Biologically Appropriate Raw Food for Pets
We have an holistic approach to the health of our pets, preferring to use whole food and natural remedies over most commercial products. Pharmaceutical and chemical products do have their place, but we believe that most of them should be used conservatively.
We are not vets and do not claim to be, if your pet is in noticeable distress then we urge you to consult a qualified vet.
Antibiotics are prescribed more frequently than perhaps they should be these days resulting in many strains of bacteria becoming antibiotic resistant. This is the tendency of nature, to overcome what challenges its existence and so this will inevitably to continue to be the case, the less we use antibiotics hopefully the more slowly this will happen. Antibiotics do not work for viruses, are not always necessary for things like Kennel Cough. Try to use them only when it is really necessary, in the case of secondary bacterial infections and not prophylactically. Antibiotics also tend to eliminate many of the natural intestinal flora and so if your pet does need a course then replenish these bacteria with a Probiotic. Do not give the Probiotic and the Antibiotic at the same time (pro = for / anti = against), one will just cancel the other out, leave an hour or even two hour gap between them.
There is a lot of speculation about vaccinations and what they potentially may or may not cause. We can only offer our opinion here and our personal practice. Your puppy shots are super important, no doubt vaccinations have resulted in the elimination of some diseases and the drastic decrease of others. Diseases like Parvo and Distemper are devastating and it is extremely important that your puppy has all three of its puppy shots when they are due. Up until your pup has had its third shot you should be extremely circumspect about where you take it and what you expose it to. Until they have had that shot they are still vulnerable. Once they have had those shots we recommend a booster at one and two years. After that we recommend that you only vaccinate when you have to (legally, when you travel or may need to kennel). Research indicates that once a dog has had a series of shots they have immunity, they will not get more immunity with each successive shot, their systems have learned to recognise the pathogen and it makes no difference if they had a shot two years before or eleven years before – they have immunity if they are ever going to have it. Aside from introducing pathogens for the immune system to fight off with each shot, there are also heavy metal based preservatives in many of these vaccines which are not healthy when repeatedly given as they tend to build up in the body. Legally we have an obligation to give a Rabies shot every three years, so this must be done.
There are many commercial tick and flea treatments on the market, some quite controversial. Tick and flea prevention is important, in South Africa in summer Biliary is a constant threat. Any animal who spends time outside needs some kind of prophylaxis. We favour more natural treatments, but we do not live in an area with lots of ticks or fleas so are fortunate in that we can usually gauge when we need to treat the dogs to prevent ticks from getting on them. We use Rose Geranium oil and find for us it works. If you live in heavily tick infested area this may not be sufficient and you may need to consider something stronger. Whatever you choose to use we advise you research it first, we don’t advise you use systemic pesticides that require your pet take a pill. Topical treatments are preferable over oral ones, but you need to maintain a schedule and be sure to use it as often as required. Natural treatments can be just as effective, but the primary difference is that you will need to apply them frequently and be more vigilant. The best way to avoid any tick borne disease is to prevent the ticks from getting on your pet in the first place, Khaki Bos and Rose Geranium are very effective when used often. Topical and oral preventions kill the tick after it has bitten the animal which means there is still a possibility of disease transmission. In immune compromised, liver compromised or older animals it is wise to be cautious about what you use for tick and flea prevention.
As expected we are not fans of regular chemical deworming, for us or our pets, if you worry about parasites you and your pet can use Diatomaceous Earth on a regular basis to avoid and eliminate worms and other parasites. If your pet displays obvious signs of a parasite then a chemical dewormer may very well be in order, once that parasite is eliminated then follow a maintenance schedule using Diatomaceous Earth. Good quality raw food should present no more of a risk of parasites than kibble, in fact we believe that a healthy diet means the dogs should have more natural resistance. Parasites which can be picked up in the environment should be monitored for, hookworm and Spira circa are examples. If you notice your dog has persistent runny tummy or bloody stools or a persistent cough, then it would be wise to check for these at your local vet.