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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!

Tips 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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Winter immunity for your pets!

Take a Holistic Approach to Pet Health this winter! (Plus FOUR great discounts!)

Winter is on its way! The cold weather can be hard on pets, just like it can be hard on people. Our animals need immune support as much as we do – whatever the weather!

The immune system of a dog or a cat is as complex as the immune system of a human. Your pet’s immune system has a very important goal: to keep the body safe and healthy from infection and disease and to recover quickly after illness. When an animal’s immune system is rundown, he or she is open to disease.

What causes the immune system to be rundown?

There are a number of ways your dog or cat’s immune system may become run down or suppressed. Many illnesses, particularly those caused by viruses, can attack and invade the cells of the immune system, thereby reducing its effectiveness. Poor nutrition, stress, neglect or abuse, or even environmental pollutants, can affect the ability of the immune system to respond, making your animal more susceptible to disease. Overuse or long-term use of medications such as antibiotics and corticosteroids are often used to treat infections or diseases but can also suppress the immune system – causing it to become weak and unable to function as it should.

Can dogs and cats get colds and how are they treated?

While our pets cannot be infected with the exact same viruses that attach to humans, they can develop respiratory, digestive tract and urinary tract viruses just like we do. Some of these viruses may be more prominent in winter, especially those that attack the respiratory tract.

Some common dog and cat viruses are:

  • Cat ‘flu or ‘Snuffles’
  • Herpes/Calicivirus in cats (FCV)
  • Kennel cough
  • Canine Parvovirus
  • Asthma

 In cats, the most common "cold" is viral (herpes/calici virus) while the most common "cold" that dogs get is a combination.

 How to boost your pet’s health this winter

It is very important that you maintain a healthy and balanced immune system for your dog or cat. Here are our best tips!

  • Feed them a healthy and well balanced diet

Keep your pet’s immune system healthy by feeding a diet which contains all the essential vitamins and minerals. Include fresh or raw meat, vegetables, fruits, and herbs to ensure that your pet’s diet is well balanced. Visit the Feelgood Health Shop in Westlake Lifestyle Centre, Westlake Business Park, Cape Town for all-natural raw or cooked foods for your pooch or kitty – choose from DoggoBone Raw Active Food for dogs or Vondi’s Cooked Food for dogs or cats. Add supplements such as Vondi’s Multivitamin Food Supplement, Spirulina Sprinkles and Diatomaceous Earth to boost their immunity – simply sprinkle over their food daily!  

  • Regular exercise

Exercise has some amazing benefits for your pet’s immune system and overall health (and yours too, of course!). Take your dog for long walks, runs, swims or play frisbee to keep them active and in shape. Cats need exercise too, so get kitty moving by playing games or using a scratching post to get them to jump, climb and stay active.

  • Reduce stress

Stress has a negative impact on the immune system because over time it affects your pet’s health. If you have an anxious or stressed dog or cat, try to maintain a calm and relaxed environment to keep them stress-free. Massages are also very good for your pet’s emotional health and will therefore benefit their immune health. Keep a bottle of PetCalm from the Feelgood Pets range on hand to relieve anxiety, hyperactivity and stress in pets – this is a must have remedy for any home with pets! 

  • Use natural immune-boosters and winter remedies for pets

Natural immune boosters and natural remedies for dogs and cats can be much safer and gentler on your pet’s system than their pharmaceutical alternatives – and often just as effective! Not only are there fewer side effects but your dog or cat will improve and go from strength to strength!

Here are some suggestions for natural winter health:

Feelgood Pets Immunity & Liver Support: An all-natural herbal remedy that strengthens the immune system and supports liver health. Use regularly as a general tonic to protect against infection and also as a natural antibiotic alternative when pets are ill.

Immunity and Liver Support capsules are also very effective during convalescence and shorten the recovery phase after illness, trauma or surgery and are easy to administer to dogs and cats. 

FeliSafe: A homeopathic remedy to treat most major ‘cat ‘flu’ virus strains. FeliSafe contains selected homeopathic ingredients to assist with respiratory as well as digestive symptoms – as well as a homeopathic version of the veterinary cat ‘flu vaccinations. It may be used preventatively as well as during active infection to support recovery. Use FeliSafe along with Immunity & Liver Support to reduce symptoms and boost the immune system naturally.

KC Defense: Kennel cough is common in the winter months and we hate to see our pets coughing and feeling under the weather. KC Defense will help to stop the coughing and reduce symptoms while Immunity & Liver Support helps to strengthen immunity and speed recovery.

These remedies and pet health products are available from the Feelgood Health Shop in Westlake, Cape Town, and may also be ordered online from the Feelgood Pets website (we deliver to your door all over South Africa) Why not be prepared and stock up now for winter?

Remember, the key to a healthy dog or cat is to keep their immune system in tip top working condition so that they can fight infection and disease when it strikes!

