Thursday, October 31, 2013

Dog Daycare: Reducing Stress Can Keep Your Dog Healthy

Dog daycare can be a great option in today's busy lifestyle, but is it right for your pet?  We all face times when we need to be away from our dogs and help is needed.  The options include friends and family, pet sitters, traditional boarding facilities and now dog daycare.
The main benefits of dog daycare are:
  • Less boredom, greatly reduces stress
  • Help with loneliness and the anxiety that loneliness can cause in dogs (including separation anxiety)
  • Socialization with people
  • Exercise and socialization with other dogs
  • Burning off energy can curb destructive behavior vs. in the house when unsupervised
  • Removal of guilt for pet parents who feel badly about leaving their dogs home alone all day
  • Happiness that they are having FUN
There are many daycare facilities available.  If you live in Orange County, we love Dog Ranch Bed and Biscuit.  Some pet hotels offer day play and then cage boarding at night.  Leaving a dog in a cage can cause such distress that it weakens a pet's immune system.  Pets that are stressed can develop digestive disorders and skin infections.  People don't realize that our sweet furry friends can become very stressed which makes them sick.  It is quite common for pets left in cages (especially at veterinary facilities) to come home with illnesses.  Pets, even young pets can develop a variety of health problems so keeping your pet happy will make a big difference.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween and The Black Cat

Halloween brings thoughts of iconic symbols: jack-o-lanterns, ghosts , goblins and black cats. Although Halloween can be a fun and festive time for friends and family it can be especially dangerous time for black cats. Most shelters won’t adopt out a black cat for a few weeks before Halloween in an effort to protect them.  There is a lot of mythology and superstitions about black cats which can make them very vulnerable at this time of year.  To be safe, it is recommended that you keep your kitty inside (even if they enjoy the great outdoors)  for a few weeks leading up to Halloween.  On Halloween night,  make sure your cat is in a safe place, as the noise from trick-or-treaters and doorbells can frighten them.  

Monday, October 28, 2013

Top 10 Reasons for Veterinarian Visits for Cats

Based on pet insurance claims the following are the top 10 reasons for people to seek out veterinarian care for their cats.  Many of the issues can be helped significantly by holistic care. Learn more about how pet nutrition and holistic pet care can improve your pet’s health at

Top 10 Reasons for A Veterinarian Visit for Dogs*

1. Lower urinary tract infections and diseases
2.Stomach upsets/gastritis
3. Renal failure
4. Intestinal inflammation/diarrhea
5. Skin allergies
6. Diabetes
7. Colitis/Constipation/IBD
8. Ear infections
9. Upper respiratory virus
10. Hyperthyroidism

*Based on Veterinary Pet Insurance Company claims 
Saturday, October 26, 2013

If The FDA Is Concerned About Your Pet's Food, Shouldn't You Be Too?

The FDA has issued a statement regarding concerns about what is really in your pet's food.  The China jerky "issue" is really just the tip of the iceberg.  There is a tremendous amount of food and treats that can be harmful to your pet made here in the USA.  The real problem is the amount of marketing fluff that currently exists convincing pet owners that the cute pet on the label and decorative designs are more important that the actual ingredients.  How many pet owners have actually looked at the ingredients in their pet's food?  This informative article details just a few of the "questionable" ingredients found in pet food.
Friday, October 25, 2013

Halloween Warning For Your Pet

Trick or Treat...Halloween is coming and with it, we need to use extra caution to keep our pets safe. Keeping cats and dogs away from the candy and gum is essential.  Although these may be sweet treats for us, they are not  for your pet. 

