Saturday, August 22, 2015

Snap the Perfect Picture of Your Pet

With the summer months coming to a close,  be sure to enjoy the last few weeks of nice weather and longer days. It is the perfect time to take advantage of the opportunity to make a lasting memory with your pet; a “perfect” picture. Here are a few tips to help you capture the moment.

  • First and foremost, you know your pet best, (and what makes them special) focus on capturing that uniqueness.  Is it a special trick, place, or look in his eye? If it’s their laid back, lazy personality, catch them just chilling out.
  • Find an environment that they are comfortable in with natural daylight (a flash may spook some pets). Playing with them beforehand can also help them relax (bonus: a panting dog also looks like they are smiling)
  • Try approaching them for the most candid shots, do not call them or make them come to you. However, if you want to capture the element of “surprise” rattle a toy behind the camera or make a strange sound and it will look like they are looking directly into the camera.
  • Take as many shots as quickly as possible! Try different angles, for example; going down to their level to get their “perspective”.
  • Most importantly, HAVE PATIENCE! If you wait long enough, your pet will relax, and you will have the opportunity to click that great picture.
Enjoy the weather and your pet!  

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Best Probiotic For Pets

A healthy balance of gut bacteria is vital to the welfare of your pet.  For cats and dogs, the digestive tract is the most important (and largest) immune organ in their body.  A proper ratio of good-to-bad bacteria is essential to insure their immune system is working properly.  If the good bacteria balance is upset, it can result in a multitude of digestive disorders, which if left untreated, could lead to a more serious illness.

The fine balance of good-to bad bacteria can be effected by both physical and emotional stressors. Physical stressors can include; poor diet, illness and/or medications such as steroids and antibiotics, or chronic digestive issues (such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease). Emotional stressors can be anything that upsets the normal routine or your cat (travel or change in living situations).

 Power Probiotics for Pets is a multi-strain formula, 3rd party tested for purity and is guaranteed to survive your pet's stomach acid.  The friendly bacteria organisms in this product will help correct any bacterial imbalance and help healthy cells to thrive in the gastrointestinal tract. It can help with improving digestion and detoxification. It can also help your pet fight infections, with overall immune system support.

Here's what Dexter's Mom had to say about the Power Probiotic:

“I want to thank you for the Power Probiotic. This product is amazing! Dexter (my black 6-month old Toy Poodle) slept awesome last night! Better than he has in weeks! I forgot to give him his usual Probiotic pill at 10pm last night. Well, he got up and walked around a little at 2:45am and seemed a little uncomfortable, so I got up and gave him a 1/2 capsule of Power Probiotic and we went back to bed and I didn't hear a peep out of him until 7:00am. No stomach gurgling, no burping, no nasal congestion, no incessant scratching, no more pacing the floor...Yay! This was the 4th night of Power Probiotic, so I really think they are helping. Thank you so much for creating this product and for really caring about our babies!!”
Cheryl Smith, Orange County, CA  

Monday, August 10, 2015

Natural Supplements and Diet Change Helps Stomatitis

Max and Sasha
Here is a wonderful success story from our client Angie. The products she uses to help her kitties, Max and Sasha,  with stomatitis are Power Probiotic for Pets, Colostrom for Pets, Immune Harmony, and Quentans.

"Back in 2010, I adopted 2 kitties from an elderly gentleman who had been on the news. The news story said that Animal Control was going to come in and take all the old man's kitties and euthanize them if no one stepped forth to adopt them (supposedly because he had too many living in the city limits - a neighbor who didn't like him or the cats had complained and turned him in).
They were all so friendly! They acted like I visited the house all the time! So it was quite difficult for me to make my selections. I finally settled on this huge one - a domestic shorthair - that looked like a miniature black panther. I named him Max. He was lean and silky, so regal, and looked like he could be a formidable foe to anything threatening him. Next I selected his sister, a shy dainty puff ball of black fur... pure princess to every degree. So she became known as Sasha.
We all lived in bliss until I had to take a work detail overseas for a month. I was forced to leave my babies behind in the care of a veterinary hospital for boarding until I returned. The cats were "different" it seemed when we returned home. Max wasn't as zealous and playful and Sasha was just totally terrified of everything! I took them to their regular vet and that's when I found out that Max was suffering from a severe case of stomatitis and Sasha's case was mild. For almost a year, Max suffered through rounds of antibiotic and steroid shots trying to calm his symptoms just so he'd be able to eat. He got so skinny and was so miserable, I didn't know what else to do.

