Author: a@nBL0gAr_k

Brody the Guide Dog

During the ACVO National Service Animal Eye Examination in May 2015, I was given scary news about my 5-year-old guide dog.  Since my guide is a Golden Retriever, the biggest worry has been that this news might lead to worse news.  The ophthalmologist recommended that we start with oral supplements of Ocu-GLO™, and that we watch things closely with follow up vision screenings.

I am so thankful that Animal Necessity has worked with the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind to help me give Brody Ocu-GLO™ every day for the past two years.  At our most recent eye exam, our ophthalmologist was thrilled to report again that Brody’s eyes have remained stable, and his vision has not been impaired.  My guide dog continues to be able to guide me, and we will celebrate his 7th birthday next month.   Thank you Ocu-GLO™!

~ Dana T. and Brody

How Dogs See The World

Every pet owner wonders… Which of my gestures does my dog actually understand? How does my puppy see the world around him? If only our furry friends could talk!

On one July weekend, moviegoers spent more than $100 million seeing The Secret Life of Pets, an animated adventure story following a group of animals in New York City. Part of the draw for some viewers, no doubt, was the opportunity to experience a day in the life of their beloved animals, however fictionalized (indoor cats don’t typically venture into the sewer like Chloe, the movie’s feline star).

Fortunately, with each year that passes, our knowledge of how real animals actually experience the real world increases, giving pet owners genuine glimpses into the minds of their dogs, cats, birds, fish, and more—literally! While humans and dogs are both adept at using their senses to understand the world, their sensory experiences are quite different.  

So if you’re eager to understand your dog’s experience better—and who isn’t!—read on for a summary of up-to-date, remarkable facts about how dogs see the world.

Fact 1: Dogs Are Basically Color Blind

Over the last decade, scientific research has made great strides in understanding canine eyes.  No, dogs do not see in black and white, but the world created by their eyes and brains is different from the one that we perceive.

Both human and dog eyes have two types of “photoreceptors”, rods and cones, that are responsible for vision.  Cones perceive color, and function in well-lit environments. There are different types of cones too that allow for detection of different wavelengths of light and, thus, detection of color.   Humans have three different kinds of cones (trichromatic) and dogs have two kinds of cones (dichromatic). Because of this difference, the number of colors your dog can perceive is much smaller than the wide array most of us enjoy. Basically, dogs are like colorblind humans (red-green color-blindness). They mainly see blues, yellows, and grays.   To a dog, a “safety orange” tennis ball and green grass have the same color.   Dogs can better see a blue ball on green grass. (Keep this in mind next time you shop for a dog toy!).

While the human eye has 6 million cones, dog eyes only have about 1.2 million. This means that dogs have less acute vision in bright light than we have.

Fact 2: Dogs Have Night-Vision

Rods are much more sensitive to light than cones, allowing their eyes to function in low-light environments. Naturally, rods power vision at night, and also facilitate peripheral vision and motion detection.

In contrast with cones, dog eyes have vastly more rods than humans do (our eyes have about 120 million rods). Although we don’t have precise numbers for canines, their eyes are about 5 times more sensitive to light than humans are. This means that they can see in 5x dimmer light, and they’re much better at perceiving motion—which goes a long way towards explaining how little guys can so easily track down and catch an airborne Frisbee!

Fact 3: Dogs Are Near-Sighted

An additional difference between the human eye and the dog eye is in visual acuity (basically, the ability to focus and perceive shapes at a distance). If we say that the typical human has 20/20 vision, the average dog has about 20/80 vision. This means that your dog would need to be 20 feet away to see an object that you could recognize from 80 feet away.

If you’re not quite sure how all of this applies to how dogs actually perceive the world—you’re not alone! We really appreciated the below visual comparison, from Think Fact Video. Quite a difference!

Fact 4: Dogs “See” Through Their Noses and Ears, Too

As humans, we use all of our senses to perceive the world around us, but the sophistication of our eyes allows us to rely heavily on vision. Dogs, as we’ve learned, “see” a much simpler version of the world through their eyes. But any proud owner can tell you that this doesn’t slow them down. This is because our canine friends have rather impressive senses of smell and hearing that contribute to how they perceive the world.

Human brains are much larger than dog brains—10 times the size, actually. But when it comes to the sense of smell, that part of your dog’s brain is an incredible 40 times larger than yours, and your dog has somewhere between 25x and 60x more scent glands than you do.  Dogs’ sense of smell is between 10,000 and 100,000 times more acute than ours.  They can seriously smell!

And how about hearing? While this sense is secondary to smell for dogs, they still have us humans beat in ear abilities. Canines can hear sounds from 4x farther away than the average human! Additionally, they can take in sounds from each ear independently.  Unlike humans, dogs can detect ultrasonic frequencies of sound.    All of this is to say that your dog’s ears are an integral part of how he or she takes in the world.

Protecting Your Dog’s Sight Over Time

Recent research has enlightened us with better understanding of the remarkable ways that dogs see the world. We’ve long known that dogs will look us right in the eye, but it turns out that they can track our eye movements at the level of a 6-month-old child, and even distinguish between our emotional expressions. All of these factors contribute to the amazing relationships we have with our furry best friends.

As our dogs age, their powerful sensory abilities deteriorate, just like their owners’ vision, hearing, and smell. Because our pets can’t tell us directly when they’re losing their vision, we put together a list of signs that owners of aging dogs should stay on the lookout for (you can reference it right here).

Helping keep our dogs’ vision intact as they age is also why we developed Ocu-GLO ®, a natural supplement that is formulated to protect vital cells in the eye, and the rest of the body, at the DNA and protein levels. Read more about Ocu-GLO right here.

Salt Lake City seal gets eyesight saving surgery

SALT LAKE CITY — Cataract surgery is routine, unless the patient happens to be an adult harbor seal.

Nika, a longtime resident at the Hogle Zoo’s Rocky Shores exhibit, started developing cataracts months ago, and her keepers noticed she wasn’t seeing their hand gestures as well as she usually did.

The Zoo invited two world-class experts in seal surgery to remove the cataracts from the 13-year-old seal’s eyes.

Dr. James Bailey, an anesthesiologist, and Dr. Carmen Colitz, a veterinary ophthalmologist, are old hands at this kind of procedure, according to Hogle Zoo Veterinarian Dr. Nancy Carpenter.

Read more on the FOX 13 Website…

Animal Necessity Named to Inc. Magazine’s List 2 Years Running

Animal Necessity Named to Inc. Magazine’s List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies for the Second Consecutive Year — Inc.500|5000

NEW YORK, September 1, 2016Inc. Magazine today ranked Animal Necessity NO. 4012 on its 35th annual Inc. 5000, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest growing private companies. The list represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy—America’s independent entrepreneurs. Companies such as Yelp, Pandora, Timberland, Dell, Domino’s Pizza, LinkedIn, Zillow, and many other well-known names gained early exposure as members of the Inc. 5000.

“We are once again honored to be recognized by Inc. Magazine for our strong business growth,” said Joe Fava, Animal Necessity President and Co-Founder. “Our results are a reflection of the tireless effort put forth by our committed team of veterinarians, board certified specialists, and dedicated animals lovers. We also owe a great thank you to the tens of thousands of pet parents who are committed to supporting animals with the highest quality natural healthcare. We set out in 2005 to become the worldwide leader in animal health science and we are proud to be raising the bar in this rapidly growing field.”

The 2016 Inc. 5000, unveiled online at and with the top 500 companies featured in the September issue of Inc. is the most competitive crop in the list’s history. The average company on the list achieved a mind-boggling three-year growth of 433%. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue is $200 billion, and the companies on the list collectively generated 640,000 jobs over the past three years, or about 8% of all jobs created in the entire economy during that period. Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at

“The Inc. 5000 list stands out where it really counts,” says Inc. President and Editor-In-Chief Eric Schurenberg. “It honors real achievement by a founder or a team of them. No one makes the Inc. 5000 without building something great – usually from scratch. That’s one of the hardest things to do in business, as every company founder knows. But without it, free enterprise fails.”

