Happy Dog = Happy Owner

(Part 2 of 2)

(Ed’s note: Last week, Pet Tales talked about five of the six basic tips for dog owners that can help them keep their pets happy and healthy: Here’s the last part of the two-part series)

Which bring us to the most important part of pet care, SECOND to making your dog feel loved:


Please provide the most healthy food you can afford or can prepare for your dog.

There are four kinds of food that owners can give their dogs: raw food, processed dry dog food, processed (canned) wet food, or home cooked food consisting of nutritious ingredients.

Save ALL gives dry dog food in the morning and home cooked food in the early evening. Choosing the best dry dog food is another story. We will discuss that in another column.

HAPPY POOCH. Thanks to immediate medical intervention and good diet, Rafa is now a healthy and happy dog 
To Save ALL, the best immune system booster (second to making your dog emotionally secure knowing he or she is loved) is a mixture of natural ingredients which are simply boiled and mixed. 

The photos of Save ALL rescued show that the combination of home cooked food and dry dog food work for our own dogs (with breed) and rescues of Save ALL (mostly asong Pinoy or aspins, but some have breeds too). So this combination apparently work for all dogs—with or without breed.


The ingredients are:

A. Moringa or malunggay leaves cut into smallest pieces possible (or puree them if you want to) for easy digestion. This is free if you or your friendly neighbor have/has a tree. But a bunch costs P10 each and you can wash and air dry moringa leaves to last you a week or even two weeks.

B. A cube or two of beef (no fat please) depending on how small or big your dog is. Your vet can advise you on the amount of beef you can give per feeding. Again, please put this in your dog’s notebook for easy reference. After boiling the beef, cut into smaller pieces that is easy to digest. One fourth kilo of beef is P75 to P80 and will last for about a week per dog.

C. A pinch or two of dried rosemary. P100 per 100 grams and will last for three months per dog.

D. A few drops of apple cider vinegar. P280 per bottle which will last for three months per dog.

E. Sweet potato. P27-34 per kilo. A kilo will last a week.

F. We were advised to give 3 ml. of coco nectar per day. P275 for the small bottle.


In all, you will spend around P300 for ingredients for a week of home-cooked food for one feeding per dog.

OPTIONAL ingredients for added nutrition and so that your dog will not get bored with the food you give. Like you, they welcome something new:

G. You can put a few slices of carrots which have Vitamin A for good eyesight. But dogs love the sweetness of sweet potato or kamote so please mix some sweet potato with the carrot. Give once a week or every other week.

H. Dogs love pumpkin or calabasa also. But too much vitamin A is not good so please give pumpkin once a week only as an alternative to sweet potato. Sweet potatoes can be given daily.

I. Small slices of romaine lettuce. You can give this every day during the hot months as this is considered cooling food like watermelon. Give twice a week during cold months to prevent colds or any discomfort related to too much cold in the body.

Nica, a parvo survivor, is an example that a good diet indeed makes
a dog healthy and strong
Moringa or Malunggay

This does not cost a centavo or peso at all. Ask for a rather large or old branch from your neighbor and just plant it in a pot or in a part of your garden. Or ask from your neighbors. Most subdivisions have moringa or malunggay trees everywhere.


Why malunggay?

It is an immune and energy booster. It can combat cancer and skin diseases in both animals and humans, and treat diabetes, sleeping problems and AIDS in humans, according to Diet of Life.

Malunggay has:

· 17 times more calcium than milk

· 25 times more iron than spinach

· 10 times more Vitamin A than carrots

· 4 times more protein than eggs

· 5 times more potassium than bananas

· 0.75 times more Vitamin C in orange


Diet of Life enumerates 19 of 20 (I added the 20th based on what we already know about malunggay) of most important benefits of malunggay which we have found to be good for both HUMANS and ANIMALS (I do not take multivitamins. I put malunggay in my natural juice every morning and in every dish possible).


The health benefits are:

1. It boosts energy the natural way

2. It stimulates metabolism

3. It builds muscles and burns fat

4. It reduces fat without steroids and other chemical-based medicine

5. It builds and recovers muscles

6. It protects the skin, nails, hair, teeth and bones

7. It protects eyesight

8. It is good for persons with hypertension and reduces cholesterol

9. It is good for persons with diabetes

10. It helps in proper digestion

11. It improves memory

12. It keeps good mental balance

13. It regulates thyroid

14. It is good for the heart

15. It is a treatment for stomach ulcers

16. It is diuretic and protects the kidneys

17. It combats cancer

18. It treats anemia

19. It protects liver

20. It is like a multivitamin as it boosts the immune system.



Why beef? Why not lamb, chicken or turkey? Why not pork?

For one, some dogs do develop allergy to lamb, chicken, or turkey based on our experience handling so many dogs at one given time. You can detect an allergy in your dog when the dog starts to scratch after a meal, scratches continuously, the skin is more pink than usual, there are red spots in the body, the dog begins to pant, and the panting is prolonged, among others.

For another, pork and chicken are often injected with antibiotics and chemicals to speed up their growth or make them big. These are toxins that will go into your dog’s body and can accumulate in the kidney and liver. You wouldn’t want that, do you?

But your dog needs protein no matter the age, thus, he or she needs a source of protein. The accessible and good source of protein is beef.

On how much beef to give, it depends on the age and size of your dog. Senior rescued dogs of Save ALL and my shih tzus are now given only two tablespoons of ground beef (with the least fat if possible). The top of the spoon is flattened. More than that can increase the liver enzymes which can lead to liver damage, we were told by Dr. Anthony Prado Basa of Sha Sha Clinic.

