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What to give your pets for Xmas!

They give us so much joy. They give us so much love. They are dedicated and committed. Surely, we can share this Xmas with our dear companion animals.

Nothing touches the hearts of pet lovers more than receiving a Xmas present, not for themselves, but for their pets. Let’s be honest, us humans have EVERYTHING enough possessions cluttering up our homes.

At Vondis we embrace Xmas time and especially supporting animal welfare’s, who have some great initiatives and gifts for this festive season. There are charity advent calendars, animal welfare calendars, Jenny Morris Health Biscuits, toys galore, fancy dress clothing, etc.

Why not drop your furry friend off at our doggy daycare while you do you Xmas shopping.

However you celebrate this festive season, don’t forget to give companion animal the biggest gift of all – your love ❤️

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It is my opinion that our  companion animals are spiritually and affectionately far superior to us humans.

For example, they don’t hold grudges and have the amazing ability to forgive.

They have the exceptional ability to focus on the “”now””, the present, the moment. They are not bogged down by the burdens of the past nor are they enslaved by the expectations of the future.

They fear not death and have no expectation for their longevity.

They cherish every moment that you return with a wagging tail, even if you had only left for a few minutes or hours.

Their life revolves around YOU. They trust you. They long for you. They are dedicated and committed to you. They protect and love you with every cell in their body.

And all they want in return is your love and perhaps a meal.

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Paul from Vondis Holistic Pet Nutrition and Dr. Janey, tackle the subject on Smile 90.4FM radio.

Can we deal with the “super bug”. Our bodies are gifted with an inner-doctor and has the remarkable ability of self-healing, if supported.

As usual, that means, wholesome real foods, refraining from the use of chemicals and supporting our/their bodies with natural supplements and remedies.

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A few weeks ago Paul from Vondis Holistic Pet Nutrition and Dr. Janey discussed what we “put in” our pets bodies. Now we discuss what we “put on” our pets bodies.

Spring has sprung and we are already into summer. 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.

It is always tempting to turn to allopathic medicine and chemically based remedies to cure our pet’s ailments. However, 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.

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Pets touch our hearts in many ways, emotionally and physically – 67% of children consider pets to be their best friend and 72% of South African families laugh at least once a day because of something their pet does.

Paul from Vondis Holistic Pet Nutrition discusses their miraculous behaviour and phenomenal sixth sense, on Smile FM Radio.

Their sense of hearing is 4 times better than ours but it is their sense of smell which is remarkable, hundreds of times better than that of a human.

As a result they have the ability to protect us from natural disaster, threatening actions, sickness and harm. They are there waiting for you at the door  long before any of your family. They know when you are pregnant and may even know that you are pregnant before your own discovery.

They are dedicated to their owner/partner both emotionally and physically. A more sacred being you will never find.

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Rump, fillet, fat-free chicken breast?

Paul from Vondis Holistic Pet Nutrition discusses, on Smile FM, which meat is nutritious for our pets.

Living in Sea point Cape Town, I hear only too often: “I went to Woolies and bought only fat free chicken breasts for Lucy” or “my dog , Harold, only eats fillet”.

The popular cuts of meat that we enjoy in restaurants and at home may be tasty but they certainly are not as nutritious as organ meat, for example.

Dried kibble/pellet food contains almost no meat protein at all, so the type of meat used here, is of little concern. However, those wise persons producing their own meals for pets, should concern themselves the quality and type of meat that they include. A meat only diet is highly unnatural and unbalanced. Meat should form only a part of the over-all healthy diet, which should include bone, fruits, vegetables, offal and other supplements as well. Meat supplies protein – That is its major role in healthy nutrition. It also supplies varying amounts of fat, water, and some vitamins and minerals. Because it supplies fat and protein, it also supplies energy. Meat is first class protein and contains all the essential amino acids
Meat supplies some minerals – Raw meat is low in sodium and high in potassium. It also contains some calcium, magnesium and zinc.

Know your meat:

Know your offal:
In the wild, dogs eat the stomach content and organ meat from the animals they prey upon. Dogs consuming these foods as part of a sensible diet have superior health to dogs that do not eat them. Although organ meats are valuable dog food, they are not required in huge amounts. They are a concentrated source of many essential nutrients.

Is the most concentrated source of vitamin A and should be fed in small amounts on a regular basis. It also contains vitamins D, E, and K in substantial quantities. Liver is an excellent source of the minerals zinc, manganese, selenium and iron. It also contains all the B vitamins. Liver provides a source of good quality protein and the essential fatty acids, both the omega-3 and omega-6 type.

Kidney supplies good quality protein, essential fatty acids and many vitamins including all the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Kidneys are a rich source of iron and all the B vitamins. They also have good levels of zinc.

Excellent source of protein, B vitamins and iron. Heart contains appreciable levels of taurine which is important food… for the heart!

It contains a very diverse profile of living nutrients including enzymes, omega- 3 and 6 fatty acids, probiotics, and phytonutrients. It has long been quoted as being “the finest of natural foods”.

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Treat/snacks for your pet. Why? To affirm good behaviour, to celebrate occasions, for training or just because we love them.

We love them dearly. They also deserve that tasty treat. But many treats, biscuits, snacks contain, sugar, dairy or preservatives that can lead to a variety of adverse medical conditions, most notably skin allergies.

