Keep 'em wagging

Diet, care big help in keeping dogs healthy

BY AMY SACKS
DAILY NEWS WRITER

FOR FASHION GURU Nole Marin, picking a winner on the new show "True Beauty" will come down to which contestant radiates true inner beauty.

Allowing inner beauty to shine is also what matters to the reality show judge when it comes to caring for his 10 charming pooches.

"My dogs all have the most incredible personalities," said the former Elle magazine fashion director and "America's Next Top Model" judge. "I work hard to make them happy and healthy, and it shows."

Marin's brood — including two French bulldogs, three Pomeranians, a Chinese crested, a Maltese, a Yorkie, a Brussels griffon and a Chihuahua — range in age from 1 to 12 years old.

He credits a natural diet and an integrative approach to pet care for maintaining their good health.

With the increase of natural health care and alternative therapies for animals in recent years, many pet lovers are seeking natural approaches for their pets.

The veterinarian Marin turns to is Dr. Babette Gladstein, a Manhattan house-call doctor, who practices both traditional and alternative medicine.

"Addressing the primary fundamental issues, like nutrition, helps to avoid a lot of diseases down the road," said Gladstein, who has created a unique food plan for of Marin's dogs recently changed the diet of 12-year-old Pomeranian, Guinevere, to include whitefish and sweet potato, which was successful in treating bouts of pancreatitis.

Among the arsenal of natural supplements she uses is garlic, to treat worms and parasites, Omega-3 fatty acid supplements for allergies. and lysine, which can be used to heal upper-respiratory viral infections, particularly in cats.

In addition to nutrition, Gladstein uses a combination of treatments including acupuncture, chiropractic, ultrasound, mas-sage therapy and laser therapy.

Prolotherapy, a lesser-known treatment of weak and torn tendons and ligaments is considered a promising option that is becoming mainstream in her practice.

The treatment involves injecting a solution (lidocaine and dextrose) into the affected ligaments and bony junctures, which causes the growth of new connective tissue. Pain is alleviated as the tendons and ligaments tighten and grow stronger.

The therapy, which has been used in humans since the 1950s, can also be used to treat arthritis, hip dysplasia, back pain, neck pain and other musculoskeletal ailments commonly found in dogs.

Alternative and natural treatments can also be used to treat some of the most common ailments in both cats and dogs.

Last week, Veterinary Pet Insurance released a list of 2008's top pet maladies.

Top canine claims, in order, include ear infections, skin allergies, hot spots, gastritis, diarrhea, urinary tract infections, skin tumors, osteoarthritis, eye inflammation • and hypothyroidism.

For Marin, inner beauty also requires giving his dogs a lot of love. "It's really what makes them beautiful."