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An acidic pH can occur from an acid forming diet, emotional stress, toxic overload, and/or immune reactions or any process that deprives the cells of oxygen and other nutrients.  The body will try to compensate for acidic pH by using alkaline minerals.  If the diet does not contain enough minerals to compensate, a build up of acids in the cells will occur.

An acidic balance will:  decrease the body’s ability to absorb minerals and other nutrients, decrease the energy production in the cells, decrease it’s ability to repair damaged cells, decrease it’s ability to detoxify heavy metals, make tumor cells thrive, and make it more susceptible to fatigue and illness

The common reason for acidosis is a diet too high in acid producing animal products like meat, eggs, dairy and refined carbohydrates, and far too low in alkaline producing foods like fresh vegetables. Meat (beef, poultry, lamb, pork, deer) is classified as an “Extremely Acidic”

To maintain health, the diet should consist of 60% alkaline forming foods and 40% acid forming foods.  To restore health, the diet should consist of 80% alkaline forming foods and 20% acid forming foods.

The Dangers of an Acidic Diet

If too many acidic foods are consumed and not enough alkaline, it can push the body to the acidic side and then it will start pulling from your alkaline reserves to try and maintain proper pH. An imbalance in the acid-base can lead to bone and muscle loss as you age, osteoporosis, increased blood pressure and risk of developing kidney stones, stroke, asthma, stomach cancer, fatigue and much more. This becomes more of a problem as you age, because the kidneys become less proficient at handling acid in the diet.

The body needs both acid and alkaline foods. If lots of alkaline vegetables are consumed, they will neutralize the acid of the meat and create a healthy balanced pH level.  Since fat is neutral, it will have no impact on the pH.

Acidic Diets cause Inflammation causing Skin allergies, Osteoporosis and Bladder disorders.

Simply stated, acidifying foods produce acids during metabolism. Meat and dairy, for example, contain proteins, which lead to the formation of amino acids. The over consumption of acid forming foods causes  kidneys, lung and skin to remove calcium, potassium and magnesium from  bones and tissues that bring the body’s pH back into balance. This nutrient shuffling leads to health problems that include inflammation, osteoporosis and kidney stones.

Itching skin is an inflammatory reaction of the skin. Itching skin can affect a small area of the skin or the full body.

Christopher Vasey, an esteemed Naturopathic Doctor, states that “too much acid inflames your organs, which causes skin irritation and urinary tract infections.” He goes onto say that “an anti-inflammatory diet does not mean that you must eliminate sources of protein, carbohydrates and fats as they are essential for alkaline minerals to establish themselves properly in the tissues. But the diet plan should contain 60 – 80 percent alkalinizing foods to restore and maintain your body’s pH balance”. 

The debate whether to feed your dog raw meat or not, is fierce. Veterinarians and esteemed researchers have advised people to refrain from feeding raw meat. However, what is certainly clear is that meat is an acidic diet and disproportionate feeding, without regard to alkaline based ingredients, will derail the pH balance. The consequences could be dire and amongst other things cause inflammation, which will cause skin allergies and skin ailments, arthritis and bladder disorders.

The Golden Rule

60 percent alkaline based foods to 40 percent acid forming foods or the old age rule of 1 meat to 2 portions veggies

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Pancreatitis or Pancreatic Ailments

Pancreatic insufficiency is particularly common in German Shepherds. Typical symptoms include severe weight loss, ravenous appetite, runny/watery stools, skittishness or aggressive behaviour, hair loss and a lack lustre look in the eyes. 

In dealing with pancreatitis, we would suggest changing your diet to a completely natural, wholesome and high moisture diet. Any of Vondi’s Holistic Pet Nutrition variants would be appropriate. Vondi’s Vegan Diet, which is a high moisture and low carb meal, would also be extremely beneficial in treating this disorder. 

Importantly, and supplementing to this diet, we would suggest Pig’s Pancreas, available at many butcheries. This has proven to be very effective and a “life saviour”. Typically you would mix 25% of the normal feed with pigs pancreas. In other words, if you were feeding 500gr of Vondi’s, you would include 100 – 125gr of Pig’s Pancreas, daily. 

