Thursday, 16 October 2014


As obvious as it may sound, many people forget that cats and dogs were in existence long before man created kibble!  Kibble was invented for the convenience of man, not for the benefit of pets.  If left to its own devices, a dog (or cat) will catch or scavenge its food from the prey of others, and will eat virtually everything - the flesh (a great source of essential protein), fat (a source of energy), bone (a source of calcium and other minerals), muscle, organ meats and stomach (an excellent source of enzymes, minerals and pre-digested plant material).
Canines and felines, both domesticated and wild, are members of the carnivore family, and are anatomically built for eating meat.  Their teeth are designed for tearing and chewing, their short intestines avoid the putrefaction of flesh foods, and the powerful digestive juices can even dissolve lumps of bone.  This means they can effectively eat food which would kill we humans without any harmful effects.  We have all experienced our dogs picking up something nasty or undesirable on a walk - a dead rabbit, an old kebab - but they have suffered no ill effects and positively seem to relish these disgusting meals!
Think about it - if your dog ran off today, you wouldn't find him grazing in the wheatfields, but chasing the rabbits!
Humans are the only animals that cook their foods - and we know cooking breaks down many of the proteins and amino acids in raw meat, destroying much of the nutritional goodness.  So why would you feed your animal a processed, cooked food?  Most people do not realize what they may actually be feeding to their beloved family pet. Some commercial foods contain a high percentage of fillers, such as cereals, grains, and soya which your pet simply isn't designed to eat - and which actually can lead to long term health problems such as yeast infections, itchy skin, ear and anal gland issues.  Furthermore, some foods contain meat meal, derivatives and other undesirable parts of an animal.

If you compare the physical body to that of a car engine, in order for it to perform properly, it must be supplied with the correct fuel and lubricants. Cheaper or incorrect fuels, often lead to accelerated wear and tear and eventually break down. Our dogs bodies work on the same principles, and a species appropriate raw diet is the only diet that will maximise health and longevity.
Most manufactured dog foods contain a long list of additives, preservatives and grain products. Grains make up the majority of processed, commercial dog food company food sources because they are a cheap way to fill the dog up. Yet dogs do not have the digestive enzymes or system to cope with grains. Grains are one of the biggest sources of allergies in dogs. Many people find when they switch to a raw meat and bone diet, the allergies their dogs had disappear. This is a common result.

Some Benefits of a Raw Diet include:

Improved Teeth, Oral Health and Breath

Did you know that gum disease in dogs can lead to heart problems?
A new study at the University of Purdue examined the records of almost 60,000 dogs and discovered a correlation between gum disease and heart conditions. “Our data shows a clear statistical link between gum disease and heart disease in dogs,” said Larry Glickman, a professor of epidemiology, who conducted the study. He further went on to say “The research is important because gum disease occurs in up to 75% of all dogs by middle age.”

After only a very short time on a raw diet, your dog will have much-improved breath, no tartar and beautifully clean teeth. All without having to visit the veterinary dentist or brush their teeth.
We as human beings, need to get over our veterinary induced fear of feeding whole meaty bones to our dogs. Dogs need whole bone - they were designed to use their teeth to gnaw apart whole raw carcasses, including meaty bones and organs. It is actually "unnatural" for them to eat food that's been reduced from its whole, unadulterated state into a soppy pile of mush then reformed into coloured nuggets. Those sharp teeth in your dog's mouth are there for slicing, tearing and crunching through whole foods - not for gumming up ground pulp which then sticks to their teeth. Over time, a regular diet of ground food can cause plaque and tartar to build up on the teeth, and this can cause gum disease, which can lead to a myriad of health problems. Gums that are weak, inflamed and unhealthy can't support the teeth properly, and dogs that are fed ground foods for a long period of time may risk tooth loss.
Gingivitis and periodontal disease are also an indication of a chronic presence of an increased amount of unhealthy bacteria in the mouth. That bacteria, which is regularly swallowed, in turn affects the entire system. Over time, this can be a major contributing factor in many serious systemic diseases.