Each one of us have that hidden talent of being a chef and it is not difficult to produce or prepare healthy snacks and treats for your pets. We had the luxury of compiling a range of health biscuits with our dear friend and celebrity chef, Jenny Morris – coconut oil biscuits, mint and rooibos, spirulina to mention but a few. But we can all produce something health and nutritious.

Here is my list of innovative snacks that are healthy and nutritious.

Hard boiled eggs, scrambled or fried

Raw carrots or slightly sautéed in butter

Apple pieces, papaya or berries

Home-made biscuits with real stock, that contains added supplements and vitamins – no dairy, or preservatives

Fatty biltong

Any raw, natural bone, except  chicken

My absolute favourite is liver biltong. It is extremely nutritious and breaks easily into small pieces.

Come-on – get creative – bring out the chef in you with your own ideas 🙂

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It appears that for every ailment out there, from skin disorders to cancer, the blame falls upon grains and carbohydrates. However, there are good grains like quinoa, millet, wheat germ, slip peas, pearl barley, long brown rice and then there are bad grains like processed white rice, white flour, wheat and corn gluten, etc.

Many professionals and lay person simply claim that our pets are allergic, without understanding the origin of the problem. So, without applying their minds, they often ‘blame the grain’. What a shame.

Acidosis is mainly as a result of a poor eating plan and diet, which leads to inflammation.

In turn, inflamed cells seriously affect your body’s immune system as it becomes depleted from key minerals – magnesium, potassium and calcium. This state of inflammation is the cause of skin ailments, arthritis and bladder disorders, as well as the more serious sicknesses we find nowadays.

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.

There is a massive difference between a whole grain or sprouted grain and refined processed grain. A whole grain is generally only slightly acidic or slightly alkaline based.

Yet, animal products like meat and dairy are classified as ‘extremely’ acidic. Without the correct balancing of a majority alkaline forming foods (like veggies) you will always derive at an ‘acidic state of being’. Thus the inflammation and therefore the allergies.

Note that a food’s acid or alkaline forming tendency in the body has nothing to do with the actual pH of the food itself. For example, lemons are very acidic; however the end products they produce after digestion and assimilation are very alkaline so, lemons are alkaline forming in the body. Likewise, meat will test alkaline before digestion, but it leaves very acidic residue in the body so, like nearly all animal products, meat is very acid forming.

Generally, alkaline forming foods include: most fruits, green vegetables, peas, beans, lentils, spices, herbs and seasonings, and seeds and nuts.

Generally, acid forming foods include: meat, fish, poultry, refined grains, egg whites, oats, potatoes, etc. But meat is classified as ‘extremely acidic’.

Whole grains (the bran, germ and endosperm) contain all the essential parts and naturally-occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed in their original proportions: Barley, Buckwheat, Millet, Oats, Quinoa, Rice (brown and colored), Wheat, Rye, etc). Studies show that eating whole grains instead of refined grains, is very beneficial and lowers the risk of many chronic diseases.

Therefore, it is obvious to claim that eating whole grains with the proportionate quantity of veggies will support an alkaline environment in the gut. Conversely, eating a diet containing mainly meat will create an acidic and unstable environment. The result is inflammation in the cells and thus, allergies and other ailments.

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How scientific and regulated is pet food and can anyone produce pet food commercially?

The pet food industry is one of the most regulated industries. Unlike with human food sold commercially, where one has to simply list the ingredients and guaranteed analysis, pet nutrition has to go through a far more rigorous process. The reason behind this is that humans eat various different meals during the week, to eventually derive at a complete and balanced diet, our pets eat the same diet daily. Thus, it is imperative that the diet to regulated so that the nutritional requirements of our pets is optimized daily and with every meal.

Many lay person believes that they can set up their own kitchen, design a recipe and then sell it off to friends or businesses. This is not true and in fact against the law. Without certification and registration with the Department of Agriculture, act 36 of 1947, you are not permitted to sell pet nutrition.

That said, Vondi’s has always supported the feeding of wholesome, real food diets that you prepare from home an fed to your own pets. The modern consumer is enlightened enough to prepare their own pet food that is wholesome, balanced and complete. After all, we have been doing this for hundreds of years with great success.

Even companies like ourselves who produce natural, alternative diets, have to fall in line with scientific analysis. One commercial pet food is not more scientific than another.

Vondi’s had to endure extreme scientific testing and procedure in order to be legally registered in terms of Act 36 of 1947.

This involved:

1. Microbiological testing to determine any aerobic or anaerobic growth so that it can be considered as “Commercially sterile”.

2. A chemical analysis to determine balance to include: Protein, Moisture, Ash, Fat, Insoluble fibre, Ca, P, Linoleic, Omega 6:3, β-carotene.

3. Perform a proximal analysis to determine its proximal composition moisture analysis.

4. Determine an optimum time/temperature and a built in safety margin.

5. Label development in terms of the law: Guaranteed Analysis, Feeding Guidelines, Open Declaration.

6. Full chemistry on final product.

7. Application to The Department of Agriculture for registration.

The fact that we don’t boast about our scientific registration and completeness, does not make us any less scientific than other veterinary brands. We have just preferred to advocate other attributes that we feel are just as important: WHOLESOMENESS, NUTRITIOUS and of course MORALITY and ETHICS.

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