My Big Fat Greek Holiday with Dave

written by Alison Daniel Din Dins Founder

After just getting from a break on the beautiful Greek island of Kefallonia, impressive tan and beaming with holiday euphoria there’s one thing I can’t shake off my mind…. Dave.

Dave was our adopted stray cat who lived near our villa. Well he looked like a Dave.

Dave was a loveable soul and although we’d never discriminate on any animals looks, it has to be said, Dave was rather unfortunate looking. He had one boss eye, one gammy eye, covered in cuts and bites, and smelt of cheese. With a sneeze, a limp and disconcerting stare, Dave would come crying at our villa door every morning. This turned into a daily ritual of me dragging myself out of bed and feeding him tuna, sardines and anchovies.

Emma my holiday buddy was a bit worried Dave might be carrying a ghastly disease but unable to resist his charms she fussed him with the villa oven mitt (we did dispose of it before we left).

I was a bit annoyed with myself that I hadn’t packed my kit of Din Dins lotions and potions just in case I might meet a stray. I would have given Dave an external spray of colloidal silver with a quarter teaspoon in his food. A detox blend of rosemary (immune support and deterrent to fleas), calendula (a lymphatic cleanser and skin conditioner), milk thistle (support liver function), dandelion (help digestion and support liver), burdock (cleanse blood, liver and kidneys) and golden rod (flush the kidneys and urinary tract).

 Euphrasia 30c homeopathic would have been great dissolved in distilled water and soaked on a swab to bathe his eye.

 And then of course a good old probiotic to pop in his food to replace all of the good bacteria in his stomach to help support the immune system and fight infection.

 Concerned for Dave’s sad state of affairs, we discussed taking him to the vet. But how? We didn’t have a cat box and Dave wouldn’t allow it anyway.

Dave chilling out in the villa

What was Dave’s story? Who had he been scrapping with? He must have been living on wits.

Luckily summer season has just started in Greece so hopefully other holiday makers would keep Dave well fed but what happens to other dogs and cats like Dave in the winter?

I guess we can only do our best and offer what we can at the time. So let’s hope that the next villa tenants will love Dave as much as we did and give him a little dinner from time to time.

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Looking good on the inside out


Travelling up the motorway yesterday afternoon to pet sit my parent’s dog for the weekend, the queues of RVs and camper vans coming off junction 6 on the M42 could only mean one thing – Crufts at the NEC!

 It started me thinking about how much time and effort show dog owners will no doubt have spent on grooming and pruning their dogs, in the hope of scooping up the top prize. That takes dedication.

Of course Din Dins business is nutrition, so we know that being healthy on the inside could also be contributing to those Crufts contenders looking the dog’s business.

You may not have thought about it but feeding your pet the right stuff and of course exercise is so important for a healthy coat, sparkly eyes and perky disposition.

If you feed a packaged pet food looking out for certain things on the nutritional panel will help you choose the best food on the market, as to be quite frank there’s a lot of junk food cat and dog pet food out there.


If the pet food is cheap it’s most likely reflecting the contents which mean ingredients like corn, maize and wheat which can cause dogs allergies and even bring on illness. Also when you are looking at the nutritional panels avoid anything that list carbohydrates as the first ingredient as you want a food with high meat content.

Meat component less than 10% and foods containing meat digest, meat by-products, fish by-products and meat derivatives should really be avoided.

If the food you’re buying smells really foul it is probably an indication of the poor ingredients, so put that back on the shelf too.

Don’t buy food containing BHA or BHT as they are artificial preservatives and are often considered be carcinogenic.

Stick to moist food in cans or pouches if possible as they are not as highly cooked and processed as dry (kibble) food.  Foods that have added wholefoods and super food like Kelp, Alfalfa and Dandelion for example boost nutritional value. Pet food which are approved by BAHNM approved (British Association Holistic Nutrition Medicine) or have an Organic Growers and Farmers certification is a sign of quality. Natural Preservatives such as tocopherol (vitamin E) or ascorbic acid (vitamin C) are also a thumbs up.

So that’s a good packaged food picked out and if you want to follow a good homemade diet look up the BARF method.

Signs of a fit and healthy dog are a wet nose, wagging tail, smooth skin, shiny, glossy coat, no whiffs and perfectly formed stools with regular bowel movements and not only choosing a good food but adding in fresh ingredients and possible supplements can help.

Throw in raw veggies such as alfalfa sprouts, grated carrots, grated courgette and peppers in to your dog’s food. Or cooked or pulped ones such as corn, peas, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, squash or sweet potato. Pumpkin and carrots are particularly good in warding off internal pests and regulates blood sugar levels.

Like us, adding a food supplement to your dog’s diet can really help boost immunity, general health and wellbeing and lead to that all important glossy coat. They also aid organ systems, detoxification and help breakdown a processed diet that is void of vital forces and enzymes essential to life.


