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Absolutely PAW-FECT! How to protect YOUR pet's paws from Winter cracking!

How to protect your pet's paws from Winter cracking!

Absolutely PAW-FECT! How to protect YOUR pet's paws from Winter cracking! 

Winter can be brutal on your dog or cat’s paw pads! Dealing with cracked paws can be frustrating for both you and your fur friends as their paws hold most of their weight, causing them discomfort and pain while walking.

You can tell if your fur friend is struggling with a foot problem if he/she does the following:

  • Avoids walking
  • Favours a specific foot
  • Whines
  • Limps
  • Constantly licks or chews paws

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So, what causes dry or cracked paws?

  1. Winter’s cold, dry air and icy rain, frost, hail or snow can lead to paw and nose cracking and pain. While we do not have much snow in South Africa, the ground can become very cold and even frosty in winter. Constantly going from the freezing cold and wet conditions outside to warm and dry conditions inside can lead to paw problems. We recommend that you ensure that your fur baby is towel dried before coming inside, remembering to pay special attention to in between those toes!
  2. Allergies in dogs and cats can also cause their skin to become itchy and irritating the paws, ears and skin, causing them to scratch as well as bite their paws (this will only exasperate their discomfort)! For dogs and cats suffering from allergies or itchy skin, we recommend AllergiClear and Allergy Itch Ease from the Feelgood Pets range – 100% safe, effective and natural!
  3. Zinc Deficiencies are common in certain breeds, especially Huskies, German Shepherds, Poodles, Great Danes (among others) and are linked to skin problems like cracked paws! Make sure that your dog takes a good quality daily multivitamin and mineral supplement to prevent or assist in the treatment of skin or paw conditions.(Try Vondi’s Multivitamin Food Supplement. It comes in powder form and can be sprinkled over food, so it is really easy to use!) If your fur friend needs natural support for his/her skin or coat, we recommend Skin & Coat Tonic from Feelgood Pets – as the paws are a part of the skin.
  4. Extreme wear and tear can be caused by dogs running or walking on hot, rough or icy or frosty surfaces and can cause dry or cracked paws (ouch)! Make sure that you’re using a 100% natural paw balm as a preventative as well as to support those pads if already cracked! We love Snout & Paw Balm from Natura Pets for lots of reasons. Firstly, it works really well to moisturize and protect paws and noses that are exposed to harsh weather conditions. Secondly it is 100% natural, containing organic ingredients that will not harm your pet OR the environment! The ingredients are literally good enough to eat – which means that if YOUR furry friend licks his paws, no harm will be caused. We like that!

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Here are some useful tips to care for your fur friend’s paws!

  • Trim your dog’s hair in between the pads so that it doesn’t come into contact with the ground
  • Trim those nails! This will help the paws from splaying out and getting icy water or crystals to seep or get stuck in between the toes
  • Dog booties will help to keep your pet’s paws snug and safe from harsh conditions that could lead to painful cracking. (Make sure that you praise them for putting the boots on as they often don’t like them at first)!
  • Use Natura Pets Snout & Paw Balm to keep paws and noses smooth and healthy and to protect against harsh Winter or Summer conditions!

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How to use paw and nose balm

Scoop a small amount and rub into paw pads or nose. Paws will be slick directly after application so it is advised to allow time for it to dry. Apply before going outdoors and also before bedtime, as this is when your dog is at rest and the body goes into regeneration mode. Apply daily for 2-3 days until paws/nose improve. It’s just that simple!

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How to keep your Pet snug, safe and warm this Winter!

How to keep your Pet snug, safe and warm this Winter!

How to keep your Pet snug, safe and warm this Winter! 

Are your pets ready for Winter? Make sure that you’re prepared – here are our TOP WINTER TIPS to prepare your fur friends for the cold months ahead, the time when they need a little extra care!

1. Immunity is STRENGTH!

Believe it or not, our fur babies get the common flu and cold just as we do! Winter means wet fur, a decreased body temperature and susceptibility to all types of health issues. A healthy immune system helps to ensure overall systemic health and protection! And the first line of defense in any fight is to maintain structural integrity – which means taking steps to ensure a supported, healthy immune system.

We all know that prevention is better than cure! Immunity & Liver Support is a natural product formulated especially for dogs and cats. It boosts the immune system and resistance against disease and infection, including viral and bacterial infection. Immunity & Liver Support also acts as a natural antibiotic (without the negative effects!) and can be used to speed up healing when your pet’s health is poorly. Immunity & Liver Support is definitely a must have for the pet medicine chest!

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 2. Protect those joints (yes, cat's too)!

In the cold weather, joints stiffen up and are less prone to movement. Although there is no cure for arthritis, certain things can be done to alleviate the pain. Here are some things pet parents can do:

  • Protect your pets from slipping on wet surfaces
  • Make sure they stay active – daily walks for dogs, and playtime for cats will help to keep their joints moving and supple (and yours too!)
  • Keep them warm! An extra blanket in the kennel, a rug to lie on inside and a cat or dog bed will all help to stop the chill getting into your pet’s bones. Remember that cold will increase discomfort, especially for pets that already have joint problems.
  • Take extra care when exercising your pets in winter. Let them warm up gently with a slow walk before going on that run.
  • Be informed about the unwanted side effects of prescription anti-inflammatories and cortisone - so readily prescribed to ease joint pain! Natural alternatives can make all the difference without the health risks! Try MobiLive Pets in the Feelgood Pets range as well as a daily supplement of Vondi’s Diatomaceous Earth added to your dog or cat’s food.

 3. Watch the coats!

As Winter brings that extra wetness, make sure that you regularly groom your pet’s coat to avoid knots and matted hair. Too cold for a bath? Definitely not! Get your fur friend an all-natural shampoo for bath times as well as a conditioner to brush out any excess clumps of fur and get rid of any unwanted tangles! If you keep your pet’s coat in good shape during winter, spring moulting will be that much easier to cope with! Feelgood Pets Skin & Coat Tonic is a natural herbal supplement to keep your dog and cat’s skin and fur in tip top condition!

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4. Banish the sneezing & sniffing!

Upper respiratory infections are common in Winter. Watch out for a slight cough, wetter noses, fatigue or lethargy. Treat your pet to warm meals on those cold winter nights to get them ready for a snuggly night’s sleep (not too warm)!

