Friday, March 28, 2014

Green Beans- A Healthy Treat For Your Dog

Green beans also known as string beans, are a good source of vitamins, minerals (including vitamin K, vitamin C, and manganese) and dietary fiber for your dog.  They can also improve digestion and absorption. If you have an overweight dog, adding green beans to your dog's food can greatly help.    This would allow you to replace the higher calorie food with a low calorie, nutritious alternative.  Simply reduce your dog's food by 1/3 and replace with an equivalent amount of green beans or other vegetables.  For small pets, you will need to chop them up small.  While the picture shows the dog eating greens beans straight out of a bowl, more likely they will be a food you need to mix into the dog food. Green beans are also inexpensive, compared to some specialty weight loss dog foods on the market.  Dogs can eat them either raw or cooked, but don’t add any spices like salt, pepper, garlic or sugar,  just keep them plain. We have found many dogs enjoy frozen green beans as a healthy treat.  

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Shaving Double Coated Dogs: Reasons Why Not To Shave Your Dog

Sometimes pet owners may shave their dog in the summer thinking it will make them cooler.   Contrary to popular belief, dogs DO NOT have a large network of sweat glands designed to regulate the body temperature during hot weather (they only have them on the pads of their feet). Most of their cooling takes place through panting.  However, there may be serious consequences from shaving your dog.  Which dogs are most at risk for having problems with shaving? Double coated dogs.  A double coated dog is any dog with an outer coat and a soft undercoat.  The soft undercoat is what sheds.  These two coats grow independently of one another and to different lengths.  The outer coat is longer, and tends to grow slower.  The undercoat is shorter and grows faster, and also turns over, or sheds, twice a year.  Some examples of dogs with double coats are German Shepherds , Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Australian Shepherds, and Siberian Huskies.

You should consider not shaving these double coated dogs as they have sensitive skin.  Skin can become irritated from razor burn and it is much more likely to be sunburned.  The thick hair protects their skin from the sun and also bug bites. Also, the undercoat provides insulation in the winter and cools the dog in the summer.  Shaved dogs get more sun exposure and are more prone to getting skin cancer.  Also, if they have dry or skin issues already, you are just compounding the problem.

Shaving does NOT make dogs shed less. Your double coated dogs will shed their under coat twice a year, and shaving them does not prevent this from happening. It can also cause permanent damage to the dog's coat. There is no outer coat to protect the under coat and it will become brittle and break off. Also, the under coat is dull and dense and not visually appealing. Instead of having your dog shaved to get rid of unwanted hair, having the dog professionally groomed on a schedule will remove all the dead undercoat.  Use Amazing Omegas fish oil to reduce shedding. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Times Have Changed for Veternarian Care

In previous times, a veterinarian was more or less expected to do it all. This still holds true in many areas where specialty care is not readily available. What has changed is the increased availability of specialists, more and more speciality clinics are opening and the Internet has given you a world of information and specialist at your fingertips. It is important to remember that you must do your due diligence and make sure your sources of help are of the highest quality. Don't just believe everything you read! 

There are so many great veterinarians and many may really be "good at it all", but most realize their strengths and weakness. Just as in human medicine, they understand when to allow a specialist to step in and help your pet. Respect and cooperation between referring veterinarian and specialist is key to the smooth and effective handling of your pet’s care. This is especially true since specialists are typically brought on to address only one area of concern, but will refer you back to your own veterinarian for routine care or when the situation is finally resolved.

We at  specialize in Holistic Pet Care and Nutrition services. Our nutritionist, Susan Blake Davis, provides expert advice about how holistic pet care can improve the health of your pet and can be used successfully along with conventional veterinary care. Based in Orange County, California, Ask Ariel offers holistic pet care and veterinary services for dogs and cats, including natural pet supplements and pet nutritional counseling. Our holistic pet care advice is backed by scientific research and our natural pet medications and supplements are third-party tested to guarantee the purity and effectiveness of the ingredients.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)," a veterinary specialist is a veterinarian who has completed additional training in a specific area of veterinary medicine and has passed an examination that evaluates their knowledge and skills in that specialty area." The most common area of specialist veterinarian medicine include:

  • Behavior: veterinarians with additional training in animal behavior 
  • Dentistry: veterinarians who perform procedures on animals' teeth 
  • Dermatology: veterinarians who study diseases and conditions of the skin 
  • Emergency and Critical Care: the "ER docs" and intensive care specialists 
  • Cardiology: the study of diseases and conditions of the heart and circulatory system 
  • Neurology: the study of diseases of the brain, spinal cord and other parts of the nervous system Oncology: the study of tumors and cancer Microbiology: veterinarians who study viruses, bacteria, fungi, etc. 
  • Holistic Care and Nutrition: veterinarians working to make sure that animals' diets meet their body's needs for nutrients 
  • Oncology: specialist who deals with the treatment of cancer 
  • Ophthalmology: veterinarians studying diseases and conditions of the eye 
  • Radiology: veterinarians who focus on the study of x-ray, ultrasound, computed tomography (often called CAT scans), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and other imaging procedures that allow us to see "inside" an animal's body 
  • Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation: veterinarians who focus on returning animals to normal function after injury, lameness, illness or surgery 
  • Orthopedics: these surgeons focus on bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, etc. of the body's skeletal system 
To find a specialist in your area visit

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Pumpkin is a Miracle Food For Cats and Dogs

Pumpkin a Miracle Food

If your cat or dog has any type of digestive problems or has an occasional loose stool or constipation, a small amount of pure canned pumpkin (not raw or the sugary, spicy pie filling) mixed into the food can really help. Pumpkin is high in fiber and helps regulate the natural wave action of the intestinal tract. It is also a good source of natural Vitamin A and antioxidants.  Too much pumpkin can have a laxative effect,  but a couple of teaspoons a day for little pups, or a couple of tablespoons for big boys, should keep them right on track.

