For most pet owners, their much-loved furry companion is one of the family. That means that our quest for healthy family lifestyles needs to include our dogs and cats. There’s a long term pay-off because prevention is also better than cure when it comes to pets. Vet bills have become astronomical, and with the cost of living rising day by day, it makes sense to pay attention to the holistic well-being of our animals (and this includes healthy treats). What we do for our own well-being, often works similarly for pets. Good quality food and maintaining a healthy weight help to reduce risks of disease. Daily physical activity and stress reduction help to boost overall wellness and support immune functioning.
Many pet owners are taking a closer look at the pet products they typically use for grooming and parasite control and are also considering nutritional supplementation to treat certain conditions or generally boost their pet’s health.
Michele Carelse, CEO of Feelgood Health, one of the country’s pioneering online health and wellness stores says, “There is a world-wide trend towards products that are natural, eco-friendly and cruelty-free that is ever-increasing. More and more consumers realise that what they eat and what they use on their bodies not only affects their health, but also the health of the planet. Because pets are part of our family, this trend is extending towards our choices around pet products as well. From grooming aids, like shampoos, to treats and supplements, choosing natural, eco-friendly and cruelty-free options is good for our pets, and better for the environment.”
To meet this need Feelgood Health has recently expanded its popular pet offering with two new, locally-made wellness ranges:
Faithful Friends is a range of small batch oven-baked cat and dog healthy treats with 100% natural and therapeutic ingredients. Michele says, “We all love to spoil our pets. Who can resist those pleading eyes, right?! What I like best about the Faithful Friends range is that it gives pet owners the option to spoil their fur babies without harming them. There’s no added sugar, no preservatives or added synthetic chemicals. There are also wheat-free options and treats specially formulated for dogs with itchy skins. So treating your beloved fur friend can be therapeutic for them, and guilt-free for you.”
The Devoted by Nature range is also locally-made and includes pet nutritional supplements including hemp and flax seed formulations for joint health, calming and itching. The range includes safe options for flea control, as well as body, dental and ear hygiene. “The important thing is that pet owners can have peace of mind that the Devoted by Nature products are natural and safe for both animals and humans,” Michele adds.
Here is Michele’s checklist for holistic pet care:
Good quality food and weight management – It’s worth investing in a healthy pet diet and ensuring that your pet does not become overweight. Avoid unhealthy treats and titbits of human food, especially sugary treats. Stick to healthy, naturally-formulated treats for pets and follow the recommended amounts if you give your pets treats on a frequent basis.
Spay or neuter your pets – An important part of responsible pet ownership is to help prevent the number of unwanted pets in our communities. Spaying and neutering also avoids certain cancer risks and often results in safer pet behaviour and therefore longer lifespans.
Don’t treat your pets with human medications – Human meds can be highly toxic for pets, causing major organ damage and sometimes death. Get professional vet advice if your pet ingests human meds accidentally, or if your pet needs care for an ailment.
Be proactive when it comes to parasites – Ticks, fleas and worms are threats to the health of cats and dogs, and pose risks to the humans living with them. It helps to find a regime of parasite control, especially using products with safe ingredients. Be aware that many conventional flea and tick treatments may contain substances that do adversely affect pet health.
Take dental hygiene seriously – Pets benefit just like we do from regular dental care. Pay attention to the condition of your pet’s teeth and be aware that breath odour can be a symptom of an underlying problem.
Provide a stimulating environment – Help your pet enjoy life to the fullest! Stress does impact on health and longevity. Make sure your dog gets the level of daily activity it needs and that your cat can express its natural behaviour as safely as possible. Daily family activities such as walking the dog or playing with the cat will enrich bonds and regulate stress all round.