Sunday, December 21, 2014

Dr. Jane: A Holiday Message

The season of giving is upon us once again. Many of us will be spending time with family and friends, and probably doing a bit of frantic last-minute shopping. Although the holidays are a blur of such activities, it’s also the time of year many of us pause to reflect on our own lives, and consider the impact we've had on the lives of others.

As I look back on 2014, I feel truly honored and grateful to be part of a company devoted to the health and well being of companion animals. From our unbeatable customer care providers to our top-notch warehouse workers, from accounting to marketing, and everyone in between, we’re all pet people. It’s not uncommon to see a dog or two in our offices on one of our ‘take your pet to work’ days. Helping companion animals lead healthier, longer and happier lives is not just our company commitment … it’s a personal mission that guides our work every day.

Holiday Message from Dr. Jane Bicks:

I’m amazed by what we have been able to accomplish in the last twelve months. This year alone, we introduced six new products to our pet health line up, including two dental health products and four all-natural buffalo chew treats. And there is so much more on the horizon! In the next couple of months, we’ll launch more products, including two ultra-pure fish oil supplements for companion animals.

Plus, we have a brand new web site! A vast improvement over our old site, it’s so easy to search, which makes our products easier to find. In fact, I can do everything on my smart phone! And, I’m very pleased to say, our blog readership has tripled this year, which means our message is reaching more pet parents than ever before.

I continue to be honored by the accomplishments of our non-profit
- both as its namesake and by the amazing goodness it achieves. Thanks to your continued business and generosity, The Dr. Jane Foundation has been able to help fund the everyday activities of courageous animal rescues across the country. Some may say that putting an end to pet homelessness, abuse and neglect is a pipe dream, but I also know that there’s nothing we can’t do if we put our minds to it.

No matter where you are this holiday season, know that I’m holding you and your pet kids in my heart. I’m thankful of the great privilege that is working on behalf of you and your families, for the trust you place in our company and our products, and for all you do to make the world a better place for companion animals.

From all of us here at Life’s Abundance, we wish you and yours a joyous holiday time and good cheer throughout the New Year.

Photo Courtesy of Life's Abundance

Holiday Pet Safety

Courtesy of Life's Abundance - From the December 2014 Blog:

In this video Dr. Sarah goes over some tips to keep your babies out of the vet's office
including what flowers/plants are dangerous to animals.

What holiday decorations/food can be dangerous.

What candles can be used if you have birds and much more!

Watch this video!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hiking in the Winter with your Dog

Courtesy of the Life's Abundance Blog, November 2014:
Thanks you Dr. Sarah for another great video -

Amazing tips about what to bring, what to look for in your favorite furry friend to make sure he or she is still enjoying the hike,

** What to wear, and what NOT TO WEAR** (especially during hunting season)


The canine nose knows!

From the Life's Abundance November 2014 Blog:

Dogs are scent-oriented creatures, with some of the most highly developed noses on the planet. Hide a few treats around the room and see how quickly they’re ferreted out. But does your dog’s schnoz have more practical applications than we realize? The answer … well, it couldn’t be plainer than the nose on your face.

Every year, scientific investigations yield more and more evidence that dogs are up to some pretty surprising challenges, in ways that are proving quite beneficial for people. We’ve all seen police dogs skilled in the detection of bombs and contraband. Now researchers are applying that same olfactory prowess to snuffling out all manner of scents, from deadly food allergens to costly insect infestations.

For example, trainers at the Florida Canine Academy provide dogs with instruction on how to detect the trace presence of peanuts. Just ask anyone with a severe peanut allergy … just one nut can prove lethal. Alternately, traditional bedbug detection methods can be very time-consuming and labor-intensive. A canine trained to sniff out bedbugs can search the average hotel room in less than two minutes!

Dogs have also been trained to detect seizures. Much like the job of a seeing-eye dog, seizure dogs help their pet parents navigate day-to-day activities, protecting them from known triggers and potentially harmful situations. These canines excel at recognizing subtle body changes during these traumatic neurological events. Some pups are so sensitive, they can predict an oncoming attack early enough to allow their human to get to a safe place and take medication to reduce the seizure’s severity.

