general pet health

Note: this page is under construction – much more information on alternative products will follow.

Mineral supplements

Most diseases are due to an imbalance of essential minerals and trace minerals. For some skin problems, allergies, and to generally maintain good health in your pets, the use of Hansa Crystalsalt TM is recommended.

Prepare as for human consumption and pour over your pets food daily, the amount depending on the size of the animal. Use the 1% solution, which is 1 teaspoon of the 26% brine in a glass of water. As a guideline use 1 tablespoon of this for animals up to 10 kg, ¼ glass for 10 – 30 kg, ½ glass for 30 – 60 kg, and a full glass for animals over 60 kg. This will ensure the intake of all necessary minerals in soluble form. You may be concerned that would be too much sodium intake, as commercial pet food is already high in sodium. But in its complete form the salt is not a poison and actually helps balance sodium levels. Both you and your pet will benefit from a daily intake of crystalsalt.

Diet

Cooked, processed food is not natural (for us and our animals), and many diseases (e.g. allergies, skin problems, problems due to excess weight, lack of energy) can be eliminated by a change in diet. However, well balanced commercial diets are meant to be scientifically formulated for your animal and will always be better for them than an un-thought-out home made diet. Please consider the advantages and disadvantages of both methods, and if you have problems committing the time to preparing meals, then occasional good quality home prepared food will be better than none at all. Even just the scraps from your plate are a welcome addition to a dog or cats diet – just not the chocolate, biscuits and chips!

Wild dogs and cats eat the whole of their prey – not just the premium quality meat – and a diet high in this quality meat is more damaging than a diet with no meat at all. Vegetable matter from the stomach of their prey is an often overlooked part of a dog or cats diet. Cats need proportionally more meat than dogs (about 60% of a cats diet should be meat/protein and about 25% of a dogs). Wild dogs regularly also eat fruits, berries and other plant material.

The argument over cooked versus raw bones is contentious, as raw meat may contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli (but their digestion system may be able to accommodate that), whereas cooked bones can splinter dangerously. See www.barfworld.com for more information on the BARF diet. Raw vegetables are fine, however it may help their palatability to steam them slightly (mimicking the half digested state vegetable matter would be eaten in from the stomach of the prey). Flavourings such as garlic, herbs, or beef stock can also be added in moderation.

Suggestions for a healthy diet of varying vegetables and fruits includes: carrots, sprouts, pumpkin, celery, parsley, peas, beans, apples, bananas (all raw or slightly cooked). They can be cut finely, grated or even pureed.

Raw egg yokes or cooked whole eggs can also be included (not more than 3 a week). Yogurt and cottage cheese are fine in moderation, but keep away from other dairy foods. Small amounts of cooked whole grains (oats, brown rice, barley) and pasta are also acceptable – but don’t base your diet on them.

Natural foods to avoid are onion, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and wheat.

Never change your pets diet suddenly, and if you have any questions, ask your vetinarian.