Some pet respiratory infections to look out for in winter are Kennel Cough, various strains of Cat ‘Flu and asthma (common in the cold winter air). Protect against infection with Feelgood Pets' Immunity & Liver Support (remember what we said about prevention being better than cure?) and if your dog or cat becomes ill, look for natural help in the form of specially formulated remedies like KC-Defense (Kennel Cough), FeliSafe (Cat ‘Flu), and Respo-K (for dogs and cats with asthma and other respiratory problems causing difficult breathing).

5. Indoors or outdoors? 

It is healthy for your pet to get exposed to fresh air as often as possible. However, in Winter, this can be risky if they are left unsupervised outside for too long in icy weather. We recommend that your pet’s activities are monitored as much as possible and that you combine healthy outside time with the appropriate caution. if they have been outside in the rain, it is important that they are dried off properly. For pets with heart problems, keep their blood pumping by taking them on supervised slow walks to strengthen their heart muscles and use a natural remedy like Feelgood Pets' Heart & Circulation Tonic – a homeopathic pet heart tonic.

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6. To shave or not to shave? 

Longer coats provide more warmth so we advise that you do not shave your pet down to the skin, especially in Winter. If your fur friend has long hair, simply trim the ends to keep the fur from becoming matted! If you are worried about any skin conditions or if the fur seems to be falling out, with bald patches, we recommend that you give your dog or cat a course of Feelgood Pets' Skin & Coat Tonic – which supports dog and cat skin health and shiny coats!

7. Keep bathing to a minimum!

Try and bath your pet as little as possible during the Winter Season - however remember that your fur friend still needs to be kept clean, especially as they can get quite smelly with all the damp fur! When bathing your pet make sure that it’s during the daytime and inside if possible. Avoid all the nasty chemicals found in commercial pet shampoos and try Natura Pet Shampoos and conditioners for dogs, cats, puppies and kittens.

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8. Take care of those snouts and paws!

Don’t be fooled! The ice and cold can actually cut your dog’s snout as well as their paws (poor things!) as they are highly sensitive parts of their little fur bodies. If your dog’s nose or paws are crusty, cracked or dry, apply an eco-friendly snout and paw balm and let the healing begin! We love Natura Pets all natural eco-friendly Snout and Paw Balm to heal and condition your dog and cat’s paws and noses.

9. Hydration is a must! 

Always remember to keep your fur friend hydrated by providing plenty of fresh water - as they are just as susceptible to dehydration in winter as they are in summer!

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10. Last but not least!

The best part of winter is that it provides lots of opportunities for cozy snuggles in front of fires and heaters. Love and snuggles are always important, but make sure you do not leave your dog or cat unattended in front of fires and unprotected heaters. Cats, especially, can get too close to fires and singe their fur and skin badly while they doze off in the heat!

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How many commercial shampoos can harm YOUR pet & the environment!

Natural pet shampoos

How many commercial shampoos can harm YOUR pet & the environment! 

We know that our pet parents care about the environment and also about the health of their fur kids. It’s crazy to think that many pet shampoos are nothing but toxins and chemicals with a few natural extracts in them to make you THINK that you are caring for your furry friends! Apart from the damage they do to your pet’s skin, the chemicals in dog, cat and horse shampoos are also absorbed into the system where they further compromise health. And let's not even get started on what they do to the environment!

 

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So, what makes a shampoo toxic?

  • Methylparaben & Parabens

These chemicals are used as cheap preservatives. What no one tells you is that they are endocrine disrupters and could affect your nervous system – spinal cord and brain

  • Cocamidopropyl Betaine

This is a mixture of Dimethylaminopropylamine and coconut oil. But don’t be fooled!  Dimethylaminopropylamine is a known skin irritant and also an environmental toxin that is harmful to the immune system. It is used as a surfactant to stop the product’s ingredients from separating

  • Artificial Colourants

Associated with many forms of cancer and should be avoided at all costs!

  • Mineral oil

A byproduct of distilled gasoline and prevents the skin from creating and releasing its own natural chemicals and oils for protection. This often results in the skin drying out,  disrupts pH balance and causes skin allergies and other problems

  • Phthalates

These are used in a wide variety of products and are released into the environment where they accumulate and are found in the urine of children, adults and animals . They disrupt both male and female hormones, have been shown to be carcinogenic and also to cause birth defects

Despite being outlawed in some countries as a known toxin, this ingredient is still common in many shampoos and other products. Another so-called ‘natural’ product made from coconuts, this chemical is far from friendly! It can cause skin allergies and dermatitis, as well as cancer and is known to build up in the system over time. Cocamide MEA or DEA is also a known organ toxin, as well as a thyroid and hormone disrupter

  • Polysorbates

Polysorbates are cheap emulsifiers that mess with the pH balance of the skin and fur/hair

  • Methylchloroisothiazolinone

A known carcinogen and has been found to poison the organs

 

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This is just  the tip of the ice berg as there are many more out there! It’s also scary to think that these are also the same chemicals that are getting released into the environment every time you use them on your pet (or yourself for that matter!). No wonder skin problems are one of the top ailments dealt with by vets!

With this in mind, it is important  to choose your fur friend’s shampoo carefully and rather go for one that is certified organic or 100% natural.

 

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SOLUTION: In an effort to provide our customers with a more holistic approach to their pet’s health, we now stock a range of 100% natural pet grooming products including (but not limited to):

 

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Tip: Don’t even get us started on commercial flea shampoos! If you are also looking for flea control, use the shampoos above  together with Vondi's Khakibos Natural Flea Spray or Vondi's Khakibos Natural Flea Powder as part of a total flea control program! 

BECAUSE 100% NATURAL IS TRULY BETTER!

 

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Thunder & lightening pets tips to help them cope

 

It's dark. You're huddled under the covers with your dog. He's quivering in fear. He stares blankly as if in a trance. You can hear his panting and his breathing increasing. You're shaking too – your palms are sweaty and you swallow nervously. In a flash the room is lit in bright white, then darkness, a resounding BOOOOOOM!

Thunder and lightning. The number one phobia shared by pet and owner.