Omega oils such as fish oil borage and flaxseed are important for immunity, smooth skin, glossy coats, joints, heart health and vitality. Look out for Din Dins Outstanding Omegas coming out in the summer.

You can help digestion by adding a drop of apple cider vinegar to your dog’s water. Look out for our Phyto Nutra blend of probiotic, naturally occurring enzymes, super greens and phytonutrients launching soon.

Herbs, super greens and wholefoods add in trace vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, enzymes and phytonutrients whilst supporting the body on a cellular level and aiding the kidneys, liver and lymphatic. So why not feed your dog sea greens, burdock, dandelion root, parsley, watercress, alfalfa, pre sprouted barley or pumpkin seeds a go and let us know the wonderful results.

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Give your pet a New Year health kick

It’s that time of year again, the festive period has taken its toll and the Din Dins team have been flicking though the pages of the health magazines talking detox.

Now your dog and cat of course will not have been quite as indulgent over Christmas, but a little New Year body cleanse for your pet can be beneficial.

A build-up of toxins throughout the year like processed food containing preservatives and colorants, chlorinated water, commercial flea collars, second hand cigarette smoke can put stress on your pet’s body. Exposure to toxins can weaken the immune system and impair the body’s natural ability to fight off disease.

Commercial pet food is not always suited to your pet’s body and if  their lifestyle contributes to a sluggish metabolism it’s often difficult to remove toxins or eliminate unwanted fats.

So the first thing to help eiminate toxins is to have a closer look at your pet’s food. Most of us are used to feeding commercial pet food but adding some raw foods will put in those essential nutrients and minerals that may have been destroyed though cooking and processing.

Put those sugary dog biscuits and treats to the back of the cupboard and try feeding raw chopped apples, carrots or broccoli stalks – or even add in a super greens supplement like Cleans Greens Powder by Pukka.

Cats (as we know) can be fussy, so chop or grate the raw fruit or vegetables and mix it with their regular pet food.

 Look out for Din Dins Vitamix supplement (launching in the spring) which is a unique blend of wholefood herbs, natural occurring enzymes and phytonutrients.

Commercially produced pet food may contain chemical substances that not only have little nutritional benefit but also seriously affect your pet’s health in the long and short term. Have a read of our blog on how to choose a better commercial pet food.

Unless your cat or dog have liver or kidney disease try herbs that purify the body like calendula, milk thistle, dandelion or golden rod will do wonders.  You should be able to hunt these down at your local health store, add once a day and feed 100mg for a cat, 200mg for small dog, 300mg medium and 400mg large for 10 -14 days.

We also suggest giving your pet filtered water instead, so investing in a Britta water filter is a great option for you and your pet.

And finally make sure your pet is getting a really good exercise routine. If you have an indoor cat make sure he or she has enough interesting toys to play with to keep active and remember even little dogs like chiwawas – although we know irresistible to pop in your handbag – need plenty of walking too.

Remember to always keep an eye on your pet’s health and if any symptoms persist please seek veterinary advice.

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Din Dins Yuletide Lunch


Only one more shopping day to go and you might be picking up a new squeaky toy or sparkly collar for your precious pet.  But we thought you might also like to treat you cat or dog to his or her very own Christmas lunch this year.

So here is Din Dins delicious yet healthy yuletide meal  –  give it a go and let us know how it turned out!

And Merry Christmas for everyone at Din Dins!!

Din Dins Christmas Turkey with Stuffing


Time to Cook: 25 mins

Turkey skinless 1.1kg

Turkey Liver 300g

2 cups millet 150g

200g (2 cups) pumpkin

100g cabbage

½ cup cranberries or berries of any description (can be frozen)

1 apple

Step 1: Chop meat and sear meat or leave raw

Step 2: Soak the millet and cube and boil the pumpkin until soft

Step 3: chop finely and if possible puree and mix all of the ingredients together and put into daily portions. Freeze those that will not be eaten within 3-4 days.

Serving Suggestions:

Defrost or take out of fridge to achieve room temperature. This should provide approximately 8 cups of food so you can reduce or double accordingly depending on the size of your dog or cat.

Serving size per day

Average cat: 1 cup

Small dog: 1-1.5 cups

Medium dog: 2-3 cups

Large dog: 4-6 cups

Giant dog: 7-8 cups

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How to Pamper Your Pet’s Paws

All that running around the park, chasing balls and long walks can take a toll on your dog’s paws, so we’ve just finished developing a super soothing Peppermint Paw Balm for Din Dins Pet Pampering Range.

We’ve used a gorgeous blend of natural ingredients including lavender for healing, shea butter and beeswax which create a protective seal on the paw pads and organic essential oils of peppermint, spearmint and tea tree which all have fantastic antibacterial properties.