Researchers have documented numerous instances of dogs with the ability to detect cancerous tumors. According to an article in The Lancet, a patient reported that her dog would repeatedly investigate a mole on her leg. At one point, the pup even attempted to bite off the suspicious beauty mark! A medical exam proved what the dog already knew … it was a malignant melanoma. Had it not been for her dog’s nosy behavior, the deadly cancer might have remained undetected.

In a 2011 study, Japanese researchers reported that an eight-year-old black Labrador proved exceptionally accurate at nosing out the presence of colon cancer. When doctors provided the pup with samples collected from 185 patients, the retriever positively identified those suffering from the disease with a success rate that was nothing short of astonishing … 97%!

Last but certainly not least, canines are proving adept at detecting low-blood-sugar levels. In 2000, The British Medical Journal reported that more than a third of dogs living with a diabetic human exhibited behavioral changes when their pet parent’s blood sugar dropped. Some reacted before the person was even aware of any symptoms. The paper also cited two cases where the dogs not only detected the low blood sugar, but they encouraged their people to eat! Researchers are hopeful that this natural knack can be taught, which could make a huge difference in the ongoing care of millions of diabetes sufferers.

In light of all the evidence, there’s no doubt … our beloved best friends really are leading the pack towards improving our lives!

Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place for companion animals.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Life's Abundance Gift Baskets for Dogs and Cats are here

Life's Abundance Gift baskets are HERE!  Very popular - they make awesome gifts for your furry friends and gifts to give your pet parents - Don't wait - they go fast!

Dogs will go nuts when they see and smell what we've added to our holiday gift baskets this year.

In addition to an assortment of all of our baked goodies:

Gourmet Dental Treats
Antioxidant Health Bars
Wholesome Hearts Low-Fat Treats
a 4-oz. bag of Tasty Rewards Training Treats and a
Plush, squeaky toy,  we've also included each of our premium canned foods -
Turkey & Shrimp Breakfast and Chicken & Crab Dinner.

Guaranteed to satisfy canine cravings, each yuletide gift is full of delicious distractions, nestled in a delightful holiday-themed keepsake tray.

Limited quantity. Plush toy may vary.  Click Here Now
Holiday Gift Basket for Dogs

Cats tend to crave more independence than their canine buddies, but that doesn't mean they don't need affection, too! With:

an assortment of toys
Natural Cat Treats for Healthy Skin & Coat
a can of premium Instinctive Choice food plus
a bottle of Wellness Food Supplements

these baskets are a wonderful way to show the cats on your list just how much you care. Guaranteed to satisfy kitty cravings, all of these yuletide goodies are packed in a festive, keepsake tray. 

Limited quantity. Toys may vary. Click here Now

Holiday Gift Basket for Cats

Friday, October 31, 2014

Animal Hoarding and what you can do

From the October 2014 Life's Abundance Newsletter:

As always, Thank you Dr. Jane for a very insightful and educational article!

Animal hoarding is not just a complicated psychological disorder, it’s a public health danger. Most recently popularized by Animal Planet’s ‘Confessions’, animal hoarding is a growing problem in the U.S. Current estimates put the number of animals trapped every year in hoarding situations at 250,000. Experts believe that many more remain unreported, and thus uncounted. Dogs and cats aren't the only species ‘collected’ … reptiles, rabbits, birds, rodents, even farm animals may be accumulated by hoarders.

Generally speaking, animal hoarding has two common elements: one, a household with more than the typical number of companion animals and, two, an inability to provide minimal standards of nutrition, shelter, veterinary care and basic sanitation. Sadly, a third aspect can prove even more deadly, with extreme neglect which can result in untreated disease and starvation. Regardless of how bad the situation becomes, hoarders seem unwilling to admit their inability to provide for their animals. In most cases, they remain blind to the horrific conditions of their own creation.