You should note improvement very soon, an increase in weight, better stools, glossy coats and just general improved well-being. This is an on-going treatment and even when your dog’s weight is at its optimum, you should continue with this regimented diet. However, thereafter you can reduce the inclusion of Pig’s Pancreas to 10%. 

Furthermore and to increase immunity, we would recommend the inclusion of the following supplements – spirulina, apple cider vinegar, omega 3 fish oil and a good pro-biotic (optional).

Please refrain from using flea poisons and/or bathing your dog using chemical based shampoos. This will certainly reduce immunity.

Dr Malan van Zyl, a Specialist Veterinary Physician at Cape Animal Medical Centre (021) 686-6610 also endorses the use of pig’s pancreas as part of the treatment for exocrine pancreatic insufficiency following diagnostic confirmation.

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Step 1

Stop feeding food or snacks that contain dairy, sugar or preservatives (STRICTLY no dry kibble)

Step 2

Wash your dog using Vondi’s Buchu Scrub for inflamed or irritable skin – NEVER any shampoo that contains chemicals

Step 3

NEVER apply flea poison drops onto your pet. This is a dangerous poison – rather use ½ – 1 t.spoon of garlic and/or aloe bitters and spray or powder your pet with Khakibos daily.

Suppliments to be added to food:

Omega 3 Fish Oil (not flaxseed)

Dosage: Small – 500mg per day

Medium & Large – 1000mg per day

Rooibos Anti-itch

Dosage: Small – ½ t. spoon per day

Medium – 1 t. spoon per day

Large – 1.5 t. spoon per day


Dosage: Small – ½ t. spoon per day

Medium – 1 t. spoon per day

Large – 1.5 t. spoon per day

Apple Cider Vinegar

Dosage: Small – ½ t. spoon per day

Medium – 1 t. spoon per day

Large – 2 t. spoon per day

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University research shows that fresh, wholesome foods may be healthier for dogs than processed kibble.

PR Newswire

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif., June 3, 2014

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Independent university research now demonstrates that feeding dogs fresh, healthy, whole food diets instead of highly processed kibble and cans results in improvements in measures of health.

The results of a landmark study conducted by animal science researchers in California show that feeding a group of dogs a freshly prepared, whole food, lightly cooked, nutritionally balanced diet made from real food is scientifically shown to increase white blood cells and blood proteins that could benefit immune health. The groundbreaking research is being presented this week at the 14th Annual American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition’s (AAVN) Symposium, held in conjunction with the 2014 American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) Forum in Nashville, Tennessee.

The study, which was conducted over 12 months, is the first time in veterinary nutrition history that the long standing practice of feeding dogs highly processed kibble diets, made from feed grade ingredients not allowed in the human food chain, is scientifically challenged. The results support what human nutritionists have been advising for decades – stay clear of heavily processed foods, and eat wholesome, balanced meals that are prepared fresh from the highest quality ingredients available, are lightly cooked, and have no preservatives. This same advice appears to be true for our canine best friends.

Dr. John Tegzes, VMD, diplomat of the American Board of Veterinary Toxicology, professor of veterinary medicine at Western University Health Sciences, and co-author of the study, hypothesizes that the secret may be in the quality of the ingredients, “The USDA certification process is the best food handling and quality control process we have in this country, and among the best in the world. If you start with wholesome USDA certified ingredients and do not destroy their nutritious value with heavy processing, then it’s fair to assume that you would have a more favorable result.”

In short – these results suggest that it may be healthier to feed our dogs a balanced real food diet made with USDA certified ingredients, instead of a processed commercial dog food. Dr. Tegzes explains, “It’s exciting to ponder that if the trends we saw in our data continue over the lifetime of the dogs, we may see a decrease in chronic diseases such as cancer, renal failure, kidney disease, inflammatory bowel disease, dental disease, etc. in our pets.”

These findings shouldn’t be a surprise. The USDA and US Department of Health publication, 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, specifically recommends a balanced whole food diet over heavy vitamin and mineral supplementation or processed foods for people. A recent report revealed that the FDA feels that the process by which ingredients are defined in the pet food industry “ultimately falls short” and that “the majority of ingredients that are included in the AAFCO official publication are neither approved food additives nor are they generally recognized as safe (GRAS).”

