Skin & Allergies

The ABC’s of Pet Supplements

Posted by on Aug 20, 2012 in Health & Wellness, Hips and Joints, Nutrition, Paws for Thought, Skin & Allergies | 0 comments

Many of us add supplements to our diet to aid our digestion, joint mobility, arthritis, etc.  How about our pets?  Believe it or not, there are wonderful pet supplements on the market today that assist your pet in living to his full potential.  I take my palm full of vitamins, fish oils and the like in the morning and my dogs, Abe and Chico, do the same. The extreme heat in which pet food is extruded (cooked) lends to the loss of many vital nutrients found in food in its uncooked state.  Although, pet food manufacturers add nutrients to the food post extrusion, the inclusion of a multi vitamin and/or supplement to address a specific need might give your pet exactly the extra boost he needs.  In fact, giving your pet a digestive aid complete with digestive enzymes and probiotics, will help your pet get the most out of the food you give him. Supplements are made to enhance pet wellness in a variety of areas.  Therapies to calm, assist digestion, support healthy joint function, detox, omega 3 and more.  They are available as pills, powders, capsules, droplets, etc.  O.k, so where should we begin? PetAge magazine recently ran an insightful article about this topic and interviewed some of the brand manufacturers.  They also interviewed me for a store owner’s perspective.  Take a look!...

Read More

Healthy Summer Coat

Posted by on Jul 8, 2011 in Health & Wellness, Paws for Thought, Skin & Allergies | 0 comments

We want healthy hair and skin this summer and so do our pets.  A healthy summer coat is extremely important for dogs and cats.  Why?  Itchy dry skin, flaking and hot spots can be a sign of a bigger problem.  Fleas, poor diet, food allergies and inhalant allergies can all manifest in poor coat health. These five easy steps can help ensure a healthy summer coat for your pet. 1. Control Fleas- there are over 15 antigens in a flea’s saliva which means that one bite can wreak havoc on your sensitive dog or cat.  To combat this, make sure your pet is on a monthly flea medicine regime and you are treating your home and yard for fleas. Learn more about Flea Flicker Tick Kicker by Ark Naturals. 2.  Diet- Dogs and cats can have food sensitivities that may manifest as skin allergies.  If you suspect that your dog or cat has a food allergy first try changing their food to something with no corn, wheat, soy or gluten products.  If you haven’t seen a change in 6-8 weeks, then try changing the protein source…e.g.  if you are feeding a beef diet, try chicken, or if you are feeding chicken try fish.  Learn more about California Natural’s Herring and Sweet Potato Formula! 3.  Shampoo/Conditioner- be sure to use a soap and detergent free shampoo and conditioner.  One made with natural ingredients (no chemicals or synthetics) will make a marked improvement in your dogs coat.  Oatmeal based shampoo will help condition the coat and a Tea Tree oil based shampoo will handle hotspots.  If your pet is a swimmer, use a leave in conditioning spray between baths to further moisturize.  Learn about Earthbath‘s all natural products! 4.  Fish Oil- Adding Omega 3 to your dog’s diet will help boost their immune response and reduce inflammation in the body. Thus reducing itchiness, fostering shiny healthy coats.  Learn about Alaska Naturals! 5.  Brush Brush Brush-  This simple act is often overlooked by pet owners but is so important.  Brushing helps reduce shedding and bacterial build up.  Brushing not only gets rid of dead hair but it also rids your dog of dead skin cells.  These dead skin cells can be the perfect environment for bacteria.  Brushing also distributes the natural oil along the coat.  Really important for long haired breeds.  Human/pet bond is strengthened...

Read More

Safe Flea Fighters

Posted by on Jun 13, 2011 in Health & Wellness, Paws for Thought, Skin & Allergies | 0 comments

Buyer beware!  Make sure that the flea protection you choose for your puppy, kitty, dog or cat is the right one for their age, size and medical condition.  Topical medication, oral medication, collars, dips, sprays….the list goes on and on.  There is a variety of products to choose from all claiming to kill fleas or prevent outbreaks.  Read this interesting article from the NY Daily News and the reasons why some flea fighters are dangerous. Please consult your veterinarian to ensure the product you choose is safe for your dog or cat.  Of course, I like the all natural route best but in many locations a stronger medication is necessary.  Any flea medication, if used incorrectly, can cause your pet to become ill or worse.  Visit the following sites to read about a few all natural alternatives:  Pet Naturals of Vermont.  I like their flea protect spray and shampoo quite a bit.  The shampoo will kill the fleas and the spray prevents.  Safe for use around pets and kids!   Natural Defense by Sentry.  I have used their home spray and it seemed to kill/prevent fleas and as an added bonus…it smelled nice.   Pet and kid safe! The Wholistic Pet.  Read about Diatomaceous Earth.  You can use it on your dog or cat, on your floors or even in your yard…etc.  How does it work?  DE works by puncturing the exoskeleton of the insect and eventually killing it.  Why are fleas so tough to eliminate? Because, their  lifecycle is lengthy and contains four stages.  Learn more about their life cycle at about.com. Hint, eradicating the pupa stage is extremely important!  And, confronting fleas at each stage will help you win the battle! Once you find a safe product, use it correctly and be CONSISTENT!  That is key to your success! Good...

Read More

A Mosquito’s Filet Mignon!

Posted by on Jul 1, 2009 in Health & Wellness, Paws for Thought, Skin & Allergies | 0 comments

Is your pet the victim of fly by bitings?  Fleas may not be the problem…but an onslaught of mosquitos might be.    As you may or may not know, mosquitos carry heartworms from pet to pet (yes, cats are susceptible to heartworm disease as well).  Even if your pet is an “inside” pet, they are still susceptible to mosquito bites and should be on a heartworm preventative.  If you have an “outside” dog or cat, PLEASE get your pet protected by using a monthly heartworm preventative.  Heartworm disease is expensive to treat, hard on a pet’s body and can be deadly. There are a few basic things you can do to prevent your pet from being the daily special: Change outside water bowls two or three times a day.  This will prevent mosquitos from harvesting eggs in your pets H2O. Eliminate stagnant water from your yard.  Water buckets, wading pools, bird baths, wheelbarrows, clogged roof gutters, discarded tires, plastic containers or any water-holding container should be cleaned or emptied on a weekly basis.  We recommend twice or more a week. Keep your pets inside during dawn and dusk hours as these are peak mosquito feeding times. Neem to the Rescue If your pet does go outside, we recommend to spray them down with an all natural pest repellent such as one derived from Neem and Citronella.  Neem is a tree native to India whose oils, bark, sap, fruit, leaves and gum are used to naturally heal humans and pets in a variety of ways.  For the purposes of this article you should know that Neem is effective in warding off mosquitoes and is used to sooth and calm skin and coat issues such as insect bites and skin irritations. Ark Naturals has a great Neem spray and shampoo as well as a new product that hit the market called Flea Flicker Tick Kicker that will repel and kill fleas ticks and mosquitos.  Avoid sprays and repellents containing DEET.  Pets are extremely sensitive to DEET and can develop neurological problems if a DEET product is applied.  Lastly and most importantly, healthy pets are less susceptible to insects, disease and general maladies than are unhealthy pets.  Ensure your pet is in optimal health by feeding the correct diet, exercising appropriately and visiting your veterinarian annually.  These steps will go a long way in PREVENTING unwanted problems.  A healthy pet is a happy one and a happy pet means a content...

Read More