Flaxseed for animals! The amazing health benefits of Flaxseed Oil for your horse, dog or cat!

Health benefits of Flaxseed oil for pets!

Our pets, like us, may not be getting all the necessary nutrition they need from eating their daily diet. Even though your dog, cat or horse may be eating high quality pet foods, they may not provide for their complete dietary needs. Fortunately, you can still supplement their diet with a healthy oil such as flaxseed oil which is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids.

 In this article, we’ll learn more about flaxseed oil, its benefits and how to use it.

What is flaxseed oil?

Flaxseed oil is also commonly known as linseed oil which is derived from the ripe seeds of the flax plant. To produce the oil, the seeds are pressed in order to extract the oil. This oil contains both omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids which are beneficial for the health and wellbeing of pets and humans. Because it contains Omega-3 fatty acids, Flaxseed oil also has excellent  anti-inflammatory properties. It is made up mostly of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), an omega-3 fatty acid, and then converted into EPA and DHA fatty acids which is absorbed into your pet’s body. Used as a food supplement, Flaxseed oil makes a wonderful, healthful addition to any pet’s diet – but especially for dogs, cats and horses with joint, digestive or skin problems!

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 What are the benefits of flaxseed oil for dogs, cats and horses?

  •  Flaxseed oil promotes a healthy skin and coat

Flaxseed oil is very beneficial to the skin and coat.  It helps to keep your pet’s skin moisturized and soft, and coat glossy and shiny. Flaxseed oil also helps to reduce itching and scratching, dry, irritated skin and can also relieve allergy symptoms, due to its natural anti-inflammatory properties. It is very important to take care of your pet’s skin as this is usually the first sign that they are not in good health. Simply add one or two tablespoons of Crede Flax for Animals to keep your horse, dog or cat’s skin in peak condition.  In addition, visit Feelgood Pets for natural remedies to treat your pet’s skin – use Allergy Itch Ease for itchy skin, Skin & Coat Tonic to promote healthy skin and AllergiClear Pets to relieve allergy symptoms.  

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  •  Flaxseed oil improves joints and mobility

Flaxseed oil contains anti-inflammatory properties which help to relieve and treat joint problems, pain and stiffness in pets. Dogs, cats and horses suffering from arthritis will definitely benefit from the powerful healing properties of flaxseed oil. It eases stiffness and helps to make joints more flexible and mobile. Use Crede Flax for Animals in combination with Feelgood Pets MobiLive Pets, a herbal remedy specially formulated to treat joint problems such as arthritis.       

  •  Flaxseed oil boosts the immune system

Flaxseed oil is also an excellent food supplement to use in order to  strengthen the immune system in dogs, cats and horses. Given regularly, flaxseed oil will give your pet’s system a healthy boost, prevent illness and keep them feeling good. Pets with cancer will also reap the benefits of flaxseed oil because omega-3 fatty acids help to fight cancerous cells. Another natural remedy for peak immune functioning is Feelgood Pets Immunity & Liver Support,which acts as a general tonic for your pet’s system, detoxes the body, helps with quick recovery after illness and protects against viral and bacterial infections. Immunity & Liver Support can be used together with Flaxseed oil for pets that need help withy their immune system.

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  •  Flaxseed oil supports digestive health

As flaxseed oil is high in soluble and non-soluble fibre, it serves as a great supplement to prevent constipation in pets. Adding flaxseed oil to your dog,   cat or horse’s daily diet will promote healthy digestive functioning and regular bowel movements. The extra fibre helps to maintain your pet’s weight thereby keeping them fuller for longer and encouraging them to eat less. And, lastly the anti-inflammatory properties in flaxseed oil can help to soothe niggly digestive conditions such as IBS and colitis. If your pet has digestive problems, try Feelgood Pets Digestive Support for added digestive support as a natural remedy along with Flaxseed oil.   

What is the dosage of flaxseed oil for pets?

It is very important to start off slowly when first introducing flaxseed oil into your pet’s diet – if you give too much, your pet may develop diarrhea.

Dosage (ml per day)

Cats and small dogs     = 5ml

Medium dogs              = 10ml

Large dogs                 = 15 ml

Horses                       = 40 to 50ml

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Flaxseed oil is easy to use and can simply be added to food. It is a must-have omega oil food supplement to support  your pet’s overall health and wellbeing. Make sure that you add some regularly to their food to keep them in tip top shape!  

10 common poisonous plants for dogs & cats

10 common poisonous plants for dogs & cats!