Yet, until recently mainstream veterinary recommendations for nutrition have been loyal to these heavily processed, shelf stable diets that are artificially supplemented with vitamins and minerals that are otherwise destroyed during the kibble making extrusion process.

“These results are game changing”, says Dr. Oscar E. Chavez, veterinarian, professor of clinical nutrition, and member of the American Society for Nutrition. “I see a future where feeding your pets real food is the best medical recommendation. Our role as veterinarians will be to help support pet parents achieve this level of wellness by ensuring the diets are properly balanced for long term feeding.” Dr. Chavez was a full time tenure-track faculty during the research; he was so impressed with the results of the food on his own Golden Retriever, Rey, that he has since joined the company behind the recipes full time as Chief Medical Officer. Rey celebrated his seventeenth birthday earlier this year.

Times are changing and modern veterinarians and pet parents are no longer comfortable reaching for a bag or can recommendation. “We’ve seen a definite shift in the market”, says Shawn Buckley, founder of JustFoodForDogs LLC, the company behind the diets used in the study. “Some vets have shared with us that their clients are expecting a better quality offering from their clinics than the processed food they traditionally carried, which was once considered the healthiest option.”

Video –

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What is the best food to feed domesticated dogs?

By Liz Pask and Laura Scott

Laura Scott holds a Master’s degree in animal nutrition. Liz Pask is a PhD candidate studying nutritional toxicology.

One of the reasons people cite for feeding a raw diet is that it is a more “natural” diet for dogs. The theory is that wild canids would eat a diet mainly consisting of raw meat and bones, so people should try and mimic this diet when feeding their pets. However, the pet dogs that live in our homes do not resemble their wild cousins. We have bred dogs to have a range in size from the tiny Papillon to the massive Neapolitan Mastiff, and a variety of builds from the light-framed Whippet to the bulky Bulldog. In addition, there are breeds like the Bedlington Terrier that are prone to specific nutrient deficiencies. With all of these physiological differences between our pets and wild canids, can we be certain that what a wild canid eats is indeed an ideal diet for Rover?

Raw diets have been found to contain Salmonella, Campylobacter, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Clostridium perfringens, Clostridium botulinium, and Staphylococcus aureus, all of which are known human and canine pathogens. These bacteria are shed in dog stools and may be transferred to carpets and furniture as the dog moves around the house. These pathogens usually only pose a serious human risk to the immuno-compromised, the elderly, and young children; however, this is a very important consideration if you are feeding a raw diet and have people in these risk groups living in your home.

In addition, there is a potential risk to dogs from certain pathogens found in raw foods, such as Neospora caninum, found in raw beef, Nanophyetus salmincola, found in raw salmon, and Trichinella spiralis, which  is found in raw pork and wild game such as deer, elk, and moose. All of these pathogens can make your dog sick and are potentially fatal.

Feeding your pet a raw-meat diet that you balance yourself is dangerous for many reasons. Among them:

Trying to “wing it” by formulating the right balance is very difficult and can easily lead to nutritional deficiency, especially in young, growing pets.

Raw bones in meat can splinter and become lodged in the throat or digestive system, where they can block passage or cut tissue. They can also fracture teeth.

Bacteria in raw meat IS dangerous to pets, as well as owners. Dogs and cats may have persistent diarrhea that their owners just accept as normal. However, this is a sign of illness and can cause other problems down the road, besides the discomfort suffered by the animal. In the case of cats, proponents of raw meat claim that a cat’s digestive system is more acidic and can process food faster, so bacteria does not have time to duplicate and cause illness.

That’s nonsense, according to animal nutrition expert Rebecca Remillard, DVM, DACVN, Ph.D. “Everyone’s stomach is acidic,” she says. “That’s how we digest food.” Remillard, of Angell Memorial Animal Hospital, said the dietary theories proposed by raw-meat advocates are too vague and are causing a lot of problems in pets.

An article in the March 2001 issue of JAVMA (Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association) compared raw meat diets and showed that raw meat had significant risks: “The results of the small number of diets analyzed here indicated that there are clearly nutritional and health risks associated with feeding raw food diets. All the diets tested had nutrient deficiencies or excesses that could cause serious health problems when used in a long-term feeding program.”

