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It’s summer – a holistic approach to looking after your pets.

December 1, 2011

It’s summer – a holistic approach to looking after your pets.

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 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 this impacts on their general well being and state of mind.

Herewith some typical characteristics of summer and a holistic approach to best look after your companions:

1.  Change in appetite
It is very normal that your pet loses appetite during the hot months. This is not a concern. Perhaps you may wish to consider using some exciting tit bits added into the food like chicken liver, melted butter, home-made chicken stock, sardines, etc

2. Long grass, dust mites and flea bites – allergies
It is important to boost your pet’s immunity during this season. The use of probiotics and/or spirulina would be well advised.  Also good quality omega 3 fish oil, (not flax), is essential.
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.

3. Fleas and Ticks
The use of natural chemical free repellents is well advised and we caution against the use of toxic and sometimes poisonous flea and tick drops. Khakibos as a spray is fantastic to apply on your cats or dogs.
Internally, we 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.

4. Is your dog a cold or hot dog?
Some pets are just hot in nature. In summer this makes them 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 Rooibos Tea.

5. Outdoor activity and beach
In summer we tend to wash pets a lot more. Maybe because they are outdoors more often 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 your dog in a basin of rooibos tea.  If you do choose to wash, then use a totally natural shampoo like khakibos, buchu or neem.

6. Holiday travels, (leaving pet at home), and firecrackers
Summer is the season where we travel and there is a lot of excitement around us. All this can be very traumatic for our pets. There are still irresponsible and insensitive people who celebrate with firecrackers without regard for our animals.
It is also a season when we travel a lot and take our yearly vacation, often leaving our pets behind or in kennels.
Calm personalities are required as our pets pick up on our stress. The use of homeopathic supplements for calming and relaxing would also be well advised. If we leave our pet at home, then leave them with chewies and toys and spoil them with natural treats when you leave and return. This all helps to reduce the stress.

7. Festivities and feasting
It’s a time when we over indulge in food and drink and we like to share our spoils with our pets. Any product that is preserved, laden with sugar or dairy will impact negatively on their healthy and allergies. Buy some health snacks and treats and feed in that manner.

Conclusion
Summertime 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. Our pets struggle with allergies, digestive conditions and behavioural issues.
It is always tempting to turn to allopathic medicine and chemically based remedies to cure our pet’s ailments and problems but there are also some wonderful natural remedies that are very effective and which are the preferred solution.

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Vondi’s Holistic Pet Nutrition is a registered nutritional pet food that is natural, wholesome and free of preservatives. www.vondis.co.za
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