So, what causes a pet parent to become an animal hoarder? New research suggests attachment syndromes are to blame, often in conjunction with other mental disorders … most commonly obsessive compulsive personalities, but also with paranoia, delusional thinking and dementia. Some begin hoarding in the wake of a traumatic event, such as the loss of a close family member. Many view themselves as full-time rescuers, believing that they’re saving animals from pain and hardship. Typically, they have no awareness that they are actually hurting their animals.

Here are some of the warning signs that someone might have a problem with animal hoarding …
• An excessive number of animals in the home and yard. Persons may not even be able to tell you the total number of creatures under their care.
• Home in an obvious state of disrepair (e.g., dirty windows, broken furniture, holes in wall and floor, extreme clutter, etc.).
• Property emanates a strong odor of ammonia. A peek through window reveals floors covered in dried feces, urine, vomit, etc. • Animals are emaciated, lethargic and poorly socialized. • Presence of fleas, flies and vermin.
• Individual appears isolated from neighbors and family, exhibits signs of personal neglect.
• Individual insists all animals are happy and healthy, despite clear evidence to the contrary.

Some hoarders go to excessive lengths to hide their secret, going so far as to pose as a legitimate rescue group or animal sanctuary, complete with an approved non-profit tax status. They create elaborate websites, disguising the true circumstances in their homes. To determine whether or not a hoarder is masquerading as a rescue group, here are some things to watch out for

• Unwillingness to allow visitors or see where the animals live.
• Refusal to disclose the number of animals in its care.
• Additional animals are always welcome, even if many of the current pets are suffering from illnesses or injury.
• Little to no evidence of successful adoptions.
• Animal surrenders generally accepted off-premises, with requests to meet in parking lots, street corners, etc.

If someone you know is an animal hoarder, there are some ways that you can help …

 Pick up the phone and call your local animal welfare enforcement agency, police department, animal shelter or veterinarian. They can help to initiate the healing process. You may not want to be the person who gets anyone “in trouble,” but just know that a simple phone call could be the vital first step towards recovery for all involved. Reassure the animal hoarder that it's okay to accept help. Remind them that everyone gets overwhelmed at some point in their lives. It’s not uncommon for animal hoarders to obsessively worry about their animals. Once they fully comprehend that their animals need urgent medical care, most are willing to take immediate action.

Seek the assistance of social service groups. Animal hoarding is not just about the animals. Agencies specializing in aging populations, adult protective services, health departments and other mental health groups will know best how to get hoarders the help they need.

Volunteer. After hoarding situations are uncovered, the removal of so many animals can be a staggering burden on local shelters. Volunteer your time and/or financial support … whatever you can do to help during the transition phase.

Educate others about the harm a hoarding situation can cause. Animal hoarding has often been portrayed as a harmless eccentricity — for example, the “crazy cat lady”. Members of your community need to be aware of the negative impacts. Who knows … perhaps they’ll be inspired to help other overwhelmed animal caregivers, too!

 Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place for companion animals.

Halloween safety and pet costumes

From the October 2014 Life's Abundance Newsletter:

In this video Dr. Sarah goes over Halloween safety for your pets.

If your going to put a costume on your pet - this is MUST watch video!

What to watch out for like:
Dilated pupils
Panting and more signs

Making sure the costume doesn't restrict areas of your pets body.
Making sure to take precautions if you are going to be around kids and so much more you might not have thought of about Halloween safety and your pets!


Monday, September 29, 2014

End of Life Discussions and Considerations

From the September 2014 Life's Abundance Newsletter:

With advances in veterinary medicine in the past 30 years, we now have more tools than ever before to treat disease. As a consequence, dogs and cats are living longer, which means plenty of visits to the vet’s office. 

As long as there are no major medical issues to contend with – just wellness checks and treatments for the occasional injury or illness – there’s a pretty low level risk of tension between a vet and a pet parent. But when things go badly, such as with a terminal diagnosis, that risk can escalate dramatically. 