1. Syringa berry tree (Melia azederach)

Dogs love the ripe berries on the Syringa tree, yet are completely oblivious of how dangerous they are! The berries are poisonous because they contain a high concentration of meliatoxins. Once ingested, this plant will typically affect your dog’s nervous system.
Symptoms to watch for: restlessness, muscle trembling, vomiting, diarrhoea, respiratory distress. 
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2. The Lily Family  

As beautiful and fragrant as lilies are, they are also POISONOUS, especially to CATS! There are a wide variety of lilies and these include Arum, Clivia, Stargazer, Saint Joseph, Tiger. If your kitty has a nibble of this plant, it will cause kidney failure.   
Symptoms to watch for: Kidney failure

3. Delicious Monsters

Delicious monsters are quite common garden and house plants. Dogs, for some strange reason have a penchant for chewing on this plant’s leaves, roots and stems which are, unfortunately poisonous. The plant releases insoluble calcium oxalate which causes your furry companion’s mouth, tongue and lips to become inflamed.
Symptoms to watch for: Excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing
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4. Clivia Miniata

The very popular Clivia can be found in lots of people’s gardens. Dogs and cats that ingest the bulb of this plant in large amounts will experience toxic reactions. Young dogs as well as those that usually are destructive in gardens have a tendency to chew on Clivia.
Symptoms to watch for: Salivation, vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, general malaise. 

5. Macadamia Nut

Macadamia nuts are highly poisonous to dogs. The level of toxicity is generally mild to moderate. If your dog consumes the nuts or kernels of this tree, adverse effects can be noted within 6 to 24 hours.
Symptoms to watch for: Vomiting, tremors, joint stiffness, severe lethargy.
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6. Chinkerinchee

The Chinkerinchee, also known as the Star of Bethlehem or Tjienkerintjee is a very pretty plant which is extremely toxic to dogs and cats. Dogs often become intoxicated because they chew or dig out the bulbs – this is the toxic part! Dog or cat owners should consider removing this plant to prevent poisoning 
Symptoms to watch for: Severe diarrhoea, blindness

7. Onions

Onions, also referred to by their botanical name Allium cepa and Allium sativum are also highly toxic to both dogs and cats. Some people may grow them in their gardens while others use onions as an insect and flea repellent. Dog and cat owners often feed their pets left-over food containing onions. If your pet ingests onions, he is at risk of serious health complications.
Symptoms to watch for: Damage to the red blood cells which causes anaemia and jaundice
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8. Grass seeds

Certain grasses such as Rooigras (Themeda triandra), Spear grass or Assegaaigras and Bur Bristle grass (Setaria verticillata) have seeds that stick to and penetrate surfaces. The grass seeds penetrates the nose, eyes, eyelids, ears, gums or soft palate and even between the toes. As soon as the seed comes into contact with the skin, it pricks it, the dog licks the area which causes the seed to penetrate the skin and swelling may occur.
Symptoms to watch for:  Depending on the location and shape of the seed, there will be different symptoms. If the seed lodges in the ear, your pet may scratch or rub the ear, shake his head. If the eye is affected, it will be red or inflamed. Seeds in the nose will cause sneezing or nasal discharge. If the skin is affected, he may chew at an area or abscesses may develop.  A handy natural remedy to keep in your pet first aid kit is Ear Dr which will help to relieve the irritation and itchiness once the seed has been removed. 
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9. Oleander

The Oleander tree is another common tree which is found all over South Africa. Toxic to both dogs and cats, this plant is known to primarily affect the heart.
Symptoms to watch for:  Vomiting, diarrhoea, salivation followed by respiratory distress, cardiac rhythm disturbances and heart failure.

10. Cannabis sativa

Cannabis Sativa, also commonly referred to as “dagga or Marijuana” plant is harmful to dogs and cats. Wondering how your pet would be exposed to this plant? People grow this plant in their gardens or your dog or cat may actually eat the butt of a Marijuana cigarette and be at risk.
Symptoms to watch for:  Vomiting, Increased respiration rate, dry mouth and eyes
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How do you keep your pet safe from harmful plants in the garden?

If you have a garden, it would be best to err on the side of caution and remove or avoid buying toxic plants that your pets may have access to. Experts advise that you add bran flakes to your dog’s food or change his diet to one that contains higher amounts of vegetable fibres to discourage cravings for vegetation. Most importantly, keep the contact details of your vet and Poison Control on hand and always observe your pet for strange behaviour.

what to do when your cat or dog dies

s it time to let go of your pet? When & what to do when your cat or dog dies

Imagine this …your vet breaks the news to you that your precious pooch has lymphoma and only has about six months left to live. You are shocked and confused. You aren’t ready to let your pet go yet…you need more time. Or maybe your old and faithful furry friend has been suffering for years with a painful condition that is affecting his quality of life. You know the end is inevitable, but you just can’t bear to say good bye …..

While some pets do pass away peacefully, others often end up suffering in silence and their quality of life is compromised. Many pet owners have to face the difficult and often traumatic decision to put their pet down. Making the decision to euthanize your dog or cat brings about mixed emotions – you feel guilty, sad, angry, resentful and devastated.