Two Reasons to Add Pumpkin to Your Pet's Diet

  1.  Digestive Health: It can  help dogs and cats with indigestion or upset stomachs and can aid dogs and cats with both constipation and diarrhea as it helps to promote the natural wave action of the intestines.
  2. Weight Loss:  Due to the high fiber content, their tummy will feel full longer, and they might even thank you for the additional flavor.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Donations Desperately Needed For Rescue Dog

Rescue Dog Needs Your Help

Kiara getting acuscope 2
This is Kiara, a senior dog that never managed to get a stable home---in/out of shelters her whole life.  Rhonda Hallden of Husky Haven of LA rescued her from euthanasia at a high kill shelter in the hopes of finding someone who might adopt this senior girl. Well....Kiara finally had her chance but the woman decided within a few hours that it wasn't a "good fit" AFTER she managed to accidentally step on Kiara's tail causing the poor dog to fall down a flight of stairs.  She  immediately returned an injured Kiara the following day.  Rhonda fortunately found a sweet elderly couple Janet and Mac,  (who have a tripod special needs dog Maddie adopted from Rhonda) who offered to nurse Kiara back to health temporarily.  Ask Ariel provided supplements and we got acuscope treatments (a wonderful physical therapy---please see picture of Kiara with Gina Goulde giving her acuscope therapy) which helped her immensely.  

Then, Janet  fell and broke her hip......but in spite of it all, the elderly couple were determined to continue to foster Kiara because she and Maddie (their tripod dog) were becoming good companions.   By the time Janet was able to get home and walk again, Kiara's health declined considerably.  Kiara was no longer able to walk and could not get up on her own (had to use a towel to help her stand).   Mac uses a walker and is unable to walk either of the dogs although both Janet and Mac sure do shower them with love and attention.

It has taken a "village" (volunteers, donations, time and energy) to get Kiara up and walking, but thanks to diet, acuscope therapy and a few supplements such as  Special SAMe,  Kiara has made a big comeback.  She is going on slow walks and gaining mobility. But donations are desperately needed to continue her special care.   

Please donate
This is a very tough situation and Husky Haven really needs donations. A donation in any amount will help!   Husky Haven of LA is a 501 (c)(3) public charity and donations can be made directly on the website or mailed to: AskAriel P.O. Box 723 Dana Point, CA 92629 (and we will forward to Husky Haven).  Husky Haven of LA's founder is Rhonda Hallden who has dedicated her life to serving animals and the community.

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Monday, March 10, 2014

March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month

March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month and it is important you keep your pets safe.  “Pets are curious and often can’t resist smelling, tasting and sometimes swallowing foods, plants and other items in our homes that interest them,” said Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS, and assistant director at Pet Poison Helpline. Taking simple steps to poison -proofing your home room-by room can help protect your pet.

Living Room 
  • Some common household plants can be toxic to dogs and cats.  Do your research and avoid toxic plants in your home. 
  • Keep purses and backpacks in a safe place.  They often contain potential pet poisons such medications, cigarettes or sugar-free gum with xylitol.
  • Many common food items in our kitchen are poisonous to our pets and you should take care to make sure your pet cannot gain access. The most common include:   Chocolate (chocolate is the number one reason owners call the pet poison hotline) , Xylitol (sugar-free chewing gum), Grapes/raisins/currants, Caffeine (coffee, tea), Fatty scraps, Onions/garlic/chives, Macadamia nuts, Alcohol.
  • Remember to secure your trash too, often this is the source of pet poisoning (or gastrointestinal upset).  
  • Keep medications such as over-the-counter and prescription pills, inhalers and dietary supplements, safely locked up in secure cupboards, not on counter tops or in plastic bags can easily be chewed through.
  • Never medicate your pets with human products without first contacting your veterinarian. Some common human medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil) are extremely poisonous to pets.
  • Secure all cleaning products
Yard and Garden
  • Yard insecticides and fertilizers can be very dangerous if ingested in large amounts.  Keep them in pet proof containers and use caution when using them in your yard.
Pet Poison Hotline Top 2013 Ingestion List for Dogs
1) Chocolate
2) Mouse and Rat Poisons (rodenticides)
3) Vitamins and Minerals
4) Human NSAIDs (e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.)
5) Cardiac Medications (e.g., calcium channel, blockers, beta-blockers, etc.)
6) Cold and Allergy Medications
7) Antidepressants
8)  Xylitol (commonly found in sugarless candy, gum and toothpaste)
9) Acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol)
10) Caffeine Pills

Pet Poison Hotline Top 2013 Ingestion List for Cats
1) Topical spot-on insecticides
2) Household Cleaners
3) Antidepressants
4) Lilies
5) Insoluble Oxalate Plants
6) Human and Veterinary NSAIDs
7) Cold and Flu Medication
8) Glow Sticks
9) ADD/ADHD Medications
10) Mouse and Rat Poison

If you think your pet may have ingested something harmful, take action immediately. Contact your veterinarian or call the ASPCA Pet Poison Hotline: 1-888-426-4435.