Pet parents can often be so uncomfortable thinking about end-of-life care, much less talking it through, that they become defensive when discussing treatments for a terminally ill companion animal. I think it’s because veterinarians are trained to cure disease, and that’s our primary focus. When you present us with a problem, our chief goal is to find a solution. Not every pet parent, however, has the desire or the means to fight terminal conditions to the fullest extent. 

The advances in veterinary medicine come with a high price tag, and while aggressive therapies may prolong life, they can prove overly stressful to pet kids and parents alike. If anything prevents open, honest communications between veterinarians and pet parents, it only makes it harder on your dog or cat. You and your vet have a shared goal of caring and comforting a beloved companion animal in a tough spot, so try to see your relationship as a partnership. Some pet parents can have difficulty expressing an unwillingness to pursue aggressive treatment. Some fear appearing callous or uncaring, while others may be embarrassed by financial constraints. It’s our job as veterinarians to provide all the relevant information, to empower you to make the right decision for your set of circumstances.

The last thing you want is any friction between you and your vet, especially when a terminal condition is involved. Such a diagnosis will likely mean loads of interaction, sometimes several times per day. I mean, these are literally life-and-death decisions. 

There are some things to keep in mind when discussing the best course of action with your vet, in order to be the best possible advocate for your pet kid during this difficult phase of life. 

 Questions & Second Opinions are Good Things

If concerns about quality of life outweigh all other considerations, make sure your veterinarian understands that fact. The benefits and potential disadvantages of each treatment should be crystal clear to you. After the initial diagnosis, write down a list of medical care questions. Reading the blogs of other pet parents who've dealt with similar issues could prove helpful if you don’t know what to ask or where to begin. Hospice care is a relative newcomer to the field of veterinary medicine. In fact, some clinics may not even have a protocol for this option. Even if your vet doesn’t offer these services, they will know who does in your area. If you grow uncomfortable with the options being given to you, don’t be intimidated by, or even feel guilty about seeking a second opinion. It isn't rude or disloyal … it’s an effective method of information gathering. 

 Don’t Rush Decisions 

In a typical scenario, testing will yield a diagnosis fairly quickly. When the assessment is presented, be sure to take notes. Trust me, when bad news comes it can have a negative effect on your memory. If the prognosis is poor, but the condition is not an emergency, take all relevant info home and sleep on it for the night. For many, a dire diagnosis comes as quite a shock. Give yourself time to process the information. Many find that 24 hours to mull over and research a condition helps them have a more objective, and less emotionally charged, follow-up conversation. 

 Palliative Care is a Valid Treatment Option 

Palliative care is the logical choice if the decision’s been made not to pursue restorative treatment for a likely terminal illness. It should not be viewed as giving up, it’s just another valid care option. With extra hydration, pain medication, nausea prevention, and more, it’s a way to ensure a peaceful and humane end of life. The duration is entirely dependent upon the advancement of disease. Palliative plans can last weeks, days or hours, giving people time to say their goodbyes while allowing pet kids to pass naturally and as close to pain-free as possible. 

 Be Clear about Your Limits from the Beginning 

It is your veterinarian’s job to discuss all of the options available for treatment. A vet may even grade the treatments as ‘good’, ‘better’ or best’. We are trained not to make any assumptions about what measures a pet parent is willing to take. Try to have an open mind about the treatment options. For example, to many, amputation sounds like a devastating prospect. However, many pets cope quite well with the loss of a limb. Chemotherapy can be quite unpleasant for people, but some pet kids don’t experience nausea and they rarely lose their hair. If your vet proposes a treatment option that you find unacceptable, speak up! Tell them what you are willing and unwilling to do. Articulating your preferences will help veterinary care providers tailor a treatment plan according to your needs. 

Nothing will make it less painful, but the more we learn about end-of-life care for companion animals, the better equipped we’ll be to handle these situations. Having the confidence that your vet is a compassionate partner for every stage of your pet kid’s life could make a huge difference

Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place for companion animals. 

