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Interview with Jo Arbon (Holistic Hound Founder) – Podcast 33

This week we are very excited and with good reason! Rowan was fortunate enough to sit down and chat with Jo Arbon, who is behind the wonderful company ‘Holistic Hound’! During the episode, Jo explains the difference the treatments we are used to seeing and how they differ from holistic treatments, trusting our dog’s instincts, how often to use holistic remedies and more! You can reach us across social media @bellaandduke and for more information on holistic remedies and raw feeding, we’d love for you to come and join our amazing Facebook community!

0:20 Welcome!

1:24 A little about Jo

5:37 Dogs and Natural Selection

9:54 How intuitive are our dogs?

11:06 The parameter of self-selection

14:05 Are you in danger of overdosing garlic?

20:45 How does your dog want treatment applying?

24:00 Cycling holistic remedies

29:40 Why are ticks attracted to our dogs?

33:40 Dry Itchy Dog

41:17 Goodbye! 😊

Rowan: Okay.


Joe: Let’s do it.


Rowan: Joe, let’s do it. We are recording. Welcome to a… well, it’s the Bella and Duke podcast, and you know what? We’ve actually lost count, and that’s a really nice place to be. So everybody, I’m Rowan, I think you know more than I do about myself (and probably as much as anybody needs to know) and we have the Magnificent Joe Arbonne from Holistic Hound on with us today. Joe, I am super excited to be chatting with you. Thank you so much for coming on.


Joe: Hey.


Rowan: Hi. So just to put this in contacts… context… contacts (easy for me to say words). Joe is the genius who works with us and who is providing all of her amazing natural remedies; I’m going to let Joe tell us more about that. We’ve got loads of people who have sent us questions for Joe. So Joe before we go any further, in a moment of presence with the big smile, I’ve got lots of personal questions as well. How are you today?

Joe: I’m very good. You see, you were very good, you didn’t mention the purple hair.


Rowan: Yes.


Joe: You said a big smile but you didn’t mention the purple hair.




Rowan: So you’ve mentioned it, so why didn’t he give us a very quick background on the purple hair and then we’ll hear more about you?


Joe: Well, there is a reason for the purple hair. To be fair, it was actually my best friend’s wedding last Friday and she had a purple themed wedding, so and my… my dogs were bridesmaids so I had to feel… I felt like I had to go along with the theme, you know?


Rowan: This also feels quite a Harry Potter. You know, I would kind of liked you to have said, “Actually, it was an experiment in the lab that went wrong.” But, you know…


Joe: I think…

Rowan: … best friend’s wedding purple theme is way cooler.


Joe: Yeah. I think people do have this vision of me actually certainly when I’ve been involved with people in the natural dog conference, they have a vision of me sitting in a shed actually hand… hand shredding nettles and mixing everything over a big cauldron and things like that and it’s… it’s really not that… there’s not that much trickery to it; I promise.


Rowan: Well, I don’t know, I think a little bit of witchcraft does blows.


Joe: (Laughs)


Rowan: Joe, what has been the inspiration? Because you’ve managed to mel a couple of really interesting elements together in dealing with dogs very successfully for quite some time and have some amazing experience.


Joe: Yeah.


Rowan: In a sound bite before we dive in, how would you describe yourself?


Joe: You know, what I’m actually trying to do is just make these more natural health options more accessible to people in… in their… in their everyday pet care. It isn’t rocket science, you know, it’s… it dates back… people have been using herbs with animals for a lot longer than they’ve been using pharmaceuticals, you know, hundreds of thousands of years almost. And it’s about making… you know, my ethos is about a holistic approach to health care. So that doesn’t mean that you’re actually saying no to vet, but what it actually means is you’re just adding to your toolkit and particularly when you kind of have more chronic long-term issues or preventive healthcare, and there’s options that you can look to that are much more natural but… and gentle but is still very safe and effective, and that’s really where I’m kind of coming from and it’s trying to just bring people into that next… next generation.


Rowan: So I’m trying to suppress a smile because I remember the first time I spoke to you and I was listening to you explain and I was like, “Oh, this is so banging my wheelhouse. I’m so excited to meet a fellow human who agrees with what I want to do,” brilliant. Well, Joe, thank you for you.


Joe: That’s right.


Rowan: How’s Holistic Hound being going now?