I began to scour the internet on alternative therapies and tried everything from switching food to switching litter. Finally a couple of years ago, I ran across the AskAriel site. And amazingly, there was a section all about stomatitis. I read everything I could find about it and even read about the other different conditions house pets can contract. The answers were reasonable so I placed my first order for some of the Power Probiotic. I also received a food recommendation from Ask Ariel that I was able to find in my local pet store. Over the next few months I continued to "fine-tune" Max's specific needs. It was recommended that we remove all fish, poultry and dairy from Max's diet all together.  In June of 2014, I took Max and Sasha to the vet one last time to have their teeth thoroughly cleaned, and Max received his steroid and antibiotic shots. After that, we started daily treatments with the supplements and recommended diet.  In June 2015, we visited the vet for the first time since the cleaning (for a different condition) and  she was thoroughly impressed and said she didn't see anything unusual... no redness, no sores, no buildup on the teeth or anything! She couldn't believe I was only feeding them wet food (not the dry her office had originally recommended) and nothing else.  
Anyway, I now have two of the happiest kitties on the planet! They are both in the elderly stage now with a few grey whiskers and a few strands of grey hair here and there coming out of their beautiful black coats, but Max loves playing the "baby" (even though he's the eldest)...Sasha has finally gotten over her fears as well. She loves to be picked up, but differently than Max. When she approaches you, she'll just sit there and wait, looking at you. When you reach down to pick her up she'll throw her little arms up in the air like a toddler begging. Then you'll have to pick her up and put her on your hip where she then likes to ride with her arms around your neck as she nuzzles your face.
Yes, I know it's a long success story but *my* kitties are extraordinary.
Thanks for coming up with such amazing products!"
-Angie (with Max & Sasha)
Zachary, LA

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Supplements for Elbow Dysplasia in Rottweilers and Other Large Breed Dogs

Rottweilers are  one of the most effected breeds of elbow dysplasia.    Other breeds include:  Chow, German Shepherd (GSD), Bernese Mountain Dog and Retrievers.  Elbow dysplasia is thought to be a failure of cartilage turning to bone during skeletal maturation.  It  can be a painful crippling disease that can progress to Degenerative Joint Disease (arthritis /osteoarthritis) and possible front leg lameness.  The primary cause of elbow dysplasia is believed to be genetics, and most dogs may be asympotmatic carriers. 

Signs and Diagnosis of Elbow Dysplasia

Elbow dysplasia can be very hard to diagnose, and not be found until adulthood, when the disease has progressed. In others, it may be  detected as early as 6 months and preventive measures can be taken.  The signs may be obvious,  front leg lameness , or a swollen elbow sticking outward from the chest, but  often dogs will not show their pain and you may not have any idea how much discomfort your pet is in.  The best way to detect Elbow Dysplasia is to have a veterinarian perform a physical exam and get comprehensive x-rays of  both elbows.

Treatment for Elbow Dysplasia:

Some dogs may be a candidate for surgery, depending on their age and the actual defect, but many can be managed quite well with a holistic protocol.  It will include: maintaining an ideal body weight, using a fresh grain-free diet, regular exercise (even if limited, movement helps) and joint support supplements.  The supplements would include those to protect and strengthen the joints and those to relieve pain and inflammation. We highly recommend the Arthritis and Joint Support Kit. which will help maintain your pets quality of life.  Special SAMe is also scientifically proven to help with inflammation and joint support and seems to be the most effective specifically for elbow and hip dysplasia. Sometimes pain medications are necessary but these should be used AFTER and in conjunction with a comprehensive natural supplement program.  Medications are treating the pain while supplements are actually helping to repair and support the joints and ligaments.