This phobia has a name: Astraphobia. Interestingly, the word in Sanskrit means weapon – referring to the belief that the angry gods were sending punishment from the sky.
So you see, you're not alone – ancient civilizations were just as concerned about the menacing strikes from the sky…

While we as humans may be able to rationalize that lightening is very unlikely to strike us, a poor pet cannot make such a grounded judgment. To them, the flash of light and menacing boom create an instant reaction in their nervous system. Blood pumps rapidly around the body elevating temperature greatly. This then leads to frantic panting due to the need to cool down. Some animals try to hide in an attempt to escape the perceived danger, often to the point of bleeding paws. You may even notice a trance like state – your animal seems glassy-eyed and unable to 'connect' with you. This is the height of their stress, and the height of anxiety. They are freaked out so much that they literally go onto 'autopilot'.

So what can be done to ease their panic?

Step 1: Desensitization:
Slowly get your pet used to the thunder and lightening. Introduce the sound of thunder and pairing it with a positive reinforcement – i.e: a treat and/or lots of praise. Play a sound clip of thunder very softly and slowly increasing the volume, all the while giving lots of treats and praise. This is a very gradual and gentle process. Do not rush your pet through it. You should only move up to the next volume level when your pet is 100% comfortable with the level below. This process should take weeks if done correctly – if rushed you can traumatize your pet further. If you have any doubt, discuss the matter with your vet or call in an animal behaviourist who can help.

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Step 2: Calm them with Pet Calm:
During thunderstorms, a little Pet Calm can go a long way in calming a nervous and scared pet. Simply give your pet a pinch or two at the first signs of a thunderstorm and repeat the dosage every half hour if necessary. You can also use the Pet Calm while doing desensitizing training.

Step 3: Avoid re-enforcing the behaviour:
By cuddling and cooing over your scared dog, you are suggesting that there is something to be afraid of. Instead, do your best to ignore your pet’s scared behaviour, and praise him or her when they start acting normal or when they do not respond with fear.

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Step 4: Set up a new routine:
It’s important to be consistent with your response to your pet during a thunderstorm, so make sure the whole family does the same thing. It may help if you turn up the TV or radio to mask the sound of the thunder. Many pets also get a lot of comfort if they can be close to the rest of the family. Try setting up a bed close to the family during a thunderstorm if possible so that your pet can see that everyone else is calm and content. Most importantly, stay calm too - as pets quickly pick up on our anxieties.

Hot Spots, Itchy Dermatitis, Fungal Infections & other skin problems in dogs and cats!

 

Does your pet struggle with itchy skin, hot spots, fungal infections, allergies or fleas? As frustrating and uncomfortable as these skin problems are for your dog or cat, they can be managed and treated with the correct diet, lifestyle changes and a combination of natural remedies.

Here are some of the most common conditions affecting your pet’s skin:

 1. Hot Spots

Hot spots are quite a common skin problem that can be seen in our pets. This is a skin irritation that is referred to as moist dermatitis or summer sores. It occurs when your pet scratches, itches, chews or licks himself excessively and gradually then develops a wet scab on the skin. The affected area usually looks moist, raw red and oozing and is very painful for your precious kitty or pooch. To top it all, your furry pal will lick and chew at the area to find relief but is in actual fact worsening the condition. Anything that irritates the skin can cause hot spots to develop and these include seasonal allergies, food allergies, fleas, mites or skin wounds. A bacterial infection will also develop if the skin is damaged and inflamed thereby creating moist and warm environment for the infection to thrive and fester.  

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  1. Itchy Dermatitis

Does your pet itch and scratch constantly?  Don’t worry, you are not alone! Itchy skin ( also referred to as itchy dermatitis) is probably one of the main reasons why pet owners visit their vet frequently during the year. As you know excessive itching and scratching can cause skin lesions, hair loss, infection and even stress and trauma for your poor pet pal. Most pets with itchy dermatitis usually suffer from seasonal allergies which are triggered by grass, pollen or house dust. In addition, food allergies, bacterial infections, yeast and fungal infections, mange and fleas also contribute to the development of itchy dermatitis.    

  1. Fungal Infections

Our pets are prone to fungal and yeast infections particularly if they scratch, lick or chew their skin often, suffer from allergies, have itchy ears and smelly, greasy skin.  This is an inflammatory skin condition caused by an overgrowth of yeast which invades certain areas of the body like the skin, ears and between the paws. Fungal infections thrive in warm and moist parts of your dog or cat’s skin and also seem to be more prevalent in summer time. In most cases, pets develop a compromised immune system because of the fungal infection or as a result of immunosuppressive drugs being used.

  1. Seasonal allergies

Have you noticed that your dog or cat tends to itch and scratch more during spring or summer? If so, then your pet may be sensitive to allergens such as pollen, grass, shrubs or trees which cause an allergic reaction.

Allergens in the home such as house dust, mould, mites, animal dander or feathers may also irritate your pet’s skin. Your pet usually inhales or ingests these allergens or they are even passed through the paws of the feet and skin of the tummy.

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  1. Fleas & Parasites

Without a doubt, fleas remain one of the leading causes of skin problems in our four-legged companions, especially when left untreated. It only takes one bite from a flea to cause an allergic reaction and develop into a skin rash called flea bite dermatitis. Typical symptoms to look out for include excessive itching, scratching and irritation of the skin.

Just as fleas cause skin problems in pets, so do intestinal parasites such as tape worm, round worm, whip worm and hook worm. These critters cause a dry, brittle and dull coat in dogs and cats. They are commonly found in puppies and kittens as well as older dogs and cats and those with weakened immune systems.

  1. Stress

Do you know that when pets are anxious or stressed they lick or bite their paws, legs or tail excessively? The reason that they do this is to soothe and comfort themselves to relieve their stress and anxiety. Dogs and cats that are bored, grieving or those who suffer from separation anxiety also lick and bite their paws persistently. If this problem is not addressed, your pet is at risk of developing an obsessive compulsive disorder. Constant licking, chewing and biting of the skin causes bald, inflamed patches to appear which also increases the risk of skin infection.

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How you can help your pet’s skin and coat be healthy again!

Feed a healthy and balanced diet

Your pet’s nutrition is important to maintain a healthy skin and coat. When your dog or cat’s diet is inadequate, it will reflect in the appearance of their skin. Make sure that you feed your pet a diet that contains all the essential vitamins, minerals and protein. Most dried foods are jam packed with preservatives, colourants and other artificial ingredients which increases the risk of allergies and other health problems.