“With parents as Medical Doctors (Dr. Norma Pestano and Dr. Raul Mejia) natural medicine was always a family business,” added Johanna Mejia-Fava, Ph.D., D.V.M., Animal Necessity Chief Medical Officer and Co-Founder. “It is an honor to continue their 35+ years of scientific research into this new era, where alternative medicine has returned as a mainstream complement to traditional therapies.”

About Animal Necessity:

Founded in 2005, Animal Necessity is the leading scientific brand in the pet health supplement industry and is the leading provider of supplements to the zoo and aquarium industry. With a specialty focus towards animal eye health, the flagship product is the patented Canine Vision Supplement, OcuGLO. Animal Necessity and it’s team of Veterinarians, Research Scientists and Medical Professionals frequently contribute articles to industry publications, are are highly sought after to lecture at conferences and scientific meetings, and are extensively published in peer reviewed scientific journals.

More about Inc. and the Inc. 500|5000


The 2016 Inc. 5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2012 to 2015. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2012. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent–not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies–as of December 31, 2015. (Since then, a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2012 is $100,000; the minimum for 2015 is $2 million. As always, Inc. reserves the right to decline applicants for subjective reasons. Companies on the Inc. 500 are featured in Inc.’s September issue. They represent the top tier of the Inc. 5000, which can be found at

About Inc. Media:

Founded in 1979 and acquired in 2005 by Mansueto Ventures, Inc. is the only major brand dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies, with the aim to deliver real solutions for today’s innovative company builders.  Winner of the National Magazine Award for General Excellence in both 2014 and 2012. Total monthly audience reach for the brand has grown significantly from 2,000,000 in 2010 to over 13,000,000 today.  For more information, visit

The Inc. 500|5000 is a list of the fastest-growing private companies in the nation. Started in 1982, this prestigious list of the nation’s most successful private companies has become the hallmark of entrepreneurial success. The Inc. 5000 Conference & Awards Ceremony is an annual event that celebrates their remarkable achievements. The event also offers informative workshops, celebrated keynote speakers, and evening functions.

The annual Inc. 5000 event honoring all the companies on the list will be held from October 18 through 20, in San Antonio, TX. Speakers include some of the greatest entrepreneurs of this and past generations, such as best-selling author and strategist Tony Robbins, SoulCycle co-founders Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice, Cornerstone OnDemand founder, president and CEO Adam Miller, Marvell Technology Group director and co-founder Weili Dai, and New Belgium Brewing co-founder and executive chair Kim Jordan.


Joe Fava, President, Animal Necessity, LLC

How to Travel with Your Dog: A Starter Guide

Roadtrips: the glorious outing when every ride in the car brings us a little closer to our dogs, as we unabashedly enjoy the wind in our hair. And taking your dog with you on a trip can be an incomparable joy. So if you’re considering bringing your furry friend with you this year, now is the time to make sure you’re prepared.

Before you load up the car or make flight transportation plans, take a few minutes to read up on Animal Necessity’s tips for traveling with your outgoing, adventure-ready dog. Continue reading “How to Travel with Your Dog: A Starter Guide”

Joint Guard Vet™

Supporting an Active Lifestyle For Your Pets……Naturally!

Can your dog jump up into your car as readily as he or she used to? Does he or she “poop out” after playing ball with you for just a short time? Do you need to help him or her up, onto, and off of your bed or couch? (—and is your back hurting from lifting them?) Are your long walks together slower, and your dog “dragging” the next day?

As aging occurs, simple tasks become increasingly difficult.  Even though the aging process is a part of our normal progression, there are steps that we can take to help maintain the best possible quality of life for our aging pets.  Good nutrition, daily exercise, and proper supplementation are the cornerstones to helping maintain a healthy, happy, and mobile pet.

Joint Guard Vet™ was developed to offer a natural alternative for the discomfort associated with normal joint use, overexertion and stress, and can be used in conjunction with other medications or supplements that your dog may already be taking.

As our pets age, lack of normal mobility and subsequent reduction in physical activity can contribute to further problems and significantly reduce your dog’s quality of life.  Many pets suffer in silence. Joint discomfort, associated with every day exertion, not only reduces your dog’s ability to physically perform at their best, but can greatly affect mental well-being as well.

Joint deterioration associated with aging is a natural occurrence, with the knees and elbows being the most commonly affected areas. The discomfort associated with this deterioration  can vary from  mild discomfort to severe debilitation; the pain level experienced is one important criterion for the choice of therapy. Since your dog is rarely able to truly convey their level of discomfort to you or to your veterinarian, we must be both diligent and astute in monitoring for the warning signs of these conditions.   Signs to watch for may include: stiffness, awkward movements, limping, difficulty standing, swelling of joints (swollen joints can be hard to see in very furry pets), hesitancy to jump or climb stairs, an aversion to petting in tender areas, whimpering, lethargy, and crabby temper. When their joints are hurting, elderly pets often act even older—i.e. if they have hearing problems, they may act even more deaf; if they have vision problems, they may act as if their sight is even worse– all because their joints ache and they cannot concentrate on using the hearing and sight that they still have.

If you suspect that your dog may be suffering from joint discomfort, your veterinarian should be consulted immediately. Identifying the exact cause and location of the problem, as well as the extent of pain and inflammation, is critical; your veterinarian is your best resource for both diagnosis and for creating the optimal treatment plan for your pet. Possible treatment options may include nutritional changes, physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic, medical management, or even surgical intervention with one or more of the other available therapies.

Here are some dietary recommendations that may help reduce the body’s natural  inflammatory response and support the body’s immune system:

1). Grains are thought to increase inflammation and allergic responses. Replacing them with healthy proteins and vegetables provides additional amino acids and nutrients necessary for support and replacement of healthy collagen and cartilage. Beneficial vegetables include celery, carrots, parsley, broccoli, cauliflower, and asparagus. Avoid vegetables in the nightshade family such as tomato, white potato, eggplant, onion or peppers, as these tend to increase inflammation.

2). Maintain adequate (but not excessive) amounts of calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D, and magnesium. These nutrients are important for the production of collagen and healthy joint function. Most good quality commercial foods  contain appropriate quantities of these nutrients in the correct balance, but you may consider supplementation if you are feeding a raw diet that is not complete.

3). Avoid dairy, except yogurt or cottage cheese (low-fat).

4). Maintain proper caloric intake and exercise. Weight control is important if the pet is overweight, to reduce excess load on affected joints.

5). Limit additional salt, sugar, flavorings, colorings, or preservatives. Try to avoid highly processed foods.

Depending on the severity of the joint discomfort your pet’s veterinarian may choose to recommend topical or oral medication to reduce inflammation and associated pain. While there are numerous anti-inflammatory drugs and pain relievers that can be tried, they all tend to have an extensive list of possible side effects, the most serious of which include the formation of stomach ulcers (and other gastrointestinal ailments), liver and kidney toxicity, bleeding disorders, and (rarely) sedation.

A more natural approach may be preferred, either alone or as complementary aid to more traditional remedies.

The unique combination of natural plant extracts found in Joint Guard Vet™  was specially formulated to support joint flexibility and mobility by providing nutrients that may help the body restore collagen levels and healthy joint fluid viscosity, necessary for the maintenance of healthy joints and cartilage.

Joint Guard Vet™ ingredients include:

Manganese Gluconate:  Manganese is an essential mineral necessary in the metabolism of cholesterol, proteins, and carbohydrates. It, therefore, is required for the formation of healthy cartilage and bone. Manganese is an antioxidant that catalyzes the conversion of superoxide radicals to hydrogen peroxide in cells, which is then converted to water. Manganese is also essential for the action of many enzymes necessary in the production of fatty acids and energy.

Manganese is found in many foods including whole grains, seeds, teas, nuts, leafy green vegetables, and legumes.

Boswellia Serrata Extract:  Boswellia serrata, also known as Indian frankincense, is found predominantly in India where it has been used as a natural remedy for hundreds of years. The active ingredient, boswellic acid, works by decreasing polymorphonuclear leukocyte infiltration and migration, decreasing primary antibody (leukotriene) synthesis and almost totally inhibiting the complement pathway, therefore promoting healthy joint function and movement.  It has also been shown to inhibit 5-lipooxygenase.