Further reading: Veterinary study on the oral health benefits of bone eating

Improved Digestion

One of the great benefits of feeding whole raw food is that it requires some work on the part of the jaws and teeth to hack away at fleshy fibres and bones, and this takes some time. The time it takes to gnaw away at whole meaty bones to the point where swallow-able sized hunks have been torn off, gives the gut time to activate its gastric juices so that when the food finally does hit the stomach, it has a much better chance of being properly digested. Conversely, feeding commercial or even ground food encourages speedy gulping, because it requires no effort or time to consume it, so it arrives so rapidly into the dog’s stomach, that often there's no time for its necessary digestive acids to be fully excreted resulting in poorly digested meals. Such meals may end up causing irritation or indigestion, which can mean a greater chance of them either being vomited up, or coming out the other end in a less than desirable form.

Increased Stimulation

The psychological and physiological challenge of tackling large raw meaty bones is invaluable for the dogs general satisfaction, increased vitality and quality of life. Feeding raw, particularly large pieces, gives our dogs the opportunity to really get a mentally stimulating experience as it takes a lot more mental and physical work for a dog to rip and tear meat off and crunch through bones, often they have to stop and work out exactly how to tackle it. Anyone who feeds raw will know the enjoyment alone from watching their dogs eating and enjoying their meal.

Improved Skin and Coat

This can be one of the first changes you will notice when you start feeding a raw meaty bone diet. If those persistent skin problems suddenly disappear or improve, and you no longer need vet visits, medicated washes, antibiotics, cortisone shots and cortisone tablets, it has to mean something. It is really difficult to ignore the deeply colored, lustrous, thick and healthy coat on a raw fed pet!

Stronger Immune System

We discovered that our newly rescued stray dogs at K9 Rescue struggled for health on a kibble diet, yet their health quickly transformed once switched to raw food, and this led us to promote rawfeeding to all of our adopters.  A raw diet normalises and strengthens the immune system. Because the raw meat and bone diet contains a good balance of essential fatty acids and other immune normalizing and strengthening nutrients, it reduces inflammatory conditions and eliminates infections.

Leaner Body Mass

By feeding a Raw meat and bone diet, your pet will lose unwanted fat and gain that much desired increase in muscle mass. This not only makes your pet look better, it increases your pets metabolic rate, its activity levels and its healthy life-span. The effect will be more rapid if you begin a routine exercise program with your dog.

Improved Stool Volume and Odour

Once again this reflects the improved health of the immune system and the remarkable difference that bone eating makes in the production of firm stools which are essential for normal anal sac emptying.  In addition, since commercial dog food usually contains a high percentage of carbohydrate based ingredients such as grains, corn and soy which are unnatural to a dogs digestion, the waste product is unnatural, smelly and takes considerably longer to decompose.
See also: Chalky White Dog Poo -

Improved Degenerative Disease

People who switch their older dogs to a raw diet often find that whatever degenerative disease their pet has contracted, becomes less of a problem now.

Improved Arthritis

After a few months you can expect to see much greater mobility in your pet. This is part of the reason so many older pets have a new lease on life when switched to a raw diet.

Benefits Summary:

  • Vet bills are usually greatly reduced after switching to a nutritious species appropriate diet.
  • Naturally clean teeth and healthy gums from the natural scrubbing, massaging and flossing action of eating raw meaty bones.
  • Clean breath and no doggie odour after changing to raw feeding
  • Ripping and chewing raw meaty bones develops the neck, jaw and shoulder muscles of dogs.
  • Greater bioavailability of naturally occurring nutrients and enzymes in raw meat, organs and bones. 
  • Stools are smaller, less smelly and quickly degrade into the soil.
  • Dogs tend to maintain a healthy weight and the chances of obesity are minimized since it takes longer to chew and digest raw meaty bones.
  • Kibble may sit around for hours untouched but dogs tend to be excited and love their raw species appropriate meals.
  • Increased mental, psychological and physical stimulation leading to greater well-being and satisfaction 
  • Health problems such as arthritis, lack of energy, allergies, skin conditions and dull coats often improve when switching from commercial dog food to raw feeding. 
  • Ability to custom tailor your dogs’ diets for their activity level, age, health problems and specific nutritional requirements.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014


There has long been debate as to whether the dog is a carnivore or an omnivore. The National Research Council of the National Academies and some larger dog food companies consider dogs as omnivores. However, most holistic veterinarians believe dogs are carnivores.
By definition, an animal that indiscriminately eats all kinds of foods, of both animal and plant origin, is an omnivore. Humans are considered omnivores. A carnivore is an animal that consumes only flesh. Cats, for example, are more readily agreed upon by most to be carnivores. Then there are the herbivores, animals that feed on plants, such as horses and cattle.
All mammals have evolved over time to maximize their survival and have adapted physically to their environment in order to optimize their health and survival. So before deciding whether the dog is an omnivore or a carnivore, it’s important to first look at the unique physical features that their evolution has created.