More and more pet owners are changing their dog or cat’s diet to organic foods, both raw and cooked which has been shown to improve the overall condition of the skin and also helps to treat underlying health problems. Try DoggoBone Raw Active Food for dogs and Vondi’s Cooked Food for both cats and dogs – both these ranges are available in a variety of flavours for your pet from Feelgood Health in Westlake Business Park, Cape Town, 021 797 0193.

Proper grooming and regular skincare

While good nutrition influences the condition of your pet’s skin, so does a regular grooming and skincare program. Brushing your pooch or kitty’s coat daily will prevent their hair from becoming matted or tangled. Best of all, it helps to reduce the amount of loose hair that you’ll find lying on the floor, carpet and furniture!

Bathing your pet occasionally is also important, especially if they are dirty or smelly. Very often, owners bathe their pets too much which strips the natural oils from their skin and causes irritation. Of course, we all know that cats hate bathing but do need it sometimes too! Remember to use shampoos specially formulated for your pet’s skin type and never use human shampoos or soap. Many commercial pet shampoos contain chemicals which may cause allergies. Try Vondi’s Natural Pet Shampoo which contains Khakibos to help control fleas.

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Treat fleas and parasites

It is vital to use flea treatments regularly to remove fleas and ticks from your pet – at least once a month. Choose a vet recommended flea treatment such as a shampoo, spray, dip or tablet that is safe to use on them. If you’re looking for more natural alternatives to treat fleas and ticks, the Vondi’s range has a Khakibos Spray, Tick & Flea Powder as well as Shampoo containing ingredients which are gentle and safe for your kitty and pooch. Make sure that you treat your home and outdoor area for fleas too as this will also help to prevent them from spreading.  

Remember to also de-worm your pet every three months to keep him in good health. Use a natural de-worming remedy such as Worm Dr Pets from the Feelgood Pets range to get rid of intestinal parasites and cleanse the system. In addition, add Vondi’s Diatomaceous Earth to your pets food - a natural worm and parasite repellent which promotes digestive health.

Reduce stress and anxiety in pets

If you have an anxious or stressed dog or cat, you may find that they lick, chew or bite their skin and paws as a way of coping. Pets that are bored, grieving for a pet companion or owner or those that are suffering from separation anxiety may also find comfort in licking or chewing their legs, paws or tail. Here, it is important to maintain a calm and relaxed environment for your pet. Provide toys and treats when you go out for pets that are bored. Daily exercise is also really helpful to relieve anxiety, stress, boredom as well as separation anxiety for pets. As a natural calming remedy for stressed and anxious pets, try Feelgood Pets PetCalm.

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Choose natural remedies to treat pet skin conditions

Use the Feelgood Pets range to treat a variety of skin problems for both dogs and cats:

  • Skin & Coat Tonic – a herbal remedy which supports your pet’s skin health and promotes a shiny coat. It treats and heals itching, dry skin and eczema, hot spots, fungal infections as well as skin lesions . We also recommend Skin & Coat Tonic for pets with chronic ear infections – remember that the ear is part of the skin!
  • Allergy Itch Ease – a natural remedy to relieve itching and scratching in pets
  • AllergiClear Pets - a herbal remedy which acts as a natural antihistamine and reduces and prevents allergic dermatitis, flea bite dermatitis, food allergies and inhaled allergens
  • Immunity & Liver Support – an all-round herbal tonic to boost the immune system against disease and infection, including viral and bacterial infections
  • PetCalm - a 100% homeopathic remedy that reduces anxiety and stress in nervous and highly strung pets, as well as dogs and cats with obsessive compulsive problems (OCD).
  • Vondi’s Khakibos Spray, Tick & Flea Powder & Shampoo – natural flea treatments specially formulated to repel fleas and ticks naturally
  • Vondi’s Diatomaceous Earth - a natural worm and parasite repellent which promotes digestive health
  • Vondi’s Multivitamin Food Supplement – a daily multi-vitamin & mineral supplement for pets which improves overall health & functioning and promotes a shiny coat and healthy skin
  • Worm Dr Pets – natural de-worming remedy to eradicate intestinal worms and improve digestive health

By feeding a well balanced diet, providing a good skincare routine, regular exercise, reducing stress and treating the skin naturally, your pet will be able to enjoy a healthy and happy life again!

 

THREE of the most common digestive problems in pets

 

Vomiting? Upset tummy? Does your dog or cat suffer from digestive issues? 

Just as humans are prone to an upset tummy, cramps, bloating, gas or other digestive issues, so are our pets. As we start gearing up for the holiday season, this is also the time when dogs and cats tend to develop more digestive problems when they get their paws on Christmas gravy, stuffing, chocolate, desserts, raisins, grapes even alcohol! Fortunately, most pet digestive problems can be managed at home.

We look at 3 of the most common digestive problems that your pet is likely to develop and how YOU can treat them naturally at home.

  1. Runny tummy

It is very common for dogs and cats to get an upset stomach or the occasional bout of diarrhea. An occasional bout of diarrhea is usually nothing to be concerned about as it usually resolves on its own and is actually nature’s way of cleansing out the system. Your furry pal may eat something that doesn’t agree with their tummy. The cause could also be a change in food, eating too much or too fast. We all know that our pets will eat the strangest things from plastic, wood, wool as well as little insects! This is why dogs eat grass to cleanse out their tummies when they are not feeling well.

What to look out for if your pet has a runny tummy?

If your pooch or kitty has an upset tummy, you need to be aware of these symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Drooling
  • Gas
  • No appetite
  • A tender abdomen
  • Feeling lethargic
  • Temperature
  • Diarrhea

How to treat your pet’s runny tummy at home

Vets recommend that if your dog or cat has a mild upset tummy, you should rest their stomach for at least 12 to 24 hours. This means that you are fasting your pet and you cannot feed them at all.  Not feeding your pet helps to calm their tummy because eating during an upset stomach episode prolongs the discomfort and agony.

It is important that your pet gets enough liquids when he has an upset tummy because he shouldn’t become dehydrated. Make sure that plenty of fresh, clean water is available. Giving your pet ice chips also helps if he is not feeling that great and doesn’t want to drink water.