Any candy with chocolate can be toxic for pets and so is gum if it contains Xylitol.  Some pets will do anything for a tasty snack, and extra care should be taken as many treats could make them sick.  It is so easy to leave a pack of gum or candy sitting out on the counter or on a car seat.  Xylitol can have fast, fatal consequence, it can cause a drop in blood sugars (acute hypoglycemia) and/or liver failure.    Be sure to keep your candy and gum in a secure location that is inaccessible to your pet.  Also, make sure any  little human goblins are aware of the risk to your pet, so that they don't share a treat that may be dangerous.  This will help ensure that Halloween is a treat for all! 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Maltese with Gallbladder Disease and Elevated Liver Enzymes

Q: My maltese is 5 years old and last July she had gallbladder surgery due to gallbladder disease. After the surgery,  her liver enzymes were very high. We have been taking her to a specialist that has her on medications and a low fat prescription diet. Her liver enzymes continue to stay high. I don't know what else to do for her and thought I would reach out to you.  If you have a holistic approach that may resolve this issue with her liver, I am willing to try what ever is suggested.

A:  Yes there is a LOT more we can do to help.  You need to look at her diet. Prescription diets contain grains, chemicals and fillers so I would look at more natural alternatives that help a pet's liver to heal.  Here is an article you might find of interest on prescription diets.

Products that would be very helpful for your pup would be:  Special SAMe is a powerful antioxidant, Liver and Gallbladder kit (with, Lypozyme, Power Probiotic, and Liver and Gallbladder supplement) These all-natural supplements are gentle but effective in supporting the liver, gallbladder, pancreas and intestinal tract.. We hope your pup feels better soon
Wednesday, October 23, 2013

FDA Statement Regarding Jerky Treats Making Pets Sick

Yesterday (October 22, 2013)  the FDA made a statement, and issued warnings regarding their ongoing investigation of  consumer complaints regarding jerky pet treats made in China. The treats are made with chicken, duck, sweet potato, and dried fruits.  More than 3600 pets have become sick and nearly 600 pets have died since 2011.  Most of the cases involve dogs (there has been 10 cats) of all breeds, ages and sizes. The pet may become sick within hours or days of having the treats and most suffer gastrointestinal illness and/or kidney and urinary problems.  The FDA stated although extensive testing is being done, a cause has not been determined.

Signs to watch for in your pet include:  decreased appetite, decreased activity level, vomiting, diarrhea, increased water consumption and/or increased urination.  If your pet shows any of these signs, seek veterinarian care right away.

No formal recall has been made, so a list is not available for which brands have been reported.  The FDA is continuing testing and recommends that pet owners whose pet becomes sick after eating the treats should report the complaint to the FDA Safety Reporting Portal .

Safe Treats For Dogs?

Treats are not essential to your dog or cat's nutritional needs.  In fact, we discourage overtreating as it can lead to obesity.  However, it is a good idea if possible to give your dog a light meal mid-day.  This helps to regulate a dog's blood sugar, improves digestion and keeps them from gorging themselves at night.  For dogs, using green vegetables, carrots, sardines or freeze dried "dog food" without grains is optimal.  Stella and Chewys and Instinct both have freeze dried small patties that can be used for lunch or as a mid-day treat.  The Honest Kitchen offers freeze dried haddock filets which are hypoallergenic for dogs.   If you do want to give your dog or cat treats, then be sure to scrutinize the label of ingredients.  To learn more about safe ingredients for pets, please read our article about ingredients on the pet food label.
Friday, October 18, 2013

Healthy and Happy Persian Cats

Dear Ariel:

"I received the AllerEaze.  I gave it to my cat  who has sinus congestion and within 24 hours she was feeling so much better! It’s a wonderful product!   

I have been following the instructions with all the other products (such as Notatum, Quentans, Colostrum)  and  keeping them on the diet you recommended.   These products are truly amazing!  I am so glad I came across your website and ordered these products! Thank you again for the all the support and care you give to your customers and their pets! 

You are wonderful and so are your products!  Thank you, thank you, thank you again for all  your help and your advice!  It’s working!  So glad to see all four of my Persian cats becoming healthy and happy again!"

J. Walker, Houston, Texas  October 2013

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Silent Killer: Heart Disease and Your Pet

In both people and pets, heart disease can be a silent killer.  Being proactive is essential as warning signs may not appear until the disease has progressed to an advanced state.

