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Archive for 2018

Preventing Fleas, Ticks and Mosquitos Naturally

Posted on: April 6th, 2018 by Angela Ardolino No Comments

By Angie Ardolino

Living in Florida makes it very difficult to control fleas, ticks and mosquitos from biting your dog. After researching the toxicity of commercial flea, tick and heart worm medications, I decided to poll my Facebook friends on what they used.  Most shared that they did what their vets suggest but would much rather find a natural alternative to these expensive and toxic preventatives that have been shown to cause all kinds serious health problems and even in some cases death.

Here are my favorite natural alternatives:

Diatomaceous Earth (Food Grade)

Good for pet, home, yard, beds.  Don’t inhale.  Kills fleas, parasites and worms.

This all-natural fine powder is safe for human and animal consumption.  I’ve been using on my farm for over 7 years now.  You can sprinkle it in your animal’s food, in their water, and even rub on their skin.  You can also sprinkle it in beds, carpets and around home to kill any bugs (fleas, ants, roaches, bed bugs).  Find out more and you can purchase it here.

Garlic – preferably organic

Repels fleas, ticks, mosquitos along with many health benefits, here’s more info on benefits and how to use. I finely mince up garlic and add to my dog’s food once a week.


Repels fleas, ticks, mosquitos

They do the mixing of the essential oils for you!  Simply spray this all natural, non-toxic spray on your dogs before they go outside, and it will repel fleas, ticks and mosquitos.  There is also an all-natural yard sprayWe carry their line of Natural Flea and Tick Control for home and pets at our shop and online.

Cedar oil, Neem Oil and Citronella oil

Repels fleas, ticks, mosquitos

You can mix the oils together in glass opaque spray bottle and spray on your dog (especially underbelly and legs) before they go outside, to a park, etc.  Avoid getting in their eyes.

Amber Collars – great for pet

Repels fleas and ticks.

Electrostatic feature of Amber is extremely useful when fighting ticks and fleas. When collar made of Baltic Amber beads is worn by a pet it will be naturally rubbed against its fur. This action will help Amber to generate electricity, which makes it almost impossible for flea or tick to stick on dog’s or cat’s hair.  You can get them here 

Heart Worm Free

HWF (formerly HeartWorm Free is a natural, effective, organic herbal remedy designed to help your canine family member overcome canine heartworm disease. HeartWorm Free is also an excellent effective natural heartworm preventative. HWF contains Organic Herbal ingredients.  The organic herbs in the HWF formula are known to help:

  •  Repel parasites
  •  Anti-Microbial properties
  •  Respiratory system
  •  Kidney Function
  •  Reduce inflammation
  •  Control coughing
  •  Support and strengthen heart function
  •  Improve coronary circulation
  •  Relax and dilate arteries
  •  Prevent edema (diuretic)
  •  Cleanse the vessels of parasites


Eat fleas, ticks and other nuisance bugs

My yard is free of these pests thanks to my 10 chickens.  I do sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth in my yard and around my house, just in case.  I spray no chemicals on my lawn or in my yard.

Having a healthy, non-toxic home, yard, and dog will help keep these insects from becoming a nuisance in your life.  I haven’t given Triflexis to my dogs for 3 months now and don’t plan on ever doing it again, so stay tuned…


Angie Ardolino pictured with her 10 year old, mini schnauzer Odie, is co-owner of Beautify the Beast.  She has a Professional Certificate in Cannabis Science and Medicine from the University of Vermont’s Larner College of Medicine. She has been caring and working with animals for over 25 years and has a rescue farm in Lutz, Florida.  

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Benefits of Hemp CBD oil for Dogs

Posted on: March 15th, 2018 by Angela Ardolino No Comments

By Angela Ardolino

Natural medicines and essential oils are very popular these days and, believe it or not, your pets can benefit from some of the same all-natural supplements as humans do.  All-natural Hemp CBD oil for dogs is one of the latest methods pet owners are using to help treat or prevent numerous pet ailments.

Cannabidiol (CBD) for pets is derived from hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant species, yet contains less than 1% of the psychoactive properties commonly associated with cannabis.  Instead, it contains compounds that interact naturally with your dog’s immune, nerve and endocannabinoid systems.

Why Dogs Need Hemp/CBD Oil

 Unlike fish oil, hemp seed oil contains the perfect ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids. These are essential fatty acids, meaning dogs can’t produce them, and need to get them as a part of their diet.  A good balance of these Omega oils is critical to your dog’s health because they work synergistically in the body.  Hemp seeds are also high in an essential plant-derived Omega-6 fatty acid called gamma linolenic acid (GLA).  And CBD oil contains cannabinoids (CBD, CBDA, CBN, CBG, and terpenes) which are proven to both treat and prevent several common pet health concerns.

Reduces Joint Pain and Inflammation

 The Journal of Arthritis and Rheumatology has reported that the GLA found in hemp seeds reduced arthritis symptoms by 25%, compared to a placebo at 4%.