After the fast, feed your dog or cat bland food. A mixture of 1 part skinless, boneless chicken breast boiled to 2 parts boiled white or brown rice. Don’t add any seasoning or oil to the mixture! Feed your pet small portions of the chicken and rice mixture – at least 3 to 4 times days for the next five days.

Gradually include your pet’s normal food with the bland mixture until he is eating normally again.  Adding plain yoghurt to your pet’s food also acts as a probiotic for the digestive system and helps to soothe the gut and promote healthy bacteria. Include a natural remedy such as Feelgood Pets Immunity & Liver Support to strengthen and boost the immune system. This remedy acts as a general tonic for the system and helps with quick recovery after illness.

Remember to keep a close eye on your pet to make sure that his condition doesn’t deteriorate. If your dog or cat doesn’t show improvement after fasting and feeding the bland diet, take him to the vet immediately so that he can receive the appropriate medical care.

For dogs or cats with chronic diarrhea or digestive problems, we recommend our herbal Digestive Support. This remedy acts as an overall tonic for the digestive system. It relieves symptoms of IBS, gastritis, bloating and ulcers and supports digestive functioning. Another useful addition to your pet’s diet is Vondi’s Diatomaceous Earth supplement. Diatomaceous Earth is simply sprinkled onto your pet’s food every day and will help to control worms as well as cleanse and detox the digestive system, contributing to digestive health. It is safe for dogs, cats and even puppies and kittens. An additional bonus of supplementation with diatomaceous earth is that it also helps to relieve joint pain and stiffness.

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  1. Constipation

Constipation is another common problem in both dogs and cats. If your pet is straining to pass a stool or their stools look quite small or hard, then these could be signs of constipation.

What causes constipation in pets?

There are a number of reasons why pets may become constipated and these include a lack of fibre, dehydration or an enlarged prostate. In some cases, constipation can be an indication of more serious digestive disorders such as a tumour or neurological problems.

How to treat your pet’s constipation at home

In order to ensure that your dog or cat stays regular, make sure that their diet contains enough fibre. Many of the pet foods today lack fibre because they are packed with cheap fillers, additives and preservatives which cause constipation. Choose a 100% natural diet for your dog or cat which is a much healthier alternative to commercial foods.

Try DoggoBone Raw Active Food for dogs which  contains a combination of meat, veggies, fruit and herbs for flavouring. If your dog or cat prefers cooked food, try the Vondi’s range– available in various yummy flavours of beef, chicken, mutton and ostrich with additional veggies and herbs and no preservatives or any artificial additives. Make sure that your pet drinks plenty of water and gets regular exercise to keep their bowels working beautifully.     

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  1. Flatulence

Does your pet regularly release stinky farts? While these gaseous odours are harmless, they can make life at home unbearable.

What causes flatulence in pets?

Flatulence in pets may be due to a number of reasons and these include:

  • a high fat diet
  • a change in food
  • eating spoiled food
  • milk products
  • spices
  • high-fibre products
  • foods that are difficult to digest
  • an inefficient digestive system

How to treat flatulence in your pet at home

It’s not that difficult to treat and manage flatulence in pets. Start by feeding a diet that consists of protein and carbs. Feed smaller meals more frequently and make sure that the food is easily digestible. Encourage your pet to be more active – keeping them moving means less gas and flatulence. Add a natural remedy like Feelgood Pets Flatulence Preventer, which naturally relieves the unpleasant symptoms of flatulence and gas.  

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By knowing what symptoms to look for, will make treating and managing your pet’s digestive problems at home so much easier. Best of all, it’ll save a costly trip to the vet! 

Ear problems in pets! How to treat them naturally!

 

 

Does your pet scratch his ear or shake his head repeatedly? Have you noticed a bad smell from your pet's ears? The Feelgood Pets team looks at how to treat ear problems naturally in pets.

Ear problems are one of the most common conditions that affect both dogs and cats. Despite veterinary treatment, many pets often experience recurring ear infections, inflammation, pain and discomfort. These treatments include antibiotics or steroids to treat the symptoms but usually only provide a temporary fix. Taking a holistic approach to your pet’s ear health will help to manage the problem naturally - with long term and more effective results!

How will I know that my pet has an ear problem?

There are certain warning signs that will help you to determine if your dog or cat has an ear problem:

  • Shaking and tilting of the head
  • Excessive scratching and pawing at the ears
  • Rubbing the ears on the ground or against objects
  • Redness, swelling or even bleeding
  • Unpleasant odour from the ears
  • Yellow, dark brown, green or black discharge
  • Crusty skin
  • Hair loss
  • Stumbling, clumsiness or inability to maintain balance

What causes ear problems in pets?

  • Anatomy and design of pet ears

Both dogs and cats have L-shaped ear canals which makes them susceptible to wax build up, bacteria, moisture, dirt and mites. Because of the design and size of the ear, these substances get trapped in the ears, thereby causing infection or inflammation.  Certain dog breeds, in particular those with floppy ears such as Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Schnauzers, Poodles, Basset Hounds and Cocker Spaniels are prone to ear infections.

  • Environmental and food allergies

Because ears are an extension of the skin, pets with allergies to pollen, dust, food or fleas are even more prone to ear problems. If there is excess sugar or grain in your pet’s diet, then this could also be the cause of ear problems. Sugar causes yeast overgrowth which results in secondary bacterial infections – that smelly odour from your pet’s ear which is so offensive is actually yeast build up! In many cases, pets that suffer from itchy skin or hot spots, will also experience ear problems.

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  • Lifestyle

Dogs that swim or are bathed regularly are also prone to ear problems. Humidity and moisture which results from swimming and bathing is the perfect environment for bacteria to breed, resulting in ear problems. Both cats and dogs that spend lots of time outdoors in fields or forests are also susceptible to long grasses or seeds settling in their ears. As you can imagine, anything that gets lodged in the ear can cause lots of discomfort and pain!   

  • Mites and viral infections

Mites and a weakened immune system can also cause ear infections in cats and dogs and cats can also develop ear problems when infected by the feline immunodeficiency virus or feline leukemia.  

