If you have a pet dog or cat, you will naturally want them to be in the best of health and enjoy their food. It can be disconcerting if they suddenly seem to be disinterested in eating, or are eating less than usual. It may not be the sign of anything serious and it may just be a phase they are going through.
However, if your pet is eating very little and the
problem persists for a few days, then it’s worth investigating it further. Here are some of the most common reasons why dogs and cats might lose their appetite. Medical conditions There are many medical reasons why your pet might not be eating, so it’s necessary to have them checked out by a vet if the problem persists.
Cats and dogs can develop gastrointestinal diseases or obstructions of the gastrointestinal tract, for example. There may be an issue with their mouth or teeth. If your pet has other symptoms
such as a bloated stomach, appears to be in pain or discomfort, or is vomiting or having diarrhoea, then they should have urgent medical attention. Behavioural problems Dogs in particular can be prone to anxiety, stress, and fear, which might put them off their food. For example, dogs who are left at home
alone for long periods can develop
separation anxiety. Cats and dogs can also be upset by excessive noise such as fireworks, thunderstorms, or home improvements. Environmental
changes Pets can be very sensitive to changes in their environment, especially if you have the disruption of house guests, builders, or other tradespeople. If you have recently
introduced a new pet or brought a new baby home, then your pet may be more anxious than usual, leading to a loss of appetite. Dogs like to have a stable routine, and they may be affected by any
change, such as the loss of another household member, or being walked or fed at different times of the day. An issue with the food
Sometimes, you may simply be over facing your pet with too much food, or offering them a product that they don’t enjoy. Check that you are storing the food correctly so it is fresh, and that it
has not passed its sell-by date. Home treatments It’s always important to consult a vet if your pet has not been eating well, because there
may be an undiagnosed medical problem that needs to be addressed. However, it may be beneficial to support your pet’s diet with a supplement. One natural product that has been gaining recognition
for its effectiveness is montmorillonite clay powder. This product works as a natural anti-caking and binding agent, and it can help to
remove harmful chemicals and toxins from the body. Animals can often be observed eating soil or clay when they are feeling unwell, because of its natural cleansing and soothing properties. The
100 per cent natural clay can be mixed to a paste with natural spring water and given to your pet via a syringe, or added to wet food.
Gourmet table salts are favoured by professional chefs and enthusiastic home cooks for their superior texture and flavour. Unlike regular table salts which contain potentially harmful anti-caking ingredients, gourmet salts are minimally processed and free from artificial additives.
Gourmet salts have a consistent long-lasting flavour without the bitter aftertaste of regular table salts. It is also aesthetically pleasing, with generous glistening crystals rather than the ordinary white powder of regular table salt. These details can really elevate your cooking above the everyday and add that memorable and delicious twist.
Here’s a look at some of the many benefits of these popular gourmet salts.
Sicilian Sea Salt
Sicilian sea salt is harvested from the Mediterranean shores of Sicily, and it is enriched with essential vitamins and minerals including sodium, potassium, zinc, iron, magnesium, and potassium. This salt has a delicate crunch and a distinctive briny taste that make it ideal for preparing or seasoning seafood dishes.
Himalayan salt is a form of rock salt that is mined from the Salt Range Mountains in the Punjab region of Pakistan. It derives its distinctive rose coloured hue from the high mineral content and trace elements, which contain many of the essential minerals the body requires for healthy functioning.
Himalayan salt is hand-extracted from ancient mines, and has been used for centuries in its native region for cooking, preserving food, and for cosmetic and medicinal purposes. Food-grade Himalayan salt is ideal for seasoning all kinds of food, adding a long-lasting body and flavour without being too overpowering.
It is especially popular with professional cooks because it is so versatile. Larger grains can be added to meat dishes for slowly absorbed flavour, while more finely ground Himalayan salt is easily dissolved into more liquid dishes such as stews and soups or doughs. The unique pink crystals also make attractive table decorations when displayed in salt grinders.
Not only is Himalayan salt an excellent cooking ingredient, but it can also be used for therapeutic purposes. The coarse grains are ideal for making homemade exfoliating scrubs for the face and body. Some people find that they can help to ease dry skin conditions and eczema when added to a bath or foot soak.
Black Salt "Kala Namak"
This unique salt is harvested in India, where it has formed in centuries old volcanic matter. It has a lower sodium content than many other types of salt, so it is particularly beneficial for those who wish to lower their intake. It is a highly prized cooking ingredient for its bold and unique flavour.
Red Sea Salt
The Red Sea is famous for its high saline concentration, which makes it easy for bathers to float in. It is naturally rich in salt content due to low rainfall and high rates of evaporation, and this salt has been harvested for centuries for both cooking and medicinal purposes.
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At this time of the year it can be easy to feel a little under the weather, as the days are short and cold and the fun of the festive season is beginning to fade. Making time for some self-care can be the perfect antidote to tired and dull winter skin and low energy levels. Here are some ideas to rejuvenate yourself with the healing properties of clay.
What is so special about clay?
Why choose cosmetic clays when there are so many self-care products out there on the market? Well, clay is made up from tiny particles of decomposed rock, which is full of earth minerals and contains ionic bonds that carry a negative electrical charge. This helps natural clay products to draw out toxins and impurities from the skin.
Natural clays have been used for thousands of years to cleanse and purify the skin, leaving it looking and feeling wonderfully soft and glowing with a gentle exfoliating action. They can also have medicinal properties, helping to heal wounds and soothe inflammation.
What type of clay should I use?
For a mild clay that won’t cause any irritation to sensitive skin, choose kaolin white clay. This formula will help to draw out impurities while not drying out the skin or absorbing its natural oils. The clay has a lovely cooling action that is ideal for restoring the natural balance to red and irritated skin.
