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Raw Feeding with Moddie Lambert.

A friend told me about Moddie Lambert and I was instantly fascinated by her knowledge about raw feeding. So naturally, what did I do? I invited her to give a talk at my salon… not once, but twice.

Moddie Lambert BCCSDip. HthNut is a qualified Canine Nutritionist with over 7 years experience of tailoring enhanced raw feeding solutions for dogs of all breeds.  Moddie is also on the committee for The Raw Feeding Veterinary Society.

Moddie’s ethos is very much based on what a dog would have eaten in the wild.  She says, “The very basics of animal husbandry dictate that dogs are more healthy when fed a fresh, species-appropriate diet, evolved over countless millennia to eat. In the case of dogs, this is a diet of raw meat, bone and offal. When would you have seen a dog scavenge for a wheat-based carbohydrate diet? Never and sadly this is adding to the many problems dogs have with skin and digestive issues”.

Are you thinking about changing your dog’s diet to raw?

I asked Moddie to answer these three very common questions about raw feeding…

1/ Why is raw better for dogs?

Raw food is considerably better for dogs as it is not processed. It improves coat, skin and dental health very quickly, plus it does not swell in the gut like dry kibble which encourages dogs to drink more which can cause kidney problems. Raw food does not stick to teeth like kibble and if fed the correct raw diet allows your dog to thrive and have energy and good health.

I have seen so many dogs recently with poor dental health, pancreatitis, kidney and liver disease plus awful skin conditions. A raw diet can change this as it is what a dog is designed to eat! You will notice much smaller poop and a dog that smells completely different! The high carbohydrates in dry and processed diets are unnecessary and are just a cheap filler to bulk out an incomplete diet. Also, synthetic vitamins are added which can cause a lack of vitamin D in the diet amongst many other things.

2/ How can you go about changing the diet? Gradually or cold turkey?

Depending on the problem, changing diet instantly is no problem. Just give the new raw diet first thing in the morning and wait to see the difference. If your dog is a fussy eater, add small amounts of dry fish skin, dry liver or even a small amount of cooked chicken can be added to tempt them. Most dogs completely love their new food and occasionally they may be suspicious – if this is the case you can mix in a little of the previous diet (as long as it is not dry food as it digests differently and this should always be avoided). If the dog is unwell it may be advisable to change the diet over a few days.

3/  What to avoid when feeding raw?

Try to avoid intensively farmed meats, ring the company who make the food and ask lots of questions! Even though raw is the best food for our four-legged friends, there are many companies who use intensively farmed animals, halal meat and a great deal of barn reared animals. These animals have never seen the light of day, are fed large amounts of grain and antibiotics. This may be reflected in the quality and nutritional value of the food.  Also, look for compostable packaging and avoid polystyrene boxes as they are unsustainable, unnecessary and are damaging our planet.

It is also really important to look at the bone content of the food. Too much bone or offal in a raw fed diet can be harmful. Look at around 10% bone 10% offal and 80% meat. Some companies add vegetables to the diet. Which is good, but it may be worth avoiding root vegetables to start with. These vegetables are high in sugar. And any dog who has a yeast problem should definitely avoid diets with vegetables to start with. But you can add leafy green. Above-ground vegetables imitates nature. And a dog would probably choose to eat the contents of the stomach of its prey – hence leafy greens.

If you want to learn more about raw feeding, visit Moddie’s website here . She offers canine consultancy services by telephone or email, and recently she started her online shop. Find her here .

How dogs keep you in good health.

Dogs, our loyal companions, are just waiting to put a smile on our face at any given moment.  Even without any research, we know that dogs make us happier, more resilient when facing stress and keep us physically healthier.

In fact, they support our well-being in so many ways:

❤️Lower cholesterol and triglycerides
❤️Decrease blood pressure and stress
❤️Increase physical activity
❤️Increase feelings of well-being
❤️Lower rates of depression by elevating the levels of serotonin and dopamine  
❤️Help us to feel less lonely
❤️ Help promote social interaction with other people
❤️ May reduce the demand for medical care for non-serious health issues
❤️Pets have been shown to build self-esteem, increase mental alertness and lift the spirits of people with Alzheimer’s disease
❤️ Seniors also tend to care for themselves better when they own a pet.

Once a dog joins our life it changes our lifestyle in many ways.

The most prominent being physical activity. Once you have a dog, you have to walk him. Period.

A study from Glasgow Caledonian University, here in the UK, found that adults aged 60 and over enjoy better health thanks to the “enforced” exercise they get by walking their dogs. According to Philippa Dall from Glasgow Caledonian University, over the course of a week, the additional time spent walking your dog may in itself be sufficient to meet The World Health Organization’s recommendations of at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity. Little Chihuahua, Cherry, joined my mum and dad just over a year ago and she has definitely enriched their life on so many levels.