How to treat ear problems naturally in pets

  • Regular cleaning and maintenance

In order to prevent ear problems, it is very important to clean and care for your pet’s ears. NEVER use sharp objects or ear buds to clean your pet’s ear canal as this will cause further damage. We recommend that you rather use a cotton ball or soft swab together with a natural cleaning solution to remove wax or dirt. Remember that ear wax is healthy and perfectly normal and helps to protect the ear. However, excessive ear wax can cause problems.

You can use a few drops of Feelgood Pet’s Ear Dr in your dog or cat’s ear, gently rub the ears to spread the oil and then wipe the ears with a cotton swab. Be gentle when cleaning your pet’s ear because the inner ear is delicate. If quite a bit of buildup develops in your dog or cat’s ears, you would probably have to clean them daily or three times per week.

Pets with hair in their ears will often develop ear hair that becomes tangled and matted. Get your groomer to remove excess hair in the outer ear canal with a tweezer. Lastly, dry your pet’s ears thoroughly with a soft towel after swimming or bathing to prevent irritation and infection.

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  • Change your pet’s diet

If you are feeding your pet a diet that contains grains, preservatives and colourants, then this is probably why your dog or cat has chronic yeast infections or allergies.  These types of food contain sugars which yeast feeds on and which pets become allergic to. Choose a natural or raw diet which is very beneficial in treating ear problems because it also strengthens the immune system, thereby promoting resistance against illnesses and infections. Try DoggoBone Raw Active Food for dogs as well as Vondi’s Cooked Food for dogs and cats. Both these foods contain 100% natural ingredients of meat, fresh veggies and herbs for flavor. Available from Feelgood Health, 15A Westlake Lifestyle Centre, Westlake Business Park, Cape Town.

For additional support for your pet’s long term ear health, add Feelgood Pets Immunity & Liver Support. This herbal remedy strengthens the immune system, acts as a general tonic and natural antibiotic and aids quick recovery.  

  • Keep allergies and itching under control

If your pet has developed allergies to pollen or dust, use a natural antihistamine such as Feelgood Pets AllergiClear Pets. This is a herbal remedy specially formulated to reduce allergy symptoms, flea dermatititis or inhaled allergens such as pollen and grass. Use it in combination with Allergy Itch Ease to reduce itching and Skin & Coat Tonic to improve the health of the skin, including the skin inside the ear. Allergy Itch Ease is a 100% homeopathic remedy which helps to reduce itching and scratching in pets. Skin & Coat Tonic helps to promote a healthy, glossy skin and treats skin conditions such as eczema, hot spots, dandruff or fungal infections.

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  • Treat ear infections naturally

Pets that develop recurring ear infections are usually prescribed antibiotics and other ear medications from the vet. These medications often only provide temporary relief and are not a long-term cure. It is therefore very important that you adopt a holistic approach and consider your pet’s diet and lifestyle as well as the underlying cause if you want long term results.

Use Feelgood Pets Ear Dr which contains natural ingredients in an olive oil base to treat ear infections. This remedy helps to treat and prevent acute and chronic ear infections, yeast infections in the ears and ear mites, without the side effects of prescription drugs. Add Immunity & Liver Support which acts as a natural antibiotic and will strengthen the immune system.

Treating ear problems in pets can very challenging but if you incorporate a holistic approach, your pet’s ears will definitely be healthier – meaning a happier pet and fewer visits to the vet!  

Flea season! Natural Prevention & Treatment Tips!

It’s that time of the year again where we are all out and about enjoying the lovely, warm weather with our furry friends ……. BUT then it’s often sadly  ruined by the onslaught of fleas! Fleas love warm environments and humidity! As the weather starts to become warmer, these nasty critters begin to emerge and thrive if they are not treated immediately. Apart from being unpleasant for your family and your pets, flea bite dermatitis can also be the cause of difficult to treat skin problems like itching, rashes, hot spots and patchy fur.

In order to control and prevent fleas on your pet and in your home, it is important that you as a pet owner handle the problem effectively and safely.

Should you use toxic flea treatments?

Many pet owners today worry about the toxicity of flea products and how they affect their pets. There are a wide variety of flea control products available on the market which contain harsh ingredients and should be handled with caution. Pet owners can choose from a number of adult flea control products, spot-on topical products as well as flea collars.

It is important to be aware that these products are considered pesticides and if they are used incorrectly, your pet could have a bad reaction. Always consult your vet about how to use a flea product if you are unsure – read the product label carefully to protect your animal. For instance, some flea products are specifically formulated to treat dogs only AND if used on cats, the active ingredients may be lethal to them.

Flea products are also formulated according to the dog or cat’s age and weight. If you have a Lab and Jack Russell, don’t try to save money by buying one flea control for both dogs as the dosage may not be right and your pets can develop medical conditions. At the end of the day, using conventional flea products responsibly lies with the pet owner and should always be administered cautiously.

Can natural remedies really help to treat fleas?

Pet owners are becoming increasingly concerned about using chemical flea products and pesticides for flea control. At the same time, they know that it is important to control the spread of fleas on their pet and in the home. This leaves them with a dilemma. Do natural products for fleas really work?  

Natural remedies can definitely help to treat fleas when used correctly and in combination with a holistic flea control program. This approach can reduce or eliminate the need for chemical pesticides used on pets and in the home to control fleas.

The trick is to use natural flea shampoo, natural flea spray and natural flea powder on your pet AND in the home, while also ensuring that your dog or cat is healthy and has a strong immune system – as fleas will more successfully infest an animal with a weak immune system.

If a natural flea control program is followed diligently, especially for dogs and cats that are mostly indoors, there is often little or no need to use conventional toxic pesticides on your pet. If you live in a high flea area, such as on a farm, you may have to combine a natural approach with conventional flea repellent products, especially if your pet is allergic to fleas. However, domestic pets can respond well to a natural, holistic approach to flea control.

At Feelgood Pets we love Vondi’s Natural Flea Control products, containing natural flea repellents like Khakibos. Not only are Vondi’s well known for their natural approach to pet care, but their products really work well to control fleas without having to use toxic conventional flea products.

Here is how you do it:

All Vondi’s Natural Flea Control products are available on the Feelgood Pets website and shipped to your door anywhere in South Africa!

