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Monday, March 24, 2014


So my Brownie has just been diagnosed with early stages of renal failure, and of course the vets have insisted that I switch her to a presciption diet with immediate effect.

I tried to argue as to why I won't do it but pretty much got told that a raw diet was bad for her and would make matters worse blah blah blah; cause a raw diet has very high protein content and with renal failure Brownie will not be able to cope with such a high protein content.

I then asked what was an acceptable level of protein for a dog that had renal disease and was told that it should be approximately 20% MEAT or protein of their total diet. I had to hold my tongue because a raw diet generally has only about 20% protein, and what people don't seem to understand is that high meat content does not necessarily equal high protein content. The main difference, however, between a raw diet and crapple (kibble), is the quality of the protein, particularly the quality of protein that goes into prescription diets.

I also asked then what should the rest of her diet consist of if only 20% of it should be meat. I was told that the remaining 80% of her diet should consist of carbs from vegetables and fruits such as sweet potatoes and potatoes, barley and grains. Again I had to hold my tongue cause these foods are not even appropriate for a healthy dog as it it very difficult for dogs to digest vegetables and grains, much less a dog that has compromised kidney functions.

Anyway, the objective of this post it to just highlight a few things. The first being that if your vet ever tells you to feed a prescription diet to your sick dog, just take a step back and think for a minute:

Why is it that when humans get diagnosed with some sort of disease, the doctors would almost always tell us to change our diet to a more nutritious, natural and wholesome diet and to go organic if possible; but when our fur kids are diagnosed with the same disease, the vets try to shove highly processed foods that are full of chemicals and preservatives with almost zero nutrition down our kiddos' throats?

Secondly, let's take a look at the prescription diet that will be recommended by all vets for our furkids that have been diagnosed with renal failure: which according to the manufacturer is a complete and balanced food that provides all the nutrition dogs need.

According to the manufacturers: the diet is formulated with the following benefits:
  • Reduced phosphorus to help maintain healthy kidney function
  • Reduced levels of protein to help reduce kidney workload
  • Reduced sodium to help maintain normal blood pressure
  • Increased levels of omega-3 fatty acids to help blood flow to the kidneys
  • Increased levels of B-complex vitamins to compensate for vitamin losses in the urine
  • Added antioxidants to control cell oxidation and promote a healthy immune system
So great, this food has  a reduced phosphorus level. I guess this would be in comparison to other normal non-prescription kibble. The phosphorus level in this prescription diet is stated at 0.2%. But did you know that the phosphorus level of raw chicken is only 0.15%?

It apparently also has reduced sodium at 0.23% compared to 0.084% in raw chicken.

The level of protein in this particular kibble is listed as 14.3% while raw chicken is at about 16.3% and pork at about 20%.  But what you need to really consider is that raw chicken and pork is generally free from all sorts of ridiculous chemicals and preservatives that are required to make the kibble and to keep it fresh. So yes while the protein level is lower, you are also feeding your dog a whole lot of nonsense which will stress their already dysfunctional system even more.

In terms of the added supplements, well most of the nutrients are available in raw meat and you can always supplement your dog with better human grade vitamins. 

Additionally the type of protein that is used in kibble is far from appropriate for our fur-kids. If you take a look at the ingredients list you will find the following:

Brewers Rice, Pork Fat, Dried Egg Product, Flaxseed, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken Liver Flavor, Powdered Cellulose, Lactic Acid, Calcium Carbonate, Dried Beet Pulp, L-Lysine, Potassium Chloride, Potassium Citrate, Choline Chloride, Iodized Salt, Calcium Sulfate, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), L-Threonine, Taurine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), L-Tryptophan, Magnesium Oxide, Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Phosphoric Acid, Beta-Carotene, Natural Flavors.

It is important to note that all dog foods and cat foods must list the ingredients of their food in order of weight. Therefore, the first ingredient listed is the most important because there is more of that ingredient than any other.

Now, we know that dogs are carnivores and are not meant to eat grains as they simply cannot digest it! And the main ingredient in this food is Brewers rice! (To find out how to properly read dog food labels, check out The Dog Food Project.)

What exactly is brewers rice? Have any of you thought about what it really is? According to The Dog Food Project, brewers rice is a processed rice product that is missing many of the nutrients contained in whole ground rice and brown rice. Contrary to what many pet food companies want to make you believe, this is not a high quality ingredient, just much cheaper than whole grain rice.

Then the second ingredient listed is Pork Fat. It is important to note that any animal fat listed on a dog food is not required to originate from "slaughtered" animals. The rendered animals can be obtained from any source, so there is no control over quality or contamination. Any kind of animal can be included: "4-D animals" (dead, diseased, disabled, or dying prior to slaughter), roadkill, animals euthanized, restaurant and supermarket refuse and so on.

