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Animal Nutrition

    Horsetail Herbs has an overall philosophy on animal nutrition that may be new to some pet owners.  Animal nutrition is a topic Kelley has studied in depth.  Diet and Nutrition are always evaluated during an Animal Heath & Wellness Consultations and Animal Communications.

     Nutrition is really the foundation of good health, and if your pet or horse suffers from any kind of chronic health condition, the first thing to examine is his diet.  A natural diet will help to strengthen your pet's immune system and maximize health and vitality. 


Cats & Dogs


   For cats and dogs, it is important that the first ingredient in their food is meat, not 'meat by-products' or corn.  Ideally, both cats and dogs do best on a natural, organic, raw food diet.  Many commercial pet foods are made from diseased animal parts, have additives, chemicals and preservatives.  One diet that is more natural for cats and dogs is the Bones and Raw Food Diet (also known as the BARF diet).   If you are not comfortable feeding raw foods, there are many good holistic pet foods available now.  Please see my Herbal Pet Care article under Health Articles for raw food recipes and holistic pet food companies.

   Horses in natural herd situations will spend more time grazing, exercising and playing.  Depriving them of these natural activities will inevitably result in “behavior problems, stable vices, and lack of performance.”  For horses, we encourage giving them plenty of hay and minimum grain.  Horses are designed by nature to eat 23 out of every 24 hours.  If grain is needed, horses will do best on a COB diet (Corn, Oats and Barley).   Many commercial horse feeds are full of sugar in the form of molasses, chemicals, preservatives and herbicides.  Much of the corn is now Genetically Modified.  It’s no wonder so many domestic horses have diseases and ailments mostly unknown to wild horses!  Please see The Well Fed Horse and Common Feeding Boo Boo’s articles under Health Articles.


    Another detail that many pet owners unknowingly overlook is giving their pets good water.  Bottled water for humans is becoming more and more popular as our tap water becomes more heavily polluted.  These pollutants can take the forms of chlorine and fluoride, which can both inhibit the thyroid, fecal material, chemicals etc.  These pollutants affect your pets too.  We recommend giving your pets good water, reverse osmosis being one of the better forms. Recently some towns in Vermont have added chloramine (chlorine and ammonia) to the water supply in place of chlorine.  Chlorine can be evaporated from the water, chloramine cannot.  This substance can be especially hard on smaller pets such as cats or small dogs.  Check with your town's water supplier to see if chloramine has been added to your town's water.

    The last important detail, which some would not consider 'nutrition' per se is making sure your pet gets exercise and sunlight. Just as there is a couch potato epidemic among humans right now (leading to a rapid increase in diabetes and other weight-related health conditions) there is also a trend towards obesity in pets. Two causes of this are feeding low-quality, high carbohydrate food, so that your pet has to eat more of the food to get adequate nutrition and lack of regular exercise.  Take regular walks with your dog and ride your horse! 

    These are some of the basic ideas that guide Kelley's philosophy of pet care. For more information on why feeding burdock root could help your dogs skin problems or what herbs will make fleas go away, contact Kelley for an Animal Health & Wellness Consultation, or buy an herbal product now to help your pet.

Please view the Consultations page to make an appointment, or for more information on an Animal Health & Wellness Consultation with Kelley.

Pella the dog communing with KelleyCoreopsis plant in bloomHenry the catLemon vetch or sheep's sorrel?Spike the pony