Lastly, boswellia inhibits both mast cell degranulation and matrix metalloproteinase expression.

Bromelain:  Bromelain is a protease (digestive enzymatic protein) that occurs naturally in pineapple. In addition to being a naturally occurring digestive aid, it is also used to ease the pain and swelling associated with normal inflammatory processes due to its inhibitory effect on the production of prostaglandins. It interferes with the formation of kinins and interferes with the breakdown of fibrin.  As a culinary ingredient it is used as a tenderizer.

Collagen Type II (avian source):  This collagen source is the basis for both articular and hyaline cartilage, making up 50% of all protein in cartilage and 85-90% of articular cartilage collagen. It is also beneficial in that it forms fibrils, thus enhancing the health and tensile strength of cartilage.

By stimulating the biosynthesis of collagen type II from chondrocytes in joint cartilage (where hydrolyzed collagen accumulates), oral administration has been shown to help relieve joint discomfort in humans. It is likely then, that animals could also benefit from supplementation.  The complex also contains chondroitin and glucosamine, which may also help rebuild cartilage that has been lost or damaged.

Chondroitin Sulfate:  Chondroitin is a chemical attached to proteins as part of a proteoglycan and is found in joint cartilage, thus providing most of the body’s resistance to joint compression. Both chondroitin and glucosamine are glycosaminoglycans, and glucosamine is a precursor molecule for chondroitin. These molecules are usually used together in most commercial products, often with manganese as well.

Chondroitin is beneficial in the relief of joint discomfort  by slowing the destruction of joint cartilage and providing building blocks for production of new collagen, and by helping to reduce the body’s natural inflammatory processes. It attracts essential fluids into the joints, acting as a shock absorber while attracting needed nutrients into the cartilage.

Glucosamine (HCl and Sulfate):   Glucosamine is the most popular glycosaminoglycan. It is an amino sugar and a prominent precursor in the synthesis of proteins and lipids. The body’s demand for proteoglycan precursors often exceeds the body’s supply due to increased destruction of joint cartilage under certain conditions.  Oral supplementation with glucosamine may help increase the synthesis of proteoglycans, glycosaminoglycans, and collagen. (Proteoglycans can help maintain the health and resiliency of joints and connective tissue).  Glucosamine may also act as a cyclooxygenase-independent agent and help maintain synovial fluid levels.

Glucosamine is part of the structure of chitosan and chitin, which form the exoskeletons of crustaceans as well as the cell walls of fungi and other higher organisms, and is commonly produced by the hydrolysis of crustacean exoskeletons.

Glucosamine is marketed to support the structure and function of joints in patients experiencing discomfort, and is usually combined with chondroitin and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). Extensive research demonstrates the effectiveness of glucosamine for dogs, as well as in human trials that show significant improvement in movement and relief from discomfort. The safety profile of glucosamine has been shown to be extremely favorable. The only real concern may be when consumed by patients with shellfish allergies since it is of crustacean origin.

Opti-MSM™ (Methylsulfonylmethane, MSM) is an organosulfur antioxidant compound found in plants, animals, and humans (found distinctively in human melanoma cells), and is also produced in the laboratory. It is also known as crystalline DMSO, as it is found as a solid rather than liquid in nature. Studies have shown that the combination of MSM and glucosamine is more effective for joint discomfort than either ingredient alone.

It is proposed that MSM provides sulfur molecules that help with the production of necessary chemicals in the body which require sulfur. The sulfur content in our foods is easily depleted by cooking and processing; MSM is an important source of bioavailable sulfur.   Sulfur is essential for healthy hair and fur, skin, and claws, by helping form collagen that maintains skin elasticity. By supporting collagen formation and by helping build amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), MSM may help maintain a more normal range of motion.

Turmeric Extract:  Turmeric is a natural plant extract of the ginger family mostly found in the Far East and tropical regions such as southeast India.   Comprised of a number of ingredients, the most important active ingredients are curcumin I, II, and III. Curcumin (cumin) contains salicin which is converted to salicylic acid in the body.

Turmeric has also been shown to inhibit tissue necrosis factor (TNF-alpha) and is a lipooxygenase inhibitor. Other beneficial mechanisms of action include: reduction of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-KB) and MAP kinase AP-1; reduction of COX2 expression and leukotriene activity; modulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines and apoptotic proteins; and elevation of glutathione S-transferase activity.

White Willow Bark Extract (Salix alba):   Native to Europe and western and central Asia, this natural extract is taken from the bark of the white willow tree. The extract contains 25% salicin, and as in turmeric, salicin is converted to salicylic acid in the body.  (Because the chemical structure of salicylic acid does closely resemble that of aspirin, the practitioner should keep in mind the usual cautions exhibited for the use of salicylates in animals, even though side effects are much less likely from natural products).

Joint Guard Vet™ is a unique blend of nutrients and natural plant extracts that help maintain your pet’s active lifestyle and comfort level by:

  • Supporting hip and joint health-
  • Supporting joint flexibility-
  • Supporting connective tissue health by promoting synthesis of proteoglycans-
  • Supporting joint lubrication by synovial fluid production and healthy fluid viscosity-
  • Providing bone and joint reinforcing factors for strong bone development-
  • Enhancing tissue pliability and healthy cartilage development-
  • Helping relieve joint stiffness and maintaining joint mobility-

Help your pet have the best quality of life possible—- Naturally!

Why Grapeseed Extract Won’t Kill Your Dog

One of the most common questions we receive about Ocu-GLO™ is in regards to the grapeseed extract (GSE) present in Ocu-GLO™:

Why is GSE in our supplement since grapes are known to be toxic to dogs? Can you feel confident when giving Ocu-GLO™ to your pet?

The answer is that there are two components of grapes that have health benefits, the seeds and the skin. The seeds of grapes are safe for all species evaluated so far, including dogs. The seeds of grapes contain powerful proanthocyanidins, a group of antioxidants that can support eye function as well as helping to promote normal body function throughout the body. Grapeseed extract(GSE) is well tolerated because the seeds lack the toxic components found in the skin of grapes.

There are compounds in the skins  of grapes and raisins, especially darker varieties of the fruits, that may cause toxicity in dogs. Resveratrol is a potent antioxidant found in grape skins  that has also been shown to potentially damage dog kidneys at higher doses. Resveratrol, however, does not seem to exhibit this toxicity when used as a supplement in humans.

Along with the 11 other antioxidants included in Ocu-GLO™, Grapeseed extract supplementation is generally well tolerated and is an excellent way to help support healthy canine ocular function in all dogs.

Should we extend to cats? It is safe for them too!

– Dr. Terri McCalla

The Importance of Antioxidant Supplementation

Man’s Best Friend has lived alongside us for tens of thousands of years, providing protection, service and companionship. The strength of this bond and depth of this relationship have only increased over time; in addition to sharing our lives, our canine partners protect and serve people with disabilities such as visual impairment, hearing impairment, seizures, and PTSD.

As our sentinels, dogs teach us about ourselves and our environment.

Unfortunately, in this day and age, the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe are becoming increasingly polluted. Additionally, essential nutrients used by the body to maintain health and counteract the effects of environmental toxins are diminished with aging, disease, and the constant fight against oxidative stress. In fact, most major dog foods are cooked at high temperatures to meet safety standards, but in doing so nutrients and antioxidants are destroyed. This is a real problem as our canine friends age, because aging digestive tracts do not absorb nutrients as well.

Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), also known as free radicals, are highly unstable molecules resulting from natural metabolic processes such as breathing and digestion.  Environmental toxins contribute to higher levels of free radicals. When free radicals outnumber the natural protective antioxidant pathways in a cell, an imbalance commonly known as “oxidative stress” occurs. This is a major component of aging and is why a diet rich in antioxidants is so important!

This interaction between ROS and antioxidants is particularly evident in the eye, where the replacement of essential antioxidants may help reduce the negative effects of oxidative stress.

