Why 'Chicken & Rice' is one of the worst things to feed a sick dog April 05, 2017 00:00

Why 'Chicken & Rice' is one of the worse things to feed a sick dog

It’s a stock standard line ingrained into our brain when we have a sick dog suffering any form of digestive upset.

If we look a little closer at these two seemingly ‘bland foods’ our oblivious veterinarians advice may just be the last thing we should follow.

First, let’s take a look at rice. Rice is a grain. It is inherently inflammatory. Dogs do no not digest rice too well. It takes a lot of work for the body to break down. Rice is a carbohydrate and we know dogs have little nutritional requirement for carbohydrates in their diet. White rice has a high glycemic index, meaning it will cause a rapid spike in blood glucose levels. White rice is far too starchy to be part of any dogs daily diet, let alone when it is suffering GI tract inflammation.

Chicken is one of the two most common protein intolerances or sensitivities to many dogs. Now there’s two main theories for this. The first that most people are feeding factory farmed rather than organic chicken. Intensively farmed chicken is fed grains (often GMO grains), pumped full of growth hormones and antibiotics and vaccinated 3 times in its 30 day lifespan. No wonder our dogs have a problem with chicken. I have known some dogs to be fine with organic chicken.

The second and more compelling theory is canine vaccines (more about this in my next blog).

This aside (of course not all dogs have a problem with chicken), chicken in Chinese medicine is considered a ‘hot food’. We certainly don’t want to be feeding our sick dog a ‘hot’ food, but rather ‘cooling foods’ that will help clear heat and toxins and cool and calm the blood.


So, what should we feed a sick dog?

According to Dr Karen Becker - boiled fat-free ground turkey or turkey breast and cooked or canned pumpkin;

Why I Recommend Pumpkin Over Rice as the Foundation of a Bland Diet

Canned pumpkin (100%) provides about 80 calories and 7 grams of soluble fiber per cup, compared to 1.2 grams of fiber in a cup of cooked white rice. Pumpkin is especially rich in soluble fiber (the type that dissolves in water to form a viscous gel, which also coats and soothes irritated bowels). Soluble fiber delays gastric emptying, slowing down GI transit times (and the number of episodes of diarrhea).

When animals have diarrhea, they can lose important electrolytes, including potassium, which puts them at risk of dehydration. Hypokalemia, or low potassium levels, can result in cramping, fatigue, weakness, and heart rate irregularities. Pumpkin happens to be an excellent source of potassium, with 505 milligrams of naturally occurring potassium per cup. Pumpkin is also safer for diabetic patients. Unlike rice, which is a grain, and will ultimately break down into sugar, pumpkin extracts may actually restore beta cell function – beta cells are the cells that produce insulin in the pancreas.6

Rice is a bland source of fiber, but in my opinion, it isn't the most species-appropriate choice for a recovery diet for carnivores. First, it's an unnecessary food. Dogs and cats don't have a nutritional requirement for grain, so feeding pets a pro-inflammatory food when they're already having GI upset seems counter-intuitive to me. Additionally, the FDA has issued a potential warning about arsenic loads in white rice.7

I have many new client visits that occur when a pet's diarrhea was supposed to clear up with a local vet's recommendations, but didn't. I've had many people tell me that although the stools were slightly improved on a homemade diet of cooked rice and hamburger, the rice would often be passed out whole in the stool, giving rise to the question of how much digestion and absorption of this carbohydrate was actually taking place. (Becker 2014)



Dr Karen Becker, 1st Sep 2014, Health Pets Mercola ( accessed 05.04.17)

Why I recommend feeding liver but not chicken livers March 16, 2017 00:00

Why I recommend feeding liver but not chicken livers

Liver is part of a balanced whole food diet for dogs. It should be fed raw and not exceed 10% of the overall diet. It could be fed once a week for instance or a little each day.

Liver is a source of Vitamins A, B, B1, B12 and K, trace elements Choline, Manganese, Molybdenum, Selenium, Cobalt and amino acid Cysteine.

Common animal livers found in Australian supermarkets are lamb liver and chicken livers. The latter are from intensively farmed chicken which have just a 30 day lifespan before they are killed. In that time, they are fed grains (often GMO grains), pumped full of growth hormones, antibiotics and are vaccinated 3 times with live virus vaccines. The liver is the organ that filters toxins and heavy metals from the body. Therefore, I do not recommend the use of chicken livers (unless you are able to source organic chicken livers).

Stick to livers from grass-fed animals where possible.

Some dogs won’t like liver and this is ok. In this instance you can feed brewers yeast instead which is abundant in B vitamins. Brewers yeast is not suitable for dogs prone to candida overgrowth (yeast infection).

Why dry food actually makes your pets teeth and gum health worse January 16, 2017 00:00

Healthy Teeth and Gums

Along with the arrival of processed pet foods around 100 years ago, periodontal disease in both domestic cats and dogs has soared. According to the Australian and American Veterinary Dental Societies, more than 80% of dogs and 70% of cats develop gum disease by the age of three.

The pet food and subsequently veterinary industry has done a very good job of convincing us that dry processed food (aka kibble) is the best way to keep our pets teeth clean. Contrary to popular belief, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

The widespread use of processed pet foods has taken away many basic needs of the dog and cat. It has taken away key instinctual and behavioural activities such as searching and scent trailing. With anthropomorphism (humanising) of the canine and feline diet and fear mongering and myths, many cats or dogs are denied raw meaty bones (an essential part of their diet along with physiological and physical wellbeing).

The equipment in a dogs and cats mouth is designed to rip and tear at raw meat, sinew and cartilage, and to crunch raw bone.