Joe: So I actually initially kind of started training and back in 2000, 2001 and then we established Holistic Hound around 2005 I think it was, so it was myself and my business partner back in the UK. And since then, she’s gone on to… she’s in the more kind of behavioral training route and I’ve kind of kept going with the… the remedies and things like that. And I moved to Ireland and she stayed in the UK. But we’re still very, very good friends and she still does her thing and I still do my thing and we talk compare notes. Yes, so quite a long time now, you know, Holistic Hound has actually been running for about 13 years. So we have a lot of evidence and testimonials to say that actually, you know, these things work. And, you know, one of the reasons that I actually establish this was because I… they’re all products that I have used on all the various dogs that I’ve had around my life, and I have seen with my own eyes things happening and things working. There’s, you know, my dogs don’t necessarily know what they’ve taken, if they’ve taken anything, what’s been applied, and yet it worked. And so, you know, it’s a little bit comes back to there are more things in heaven and earth Horatio.


Rowan: Neatly summarized, I love that. Yeah, you know, I… before we actually release the products, I trialed a lot of them on my dog, Kismet. And there was the things she absolutely gravitated towards and other thing she was like, “No, I’m not going near that.”


Joe: Yeah.


Rowan: And that made me think a lot about what you were originally explaining about dogs and natural selection.


Joe: Yeah.


Rowan: And I agree with that with herbs, I slightly disagree with that when you look at them outside, like there’s no dog needs to chew a wooden wellington… a rubber wellington but they will do that nonetheless. But with herbs, dogs seem to be massively intuitive. Okay, so Joe, just recapping because and we got slightly cut off there by my electricity supply, which decided to switch up the internet. I have to go and put some coins back in.


Joe: Yeah.


Rowan: We were talking about self-selection and I was saying that I’ve seen with Kismet when we were trying the product actually naturally gravitates to some things and was, “Whoa!” with some others.


Joe: Yeah.


Rowan: And it seems to me that around herbs and some foods, dogs are very good at self-selection but obviously that doesn’t necessarily then scan to my dog decides it’s going to eat somebody’s underwear off the… off the washing line or whichever; that’s a totally different thing.


Joe: Well, they’re process so you wouldn’t expect your dog to recognize that as a food type because it is processed, you know, dogs and underwear.


Rowan: Well, that being said, some dogs obviously are addicted to like kibbles. And kibble manufacturers, although I couldn’t quote any of them, have been mentioned to me actually by a couple of vets as spraying the kibble with like a sugary glaze to make it very, very addictive to the dog.


Joe: Yep, yep, they do, they do. And that’s why, you know, like again mentioning no name… no names, that’s why you get lawsuits for kibble found with refrigerant or (unclear) [07:24] on them for example.


Rowan: Oh my goodness, I didn’t even know about that.


Joe: Oh yeah, there’s been lawsuits about that and products pulled and things like that. But, I mean, absolutely what self-selection is, is one of the… you know, is another one of the areas that I actually do a lot of work in, having spent some time training with Caroline Ingraham who is a founder of the Applied Zoopharmacognosy. And it’s one of those things that actually you almost need to see it to really believe it because you would not believe the level of engagement that our pet dogs have with self-selection still. You know, we seem to… you know, the only terms that we ever seem to really connect with self-selection is things that when we’re pregnant and women get cravings things like that, you know, that is their body actually saying, “I really need something,” like there’s some key trace element or mineral that are missing, and the dogs actually a very in tune with it still. And absolutely one of the things, you know, we say with some of the products like the… we make a golden paste, a turmeric based paste, and it’s absolutely fantastic anti-inflammatory. But if your dog is absolutely 100% not into eating this, then there’s a reason for that and as you, you know, you should trust your dog, your dog knows best what it needs.


Rowan: Oh, Joe, finally, I think we are recording and we have reconnected. So for those of you wondering about a little bit the scene change, Joe and I were interrupted by a power out over here in Spain yesterday. Joe’s very kind, you rearranged our schedule to rejoin us so we can continue this podcast. Joe, thank you for being here and thanks for being flexible.


Rowan: We had been discussing why self-selection works in some cases, in some cases it’s almost a bit dangerous, I mean, your dog is getting scarf (unclear) [10:15], that’s not self-selection, that’s actually bobbling with the dark side. But when it comes to herbs, dogs seem to be reasonably intuitive, is that your example… is that your experience rather of it?


