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Flatulence – embarrassing and uncomfortable for all. Paul from Vondis Holistic Pet Nutrition tackles the smelly subject on Smile 90.4 FM radio.

You want to impress big time. You have the future in-laws over for dinner. Suddenly, from no-where, but not a sound, the air is filled with a putrid and toxic smell. Everyone looks at each other in absolute embarrassment. And there, under the table lies Popsy, wagging his tail, looking as innocent as ever.

Flatulence is a real problem. Not only is it embarrassing but it is very uncomfortable for your companion animal. Basically, there is a burning volcano brewing inside your pets gut that must be dealt with.

This burning toxic fumes are acidic and caused by acidic contents like ingredients that metabolize acidly – refined carbs (kibble, too much meat, sugars, etc.

One must quell this fire my administering whole real foods that contain lot of veggies and supplement wit supportive remedies like apple cider vinegar, probiotics, cooling herbs (mint, sage, lemon verbena) and omega 3 fish oils.

Here is one testimony from a satisfied customer who heed good nutritional advise:

“Since he was a puppy he really farted a lot (sorry, I don’t know what else to call it!) It was really bad, and he did it constantly. We had to burn oils and incense the whole time in the house. He also had constant diarrhea. The vets did tests but could find nothing wrong.

A friend then suggested Vondis. I gave him his first packet of Vondis on a Monday evening. During the evening I noticed no farting…. Surely, no, it can’t be THAT good, I thought. I continued to give him Vondis and after 1 month – HE HAS NOT MADE ONE A BAD SMELL EVER SINCE THE FIRST PACKET! I cannot believe it, neither can anyone else that knows him. His diarrhea has also stopped. There is actually a form now. His coat has improved and I know that he is much happier.”

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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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Paul from Vondis Holistic Pet Nutrition chats to Cape Towns “giggling gourmet”, Jenny Morris of Smile FM radio.

Ever wondered what it would be like to live in a home with one of South Africa’s top chefs?

Working all day in restaurants and a cooking school, does one come home with take-aways, or is it back to the kitchen  for another gourmet meal for the WHOLE family.

Sizzling steaks, deboned leg of lamb, sautéed veggies and a plate of food fit for “Kingsley” – what does Jenny feed her beloved husband and companion animal?

Surely, life as a dog, cat or husband must be blissful in Jenny’s home.


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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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Here is a list of ingredients commonly used in commercial pellets/kibble. How many of these ingredients, listed on their labels, do you know??


  • chicken meal, lamb meal, fish meal, chicken, chicken digest, pork liver
  • barley sorghum, dried whole egg, cracked pearled barley, ground whole grain corn, pork by-products
  • soybean meal, dried whey, maize wheat, oatmeal, brewers rice   potato flour, millet ground yellow corn, chicken fat (preserved with mixed Tocpherois), animal fat, rice flour
  • dried beet pulp, chicken liver flavor, soybean oil, natural flavoring   flaxseed, linseed
  • yeast, culture brewers yeast, salt, iodised salt, sodium scienite, sodium chloride, potassium potassuim chloride, chloride, chlorine, chloride, dl-methionine hydroxyanalogue, l-lysine vitamin, e supplement, vitamin d3 supplement, d-activate animal sterol, vitamin a acetate
  • niacin calcium carbonate, calcium iodate, dicalcium phosphate, d-calcium pantothenate
  • biotin, vitamin b12 supplement, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate
  • ascorbic acid, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, iron oxide, manganous oxide, magnesium oxide, ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate,   zinc oxide, ethyenediamine dihydriodide
  • zinc proteinate, manganous proteinate, iron proteinate, magnesium proteinate, copper proteinate, glucosamine hci, marigold extract, chondrotin sulphate

I am the party pooper – but understanding your labels and ingredients is paramount to your pet’s health, wellness and longevity. I say, ”if you don’t know what you are feeding – DON’T FEED IT.”


