I don't use the 'conventional' tick, flea and parasite control methods with the dogs, as they are just full of harmful synthetic chemicals and insecticides. Because of this, it is vitally important that I maintain their health with a good diet, and supplement that with vitamins and minerals. I also use some natural parasite control methods, which I'll cover in another post. If you'd like to know what/how I feed Holly, you can read that post here.

In addition to the BARF diet, I supplement her with a number of vitamins and minerals. I also don't think I mentioned it in the diet post, but I also feed the dogs fish (pilchards) every week or fortnight or so, when available. These small fish are excellent for them - they get the whole fish, bones, the head, everything - and they love them! (although Max does turn his nose up at them and will only eat the fish I eat! Bit snobbish considering)

I alternate between these supplements, depending on what they need for the week, and don't add them to every meal. 

  • Rosehip Vital Canine (the people version is good too!) / This is pure Rosehip powder, processed using a patented drying and extraction process which activates a compound called GOPO – this is the clinically proven anti-inflammatory. Rose-Hip Vital is backed by over 30 scientific research papers including 9 clinical trials. It is also a powerful antioxidant and rich source of natural vitamin C. This is not only good to keep the immune system boosted, or if they have allergies or a reaction to bites and stings, but it is also anti-inflammatory and good for joint problems and arthritis. I add this at least once a week to their meals, and increase the dosage during times of stress or add lib. if they are unwell. If you are treating arthritis or joint health, a daily dose is recommended.

  • Sulphur / This is a powdered mineral. It is available from any animal (livestock) feed store. If the dogs sulphur levels are maintained in the body, it keeps ticks and fleas at bay. I only give them about 1/4 tsp every so often. I increase the dosage during 'tick season' (hot weather, after rain) or if they've been out in the paddock a lot or picked up a tick, I give them an extra dose.

  • Seaweed Flakes / Contains a rich supply of minerals, most prominently calcium, copper, iodine and iron. They are also rich in protein, fibre and vitamins, specifically vitamin K and folic acid. You can purchase it from the supermarket or health food store, or again from any livestock feed store. Just make sure you buy a high quality. I add a sprinkling to their meals at least once a fortnight. 

  • Salt / It may seem like an odd supplement, but I have a bar of pink Himalayan rock salt that I keep for the dogs. Sometimes when they are licking your skin a lot, they are looking for the salt. I add a pinch of salt (Celtic sea salt - not that iodised table salt) to their food now and then, or get the bar of Himalayan rock salt out for them to lick if they need it. 

  • Apple Cider Vinegar / Make sure it is raw, unfiltered and contains the 'mother' for the full health benefits. Contains potassium. malic acid – gives ACV the properties of being resistant to viruses, bacteria, and fungus - calcium and more. If the weather is especially hot, I'll also add a small amount to their water, to help prevent dehydration and better absorption of their minerals and vitamins.

  • Cod Liver Oil / Rich in vitamins A and D and omega-3 fatty acids. Vitamin A helps to support a healthy immune system, and vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption. I add this every so often to their meals. 
If you have any questions about any of these, or natural pet care, pop your questions below or over on Instagram.

Kelsey xx
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