Joe: Yes, completely and… and a lot of… you have to… there’s a common sense element to it in that if you… if you basically are offering them things that are very natural in their raw state and that are realized product for the animal and they are going to select it. If it is processed or altered in any kind of a way like chocolate or whatever it may be or underpants…


Rowan: Okay, we’re recording again.


Joe: Yep.


Rowan: So take 7. Okay, Joe, so you’re making a really interesting point and I love the way you’re differentiating on this actually because so many people are actually jumping on the self-selection thing and almost as if it absolves them of responsibility and dog knows best.


Joe: Yeah.


Rowan: Now self-selection is really good and can really work within some parameters.


Joe: Yes, exactly.


Rowan: And before you were rudely cut off by the internet, could you finally differentiate how you see these parameters? Because I’m really interested in this; this is great.


Joe: Yeah, I think it is… it does come down to knowing… you have to understand what you are doing with self-selection. It is not as simple as letting the dog roam free and do everything that it needs to be doing and letting it have access to everything in anything. Because exactly as you said, a dog will eat chocolate no matter what. It doesn’t recognize that chemical signature, it doesn’t know that that is actually going to be bad for it, it just knows, “It’s yummy and it’s what my mom eats, so I’m going to eat it.” And so it has to be… there has to be a lot of understanding and control, you know, within a controlled environment. When we actually do self-selection workshops or, you know, if I’m kind of working with any clients or anything like that, it is very much in a controlled environment where what I am offering the dog to self-select is offered basically and it is not that they are randomly selecting whatever is laid out, you know, around the environment, I have chosen the products that I am offering them and then they are choosing whether or not they want to work with them. But they have a wide range of course of what they’re offered, but it is very much within controlled parameters.


Rowan: I love that. So for instance, a puppy chewing a power line is not self-selecting like Godzilla, I need more…


Joe: No.


Rowan: What you’re doing is you’re…


Joe: No, a puppy chewing a power line is, “This is fun to chew and it feels good in my mouth and I have no understanding of the consequences.”


Rowan: Excellent, good, I’m glad we’ve cleared that up. I love the way you’ve articulated that.


Joe: Yeah.


Rowan: Now, Joe, you very kindly formulated some amazing products which we’re really proud to use, sell, be part of the Bella and Duke brand; I mean, frankly, we’re super giddy. And as discussed earlier… (well, I am).




Rowan: As discussed earlier, I use them on…


Joe: On Kismet.


Rowan: … basically on the beautiful Kismet. Thank you for sending them over and sharing them with us. There’s have been a lot of questions on group (and I thought it would be better to get it from you direct) about such as like for instance, the one with the drops. Remind me which one that is, is that Worms Away?


Joe: There’s Worms Away, that’s one that’s actually taken orally, there’s obviously the ear drops as well.


Rowan: Yes. So the Worms Away, the amount of drops, it’s normally 10 kilos, isn’t it, and maybe you can talk about it in a second.


Joe: Yeah.


Rowan: But on that, on the dosages element so that everybody understands once and for all thoroughly, there are sometimes an overlap of products, for instance Worms Away and the Natural Flickin tea have both got (unclear) [14:30]…


Joe: That’s right, yeah.


Rowan: So a few people said, “Oh, are we in danger of overdosing?” can you kindly clarify how to do those?


Joe: I can actually.


Rowan: Because I see from your smile.


Joe: Yeah. No, I mean, basically as a herbalist, the way we actually work is you when you’re establishing products, particularly generic off-the-shelf products because you have to make sure this… you know, you’re taking every care; you have a duty of care and due diligence. But the way you work as a herbalist is you work to what’s called minimal effective dose. So you’re actually looking to make that product with the level of dosage in the right lev… the right format for bioavailability that brings about the reaction, the changes you want to see, but is miles away from what it is also called the maximal… oh my gosh, I’ve forgotten the word, but it begins with a T.


Rowan: I know what you’re talking about.


Joe: Traumatic dose, I can’t remember… we call it MTD; toxic dose basically. And so what you… there’s a dosage where it caused a trauma if they were to go above that and then there’s the minimal effect dosage. And particularly with herbs, the range between the 2 of those is vast.


Rowan: Yes.


Joe: So you have a option to play with. So what we are saying with the garlic for example, there is obviously a toxicity level with garlic. There’s a toxicity level with every single product that, you know, exists in life…


Rowan: Including water.