Supplementing with Ocu-GLO™ provides your dog with a carefully designed, well-balanced, patented blend of antioxidants and other nutrients that can help maintain optimal eye health, as well as overall wellness. What is good for the eye is also good for the rest of the body, especially brain health, because the retina and the brain share the same embryonic origin. They both require huge amounts of oxygen to function well, but this also means that oxidative stress can easily be triggered in these tissues.  Ocu-GLO™ is an excellent antioxidant supplement that may help support healthy brain function, supporting normal nerve conduction and memory recall.  Antioxidants have also been shown to help maintain normal DNA and support immune system function.

The use and benefits of some of the ingredients in Ocu-GLO™ are outlined below.

Grapeseed Extract (GSE): GSE is a potent free radical scavenger that “grabs” and neutralizes ROS and other harmful free radicals. It is one of a family of compounds called proanthocyanidins, which are naturally occurring compounds found in high concentrations in fruits, vegetables, wine, tea, nuts, seeds, flowers, bark and cacao. In addition to the ability of proanthocyanidins to help reduce the process of oxidative stress, they may also assist in the bodies ability to maintain a healthy inflammatory response.  In addition, proanthocyanidins may also potentiate the beneficial effects of vitamins C and E; help support normal cell function, and help protect the circulatory system.

**It is important to note that grapeseed extract is not the same as grape skin extract. There are compounds in the skin of the grape that can be toxic to dogs and should therefore be avoided.  The seeds, however, do not contain these harmful substances.

Lutein (& Zeaxanthin): Lutein and zeaxanthin are potent carotenoids found in dark leafy vegetables, colored fruits and egg yolk. The leading source of lutein and zeaxanthin is marigold flowers.

These two antioxidants function synergistically to help support the bodies ability to reduce free radicals associated with the aging process in the eye, reduce the negative effects of oxidative stress, act as natural blue light filters, and may help maintain a normal inflammatory response.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Found in leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, and fish oil, (the latter which is ultimately derived from marine algae). Omega-3 Fatty Acids are important for normal brain and retinal development in babies and puppies, help decrease normal inflammatory pathways in the body, and help support the bodies immune system. They are also vital to everyday health, strong muscles, and healthy joint function. In the eye, Omega-3 Fatty Acids can help promote normal vascular health and capillary function.

Lycopene: Lycopene may be the most powerful carotenoid quencher of singlet oxygen, thereby reducing the formation of damaging free radicals.  This powerhouse antioxidant does not get the press it deserves! Lycopene is found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, watermelon, papaya and carrots.

Green Tea Extract (EGCG): Another amazing anti-oxidant, EGCG is the principal flavonoid found in mature or darker teas, and may help significantly reverse oxidative stress and help support a normal inflammatory response in the body. In addition, it can also enhance the body’s own natural immune response, promoting the bodies innate resistance to pathogens.

Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA): ALA is a water and fat soluble antioxidant found in spinach, broccoli, peas, Brewer’s yeast, and organ meats.  ALA is necessary in the normal production of glutathione in the body and can also help enhance the effects of vitamins C and E, and coenzymeQ10.  Glutathione is the major antioxidant in the lens, the liver and the brain. ALA is  important in the management of oxidative stress in the body.

These antioxidants, as well as the other ingredients found in Ocu-GLO™,  have been combined into this unique formulation to specifically offer healthy support for the canine eye.  By assisting the body in combating environmental pollutants, aiding in the elimination of unstable free radicals, and supporting the bodies normal cell function, Ocu-GLO™ promotes healthy vision for your canine family member!

Giving  Ocu-GLO™ to your aging pet can provide ongoing optimal vision support for your canine friend!  Just as older people have difficulty with night vision, so do geriatric dogs.  Rods don’t handle aging well, so night vision suffers. Given that elderly dogs often have hearing loss, vision becomes even more important!

Ocu-GLO™ helps support normal rod function in the retina, to help your aging dog see all that it can see!

– Terri McCalla DVM MS

Healthy Aging Vet™

Geriatric Support For Dogs and Cats… Naturally!™

Aging dogs and cats need nutritional supplements in addition to what they eat on a daily basis. Aren’t our pets’ fresh, commercially available food healthier than in times past? There are many amazing diets, but aging causes digestive tracts to have reduced absorption of nutrients, so even the best ingredients do not get ideally absorbed in geriatric pets.

It wasn’t long ago that we entertained the same questions about our own nutrition, and the science behind adding nutritional supplements into our daily diets. But now many people routinely take a multivitamin and many other supplements. The reason is that most Americans do not eat enough fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods on a daily basis to get what our bodies need.  Plus, overfarmed soils often have too few nutrients for harvested foods to be as healthy as they were a few decades ago. Vitamins and minerals are essential for the many biochemical processes of the body including energy production.  Complementing our diets with these and other supplements helps our bodies work better.

Another threat to nutrient content of foods is the fact that heat processes (through cooking or commercial preparation) destroy nutrient levels in processed foods. Humans have the ability to substitute fresh raw fruits and vegetables for overly cooked or processed foods, but our animal friends do not– they depend on us for their daily nutrition. Their diets also lack the variety of foods found in the human diet. If we accept the need for proper nutrient supplementation in our own diets, shouldn’t we do the same for our dog and cat family members?

Healthy Aging Vet™ is a unique nutritional complex containing essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and naturally occurring plant-based herbs to complement your pet’s healthy diet, in order to maximize nutritional benefits and slow the effects of aging on your pet. Age is not a disease! In fact, aging is simply the normal time-dependent changes that we all undergo, including our beloved pets that do it faster than we do!

Unfortunately, chronic exposure to oxidative stressors (aggravated by aging) causes progressive damage to all cells, especially in the brain. The brain consumes 20% of the body’s total oxygen, has lower levels of endogenous antioxidants compared to other tissues, and it has a high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Normal physiological and biochemical processes result in the production and release of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which directly damage RNA, DNA, and proteins and lipids in all cells, including the brain. This results in a gradual decline in neuronal function.

Supplementing the body with antioxidants to counteract and slow this process may:

  • Support the body’s natural resistance to stress-induced damage
  • Enhance mental well-being
  • Support eye health and function

Each of the ingredients in Healthy Aging Vet™ has been chosen specifically to promote good health and support the body’s natural resistance to disease in our pet family members. Some of the potential benefits are:

Vitamin A (as 100% Beta-carotene):

Beta-carotene is a natural vitamin A precursor and potent antioxidant. Foods high in beta-carotene:  whole grains and also fruits and vegetables such as carrots, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, cantaloupe and others.  Unfortunately, animals’ diets rarely contain the fresh fruits and vegetables required to supply the beta-carotene our pets need.

Benefits from vitamin A include: reduction of oxidative stress; protection of cells and tissues of the body; and support of normal blood pressure.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid):

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that has been shown to fight free radicals and help maintain healthy blood sugar. It is integral to collagen formation and helps maintain normal histamine levels, as well as assisting with immune system support. Foods high in vitamin C content include citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, melons, and various berries etc., as well as many vegetables.

Vitamin D (as Cholecalciferol D-3):

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus. It is found in cod liver oil, salmon, sardines, tuna, egg yolks, and fortified dairy products. Vitamin D-3, the active form of Vitamin D is also produced when UV-B rays strike the skin.

Vitamin D provides factors for bone development and building of connective tissue as well as joint reinforcement. Vitamin D supports healthy joints and joint mobility.

Vitamin E (d-alpha tocopheryl):

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that improves vascular reactivity and reduces oxidative stress, as well as being a fat soluble cell membrane stabilizer.  Due to its positive benefits on vascular tissue, vitamin E also helps support cardiovascular function to help keep pets in top condition.

Vitamin B-1 (as Thiamine mononitrate):

Vitamin B-1 is found in foods including yeasts, cereal grains, beans, nuts, and certain meats.  Vitamin B-1 is required to properly process carbohydrates, and supports a healthy brain, as well as stress reduction and healthy behavior patterns.

Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin):

Found in milk, meat, eggs, nuts, flour, and green vegetables, riboflavin is important for the development and function of the skin, lining of the digestive tract, blood cells, and many other parts of the body.   Vitamin B-2 helps support healthy immune system function.

