Thursday, July 21, 2016

Meet Mark Pagaduan-Iha, Writer

Mark Pagaduan-Iha is a pet health and longevity blogger. He currently writes articles that offer tips and suggestions on ways that pet parents can not only keep their dogs healthy, but also increase both their healthspan and lifespan. Mark is currently at work on a book about dogs. Check out his website at

1. How did your own experience as someone who loves pets inspire you to start your website?

I've always been a pet lover and especially fond of dogs, but I don't think I realized how much they really meant to me until my own pup became afflicted with heart disease. The whole ordeal was difficult to process, and even presently I find myself getting quite emotional about it.

My husband and I found very little answers from our primary vet and cardiologist regarding our fur baby's heart disease. Essentially, we were told that we would have to take a "wait and see" approach. Which I understood completely because they were trained in a certain school of thought, but at the same time it infuriated me. I've never been someone who doesn't take action. Listen, we're talking about my baby here, and I wanted to do anything and everything to help him.

After reaching out to other professionals, reading scientific studies, and scouring the internet for answers, I realized that there are other pet parents in the same exact predicament. They were either not given concrete answers regarding their pets' health or they were just given some medication and told to go on their merry way. In either case, their dogs weren't being helped. These pet parents, like myself, wanted more holistic or natural alternatives to help with the ailments that our fur children were facing. But many of us didn't know where to turn.

So a light bulb sort of went off in my head that maybe I should start a website dishing out my findings on natural and holistic methods to other pet parents. Here's something I learned as well: all pet parents want their fur kids to live as long as healthily possible. That in itself is powerful stuff.

2. What is the significance of the site's name, The Dog Advertiser?

To be honest when I first started the site, I wanted to be very inclusive of "all things dog." I felt the name The Dog Advertiser was very cute but also conveyed the feeling of a general dog news publication. However, I quickly realized two things. The first is that you can't be all things to all people; the task became overwhelming when trying to source every type of interesting story that came up. The second thing I realized is that my true passion is dealing with the health, wellness, and longevity of our pets.

So I decided to shift the focus of the site, but still retained the name. Plus, our two kids are in the logo, so how could we ever change it? ;-)

3. How do you decide what content to feature on your site?

I wish I could say that there's a real process behind it, but there really isn't. Well, I take that back. I keep track of pet health news, and if there's something I feel people should know, I'll post it. So for example if there is a new drug that might be coming out, I'll research it and write something regarding it. Something like that came up recently with a drug called Sileo, which is supposed to keep dogs calm and quell anxiety. It came out right before the 4th of July holiday, and the drug company was doing some press and media for it. I took issue with the fact that no one had written about the adverse effects of Sileo, so I went to task and wrote a piece about it, cited my resources, and outlined all the nasty things that could happen if your pup took it.

However, most of the time the posts come from identifying what's really going on within the pet community and what's going on in our own lives. Health in general is very broad, but we are writing about things that can help heal your pet and also little tips and tricks that you can use to help increase their longevity. Also, when it comes to longevity, the content regarding it is endless. Especially because our dogs' chemistry is so similar to ours.

4. Would you tell us a little bit about the book you're currently writing?

Which one? Haha. Actually, I have several books that I'm in the process of writing. But the one you're referring to is actually somewhat of a general guide to help pet parents navigate through the basics, such as diet, choosing a vet, a run down of some of the major pet ailments and of course various holistic/natural remedies that they can utilize. There will be much more inside of it, but that's the overall theme. The book is getting so big that some are referring to it as a "bible for natural pet health." I needed to cut a lot out, because I didn't want people to refer to it as that.

The book really is a starting off point to help people navigate through the sometimes complex world of pet health. The problem I often see (and I'm guilty of doing this in my posts sometimes) is that experts talk in their own complicated language. It's too hard for many newbies to understand and frequently intimidating. So much so that a lot of pet parents call it quits and just defer to their conventional vet. They end up back at square one. It's quite a big turn off, so I'm trying to take the opposite approach and lay the foundation, speaking in simple terms all the while giving them a ton of information that they can easily understand and implement.

5. What else would you like readers to know about you and your work?

I would like your readers and really everyone to know that I'm in the trenches with them. They are not alone in this. I have a pup who has had severe skin/coat allergies and was diagnosed with heart disease. He wasn't feeling well for a long time. But along the way I learned some natural and healthy ways to manage it. As a result, he's not only feeling better, but our primary vet and cardiologist are very surprised and pleased with how he's doing. In addition, his skin issues have been completely resolved. After nearly 9 years of trying everything under the sun to cure his skin allergies with conventional medicine, he finally responded to a more natural approach.

So essentially, I know how they are feeling, what they might be going through, and the daily struggle that goes along when caring for a pet that might not have ideal or optimum health.

But beyond that I would like to convey that traditional medicine doesn't always have the answers. While I do believe it's important to consider both conventional and holistic treatments and therapies, it's crucial that pet parents see that there is hope with alternative medicine and remedies. Primarily, yes, I will often seek out the advice of my holistic vet, but I will also consult my primary one as well. It's important to get BOTH sides of the story and BOTH views.

That's what The Dog Advertiser is about. We want to help you with the health, wellness, and longevity of your pet using alternative and natural methods. But we also do our best to lay out both sides of the coin. It doesn't behoove anyone if you are one-sided, and at the end of the day it's not about us; it's about our beloved fur babies. It's our job to protect them, love them, and most importantly give them the best chance at having a fulfilling and healthy life.

Thank you so much for this interview; I appreciate it and hope to see you and your readers on The Dog Advertiser soon! :-)

Thanks, Mark!

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