Joe: Even water. There was a case of a woman who died drinking water on a radio station, you know, because we’re taking part in a ‘how fast can you drink a glass of water?’ Yes, so there is this… you have this range of safety. And when you’re talking with herbs as opposed to pharmaceuticals, that range is a lot wider and it is with pharmaceuticals that have extracted the various chemicals and concentrated them. So we have a lot more to play with, but with garlic in particular, that maximum dosage, it would literally be needing to feed your dog kind of a clove of garlic a day really to actually reach that kind of that maximum dosage. So the fact that you have concurrent dosages with the Ticked-Off, the Worms Away, and if you were feeding the Eat Me, there’s a small amount of Eat Me in there, is absolutely fine; it’s well within their safety.


Rowan: Oh yeah.


Joe: Yeah, and it’s still excellency. What I wouldn’t be saying people is, if you were giving all 3 of those to add in additional garlic, fresh garlic the food as well.


Rowan: This is where you just actually nailed that question; I love this. And my one addendum would be (if I may) and I’d love to get your opinion on this because quite often, when we’re treating bacteria or parasites in our clinic for human clients, we will use essential oils. Now essential oils are basically the pharmaceuticals of the herbal world, albeit the natural ones, in that they’re concentrated.


Joe: They are.


Rowan: So that association between the minimal effective and effective dose and toxicity level is actually a lot lower.


Joe: Maximum tolerated dose; there you go. (Laughs)


Rowan: Brilliant, brilliant. Were you Googling whilst I was chatting?




Joe: I love it! Because I was like, “I can’t remember, I can’t remember the word!” (Laughs)


Rowan: And I think, for instance, I know you live oil of oregano is more than…


Joe: Is a fantastic antimicrobial, yeah.


Rowan: Yeah, but more potent than virtually any pharmaceutical out there.


Joe: It is, it is, yeah.


Rowan: I know human clients who have damaged their gut micro biome with it to the point where they’ve killed virtually all the bacteria.


Joe: Yes.


Rowan: Now that’s where herbs become super powerful. So employing a herbalist to actually have a pre formula rather than tinkering yourself with essential oils is essential.


Joe: It is. And, I mean, you have to bear in mind, so as well as the fact that you have this minimum effective dosage and the maximum tolerated dosage range, you… they are… their routes into the body are different, and so where you’re dealing with essential oils, you’re actually dealing with the volatile component of it.


Rowan: Yes.


Joe: And the word ‘volatile’ gives it away, it basically gets into the bloodstream immediately.


Rowan: Yes.


Joe: It is very, very potent and very, very effective, and when you’re actually taking garlic through the digestion system, it’s a completely different delivery mechanism, it’s much more delayed, it’s much more drawn-out, it’s less bioeffective and bioavailable. So there are different… as well as different dosages, you have to take into account the delivery mechanism because that will also… that has a role to do with potency.


Rowan: Yes, it does.


Joe: And this is perfectly… when we are… when we do a lot of their self-selection, it’s quite interesting that the majority of dogs… because there’s 2 elements to self-selection that we generally work with. One is they’re meeting their nutritional demands that the body actually requires to be able to do the next healing.


Rowan: Yes.


Joe: If you don’t meet the nutritional demands within a dog, then it’s not going to… it’s not going to be able to heal the other bit. You have to get the physical before you can start dealing with other physical, mental, and emotional part of things; the body prioritizes very, very effectively. So we actually work with the nutritional in terms of digestion, the digestive herbs, you know, like your spirulina you have, whatever that may be, before we actually move on to the volatile elements using essential oils. And it’s primarily essential also dogs will choose to work with and they will either choose to inhale, you know, using their olfactory, they will choose if they’re very desperate to actually take it orally or they actually generally choose that also have it applied either to an area that they need to work or directly to their femoral artery. You will see so many examples of where a dog that who lifts its leg, displaying their femoral artery to have it applied because the dog knows that that is the most effective method of getting what it needs into his bloodstream ASAP.


Joe: And it seems like… and, you know, there are lots of safe things that you can kind of be offering your dogs to have, but like you said, it has to be done within the parameters and there has to be a good level of understanding as to why that may be… it may be selecting that in the first place so that you can be confident of how you’re offering and how you’re expecting that dog to take it, “Does she want it applied? Does she want to actually ingest it because actually her body is craving some more essential fatty acids?” you know, there’s all these different elements to it.