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Analysis of Raw Meat-Based Diets

Chamia Chatman

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Veterinarians often ask for true, scientific studies, with legitimate references, to verify the finding of a thesis, study or document. The paper below, read with its references, is true, honest and worthy. For your ease of reference I have highlighted the findings and prevalent points of this paper. The paper can be read in its entirety below:

  • As of now the domestic dog has a different behavior and feeding pattern in comparison to the wolf.
  • Raw meat ingredients are commonly discussed in human medicine as being dangerous due them containing a range of harmful bacterium such as Salmonella, Escheria coli or Listeria. The same is true when these items are consumed by our pets.
  • In addition, many of the raw meat based diets are poorly balanced for its nutritional content.
  • A major concern with feeding dogs and cats raw meat-based diets is their ability to shed Salmonella species without showing clinical signs of illness
  • According to Kerr et al. (2012), “raw meat is a source of potentially pathogenic microorganisms (e.g., Salmonella, Camplyobacter spp, and pathogenic strains of Escherchia coli) to the pet and handler.”

Analysis of Raw Meat-Based Diets

Many believe that because canines share ancestral ties with wolves they must be carnivores.  Although, many dogs preference for large infrequent meals similarly reflects that of their ancestors, approximately 100,000 years of domestication has changed their appearance and diet.  It is known that the longer a species is domesticated the more change that will occur both physiologically and behaviorally (Bradshaw, 2006).  This is why there is a noticeable difference between how our domesticated dogs and cats are fed.

According to Axelsson et al. (2013), “it was reported that there are 36 regions of the genome that differ between dogs and wolves, 10 of which play a critical role in starch digestion and fat metabolism.  As of now the domestic dog has a different behavior and feeding pattern in comparison to the wolf.  On the other hand, cats have been domesticated for a much shorter period and are still closely related to the North African Wildcat F. Silvestris lybica. With that said, this paper will continue to analyze raw meat-based diets and the importance of feeding our companions diets that reflect their current dietary needs.

Over the years numerous pet owners have moved away from dry commercial pet food as such “natural” diets have become increasingly popular.  For instance, holistic, organic or all-natural are common terms discussed when referencing pet food.  Along with those RMBDs have also become popular.  The term RMBD or raw meat based diet refers to uncooked ingredients that are taken from domesticated or wild-caught food species.    All of these raw ingredients are commonly discussed in human medicine as being dangerous due them containing a range of harmful bacterium such as Salmonella, Escheria coli or Listeria.  The same is true when these items are consumed by our pets.

In addition, many of the raw meat based diets are poorly balanced for its nutritional content.  For example, the Journal of the Veterinary Medical Association reported a case whereby an eight month old Shetland Sheepdog who was on a raw beef-based diet developed symptoms such as an inability to stand, collapsing and neck pain.  Radiograph reports later concluded there was diffuse osteopenia of all skeletal regions, polyostotic deformities associated with fracture remodeling in weight-bearing bones, along with an apparent floating dental arcade.  The clinical findings also determined that hypocalcemia and hypophosphatemia were detected via serum biochemical analysis.  All of which were a result of the dog’s diet being imbalanced in macronutrients and macrominerals. (Taylor et al., 2009)

Another study analyzed the effects of feeding domestic cats RMBD for 10 weeks and determined they had a notable difference in lymphocyte and immunoglobulin production and were also fecal shedder of Salmonella spp. (Freeman et al., 2013).  Similar effects occurred in a separate experiment that conducted a trial whereby 16 dogs were exposed to Salmonella-contaminated commercial raw food diets and 12 to Salmonella-free commercial raw food diets.  They concluded that seven of the exposed dogs shed Salmonella 1-7 days after consumption.  Five of which shed the same serotypes taken from the food samples (Finley et al., 2007).  Both studies recognize the correlation that shedding Salmonella by dogs or cats can be a possible source of Salmonella infection for pet owners and individuals in the surrounding area.  Therefore, to reduce possible contamination the feeding of raw meat-based diets must be analyzed more critically for quality and safety.

According to Kerr et al. (2012), “raw meat is a source of potentially pathogenic microorganisms (e.g., Salmonella, Camplyobacter spp, and pathogenic strains of Escherchia coli) to the pet and handler.”  .  A major concern with feeding dogs and cats raw meat-based diets is their ability to shed Salmonella species without showing clinical signs of illness.    In all, the use of raw meat-based diets must be further studied to evaluate long term risks to pets and handlers alike.  Ideally a balanced diet must be formulated that does adhere to certain quality and safety standards and does not risk spreading zoonoses.


