Thursday, November 6, 2014

Aloe Vera: The Plant of Immortality



Aloe Vera gel and juice are main components in many of our DERMagic products. Natural medicine, including the use of aloe extracts, has been around much longer than modern medicine. There is a reason it's making a comeback. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Natural? Organic? Eco-Friendly?



Confused?  You should be!
Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees – and nowhere is this more true than the forest of buzz words we’re seeing in the pet industry. "Made in USA," "Natural," "Organic" and "Eco-Friendly" are just some of the marketing terms that are being hyped and written about regarding pet products, especially food and grooming products. 

For all you buyers and sellers out there, we would like to give the meaning of all those terms that manufacturers use to confuse the consumer. “Natural” seems to be the most popular, and will be the focus of a number of pet publications, and has been for some time.  It's just one of many terms you need to thoroughly understand... whether as a consumer ("what am I really buying?") or as a retailer ("how do I explain this correctly to the customer?").

Eco-friendly (or “environmentally friendly”) – This term refers to guidelines and policies that are considered to inflict minimal or no damage to the environment. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has deemed this language useless in determining whether a product is truly "green". There is no certifying body, and no "official" emblem like the one on the right, often shown in attempts to obfuscate.

Natural - A natural substance is loosely defined as a chemical compound or substance produced by a living organism and found in nature. A natural product can be considered as such even if it can be prepared by total synthesis (i.e., “man-made”). The term “natural” is not yet regulated, and it's designed to conjure images of serene forested places, unsullied by civilization and pollution.

Organic – Organic product production and manufacture is a heavily regulated industry. Currently, the European Union, the United States, Canada, Japan and many other countries require producers to obtain special certification in order to market products as "organic". Organic products avoid most synthetic chemical inputs (e.g., fertilizer, pesticides, antibiotics, food additives, etc.), genetically modified organisms (GMOs), irradiation, and the use of sewage sludge. Manufacturers of organic products are subject to periodic on-site inspections at their facilities.

Locally Manufactured – Essentially means “manufactured in your neighborhood,” but is not defined nor regulated.  This is a “feel-good” term that companies can use to promote local sales.  Theoretically, what it really means in terms of “greenness” is that the “carbon footprint” of the product is lower because no fossil fuels were consumed in transporting products all over the US or, worse, from some distant country.

Green – Green marketing began in Europe in the early 1980s when certain products were found to be harmful to the earth's atmosphere. As a result, "green" products that would cause less damage to the environment began to appear on the market. The movement quickly caught on in the US and has been growing steadily ever since. The development of ecologically safer products, recyclable and biodegradable packaging, energy-efficient operations, and better pollution controls are all aspects of green marketing.  The key point to note here is that “green” is a relative term, meaning that “less” damage is done than the current method or product in the public market.  It does not mean that “NO” damage is done… nor is this term regulated.  The buyer should be aware of the current “greenwashing” trend in marketing. (Also, see our earlier blog post about this subject.)

Holistic – treating the body as a whole system.  A symptom that manifests as an itch on the skin could actually be the result of something digestive, for example.  This is a treatment approach, not a label that should be placed on any product.

Homeopathic - Substances that produce symptoms of sickness in healthy animals can have a curative effect when given in very dilute quantities to sick animals who exhibit those same symptoms.  Both Homeopathic and Holistic approaches are “alternative medicine” styles of treatment.

Naturopathy (also known as “natural medicine”) – alternative veterinary practice that avoids antibiotics and routine shots, for example.

And here’s the rest of the story:

The “Natural Products” marketplace is huge and growing.  At all the trade shows where we exhibit, there are special sections dedicated to natural and organic products, and manufacturers who wish to attract buyers who hold “natural” and “organic” in high priority for their customers will exhibit in these spaces.  These areas are growing in importance at trade shows but still maintain a very small percentage of overall floor space at these shows.  We always exhibit in the Natural areas at shows because we specifically target buyers of natural products.  Natural and organic is what we do, and we do nothing else, so it’s very important to us as manufacturers that retailers are educated and informed about what “natural” means and what “organic” means and what “eco-friendly” means.  Often, both retailers and consumers confuse these terms.  They are quite different from each other.

Pet parents are asking for natural and organic products more and more.  They search for products online using these terms, and will either purchase online or seek a local retailer who offers natural products. Manufacturers know this and will do whatever it takes to increase their appeal to customers seeking "natural" goods.  Caveat emptor.

At DERMagic, we understand that conventional dermatitis treatments, including steroids, only temporarily relieve symptoms, while putting the pet at risk of harmful side effects. DERMagic products are formulated with only safe, natural and organic ingredients that act quickly to relieve itching, fight fungal and bacterial infections and promote rapid healing and regrowth of fur. DERMagic products are non-toxic, veterinarian-approved and made in the USA.  DERMagic works, guaranteed, and no hype.




Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Fleas Flee from DERMagic Flea Products!

Yes, it's a really bad flea season this year. Did you know that for every flea you see on your pet, there are 100 more in your house and yard and car? Scary, especially when you consider how toxic and dangerous some of those flea products out there can be!

Now it's possible to treat for fleas and ticks without all those poisons, naturally with organic products like DERMagic's Flea Dust and Flea Shampoo Bar, both containing organic, food-grade diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous Earth is a fine white powder made by tiny (microscopic) water creatures that make silica-based shells for themselves. These tiny shells fall to the bottom of lakes and oceans over millions of years, accumulating in massive white deposits that are then mined and crushed to a fine powder. Deadly to any insect or larvae, each tiny “shell” is very sharp, like razor blades to insects, but completely harmless to all animals, including fish and birds, both externally and internally.
Fossilized diatoms are very sharp under high magnification!
How often can I use DERMagic Flea Dust?
Flea Dust from DERMagic is the best all-natural, completely-safe insect repellent made with the natural flea-killing power of Diatomaceous Earth (DE). You no longer need to use toxic chemicals, sprays or drops! DERMagic's flea dust is the perfect all-natural companion to the very popular organic Flea Shampoo Bar, which kills fleas and lice on your pet while leaving the coat healthy and shining.

DERMagic Flea Dust is completely safe for your dogs and cats, but as with anything, moderation is best. Use our handy refillable shaker top bottle to sprinkle lightly onto your pets once per day. Flea Dust can also be used in your pet’s environment to prevent fleas from settling in to your pet’s bed and surrounding areas. Treat the area initially by sprinkling liberally around areas your pet sleeps and plays. After the initial treatment, you can retreat once a day or less often.

How often can I use the Flea Shampoo Bar?

Our Flea Shampoo Bar offers lasting protection so you don’t have to bathe your pets so often! We recommend that you bathe your dog no more than twice per month, and less often if possible. If you have never used a shampoo bar, check out our video to see how easy it is! Dry your dog as usual, and you might even want to use a flea comb to brush out any remaining flea remains. Be sure to give your pets’ sleeping areas (and your pets) a light dusting with our Flea Dust too! Bathe your dog again every two weeks during flea season to keep them under control and off your dog. 

Our Flea Shampoo Bar (or any shampoo) should not be used more often than twice monthly, and less often is even better. While it’s perfectly safe to use it more frequently, baths can strip natural oils from your pet's coat. Less is more when bathing!

What about fleas in my house and car?

The Flea Cycle - from egg to adult is about 3 weeks

The reason you need to deal with ALL areas your dog hangs out in is because you will only see about 1% of the fleas that are pestering your dog, and that doesn't include all the hidden eggs waiting to hatch and feast on your little buddy.

To treat your home, follow these directions: 
  • Begin with a thorough vacuuming of the house. This includes any pet bedding, couches, and other areas your pets like to sleep. Be sure to empty and clean the vacuum canister or dispose of the vacuum bag after each use!
  • Wash any bedding your pets use as you normally would.
  • Give your pet a bath with our organic Flea Shampoo Bar. This will eliminate fleas from the coat without toxins or chemicals.
  • When your dog is completely dry, sprinkle Flea Dust lightly on your dog and lightly massage it into their coat for added protection. Our Flea Dust is perfectly safe for pets and people, but deadly to insects. 
  • Sprinkle Flea Dust throughout the home, focusing on areas where pets like to sleep. (Note: Daily vacuuming is important to flea control. Each time you vacuum, you should reapply Flea Dust to bedding and floors).
To treat your yard, follow these directions:
  • Begin by removing dead foliage, such as leaves or old sticks.
  • Cut back excess weeds and keep the lawn well mowed.
  • Sprinkle a fine layer of DERMagic Flea Dust around the yard wherever your pet spends time. Our 1-lb bag is perfect for this use and it’s affordable as well!
Treat your home as often as needed. DERMagic Flea Dust is perfectly safe for dogs and cats, even for humans and very sensitive animals like birds and fish! 

Here's wishing everyone a healthy and flea-free summer!

Best woofs, Adelia





Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Dog allergies? Or is it something else?

When Your Dog Has a Yeast Infection or Alopecia X (Black Skin Disease)


Striker the Pom - Day One
People write to us all the time about how to use DERMagic Skin Rescue Lotion for their dog with hair loss or black skin or general itchiness, especially in the feet.  The largest percentage of these inquiries are from Pomeranian parents whose veterinarians have advised them to “just put a t-shirt on the dog… there’s nothing that can be done.”