Corn gluten meal is also high up on the ingredients list and what it really is, is an inexpensive by-product of human food processing which contains some protein but serves mainly to bind food together. It is not a harmful ingredient but should not rank high in the ingredient list of a quality product.

And then there is Chicken Liver Flavour...Anything that has the word flavour is something you need to be careful about. The manufacturer may or may not give more detailed information about what is used for flavoring and whether it is made from a natural or chemical substance.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture now. 

Basically, I just cannot see how a bag of highly processed food can be deemed as a complete and balanced died versus whole, natural and unprocessed meat. It just doesn't make sense. A sick dog needs to get high quality nutrients from reliable and clean sources without any added chemicals and preservatives. Quite frankly, if you fed your dog table scraps, that could potentially be better than that expensive bag of prescription kibble!

At the end of it all, I'd like to quote Jamie Oliver "If you can't understand what's on the label, don't buy it".

Related reading:
Should You Feed Your Dog High Performance Kibble?
Why I will Never Feed My Kids Kibble Again?
We are Carnivores
The Quality of Pet Food Ingredients
The Quality of Pet Food Ingredients Part 2

Note: This post is intended as a guide or reference and is not meant to replace veterinary advice. The information on this post is based on conclusions that I have made after extensive reading, advice from other raw feeders in particular the Raw Feeding and Raw Chat Facebook groups, and on my experience with my own dogs. Please consult your holistic veterinarian for advice on the most appropriate way to feed and supplement your dogs.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


 UPDATE 14 MARCH 2014: We sent this sweet girl for grooming as her fur was quite dirty and slightly matted at her bum and tail area. Plus her nails were rather long. She's looking very nice now, and after that we took her to the vet today for a checkup. Unfortunately her parvo test kit reflects that she could be a borderline case for parvo. She shows no sign of being sick and her temperature is normal.

 We have managed to find a foster carer for her who can isolate he although he has a dog. The vet has prescribed some immune boosters and also antibiotics for any secondary infection that may set in. So please pray that it is a false positive and that she will be okay.

In the mean time we really need to find her family... Please share this as widely as possible and call 016 335 8768 if she is your dog.


 Just picked this girl up this evening at 8pm (12 March 2014) in Rasmi Jaya, Ampang.

She was walking in the middle of the road and was very disoriented. She is well fed and has no ticks and is just dirty from being out on the streets on her own. So we don't think this is a case of abandonment.

Please call 016 335 8768 if she is yours. 

If she isn't, please share with all your friends so that we can find her family. 
Proof of ownership is required
She will be put up for adoption if she is not claimed within a week. 

Monday, February 17, 2014


Is this your dog? We found him this morning while walking our dogs. We think he is a slightly older dog and is wearing a collar. 

Please call me at 016 335 8768 if he is yours. If he isn't, please share this post so that we can reunite him with his family. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

What? You have pure breed dogs? But you're an animal rescuer?!?!

Belle, my precocious Beagle!
Yes, I do have 2 pure breed dogs and no I do not classify myself as an animal rescuer. I just happen to be an animal lover that does the best I can with the resources that I have. 

Anyway, in recent times, there have been alot of people that have suddenly became animal activist of sorts. They are big into rescuing and re-homing and feeding the strays etc, which is really great in my opinion.  However, as a result of this "awakening", i.e. compassion for the strays and mixed breeds, there has also been a birth of people that are anti-pure breeds. 

Cleo, my gentle and sweet natured Labrador
While I am whole heartedly against the purchase of animals from pet shops and unethical breeders, I am not anti-pure breeds. I think alot of people have forgotten that there are breeders that are ethical and truly concerned about the well-being and happiness of their dogs and their off-spring.

Mishka and Teddy - my two demanding cats!
People also seem to have forgotten that pure bred dogs were bred for specific purposes, and have many traits that can fit specific needs of people and their families. For example, Labradors make one of the best service dogs due to their calm and gentle nature, and their ability to work long hours. Beagles are tough, sturdy dogs that come in a smaller package. They are great with elderly people (and children) that need a companion but are unable to care for a larger dog. 

Lucky - my most challenging dog ever...
I would always recommend adopting a dog or cat to those who are looking for or considering getting a pet. There are alot of pure breed dogs as there are mixed breed dogs that are available for adoption. If you purchase a dog or cat, it means that there is one less home for a rescued animal.