Caution: high doses of riboflavin may cause an increase in urine output and diarrhea, as well as possibly changing the urine color to a dark yellow-orange.

Vitamin B-3 (as Niacin and Niacinamide):

Niacin and niacinamide are both forms of vitamin B-3, with niacin being converted to niacinamide in the body. Both are water soluble and well absorbed. They are required for the proper function of fats and sugars in the body, and to maintain healthy cells.

Niacin and niacinamide are found in such foods as: yeast, milk, meats, fish, eggs, green vegetables, beans, and cereal grains.

Vitamin B-6 (as Pyridoxine HCl):

Vitamin B-6 is found in foods such as cereals, beans, vegetables, liver, meats, and eggs. It is required for the proper function of sugars, proteins, and fats in the body. It is also required for the proper growth and development of the brain, nerves, skin, and many other parts of the body. It may also help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

One component of vitamin B-6 is pyridoxamine, which is most easily converted to its active form, pyridoxal-5-phoshate(PLP), which takes part in preventing a process called glycation. Glycation is a destructive reaction in the body when sugars react with amino acids, forming advanced glycation end products (AGEs). This is a fitting acronym because AGEs accrue in the body with aging, which can cause cell damage and eventually death.

Vitamin B-6 is also a co-factor important in many natural metabolic reactions, including the folate metabolism pathway.

Vitamin B-9 Folate (as folic acid):

This B vitamin is responsible for the proper development of the body due to its role in the production of DNA. It is also needed for the process of erythropoiesis (blood formation and thrombopoiesis (platelet formation).

Foods naturally high in folic acid include: vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, lettuce, okra, asparagus, and beans; fruits such as bananas, melons, lemons; and in yeasts, mushrooms, beef organ meats, and orange and tomato juices. It is also routinely added (as required by Federal law) to such commercially prepared foods as breakfast cereals, flour, breads, pasta, bakery items, cookies, and crackers.

Vitamin B-12 (as Cyanocobalamin):

Cyanocobalamin, the synthetic form of vitamin B-12, supports healthy metabolism, blood cell formation, and nerve function. Vitamin B-12 can also be obtained from food sources such as: meat, poultry, shellfish, eggs, milk, and other dairy products.

Biotin (Vitamin B-7):

Biotin is a coenzyme and B vitamin (also known as “Vitamin H”) found in wheat germ, whole grain cereals, whole wheat bread, eggs, dairy products, nuts, salmon and chicken. It decreases insulin resistance and in combination with chromium, may help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B-5) (as d-calcium pantothenate):

This B vitamin is found in meats, vegetables, cereals, legumes, eggs, and milk and is important for the proper metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids.

Calcium (as calcium citrate):

As mentioned in the introduction, calcium is an essential nutrient and mineral, responsible for many functions in the body. Calcium is found in milk, dairy products, kale and broccoli, and is a mineral that is essential for bone health and teeth. It provides factors necessary for proper red blood cell function.


Known as the “Devil’s Element”, due to its use in bombs, poisons, and nerve agents, phosphorus is also a beneficial mineral of vital importance. Found in DNA, RNA, ATP, and phospholipids that form cell membranes, it plays an important role in how the body uses carbohydrates and fats. It is also needed to make proteins necessary for the growth, maintenance, and repair of cells and tissues, as well as helping the body to make ATP, which is a molecule that the body uses to store energy. It also works with the B vitamins to help kidney function, muscle contractions, normal heartbeat, and nerve signaling. Food sources high in phosphorus are those that contain protein such as milk and meats.

Iron (as Ferrous gluconate):

Found in every cell in the body, Iron is an essential mineral because of its role in the production of hemoglobin – the proteins in red blood cells responsible for carrying oxygen and carbon dioxide. It is also important in the production of myoglobin, an essential component of muscle, as well as being part  of many of the body’s proteins and for playing an integral part in various chemical reactions in the body.

Common food sources high in Iron include: dried beans and fruits, eggs, liver, red meat, oysters and other shellfish, poultry, salmon, tuna, lamb, pork, whole grains, and green vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, and asparagus. Combining lean meat, fish, or poultry with beans or dark leafy greens as a meal can increase iron absorption by up to 3 times the usual amount. Foods rich in vitamin C also help iron absorption.

Taking iron supplements on an empty stomach may increase the absorption of iron, but may also lead to stomach irritation. If necessary, give with food. It is also advisable to avoid giving iron supplements with foods that contain dairy products, as this may lessen iron absorption.

Iodine (as Potassium iodide):

Iodine is an element that the body needs to make thyroid hormones and plays an important role in the development of the central nervous system. Lack of iodine can lead to stunted mental and physical health. Since the body is not able to produce iodine on its own, supplementation is needed. For humans most of this need is accomplished by eating salt in the form of potassium iodide, but our pets rely on us to make sure their iodine quantities are sufficient.

Iodine enhances animals’ physical and mental well being to help keep them in peak condition.

Magnesium (as Magnesium glycinate):

Magnesium is an important trace mineral. More than 300 metabolic enzymes need magnesium to function. It is essential for: basic cellular life; energy function; blood clotting ability; insulin function; vitamin B activity; regulation of vascular smooth muscle tone; and bone, protein, and fat formation.

Magnesium supplements help support glucose metabolism and normal blood sugar levels.

Zinc (as Zinc aspartate):

Zinc is a co-factor in the body’s enzyme system, and is required for normal immune function and taste acuity, as well as helping support normal blood sugar levels.

Selenium (as Selenium aspartate):

Selenium is a mineral that enhances the effects of vitamin E and is a cofactor for glutathione peroxidase, therefore helping to reduce oxidative stress. It is also involved in arachidonic acid metabolism and may affect prostaglandin levels. Commonly found in crab, liver, fish, poultry, and wheat. Its concentration in these sources is highly dependent on the levels found in the soil or water of their origin. In the United States, soil concentrations are lowest in the Eastern Coastal Plains and the Pacific Northwest, and populations in these areas may be in greater need of supplementation.

Selenium is sometimes referred to as an antioxidant mineral due to the fact that it seems to enhance the action of antioxidants. It helps support cardiovascular and joint health.

Copper (as Copper glycinate chelate):

Copper is an essential trace mineral necessary for producing and storing iron. Found in organ meats, seafoods, nuts, seeds, wheat bran cereals, cocoa, and grains, the body stores copper mostly in bones and muscles, and the liver regulates how much is found in the bloodstream.

Copper helps support joint health and may enhance kidney function.

Manganese ( as manganese glycinate):

Manganese is an essential mineral necessary in the metabolism of cholesterol, proteins, carbohydrates, and may assist in bone formation. It is essential for the action of many enzymes necessary to produce fatty acids and energy. It is found in many foods including whole grains, seeds, tea, nuts, leafy green vegetables, and legumes. Manganese is used to support bone health and normal blood flow.

Chromium (as Chromium polynicotinate):

Chromium is available from dietary sources such as brewer’s yeast, molasses, brown sugar, coffee, and tea, none of which are generally present in your pet’s normal diet. Chromium is an important trace mineral required for proper metabolism, and is necessary for the breakdown of fats and proteins. It is an insulin regulator, which causes a reduction in both insulin requirements and a reduction in blood sugar. An essential component of glucose tolerance factor, it may help maintain normal blood sugar level.

Molybdenum (as Molybdenum glycinate chelate):

Molybdenum is a trace mineral required for the activity of enzymes necessary for the elimination of toxic substances from the body. These enzymes assist in the breakdown of proteins and other substances so that they can then be safely eliminated.

It is found in foods such as milk, cheese, cereal grains, legumes, nuts, leafy vegetables, carrots, tomatoes, and organ meats. It is also found in drinking water. As with other dietary minerals, the concentration of molybdenum depends greatly upon the concentration found in the soil of origin.

Once ingested, molybdenum is absorbed quickly from the GI tract and transported to the liver, kidneys, bones and glands where it is stored. Small amounts are also found in the lungs, spleen, skin, and muscles.