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More tips on how to prevent and treat fleas on pets

    •  The most effective way to control fleas on your pets is to treat them directly all year round, not only during flea season. It is important to clean your home thoroughly if you have pets. Vacuuming carpets and furniture regularly will pick up flea eggs, especially if you allow your pets to sleep on your bed or lie on your sofa.
    • Cleaning your pet's bedding will help remove to eggs and larvae - all bedding should be washed in the washing machine as this will ensure that flea eggs and larvae  do not survive.

    Keep pets 'flea proof with a strong immune system!

    Did you know that a strong and healthy immune system helps to protect your pet against flea infestations? A dog or cat with a weakened immune system is more susceptible to infestation by all types of parasites, such as fleas, ticks and even intestinal worms!

    Keeping your pet healthy is the best way to protect them from being attacked by fleas and this can be done by boosting their immune system naturally with Feelgood Pets Immunity & Liver Support.

    Make sure that you are feeding your pet a healthy, balanced diet to strengthen the immune system. Doggone Active Raw Food and Vondi’s cooked foods are available at the Feelgood Health Shop at 15A Westlake Lifestyle Centre, Westlake Business Park – both these foods are packed with nutrients essential for your pet’s health and wellbeing.
      Itchy Skin, scratching, hot spots and bald patches in dogs and cats

        Pets who suffer from skin problems caused by flea allergies will experience itching, scratching, hair loss and irritation of the skin. For pets who are allergic to flea bites, even one flea can cause a chain reaction of itchy, inflamed skin and constant scratching!

        Instead of conventional medicines like cortisone, which can have an effect on your pet’s health, use natural remedies such as Allergy Itch Ease and Skin & Coat Tonic to treat your pet’s skin. 

        • Allergy Itch Ease is a 100% homeopathic remedy   to treat acute itching and scratching, and can offer definite relief for your pet, helping to prevent skin infections cause by scratching. 
        • Skin & Coat Tonic is a herbal remedy that strengthens and heals the skin – used regularly, your pet’s skin and coat will look full, healthy and glossy again!
        • We also recommend AllergiClear Pets, which is a herbal remedy which contains a natural antihistamine which will help treat the underlying allergy itself.
        • For pets that are susceptible to flea allergy dermatitis, our AllergiClear Pets will reduce and prevent the symptoms 

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        By treating your pet, home and outdoor environment thoroughly, you will definitely be able to keep a handle on fleas this summer, using a holistic, natural flea control approach! 

        Here’s to a flea free and pesticide free summer!

         

        Itching? Scratching? Tummy upsets? Coughing or wheezing? Could your pet have a food allergy? What to look for and how to help!

        Is your pet itching and scratching excessively? Shaking his head, biting his paws and licking obsessively? Does he vomit often or have diarrhea? Does he wheeze or cough a lot? If you’ve treated these symptoms but your pooch or kitty is still in discomfort, a food allergy is often the cause.

         1. What is a food allergy?

        Food allergies are often described as an abnormal reaction to a particular food or ingredient. There are two types of abnormal reactions to food.  One is when there is a Immune system reaction to food allergens and these are referred as food allergies. In order for food allergy symptoms to occur, previous exposure to the allergen is required. In the case of the other abnormal reaction, it does not involve the immune system and occurs when first exposed to a particular food and is referred to as a food intolerance. 

         2. What are the common signs of a food allergy?

        The most common signs of a food allergy include:

        • Gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting, diarrhea or gassiness
        • Frequent itching and scratching of the skin
        • Licking or biting their feet
        • Lacklustre coat or hair loss
        • Inflamed or irritated skin
        • Chronic ear inflammation
        • Coughing, sneezing or wheezing
        • Poor growth development in pets

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        1. What causes allergies?

        There are certain factors such as genetics or the environment that could trigger a food allergy in your dog or cat. Breeds such as German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels, Dachshunds and Rex cats are predisposed to allergies. In some cases it may take months or even years before your pet develops an allergy to a particular ingredient – but from the moment that they are allergic, they will always experience an adverse reaction to that food!

        Dogs are especially allergic to proteins derived from an animal or plant-based source of their diet. Common culprits of food allergies include beef, chicken, lamb, pork, fish, dairy, egg and wheat. Food allergies often occur due to constant exposure to one particular ingredient. With our modern tendency to feed pets ‘convenience’ store bought foods, we have removed variety from their diet and made them more vulnerable to the development of allergies.

         4. How would I be able to detect if my pet has a food allergy?

        If you suspect a food allergy, your vet would run blood tests or skin or ear discharge tests to determine the dietary allergen. Most of these tests are horribly expensive and not always accurate, and the best way to diagnose allergies properly is by doing a DIY elimination diet. Basically, what you have to do is eliminate all food sources that your pet usually eats and try him on a completely new food. If the symptoms clear up, then you probably have the answer!

         It is recommended that when doing the elimination diet you use as few ingredients as possible – choose one source of protein and one source of carbohydrate. If you use more ingredients, particularly if you’re changing to a commercial food, it is more than likely that the allergen may be included in the diet. At this point, you’re probably wondering what ingredients to exclude and these include all ingredients in commercial pet food such as beef, chicken, lamb, fish, dairy, wheat, soy, corn or oats. Don’t forget to exclude the flavoured treats and biscuits, rawhides, bones and chew toys too!

        Feed your dog a protein and carb that they’ve never had before – the ratio should be 2 parts carbs to 1 part protein. Protein sources to try include fish, turkey, duck, ostrich, venison or other game meat. Carbs to try include rice, potatoes or pulses. For cats, a 100% protein diet is usually recommended.

         The elimination diet is typically over a 6 to 8 week period. Once improvement is noted, you can start reintroducing the old foods and if your pet experiences a reaction, then he definitely has a food allergy (please note it takes a few days up until a few weeks to develop)

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         5. What can I do to prevent and treat my pet’s allergies?

        The most effective way to manage a food allergy or adverse reaction to a particular ingredient is to avoid that ingredient. If you used the elimination diet, then you will be aware of the offending ingredients causing your dog or cat’s allergy. It’s important to feed your pet a well-balanced diet with a few ingredients only,  free of additives and preservatives. In addition, pets need variety in their diet, just like humans do. Choose from a variety of healthy, additive free foods.  Switch to natural based diets such as DoggoBone Raw Food for dogs or Vondi’s Cooked Food for dogs and cats. Both these diets contain 100% natural ingredients which include various meats (chicken, ostrich, beef, mutton, turkey, venison), as well as veggies and fresh herbs for flavour.