Dogs are great therapy animals.

A dog’s ability to boost our well-being makes them great therapy animals. They can enrich lives and provide necessary assistance as well as unwavering love and support. Emotional support dogs (other animals as well) are beneficial to people who suffer from severe mental health disorders. They are companion animals that provide therapeutic support, unconditional love, and comfort to those in need. These animals are not required to receive specialized training or perform certain tasks for a disability, however, they do need to be house trained and well behaved around other people and animals… obviously.

Meet Darcy.

Darcy is registered with Pets As Therapy and with her very gentle nature, Darcy helps people with a fear of dogs to overcome the fear by gentle introduction. In addition, she has visited a number of primary schools to engage with pupils who are reluctant readers. The children bring a book of their choice and read to her. She loves the children and particularly the treats they give her. Darcy has also helped children enduring a period of bereavement to manage their grief by being available for 1:1 time. She is very intuitive and responds to children in such a loving manner. Finally, she has visited special schools and has had a remarkable impact on autistic children. She is a very special dog and turned 10 this year. Her visits have reduced but she is available when needed.

5 unexpected autumn dangers dog owners should know.

Meteorological autumn already started and we can feel it in the air. Cooler mornings, changing leaves, darker evening…

What to look for this time of the year and how to keep your dog happy and healthy?

1/ Allergies

Allergies are not associated only with spring and summer. Autumn air is full of allergens that can trigger nasty reactions. For example mould, grass, dust.

Autumnal allergens can trigger a few nasty reactions in our dogs, just as they can with us. Mould, ragweed, grass and dust are just a few of the common culprits that can make our dog’s lives unbearable.

An allergy is an abnormal response to something in the environment. It’s very common in humans and it’s much the same for dogs. A substance capable of causing an allergy is called an allergen. People, dogs and other animals that are allergic need only come into contact with very small amounts of an allergen to cause the reaction and the symptoms.

Skin problems in dogs are commonly caused by an allergic inhalant dermatitis (hay fever, atopy). While humans have mast cells in the respiratory passages that become inflamed and cause sneezing, dogs inhale the pollen but develop atopy in the skin. Dogs don’t usually sneeze with atopy most just get itchy which causes them to lick, chew and scratch.

If your dog suffers from environmental allergies here are few tips on how you can look after his/ her home environment: https://www.vitacanis.co.uk/allergies-nip-them-in-the-bud/

2/ Visitors

Long evening in autumn are great for socializing , and having family and friends around.

If you get your puppy during the lockdown, people coming in the house can trigger different reactions. Some pups will be excited to see new people, but some can be unsure and even scared. Especially those who are already nervous and even anxious.

Calming floral Spray and Comfort Blend can help your pup to deal with the new situation. 

If your doggo is just a bit stressed form the visitors, but not showing signs on an anxiety ( https://www.vitacanis.co.uk/calming-floral-spray-or-comfort-blend/) , use the Calming Floral Spray to calm him down. You can even use it prior the visit and while the guests are in your house. . If you use it as an air freshener it will keep you all calm and uplifted 😊

If your dog isn’t easy going, doesn’t like too many people, and is anxious  you can place him in a crate or in a separate room. Keep him away from the crowd and place a few drops of Comfort Blend on his/her blanket and give him some chews and toys. A soft bed will also help to make your dog feel safe and relaxed. Secondly if you’re planning a particularly big and loud family get together, you can even ask your neighbour, a dog walker, or pet sitter etc to look after your dog for the evening.

3/ Dark walks

The morning and nights are getting darker every day… To keep your dog, and yourself safe, it is a good idea to get reflective lead, collar or harness. It will help drivers to see you better in the dark. Alternatively you can get clip on lights t help you to see your dog when of the lead.

4/ Fallen fruits

If your dog is as greedy as mine you have to watch this one!!

Unpicked fruit can easily become mouldy and fermented on the ground. Mouldy food can contain tremorgenic mycotoxins which can be deadly for your dog if eaten, causing muscle tremors and convulsions.

Also fallen fruits that ferment become naturally alcoholic while sitting on the ground…  If your dog eats fruit like this, he can have a toxic reaction to this natural alcohol.  And you don’t want to carry home drunken dog, do you?

5/ Heating in the house

Temperatures are dropping and we are reaching for the thermostat. You turn it up and your partner turns it down… does it sound familiar?

Once the fireplace is on, it bring the cosy feeling, and you just ant to snuggle with your dog even deeper into the sofa.

If your pup never experienced fire in the fireplace, he can be very curious… so be careful, keep your dog at a safe distance from the fireplace. A special guard is very helpful around the fireplace. And also around electric space heaters. Never leave your dog unsupervised when they’re in the same room.