Potassium (as Potassium aspartate):

Potassium is a mineral that plays many critical roles in the body, including the transmission of nerve signals, muscle contraction, fluid balance, and various other chemical reactions essential to the body’s well being. Foods rich in potassium include fruits, cereals, beans, milk, and vegetables. Potassium is somewhat unique in that an excess of potassium can be as dangerous and toxic to certain bodily functions as the lack of it, especially in the heart. Therefore, proper potassium levels must be monitored if a known imbalance is identified.

Potassium helps support normal blood pressure and calcium levels in the body. It also helps control seizures and  promotes relaxation.

Acetyl-L Carnitine:

Acetyl-L carnitine is an amino acid necessary for fat metabolism, as well as to tranform fatty acids into energy, maintain healthy blood triglyceride levels, and for vitamin C dependent synthesis. It is important to help maintain healthy cognitive function and  helps the body maintain normal blood sugar levels.

N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC):

N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC) is derived from the amino acid L-cysteine, and is an antioxidant that increases glutathione synthesis and regulation. It supports normal, healthy function of the heart and muscles.

Ginkgo Biloba (leaf) Extract (standardized for 24% ginkgoflavonglycosides 0.2mg and 6% total terpene lactones 0.05mg):

The active ingredient of Ginkgo biloba is a monoamine oxidase A and B inhibitor extracted from the leaves, which contains antioxidant properties. Ginkgo biloba also attenuates lipid peroxidation, increases vascular relaxation by inhibiting inflammatory nitric oxide production, antagonizes platelet activating factor, and reduces adrenal peripheral benzodiazepine receptors which alter corticosteroid secretion.

Ginko biloba is well known for its ability to support cognitive function and mental performance.

Korean Ginseng Extract (root) (Panax quinquefolius) standardized for 6% ginsenosides 0.24mg:

Depending on the species of ginseng used, it is native to either North America or the Far East. Ginseng has been used for over 5,000 years to support cognitive function as well as overall health and well-being. It helps maintain normal blood sugar levels and helps reduce the negative effects of stress.

Milk Thistle Extract (Silybum marianus) standardized for 80% silymarin 1.2mg:

Milk thistle extract contains the active ingredient silymarin, which is a bioflavonoid and complex antioxidant. It helps support cell and capillary membranes. Among its many benefits, silymarin supports normal liver function and can help the body reduce damage from toxic substances such as chemicals or poisonous mushrooms.

Huperzine (Huperzia serrata):

Huperzine, also known as selagine, is a highly purified substance extracted from Chinese club moss.

Huperzine is a potent reversible inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase, with the ability to increase acetylcholine levels for three hours or more. It also helps the body to attenuate oxidative stress and regulate the expression of apoptotic proteins Bcl-2, Bax, P53, and caspase-3. It supports body functions that protect mitochondria, helping to keep cells healthy. Huperzine also helps support normal brain function.

Proprietary Nutrient Co-Factor Blend:

This proprietary blend of nutrient co-factors includes 4 ingredients:

1). Trimethylglycine (as Betaine anhydrous):

This plant extract is found in foods such as beets, broccoli, spinach, seafood, and also occurs naturally in the body. It helps boost the body’s natural immune response and brain function.

2). Choline (as Choline bitartrate):

Found in beef, codfish, salmon, shrimp, eggs, peanuts, milk, and certain vegetables, choline is a water soluble nutrient belonging to the B vitamin family. Insufficient amounts of choline are produced by the body, so additional amounts must be obtained by dietary sources, as well as by supplementation.

Choline is lipotropic, helping the liver export fat and burn it for energy. It contributes to the general overall health and function of the liver.  It also helps produce substances (i.e. acetylcholine and phosphatidylcholine) that are essential for healthy cell membranes and affect appetite, memory, behavior, and mood. Choline also partners with the central nervous system to enhance nerve impulse transmissions, cell communications, and to help control muscle function. It also contains antioxidant properties that help control the growth, repair, and preservation of many organs and tissues. Betaine is a metabolite of choline that participates in the SAM-e pathway.

3). Inositol:

Inositol is a lipotropic vitamin-like carbohydrate, found in soy lecithin along with choline. Its most common form, myo-inositol, is widely found in plants including whole grains, molasses, bran cereals, beans, nuts, melons and oranges. Myoinositol plays an important role as one of the components of several cellular messengers, including lipids such as phosphatidylinositol phosphate. Like choline, it is involved in the movement of fats from the liver to other tissues. It also helps with fat metabolism and cardiovascular health.

Inositol is therefore involved in many important processes, including:

  • Insulin signal transduction
  • Nerve guidance
  • Serotonin activity modulation, helping to promote relaxation
  • Breakdown of fats

4) PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid):

Also referred to as vitamin Bx, PABA is 4-aminobenzoic acid. It can be found in our diets, synthesized in a lab, or produced by bacteria as a by-product during the formation of folate. Animals also produce PABA, but are not capable of converting it into folate, and therefore must obtain it through their diet.

Dietary sources high in PABA content include: liver, grains, molasses, eggs, rice, and yeast. In addition to the production of folate, PABA is also necessary for the absorption of pantothenic acid in the GI tract and helps in amino acid metabolism. It also improves the function of connective tissues and increases the rate of red blood cell formation.

Proprietary Blend:

This Blend consists of 7 amino acids, antioxidants, and essential precursors to substances necessary for brain support and other critical biochemical pathways in the body.

1). S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAM-e):

This common co-substrate is critical in numerous metabolic pathways, such as transmethylation which enables the production of nucleic acids, proteins, lipids, etc., and is essential in methionine and cysteine biosynthesis.

Although found throughout the body, most SAM-e is produced and utilized in the liver. It has been used to help support healthy liver function and promote a sense of relaxation.

There are no food sources of SAM-e, and because our body’s production of SAM-e becomes less efficient as we age, supplementation can be extremely valuable. The more we learn about this critical component that is involved in so many of our metabolic pathways in the body, the more we understand just how essential this substance is to our overall well being.

2). L- Alphaglycerylphosphorylcholine (Alpha-GPC):

This is a natural choline compound found in the brain that is aprecursor to acetylcholine, and is able to transport choline to the brain through the blood-brain barrier. It has been known to help support healthy brain function.

3). Vinpo (Vinpocetine):

Vinpo is a synthetic ingredient functioning similarly to vincamine, which is an active extract from the periwinkle plant.   It helps maintain normal balance in the blood and brain, supporting healthy brain function.

4). VMP-Uridine-S-monophosphate:

VMP-Uridine-S-monophosphate is a delivery compound for uridine, which is an essential nutrient involved in the glycolysis pathway and in carbohydrate metabolism. It is found in many foods such as sugar cane, tomatoes, brewer’s yeast, and broccoli, and as a primary component in RNA molecules. But uridine is not bioavailable from RNA, so the delivery compound VMP-Uridine is used to increase uridine bioavailability for the body. It is also used to support cognitive function.

5). Phosphatidylserine:

Phosphatidylserine is commonly manufactured from cabbage and soy products.

The body is capable of producing phosphatidylserine, but gets most of what it needs from our diet. It is critical to well-being because it is a component of all cell structure.

Phosphatidylserine is used to help support normal physical and mental performance.

6). Vaccinum angusti folium (anthocyanins extract):

Commonly known as the Lowbush Blueberry, it is a species of blueberry native to eastern and central Canada, and the northeastern United States. Due to its anthocyanin components, this species contains one of the highest antioxidant activity levels present in fruits. Anthocyanosides are bioflavanoid complexes found both in blueberry and bilberry.  Native Americans have used these berries for hundreds of years because of their calming function and ability to support normal digestive and bowel function.

7). Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA):

This potent antioxidant is found in liver, kidney, spinach, broccoli, and potatoes, as well as being synthesized. ALA is essential to many critical body processes, such as restoring vitamin C and E levels in the body. Alpha lipoic acid helps to prevent cell damage, helps to break down carbohydrates in order to produce energy, and to increase function and conduction of neurons.

