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Zoran Jankovic

A woman that runs with wolves - Intereview with Dr. Isla Fishburn

My guest today is  Dr Isla Fishburn (BSc Zoology and MBiolSci and PhD in Conservation Biology) a canine wellness practitioner. She is passionate about creating a co-existence between people and animals. Her experience as a conservation biologist and ambassador for wildlife quickly made her discover that conservation needs to begin at home: “many people do not consider the emotions and experiences of our dogs and how this can affect their very wellbeing.” Isla’s mission is to still create a co-existence between people and wildlife but first she must help people to conserve the natural dog; from genetics, diet, behavior and, most of all, emotions. Isla is a firm believer that dogs have emotions and these are the foundations of any mammal’s survival.

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Three main reasons to use common sense when feeding your pets

We all wish for our furry family members to reach their full developmental potential  and to live in vibrant good health. Unfortunately common practice is not always based on common sense, instead large majority of widely accepted habits in our society is based primarily on economic interest and blatant disregard for some basic facts of nature.  Here are three  important reasons why you should never feed your pets highly processed commercial foods:

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Raw feeding - as easy as 123!

In spite of being aware of all the dangers of processed foods,  many pet owners are under the impression that raw feeding is something complicated, time consuming and difficult.  In fact it couldn't be easier...

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Why feeding only fish to a cat is not a very good idea

Asian Fishing Cat is  a rare  feline species evolved to feed exclusively on fish (© Karen Povey)

For some reason many cat guardians suffer from misconception that feeding fish every day is the best thing you can do for your cat. Even worse many cat owners base nutrition of their feline companions exclusively on tinned tuna or mackerel as this is usually the cheapest option when it comes to fish.

As explained on the charts provided in this article eating large quantities of large blue fish is not a good idea neither for humans nor for cats.  Contrary to popular belief fish is not species appropriate diet for cats. With the exception of few rare species such as Asian Fishing Cat most of the cats  will not go nowhere near the large body of water.  Granted,   occasionally we may encounter adventurous domestic cat which has mastered the fishing skills but on the whole cats and water do not mix very well. 

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Firework season is upon us: How to help a dog with noise phobia?!

 

Fear of  loud and sudden noises is very common in dogs. Some breeds like Australian Shepherd, Border Collie and German Shepherd seem to be particularly predisposed to it.

This problem in canine family members is certainly no laughing matter. If left untreated this condition will certainly get worse. In mild cases dogs with noise phobia react by freezing and withdrawing while the others try to escape and may injure themselves trying to break through windows or chewing through restraints and enclosures.

Both mild and severe cases indicate profound suffering and damage to nerve cells.  Here are some tips to alleviate this problem.

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Please have mercy - do not shave your doggum!

Some people think shaving dogs is fun, little do they know about all implications of this act. In my opinion shaving double coated dogs should be considered animal cruelty.

As the summer approaches I see more and more completely shaved dogs. Regardless of the type of the coat i.e double coated (breeds like Samoyeds, Huskies, Border Collies, German Shepherds, etc., which have two layers of hair, fine undercoat and top coat) or not- you should never shave your dog and here is why:

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'Eppur si muove' - Like it or not, homeopathy works!

©Mila Perry

"Eppur si muove" - And yet it moves - were the words Italian mathematician and physicist Galileo Galilei allegedly uttered after being sentenced by the Inquisition for heresy. Galileo's heresy was his opinion that the Sun lies motionless, that the Earth is not at the centre of universe, and that it moves. Unlike those around him who were quite happy to blindly follow dogma concerning the universal order, Galileo observed the world around him, measured different parameters and finally, after he analysed enough collected data, worked out that the Earth is moving around the Sun. Galileo was certainly luckier then Giordano Bruno, another Italian mathematician, who was burned at the stake in 1600 for advocating the same idea.

People who attack homeopathy these days do so with the same fervor as the Inquisitors. With their small, medieval minds, they repeat the same nonsense and misconceptions about homeopathy, over and over, without making the slightest effort to conduct their own research or empirical quest. I have to admit that my first reaction to homeopathy was of a similar myopic nature, my 'conventional scientific mind' immediately dismissed it as nonsense, and I had no desire to study the subject further.

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10 Myths about raw food

The oldest-known dog on record, according to Guinness, was an Australian cattle dog named Bluey, who lived to the ripe old age of 29 years and five months before it was put down in November 1939.

Today it is widely accepted processed foods are unhealthy for humans yet according to the pet food industry  and those in bed with it, millions of dogs  and cats are "safely' eating kibble with "no ill effects" caused by these diets.  Indeed, millions of pets  eat kibble, and also millions of pets fill the waiting rooms of veterinarians, bad breath and all.

These pets suffer from skin problems of all sorts, or from cancers, joint problems, heart problems, kidney problems, digestive problems ("lack of enzymes"), liver problems, pancreas problems, coat problems, tooth problems, anal gland problems, glandular disorders, allergies, and soft doughy bodies brought on by eating a grain-based, artificial, highly-processed, additive-filled food touted as "healthy" for your pet.

In reality these animals are merely existing.  They are being maintained on an artificial, grain-based diets containing synthetic vitamins and minerals plus a myriad of chemical preservatives and additives—the collective effects of which have NEVER been researched.

Feeding species appropriate diet is easy and simple, unfortunately there a many misconception about raw feeding. Here are the  most common myths:

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Raw meat could be cause of dead dogs! - Seriously?!?

In late 80-ies, Alabama Rot decimated greyhound population in the USA.

We live in the world were media reporting has very little to do with the truth, and everything to do with sensationalism, fear mongering and, very often, corporate and financial interests. Most of what passes for human "nutritional science" these days is not the result of objective scientific research, but rather the skewed and manipulated "findings" of scientists working for, and entirely beholden to, the food industry and the 'bottom line' of multi-national corporations.

The very same can be said when it comes to the research into the nutritional health needs of  pets.

Yesterday, the British broadsheet The Telegraph published an article with a rather bombastic title: Raw meat could be the cause of dead dogs, scientis warns. 'Bombastic', as in, 'high-sounding but with little meaning; inflated' is precisely what this title and entire article is.

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There is no poop fairy - pick up after your dog!

Most of the dog owners I know will meticulously clean after their dogs, even when nobody can see them on the most remote part of the beach. Unfortunately, as the saying goes -  all it takes is one (or few) rotten apple to spoil  the whole barrel. 

It seems that lately,  Sliema promenade and beaches have been under increased attack of  autistic  dog owners who inflict not only a great damage to the reputation of dogs and their owners in general but also present public health threat. 

Although the fines help,  it looks like they do little to solve the problem  and in my opinion the best way to tackle this problem is to widely educate dog owners about the immense impact of dogs'  excrement on our fragile enivronment in one of the most densly populated places on the planet. I sincerely hope local councils  will come up with more proactive approach to this issue in near future. For a start I suggest more bilboards like the one on the photo.

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