 Dr Jane Bicks 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Dog & Cat Dangers

Courtesy of the Life's Abundance August 2014 Newsletter and Dr. Jane Bicks

What do you think are the most common pet poisonings? Rat poison? Insecticides? The Pet Poison Hotline publishes a list of most common poisonings reported in dogs and cats - many of these items are non-toxic to humans but can be deadly to fur babies. In this month’s post, we’ll be taking a look at some of the dangers lurking in your home and how to best to protect your pet kids.

Chocolate: Dark equals dangerous! For dogs, chocolate toxicity can lead to seizures, vomiting, diarrhea and coma. In extreme dosages, chocolate poisoning can even prove fatal. Baking chocolate and dark chocolate are the most deadly.

Xylitol: This common sugar substitute is found in sugar-free gums, candies and many other foods. What many don’t know is that it’s not uncommon in some medications and nasal sprays. Xylitol is toxic to dogs, not cats, and can cause low blood sugar and liver failure.

Over-the-counter medications: Ibuprofen, naproxen and acetaminophen cause gastric ulcers in both dogs and cats. Acetaminophen can even lead to anemia in cats. Cough and cold medications that contain phenylephrine, pseudoephedrine or acetaminophen are also dangerous, as these medications are often formulated in tasty liquids pet kids find irresistible. Never give these medications to your fur kids. Keep them in a high cabinet, well out of reach of pets.

Prescription drugs: ADD and ADHD medications can cause tremors, seizures, heart problems and even death in companion animals. Felines are highly sensitive to antidepressant medications. Cymbalta and Effexor, among others, can cause severe neurological and heart problems.

Rodenticides: Rat poison is just as deadly for dogs as it is for rodents. To make matters worse, dogs love the flavor of the bait. These toxic substances cause fatal internal bleeding and brain swelling.

Grapes or Raisins: While harmless to humans, grapes and raisins contain a substance that can lead to canine kidney failure. The exact source of the problem remains a mystery to veterinary experts.

Oxygen Absorbers: You know those little freshness packets in jerky treats? That’s an oxygen absorber, included to keep foods and treats fresh. Oftentimes, they contain iron, which can be poisonous to pets. Whatever you do, don’t let your fur kids ingest these little packets!

Flea products for dogs are toxic to cats! These products often contain pyrethrins, which can cause feline seizures and tremors. If it says ‘for canine use only’, take that warning to heart!

Household Plants: Lilies are the number one source of toxicity reported in cats. These beautiful house plants cause kitty kidney failure. A good rule of thumb … if you have a cat, don’t keep lilies in your house (or your yard, for that matter). Lilies aren’t the only plants with the potential for harm - philodendrons and pothos can cause oral ulcers and foaming at the mouth.

What to do if your companion animal is poisoned …

1. Take a deep breath and try to remain calm.

2. Remove your companion animal from the area where the poisoning occurred.

3. Make sure your pet kid is breathing and behaving normally. If not, go immediately to the emergency clinic.

4. Contain the poisonous material, preventing additional exposure. Obtain a sample of the questionable material, store in a plastic baggy for preservation and ease of transport. The more evidence you can supply your veterinarian, the more easily they’ll be able to diagnose the problem, and solution.

5. Don’t just hope things will improve on their own … go to a vet for immediate assistance. Call your vet’s office for guidance prior to your visit, or contact the 24-hour Pet Poison Hotline at 800-213-6680 ($35 fee). Make sure to save these numbers on your phone now, so you won’t have to scramble for the numbers later. Do not induce vomiting without the advice of a veterinarian and never give your pet oil, milk, food, salt or anything orally without talking to a veterinarian first.

The prognoses for poisoning are better the sooner it’s reported, so never hesitate to get help as soon as possible. There is a narrow window of time to neutralize most poisons. Immediate treatment could save your pet’s life!

Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place for companion animals.
Dr. Jane Bicks

Is your dog pawing at you?

Courtesy of the Life's Abundance Newsletter for August 2014.

Great video by Dr. Sarah about canine clawing. They do it to get your attention Mom or Dad!!

