Speaking of Superfoods…

Kelp. It does a body good.

When I altered the fruit: veggie ratio in the Pugs’ breakfast smoothies, one of the new additions was Kelp.

I’d read about it, and wondered where in the world I’d find it. I’d pondered seaweed wrappers at the grocery store, but something in my head said, Maybe. But I didn’t take the plunge until recently.

I know y’all are like, Geez! Something else we’ve got to add to this already voluminous food regimen? But hold up. Hear me out.

First of all, it’s just another option. Something for you to consider, and when you come across it in a store, you’ll be armed with knowledge. (Knowledge being power and whatnot) (You’re welcome).

Second, don’t get overwhelmed. Do what you can and keep it simple. Every little bit you do, whether it’s adding raw goat’s milk, or the occasional farm egg, or pureed pumpkin atop a higher quality kibble than you were buying 6 months ago — to provide fresh, wHOLe foods to your dog’s diet will have a positive impact on overall health.

Third, Kelp is the bomb! It is LOADED with a bajillion minerals and vitamins including A, B12 and folic acid, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sulfur. It also contains iodine, which helps to balance the functioning of glands (thyroid, adrenal, pituitary, etc.).

It’s fab for skin & coat, helps manage fleas (bonus!), and might be something to consider if you’ve got yourself a plump pup because it improves metabolism (a side-effect of improved glandular function).

It’s high in fiber, which combats inflammation and is also high in iron, which is important for blood production, among other things.

So for all the reasons it’s great for people, it’s great for your dog, too.

Lucky for me, I found Pet Kelp at The Whole Dog Market a few weeks ago, and began adding a half teaspoon to their smoothies when it came time to increase the veg/decrease the fruit. In the interest of full disclosure, I have not noticed any dramatic shifts in health that I can exclusively attribute to the addition of the kelp. But I have noticed that Pearl’s yeast and urine issues appear to be gone, the scratching has subsided, and she’s slimmed back down to a respectable roundness. Thus, their overall health is on point. And kelp is part of what we do.

So, I plan to keep doing it. Give it some thought.

pugs & kisses,

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Flea Flicker

herbal supplement for all natural dog health

I watch college football in the Fall. I enjoy it. Roll Tide.

It is not my life. I know the rules, more or less. I know who some of the players are, I know the rankings (generally), and I can recognize a few formations.

I wouldn’t know a “flea flicker” if the ball hit me in the face.

But I have a couple in my house — (you knew that joke was coming).

When I was at the court house last week filing my paperwork to form my company, the clerk who was helping me asked what I did about fleas, ticks & heart worm prevention. She didn’t like giving her dogs chemicals, and neither do I.

Excellent question, madam clerk! Let me see what I can learn!

My book suggests that a healthier dog that regularly receives the proper nutrients will be naturally more resistant to pests. But at this early stage in the game, I’m not willing to risk an infestation and end up spewing a chemical fog into my house just based on dietary hopes.

At least not yet.

Citronella, lemongrass, and catnip are all known for their mosquito repellent qualities. I’ve read of herbal shampoos that contain lemongrass. I might give that a whirl and let you know how it goes.

But for day-to-day avoidance, I need a better defense against an unrelenting O-line of hungry bugs. I searched the shelves of a new, all natural pet supply store that just opened in Homewood. The Whole Dog Market (also in Atlanta) offers a variety of natural supplements (among other wonderful things).

They recommended Earth Animal’s “All Natural Flea & Tick Program,” which is a daily herbal powder supplement.

Contents: Alfalfa, Garlic, Spirulina, Kelp, Papaya, Neem, Nettles, and Hawthorne.

Wait. Garlic? Aren’t we supposed to NOT give garlic to dogs?

Excessive and prolonged ingestion of garlic and onions can cause Heinz-body anemia in dogs, which is potentially life-threatening, and which is why they’re on the WNTF (what not to feed) list. But garlic is also good for the heart. And the small amount in this powder doesn’t concern me.

Kelp and other seaweeds sooth and cleanse the digestive tract, and improve glandular function.

Neem is a natural pesticide.

Nettle contains protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, potassium, beta carotene, and vitamins A, B-complex, C & D. (Damn! Get ME some!)

But all of this together, according to the claims on the container, make your dog unattractive to fleas, ticks & mosquitos. I’m much more comfortable with an ingredient list I can pronounce and am familiar with.

They each get half a teaspoon a day, mixed with their morning yogurt, and do not seem to mind.

I’ve not seen any fleas. I’ll let you know if I do.

pugs & kisses,