The Feelgood Pets shares some useful guidelines that will help you to know when to put your pet down.

How to know when it’s time to let your pet go

There are certain things that you might want to consider to help you make the decision to put your pet down.

1. Speak to your vet first

In order to make an informed decision, it is always recommended to speak to your vet first about the severity of your pet’s health – For e.g. “Is my dog in  pain? How much time does he have? Is my pet’s condition deteriorating quickly? Will treatment relieve his pain and improve his quality of life”.

Your vet will be able to tell you what the prognosis is and what the costs involved are. Getting a professional opinion will help to steer you in the right direction.

Don’t be afraid to seek a second opinion – this doesn’t mean that you don’t trust your vet but a second opinion may give you the peace of mind you need to make a decision.

Remember, at the end of the day the final decision lies with you. Your vet cannot force you to put your pet down if you decide not to – the choice is yours even if your vet is pro-euthanasia and you’re not. 
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2. Ask yourself these questions

As difficult as it is to have to decide to live without your pet, the idea of him suffering when there is no hope of recovery is  even more devastating.

Here are some questions to ask yourself that will help you to answer your questions regarding pet euthenasia

1. Has your pet been diagnosed with a terminal illness?
2. Does your pet still have appetite? Usually when an animal loses his appetite completely, it’s a sign that things are not going well
3. Is your pet in pain and discomfort?
4. Has your pet lost control of his bodily functions?
5. Does your pet need ongoing treatment to improve his quality of life?
6. Will medication relieve his pain?
7. Does your pet still seem to be enjoying life?
8. Is caring for your pet taking its toll on you? Has it all become a bit too much to handle?
9. Can you afford the costs of your pet’s treatment and veterinary care?
10. Are you extending your pet’s life for his best interest or primarily for yourself? 

These are some of the signs that often help pet owners to decide that it’s time to let go. In many cases, pet owners have reported that their dog or cat gave them a sign that they were ready to go and based their decision on that.

3. When you know it’s time

You finally arrive at the decision that it’s time to say good-bye to your precious pooch. After much grappling and soul-searching about what to do, you have more clarity about the situation and are ready to make peace with it.   
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4. Your pet is suffering too much

Pets with chronic or terminal illnesses often experience a lot of pain, discomfort as well as some unpleasant side effects.  When you’ve tried everything you possibly can to help your pet but unfortunately he is still suffering.

Sometimes you get to the point where you just know you can’t bear see your pet suffer any longer.

5. Trust and support from loved ones

Support from family and friends whose opinion you trust and value, and who may have been through a similar experience can also help you to move in the right decision.

Speaking to loved ones can help you to voice your concerns, vent your frustration and put such a huge decision into perspective for you.
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Coping with the loss of a pet

Just like when a person you love dies, it is normal to feel grief, loss and sorrow and this is also true when you lose a pet. Dogs and cats become members of your family, providing companionship, unconditional love and support.

When a pet dies, the emotions you feel and the intensity of the loss can be overwhelming. However, it is okay to grieve for your pet in whichever way you choose to do.

Here are a few tips to help you cope:

• Allow yourself to grieve for your pet and express all the emotions you ae feeling (sadness, anger, denial, acceptance)
• Prepare a burial or memorial for your pet to bid your final good-byes and commemorate his death
• Reach out to others for support – speak to family and friends who understand what you are going through and how you are feeling. If you don’t have support from family and friends, there are other forms of support available such as pet loss support groups, online support groups, books and DVD’s to help you not to deal with your grief alone.
• Avoid getting another pet in hurry as it is always best to work through your grief first

Natural remedies can help!

The Feelgood Pets range has natural remedies that can help your other pets cope with the loss of their companions. Yes, pets form strong bonds with one another and grieve when their companion is no longer there. Give lots of love and attention to the surviving pets to help them through their loss.

Anxious or stressed pets will also benefit from our PetCalm which helps them feel calm and relaxed quickly.
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Dry food vs. Wet food - What is best for your dog or cat?

Dry food vs. Wet food - What is best for your dog or cat?

For the longest time, there has been an ongoing debate about whether dry food or wet food  is best for your pet.  As a pet parent, you will know that one of the first decisions you have to make is which food to feed your precious cat or dog.

There are so many options available today – so many  brands and flavours to choose from that it can become rather confusing. This is why it remains an ongoing debate – is dry food or wet food the healthiest for your pet?

Making a decision to choose between dry or wet food can be quite difficult, so we’ve made it easy for you by comparing the two with their benefits and disadvantages – now, you can make an informed decision and know that your dog or cat  is getting the best diet possible.

