According to Animal Medicines Australia’s it is estimated that there are 29 million pets in Australia, this includes an estimated 5.1 million dogs, 3.8 million cats, 11.3 million fish, 5.6 million birds, 614,000 small mammals, 364,000 reptiles and 1.8 million ‘other’ pets.
Their recent survey showed that almost two-thirds of Australian households have a pet with around 40% of these households including at least one dog, making them the most popular type of pets.
Not only do we have more pets than ever before, but over the last three years, the amount of money spent on furred-family members has increased by around $1 billion.
To keep our pets healthy, fed and entertained, we are now spending over an estimated $13 billion per year – food and veterinary services account for half of these expenses.
There is another trend that has appeared in recent years; the increase in natural pet products; this includes everything from bio-degradable poo bags to organic raw foods, bamboo bedding to toys made from recyclable materials. The most significant new player in this market is natural/alternative healthcare products, which accounts for an estimated 11% of that $13B we’re spending on our pets.
“With the rise in natural and alternative medicines, it makes sense that we have started to incorporate these into our pets’ diets”, said Kirsty Strowger, Director of Nature’s Help, the number one, online distributor of Organic Turmeric products in the country.
Two natural medicines that have exploded on the pet market are Turmeric (or specifically Golden Paste) and Pet Probiotic.
Ms Strowger discussed Turmeric’s powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. “It aids in digestion, and minor digestive disturbances, promotes general wellbeing and helps the healing process of skin irritations, not only in humans but in animals too.”
It is no wonder more, and more veterinarians are recommending Turmeric be added to your pets diets.
“Whether you have a dog, cat, bird, snake, horse, goat, or alpaca, all our furred, feathered and scaled family members can benefit from a daily dose of Turmeric.”
Three common health issues that Turmeric has shown to aid in are; arthritis, skin irritations and digestion.
Degenerative joint disease, otherwise known as arthritis is a condition that can affect all breeds and types of animals, it is, however, most commonly found in dogs and horses. The key to decreasing the pain associated with arthritis is managing the inflammation of the joints; luckily, Turmeric is a natural inflammation-fighting superstar!
Itchy skin in animals can be caused by a range of things, such as environmental and dietary allergies. Along with Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties, it is also rich in antimicrobials and antioxidants, making it an excellent treatment for a variety of skin conditions.
Digestive issues for animals can present as excessive drooling or loss of appetite, diarrhea or constipation, or more severe symptoms such as bleeding, abdominal pain and bloating. Turmeric has been shown to support the gastrointestinal system, helping the stomach withstand digestive acids as well as promoting healthy intestinal flora.
You’re probably wondering how you get your dog to eat Turmeric, especially if you have a fussy eater as Turmeric has a very distinct smell and flavour. There are a couple of options with Golden Paste being very common; you can find the recipe here. Another option is in capsule form; you want to ensure the capsules are vegetable-based and don’t contain any fillers, additives or preservatives.
Probiotics, often called “good” bacteria, maintain a healthy gut in both humans and our pets. With almost 90 percent of an animal’s immune system is in the wall of the intestines, introducing a probiotic to their diet can support your furred and feathers-family members to stay happy and healthy.
Without a healthy balance of good bacteria within your pet’s digestive tract, their immune system cannot function healthily. Allergies or intolerances often start in the gut and are the result of an imbalance of bacteria. Many factors can impact the balance of bacteria, including genetics, environment, hygiene, stress, infection, and diet.
Probiotics also help restore gut microbes lost when antibiotics are taken; this can be especially important if your pet has had to have an operation or is given antibiotics to treat an infection.
Ms Strowger explained that when looking for a probiotic for your pet, you should look out for one with several strains. “Studies have shown that probiotics with a mixture of strains have higher positive results than single strains. You also want upwards of 1-billion CFU (colony forming units) to ensure the bacteria isn’t destroyed the second it hits your pet’s gut.”
Most of us consider our pets to be members of our family, they offer us, unconditional love, affection and companionship, in return the least we can do is look after their health and wellbeing the same way we would look after our own.