Rascal - the best guard dog you could ever ask for!
However, before deciding on a particular breed, regardless of whether your are adopting a dog/cat or buying one, it is important to ensure that you research the breed so that you know what you are getting yourself into. Each breed has been bred for a specific purpose, and you will need to know whether or not your lifestyle (and finances!) will be able to cater to the needs of that particular breed. Don't get a dog or cat purely because it is cute or beautiful, only to abandon it when you decide that it is too much trouble to look after it.  Please make sure that you are in for the long haul as getting an animal is at least a 10-15 year commitment.

Brownie - a sweet old lady that loves cuddles...
So this is just a gentle reminder to everyone to take a step back and stop being haters of pure breeds. Instead, start making a difference for all dogs regardless of breed, by not buying any animals from pet shops and unethical breeders. You can also improve animal welfare by educating your friends and family about unethical breeders and by promoting responsible pet ownership.

Natasha Fernz is a proud "mom" to a Labrador, a Beagle, 3 mixed breed dogs and 2 local cats
~all of which were either adopted or rescued 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

My Lucky Boy...

Lazing on a Sunday afternoon...

Friday, January 24, 2014


My teacher always says that we need to practice at home and not just when we turn up for class... 

Louis, we do try... but it's really hard with the fur-kids who are always so eager to help us!

Saturday, December 14, 2013


Many pet owners want the best for their pets, and are willing to spend tons of money getting their beloved companions the best of everything - the prettiest collars, the coolest t-shirts and premium or even ultra premium pet food. 

In the past, I used to feed my dogs and cat the best kibble there was on the market. Why? Simply because I did not know any better. And surely if my vet thinks that I should feed my pets kibble, who am I to disagree? 

I was one of those who thought I was doing the best for my furry companions by buying them the "best" and "most expensive" kibble there was in the market. But little did I know that I was actually slowly but surely "poisoning" my kids. 

Click on the following link to find out  
And then of course, there are those pet owners who will go to great lengths to prepare home-made meals for their canine or feline companions in order to ensure that their beloved pets get a balanced diet. Very often however, these home-made meals include fruit and vegetables. And some even go so far as to advocate a vegetarian diet for their pets which is completely inappropriate.

The ideology that including fruits, vegetables and grains in your pet's diet will make it a wholesome and balanced diet is completely and utterly wrong. Your canine and feline companions do not need these types of food and by feeding them these foods, you are actually putting unnecessary stress on their internal organs. 

When I first started raw feeding I was sort of following the BARF method which included a small amount of pureed fruit and veges. Why? Well, it was because the few raw feeder friends that I had included fruit and veges as part of their dogs and cats diets, and because I was desperate to try anything that would improve Cleo's health. 

*Yes, I only made the switch to raw feeding after Cleo was diagnosed with a severely enlarged heart and her condition deteriorated so rapidly and there was nothing the vets could do except give her medication to alleviate the symptoms.Thankfully, two years down the line, Cleo is doing really well on her prey-model raw diet which does not include any grains, fruits or vegetables.

Anyway, since we first started raw feeding almost two years ago now, I have been doing extensive and continued reading, and I have learnt that dogs and especially cats have no use for fruits or veges. (I should have realised this on my own after the first month of raw feeding. In the first few meals, yes they would eat the pureed fruit and veges, but then later on they would just go for the meat and bones only!).

Picture from

Picture from
Now let's take a look at the teeth of our furry companions. Note that both dogs and cats have no flat molars which are required for chewing and grinding veges, fruits and grains. They only have sharp incissors, canines and molars which are meant to cut and rip meat off bone as well as to crush non-weight bearing bones. If you observe your dog carefully, they do not chew... they merely crush  their food a couple of times (if it's a big piece) and then swallow. Dogs and especially cats, are unable to move their jaws from side to side to provide the grinding movement required to chew. This is also another reason why many dogs choke on kibble or other "small" pieces of inappropriate food - because they are unable to chew and therefore will inhale or swallow small pieces of food.

Additionally, dogs and cats do not produce the enzyme amylase in their mouths like humans (and herbivores and omnivores) which is very important for breaking down starch and carbohydrates before they enter the stomache.

Their digestive systems are that of true carnivores, i.e.a they have a very short digestive track which means that it cannot digest plant matter which requires a much longer time to be broken down. How many of you have noticed that if your dog ate some grass, it would come out the other end completely undigested?

This means that if you feed your dog or cat grains and carbohydrates, you are stressing your pets digestive system and you may cause excessive strain on your dog's or cat's pancreas.   