  How do you decrease this behavior: Watch to learn below!

Dr. Sarah

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Swimming Safety for your Dog

Great Video!

 Is your dog a boxer, bulldog or a pug?

 What about short legs? Is your dog a senior? Small breeds?
Find out what breeds are especially suited to swimming, what to do if you’re dog isn’t an accomplished swimmer, and the potential dangers of swimming at a new location. And, our staff veterinarian warns what to look out for when your pup has had a bit too much fun in the sun. All that and more in the most recent installment of our ongoing web series created to improve the wellbeing of your companion animals.
Dr. Sarah

Lyme Disease

Great read by Dr. Jane Bicks from the July 2014 Life's Abundance Newsletter:

It’s the height of summer, which means that mountain trails, bucolic meadows and forested thickets are beckoning your dog to romp and explore. This impulse may be at odds with concerns about new research on Lyme disease, which may have you more inclined to restrict your canine companion’s activities to the Great Indoors. Before you put the kibosh on outdoor fun, make sure you know all the facts about canine Lyme disease. According to Banfield Pet Hospital’s 2014 State of Pet Health Report, based on the medical data from over 2.3 million dogs, incidence of canine Lyme disease has increased 21% since 2009.

 As of last year, one in every 130 dogs carries the disease-causing bacteria. The risk of Lyme disease depends on where you live. In New England, Lyme disease rates are much higher than the rest of the country. New Hampshire has the highest rate of Lyme disease cases, with one in every 15 dogs affected! Compare this with Washington and Oregon, where only 1 in 1,000 dogs carried the bacteria. In the last five years, populations of the two species of ticks that carry Lyme disease have skyrocketed. As white tailed deer populations have escalated (chiefly due to declines of predator species), so too have the tick species that feast upon them. This is especially true in states east of the Rocky Mountains.

While much smaller in stature, but just as problematic in the Northeast, the white footed mouse is another carrier of the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease. Greater numbers of animals that attract ticks translates to an increased likelihood that pet kids will be bitten. Lyme disease is caused by the corkscrew-shaped bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi. The bacteria are carried by ticks which transmit the infection when they feed on animals and humans. The disease can cause generalized illness in animals and humans. Even though about 75% of dogs living in endemic regions are exposed to infected ticks, only a small percentage develop symptoms.

Lyme disease was first discovered in 1975, when an unusual outbreak of rheumatoid arthritis occurred in the children of Lyme, Connecticut. In the U.S. today, it’s the most common disease transmitted to humans by insects, and perhaps dogs as well. Infections can also occur in horses and cattle … even cats. The most common sign of Lyme disease in dogs is arthritis, which causes sudden lameness, pain and sometimes swelling in one or more joints. Other symptoms include fever, lack of appetite, apathy and swollen lymph nodes. In severe cases, the infection can lead to kidney failure, which can prove fatal, although this outcome isn’t common (thank goodness). If your pet kid is diagnosed with Lyme disease, don’t assume that you too are contaminated. Transmission of the illness from companion animals to humans, or vice versa, is highly unlikely. You wear sunblock to prevent sunburns, so why not take preventative measures to deter ticks?

There are many highly effective veterinary products that will kill ticks before they can transmit the bacteria. Just keep in mind that the best way to avoid the problem is to steer clear of tick-infested areas, especially in the spring when young ticks are most active. After spending time outdoors, do a thorough search for ticks, on both yourself and your companion animals. If you locate any, they should be removed carefully with tweezers, pinching the tick near the head, where they enter the skin.

Researchers have learned that infected ticks must feed for about 24 hours to transmit the bacteria to a susceptible animal. That means quick removal greatly reduces the chance of contracting the illness. Fortunately, Lyme disease is easily treated in dogs with antibiotics.

Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place for companion animals. 