The Gastrointestinal System

Since we’re talking dietary evolution, the gastrointestinal system is the most obvious adaptation to start with. The digestion of a plant based diet is by nature very different then the digestion of a meat based diet. Plants contain quite a bit of cellulose and starches. In order to break these materials down, the body requires unique digestive enzymes as well as the proper dentition to grind and break down these large components.
Amylase and cellulase are the digestive enzymes a body needs to convert plant based starches and cellulose into sugars, which can then be absorbed by the small intestine, or in the case of cellulose, further fermented to develop usable food macronutrients. Herbivores and omnivores secrete amylase in their saliva to begin the breakdown of starches into glucose as soon as the plant enters the mouth.
Because carnivores eat very little plant food, they haven’t adapted to produce salivary amylase. Cats and dogs don’t produce salivary amylase.

Dentition Adaptation

The size, shape and dentition (the way the teeth fit together) of an animal’s mouth have also adapted to fit their diet. Herbivores, such as horses and cattle, have long, large, wide molars with flat surfaces to allow for proper grinding of their high fiber plant source diets. This grinding breaks down plant material into smaller, more usable matter.
The incisors of herbivores are designed to pick the plant material, such as grass. The long tongue then pushes the grass to the inside back of the mouth for grinding by the very strong and efficient molars. The final, mechanically ground food is then swallowed for further digestion.
The dentition of a carnivore is very different, however. The carnivore teeth are designed to rip and tear meat from the bone and then gulp it down for further digestion in the stomach. The canine teeth are long, pointed and sharp to allow deep penetration into the prey. The teeth also have a tight inter-digitation to lock in place to allow the carnivore to rip the flesh away from the prey. There is little to no grinding – the meat is mechanically broken down by only two or three chomps of the molars before the food is swallowed.
Dogs and cats possess these long canine teeth and tight digitation of the molars. To better understand the difference, the teeth of the omnivorous human more closely reflect the herbivore teeth with short canines and large strong molar arcades that allow for the grinding of fruits and vegetables.

Length of the GI tract

As we proceed down the path of food digestion, the differences between the species are even more apparent. Herbivores have the longest GI tracts, at about 100 feet in length. Their GI tract includes areas for the fermentation of cellulose, which is difficult to break down. Even after the mechanical breakdown of grasses by the grinding teeth and salivary amylase, and the further breakdown by the stomach acid and its digestive enzymes, the cellulose may still need to be fermented in the rumen or the cecum.
Dogs Carnivores Or Omnivores?Omnivores such as humans have medium length GI tracts of about 20 to 40 feet. The appendix is actually the remnant of a fermentation system in the large intestine.
Cats have the shortest GI tracts of all the species, at 12 to 15 inches. This is because carnivores typically eat easily digestible food such as meats. The canine GI tract is also quite short, at about two feet. This is drastically shorter than the herbivore but also much shorter than the omnivore. Neither the cat nor the dog has an area of the GI tract where the fermentation of cellulose can take place. A carnivore wouldn’t need it.


All animals need Omega-3 fatty acids to support health. An Omega-3 fatty acid is considered an essential fatty acid, meaning the animal’s body doesn’t produce it, so it needs to be consumed. There are both vegetable and fish based sources of Omega-3.
Vegetable based sources of Omega-3 are in the form of alpha-linolenic acid, known as ALA. ALA is found in green leafy vegetables as well as flax, hemp, chia and other plant oils. The ALA needs to be converted to eicosapentaenoic acid, EPA, and docosahexenoic acid, or DHA. EPA and DHA are the active forms of Omega-3 fatty acids.
Herbivores and omnivores can convert plant based ALA sources to EPA and DHA through a series of enzymatic reactions. Cats, however, completely lack the enzymes necessary for this conversion, and dogs can only convert approximately 5 to 15 percent of the ALA sources.

Omnivore or carnivore?

