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Natural Supplements 11/30/11

Part 2: Paul Jacobson shares top supplementation tips for optimum health for your pets.

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Continuing from my last editorial on my preferred supplements for pets, despite our best efforts to provide wholesome and natural diets, the mineral and vitamin wealth in our pet’s diets is often found wanting for reasons including GM products and inorganic farming.

Because of this, it’s a good idea to enrich your and your pet’s nutrition by way of natural supplements.

Some of my preferred supplements which I included in my last article, included high-quality fish oil, apple cider vinegar and Spirulina.

Today I look at some more supplements that I believe will be of great value for your companion animal.

  • DEVIL’S CLAW AND ROSEHIP – an effective treatment for pain and arthritic problems.

Supplementing your companion animal’s diet can be very beneficial. As a puppy or kitten it’s very important to enhance nutrition during the growth phase. For adult or ageing companions, supplementing their diet with enriched natural minerals and vitamins is well advised. This is especially true for dogs and cats that are likely to experience arthritic and hip dysphasia problems. These are very common among large breed dogs and almost all ageing animals.

Devil’s Claw and Rosehip are a must for all aging animals and for that matter, humans too!

Native to southern Africa, Devil’s claw is a shrub that has lush foliage and red flowers. The plant gets its name from the miniature hooks that cover its fruit. For thousands of years, the peoples of Madagascar and the Kalahari Desert have used Devil’s Claw root in remedies to treat pain and inflammation and many other medical ailments.

Today, Devil’s Claw is used for degenerative joint diseases such as arthritis, for back pain, and as an appetite stimulant and digestive tonic. Studies support the use of Devil’s Claw root to help relieve pain and inflammation in people with arthritis and other painful disorders.

Studies have found that taking Devil’s Claw for several months substantially reduces pain and improves physical functioning in people with osteoarthritis. In addition, those who received Devil’s Claw experienced fewer side effects and required fewer pain-reducing medications throughout the study.

In addition to the treatment of osteoarthritis and other painful disorders, Devil’s Claw is also very useful for an upset stomach, loss of appetite, headaches, allergies, and fever.

Another natural remedy that complements the positive attributes of Devil’s Claw in dealing with arthritic and pain issues is Rosehip.

The pain-relieving properties of Rosehip, which has previously been linked to reduced inflammation in osteoarthritis, have been suggested for decades.

Scientists have found that powder made from a wild variety of Rosehip, Rosa canina, is better at reducing pain in patients than glucosamine, a treatment prescribed by many vets.

The evidence for the benefits of Rosehip powder in osteoarthritis appears consistent, and, if pet owners wish to use this natural remedy in addition to any other prescribed treatment by their vet, this would be perfectly in order.

In 2008, The Daily Telegraph published an article that looked at scientist’s claims that Rosehip was “better than painkillers’ for arthritis” . The article also said that researchers have found that Rosehip “was almost three times more effective than standard paracetamol at relieving pain. It was also almost 40 per cent more effective than another common therapy, the drug glucosamine.”

Feeding Requirements
Both Devil’s Claw and Rosehip can be bought at most health shops and some pharmacies in a powdered form and are both very palatable. Your companion animal will have no problem digesting them when mixed with their food. Obviously, it would be a lot easier to administer if you were feeding a home-cooked or natural diet.

Kitten/puppy – ½ teaspoon per day, mixed with food
Cat or Small Dog – 1 teaspoon per day
Medium – Large Dog – 1.5 – 2 teaspoons per day

  • DIATOMACEOUS EARTH – a natural dewormer and parasite cleanser

Diatomaceous Earth  is an effective natural de-wormer and parasite cleanser. Parasites live in an animal’s intestinal tract, causing nutritional problems and physical irritation, affecting the health and attitude of the host. You can safely and effectively eradicate them with Diatomaceous Earth.

Diatomaceous Earth is made up of the fossilised shells of unicellular microscopic water-dwelling plants known as Diatoms. These tiny unicellular plants use soluble silica (sand) from their environment to make their cell walls. When these organisms die, the shells pile up to form thick beds of sediment. These beds, called Diatomite or Diatomaceous Earth, are then mined from ancient dried lake bottoms.

One can obtain synthetic or processed Diatomaceous Earth, which is often used in paints, filtering systems, chemical insecticides and cosmetics. However, natural Diatomaceous Earth has not been altered in any chemical way and is derived from a fresh water source and contains less than 1% crystalline silica. Any Diatomaceous Earth that exceeds 1% is referred to as pool grade and best used in pool filtration systems.

Diatomaceous Earth, when internally digested, is known to kill parasites mechanically by puncturing insects’ or parasite’s exoskeletons. In this way, Diatomaceous Earth operates mechanically and not chemically to get rid of parasites. Because of this mechanical process, parasites and pests cannot become immune or resistant to Diatomaceous Earth. Externally applied, it’s very effective in killing fleas in the same manner.

While there are commercial products available to de-worm and get rid of parasites,  they are all chemical-based or poisons and can be a hazard to the health of your animal and will certainly have an adverse effect on skin conditions and general health.

Diatomaceous Earth has many other health benefits. It helps to attract and absorb bad bacteria, herbicides, pesticides, food additives, artificial hormones, heavy metals, drug residues, viruses and toxins and helps excrete them from the animal’s body. It’s very effective in helping to support your pet’s immune system and enhance matabolism by scraping the gut and getting rid of toxins. Daily exposure to a wide variety of toxins can seriously affect your pet’s health. A highly-processed diet filled with colourants and preservatives, chlorinated water, commercial flea collars, insecticides and pollution are all contributors to a toxic and unhealthy life style.

In addition, this wonderful substance also contains an array of trace minerals to feed and nourish your pet. One of the minerals that it contains in abundance is Silica – a vital trace mineral required by the animal’s body for strong and flexible joints, glowing skin, coat health, stronger hair and bones.

In summary, Diatomaceous Earth helps to maintain all-round systemic functioning and maintain health and vigour in pets.

Besides eradicating parasites, worms and pests, its other advantages are:

  • Improved digestion and nutrient absorption
  • Improved coat, hoof and bone health
  • Enhances growth of animals
  • Contains 71 organic trace minerals
  • Combats arthritis and joint pains
  • Lowers cholesterol levels
  • Stimulates metabolism
  • Reduces overall animal stress

Diatomaceous Earth is registered, certified and approved by the Department of Agriculture and approved by almost every international agricultural body including the F.D.A, the E.P.A and the E.U.
Feeding Recommendations

Diatomaceous Earth is a fine powder which is very patatable and should be added to your pets food. Daily supplementation is recommended:
Kitten/puppy – ½ teaspoon per day
Cat or Small Dog – 1 teaspoon per day
Medium – Large Dog – 2 teaspoons per day

Note: Vondi’s has recently developed a Natural 100% Organic Diatomaceous Earth, with added organic aloe. For more information on Diatomaceous Earth, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via email.

Paul Jacobson is a Pet Food Nutritionist and qualified chef and owner of Vondis Holistic Pet Nutrition. Vondis has been producing natural pet food for 14 years and is a registered nutritional pet food. Vondis is actively involved in educating the public on the benefits of natural diets for pets and a holistic approach when treating them. Go to for more information.

Disclaimer: Veggie Buntch provides the information available at this site for your personal reference only. The company is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. Information available at this site should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. Nor should the information replace the advice of your doctor or health care practitioner. Always see your practitioner if suffering an illness or injuries resulting from an accident, concerning your treatment options


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Paul Jacobson is a Pet Food Nutritionist and qualified chef and owner of Vondis Holistic Pet Nutrition.

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