Rowan: Yeah, interesting. I know dogs are obviously from a smell perspective super more attuned than humans, but there is a good example of humans kind of self-selecting, and one of the is craving salt.

Joe: Yes.

Rowan: And anybody that I’ve seen who has any kind of adrenal disruption, generally if you get a little, just like a sprinkle of Himalayan sea salt in the morning, normally improves your energy levels throughout the day, why? Because id does one job of the adrenal access.


Joe: Yeah.


Rowan: And people often say, “Ooh, how do I know how much to take?” and it’s quite an easy one, as soon as it tastes salty, it’s too salty.

Joe: Yeah, exactly. And we have the 2 other examples actually that we use when… or all the Caroline uses when she’s actually working with people. One is and one that people won’t necessarily be familiar with is liquorice root. So… and this isn’t the liquorice sweet, but if you… every single person, again, because of adrenal stress basically because you’re alive, so you have a level of adrenal stress because you are awake, alive, upright, functioning, every single person will initially taste liquorice root and it will be sweet. But some people in the room, the next taste will go very sour and bitter, but some people who are under a lot of adrenal stress but don’t even realize it, they could be there for hours taking tastes and says… but at some point, the body will say, “No, I don’t need any more, I’ve had enough.” But the best example is spirulina. So …and I’m sure most of the people watching the podcast may be aware of spirulina is one of these green superfood algae kind of amazing things, tastes like ditchwater it is rank.


Rowan: Oh, it’s super pond.


Joe: But you don’t love it, and I tell you now, if you take a teaspoon of it and you taste it and you find… and you actually find that you like the taste of it, your body needs it, and that’s where… and that’s why spirulina is such a superfood because it is one of the ones that our bodies are actually still in tune to actually self-select with. The point where it start to taste and rank like ditchwater again, you don’t actually necessarily need it.


Rowan: Oh, for me, it smells… I can smell ditchwater as soon as it comes across.


Joe: Yeah.


Rowan: It’s like… maybe this needs anything out but I’ll give you a little fact on why… why liquorice root works for people with any kind of adrenal stress, it extends the half-life of cortisol,


Joe: Alright, okay, I didn’t know that.

Rowan: So if you… you know, as you’re saying, you need the level of adrenal stress basically you get a little spike of cortisol in the morning to keep you awake.


Joe: Yeah.

Rowan: But if you’re really struggling, what it does is it stops your body metabolizing it and breaking it down and instead it actually maintains it for a lot longer so people have clean and period of energy.


Joe: Oh very good, very good. I know you have it in our Willpower Tea.


Rowan: Oh wow.

Joe: Like we had this tea (again, you may want to edit this out) but we have it in our Willpower Tea that people wanted to weight loss tea and I was like, “No, no, no, you don’t want a weight loss tea, you want a tea that will help you take responsibility for you do. So it basically balances hormones, enhances the metabolism and regulates blood sugars and cravings But it doesn’t help you lose weight, you do that.” You know, so…


Rowan: Yes, interesting, very interesting. Tell me on this… oh, sorry, you were going to say something, Joe?


Joe: Nope.


Rowan: Okay, we’ve covered kind of over like in terms of timing, is there a seasonal… and I guess this goes back to what we were talking about herbs been very effective, we were talking more about oregano and this thing, but…


Joe: Yeah.


Rowan: When… when would you choose to cycle these things? Is there in it a period where you say, “Yeah, I put my dog one into 3 months, I take it off for a couple of months,” because I know from human perspective, and I’m… this is why I’m asking you because you’re the dog professional on this is… or the canine… the canine professional, the animal professional, is we like to cycle things to allow people’s good gut bacteria to come back and flourish.


Joe: Yeah.


Rowan: Is it the same thing with for instance pulsing garlic or wormwood? And I know some of them are a couple of days a month, I’m really like that by the way, I think it’s a great way.


Joe: Yeah.


Rowan: A bit of a stimulus, make it a wholesome environment for unwanted worms, nematodes…


Joe: Exactly.


Rowan: … but let the dog recover. Where do you stand on that? Can you clarify that a little bit for me please?