There are two main cannabinoid receptors in both human and canine nervous systems, known as CB1 and CB2.  The CB1 receptors are more affected by the presence of THC—controlling perception, memory, mood, sleep and appetite—while CB2 receptors affect the immune system.

The compounds in the plant that play a role in inhibiting inflammation are the substances that activate the CB2 receptors, as inflammation is an immune response.  GLA is not the only compound in cannabis that activates the CB2 receptor.  A terpenoid known as beta-caryophyllene is found in hemp extract, and also activates this receptor with no psychoactive effect.  In addition to its anti-inflammatory benefits, CBD Oil has also been shown to have anti-psychotic, anti-convulsant, anti-oxidant and immunomodulatory effects.

Improves Skin and Coat

Hemp seed has long been used in cosmetic products and soaps because the oil can penetrate the inner layers of the skin and promote healthy cellular growth.  The balanced fatty acids also play an important role in reducing the inflammation associated with common pet skin issues, including yeast infections, hot-spots, itching and dermatitis.  As an anti-inflammatory, CBD oil can relieve systemic inflammation that causes hives, blisters and whole-body itching.  And it helps fight skin allergies by promoting healthy cell growth.

Helps Relieve Anxiety

Does your dog become frantic when you leave, or when a thunderstorm is approaching?  CBD oil can also help with depression and anxiety by playing in a role in the serotonin pathways.  I give CBD oil to my dogs during every thunderstorm and it calms them down, almost instantly, after ingestion.

Hemp CBD oil has also proven to calm anxiety and reduce obsessive behaviors in dogs, like chewing and licking.

 Fights Cancer and Shrinks Tumors

 Researchers at the American Cancer Society say there’s evidence that people with cancer, diabetes and skin allergies don’t produce enough GLA; these issues have proven to be incredibly common in dogs too.  While GLA is considered a conditionally essential fatty acid (most dogs can make enough of it, most of the time), there are many circumstances like hard exercise or stress in which dogs can’t produce enough GLA—making it extremely important for you to provide it as a nutritional supplement.  Finally, because GLA is perfectly balanced with Omega-3 fatty acids, hemp seed oil will help reduce inflammation in your dog and strengthen his or her immune system.

 I’ve even administered CBD oil on a daily basis for help with my Doberman’s severe fear of thunder and her small fatty tumor on her eye had shrunk and within a matter of weeks the tumor completely disappeared!

 Where to get it?

At Beautify the Beast we carry the Pet Pharma line of Hemp CBD oil products.  These vegan hemp oil spray/tinctures are made from non-GMO hemp grown without pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers.  These all-natural formulas contain hemp CBD complex, hemp seed oil, terpenes, and coconut oil.  They are also high in essential fatty acids, offering the perfect ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6, and contain a full spectrum hemp oil with CBD, CBG, CBN, and CBDA.  These ingredients come together for synergistic, long-lasting beneficial effects for your dogs.


Angie Ardolino pictured with her mini schnauzer Odie, is co-owner of Beautify the Beast.  She has a Professional Certificate in Cannabis Science and Medicine from the University of Vermont’s Larner College of Medicine. She has been caring and working with animals for over 25 years and has a rescue farm in Lutz, Florida.  








Fantastic Resources:

Dr Karen Becker

American Cancer Society

Dogs Naturally Magazine

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A little about us…

Posted on: March 15th, 2018 by Angela Ardolino No Comments

Angie Ardolino and David Estevez the new owners of Beautify the Beast pictured with a few of their dogs; Odie, Rhemi, Oscar, Molly and Nina.  Photo by Jeanine McLeod, 


Beautify the Beast, a premier pet grooming and boarding facility serving the greater Lutz and Land O’ Lakes communities in West Central Florida, is approaching one year under new ownership, and a significant transformation that is noticeable both inside and out.  These changes didn’t happen overnight, and have been a labor of love for new owners Angie Ardolino and David Estevez.

Renovations have included structural modifications to maximize work space, and installation of state-of-the-art equipment for bathing, grooming and boarding operations.  Major remodeling has been done to including the addition of displays for all-natural pet food and treats, toys, beds, clothing and accessories.  Other improvements include the use of premium natural, paraben-free, sulfate-free, tearless shampoos and conditioner along with staffing some of Tampa Bay’s best and most experienced groomers.

Before taking over Beautify the Beast, Ardolino served the Tampa Bay area as a noted parenting expert, spokesperson and child advocate, having also founded and served as long-time editor of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.  It was there that she and David worked together for over a decade, providing parenting and pet resources and guidance for families from across the region.

Prior to living in Tampa, Ardolino founded the Miami Children’s Theater (MCT) in 1996.  MCT is a performing arts production company founded to use the performing arts to instruct and inspire young actors and audiences; and it was through MCT that Angie and David met and began working together.  Their influence and success with MCT are easy to see today, as several of the program’s graduates are now performing on Broadway and in commercial film & television.