 Dr Jane Bicks

Dr. Jane Bicks

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Low fat dog treats

low fat dog treats
Wholesome Hearts
Low Fat Dog Treats

I wanted to share a product that I get so many requests for: Low fat dog treats:

Fortified with L-Carnitine to help the body utilize fat, Wholesome Hearts are perfect for dogs that could stand to shed a few pounds. And the rich flavor and delicate aromatic spices make them simply irresistible. These heart-shaped treats are made with multi-grains, fruits, vegetables and other wholesome ingredients like chicken meal and eggs. Then they are gently oven baked with a “just from the oven” aroma and flavor.

Formulated by Dr. Jane Bicks, DVM.
“Whether your dog is experiencing a problem with weight, or if you just want to help your pup maintain a trim and healthy figure, you can’t do better than the nutrition of Wholesome Hearts. I highly recommend Wholesome Hearts because they are healthy low-fat treats that will satisfy your dog’s desire for a tasty snack in-between meals.”

Contains no corn, no wheat or wheat gluten, no soy or soy gluten. No artificial colors and no artificial flavors.

Click here for more information/purchase

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Why does my pet do that?

Courtesy of Life's Abundance 2014 June Newsletter:
We love our companion animals. But sometimes their actions are mystifying, if not altogether baffling. Fortunately, our own Dr. Jane is on-hand to offer some rationale behind some of the most perplexing pet behaviors.

Why Does My Dog Stare At Me?

Dogs stare at their human companions for any number of reasons. Often, it’s because they want something from you: a tasty snack, a walk around the block, an impromptu game of fetch, etc. Dogs can also stare as a form of attention-seeking behavior. Others are simply indicating neediness for human touch, praise or direction. With more perceptive dogs, they may actually be attempting to read an emotion in our facial expressions. Rest assured that in most cases, staring is considered to be a positive behavior, as most trainers encourage dogs to stare at their pet parents. There are instances, however, where staring at a dog can be considered confrontational or a direct challenge (in the wild, canines stare down their challengers). Staring deeply into a canine’s eyes is an activity that should only be engaged within the bounds of a healthy human-dog relationship. If you aren’t sure, don’t do it before talking it over with an animal behaviorist.

Why Does My Dog Turn in Circles Before He Poops?

Not all dogs do it, but many pet parents have watched with confusion at a dog who spins in circles, then steps from one back paw to the other before doing his business. No one knows for sure why dogs do this, but there are several theories. Twirling in circles may be evolutionarily beneficial, in that it enables wild dogs to scan the horizon for predators, so as not to be attacked while in a vulnerable position. Other experts believe the walking helps get the bowels moving. Canines have scent glands in their paws, so twirling might be another way for them to spread their scent around, letting other dogs know that the territory has been claimed.

Why Does My Cat Lick Me?

How many of you have had a cat that licks you incessantly? Well, experts in feline behavior believe that when a cat grooms and licks another cat or a human, they’re conveying trust, affection and caring. These licks are actually ‘kisses’ and a sign that your cat feels happy and safe. When a cat bonds to a human, there can be no limit to feline affection.

Why Does My Cat Meow At Me?

Anyone who has ever lived with a vocal cat has certainly asked this question. The experts say that when a cat meows at their humans, they’re asking for something. Over time, felines have figured out that meowing gets results, but why is this so effective? Feline behaviorists believe that ‘meowing’ is actually a cat’s way of imitating the cry of a human infant. It’s a behavior that kittens learn early on, as kittens meow to their mothers, often because they’re hungry. I find it interesting that cat meows can vary depending on what they are asking for. For example, the meow to ‘go outside’ can sound very different from the one for ‘feed me’. Experts have also found that cats meow differently to different people. For the most part, when a kitty is making a vocal request, it is out of pleasure and trust that their human companion will fulfill the feline’s every need. If your cat is obsessively meowing and the behavior is increasing, it is always a good idea to get your kitty checked by your local veterinarian. Certain medical conditions, such as hyperthyroidism, can cause excessive vocalization.
Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place for companion animals. Dr Jane Bicks.