The risks of raw meat are there. Is the risk worthwhile? No, it isn’t.”

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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. The conversion of flaxseed oil’s short-chain omega-3 to long-chain omega-3 found in fish is unreliable and inefficient, say new tests. This is especially true for the “brain booster” DHA, credited with giving baby brains higher IQs and protecting aging brains from memory loss and Alzheimer’s. 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. University of Southampton researchers concluded that “preformed DHA and EPA in fish oil are essential to maintain optimal tissue function and that flaxseed falls short.”

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.

Besides being ineffective, flaxseed oil has many other side effects.

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




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Summer and hot weather impacts on the well being and behavior of our pets. We, as humans, adapt to change in climate and amend our habits accordingly. For example, when the weather is hot we wear lighter clothing and we generally eat less bulky meals. We protect ourselves from the UV rays and we probably shower more often, especially after spending each day at Clifton beach or a trek through Newlands forest. 

Our pets rely on us for their daily activities and feed as well as their general exposure to the environment. It is, therefore, essential that we understand our companion and make the necessary adaptations to the change in climate. 

Offering your companion a variety of different foods or adding tasty tit bits may improve appetite. Identify whether your companion is a “hot” dog and then include cooling supplements into the meal. Remember, not to over do it with washing and shampooing, as their natural skin bacteria is very venerable. Rather rinse with fresh water or even a Natural Rooibos Soak. 

Spring affects our companion in many ways but the biggest irritant is fleas and itchy skin. This is both traumatic for pet owner and pet. Allergens are rife and abundant and our pets seem to react to everything: 

 Long grass, dust mites and flea bites – allergies 

It is important to boost your pet’s immunity during this season. Strong immunity is your pet’s sole protector against allergies. Supplementation is essential and should be administered religiously. 

The use of probiotics and/or spirulina would be well advised. A good quality omega 3 fish oil (not flax) is essential. Include apple cider vinegar daily in your pet’s water or food. Diatomaceous Earth is a natural parasite cleanser and will help rid toxins and parasites. 

A natural diet with vegetables and loads of cooling herbs like mints, sages, lemon balm would help to build immunity and calm and cool irritable skin. 

Fleas and Ticks

In the last few years we have seen an epidemic of fleas. They just will not go away. Whilst it is always tempting to use strong chemicals and poisons to rid these pets, it will certainly impact on your pet’s well being and sensitive skin. Here is the dilemma. If you choose to use flea and tick drops, it may rid fleas, but it certainly will impact on your pet’s immunity and ability to deal with allergens and thus may worsen skin conditions.

The use of natural chemical free repellents is well advised and can be just as effective if applied regularly. Khakibos as a spray is fantastic to apply on your dogs. For cats we would recommend the khakibos powder. Knowing how rife fleas and ticks are at the moment, I would recommend daily use. 

When we go to the beach and sunbath we apply sun protection is advance. We don’t wait to get burnt and then apply a sun cream after. The same is true with regards to applying khakibos onto our pets. Let’s keep them off our pets as a first priority! 

Internally, i would recommend increasing the daily dose of fresh garlic. Another alternative would be the use of aloe ferox bitter crystals (they are extremely bitter and you would have to hide the crystal in some meat or snack). Only one small crystal taken every few days is necessary. 

Spring and summer in South Africa is truly special but it can be problematic for our pets. Fleas and allergies can be contained naturally by boosting our companion’s natural immune system. Extra care and time is required during these months but the results are worth it. After all, a happy pet means a happy owner.

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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 unusual 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 allanimals.

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 vitamin supplement.