Young dogs however need more protein, thus more beef is given.

You may get tired of my saying this but they are the experts in animal care: Please consult your vet on how much beef you can give your dogs.


Sweet potato

Liz Palika, a certified dog trainer, animal behavior consultant, and co-owner of Kindred Spirits Dog Training in Vista, CA., shared in The Honest Kitchen site that sweet potato is a source of beta carotene. It is a powerful antioxidant and converts to vitamin A in the dog’s body.

Palika said it is believed that sweet potato lowers the risk of certain types of cancer and provides protection against heart disease.

It is also:

1. A source of minerals like potassium, manganese, and magnesium 

It also contains calcium, iron, and zinc, which are low in sodium. Minerals serve many vital purposes in your dog’s body and are necessary for good health. For example, potassium is needed to maintain a correct fluid balance in the body, as well as preserving nerve transmissions and muscle function.

2. High in fiber, low in fat

Sweet potatoes contain very little fat and are high in dietary fiber which is great for digestive health, Palika said.

3. A healthy alternative

“White potatoes may be cheaper than sweet potatoes but sweet potatoes have more nutritional value. Plus, white potatoes have more carbohydrates which can lead to obesity and blood sugar problems. If you decide to cook sweet potatoes for addition to your dog’s diet, add just a small amount (a teaspoon for a small dog or a tablespoon for a large dog) as the sudden addition of too much extra fiber could lead to gastrointestinal issues. Steaming or boiling the sweet potatoes (rather than roasting them) allows the tubers to retain more nutritional value.This tuber can be a nutritious food your dog will love,” Palika added.


Rosemary promotes hair growth and prevents allergy.

Apple cider vinegar

After weeks of putting a little apple cider vinegar in your dog’s food, the dog will eventually emit a smell that will repel ticks and fleas.

WebMD advises against prolonged use as part of medical treatment for diabetes as it says: “Consuming apple cider vinegar in food amounts is LIKELY SAFE. Apple cider vinegar is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when used short-term for medical purposes… Apple cider vinegar might lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Therefore, blood sugar levels need to be monitored closely. Dose adjustments may be necessary for diabetes medications that are taken.”

We do not use apple cider vinegar if the dog has diabetes as it brings down sugar levels and we can not monitor this all the time.

It can also bring down potassium levels so be sure to give malunggay and sweet potatoes with apple cider vinegar to your dog.

The dosage from Pet Insurance: “Use the recommended daily dosage of ACV, which is 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon per 50 pounds of your dog’s body weight. Start with a lower amount and increase if needed.”

Save ALL however puts one cap (takip ng bote) of apple cider vinegar in the food for eight shih tzus as we believe the effect we desire—emitting the smell that ticks and fleas do not like—occurs after a period of time. We also do this to prevent giving too much to the dogs.

So for your dog, just give a few drops in his or her food. Most dogs do not like the taste of apple cider vinegar and some dogs can experience acidic reaction if given more than the dog can take.

Coco Nectar

Coco nectar comes from the flower of the coconut tree. Coco nectar produces the amino acids the body of a human or a dog or a cat needs. The amino acids, in turn, produce the vitamins that the body needs.

One very important use of coco nectar is it keeps the platelet count at a normal level.

Coco nectar was first used on dengue patients and persons with blood-related problems like leukemia.

It was discovered that coco nectar raises the platelet count overnight in dengue patients who drank half a bottle on an empty stomach the night before, and the other half also on a empty stomach the following morning. Hours later, the platelet count started to go up and in a day, the platelet count was to its normal level. This happened to my three human children when they were infected with dengue.

We later tried it on our personal dogs when they were diagnosed with erlichia. The platelet count of our dogs went up when given the coco nectar, especially since the erlichia was detected early. In severe cases, blood transfusion will be needed, aside from coco nectar.

What happens when the platelet count goes down to a critical level? It can lead to a lot of illnesses and even death.

Thus, we give coco nectar to dogs with erlichia.

As maintenance, we give only a little amount per day. Anything in excess is, as they say often, not good for anyone. So do not overdo it.

We do have our dogs’ blood test done yearly to check the red blood cell count, white blood cell count, and other levels to find out if everything is okay.

Optional food:


A source of Vitamin A, dogs also love carrots as treats.


Also a source of Vitamin A, this is used as an alternative to sweet potato because it is sweet and to bring “excitement” to their meal. Getting sweet potato everyday can be boring, don’t you think?

Romaine Lettuce

We give slices of romaine lettuce to dogs to cleanse their kidneys. This is also categorized as “cold” food. We give this at noon time, especially during summer.

Prevent illnesses, save funds

As you will note, our tips will not only prevent illnesses in your dog which will allow him to have quality of life, it will also save a lot of money.

Instead of paying for medical treatment, pay for prevention meds or vaccination that prevents illnesses that are expensive to treat.

Instead of giving just any food that might lead to illnesses, prepare food or choose the food with the best ingredients recommended by your doctor to keep your dog healthy.

You may save now by buying cheap dog food, but I bet you will spend a lot on medical care for damaged kidneys or liver, among others.

The rule is simple: If you love your dog, you will give your dog the best.

Have a wonderful woof week ahead!

Note: Please send questions to [email protected] and state whether you want your name included when we post the questions and answers from veterinarians and experts. I will not however include advice on medical treatment or dispense one as the licensed vet has to do tests and see your dog before a treatment plan can be designed for your dog. As part of promoting responsible pet ownership, we encourage owners to seek advice the vets.

Topics: Pet tales , Happy Dog , Happy Owner
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