Alpha lipoic acid is often called the “ideal” antioxidant. Found in foods such as yeast and organ meats, as well as spinach, broccoli, and potatoes, this naturally occurring substance is also produced in a ‘healthy’ body. Alpha lipoic acid assists in the body’s normal vital functions at the cellular level, such as energy production. It also supports normal blood sugar levels.

Neuro-Plex Proprietary Blend™:

This proprietary blend contains Nueroprevin and PolycosanolPlus, both of which are patent pending unique products formulated to help normal nerve formation and function, nerve regeneration, and recovery from the effects of pollutants and aging.

1). PolycosanolPlus is a mixture extracted from natural waxes,  containing aliphatic alcohols, saturated fatty acids, and polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega 3,6, and 9) in their naturally occurring ratios.

2). Neuroprevin is a mixture of vitamins, amino acids, and metabolites that has been shown to enhance the body’s normal neuroprotective actions, especially from harmful exposure to pesticides and other neurotoxins.

Bilberry Fruit (MirtoSelect) (Vaccinium Myrtillus L.) 

Standardized ethanolic extract 36% of anthocyanins 0.5mg

The ripe dried berries of the bilberry plant have long been known to be medicinal. The plant contains various medicinal components, such as tannins (responsible for astringent and anti-diarrheal properties) and the flavonoid components, or anthocyanosides, which are extremely potent antioxidants (responsible for the antioxidant effects such as increased circulation, collagen support, and improved capillary integrity).  Bilberry extract has many uses, including: promoting ocular health and also the body’s normal process of collagen biosynthesis; supporting cell membranes; and promoting normal blood sugar levels and digestive health.

As you can see, each ingredient in Animal Necessity’s Healthy Aging Vet™ has been carefully chosen for its ability to support your pet through a long, healthy, and productive life.

We are what we eat, and excellent nutrition is even more important as we age. As they age, dogs and cats also have changing needs and the choices can be bewildering when it comes to what to give our senior pets.

Animal Necessity makes it easy for you to help your beloved best friend get proper nutrition every day. Healthy Aging Vet™  is formulated to support aging pets’ natural healing processes and reactions to pathogens and stress, in order to help maintain and promote a long healthy life for the pet you love…..Naturally!



Strategic Blood Sugar Support for Healthy Dogs and Cats

Are you a “pet owner warrior” who is dedicated to helping your pet have the healthiest life possible?  Proper nutrition and exercise are critical cornerstones of support for the patient that needs help maintaining normal blood glucose levels, and the pet parent must be diligent in making sure that they are doing everything that they can to help.

Beta cells, which are special cells in the pancreas, must be working properly in order to support glucose metabolism and uptake into our cells.  Insulin is a hormone that “unlocks the gate” of all cells in the body, allowing glucose to enter the cells and be used for essential metabolic processes. Without insulin, glucose cannot enter cells and thus circulates unused in the bloodstream, the levels rising  and the body starving.  Excess glucose spills over into the urine, drawing water with it; this causes excessive urination and thirst.  The starving body tries to survive by eating more food and breaking down fat and muscle to form more glucose—but the glucose cannot be used. This can result in weight loss and loss of overall well-being in the body, and eventually can be fatal.  It is therefore extremely important to maintain blood glucose levels within normal ranges at all times.

Obesity is an increasing problem in dogs and cats.  Approximately 80 million dogs and cats in the U.S. are obese. This can present a problem when attempting to keep blood sugar levels within normal ranges in obese pets, therefore posing a threat to your pet’s good health.   If you don’t believe that your pet is overweight, double check that you are right– ask your veterinarian, because most pet owners do not recognize that their pets are overweight.

If your pet needs to lose weight, gradual weight loss is very important and should be monitored with the help of your veterinarian. As a general rule, overweight pets should not lose more than 2% of their body weight per week.  For example, a 15 lb cat should not lose more than 5 ounces/week (15 lbs x 16 oz/lb = 240 oz.    240 x 0.02 = 4.8 oz, rounded up to 5 ounces).  Keep in mind that as time passes, the weight goal changes as the weight is lost.  For example, at the beginning of second week our cat now weighs 15 lbs – 5 oz = 235 oz, so our weight goal this week is losing 2% of 235 oz.   Rapid weight loss can lead to other health problems, especially in cats; they can develop hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver) which is a potentially fatal disease.  For guidelines on safe weight loss for dogs and cats, see the weight loss tools at

It is not good enough to focus just on losing weight by reducing caloric intake. A diet of cardboard is high in fiber and low in calories and would result in weight loss, but obviously is not a good choice.   Because there is no single ideal diet recommended for all pets, your veterinarian will provide dietary guidance. Some veterinarians advocate whole foods that are not highly processed.  It is very important to feed your pet a consistent, high-quality diet that your pet will readily eat.  Willingness to eat the food is the most critical factor!   Don’t forget that treats are also food, so it is important to know which treats are healthy for your pet since many contain sugar.   According to Dr. Ernie Ward, a typical dog biscuit (25 to 27 kcals) fed to a 20-pound dog is the equivalent of an average adult human eating two Keebler EL Fudge Double Stuffed Sandwich Cookies™ (180 kcals).

For treat guidelines, see:

In addition to diets formulated specifically for your dog or cat, patients may benefit from nutraceutical supplementation to ensure proper nutrient intake.

DiaVetin™ is a novel lifetime natural supplement formulated by veterinary specialists and a compounding pharmacist to assist you in helping your pet be as healthy as possible.

How can DiaVetin™ help?:  DiaVetin™ is a blend of 24 naturally occurring herbs, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, digestive enzymes and antioxidants that work synergistically to promote healthy metabolism and function in animals. These carefully selected ingredients may help support normal body processes including glucose and fat metabolism, glucose tolerance, immune function, antioxidant support, and digestion of nutrients.


Ingredients included in DiaVetin include:

Vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) is found in foods such as cereals, beans, vegetables, liver, meats, and eggs.  It is required for the proper function of sugars, proteins, and fats in the body.  It is also required for the proper growth and development and support of the brain, nerves, skin, and many other parts of the body.  It may also help support the immune system.

Biotin (Vitamin B-7) is a co-enzyme found in wheat germ, whole grain cereals, whole wheat bread, eggs, dairy products, nuts, salmon and chicken.  It plays a key role in the body, supporting the health of the skin, nerves, digestive tract, and cells, as well as enhancing metabolism.  It may help to treat some types of nerve pathology, as well as having been shown to decrease insulin resistance and may, in combination with chromium, help promote normal blood sugar levels.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant shown to reduce plasma free radicals and support insulin levels.  It is also integral to collagen formation, supports immune function, and has an antihistamine-like function.

Vitamin E (d-alpha  tocopheryl) is an antioxidant that may help improve vascular reactivity and reduce oxidative stress, as well as being a fat soluble membrane stabilizer.  Vitamin E should not be given without another antioxidant such as vitamin C or grape seed extract since these reduce the tocopheroxyl radicals back to their active state.

Vitamin K-1 (phytonadione) is found in green vegetables (kale, spinach, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts), which may help promote healthy blood sugar levels within normal ranges.

Calcium, found in milk, dairy products, kale and broccoli, etc., is a mineral that is essential to bone health and teeth, but may also play a role in helping to maintain normal glucose uptake by the cells.

Chromium, available from dietary sources such as brewers yeast, molasses, brown sugar, coffee, and tea, is an important trace mineral required for proper metabolic functioning and is necessary for the breakdown of fats and proteins.  It is a hormone regulator which helps support glucose uptake in the cells, therefore promoting normal ranges in blood sugar.  An essential component of glucose tolerance factor, it is thought to increase the number of receptors, increase receptor sensitivity, and the binding of insulin to the receptor sites.

Magnesium is an important trace mineral. More than 300 metabolic enzymes need magnesium to function.  It is essential for basic cellular life, energy function, blood clotting ability, insulin function, vitamin B activity, regulation of vascular smooth muscle tone, and bone, protein, and fat production and metabolism.