In addition to their professional pursuits, Angie and David spent several years working together in their free time to establish Fire Flake Farm, a residential lakeside farm setting, which has provided sanctuary for a wide variety of abandoned, neglected or injured animals over the past decade.  Fire Flake Farm’s current animals-in-residence include: Pekin, Muscovy and Champagne Mallard Ducks, Chinese Geese, a Rooster, Chickens, a Rabbit, two Schnauzers, a Doberman, a Mixed Breed dog, and a Poodle.  Due to it’s popularity for dogs that love to run, play and even swim, Fire Flake Farm has become an ideal location to host pets for Beautify the Beast clients looking for premium and extended-stay boarding experiences.

Angie also takes pet health matters very seriously, and have spent countless time researching natural ways to extend (and improve quality of) lives of our furry friends.  Having discovered that a majority of pet health problems are the result of dietary and hygiene issues, they’ve developed partnerships with premium providers of all-natural, safe, effective products that pet owners can trust, and are excited to offer these products for purchase in either their physical location or online store.

Beautify the Beast is located at 1900 Land O’ Lakes Blvd # 109, Lutz, FL 33549, and is open 7 days a week.  Visit this link or call 813-949-1288 for more information or to make an appointment for your pet!

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To Shave or Not to Shave?

Posted on: February 8th, 2018 by Angela Ardolino No Comments

by Angie Ardolino

Many families invest a lot time and money on adopting a “hypoallergenic” dog, or a dog that doesn’t shed like a Labradoodle, Goldendoodle, or Shih Tzu.  However, instead of shedding, they’ve now committed to weekly brushings and monthly trips to the groomer.  Grooming these dogs start at $50 and go up to $150 depending on their size and coat.  Unfortunately, many busy families don’t have the time to brush the coat thoroughly every week and that’s when matts set in.

Light matting can be brushed out, often with a little help from some good shampoo and conditioning treatment, but heavy matting close to the skin leaves a groomer with little choice but to shave.

To understand why a groomer would shave a dog, we need to understand why it is the safest option. Matting is commonly found around the joints, behind the ears, around collar and on underbelly.   They are essentially clumps of tightly tangled hair that can spread throughout their body.  A dog with matting may chew, scratch or bite at the matted areas, making them even worse. Oil, dirt, debris and friction all contribute to matting.  The longer matting is ignored the worse it gets.  A small tangle on a leg can develop into a mat that can then encase the entire leg, leading to sores and potentially cutting off circulation.  We’ve seen dogs who were losing circulation to their tails and legs because of severe matting.

 Why shave them?

Imagine not brushing your own hair for 3 months.  Then, think about trying to get a comb from your roots to your ends without getting stuck.  It hurts!  The main reason the groomer will shave your dog is because it is extremely painful to demat them.  Their blade needs to fit in the space between the mat and the skin.   The safest and most humane option is to shave them and start over – which will not cause your dog any unnecessary pain or discomfort. If your kids don’t like your dog when he’s shaved, put them to work with a brush and comb.  Pictured left is Jen a professional groomer shaving a Labradoodle who was completely matted to the skin.

In Between Grooms

There are many ways to prevent or limit matting between grooming appointments.  First, get yourself a few tools to help you get the job done like a Slicker Brush, pin comb and some de-matting spray.  Make sure to use a comb and pull it from their skin all the way through the coat. If you get to a tough spot you can spray the de-matting spray to help you work the tangle out.   Any professional groomer will be more than happy to show you correct brushing techniques and recommend a schedule to maintain the hairstyle you prefer for your pup.  Regular professional grooming is key, especially if you’re unable to comb weekly at home.  The groomers at Beautify the Beast see most of their fluffier clients every 4-6 weeks and they have little to no matting; it’s very easy to achieve a cute teddy bear style on them, you just have to stay on a consistent grooming schedule.

Hypoallergenic Breeds

Here’s a list of hypoallergenic breeds that don’t shed but need to be brushed weekly(some daily) and groomed every 4-6 weeks to prevent matting and other skin conditions from developing:

  1. Airedale Terrier
  2. Tibetan Terrier
  3. Maltese
  4. Shih Tzu
  5. Brussels Griffon
  6. Portuguese Water Dog
  7. Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
  8. Poodle (all sizes)
  9. West Highland White Terrier
  10. Bichon Frise
  11. Kerry Blue Terrier
  12. Havanese
  13. Chinese Crested
  14. Scottish Terrier
  15. Schnauzer (all sizes)
  16. Irish Water Spaniel
  17. Carin Terrier
  18. Labradoodle
  19. Goldendoodle
  20. Yorkshire Terrier
  21. Silky Terrier
  22. Bouvier Des Flandres

Angie Ardolino is the co-owner of Beautify the Beast and lives on a 3 acre farm in Lutz, where she rescues and cares for farm animals and dogs.  For more information visit,


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