1. Dry Food for pets – what you should know

Pros
• Most pet owners choose dry food for their pets purely because it is convenient for storage and feeding. It is easy to store and does not require refrigeration. Dry food can simply be decanted into a large plastic bin and sealed tightly to keep fresh and safe for longer.
• Dry food can be left out for your pet to eat without having to worry about spoilage. Cat owners, in particular, enjoy the convenience of filling a bowl with enough food to keep their kitties well fed during the day.
• Some diet-approved dry foods are good for your dog’s teeth and gums, reducing plaque and tartar build up. It also provides them with that extra crunch they so enjoy! Dogs that are fed dry food have better breath than those fed canned foods. 
• It is more economical per serving, especially if you are feeding multiple pets.
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Cons
• Many varieties of dry pet food are unfortunately loaded with cheap grain fillers to bulk up the food, preservatives and other artificial additives.
• Pet food companies are substituting real meat and chicken with chicken feet, feathers, heads and intestines or cow, sheep organs (think tongues, brains, hooves, udders and fetal tissue) all high in hormones.
• Some of these foods are also sprayed with animal fat
• During the cooking process, the ingredients are boiled at high temperatures for hours and hours, sometimes even for days until they eventually turn to mush to be used in dry food later
• Dry food is high in calories and is therefore one of the leading causes of obesity in pets.

2. Wet Food - what you should know

Pros
• Wet (or canned) food contains more protein with fewer carbohydrates, making it a much healthier option according to pet nutritionists.
• Although wet or canned food is also processed, it is cooked at a much lower temperature than dry food, thereby retaining more of the nutrients
• High in moisture, wet food is a good source of hydration for cats and dogs that may not drink a lot of water. Good for your pet’s urinary tract too!
• Wet food is meatier, appetizing and more palatable than dry food. It is definitely a hit with finicky eaters and pets that are ill or don’t have much of an appetite.
• It is a better choice for older pets that are suffering from dental issues as they are able to digest food that is soft, smooth and easy to chew
• While wet food may cost more initially, it may be a more cost-effective option for feeding smaller breeds that eat less
• If unopened, wet food has a long shelf life
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Cons
• Some pets may need more dental care if they are predisposed to dental problems
• Depending on the quality of wet food you are feeding your furry pal, it may be heavier on your pocket. It would be best to buy wet food in small amounts as you need it
• Wet food is perishable and can only be left uncovered and unrefrigerated for a short while. Your pet would have to eat it immediately before it spoils – this may not always work if you have a kitty that eats at his own pace!  

What is the best choice?

Now that you that have a good idea of the comparisons between dry and wet food, you can begin to make a more informed decision. Whether you decide to choose dry or wet food for your cat or dog, make sure that you choose high quality, vet recommended food. Steer clear of foods that contain cheap fillers, additives and preservatives. Just like you are what you eat, so your pet is what he eats!

Keep in mind that pets with certain conditions such as diabetes, food allergies, digestive disorders, obesity, epilepsy as well as kittens, puppies and senior pets often require a specialised diet. Consult your vet about what would be the right dietary requirements for your pet’s needs.

Home food – the best option

Ready made pet foods,whether  wet or dry, may just be the pet equivalent of fast food for humans, filled with preservatives, salt, sugar and artificial flavours and colours. You know that a healthy, home prepared meal, using  fresh ingredients, with no added chemicals or preservatives, is best for you and your family – and that includes your pet!

More and more pet parents are choosing to feed their furry kids homemade food. You will be in complete control of what your cat or dog eats. A yummy concoction of rice, chicken and veggies goes down very well for pets. Add fresh garden herbs to the food for added nutritional value!  Supplement this with raw bones for dogs to chew on (cats can have a raw chicken neck). Give it a try if you have the time!

Raw and organic cooked pet foods are also all the rage now! Many experts recommend raw foods for dogs and cats, giving them a diet closer to that which they experienced in the wild. Want the best food for your dog and cat AND the convenience? Well, help is at hand. At Feelgood Pets PetAlive we recommend two ranges of pet food that stand above the crowd, Vondi’s and DoggoBone Active Raw Food.

DoggoBone Active Raw Food for dogs consists of finely ground meat, organ meat, fresh veggies, fruit and garden herbs – dogs go crazy for this food! If your pet prefers cooked food, try the Vondi’s range of organic foods for dogs and cats, available in various tasty flavours such as beef, mutton, chicken and ostrich. These foods are available from Feelgood Health at 15 A Westlake Lifestyle Centre, Westlake Business Park, Cape Town or call 021 797 0193.

In addition, pet owners can also supplement their dog or cat's daily diet with Vondi's Food Supplement which is a multivitamin and mineral supplement, supports healthy digestion, boosts immunity and promotes a healthy, shiny coat.
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How to make your own natural dog shampoo at home

How to make your own natural dog shampoo at home

 

In this first part of our four-part series, we show you how to make all-natural shampoos for dogs. The first one is a gentle moisturising dog shampoo which works really well for dry, itchy skin. It’s guaranteed to leave your dog pal’s fur feeling soft and smelling great! The second dog shampoo recipe is for dogs with sensitive skin. Your dog’s skin will feel so better after having a bath with the soothing ingredients in this soothing dog shampoo!