Joe: So as well… I mean, so they…. the products have all been developed not only to address symptoms of what a dog may be suffering but actually to really address the root cause. And this is where the cycling kind of comes in. And if you take worms away, for example, it is a preventative. Now if your dog has worms, absolutely use it to get you rid of worms, but rather than it being the tablet once every 3 months, you know, the day I they can pick up the worms, you are creating this ongoing hostile environment so it is actually preventative. And that is done by exactly what you’ve just done, recycling which is basically boosting that digestive environment to say, “Well, I need to, you know, remain hostile. I need to remain hostile,” because you’ve got kind of whatever happens, you know, for the month after, whatever they may eat, they may, you know, kind of be in the garbage, whatever may happen, they get hold of the wrong things, and over the course of a month, their envi… their gut environment may become less hostile and all you’re actually doing is once every month is giving it that little nudge to say, “No, I need you to remain hostile.” So that’s exactly what happens with the Worms Away. With the Tick-Off, it’s more of a seasonal kind of thing, depending on when you have a tick burden kind of thing. The flea side of things is more if you want health…


Rowan: Sorry, this is an interesting turn of phrase and just so people understand a tick burden, by that, do you mean that when ticks are their most?


Joe: Yes, exactly. So…


Rowan: I’m going to use that for my own.


Joe: So ticks tend to be fairly seized, not they are actually around all the time. And, you know, if you’ve got have herds of goats, sheep, deer, whatever it may be, you know, and they will quite happily hibernate for anything up to 24 months before they actually decide that they need to grab on and get a glog full of blood. And so… but generally there’s a season where they actually kind of spring to life and they will blow in the wind and, you know, lay their eggs and… and populate. And so if, you know, that there’s a season with that, what we do say is look to kind of be using that predominantly during that season. With the flea side of things, it’s more… actually, you should be less concerned about the flea side because a healthy dog won’t have food, in a nutshell. A healthy dog that has a healthy circulation system, that has a healthy digestive environment and a good set of blood is not attractive to fleas. It’s a similar kind of thing, you know, with the whole dirty hair lice kind of scenario. You know, we’ve grown up on the idea that it’s people that have dirty hair that get… the kids that have dirty hair to get the lice, whereas actually, it can actually be the opposite. You know, so don’t assume that your dog has got fleas, you know, it’s… it’s if your dog is healthy, is what I’m trying to say, it’s very unlikely to have fleas, so you wouldn’t want to be using the Tick-Of all year round, does that make sense?


Rowan: Oh no, it didn’t.




Joe: I think I might mix up with the noise opposite where…


Rowan: Yeah, exactly. So this is what I need to clarify is, I can understand why are you saying that, if your dog’s healthy, it’s a hostile environment of fleas; and I’m guessing that’s because the immune system might be healthy enough to fight them off. So I guess, in that respect, ignoring the products for a second that (unclear) [29:40] ticks are different to fleas then…


Joe: They are completely different.


Rowan: … will particularly latch on to pretty much anything.


Joe: Yes.


Rowan: And quite often, the farm dog, if he comes around to visit and he’s looking after a herds of goats, will have 1 or 2 on his nose.


Joe: Yeah.


Rowan: And it’s, “Oh my goodness me, let’s get those out.” And he sometimes brings a selection round, maybe 3 or 4 little ones like a small one, a really alien-looking one, a monkey one and then just a scary one. And then he comes near my dog and is like, “Holy moly no.”


Joe: Yeah.


Rowan: So that’s the tick side.


Joe: Yeah, ticks are opportunists.


Rowan: You say flea side and I didn’t know this, this is really interesting. So do we know the process that the body would repel fleas from or why fleas are attracted to let’s say unhealthier dogs or whichever?


Joe: Yep, it is it is generally related to what you’ve said then about the immune system. If the immune system is compromised and the body is less able to fight them off, the fleas are actually then attracted to their… that particular dog and they will actually live on them and stay on them, whereas actually, if they are giving out this aura (want of a better word) if their… if their skin isn’t attractive and it’s healthy and strong, the fleas are not attracted. So a healthy dog will not have… the ticks, absolutely, they are opportunistic. And I always say to people, if… if you ever have a product that advertises that it stops ticks biting, it’s not true, it just… you can’t stop a tick from biting. But what you can do, similar to a shark where a shark will have a taste and then go, “Oh no, you’re not for me,” (but obviously that it’s quite a big taste and can be quite fatal) a tick will have a taste, but if the immune…


Rowan: How many ticks do you have in Ireland?




Rowan: 270 kilo tick took a nick out of me, but don’t worry, it only took me arms.




Joe: You see, sharks are notorious but they don’t necessarily kill people because they are eating them, they’re killing people because they’re tasting them to see if it’s the right thing; and the same with ticks.