        In order to prevent symptoms that may cause your pet discomfort, use a natural antihistamine such as AllergiClear Pets – this all-natural remedy prevents food allergies and improves your pet’s overall resistance against allergens.  Treat itchy skin with a 100% homeopathic remedy called Allergy Itch Ease for quick relief while restoring the overall condition of your pet’s skin with Skin & Coat Tonic capsules. If your pet’s symptoms are respiratory, Feelgood Pets Respo-K can help to reduce congestion and wheezing.

        Identifying a food allergy is not always easy but through trial and error, lots of patience and persistence, your efforts will eventually pay off when you see how happy and healthy your pet is!

         

        Springtime safety tips for pets! 10 health hazards to be aware of.

        After a long, cold winter of spending time mostly indoors with our pets, most of us can’t wait for spring to arrive! The change of season brings sunshine, beautiful blossoms and a chance for our precious pooch or kitty to enjoy the outdoors again. However, to make sure that our furry friends keep the ‘spring’ in their steps, there are a few things that pet lovers should be aware of when keeping their pets safe during spring

        Read on as the Feelgood Pets team talks about 10 springtime hazards for pets that we should all be aware of.

        1. Seasonal allergies

        Just like us, our pets are also prone to airborn allergies. Pollen from flowers and grass often cause an allergic reaction making them itch and scratch excessively. While most animals with allergies tend to develop an itchy rash, some also have respiratory allergies like coughing and sneezing – just like humans!

        If you know that your pet is allergic, take preventative measures and use natural remedies which are safe, effective, yet gentle on their system – instead of chemical anti-histamines and steroids which could cause unwanted side effects.  

        In the Feelgood Pets range, AllergiClear Pets acts as a natural antihistamine and preventative and reduces allergy symptoms while Allergy Itch Ease relieves itchy skin. For pets that develop bad rashes, hair loss and hot spots, Skin & Coat Tonic will help to heal and strengthen the skin and encourage a healthy, shiny coat! Get into the habit of using these remedies throughout the year to keep your pet allergy-free and happy!

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        1. Fleas and ticks

        While fleas and ticks are an all-year-round problem, they are more common in warmer weather. Many animals have an allergy to fleas and even one flea can set off a bout of itching and scratching that results in difficult to treat skin problems!

        Make sure that you protect your dog and cat against fleas and ticks – either with a vet recommended flea repellent or with a more natural flea control program. More and more pet owners are choosing to use natural flea skin remedies as opposed to conventional chemical pesticide treatments.

        The Vondi’s range of flea and tick remedies consists of 100% natural ingredients which are safe and gentle even for doggies and kitties with sensitive skin. Try Khakibos Spray, KhakiBos Shampoo and KhakiBos powder to repel fleas and ticks the natural way, and say good-bye to harsh treatments for good! The Vondi’s natural flea control products are available online at www.feelgoodpets.com or from the Feelgood Health shop in Westlake, Cape Town.

        1. Intestinal parasites

        Like fleas and ticks, intestinal parasites also thrive in warmer weather. Round worms, hookworms and tape worms in faeces enter the soil and then can be transferred from one pet to another. Pets should be dewormed regularly to keep them parasite-free – add Vondi’s Diatomaceous Earth with added aloe into their food daily as well Immunity & Liver Support, a herbal remedy which strengthens their immune system. A healthy pet with a strong immune system is far less susceptible to parasites!

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        1. Take care of your pet’s skin

        Some pets may experience skin problems because of the change of season. If your dog or cat’s skin has become dry, flaky, itchy or lost its sheen, you may need to give it an extra boost with natural skin care remedies.  In warm weather, pets also develop hot spots which can become extremely uncomfortable. Together with a healthy and well balanced diet for your pet, use Feelgood Pets Skin & Coat Tonic to maintain a glossy skin and coat.

        1. Garden and yard treatments

        This is the time of the year when we also spend more time working in the garden. Out come the insecticides, herbicides, fertilisers and pesticides to keep our lawns and garden in tip top shape! As you know these garden products are very toxic for animals and should be kept out of their reach. Make sure that you never leave these products unopened and store them in a tightly locked cupboard. Better still – switch to environmentally friendly garden products – they are better for the environment and pose no risk to animals or children!

        1. Indoor spring cleaning chemicals

        Spring cleaning your home is in full swing now! If you are going to give your home a good and thorough clean, be sure to store all cleaning products in a safe area. Many cleaning products contain harsh chemicals which are toxic for dogs and cats. We all know how curious pets can be, so lock them away tightly! Now is the time to investigate environmentally friendly alternatives to your home cleaning. As more and more people become aware of the dangers of chemical overload on the planet and its inhabitants, more environmentally friendly products are becoming available and there are now plenty to choose from! You can also make your own!

        1. Secure access to outdoor areas

        With the beautiful Spring weather, we can’t help but leave our doors and windows open to let the fresh air in. But this may not always be best if we have pets! If nearby traffic is a problem, make sure that your home is well-secured with a gate or fence so that your pets will not be able to escape or go on a neighbourhood jaunt. Cats love to go roaming around too, so keep windows and doors closed. 

        1. Dog walks

        Your pooch will be happy to go for more walks now but be careful where you walk. Dogs love to sniff everything. They also eat everything from new grass, flowers or anything else that they can get their teeth into. Eating junk can cause an upset tummy, so be vigilant when you take them walkies!  

        1. More exercise

        Dogs will be walking, running and jumping more now than in winter. Remember to ease your dog gently into vigorous exercise if he hasn’t being very active in winter. If your dog is prone to injuries or suffers from joint problems, use MobiLive Pets with natural inflammatory properties to relieve pain and discomfort. Make sure that you carry water for your dog when going walkies too – dehydration can be a big problem in summer.

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        1. Driving dangers

        If your pooch enjoys car rides, remember the rules! Pets should not be allowed to stick their heads out of the window of a moving car as they can be injured by another moving v ehicle or dirt may enter their ear or eye.

        We hope these preventative measures will help your pet this spring. Happy Spring every one! :)

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