A word about bathing your dog

How often should I bath my dog? Many people ask us this question! Many pet owners bath their dogs every week or some even every second day. Bathing your dog frequently is not always a good thing! While you may think that it’s hygienic, you are actually creating more skin problems for your precious pooch.

Dogs have protective oils in their coats and by over-bathing them, you are stripping the natural oils from their skin. Of course, if your dog is very smelly or dirty you have to give him a good wash –even if that is just for your own sake! But depending on the breed and type of skin and coat, you should basically be washing your dog no more than once a month – or every two or three months.

1. Gentle, moisturising dog shampoo recipe

What you need to get started:

1. 1 cup of natural dishwashing liquid
2. 1 cup of organic apple cider vinegar
3. 1 cup of warm water
4. ¼ cup of glycerine
5. 1 large Consol jar

Method

Firstly, start by pouring the natural dishwashing liquid into your jar, and then slowly add the other ingredients. Shake the jar thoroughly to mix all the ingredients together. And, that’s your all-in-one natural cleansing dog shampoo! Remember, you can also add other natural ingredients such as essential oils and herbs to your shampoo to treat specific skin problems.

How to use the shampoo

Get your dog ready for his bath. Pour water gently down his skin and then lather the shampoo into the fur. Work the shampoo thoroughly into the fur and cover all those hard to reach areas such as the chest, under the forearms and the base of the tail. Allow the shampoo to soak into the skin before rinsing and drying. Don’t forget to reward your pet with a treat for a job well done!

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2. Dog shampoo recipe for sensitive skins

What you need to get started:

1. 1 cup of natural dishwashing liquid
2. 1 cup of organic apple cider vinegar
3. 1 cup of warm water
4. ¼ cup of glycerine
5. 2 tablespoons of aloe vera
6. 1 large Consol jar

Method

As you can see this is the exact same recipe used for the moisturising dog shampoo with the exception for one ingredient – aloe vera which has been added. Aloe vera contains soothing properties and is an excellent ingredient to benefit sensitive or dry, itchy skins.

Pour all the ingredients together starting with natural dishwashing liquid into your jar. Shake all the ingredients together to create this simple but effective dog shampoo to treat sensitive skins.

Natural skincare for pets in the Feelgood Pets range

If you are too busy to make your own dog shampoo, use Vondi's Flea & Tick Shampoo which contains all-natural ingredients and helps to keep ticks and fleas away. Best of ll, it's gentle on the skin.

If you want to give your dog’s skin and coat even more of a treat, we suggest a course of our herbal Skin & Coat Tonic – a wonderful herbal remedy containing herbs to nourish, strengthen and protect the skin and promote a shiny, healthy coat. For dogs with itchy skin problems, who scratch all the time, add our homeopathic Allergy Itch Ease remedy.

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How to make a natural homemade flea treatment for dogs

How to make a natural homemade flea treatment for dogs

 

In the third episode of our four-part series, we show you how to make flea treatments for your dog using all-natural ingredients. Homemade flea treatments are much safer and gentler for your pooch than the chemicals that are found in so many of the commercial flea repellents on the market today.  

Here are two easy flea treatment recipesa natural flea spray and flea collar for your dog.  P.S This homemade flea treatment for dogs is NOT suitable for cats!

Natural Homemade Flea Spray Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup of distilled or boiled water (cooled)
5 drops of lavender essential oil
5 drops of tea tree essential oil
1 spray bottle
(Visit Feelgood Health for the SOIL Organic Essential Oils range, available at 15A Westalke Lifestyle Centre, Westlake Business Park, Westlake, cape Town

Directions

1. Fill the spray bottle with water and add the essential oils.
2. Shake thoroughly to mix
3. Spritz your dog’s fur with the mixture – take care to mist your dog lightly with the spray AND don’t soak your dog’s  fur
4. Avoid your dog’s eyes, nose and ears when spraying. It is best to dampen a soft cloth with the mixture and wipe it on gently near sensitive areas like the eyes, nose and ears.
5. Spray your pet’s bedding, kennel and carpets to repel fleas
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Natural Flea Collar

A homemade flea collar is a great way to repel fleas. However, a flea collar is only a temporary solution and will only ward off fleas around your dog’s neck area. As we all know, fleas are nifty little critters and they will most likely find another area on your dog to breed.  Use the natural flea collar along with the flea spray for best effect.