Although they differ somewhat from cats, dogs should be considered carnivores based on their dentition, as well as the length of their canine teeth. A dog’s teeth reflect the mechanics of the ripping and tearing of food. They also possess a shortened gastrointestinal tract, versus the longer GI tract of an omnivore or herbivore. In addition, dogs don’t have amylase, an enzyme that breaks down sugars, in their saliva, like an omnivore and herbivore would have. The relative inability to convert plant based sources of Omega-3 fatty acids into EPA and DHA is also a strong indication of carnivore status.
Based on their digestive tract adaptations, I believe that dogs are scavenger carnivores, while cats are true carnivores. A scavenger is an animal who will sort through discarded material or eat dead carcasses to take advantage of what it finds. Although dogs would prefer meat, they can survive on whatever is available.
Despite this, omnivorous humans have been feeding dogs omnivorous diets for years, filled with plant based protein sources such as corn and rice. Can a dog live on this diet? The answer is yes. But the real question is can they thrive throughout their entire life on an ominivorous diet?


Saturday, 4 October 2014


We all know someone with arthritis, whether it’s a human friend or family member, or an animal companion. But if asked to describe what goes on inside an arthritic joint, many of us would be lost for words. We know it hurts, but we don’t really know why or how it happens.
Dogs and cats have an intricate skeletal system made of bones, muscles tendons and ligaments. The joints are the hinges that allow the skeleton to move and flex in amazing ways. They’re composed of cartilage over the bone ends and are stabilized by tendons and ligaments. The cartilage is a smooth but tough and protective coating for the bones underneath. It absorbs shock and reduces friction. The synovial tissue encloses the joint in a joint capsule and the synovial or joint fluid adds to the cushioning effects and provides lubrication for smooth joint action. When joints are damaged by disease or injury, inflammation results. Inflammation in the joints is known as arthritis. It may be either degenerative or inflammatory in nature. Degenerative joint disease, or osteoarthritis, is more common in dogs than inflammatory joint disease.
Causes of degenerative joint disease
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in dogs and can be divided into primary or secondary arthritis.
Primary osteoarthritis is due to an inherited predisposition towards the problem. An example would be hip dysplasia in certain lines of German shepherd. These dogs are predisposed because their inherited anatomical conformation puts excessive stress on the hip joints.
Secondary osteoarthritis results from wear and tear on the joint. This can be abnormal stress on normal joints, or normal stress on abnormal joints. Vigorous exercise, excessive jumping, injuries, accidents or stretching and tearing ligaments can lead to arthritis due to abnormal stresses on previously normal joints. Large breed dogs are more susceptible to osteoarthritis due to increased weight and stress on the joints. Dogs who are overweight, senior, working or have medical conditions such as diabetes are also at an increased risk of osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease is also seen in cats. In a recent study, it was found that 90% of cats over the age of 12 had radiographic evidence of degenerative joint disease. Clinical signs of arthritis in cats can be a reluctance to use the litter box, poor grooming habits, decreased appetite, weight loss, depression, neurological signs and lameness. Many cases of arthritis are idiopathic in nature.
Treatment and prevention Treatments for arthritis are varied but focus on reducing pain and improving mobility.
• Pharmaceutical treatments can include steroids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, polyglycosaminoglycans (drugs that prevent cartilage breakdown) and painkillers.
• Surgical treatments may be necessary for some conditions.
• More natural treatments include glucosamine, Omega 3 fatty acids, dietary therapy, acupuncture, laser or magnetic therapy, herbal treatments, chiropractic, massage and physiotherapy including water therapy and energy healing therapy.
• Weight loss and exercise are extremely important for any arthritic animal.
A good healthy diet and proper exercise can help prevent arthritis or reduce its effects. Maintaining a healthy body weight and avoiding obesity are critical. Omega 3 fatty acids can help prevent the inflammation seen with degenerative joint disease. Supplements like glucosamine can also help prevent arthritis.
A little education on your part can mean a long healthy and painfree life for your furry friend.


If you have farm animals ,with whom you have a close relationship,Reiki will not only heal them in the ways they need it most but also deepen your relationship with them in rich and rewarding ways.

When they realise you have healing energy to offer them ,they will begin to come to you when they need healing.In many cases they will tell you exactly where they need Reiki by putting specific parts of their bodies into your hands,and resting quietly during the treatment.

I came across these ladies on the road ,they looked lost and needed some loving energy.