Rowan: So this the equivalent of the bump tests as we call it.


Joe: That’s it, they bump and then they bite.


Rowan: Yeah, a bump test is like, “Hello.”


Joe: Yeah, and it’s exactly same with a tick. So a tick will… you know, will… will try and latch on or will have a go at latching on, but if the environmental is hostile and the blood is, “Ugh!” then they don’t actually latch on, they don’t stay. And it’s… it’s really at the point of regurgitation, that is when you actually get the majority of transference of things like Lyme’s and all the other yucky diseases.


Rowan: Yes, yes, yes, same thing humans; most humans can keep ticks at bay. But it’s a very good point that actually Mark and I were talking about the other day is that most people with a fully functioning immune system, you know, at their best…


Joe: Yeah.


Rowan: … at the zennith, wouldn’t pick up a Lyme disease. Now, previously we were saying yeah because, you know, we thought that the basically the disease itself would be attacked by the body and, you know, neutralized with like antibodies or antigens. But actually, you made a really good point here, it’s like well, maybe it’s because the tick doesn’t regurgitate because the body is able to repel it and it’s not an attractive environment, or both.


Joe: Yeah, yeah. Now, I don’t know… like I think this case is where it’s actually just been a bite it has actually transferred the Lyme’s in humans. I know that there’s, you know, a couple of cases where that has been situation, but 9 times out of 10 is that the point of regurgitation where they’ve had enough and to get off the body, they actually basically (it’s very nice; I hope everyone’s had their breakfast) they vomit back, you know, so they have a little bit of space to basically release and then off. And it’s at that point where they actually regurgitate and put back in that they actually do their transference of the disease.

Rowan: Wow, wow.

Joe: And that’s why you just want them to bite, taste, and go, “Ugh, don’t like that,” and go and get somebody else, you know?

Rowan: Like a shark, or alternatively walk around in a wetsuit.

Joe: Yes. Although that makes you look like a seal so could still be attractive to sharks, you know?

Rowan: I see a whole range of non-seal looking wetsuits and the horizon. So final point for you, Joe, and I appreciate you rescheduled your calendar today so thank you to you.

Joe: That’s alright.

Rowan: Is, one of the biggest topics, one of the biggest topics by far is…


Joe: My itchy dog.


Rowan: Thank you. Now, I’ve noticed with Kismet for instance is that sometimes, her itching and scratching isn’t actually skin related at all. On several occasions, she’s been in there, she’s gnawing, you think, “Oh, she’s got an itchy paw,” it’s actually a grass seed that’s in there.


Joe: Yeah.


Rowan: And especially where I live, they get very dry grass, although today, it looks like I’m on some kind of North Atlantic trawler and somebody’s hosing me down from a Hollywood movie on window. But quite often super tiny to the point where I’ve had to go through her paws every evening and even on the inside of the paws, just check them out.


Joe: Yeah.


Rowan: Why? Because she picks up all these little sharp things like these burrs and the rest…


Joe: Yeah.


Rowan: … and they lodged between there and then you see and you think, “Why has she got itchy paw?” nothing to do with that at all.


Joe: Yeah, yeah. There’s almost… so with itchy dogs there is almost… there’s a process of elimination that you do have to go through.


Rowan: Oh, great.