Ingredients

1. 1 to 3 tablespoons of distilled or boiled water (cooled)
2. 3 to 5 drops of lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus or cedar essential oil (Visit Feelgood Health for the SOIL Essential Oils range, available at 8 Gabriel Road, Plumstead, Cape Town or call 021 797 0193) 
3. Dog collar or bandana

Directions

1. Dilute the essential oil of your choice in the water.
2. Apply the mixture by rubbing it onto the collar or bandana
3. The oil mixture can be reapplied on a weekly basis

Keep in mind...

These natural flea remedies will ONLY be effective if they are repeated regularly! Essential oils evaporate quickly and that is why they have to be reapplied often in order to repel fleas. Of course, when trying to control fleas, it is also very important to not only treat your dog but also your environment.

Make sure that you wash your dog’s bedding in warm water, vacuum carpets, rugs and upholstery and also treat your outside areas. The natural flea spray above can also be used to spray your dog’s bedding and around the house – with the added bonus that your home will smell lovely!

Tip: Remember that, according to the principles of natural medicine,  a strong and healthy immune system is one of the best protections against illness AND invading parasites, including fleas. Try Feelgood Pets Immunity & LiverSupport  for best results!

Feelgood Pet’s PetAlive Natural Flea Treatments

If making your own flea treatments seems like too much of a hassle, then look no further than the Feelgood Pets range. There are a number of natural remedies to prevent fleas, treat flea dermatitis, itching and scratching and restore an unhealthy skin and coat back to its peak condition.

  1.  Vondi's Tick & Flea Shampoo  – a gentle cleansing shampoo to repel fleas
  2.  Vondi's Khakibos Tick & Flea Powder – a natural cream which repels ticks and fleas
  3.  Vondi's Khakibos Spraya natural spray to repel ticks and fleas
  4.  Allergy Itch Ease – a natural remedy to relieve itching and scratching in pets
  5.  Skin & Coat Tonic – a herbal remedy which heals and helps to restore healthy skin and coat
  6.  Worm Dr Pets - It helps to cleanse your dog’s system and protect against intestinal worms, while also boosting immune functioning. As an added benefit, Worm Dr, taken internally also helps to discourage fleas and other external parasites.
  7.  Immunity & Liver Support – to strengthen your pet’s immune system naturally.
  8.  Vondi's Diatomaceous Earth - natural worm and parasite repellent  

 

How to make a homemade catnip mouse for your cat!

how to make your own catnip mouse for your cat

In the final episode of our four-part series, we show you how to make a catnip mouse for your beloved kitty. A catnip mouse toy is the perfect treat for your cat, providing hours of enjoyment and keeping your cat happy, fit and healthy too! This simple sewing project is so easy and requires hardly any sewing skills at all – great for beginners and even kids!

Why are cats crazy for catnip?

Catnip is a member of the mint family. There is an essential oil in catnip called nepetalactone which has a powerful effect on cats. Cats simply have to only take a sniff of this oil before they are rolling over in a state of kitty bliss. Most cats react by rolling, rubbing, flipping or zoning out from euphoria while others become hyperactive or aggressive. Some also become very calm and relaxed.

This state of bliss doesn’t last very long, usually ten minutes at the most and the cat loses interest. After about two hours, he’ll respond to the allure of catnip again.

Catnip toys are very effective for training indoor kitties. If your cat is clawing your furniture, redirect his attention by rubbing catnip onto a scratching post to keep him occupied. Catnip can also be sprinkled into an old sock or in a small paper bag and then crunched into a little ball to create toys and hours of entertainment for a bored cat!

It’s also important to note that not all cats love catnip – there are those that are simply not captivated by the powers of the herb and will never be! If you have a kitty who doesn’t love catnip but may become anxious or stressed at times, then use a natural remedy like Feelgood Pets PetCalm.  PetCalm is a 100% homeopathic remedy which calms and soothes pets with an  anxious or nervous disposition. It also helps to reduce distress and keep them calm during stressful situations such as moving home, visits to the vet, thunderstorms or fireworks.
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Making a catnip mouse

What you’ll need

1. 15 x 15 cm square of fabric of your choice
2. Wool (for the face and tail)
3. ¼ cup of catnip leaves (Most plant nurseries will sell catnip to plant in your garden or even in a pot at home. )
4. Thread to match fabric
5. Small yarn needle

Step 1

Fold the fabric in half and cut a half heart shape on the fold – when you open the fabric, it will then look like a heart.

Step 2

Cut 3 pieces of wool 3 times the height of the centre of the heart.
Tie a knot at one end.
Let the wrong side of the fabric face you and lay the wool on the fabric which has the knotted end at the bottom point of the heart.

Step 3

Using a zigzag stitch, sew the wool to the centre of the heart.

Step  4

Fold the heart in half with the right side of the fabric facing in.
Starting at the point, sew a  ¼ inch (0.65 cm) seam around the heart leaving a 2.5 cm opening at the end.

Step 5

Turn the heart right side out.