It’s still magic even when you know how it works.

Author Terry Pratchett once said, “it’s still magic even when you know how it’s done”.

I’d change it a bit to say, “it’s still magic even when you know how it works”. This is especially applicable when it comes to essential oils. The potential benefits that can be gained by using essential oils are pure awesomeness!

Essential oils can be there for you no matter the situation. There are oils that can help you relax, oils that help with depression and insomnia and there are even oils that will help you with a common cold or sore and tired muscles. Don’t we get these so often? The bonus is that they also help when it comes to looking after our doggies the natural way. Let’s have a closer look at Vita Canis Ear Cleaner and Tick Off to see how they work.

Vita Canis Ear Cleaner

Our Ear Cleaner contains powerful anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral ingredients. Aloe Vera, Geranium, Witch Hazel and Lavender hydrosols, also called flower waters, are found in it as well as two powerful essential oils namely niaouli and lemon.

Niaouli essential oil is a mild relative of the very popular Tea Tree oil. It’s gentle and well-tolerated and is a perfect oil for allergies manifesting themselves in the ear while having powerful anti-histaminic and anti-bacterial properties. Lemon essential oil is an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal as well as being an immunostimulant, meaning it helps to strengthen the body’s immune system.

 As you can see, the word anti-bacterial is mentioned a few times. The biggest difference between natural and synthetic anti-bacterial products is that bacteria can build up a resistance to synthetic products but not to natural ones. But why? The simplest way to explain it is that the synthetic product is always the same, each and every time, forever. What happens is this. When bacteria come into contact with a synthetic anti-bacterial product for the first time or the first few times, it gets killed, however, after continual contact, the bacteria eventually realises this and builds a shield to protect itself thereby becoming resistant. Kind of like it saying, “I see you, I know how you work and you aren’t going to fool me”.

On the other hand, natural products, like essential oils or flower waters, are slightly different every time. Essential oils are made up of different molecules. These molecules and their exact concentration in a particular oil are influenced by outside factors like sunlight, rain, temperature and altitude, etc. Because these factors are constantly changing, the concentration of molecules changes too. This is the reason why two batches of essential oils can never be exactly the same. They might be very, very similar, but not exactly the same. This, my friends, is why bacteria can’t build up resistance to essential oils. Each time the bacteria come into contact with the “same” essential oil or natural product there’s a teeny tiny difference to the last one. The bacteria, obviously, don’t see this coming and then… well there is it dead.

Tick Off

Ticks operate by mainly using their sense of smell. Ticks don’t jump or fall from trees. Instead, they do something called “questing.” That is, they climb to the top of a blade of grass or plant and stick their front legs up in the air, waiting for the scent of a victim walking by. If you find one on your head, it would have crawled there because ticks don’t jump. Their front pair of legs have what are called Haller’s organs, which detect smell, temperature, movement and carbon dioxide. This is how they know you’re coming. They love warmth and moisture. And are just waiting for a warm, moist environment to call home, such as your dog or even you. The great discovery is that, for some reason, they are not attracted to the scent of some essential oils. Yippee!!

The smell of certain essential oils is soooo disgusting to ticks (like the smell of food that you don’t like or perhaps something even worse like cooked tripe BLEGH!). They would rather go hungry than come any closer to your dog! These include geranium, grapefruit, cedarwood, rosewood and lemongrass and yes, you guessed it, they’re all found in Vita Canis Tick Off, of course.

As you can see, if you want to keep your dog’s ears clean and infection-free and protect your furry friend from ticks, Vita Canis has the answer, naturally!

What People Say...

When we got home from the hospital with our new arrival it was clear that Perri, one of our miniature poodles, maternal instincts kicked in and went into overdrive. She was immediately acting like a mother separated from her pups and just wanted to care for the ‘naked puppy’. She has a history of being so motherly, even to the point that she has produced milk for puppies that aren’t hers even before she had a litter and has mothered every type of animal she could. She was panting, pacing and unable to relax for long at all. She could whine for England!

We tried other herbal remedies we had at hand for a previous anxious dog and nothing worked at all. She stopped eating and stressed herself into overheating too. Her stress was starting to impact the other dogs and she just couldn’t unwind. No matter if we worked off her energy with a walk and she wasn’t even interested in her usual mind games or call games. We also couldn’t offer long-lasting treats and chews too often as they gave her an upset stomach.

As soon as the Calming Floral Spray arrived I gave the bed a spritz and put some on her coat and the change was instant. She just got on her bed and fell asleep. She stopped panting and barely whines now, started eating again and she only does a bit of whining if the baby cries. We have now been able to positively reinforce her calm behaviour. I honestly can’t recommend this enough to people.
Natalie Griffiths