Suggesting dry processed food keeps a dog or cats teeth clean is akin to suggesting a human eating just pretzels and not brushing or flossing, will keep their teeth and gums healthy.

An animal eats a biscuit a bit like we crack a nut with our teeth. They do not rub the abrasive material around their teeth and gums. Anybody who’s eaten a biscuit will attest to this and that the resultant sludge left behind needs to be brushed or flossed away.

In fact, the unnaturally high carbohydrate and starch based diet of many pets today attracts plaque and tartar to stick. Carbohydrates and starches convert to sugars when combined with saliva. This starchy, sugary debris left stuck between the teeth and gums harbours bacteria which decays and leaves a build up of tartar on the teeth.

Many pet parents think they are doing the right thing by feeding ‘dental chews’. I definitely don’t recommend the use of commercial ‘dental chews’. Whether they are sold in the supermarket or indeed at your veterinarian clinic, they are highly processed and contain undesirable ingredients like rice wheat starch, sodium tripolyphosate and glycerin.

Raw meaty bones are natures toothbrush and regular intake is encouraged. They should be of appropriate size for the puppy or dog (but that’s a whole other blog piece). Marrow bones should be avoided for young or senior dogs. Chicken necks and wing tips are suitable for cats. Never ever feed cooked bones to dogs or cats.

If your dog does not like bones, prefers to bury them or you do not wish to feed them, there are natural chews and treats that can be somewhat effective. Ask us in store for some suggestions. We also have a natural product called ‘Plaque Off’ which can be added to the food daily.

If you wish to give brushing a go, the best non-toxic toothpaste is coconut oil and organic cinnamon powder. This combination is antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal. It tastes great too. Mix the two ingredients into a small glass jar and store in the fridge. Take out of the fridge 5 minutes before you want to use it. If your pet is not used to having his/her teeth brushed, start with your finger, a gauze or cut a small piece of a clean microfibre cloth. Gently rub the toothpaste around the teeth and gums and use positive reinforcement and treats afterwards. You can slowly build up to a soft childs toothbrush. We sell bamboo childs toothbrushes in the shop ($6.95) which are the perfect size.


Vaccinations & Titer Testing Info Evening – Feb 16th

How often should my dog be vaccinated? Every year? Every 3 years? Or should I be re-vaccinated my dog at all? What is a Titer Test?

Come along to our info session Feb 16th @ Quest Palmerston where Jodie from Vet 2 Pet will explain the up to date vaccination protocols and explain the safer and healthier alternative of Titer testing.

It’s free but bookings are essential. Please contact us.

Merry Christmas December 03, 2016 15:08

Another year has nearly rolled by and we want to thank all that have supported us this year. Thank you for supporting your small local natural pet store. The holistic pet market is growing at a rate of knots as more and more savvy free thinking pet parents are educating themselves, which is great for our four legged friends. We have exciting plans for 2017, and hope that you’ll be a part of it. Wishing you, yur family and furries a very Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and stay safe!


We’d like to share a couple of festive recipes with you and remind you of the foods your pup should avoid this holiday season!


Christmas Coconut Pupsicles

You will need a silicon cupcake tray ‘Organic Doggie Coconut Crunch’ (available from AussiePooch - 500g $9.95 or 2.5kg $29.95) and fruit of your choice – blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries or diced mango pieces.

Place 1 cup of coconut crunch in a small mixing bowl. Run you hot water tap and add 1 cup of hot water. Leave to soak for a couple of minutes and when all the water has absorbed, spoon mixture into cupcake tray. If there’s any left over, feed as a meal topper with that nights dinner. Place your chosen fruit treats in the middle (we’ve used organic frozen berries), and place in the freezer on a flat surface. Once frozen, serve on a stinking hot territory day.



Turkey Feast

Makes 1kg food (to be divided and stored and or served accordingly)

  • 400g Turkey mince
  • 2 Turkey necks (whole or chopped)
  • 8 Chicken hearts or giblets
  • 150g zucchini, eggplant and asparagus
  • Half cup parsley
  • 2 tablespoons plain cottage cheese
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cold pressed virgin olive oil

Keep all ingredients raw. Remember, dogs don’t cook food! Blend the vegetables and parsley in a food processer or similar. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, then divide and serve accordingly. You can store the remainder in a container to be used within 2 days or freeze and use within 2 months.


Food to Avoid this Festive Season

  • Chocolate
  • Grapes, raisins, currants and sultanas
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Onions and Spring Onions
  • Avocado
  • Xylitol
  • Alcohol
  • Raw Salmon
  • Unripe Tomatoes and their stalks/leaves
  • Green Potato
  • Rhubarb
  • Pits of different fruit such as pears, apples, peaches and cherries
  • Cooked Bone
  • Bones smaller than the dogs mouth (can be swallowed whole and get stuck)
  • Excessive starchy foods (linked to bloat)


Aussie Pooch takes out a National Pet Industry Award July 25, 2015 16:21

We were shocked and overwhelmed to be nominated and win a national pet industry award recently.

Just 18 months after opening our first shopfront, Aussie Pooch has been awarded National 'Retail Outlet of the Year' 2015 at the MDBA's 8th Annual Dog Owners Choice Awards. 

Having been nominated earlier in the year, we submitted over 30 testimonials and case studies from customers explaining how we had helped their pets, which was judged by a panel of independent everyday pet owners. 

At the end of May we attended the awards evening and gala dinner at Rydges Melbourne and were announced as the winner in our category of 8 other interstate businesses. 

Thank you to all our loyal customers for their support and messages of encouragement. We are humbled and honoured.