Axelsson E., Ratnakumar A., Arendt M-L., et al. (2013). The Genomic signature of dog domestication reveals adaptation to a starch-rich diet. Nature. 495, 360-364. Retrieved from

Bradshaw, J., (2006). The Evolutionary Basis for the Feeding Behavior of Domestic Dogs (Canis familiaris) and Cats (Felis catus). The Journal of Nutrition. 136(7). 1927S-1931S. Retrieved from

Finley, R., Ribble,C., Aramini, J., Vandermeer, M., Popa, M., Litman, M., Reid-Smith, R. (2007).  The risk of salmonellae shedding by dogs fedSalmonella-contaminated commercial raw food diets. The Canadian Veterinary Journal. 48(1). 69-75. Retrieved from

Freeman, L., Chandler, M., Hamper, B., Weeth, L. (2013). Current Knowledge about risks and benefits of raw meat-based diets for cats and dogs. Timely Topics in Nutrition. 243(11).1549-1558 Retrieved from

Freeman, L. and Heinze, C. (2012). Raw meat diets, are they worth the risk? Deciphering Fact from Fiction. Retrieved from

Kerr, K., Boler, B., Morris, K., and Swanson,K. (2012). Apparent total tract energy and macronutrient digestibility and fecal fermentative end-product concentrations of domestic cats fed extruded, raw beef-based, and cooked beef-based diets. Journal of Animal Science. 90: 515-522. doi: 10.2527/jas.2010-3266. Retrieved from

Taylor,M., Geinger, D., Saker, K., and Larson, M. (2009). Diffuse osteopenia and myelopathy in a puppy fed a diet composed of an organic premix and raw ground beef. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 234(8). 1041-1048. doi: 10.2460/javma.234.8.1041. Retrieved from

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The true judge as to whether a diet is “perfect” for both dog and human is based on whether they are able to provide the correct pH balances, with a leaning towards alkalinity. Thus, when one looks at popular human diets, this important formula is always fulfilled.

The Banting Diet, promoted by our own legendary Professor Tim Noakes, fulfills these requirements. Often his proposed diet is misunderstood. He is actually advocating a high fat diet with low refined carbohydrates, rather than a high meat protein diet. Looking thoroughly into his diet and recipes, the contribution of his veggies (predominantly alkaline) supersedes and balances the acidity from the meat content. Remember, fat, mostly has a neutral impact on PH.

Recently (June 2014), in a landmark study conducted by animal science researchers in California, now demonstrates that feeding dogs fresh, healthy, whole food diets instead of highly processed kibble and cans results in improvements in measures of health.

Therefore, when preparing diets for our pets the same considerations should be applied as to the way we prepare human nutritional foods. A Banting Diet for Dogs would be an exceptional dietary plan suitable for the whole family.

Looking at commercial pet foods in pellet/kibble form, it is quite clear why such diets cannot perform. The main ingredients are refined carbs –  brewers rice, wheat and corn gluten, potato meal, soya meal and animal meals. As a matter of fact, such refined carbs are rated as “extremely acidic” and their contribution way overrides any alkaline ingredients that may come from this diet.

The same arguments follow for diets that contain copious amounts of meat (raw or cooked). In the last few years, there has been a trend to feed our companion animals a high raw meat diet. Meat too is classified as an “extremely” acidic.

Acidosis will lead to inflamed cells, reduce immunity and lead to an array of health ailments like skin disorders, arthritis and the formation of kidney stones.

The recent landmark veterinary studies from West Hollywood California 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.”

Based on these findings, let’s see how Professor Tim Noakes’s Banting Diet would fulfill the nutritional requirements of our dogs by looking at some of his golden rules:

  1. This is not a high protein diet. It’s a high fat, medium protein, low carb way of eating  tick
  2. Choose real foods that look like what they are, and cook them from scratch tick
  3. Fat is not the enemy. Enjoy it! – Fat is essential for our dogs tick
  4. Eat only when you are hungry; eat until you are satisfied we control the feeding of once or twice a day tick

Therefore, whether you are preparing a meal for yourself and children or your four-legged companion members, The Banting Diet, is recommended for the entire family.

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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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