetables. The digestive tracts of animals give clues as to what kind of diet they can eat. The shorter the length of small intestine, the less capable the animals are of digesting plant materials. Herbivores have very complex and long digestive tracts, whereas humans have somewhat simpler and shorter digestive tracts. If you compare the length of the small intestine in cats (obligate carnivores) with that of a dog, the dog’s small intestine is longer relative to the animal’s body length (4:1 intestine/body length ratio in cats, 6:1 in dogs). Based on digestive system anatomy, and plant digestibility, it would seem that dogs are adapted to eat a diet that includes vegetable material.

The next issue is amylase, the enzyme that digests starch. Grains are mostly starch, so an animal would need to make amylase if it is going to digest starch. People have amylase in their saliva, so starch digestion begins when you chew your food. Dogs, like cats, don’t have amylase in their saliva. But this ignores the fact that dogs secrete large amounts of amylase from their pancreas. Since meat doesn’t contain starch, why would dogs need to make amylase in their pancreas? Obviously because they are equipped to eat and digest plant-derived starches. Foxes, which are closely related to dogs, eat just about anything in the wild, from bugs to birds, to fruits, grains and berries. They too are very adaptable “carnivores”.

Taurine is essential for all animals, but because it is absent in plant material, herbivores and omnivores must synthesize it from other amino acids in their diet. In order for obligate carnivores to get enough taurine, they must eat other animals that contain taurine in their meat and organs. Cats need taurine in their diet, and they are obligate carnivores.

So what about taurine in dogs? Dogs can synthesize their own taurine, indicating that they are not obligate carnivores in terms of physiology.

So in essence, the discussion as to whether our pets evolved from a wolf or dingo, anyway, is of no consequence at all. The modern dog cannot be considered as a derivative of a Wolf. This is an antiquated belief and certainly presenting nutrition based on this ideology is incorrect. The same analogy could be made with humans aspiring to a diet that apes eat – nuts, fruits, grass, etc. As humans we certainly could not maintain ourselves on such a diet. The same is true for our pets who over thousands of years have evolved to eat a balanced home prepared diet

That said, one should still strive to serve a diet that is natural and free of preservatives.

One should support pet nutrition that is ethical and moral and steer away from companies that support animal testing. Where possible organic herbs and veggies should be used, as well as free range meat.

The use of high quality pulses like a long grain brown rice, pearl barley, split peas., millet, wheat germ and oats is preferred rather than those that are commonly used in processed food like brewers rice (left overs from the breweries), soya meal, corn meal, wheat and corn gluten (often acquired from China)

Cold pressed olive oil is also preferred as a high quality omega rather than rendered fats that the industry is known to use.

Our pets, therefore require a balanced diet of protein (whether derived from a meat or vegetable source), veggies and carbohydrates.

Judging by their loyalty, commitment, love and affection it is very evident that we are no longer dealing with a Wolf or Dingo but rather a domesticated companion and friend. We have a responsibility to protect them from harm and assure them of basic humane rights and that includes a diet that is appropriate, safe and free of dangerous preservatives.

Continue Reading
A happier and healthier Harley, minus 9 Kg!


Hi Vondi’s,

Just to let  you know that I have been feeding my spaniel with the vegan diet since the beginning of Nov 2010 and he has never been so healthy or happy.  Let me give you some background info on my spaniel:

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 decided to find an alternate food for him as all the expensive commercial brands were just making him sicker and sicker.  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.  He loves his walks to the park and beach every day too.

My vet phoned the other day to say he had another dog with the same problem as Harley and wanted to know exactly what I was feeding him etc so he could help that dog too – isn’t that wonderful to be able to share something good to help another animal.

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!

Kind regards


Continue Reading


Receive 10% off your first order
Need Help? Chat with us