Dogs and cats can have a variety of heart conditions. Common heart disease problems may include heart murmurs, congestive heart failure or poor valve function. While some breeds may be predisposed to develop congenital heart conditions, pets often develop heart problems with age. The heart is similar to the engine in your car and as it starts to wear out, other parts of the body will be affected as well. For example, pets with heart disease may develop kidney problems. Early diagnoses, working closely with your veterinarian and using a heart-healthy diet and supplement regimen, can help your pet live a longer and healthier life.

The heart is a mechanical pump that supplies low-oxygen blood to the lungs (for replenishment) and oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body. There are four chambers made up of muscle. These chambers have valves that keep the blood moving in the correct direction. When you bring your pet to the veterinarian, your doctor will use diagnostic tools to evaluate your pet’s heart and respiratory health. Your veterinarian will review your pet’s clinical history, observe your pet’s breathing and pulse rates and listen to your pet’s heart and lungs using a stethoscope. If a problem is detected, more extensive tests may be necessary such as an XRAY, blood test (CBC and cardiac biomarker called NT-proBNP). Blood pressure test, ECG (electrocardiograph) and an echocardiogram.

You can help your pet’s heart disease by maintaining your pet’s weight at a healthy level. Many pets are overweight and this can create a significant burden for the heart. Overweight pets are at risk for not only developing heart disease, but they can also develop diabetes, cancer and mobility problems. Pets with heart disease need a high fiber diet, rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and supplementation with Purrfect Pet CoQ10 especially.   Purrfect Pet CoQ10 is a special ubiquinol formulation of CoQ10 that has been tested by a veterinarian on his own cats!  Vitality Now is essential for dogs with heart disease as it provides vital nutrients to support the heart and can help overweight pets lose weight.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013

AskAriel Your Pet Nutritionist at German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County Roktober Fest

I spent time this weekend at the German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County Roktober Fest. So many wonderful pet owners who adopted these beautiful dogs. GSROC saves German Shepherds from some of the worst shelters and circumstances. No dog is too old or too sick--wonderful organization!
Sunday, October 13, 2013

Kids and Pet Safety -- Tips For Introducing Children to New Pets

Kids and pets can be a wonderful combination! However, some caution should be given when children and pets interact.  It is not a good idea to leave a young child unsupervised with an animal. You never know what can happen even with the most trustworthy children and pets.
Here are three more suggestions for introducing children to new pets:

1) Teach your children to always ask first before petting an unknown pet. Pets are like people and made up of different temperaments, some are people lovers and some may be more shy and feel defensive when approached.

2)  After asking if the pet is friendly, teach your child to reach out with their palm facing up and allow the pet to sniff. Then show your children the safe places to pet the cat or dog, such as under the chin, while avoiding the top of the head and tail. This will help the animal not feel threatened.

3) Let the pet approach the child rather than chasing after the pet.   This will ensure a great time is had by all.   

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Bad Breath in Cats

A cat's breath may not smell like peppermint, but if you notice a consistent problem of bad breath, also known as halitosis, it's essential to try to find the cause. Most often, bad breath is caused by a build-up of odor-producing bacteria in your pet’s mouth. Adding a high quality probiotic, such as Power Probiotic is always a good idea because it populates your kitty's mouth with "good bacteria".   Bad breath is often due to the build up of acid stomach so using the Power Probiotic will help relieve your cat's tummy problems and help freshen breath at the same time.  Talk to your veterinarian about your cat's bad breath as it could be a warning sign not only of acid stomach but of other more serious  medical problems such as stomatitisan upper respiratory infection, digestive problems, or kidney issues.

A visit to your veterinarian is the best way to determine the cause and seriousness of the condition. Your veterinarian will perform a physical examination, and may need to run standard laboratory tests such as testing your cat's blood and urine.  Your veterinarian will want to know information regarding your cat’s diet, oral hygiene, exercise habits and general attitude and behavior. 