Montmorillonite red clay is rich in iron oxide, which is what gives it the characteristic red hue. It is composed of ancient volcanic ash and minerals and has a potent ionic charge. This makes it particularly effective for deep cleansing pores and leaving the skin feeling wonderfully hydrated and refreshed.
The clay can also stimulate the turnover of skin cells by boosting enzyme production and the flow of oxygen to the epidermis, leaving tired skin looking smoother and more youthful. It’s an ideal product for reducing the appearance of oily inflamed looking skin, because it absorbs excess sebum and has antimicrobial properties that can soothe acne.
How to make a clay mask
Simply follow the manufacturers’ instructions, which will typically involve adding mineral water to the clay powder to make a smooth paste, which can be applied to the face or body and left in place for 15 to 20 minutes while it works its magic. Then simply rinse away with warm water. You may wish to apply a carrier oil afterwards for maximum results.
Be sure to use a wooden spoon rather than a metallic one when you are mixing the paste, because metal can destroy the ionic charge and the treatment may be less effective. For additional benefits, you may want to choose a clay with added vitamins and nutrients such as rosehip powder, green tea extract, and aloe vera powder.
Epsom salts have been used for centuries as a natural yet effective remedy for a range of ailments, such as a bath salt to treat conditions such as eczema. It contains minerals that are essential for the healthy functioning of the body, and they can be absorbed through the skin during a therapeutic soak in the tub.
As the name suggests, it was first discovered in Epsom Common, Surrey, England, in the early 17th century. The story goes that a local cow herder named Henry Wickham brought his cows to drink from the common springs during a dry spell. The cattle however refused to drink, and on further examination the water proved to contain magnesium sulphate.
The is a type of sodium which occurs naturally in certain foods such as nuts and green leafy vegetables, but is different from regular table salt. The local herdsmen began to notice that their animals who waded in the salty spa waters seemed to recover from wounds and cuts more easily.
This led to a greater exploration of the medicinal properties of the mineral water. It was discovered that if it was drunk, it acted as a laxative, and also eased the symptoms of gout (a painful inflammation of the joints). The source of the sodium soon began to be mined from the Epsom Downs and sold for a range of medicinal purposes.
There is no longer any Epsom salts actually left to extract in Epsom, but equivalent sources of pure magnesium sulphate can be found in Germany. Therefore if you are considering buying Epsom salts, you should check its origin, as some products with this name are in fact synthetically produced.
How can you use Epsom salts?
One of the most popular ways to use pure Epsom salts is to add a cupful or two to your bathwater. This can help to alleviate muscle tension and soreness, helping to ease stiff joints or reduce swelling and inflammation. A soak of about 15 minutes should allow time for the essential minerals to be absorbed to help repair damage and aid the recovery process.
It’s a method used by athletes or anyone who partakes in intense exercise routines, and also by people who suffer from arthritis or other inflammatory conditions. Some people simply find it relaxing and it helps them to have a really good night’s sleep.
As a skin therapy
The salts have traditionally been used as a remedy to treat dry skin and associated conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis. This can be a particularly distressing problem at this time of the year when the cold dry air means that our skin is prone to become dry, cracked, and red.
Many people find that after a soak in a warm bath with two cupfuls of dissolved Epsom salts, the inflammation and redness of the skin is soothed. The salts will also help to remove dead skin cells, helping to leave your skin feeling smoother and softer and promoting the healing of any cuts and scratches.
Green clay powder has natural healing properties, and can be used externally as a poultice to treat equine wounds, or given as a feed supplement to cleanse the digestive tract. It’s dense in enzymes and minerals that act to draw toxins out of the body, while replenishing lost micronutrients.
When applied as a poultice, it has a soothing antimicrobial effect and stimulates the repair and regeneration process of the skin. It can be applied to cuts and bruises, and used to ease strained tendons. Here’s a look at how the clay can be used to heal wounds and skin infections such as mud fever.
Mud fever (also known as pastern dermatitis) is a condition that affects horses who spend long periods standing in wet muddy fields. It most often occurs in winter time for obvious reasons, when grazing land can become quickly churned up and boggy in wet conditions. It can also occur in equines who have their legs frequently washed and not dried off.
It mainly affects the pastern, which is the area between the hoof and the fetlock, but it can also affect the lower legs up to the knees and hocks. The skin becomes softened by the prolonged contact with water and is more prone to cracking and damage from cuts. This allows bacteria to enter, causing an infection to develop under the skin.
The most common signs of mud fever include crusty scabs on the heels or pasterns, and possibly the lower legs. The hair around the scabs may be matted or fall out, and the scabs may ooze with white, yellow, or greenish discharge. The area may feel hot and swollen to touch, and the horse may appear to be lame.
Warm-blooded animals with thin skin, such as Arabs and Thoroughbreds, are particularly prone to mud fever, as are animals with light unpigmented skin. To prevent mud fever, try to rotate grazing land by sectioning it with ropes during the winter so that the whole field does not become poached up and each area has some time to recover.
If an infection does occur it should be treated as soon as possible. Wash the area with a mild disinfectant and dry it with a towel. To treat with green clay powder, mix the required amount in a glass or ceramic (or other non-metallic) dish with mineral or spring water. Avoid tap water because the chlorine can interfere with the effectiveness of the healing process.
Use a ratio of one tablespoon of water to one tablespoon of clay until you have the desired amount, which will depend on the size of the area to be treated. Mix it with a wooden spoon to a smooth paste and apply a thick layer to the wound. Wrap the area in a moist bandage, because once the clay is dried out it is no longer active.
A layer of cling film can prolong the life of the poultice. Over time, the clay will naturally dry out, drawing out the infection. Reapply the poultice daily until the wound is healed.