When we first developed our products, we were unaware of the disease known as Alopecia X (which, by the way, simply means “hair loss from an unknown cause”).  Our Skin Rescue Lotion and Hot Spot Salve were created specifically to kill yeast, which is a type of fungus that is present on the skin of all dogs.  When it gets inside or under the skin, that’s when it causes all kinds of problems and is very difficult to diagnose, to test for, or to treat by conventional veterinary methods.  One of the results of a systemic yeast infection is Alopecia X or “Black Skin Disease.”  No one says it better than our friends at Nzymes, so please read about “Allergies Vs. Candida Yeast: The Confusion.”

Where does it come from?  Yeast is a type of fungus and it is present as a normal part of the flora on all dogs, internally and externally.  As long as everything is in balance, the yeast causes no problems.  But if a dog’s immune system is compromised or diminished by illness or a poor diet, or if the yeast gets inside the skin through a cut, bug bite or by shaving, the yeast fungus has a perfect opportunity to take control.  (Never shave your dog and do not let your groomer shave him…  the blade simply injects whatever is on your dog’s skin right underneath it, and in the case of yeast it immediately begins to spread until it is systemic throughout the animal.)

Striker - Full coat 6 months later
What can be done to get rid of yeast?  Well, for Poms or any other breed, there is actually something that can be done, and there are hundreds of pet parents out there who have done it with our help, and with the help of the good folks at Nzymes.com.  It takes persistence, patience, and perseverance, and a couple of months or more.  It took a very long time for the infection to take hold, running quietly under the skin or inside the body, and it takes time to reverse it.

What are the top signs of a yeast infection?  Any one of these is a very strong indicator, regardless of how it got started. If there are two or more of these symptoms, it’s pretty much a given that the dog is systemically infected with yeast:

  • Scratching the ears, or head shaking
  • Lethargy and loss of appetite
  • Chewing or licking the feet, and dark rusty-red hair between the toes
  • Cyclic manifestation of symptoms (appearing in the spring and “going away” in the fall)
  • Hair loss on the tail and upper back
  • Speckles (like tiny black dots) on the underbelly or rust-coloration around the genitals
  • A foul funky smell and greasy hair (seborrhea), often accompanied by heavy dandruff
  • Baldness from having been closely shaved
  • Any black skin, especially if associated with hair loss.


So, how do I know if it’s a yeast infection or an allergy? Or something else?  Well, you don’t know for sure at first.  But if the condition responds well to a natural topical antifungal, the hair grows back, the black skin disappears, the itching and licking stop, and the underbelly returns to a normal pinkish white, that should tell you something.  All these symptoms respond to antifungals, especially to DERMagic Skin Rescue Lotion or Hot Spot Salve.  
It could well have been an allergic reaction to something that started all this, like a bug or flea bite or a bad reaction to grain in food, for example.  But what then happens is that the local immune system doesn’t function properly and this allows the yeast to bloom and invade.  This is what many veterinarians can miss.  They generally do not recognize the early signs of yeast, and allergy testing can give misleading false positives in many cases.  So, the pet parent accepts the diagnosis of allergies and spends a fortune on medications for the rest of the dog’s life, which may be considerably shortened by being on these meds long term.

Please write to us and tell us about your experiences with skin problems in your pets!  


Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Special Cat-egory of Bath Products

It's a Cat-astrophe!
Some people think cats should stay out in the barn and catch mice and not get bathed.  Others say, buy a small rubber storage bin, fill it with warm water and detergent, add the cat, put the lid on, and shake a few times.  When opening the lid, be sure to stand well back, and let the furious cat fly around the room in a rage until dry. 



We believe there are better ways, starting with not bathing them very often at all.  Generally, a large part of their day is spent grooming themselves, and they do a very fine job on their own. And most cats totally detest water and will resist it to the point of scratching your eyes out to avoid it.  But long-haired cats can get oily and matted, and older cats may not be able to groom themselves as thoroughly as they once did, and some cats just get into dirty stuff and will need a bath to freshen up.

On average a cat can be bathed two or three times per year. Excessive bathing (any mammal) can strip the natural oils from the skin that are essential for a healthy coat. We recommend that pet parents avoid using medicated shampoos as they can be too harsh for the cat’s skin.  Aside from drying out the skin and coat, these chemical based ingredients can easily be ingested or absorbed through the skin. Check out this short video to observe a perfectly behaved cat loving its DERMagic bath!

So, where is my tiara?
Natural and organic products provide a safer, gentler and more effective alternative for cleansing and conditioning your cat’s skin and coat. Unlike conventional over-the-counter products that contain harsh chemicals and preservatives, DERMagic hand-made shampoo bars are made from organic vegetable oils and essential herbal oils, and nothing else.

Try DERMagic!  Your cat will love you for it!