When your best friend goes down you can end up with your hands in your hair for natural solutions, or any solutions which actually work.
I adopted a rescue puppy some three years ago from a pretty dire situation. Grizzly is very close to a thoroughbred German Shepherd, so I’m not sure how he became a victim of one of the scourges of our society.
Grateful to be alive, my pooch has turned into a wonderful companion in spite of his penchant for eating live chickens. Slowly he is learning to live and let live in our endeavour to allow our chickens free range. Yes I know it’s all natural for him to go for winged creatures, but I have also been successful in teaching all my animals, cats included, that we all like to live together in peace here.
Skin infection can have so many causes
Sadly the pooch suffers from some seemingly incurable skin condition, which is basically a yeast infection. Vets have various opinions – allergies, environmental toxins (think glyphosate-infused pesticides sprayed around our house by the City), foods, medications, all aggravated by his really bad start to life. No doubt anxiety from those early days also weakened his immune system.
I have tried every natural and unnatural remedy in the book – and on the internet. All the different diets you can imagine. Buchu water, MSM, different shampoos, etc. Vet bills became impossible, so we are on our own, mostly. Should one give up on a dog like this?
Happy people cook food for lucky dogs
In desperation I called Paul of Vondis Holistic Pet Nutrition, whose passion for dogs with skin problems is impressive. No harm in trying his regime, I reckoned. So I popped over to his shop/kitchen in Sea Point, where a team of happy people cook food for healthy dogs. Yes, the energy of the chef is very important, so I asked Paul how he does it.
“We empower our people with knowledge, so they can take their own decisions in the kitchen,” he said.
His food is based on the acidity/alkaline balance in foods and knowledge about the contribution of acidic diets to inflammations. Now I relate to this as I myself follow an anti-inflammatory eating regime, which I had studied to become a coach. So interesting how modern science concurs with ancient wisdom and the Chinese knowledge about heating and cooling foods.
Heating foods are of course acidic and cooling are alkaline. Clearly my dog is still stuck with too much heat in his system as the skin flames up in pink, then weeping puss, gradually spreading across the body. Afterwards the skin goes dark grey, almost black, in an effort to get stronger and protect against further attacks.
So Paul’s approach is simple: He combines all the cooling grains, veggies and herbs with the right and cooling meats which dogs require. I tried to capture some of the process on film for you.
So they start with specific grains selected for their alkalinity. These are slow cooked in hotboxes – one of my favourite cooking devices.
After one and a half hours, frozen meat is added. In the case of German Shepherds tripe is very beneficial. (I find this difficult to come by and a bit difficult to work with.) Now this simmers with the cooked grains.
Then comes the blend of selected veggies and herbs at the end.
Paul also talks about the importance of bones for dogs and how they should be prepared.
And Grizzly tucks in with vigour. After 2 months on Vondis’ special food for skin problems, he is by no means healed, but there is an improvement. I am hopeful and so grateful that he is on the mend.
Thank you to Paul for your passion and dedication … and for travelling this path with us.
By Elma Pollard
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