Joe: And actually, you know, again, this is where it’s a holistic approach, it is not a one cure fits all kind of scenario. So with itchy dogs, there’s a number of reasons why… why dogs could be itchy. They could have an environmental allergy, they could have something stuck in them, they could have, you know, mites or some kind of other topical issue, you know, like mange or something like that. They could just be lacking in their diet, you know, key kind of nutrients and essential fatty acids and not be able to get out of their food what they need to be able to provide their skin with enough moisture or oils to actually keep that skin being itchy, it would even be color impingement. Color impingement has been found to be, you know, a serious issue that relate… that it’s a pain transference thing. So they’re getting an impinged neck from the collar, it transfers to their lower legs or something like that, as what they see is a different kind of pain, and visibly to us as humans, it looks like they’ve got itchy-scratchy issues. So that’s a very easy one to fix, but actually you need to go… you need to be asking yourself all of these different questions. You also have different kind of itches. You have the dry inches, you have the red hot wet itches, you have the very specific area itches because actually there is a grass seed or whatever it is. You have the different areas, you have the paws, you have the ears, you have the entire body. You know, so you have to ask yourself all these kinds of questions and almost kind of, you know, keep a journalist as to what’s actually happening and why, and then you use a process of elimination to then decide what is actually your best course of action. And what was I going to say then? Something to do so… And, you know, veterinary diagnosis can be essentially. You know, so just because you take a dog to your vet to get them diagnosed, doesn’t necessarily mean that you then have to her accept medication that they may give you. But let’s say for example you take your dog to the vet because it is itching in a particular area and it has a hot spot or whatever it is, and the vet checked and he does her skin scrape and he says, “Well, there’s no mite, there’s no… there doesn’t look like any seed present, it’s a hot spot, he probably has an environmental allergy. You know, here, take these steroids for… and these antibiotics for a week.” Just because your dog… your vet has actually made that diagnosis doesn’t mean that you actually then have to have the medication. If it is a hot spot that has no obvious cause, you can then take a step backwards and say, “Well, hold on, let me just let see if I can address the environment, let’s see if I can address his diet, let’s see if I can actually use a natural product to address this hot spot before I actually stop pummeling a load of pharmaceuticals and chemicals into my dog.” So it’s that kind of process that you go through really with things like itchy dogs but because there is not one caus. You know, and you need to almost kind of a look at the whole picture and then narrow down that the likely cause from that. And the likely cause will then give you the wide range of options that there are that you can a lot… of options you can be doing at home and then a lot… you know, and just things that you have in your cupboard.


Rowan: This is very interesting, this is very interesting. Good. I’ve got questions on that; that’s interesting for another time I think. Joe, I only think… I honestly think we’re going to need you back.


Joe: Okay, to talk about itchy dogs.


Rowan: Yeah. Do, you know, how about this for a plan? Without putting you on the spot, you’ve got such a fabulous array of knowledge and I have learned so much over these last 82 attempts to actually record.




Rowan: And I think it would be great for us to put this podcast up to get a load of questions and then maybe  just cover a specific topic in a couple weeks, because I appreciate you’re super busy in-between purple weddings and food fairs and saving dogs and people, if we could invite you back, that would be fabulous.


Joe: Yeah, yeah. I mean, well, you know, let’s see if the people have questions and scenarios because actually working through questions and scenarios from… from people, you know, even if it’s not necessarily exactly the scenario that you’re going through with your dog, it may result in questions that you can think, “Oh actually, do you know what? That sounds familiar,” or there’s indications and things that. And this is, you know, it’s… this is why it is really important not to, you know, just kind of grab at one solution but actually to work through all the different options and… and look at the picture holistically and as a whole. Because actually, the bigger your toolbox, the more options you have then in actually getting to the root cause as opposed to just dealing with the symptoms and hoping with the go away.


Rowan: I totally agree and I was speaking with the lovely Caroline Spencer who’s now a canine behavioral… natural canine behavioral expert.


Joe: Yeah.


Rowan: And we were talking about that this very morning…


Joe: Yeah.


Rowan: … about…


Joe: And, you see, that’s the… that’s the other problem that you have with itchy dogs, because the more they itch, the more they scratch. And so actually, you also have to address the behavioral side of things and the OCD nature of dogs. This is why, you know, they were literally gnaw themselves into more pain than the actual issue in itself because of the release of the serotonin and the feel-good hormones that is… that comes with linking and gnawing.


Rowan: Yeah, exactly, so another example of when self-selection doesn’t work as opposed to when it does work.


Joe: Yes, yeah.


Rowan: Totally. Okay, Joe, thank you so much.


Joe: That’s right, you’re welcome. I hope it was useful.


Rowan: I mean, sincerely, authentically, and wonderfully, I’ve learned so much, really, really enjoyed this; it’s great to chat with you. Thank you for your time and for fitting us in and rescheduling and being so cool about it all. And I will follow up, I’ll send you a link when we post this. Is there anything we can do for you? Is there anything you would like to find out or is there anything we can do for you or how can we… is there any books, quotes that you’re about to release? Are you in Braveheart 6 or..?


Joe: No, not particularly. I’ll think about it. I’ll write it on my Christmas list; how about that?


Rowan: Fabulous. Okay, Joe, wishing you well and a fabulous rest of day.


Joe: Thank you very much.


Rowan: Thank you very much and I look forward to seeing you again.


Joe: Alright, lovely. Thanks, Rowan, speak to you soon.





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