Symptoms and Treatments for Canine Lyme Disease

Lyme disease, in pets, can be very serious and debilitating. In the later stages, it can also lead to kidney disease and heat problems.   Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is caused by being bit by an infected tick. It is important that you know the signs and be vigilant in checking all your pets for ticks that may be infected with the disease (especially in area where there are known cases). A pet is usually infected when the tick has been on the pet for more than 18 hours. Symptoms may not appear for months or even a year later. If infected, it can be very painful and cause lameness and arthritis. Important to note, can be transmitted to humans via tick bites too.

  • Arthritis (inflammation of joints) 
  • Stiff Back 
  • Lethargy 
  • Limping 
  • Lack of appetite Fever 
**Symptoms may be intermittent 
Many dogs affected with Lyme disease are taken to a veterinarian because they are showing signs of pain and have stopped eating. Affected dogs have been described as if they were "walking on eggshells."  The pet may have a fever and begun to limp. The systems can disappear and reappear.

Treatment: Usually treatment will involve a course of antibiotics for 1-4 weeks, which should help with symptoms, but it is impossible to eliminate the bacteria entirely and ongoing nutritional support is recommended. Using holistic supplements to help fight the infection, support the immune system and aid the kidneys, can be extremely beneficial in the battle of lyme disease .

Recommended Supplements for Lyme Disease:

  • Notatum and Quentans- natural infection fighters, boost immune system, target viral and bacterial components, can be used along with antibiotics
  • Amazing Omegas- powerful anti-inflammatory and reduces joint pain
  • Purrfect Pet CoQ10- core component of lyme disease treatment, promotes energy, antioxidant
  • Renelix- flushes out toxins accumulated in kidneys, support kidney health
  • Canine Comfort--greatly helps with overall pain and inflammation

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Natural Treatments for Feline Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is a common glandular disorder in cats.  The thyroid regulates your cat's metabolism and produces a hormone called thyroxine that controls many body processes.   When your cat's thyroid is overproducing thyroxine, your cat's metabolic rate increases and your cat is said to have Feline Hyperthyroidism. It usually appears in older cats and more often in females.

Hyperthyroidism can have serious consequences and affects every organ in your cat’s body, including: kidneys (due to the blood passing through too quickly), digestive system, heart, liver and nervous system. 

Signs of Feline Hyperthyroidism:
Not every symptom may be present, but listed below are typical signs of feline hyperthyroidism.
  • Weight Loss
  • Increased Appetite
  • Restlessness/anxiousness
  • Changes in their coat
  • Fast Heart Rate
  • Increase in drinking and urination
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased panting
  • Low Grade Fever
  • Weakness and Listlessness (late stages)
Conventional Treatments and the Autoimmune Factor
Just as with conventional treatment of human thyroid issues, there is a vast difference between how conventional and holistic veterinarians approach feline hyperthyroidism.  From a conventional veterinary standpoint, the focus is predominantly on treating the thyroid gland itself as an isolated entity in an attempt to regulate the production of excess thyroid hormones. Treatment can consist of medications, radioactive iodine treatment or surgery.   A holistic veterinary approach can be very different.  Feline hyperthyroidism is actually a symptom of an immune system gone awry, an imbalance in your cat's overall immune function.  Feline hyperthyroidism is most often a symptom of autoimmune disease  In other words, the immune system is attacking the thyroid tissue.  Therefore, to help your cat improve, you have to get to the source of the imbalance.  Medications and thyroid treatments simply focus on suppression of symptoms and are not getting to the root of the problem.  

