We’ve seen just about everything when it comes to health and lifestyle trends… for humans. Our pets, however—now that is a door that has yet to be cracked wide open.
Emily Hsu and Dr. Michelle Dulake, DVM, have come knocking with an East-meets-West perspective that is changing how everyday pet owners holistically optimize their FBF’s (Furry Best Friend) health for the long-term.
Meet Fera Pet Organics.
With a passion for pets and alternative medicine, Michelle and Emily are going where few have gone before, creating science-backed, nutrient-dense, third-party-tested supplements that ensure our chosen companions get all of the nutrients they need in the most accessible fashion possible.
If we’ve accepted that we can’t get everything we need just from our food, then why should we assume anything different for our pets?
We sat down with Dr. Michelle, who personally led the charge on all of Fera’s high-quality formulations, to explore ways to level up our daily pet care.
A Veterinarian On Holistic Health For Your Pets
Q: What Are Some Key Nutrients Most Pets Are Missing In Their Day-To-Day Diets?
Dr. Michelle: In my experience, Omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, fiber and specific organ-targeted ingredients, such as taurine for heart health and mushrooms for immune health, are some ingredients commonly missed in our pets’ daily meals.
+ Omega-3 fatty acids, such as EPA and DHA, are often lacking and require additional supplementation to really see health benefits. For example, Fera Pet Organics Fish Oil is formulated with the highest amounts of EPA and DHA per serving on the market and that can translate into a huge improvement in their skin and coat health, brain health, joint health, vision health, and immune health.
+ Everything starts in the gut. It is where 70% of your immune system lives and contains trillions of bacterial cells – crazy, right? So if your gut health affects the rest of your body, it should be a no brainer to prioritize gut health with probiotics. Not only can they stimulate the immune system, but they can also positively affect gut health, brain function and mood, as well as skin health. It is important to note that not all probiotics are created equal and different strains can have different health benefits. For example, our newly launched Calming Support contains a clinically studied probiotic strain proven to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation due to its positive effects on the gut-brain axis! The gut is truly connected to all the other organs in the body so it’s time to focus on it!
Q: What Are The Biggest Misconceptions About What Pets Need When It Comes To Their Diet And Lifestyle?
Dr. Michelle: The biggest misconception is that the food your pet eats daily is all they need to live a long and healthy life. This is especially not true if you are only feeding kibble. Can you imagine eating the same thing every single day of your life? Not only is that boring, but you are sure to be missing out on key nutrients or natural ingredients that have healing effects. Pet owners should be searching for ways to improve their pet’s health and the easiest way to do that is by incorporating fresh foods that are safe for pets and by supplementing with certain body systems in mind to improve their overall quality of life.
It’s one thing to know that your pet needs additional supplements to better their health, but it’s a completely different thing to know how to make those supplements as effective as they should be, and that’s where we (Fera) come in. We combine a blend of traditional western medicine ingredients your veterinarian would recommend, with eastern medicine ingredients that have been used for centuries before we had prescription medications. Combining both sciences to work in harmony together is powerfully effective for our pets wellbeing.
Exploring Supplements For Your FBF (Furry Best Friend)
Q: How Does Diet + Supplementation Affect A Pet’s Longevity? Do You Really Think It Makes A Difference?
Dr. Michelle: Absolutely! Just like us, it’s difficult for our pets to obtain all the nutrients their bodies need to function optimally from food alone. We use vitamins, supplements, and protein powders to address these issues for ourselves, so why not extend the same benefits to our pets through supplementation?
By providing pets with high-quality supplements, not only can we address specific health concerns, but we can also enhance their immune system and health throughout every life stage.
Q: So Many Pets Have So Many Different Needs. How Do You Avoid A One-Size-Fits-All Approach With Supplementation? Or… can One Size Fit All?
Dr. Michelle: While there is no “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to pet supplementation (and any product claiming to be one is probably too good to be true), there are many supplements that can support multiple body functions at one time.
For example, a high-quality prebiotic and probiotic supplement can benefit the digestive system, immune system, and help maintain a healthy weight. Additionally, omega-3s from fish oil are known to promote healthier skin, improve heart and joint function, decrease inflammation, and more.
If a pet has multiple health needs, I recommend that their owners do some research or talk to their veterinarian about which supplements work best for them.
Q: What Does Fera Do Differently Than Other Holistic Pet Brands?
Dr. Michelle: We were also recently acknowledged as an accredited business by the Pet Sustainability Coalition (PSC), a non-profit organization that champions sustainability efforts in the pet industry. It’s a great honor for us to be part of the pioneers of this movement and contribute to significant change. We are focusing on our sustainability efforts in our daily decision-making, specifically pertaining to the supply chain (sourcing, manufacturing, packaging, etc.) in addition to traceability.
We are so excited about our newly launched website because our customers can now see where each ingredient is sourced, the purity of each raw material and final product by providing COAs for each supplement. Being transparent is important to us and helps build trust with our customer base as we continue to grow.
We’re committed to sourcing the best ingredients while combining Eastern and Western therapies to create clean and effective pet supplements. Every decision we make is backed by science and each batch is third-party tested to ensure pets are getting exactly what their bodies need without all the fillers and low-quality ingredients.
Plus, we’re a WOSB (Women-Owned Small Business)-certified and run by animal lovers and pet parents, just like our customers.