Here are the signs to watch for:
  • Excessive brownish tartar on your cat’s teeth, especially when accompanied by drooling, difficulty eating and red, inflamed gums, could indicate serious dental or gum disease.  Cats with stomatitis need a special diet and supplements such as Notatum and Power Probiotic can greatly help.
  • Breath that smells like urine can be a sign of kidney disease.
  • Unusually sweet or fruity breath could indicate diabetes, particularly if your cat has been drinking and urinating more frequently than usual.
  • An unusually foul odor accompanied by vomiting, lack of appetite, and yellow-tinged corneas and/or gums could signal a liver problem

Your vet's findings will dictate the treatment plan. If it is determined that plaque is the cause, your cat might require a professional cleaning.   If the cause is gastrointestinal, try Soothing Digestive Relief and Power Probiotic help improve tummy rumbling, diarrhea, acid stomach which can all affect your kitty's breath.  Gastro ULC is also very helpful for cats with acid stomach.  

If your kitty has bad breath and you need advice, please email Ask Ariel at
Monday, October 7, 2013

Antioxidants for Dogs and Cats

Many people have heard that antioxidants might be important for their pet but don't really understand why.  Antioxidants are not another gimmick.  Pets frequently need extra antioxidants beyond what is in their food and including quality antioxidants in their regimen can extend the quality of their lives as well as their longevity.  

What is an antioxidant?

Antioxidants are essential nutrients that slow the destructive aging process on the cellular level. Antioxidants inhibit the oxidation process which creates "free radicals". Free radicals attach to cells and tissue causing deterioration.  (think of food as it sits out exposed to air).  

By supplementing with antioxidants,  these important substances can help neutralize "free radicals" reducing their destructive effects.  This is why for example, Vitamin E is often added to foods such as vegetable oil to delay deterioration from air. While getting all of our antioxidants from food might be ideal in theory, the reality is that not all pet food is antioxidant-rich nor does it contain every antioxidant your pet might need.  Furthermore, the QUALITY of the antioxidant is extremely important as in order to benefit from the product, your pet's body needs to recognize it as a bioavailable nutrient and not a chemical.

Whether your dog or cat is healthy or fighting a disease, an antioxidant supplement can provide immune support and help protect it from environmental toxins. offers many premium antioxidant products including:  Co Q10, Reseveratrol for Dogs, Oxicell and Curcumin which can all help your dog or cat to maintain a state of good health.
Sunday, October 6, 2013

3 Easy Weight-Loss Tips For Pets

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1) Add More Protein When a pet is constantly begging, it could be that they are not getting enough protein.  Think about it---when you eat too many carbohydrates--what happens?---you crave more carbs.  While dogs and cats are natural scavengers, some pets seem to be ravenous.  Check the ingredients on your pet's food label.  There may be too many carbohydrates in the form of grains, potatoes or peas. Carbohydrates are heavily used EVEN IN GRAIN-FREE DIETS to keep manufacturing costs down.  If your pet does not have a medical need for a reduced protein diet, switch to a high protein, raw or canned diet.  You will need to reduce the overall amount of food you were giving previously as pet foods with fillers often recommend much larger quantities.

2)   Carefully Measure Food Amounts— “Guesstimating” how much is in a cup can lead to obesity.  Many scoops are actually two cups not one. 

3) Feed At Least Two or Three Smaller Meals-Small meals regulate your pet's blood sugar and improve digestion.  We do not recommend FREE feeding.  This is a common practice especially in multi-cat households because some pets end up overeating while others undereat. Use a small amount of pumpkin or add some green vegetables to help your pet feel more satiated.
Friday, October 4, 2013

Persian with Chronic UTI

Q:  We have a 4 year old male Persian who has his third UTI in 6 months. Please help! He is on Orbax for two days now, will barely eat (I am giving him dry with some water sprinkled on it – he will not touch the canned), goes to the litter box very often. Can you give me some advice on what I can to help him and stop the reoccurring bladder issues?

