Palisadian Dr. Mao Shing Ni is looking to fill a gap in treating pets with a set of remedies based off of traditional Chinese medicine by collaborating with Voice For The Animals and launching Herbal Pet Care.
The multi-title best-seller comes from a long line of TCM and acupuncturists—he shared that he and his brother are the 38th generation of practitioners in their family.
This medicine system was looked down upon by Western doctors until the ’70s, Ni shared, when practitioners of TCM began showcasing “incredible results” they were able to yield on animals.
“It was actually in the ’70s, when the vets who would treat animals who couldn’t walk,” Ni explained. “ [The animals were] crippled with arthritis, and as soon as they’re finished with the acupuncture, the dog could walk.”
Ni explained that many Western doctors had been claiming that TCM was a placebo-bound practice and that the patient only felt better because they knew that they were supposed to.
However, with animals coming in heavily disabled and leaving walking on their own, Ni said it showed doctors it must be a practice based on truth and not placebo, as the animals did not know that this technique was supposed to make them feel better.
“The vets were very instrumental in actually establishing that acupuncture was a physiological modality, and that there were specific neurochemical and biochemical changes that occurred with acupuncture treatment,” Ni said.
Additionally, Ni’s father founded the Tao of Wellness medicine center, where he and his brother work, which has multiple locations throughout the greater Los Angeles area—all of which treat humans and animals.
“Herbs being used for pet care has been around for thousands of years,” Ni shared. “As long as humans have been treating humans for illness, we’ve been treating animals. The animals started with farm animals, such as cows, sheep, goats and horses and whatnot, and then it naturally spread to pets like dogs and cats and so forth.”
Ni recently paired up with Melya Kaplan, executive director of Voice For The Animals, to create a line of Herbal Pet Care products that rely on TCM.
Kaplan created Voice For The Animals, which hosts adoption in the Palisades, in 1999 as a nonprofit aimed at helping grow community empathy and awareness for helping animals.
The two teamed up to create a multitude of products for animals such as flea, skin and joint pain remedies.
“We have these formulas that have come from [my] family,” Ni said. “Melya and I, we’ve known each other for a long time, and I’ve been a big supporter of her cause and what she is doing on the behalf of animals, so we decided that, ‘Hey, you know what? Why don’t we put these formulas out in the marketplace, so that people with a desire to have a more naturalistic way of caring for their animals can have access to these formulas?’”
The remedies are sold as a liquid that can be dropped onto pets’ food because Ni recognized the struggles that owners often find when trying to administer medicine to their pets.
All proceeds from the line go directly toward Voice For The Animals, as well as a nonprofit school that Ni and his brother founded, Yo San University, which teaches individuals and veterinarians about the history of TCM.
“It’s been very satisfying seeing this flourishing of Chinese medicine within the veterinary community,” Ni shared. “In fact, there are over 3,000 vets who practice acupuncture and Chinese medicine throughout America.”
Products within the line can even be used on humans, Ni shared, as many clients purchase certain products, like the Flea Klear Topical, for their own bug remedies.
“It’s completely plant base, non-GMO, cruelty free, no animal testing and is made here in the lab in our offices here in Santa Monica,” Ni said. “We also offer 100% money back guarantee, so anybody who tries it and doesn’t see that it works for them, just return it and we’ll give you the money back.”