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In a recent study conducted by ourselves: 

  • 99% agreed that natural is better than unnatural
  • 98% agreed that wholesome is better than processed
  • 98% agreed preservative free is better than preserved
  • 96% agreed than real food is better than food that is not real


  • 30% thought that pellets/kibble was real food
  • 25% thought that kibble was natural
  • 28% thought that kibble had no preservatives 


  • 89% did not know that kibble contained ONLY 3% meat
  • 95% did not know that longevity has decreased with the invent of kibble
  • 82% did not know that nowadays our pets suffer from human type sickness –
  • diabetes, cancer, obesity, etc
  • 96% thought that dry kibble cleans teeth
  • 94% thought that dry food produces dry stools 

Nutritional Facts when producing dry kibble and exposing vitamins and minerals to heat:

  • there is a loss of 50% of the B vitamins
  • there is a 70% loss of vitamin C
  • protein structures in the food are altered
  • vitamin E can lose 99% of its potency

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    I am so frustrated. I want to bang my head. I want to write to all pet publications. I want to contact Carte Blanche. I want to grab all the veterinarians together. This happens each year after completing a major Expo Event, like The Good Food and Wine Expo which ended this weekend past. 

    Vondi’s participates at many high profile exhibitions throughout South Africa. Despite being involved with Expos that target human interest, we represent, proudly, our furry friends. This draws much attention and interest and I believe that we are one of the most popular exhibitors. Certainly, we are one of the most interactive and passionate traders, talking to hundreds of people with animals. 

    So why am I so frustrated and angry? 

    Every single pet owner complains that their pet has a skin related allergy or irritation. I am not exaggerating. EVERY person who has a dog (and even cat) complains that there companion animal is struggling. I would hazard a guess and say that 99% of our dogs have a skin allergy of some sort – hot spots, redness, loss of hair, bumps at the tail, bumps on the stomach, itchiness, smelly skin, smelly mouth, itchy smelly ears, etc. 

    Do our vets really know how dire the problem is? Or is the condition not so grave that warrants and expensive visit to the vet. The problem is not unique to Cape Town and The Good Food and Wine Expo. No, it does not matter where we exhibit, where we are represented. Each and every pet is struggling. Do our esteemed vets know this? 

    Even more astounding, astonishing, amazing, ridiculous, degrading and unfair is that EVERY SINGLE pet that has skin ailments is being fed DRY PELLETS. We interview hundreds at an expo. Thousands during the course of the year and the ONLY common denominator is dry food. Where are our consumer journalists? Where is Carte Blanche? Where is Noseweek? We know the reason, we know the cause and without any doubt the cause is dry pellets/kibble. 

    The only explanation given is that our pets are “Allergic”. Allergic to fleas, allergic to long grass, allergic to dust mites, allergic to the sand, allergic to sand fleas, allergic to the carpet, allergic to the detergent on the carpet, allergic to being allergic etc, etc, etc. 

    Yes, but what is the cause? Why is their immunity so low that they are vulnerable to every allergen? We don’t fall apart when we step outside and are confronted by hundreds of allergens in the air and elsewhere. Our immunity is strong enough to cope with normal daily “interferences”. 

    Why is no one putting the dots together?  Why is no one bold enough to blame the food that they are feeding? With humans we always blame our diet. 

    There is no doubt that the cause of our pet’s allergies and skin condition is as a result of dry processed pellets. It is the only reasonable explanation. In essence, our pets are allergic to the food itself. They are allergic to pellets. To support this, the contrary applies. When people change their diets to normal food, real food, wholesome food, even food prepared at home, they immediately show positive signs and eventually are free of skin related sicknesses. 

    The essence of well being is strong immunity, a strong digestive and glandular system. The core of health and well being comes from nutrition. How can any being expect to perform on food that has been exposed to abnormally high temperatures, that has been so preserved that it can sit on a dry shelf for 24 months, a diet that has no moisture, a diet that is essentially made up of refined carbs and a diet that is saturated in unnatural fats, so as to entice our pets to eat this inappropriate and unpalatable food. 

    No wonder our pets are struggling with an array of human illnesses. This is just simply stated an inappropriate diet for any being, human or animal. Three hundred thousand years our companions have been fed human grade food, sat within us at the dinner table. In the last 50 years, for convenience sake, we have chosen to feed our dear ones some of the most highly processed and preserved foods on earth. 

    As far as I am concerned the feeding of dry processed pellets is an abuse of animal rights and I believe that more animal rights activists should become involved. In fact “Animal Rights Africa” is very outspoken but has a full agenda of other priorities. 

    Every dog is scratching. Every dog has a skin condition and EVERY one of them is on dry pellets. That is the reason and you know the solution.


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