Preventative Nutrition And Lifestyle For Healthy Pets
Q: What Are 3 Pieces Of Advice You Would Give To Someone Who Is Just Adopting Their First Pet? What About Someone Who Is Already A Seasoned Pet Owner?
Dr. Michelle: For new pet owners:
Get pet health insurance as soon as possible. You might not think you need it, but accidents happen, and it can save you a lot of money and stress in the long run.
Start training immediately. Not only does it prevent behavioral problems, but it strengthens the bond between owner and pet.
Preventative medicine is key. It allows us to catch and address potential health issues before they become more serious. By taking proactive measures such as annual check-ups, vaccinations, and routine blood work, veterinarians can detect and treat underlying conditions early on. Additionally, finding the right diet and supplements for your puppy is recommended to keep your pet happy and healthy for the years to come.
For seasoned pet owners:
Make dental cleanings a regular part of your pets’ health check-ups. Dental disease can lead to gum disease, which is painful for pets and can lead to tooth loss, irritability, difficulty eating, and behavioral issues. Additionally, bacteria from infected gums can enter the bloodstream and affect other organs, causing further health issues.
Provide plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. Make sure your pet gets plenty of opportunity to go for walks, smell all the smells, run, and explore as it is vital for your pet’s physical and mental health.
Same advice for my new pet owners… Preventative medicine is key! Supplements are crucial for your older pets to live more comfortably for longer so check out those glucosamine supplements for their creaky joints or omega 3s to boost brain health to keep them sharp for as long as possible.
Q: What are some other holistic pet modalities that people should know about?
Dr. Michelle: As a pet acupuncturist, I believe that acupuncture can help treat certain health conditions, including joint and muscle pain, digestive problems, respiratory issues and much more.
Many people may be unaware, but acupuncture is available for pets and is highly effective for dogs and cats experiencing joint and muscle pain. By inserting fine needles into specific points on the body, acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins and other natural pain-relieving substances, which can help reduce pain and inflammation. It can also improve blood flow and increase oxygenation to tissues in the body. Not to mention, it is a drug-free non-invasive treatment option that can be used in conjunction with other therapies, making it a safe and effective complementary treatment to traditional western medicine.
I also recommend cold laser therapy to stimulate the body to produce a substance called ATP, which promotes cell regeneration. We typically recommend cold laser on tissues after surgery or on the gums after dental extractions or inflamed areas like arthritic joints to heal injuries more quickly.
Q: Give Us A “Day In The Life” Of Your Pet…
Dr. Michelle: Pippa lazily wakes up on the foot of my bed from the hugs given by my kids. She makes her way downstairs to the couch while she waits for her morning breakfast during the hustle and bustle of our morning routine. Once she sees me pick up her bowl, she dashes over and waits by my feet as I prepare a feast (what is half fresh dog food, half kibble and, of course, her daily supplements. After she finishes her food, she waits by the chairs of my young children and proceeds to be a vacuum to all the food they drop on the floor. After breakfast, we go for a walk around the block where she gets her exercise and stimulation from all the smells around us.
When we return, she happily takes her morning nap until there is more food being made in the kitchen for lunch, which she happily eats when offered. Fast-forward to our afternoon walk around the block where she is always excited to see the other dogs in the neighborhood. But I think her favorite time of day is dinner time, when the kids are really unhinged from a long day and give her favorite treat: apples. She devours her own dinner with, of course, additional supplements we didn’t offer in the morning to spread them out and she then passes out on the couch while we get the kids to bed. All in all, her life is pretty great, but more importantly, the love and happiness she brings our family is irreplaceable. There will never be another Pippa in the world, so we cherish her every single day.
To ensure Pippa receives all the additional nutrients, I add our Organic Prebiotics + Probiotics for a healthy gut, our Fish Oil to help prevent skin infections and help with seasonal allergies, and our Cardiac Support since her breed is susceptible to heart murmurs.
She just turned 9 years old and she’s going strong with no heart murmur! She recently had one elevated liver enzyme, ALP, on her blood work, so we started her on our Liver Support, which has helped keep it stable.
Hot tip: I simply sprinkle the powders onto her food, pour the oils over it, and give it a good mix. She devours it.
Q: Fave Fera Pet Organics product?
Dr. Michelle: USDA Organic Prebiotics + Probiotics. As someone who takes a holistic approach to health, I believe that focusing on gut health can have amazing ripple effects across the body.
Our Probiotics contain 12 live strains of good bacteria in a powerful dose of 5 Billion CFU per scoop. It is combined with organic prebiotics, which feed the good bacteria, and is certified USDA Organic, unlike any other probiotic blend on the market for pets. It comes in a flavorless powder (heat kills probiotics which is why we will never put live strains in a soft chew) to ensure potency and efficacy. We are NASC certified for quality assurance and made in the USA in an FDA regulated FMP compliant facility. There are no fillers, artificial colors, dyes, or preservatives and it’s grain-free, soy-free, corn-free and dairy-free. We strive for the cleanest yet effective formulas which is why our probiotic has sold out over 10 times. By maintaining a healthy gut flora through the use of probiotics, they can be healthier pets through healthier science.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This story is brought to you in partnership with Fera Pet Organics. From time to time, TCM editors choose to partner with brands we believe in to bring our readers special offers. All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programs.