Holistic dog treatment on Bute

Lois Hetherington with Yani, the dog who inspired her to start up her business.
Lois Hetherington with Yani, the dog who inspired her to start up her business.

A dog-lover who moved to Bute last year has brought her pet care business with her, specialising in holistic treatment.

Lois Hetherington runs Yani’s Friends, stocking natural products and raw animal food, while offering services like behavioural training to pets and other animals.

One method of treatment is zoopharmacognosy - ‘self-medication’ by animals.

An example is dogs eating grass to induce vomiting.

Yani’s Friends also provides traditional services like microchipping and training classes.

The business is named for Yani, the Rottweiler-Mastiff cross whose health problems first prompted Lois to look into the alternatives to conventional dog healthcare.

“She’s a bit of a walking health disaster, she has dysplasia in her hips and elbows and all sorts of allergies as well as demodex.

“Almost everything we gave her to try and treat the problems she would have some kind of reaction to, and traditional pet services just weren’t working for her so we realised we had to start thinking outside of the box.

“We started looking into things like homeopathic treatment, massages and zoopharmacognosy, and it really opened our eyes.

“Her quality of life now is much better than we could have expected a few years ago.

“She didn’t have the best of starts in life but she’s making up for lost time now.”

Lois has previously worked in Oman where she cared for street cats before branching out to care for larger animals, and in Australia as a show groom.

She then studied Animal Behaviour and Welfare at the University of Hull and went on to do more research about animal behaviour, before moving to Bute with her mother in October last year.