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Tips for an African summer!


Paul from Vondi’s discusses responsible parenting on Fine Music Radio


Summer is a glorious time to spend in South Africa. We travel, we hike and we venture out. How amazing that we can include our companion animals in our journey and outings.

Sadly, this is also a time when our pets become dehydrated and as a result become sick and in some cases die as a result of extreme weather conditions.

How often do we see the irresponsible pet owner with a dog locked in a car. Twenty nine degrees becomes thirty nine degrees after a half an hour. Twenty nine turns into thirty nine degrees and then you have a dead dog.

It is so important to be vigilant and responsible when travelling with your pet. When hiking make sure that he/she is well hydrated. Best would be to hike when the weather is cool, early morning or evenings.

It is not always possible to invite your companion animals for your daily excursions and must be left at home. If this is the case make sure that they have  lots of water in their bowl and lots of toys and chewy treats to keep them entertained. Make sure that all dangerous items and food ingredients are out of their reach.

It is unfortunate that fire-crackers and fireworks are still permitted as this is extremely traumatic for our pets. Calm personalities are required as our pets pick up on our stress. The use of homeopathic supplements for calming and relaxing would also be well advised. This all helps to reduce the stress.

Summer is a time when we over indulge in food and drink and we like to share our spoils with our pets. Any product that is preserved, laden with sugar or dairy will impact negatively on their health and allergies. Buy some health snacks and treats and feed in that manner.

Preparing healthy nutrition is paramount in dealing with your pet’s vulnerability and immunity. Any human based fresh food diet is exceptional. If you are following any human trending diet, then these diets are appropriate and nutritious.  In this regards, Banting, Paleo, Atkins or even balanced vegetarian diets are brilliant. The beauty about home-prepared diets is that you can cook them anywhere, from your holiday home or guest house.

Summer also brings with it an infestation of fleas and allergens. This certainly is the most annoying irritant and challenge facing pet owners and their pets. It is important to boost your pet’s immunity during this season. The use of probiotics and/or spirulina would be well advised.  Also, a good quality omega 3 fish oil (not flax) is essential. A natural diet with vegetables and loads of cooling herbs like mints, sages, lemon balm would help to build immunity and calm and cool irritable skin.

Whilst it is always tempting to turn to chemical based flea remedies to sort out the infestation of fleas, it is our belief that chemicals and poisons do more harm than good. It certainly reduces your pet’s natural immunity and these poisons remain in your dog or cat’s tissue and organs for some time.

The use of natural chemical free repellents is well advised. Khakibos, as a spray is fantastic to apply on your cats or dogs. Many living on the high veld will recall how Granny used to place Khakibos under the carpets and in the curtains, to rid all pests. Internally, we would recommend administering fresh garlic each day. Half a teaspoon for a medium sized dog and 1 teaspoon for a large dog is adequate and safe. Another alternative would is the use of aloe ferox bitter crystals (they are extremely bitter and you would have to hide the crystal in some meat or snack). Only one small crystal taken every few days is necessary.

Let’s all enjoy the summer holidays responsibly.

Wishing you and your pets a safe and relaxing festive summer season