Holistic Treatments Address Your Cat's Health In Its Entirety
The first place to start in addressing your cat's hyperthyroidism is to revisit your cat's diet.  Typically cats with hyperthyroidism have a history of digestive problems.  Since the majority of your cat's immune system is located in the digestive tract, diet is key.  Foods such as grains, chemicals, poultry, fish, soy and starchy carbohydrates could have been causing a great deal of inflammation in your cat over the years.  Change your cats diet to a hypoallergenic regimen, preferably a raw frozen diet if possible or canned being sure to avoid the most common food allergens such as poultry, fish, grains, soy and dairy.  Check to be sure the foods you are feeding do not contain excessive amounts of iodine.  Many cat owners are unknowingly making their cat's hyperthyroidism worse by supplementing with marine products that are high in iodine such as kelp.  Iodine is a misunderstood ingredient in human and pet thyroid problems and can greatly exacerbate thyroid problems when autoimmunity is involved.  

Nutritional Supplements for Feline Hyperthyroidism
Nutritional supplements can greatly benefit your cat's hyperthyroidism by helping to regulate the immune system.  There isn't one "magic formula" to resolve the issue because hyperthyroidism is a complex autoimmune condition affected by many factors.   Here is a list of basic support needed for cats with hyperthyroidism.  More specific product suggestions for your cat's individual needs can also be obtaining by email at:  These supplements can't reverse the damage that may have already been done to your cat's thyroid so medications will most likely be needed.  But, they will help reduce the progression and severity of the condition and improve your cat's overall well being.

Power Probiotic--This product benefits all cats but especially those with hyperthyroidism.  Since the thyroid function is so intertwined with GI function, giving your cat supportive friendly bacteria is the first start in helping to rebuild a healthy immune function.

Oxicell SE for Pets--This topical cream is packed with antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients to help support your cat's overall health.  Since hyperthyroidism is fueled by inflammation, Oxicell SE For Pets is the first line of defense for bringing down the inflammatory cycle.  It contains key antioxidants such as glutathione and SOD.

Notatum and Quentans--These immune support drops are easy to administer and for some cats, can finally enable them to get off an endless cycle of antibiotics for chronic infections.  When your cat is getting UTIs, URIs or other types of infections, it wears down the immune system.  Since any type of autoimmune disease is a symptom of an overloaded immune system, using these drops can help quiet down infection and inflammation which is contributing to the hyperthyroidism.

Immune Harmony---This natural plant based sterol formula has helped many cats with all types of autoimmune conditions including stomatitis, IBD and hyperthyroidism. 

Renelix--Hyperthyroidism can mask kidney problems in cats.  Renelix is a powerful kidney detox that will protect and preserve your cat's kidney function. It also helps to flush out toxins related to the hyperthyroidism.

If you need a diet suggestion for your kitty, please include the diet you are feeding on the AskAriel order form at checkout.  A diet suggestion for feline hyperthyroidism (based on your cat's preferences) will be included on the packing slip that comes with your product order.


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Stella & Chewy's Recall of Poultry Freeze-Dried Patties

This week, it was reported  that a great pet food company Stella & Chewys has issued a voluntary recall of some of their foods as a safety precaution.  Unfortunately, these things can happen to even the best companies. The list contains mostly poultry versions, which due to the high occurrence of allergies in dogs, we do not generally recommend. We still think using Stella and Chewy’s rabbit and/or venison verisons are a great healthy option for pets. For the safety of you and your pet, always use safe handling procedures. Wash your hands well before and after handling the food, and disinfect the preparation area and dishes/ utensils. 
Here is their press release with the lots being recalled:
Stella & Chewy’s is voluntarily recalling some of its products due to concerns of a possible presence of Listeria Monocytogenes. The recall was prompted by a positive test confirming Listeria monocytogenes in Chewy’s Chicken Freeze-Dried Dinner Patties for Dogs, 15 ounce, Lot #111–15, during routine surveillance testing by the Maryland Department of Agriculture. There have been no reported pet or human illnesses associated with this recall.
Listeria is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
Retailers and consumers can find the full product recall list at should look at the lot numbers and UPC codes printed on the bag to determine if it’s subject to the recall. People who have purchased these products are instructed to dispose of the food or return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.