For a more detailed analysis on whether or not your dog or cat requires fruits, grains and veges, check out the following links:

The Great Debate: Do Dogs Need Fruits and Vegetables?
Myth: Dogs are Omnivores 
What is Wrong with Dog Food?
Canine Evolution and Anatomy


Note: This post is intended as a guide or reference and is not meant to replace veterinary advice. The information on this post is based on conclusions that I have made after extensive reading, advice from other raw feeders in particular the Raw Feeding and Raw Chat Facebook groups, and on my experience with my own dogs. Please consult your holistic veterinarian for advice on the most appropriate way to feed and supplement your dogs.

Saturday, December 07, 2013


IN RECENT TIMES, there has been an alarming rate of posts on Facebook, Petfinder, Twitter etc about pet dogs that have gone missing or been found by concerned citizens.

Those that are more fortunate and internet savvy may be re-united. But a large number of animals are un-claimed because the owners do not know how to look for them, and the rescuers have no way of contacting the owners.

So I thought I would just highlight the importance of having dog-tags for your poochies. Make sure your dog has a collar with an ID tag and/or your local council license. This can help reunite your dog and you should your dog accidentally escape and is unable to find his way home.

The most important piece of information to include on the pet-id tag is your phone number. So where can you get these id tags? We got ours from There are quite a few styles available for a reasonable price. Service is efficient and delivery, prompt.

For more unique id tags, check out Furkids Forever. The tags sold here are one of a kind...

But at the end of the day, please make sure that you take extra care when opening gates especially if you have auto-gates to ensure that your beloved pets do not accidentally run out. Also check your fences periodically to ensure that there are no holes etc from which your pet can squeeze out. And also please be careful when walking your pets. Ensure that your harnesses and collars and leashes are secure.

Friday, December 06, 2013


We rescued Little Teddy (Tadasana) a couple of months back from a six foot drain. He was in a terrible condition and had injured one of his hind legs slightly. We started him on a raw diet and began to see improvement in his condition within days. We were unable to take him to the vet at that point in time as he was also a very fierce kitten. He would hiss, spit, scratch and bite whenever we tried to handle him.
Anyway, over time he became a really sweet and adorable kitten. He started to play as a normal kitten and we were really happy.

However, two weeks ago, he suddenly became very ill. One day he was doing fine and the next day I noticed that he had not eaten his food which he normally gobbles down within minutes. He also did not greet me or try to play with me like he normally does.

He was just lying in his litter box. I tried to pick him up and he screamed in pain. That was when I realised something was very wrong.

Anyway I brought the food to him and he ate it all up but he was in severe pain. I took him to the vet the next day blood was also taken as physically there didn’t seem to be very much wrong with him.

The results came back and the readings for his organs were okay. But His neutrophil reading is quite high about 10,000 and bands at over 500. So he was put on a 5 day course of antibiotics.

We saw an improvement as the pain descreased and he started to try and play again after the 3rd day of antibiotics although he still could not stand, but he was trying to grab our hands and nibble on our fingers.

On the 5th day he started to try and stand and walk, but he was still quite wobbly. So we took him in and the vet recommended that an x-ray be done.

The x-rays apparently showed that he had a severe calcium deficiency as his bones were not clearly defined and were very faint.

There was also a small fracture on his leg, but apparently that was nothing to worry about and should be just left as it is.

Our vet has since recommended that we switch him to a kibble diet as it is a more balanced diet. I disagree and cannot bring myself to feed Teddy such rubbish.

My main area of contention is that if there was a severe calcium deficiency then the change should not have been that drastic, i.e. happy kitten one day, miserable kitten the next. It should have been a progresssive deterioration. These pictures posted above were taken only 3 weeks ago with the exception of the first picture which was taken when he was initially rescued.

So anyway, I decided to take him to see Dr Susanna of Asia Paws, and he took to her really well. No screaming or hissing and allowed Dr Susanna to put in several needles into his back and into his legs. He then even started to walk about on the treatment table albeit rather wobbly. So we will be continuing acupuncture with Dr Susanna for Teddy and hopefully he will be all better soon.

Friday, November 15, 2013


 Folks, I have been completely swamped with work, rescued ones and fostering and have not had the time to post anything at all... So I do apologise for the silence.

However, this is just a gentle reminder to everyone that our cats and dogs are CARNIVORES!!! 

So just because you might be vegetarian, your cat and dog should NOT BE VEGETARIAN!!! 

Ideally they should be fed a PREY MODEL RAW DIET! This consists of plenty of fresh, raw meat and bones and organs!!! Not veges and fruits and other nonsense like grains!!!

Sorry, for shouting there, but had a phone call from someone who wanted advice on what to feed her over-weight basset hound that seems to have a million allergies. But whatever I tried to tell her, she had an excuse for not doing that, and then ends the call by telling me that a vegetarian kibble diet is what her basset hound needs! 

Argh... have no idea why she even called me when she did not want to listen to or even consider anything I had to say...