Vanadium is a mineral responsible for many functions in the body, including acting very much like insulin does in healthy cells to help regulate normal blood sugar levels. It increases lipid and amino acid metabolism, it increases insulin sensitivity as well as insulin and glucose uptake, and increases metabolism and the bodies overall energy level.  It has also been shown to increase glucose oxidation, glycogen synthesis, and hepatic glucose output.

Zinc is a co-factor in the bodies enzyme system, and is required for normal immune function and taste acuity, as well as helping increase the effectiveness of insulin to help maintain normal blood glucose levels.  Zinc increases the binding of insulin to receptors and inhibits its degradation.  It is felt that zinc can play a large role in maintaining healthy immune function, since zinc supplementation has been shown to support normal blood sugar control.

Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is often called the “ideal” antioxidant.  Found in foods such as yeast, organ meats like liver and heart, spinach, broccoli, and potatoes, this naturally occurring substance is also produced in a ‘healthy’ body.   Stress, aging, and various disease states weaken the body’s ability to produce sufficient quantities, and very little change is seen in free ALA amounts in the body when large quantities of ALA rich foods are added to the diet, therefore supplementation may be necessary.  Alpha Lipoic Acid serves vital functions at the cellular level such as energy production, and helps support glucose uptake into the body’s cells as well.

L-Carnitine is an amino acid that may support healthy cognitive function and memory.  It is also necessary for fat metabolism, helping to turn fatty acids into energy.  It may help promote normal blood sugar levels and assist in regulating a normal appetite.

L-Glutamic Acid is another amino acid that is important for learning and memory.  It is an important neurotransmitter.  It is a necessary factor in glycolysis, glyconeogenesis, and cellular metabolism, as well as GABA synthesis, therefore helping to promote and maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC), derived from the amino acid L-Cysteine, is an antioxidant that increases glutathione synthesis and regulation.

Astaxanthin is a carotenoid, as well as very possibly the most potent antioxidant of all.  This carotenoid is unique because it is not converted to vitamin A in the body.  This prevents an excessive build up of the fat soluble vitamin A and prevents the toxicities associated with that scenario.  It is the pink pigment found in foods such as salmon, shrimp, trout, crab, and lobster.  Astaxanthin helps protect pancreatic beta cells from damage.  As a potent antioxidant it helps protect light induced oxidative damage of photoreceptors in the eye, as well as many other important processes in the body.

Cassia Nomame (10:1 Concentration) is a Chinese herb that is often made into a tea in Japan.  It is used to increase urine flow due to the diuretic properties it possesses, as well as being an ingredient in many weight loss products because it may help support a healthy metabolism and is a natural lipase inhibitor (a potential fat blocker).   It may also help maintain normal blood glucose levels.

Cat’s Claw (Una de Gato or Uncaria tomentosa) is a medicinal vine found in the rain forests of Central and South America.  It has been traditionally ground up and made into a tea to support good health in many ways by the indigenous tribes who live there.  Cat’s Claw is a complex compound consisting of numerous ingredients.  This explains its multitude of uses.

It is considered to be a natural immunostimulant by herbalists,as it appears to enhance the function of white blood cells.  A group of oxidole alkaloids in Cat’s Claw have been identified and documented to have immune-boosting properties. The most active immune-boosting alkaloid is Isomer A, which increases the immune response in the body and acts as an antioxidant to rid the body of free radicals, and by increasing lymphocytic (white blood cell) activity.  The immune boosting alkaloids pteropodine and isopteropodine have been found to have a positive modulating effect on brain neurotransmitters (5-HT(2) receptors).  The glycosides found in Cat’s Claw have been shown to help support normal inflammatory processes in the body.  Possible side effects of Cat’s Claw are minimal and usually found only at extremely high doses.  They include headache, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.

Cinnamon powder (Cinnamonum cassia) (bark) is derived from an evergreen tree native to South India and Sri Lanka, but is also found in countries such as China, Vietnam, and Brazil..  Cinnamon promotes enhanced uptake of glucose into the cells.  It also enhances the conversion of glucose into energy, enhancing glucose metabolism up to 25%, as well as helping to regulate the stomach’s emptying rate.

Co-Enzyme Q-10 (CoQ-10) is a fat soluble substance found in every cell in the body.  Similar to a vitamin, our bodies make CoQ-10 and our cells use it to produce the energy needed for cell growth and maintenance.  It is also found in a number of foods, but highest in organ meats, sardines, beef, soy oil, and peanuts.  In addition to its vital function in energy production and cell growth, it also functions as an antioxidant, protecting the body from damage in the mitochondria from free radical injury, as well as helping certain enzymes with the digestion of food.  It supports energy metabolism as a catalyst in ATP production.

Fenugreek Seed Powder (Trigonella foenum graceum): Fenugreek seeds contain saponins that may help support glucose uptake into the cells.  The seeds are high in fiber, providing up to 85% of the daily recommended intake, which helps slow normal carbohydrate digestion and absorption, thus helping to improve blood sugar control. Healthy blood glucose levels are supported by a number of mechanisms such as increased insulin release from beta cells, increased glucose tolerance, and by regulating carbohydrate digestion and absorption, as previously mentioned.  It may also assist in maintaining a healthy weight range by providing a feeling of fullness due to the high fiber content.

Glucomannan (Amorphallus konjac K. Koch)(tubers)  is a sugar from the root of the konjac plant.  It is a natural fiber, purified from the konjac flower, that soaks up moisture in the gut, as well as fat and cholesterol.  It has been used to assist in maintaining normal blood sugar levels.   It is often used as a thickening agent in foods, and may enhance weight loss efforts through its absorption of fluids in the gut, providing a feeling of fullness.  Glucomannan should be taken 1-2 hours after other medications since it has the potential to interfere with the absorption of any other drugs.

Imuno-2865* is a naturally occurring hemicellulose (high molecular weight polysaccarharide complex) and fatty acid mixture which has been extracted from graminae,, poaceae, dioscoreaceae, and several species of mushrooms, using a proprietary process.  This extraction process causes the breaking down, or “pre-digestion” of the polysaccarharide molecules into smaller components called hemicelluloses (arabinoxylan and beta-glucan), making them an ideal food source.  Beta-glucans are polysaccarharides occuring in the bran of cereal grains, the cell walls of bakers yeast, certain types of fungi, mushrooms, algae,  and plants, including poaceae and graminiae.  These glyconutrients  increase interferon-y production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells , acting synergistically with the interleukin-2 to increase Natural Killer(NK) cell activity and production of tumor necrosis factor-alpha, as well as enhancing the activity of other important immune cells such as B-cells and T-4 cells. The effectiveness of beta-glucans is enhanced when delivered in small particle sizes (microparticulates) to promote better digestion and absorption into the immune system.   The beta-glucans in Imuno-2865 are unique and have been extracted from a variety of sources , including natural plant sources, rice bran, and mushrooms, which have shown encouraging immune support possibilities.  Grape Seed Extract, another ingredient in Imuno-2865*,  is rich in proanthocyanidins.    Arabinogalactan enhances beneficial gut micro flora  by increasing short chain fatty acid production (primarily butyrate) which is essential for proper colon health and is the preferred substrate for energy generation by colonic epithelial cells.

Pancreatin 4x (porcine) is a compound containing three digestive enzymes: lipase, protease, and amylase, that are derived from the pancreas of pigs.  It is used as an aid to support healthy digestion.

Quercetin is a potent flavanoid antioxidant found abundantly in nature.  It is not only found in colorful fruits and vegetables such as apples, grapes, and red wine, spinach, peppers, cauliflower, onions, tomatoes, and strawberries (which could explain the old saying ” An apple a day —“), but also in many medicinal herbs such as St. John’s Wort, milk thistle, green tea, hops, valerian and passion flower, to name a few.


It is important to remember that supplementation with DiaVetin™ does not take the place of a proper diet and exercise, but is adjunct therapy to help support  your pet’s blood glucose levels and to help contribute to their wellness and longevity.

Taking care of your diabetic pet requires extreme commitment and dedication each and every day to help your pet not only survive but thrive. Diligent pet owners are “superhero owners”, because your daily vigilance regarding the care of your pet is necessary for the rest of your pet’s life to ensure their health and happiness (and yours!)……naturally!