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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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Cape Town’s favourite chef has a long standing relationship with Vondis Holistic Pet Nutrition. Perhaps this is because both brands care so much for animals and animal welfare.

Whenever we have approached Jenny to support us with animal welfare campaigns, she has given of her time.

Recently, Jenny cut the ribbon at our Paws on the Promenade Charity Walk to raise funds for Mdzananda Animal Clinic in Khayelitsha.

More prominent persons should spend more time promoting responsible pet ownership and supporting animal welfare and animal rescue organisations.

Become a #PawMember and get 10 Free packs of food from Vondi’s Holistic Pet Nutrition – special offer only until the end of this weekend!

If you like the work that Mdzananda Animal Clinic does for the pets of Khayelitsha, please support us by signing up as a Paw Member to donate R50/ R100 per month. Vondi’s will give you 10 Free packs of food to say thank you for your commitment.

Sign up at www.mdzanandasecure.co.za or contact info@mdzananda.co.za – make sure to add ‘Vondis’ to your name when signing up.

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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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Our Yogi dog. What has happened to our relaxed and calm dog?

Through Meditation, Yoga and controlled breathing we know that we can control our mental state, well-being and behavior. We are able to put aside our daily worries and stress. We are 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 and inherently breathe calmly and controlled. They are our true gurus.

That is, unless physiologically their state of well-being is changed. Diet plays a very important role in their breathing and state of relaxation.

With the recent introduction of dried kibble into our households the whole nutritional base of our animals has shifted towards highly-processed and chemically-laden food that is high in carbohydrates. This has been an abrupt change from natural pet nutrition.

While manufacturers claim that our pets can thrive on a diet consisting of nothing but commercial dried food. More and more, processed dried pet food is being implicated as a source of disease or as an exacerbating agent for a number of degenerative diseases, as well as affecting behavior and anxiety.

High carb and sugar diets will do just that and will affect their physical state, ability to breath naturally and their well-being.

It is certainly not recommended to sit down to meditation after drinking a can of red bull, cup of coffee or bottle of coca cola. The same applies to our companion animals who surely cannot expect to behave normally after consuming high-carb energy diets.

One need only follow Professor Tim Noakes writings on high-carb diets to understand the negative impact that it has on health and well-being. High carb diets spike your insulin levels uncontrollably. This irritates inflammation and certainly affects breathing and behavior. Quick breaths bring on hyper activeness, hyper tension and anxiety.

Athletes, in the past, before an event, 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 would be preferable rather than relying on high-carb intake. The “spiking” of insulin levels from high carbs does not endure and is inconsistent.

High carb diets have the same impact on our pets. Most of our pets and certainly with specific breeds, already have too much energy and are hyper-active. A kibble diet will surely exacerbate energy levels, the result being that our pets become out of control, less disciplined and generally misbehaved. Hyper-active pets are likely to chew themselves and show signs of irritation and discomfort.

Our companion animals once lived in bliss, in sync with nature and were the masters of controlled breathing. Now their rapid breathing dictates their behavior and dictates their state of being. They are no longer the masters of their own well-being. Our Yogi friend is now an explosive bundle of uncontrolled energy.

Our pet’s metabolism is not designed to consume food that is over-processed, cereal and carbohydrate-based and that contains a variety of additives, preservatives, flavourants and colourants.

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What are the dynamics of these two wonder oils?

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 

Benefits include:

  • 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.

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