A:  Sorry your Persian kitty has had so many urinary tract infections (UTIs).  This can be a common problem.  As soon as the cat finishes a prescription of antibiotics, a few days later, the symptoms come back.   What to watch for---some signs your cat can have a urinary infection (bladder infection) include frequent urination, straining during urination, mucus or blood with urination, licking the genitals, "accidents" outside the litter box, crying or meowing. Sometimes the only symptom is that your pet just isn't acting like him or herself.

Nutritional supplements can greatly help reduce the frequency of urinary tract infections and many times, in combination with diet changes, can eliminate them completely. We have had great results using  a combination of Akutur, Notatum and Power Probiotic, which are all easy to administer to cats.  Cats especially need the Power Probiotic because the antibiotics kill off the friendly bacteria making it hard to fight off another infection.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Are You Ready For A Puppy? How To Take Care of Your New Pet

Are you ready for a puppy or new pet? Will you have the time, energy, and money to care and train your pup?  Will you have enough space when your puppy grows to full size?  You should know the answers before you start looking because once you look, you probably will wind up bringing home a puppy or new pet!  There are lots of wonderful puppies and adult dogs for adoption through You can search by breed, preferences, age, size and more.   Once you decide to get your new pet you need to be ready.  Your new pet will need everything from food to the infamous "poop" bags.  It will also be important to "puppy-proof" your house and yard for your sake and his.

Starting your new pet off with good nutrition is the key to life-long wellness.  It's important to know which foods to feed and which to avoid.   By learning more about what dogs eat and their nutritional needs, you can be sure you are giving your pet a good healthy start.  Don't forget that puppies and all pets need plenty of fresh, clean water.

Be aware that many pets may develop food allergies that lead to costly health conditions and a diet change and allergy supplements can make all the difference.   Do not feed, or at least  limit, table scraps!  Begging is a hard habit to break and more importantly,  some foods can be toxic to pets, including grapes, raisins, alcohol, garlic, onions, avocados, salt, and chocolate. Call the Animal Poison Control Center or your vet right away if you think your pup has eaten something dangerous.

Your new pet's first days in the home are a big adjustment, so they will need a  lot of loving attention. Play with your pup, take him for a walk, but most importantly enjoy these new initial days of "puppyhood" and make the time to bond.  You will be rewarded with a lifetime of loyalty and love.

Help for Chocolate Lab Suffering from Staph Infection

Q: My choc lab has a recurrent staph infection on his stomach. When it flares up badly, my vet prescribes steroids, but in general I treat each spot with a steroid spray. Is there anything that I can do to better control or eliminate this condition? He has been on raw for 2 years and takes  salmon oil daily.

A:  Since your dog has been on antibiotics, it is essential to use the Power Probiotic to replenish the friendly bacteria that support your dog's immune system.  Even if you are using raw food, if you are feeding certain proteins that your dog is allergic to, it can cause an allergic response resulting in a weakened immune system. Here are a few articles on pet allergies and pet nutrition.  Try using only raw and canned rabbit   Also, it is a good idea to use a much stronger fish oil to reduce allergic inflammation.  Salmon oil is ok, but for allergic pets, you need to use a much more therapeutic level omega oil.  Try Amazing Omegas, as the purity and bioavailability of the fish oil can make a significant difference.  To fight the infection Notatum and Quentans would also be helpful.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Hairball Supplements Can Help Cats and Reduce Vomiting

Cats spend hours grooming themselves.  Hairballs form when excessive amounts of hair accumulates in the stomach and  is later coughed or vomited up.   All cats groom themselves but not all cats develop a problem with hairballs.  It is thought that cats with a motility problem tend to have the toughest time with hairballs.  Feeding your cat a grain-free, high moisture canned or raw diet will help.  Grains and poultry, in particular, can be problematic for some cats.  They can be potential allergens causing inflammation and vomiting.  Chronic inflammation can lead to IBD.

Adding additional omega 3 fatty acids  (such as Amazing Omegas) and including a strong cat probiotic  in their diet can promote good digestive health and improve motility.  Soothing Digestive Relief helps relieve digestive discomfort and helps cats form normal stool.  Also, regular brushing can help reduce the amount of hair your cat swallows.