Step 6

Use the wool to embroider a nose and eyes. Sew the nose and eyes tightly.

Step 7

Cut 2 small circles from the fabric that is over or you can also use a different fabric to create the ears.

Step 8

Sew the ears securely.

Step 9

Fill your mouse with catnip and stuff with cotton wool.

Step 10

Sew the opening and tie a knot at the end of the wool close to the seam.
Plait the 3 pieces of wool together, tie and cut to form the tail 

Watch your kitty enjoy!

Kennel Cough: Signs & symptoms of Kennel Cough and what you can do

Kennel cough and how to treat it

 

Pet owners are often not too concerned when their dog coughs because they think that something is probably just irritating their throat. However, coughing in dogs should not be taken lightly as it can be an indication of various health conditions, including kennel cough.

1. What is kennel cough? 

Kennel cough is an infectious condition, also known as tracheobronchitis or Bordetellosis Bordetella, a type of bronchitis. It causes inflammation in a dog’s windpipe and voice box.

The reason why it’s commonly called kennel cough is because boarding kennels, grooming parlours, the vet’s waiting room, animal shelters or other meeting places for dogs are notorious for spreading bacteria and viruses that cause this condition.

While it is one of the most highly contagious diseases in dogs, it usually runs its course and clears up in a few days.
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2. What signs of kennel cough should I look out for?

The main symptom of kennel cough is a dry, hacking, harsh, persistent cough. The cough is often described as though something is stuck in your dog’s throat accompanied by gagging or wheezing. Prepare yourself for non-stop coughing and throat clearing!

The coughing may worsen after exercise or if your pooch becomes over excited. In mild cases, dogs with kennel cough are still active and maintain a good appetite.

However, in more severe cases symptoms of a fever, nasal discharge, lethargy and loss of appetite may appear. 

3. How do dogs develop kennel cough?

Just like humans catch a cold or the flu when exposed to one another, so dogs contract kennel cough. Kennel cough is spread in crowded or enclosed areas that have poor ventilation such as boarding kennels or animal shelters. Direct contact with other dogs is another common way for your dog to catch kennel cough.

Taking your precious pooch for a check up at the vet where there are other dogs in the waiting room, dog training classes or her monthly grooming session at the parlour is a breeding ground for kennel cough infection.

Your dog simply needs to be exposed to another that has kennel cough and she will be at risk. Puppies tend to be affected more by this infection because their immune systems are not fully developed as well as  older dogs with weak immune systems.

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4.  How to prevent and treat kennel cough?

From an holistic health point of view, the key to preventing kennel cough (or any other illness) is a healthy animal with a strong immune system.  This means a healthy diet and regular exercise!

In order to prevent kennel cough, you also have to try and prevent your dog from being exposed to the infection. Make sure that your dog is vaccinated for the Bordetella, Parainfluenza or Adenovirus, especially if they are visiting a boarding kennel. Most boarding kennels will require proof of vaccinations if your dog will be staying for a while.

In most cases of kennel cough, the infection will run its course. Keep your dog isolated from other dogs to prevent exposure and infection. Using a humidifier can help to soothe your dog’s throat and make breathing easier. Make sure that your dog is eating and drinking. Keep her environment calm, relaxed and stress-free. Be careful not to expose your dog to harsh irritants such as smoke, aerosol or chemical fumes and odours.

Kennel cough usually disappears after three weeks but may take a while longer for puppies and elderly dogs with compromised immune systems.

5. Can natural remedies help to treat kennel cough?

In the Feelgood Pets Pets range, there are a number of natural remedies that can help to prevent and treat kennel cough.

Use Feelgood Pets Immunity & Liver Support to boost and strengthen your dog’s immune system. This remedy acts as a general tonic, keeps the immune system healthy and strong and speeds up recovery after illness. Immunity & Liver Support can therefore help to protect your dog from kennel cough and other illnesses  – and also speed recovery if there is active infection.  If your dog will be spending some time in kennels over the holidays, a course of Immunity & Liver Support is a must!

For active kennel cough infection, Feelgood Pets KC Defense treats dry, hacking coughs as well as respiratory infections and strengthens immune functioning, while calming your dog and aiding the recovery process. KC Defense is a 100% homeopathic remedy which is very effective in the treatment of kennel cough and is usually recommended together with Immunity & Liver Support for a speedy recovery.

If your dog has also developed a cold or an upper respiratory infection, you can also add Feelgood Pets Respo-K to treat symptoms such as coughing, runny nose, watery eyes and sneezing. Respo-K will  also strengthen your pet’s immune system and prevent recurrence of infection.
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Remember, to prevent kennel cough you have to control your dog’s exposure to other dogs with this infection. A strong and healthy immune system is your dog’s best defence from infectious diseases such as kennel cough. Keep your dog pal healthy by feeding good quality food, regular exercise and natural supplements.

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