Certain dogs are more prone to sore paws than others so apart from applying a good paw balm, here are a few other pampering ideas to keep any pooch’s paws in tip top condition.

Firstly make sure your dog’s paws are clean and fresh by using a hypoallergenic paw wipe to remove dirt or loose hairs which may be clogging up paws and causing sores and irritations. A quick bathe in organic lavender can be helpful. Always dry the pads well and immediately after.

Although your dog’s paws are fairly tough they can still be sensitive, and when exposed to natural elements encountered with normal exercise, injuries can occur. It is very important to check daily for cuts, scrapes or splinters, especially after a big walk or run. Applying a good paw balm will protect paws from every day wear and tear and if your dog is already suffering from cracked pads and dry patches it can heal those too. Look out for shea butter, beeswax, calendula, hypericum, comfrey and peppermint in the ingredients.

Trimming your dog’s paw nails regularly can help prevent cracked or broken nails. Just make sure you don’t trim too much as this can cause bleeding and discomfort. Just trim a little at a time on a regular basis and your dog with develop healthy nails. Make sure you keep their paws clean of debris. Some dogs grow more hair than others in between their toes, so keeping this hair trimmed will help prevent paw irritation and debris from getting tangled in their fur. Of course a regular trip to the groomers will sort this all out for you.

In winter your dog’s paws are more susceptible to drying and cracking so apply your paw balm more regularly. Make sure you dry paws if they get wet, as this can contribute to drying and cracking too. If you discover mild cuts, be sure to clean the cut with antibacterial cleanser and apply a bandage on the cut and if you think your dog is in pain, take him or her to the vet.

We’re launching Din Dins Peppermint Paw Balm early next year but in the meantime our dog Pepper is giving it a road test (we’ll let you know her verdict).

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Top Tips for Firework Fright

Noisy fireworks and bright display lights can be extremely distressing for many pets. Even the most bullish of dogs can tremble at unfamiliar and sudden load noises.

Top tips include walking dogs before dark and the fireworks get going and not leaving them in the house alone.

Cats don’t normally get as upset as dogs but are best kept indoors and in a comfy and quiet spot in your home.

Shut all windows, doors and draw curtains as the flashing lights might start a panic.

Provide chew toys or a favorite blanket or whatever comforts your pet. 

If your dog chooses to hide then that is where they feel safest, so don’t try and drag them out for enforced cuddles. If however your dog decides that the safest place to be is with you then do give him some reassuring contact and affection.

Sounds a bit barking but try playing soft music and relaxing sounds, how about the latest Café del Mar CD or tuning in to Classic FM? You can even turn the T.V up to disguise the hiss and bangs of the fireworks.

Herbal remedies such as Dorwest’s Valerian and Skullcap ( can be very helpful too. Put them in your dog’s dinner before the fireworks start. Many herbs such as chamomile, passiflora, oats (sativa), and St Johns wort can have a calming effect but if your dog is unwell you should first seek advice from a holistic vet. We’ve always found these herbs to be safe given in small doses.

If you like homeopathic flower remedies…a few drops of Bach Flower Essence Rescue remedy or Bush Flower Emergency Essence in the water bowl is another thing you can try. Do this the day before bonfire night and the day following to helps balance your dog’s energy.

Burning calming aromatherapy oils such as lavender can also alleviate stress for any pet. It may even send you into a deep, peaceful sleep! You need to create a tranquil haven before the noise begins as it may be difficult to calm your dog down afterwards – so start burning your candles before the celebrations start.

If you’ve still got questions about looking out for your pet on bonfire night drop us an email.

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Halloween Dog Biscuits with pumpkin of course!!

We don’t need to tell you but there’s a lot of pumpkin around this time of year. We’ve come up with this special Halloween “inspired” biscuits recipe which is guaranteed to set those puppy tails wagging.

Pumpkin is high in potassium and sodium and has medium GI which means it has a slower release of energy. Pumpkin is also fantastic at at warding off parasites – so keeps those ghouls are bay!

All you need is;

125g Organic Rye Flour or rice flour
2 Organic Eggs
100g Organic oats or millet flakes
100g Organic (if possible) pumpkin
100g Organic (if possible) milled flaxseed
2tbs Organic Sunflower Oil

What you do;

1. Preheat oven to 180C
2. Chop and slice pumpkin and boil until soft, drain and mash
3. Mix together flour and oats in a large bowl with flaxseed
4. Beat the eggs and add the oil then mix in to the dry ingredients and finally add the pumpkin
5. If the mix is too wet add some more flour, too dry add some water – looking for a ball of dough
6. Lightly dust counter with flour and roll with a rolling pin until it is approx 5mm thick
7. Place on baking paper and on a baking sheet and bake for 15- 20 mins
8. Remove from the oven and cut in to small bite size pieces whilst warm or use cutter shapes if you prefer.

Let us know how they turned out!

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