Jogging with your Dog

Courtesy of Life's Abundance from the June 2014 newsletter: Dr. Sarah goes over in this video about:
running with your favorite canine:

- what the appropriate age for your dog should be
- what to watch for fatigue
- when to run use a leash?
- get a checkup for you and your dog before going and so much more !

 Watch this video !


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Joint Problems in Dogs & Cats

Courtesy of Life's Abundance.

From the May 2014 Newsletter: Dr. Sarah, Staff Veterinarian goes over an alternative to surgery and evasive procedures to arthritis in dogs and cats!

This IS NOT medication which can have its own side effects as well as be costly.

Laser therapy provides immediate results without side affects and is drug free and surgery free! Awesome video about this fantastic alternative that is non-evasive! This video is a must see!

Click Below:


A great way to optimize healthy joints is Life's Abundance Joint Formula

Anal Glands

Thank you Dr. Jane for this great article regarding anal glands.

From the Life's Abundance May 2014 Newsletter:
If you’ve ever noticed a foul odor wafting from your pet’s hind end, there's a chance that anal sacs may be the source of the problem. As any pet parent will tell you, nothing smells as uniquely terrible as the material emitted from these glands. In some mammals, including dogs and cats, anal sacs are small pouches which store secretions from the glands between the internal and external sphincter muscles. A dog or cat can discharge the material collected in the sac through these ducts.

One thing this liquid has in common: it almost always has a terribly offensive odor, and one that is difficult to remove from carpets, beds and clothing. The function of these small but potent scent glands is believed to be for territorial marking and communication. Those unfortunate enough to have unexpectedly frightened a dog may have experienced the canine’s ability to ‘spray’ their glandular contents - sometimes as far as six feet! Some biologists believe, for the ancestors of modern day dogs and cats, these organs were not only used in communication, but could also have been used as defense (much as a skunk sprays for self-preservation).

I can assure you that when the trapped substances are released, they’re sufficiently foul to ward off any human predators! In most animals, anal glands function completely normally. For the most part, if it’s not a problem, you’d never have a reason to know about them. Many pet parents don’t even know that their pet has anal glands. However, for some dogs and cats, anal glands can be a real pain in the tukkis. With long-term inflammation, the sacs can become impacted and infected. In severe cases, they can actually rupture. The first sign of trouble is when your dog or cat hunches up and scoots his butt across the floor. That, or repetitively and excessively licks his hind end. If you notice either of these signs, a trip to the vet’s office is warranted. If the problem recurs, pet parents can feel helpless in warding off this noxious – not to mention, painful - problem. Adding fiber to the diet (such as a tablespoon of sweet potato with meals) can provide some relief. Some pet kids (dogs more often than cats) will need to have their glands emptied on a regular basis.

While some groomers offer this service, veterinarians and vet technicians are trained in techniques to completely drain the glands. Which is to say, if your pet is predisposed to this sort of problem, I recommend that a medical professional do the procedure (referred to as ‘expressing’). If the area becomes infected or impacted, understand that the condition is very painful, and should be addressed as soon as possible. They may require pain medication, and perhaps even a course of antibiotics. For some pets with chronic cases, vets may advocate surgically removing the glands entirely.

If you’re looking for a culprit, know that this is just an unfortunate consequence of genetics. While not unheard of, this medical issue is less of a problem for large and giant breeds. Even if your dog isn’t one of the small-to-medium size dogs predisposed to the difficulty, should you notice any signs of discomfort, don’t rule out anal sac problems. Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place for companion animals.
Dr. Jane Bicks

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Video - Annual Exams for your Pets

Courtesy of Life's Abundance Newsletter for April 2014

Preventative care for our companion animals means more than just vaccinations.

Dr. Sarah goes over veterinarian annual exams and the detail it can include.
There are also semi-annual exams depending on the age of your animal.

Some of the points in this video that you and your veterinarian will discuss: -

- Does vaccination have to be given every year? -
- Has anything changed with your god and or cat? Eating, drinking, mobility, going to the bathroom etc.

The exam itself includes - Tip of the nose to tail exam!

So much goes into the exam to determine if anything might be going on.

Early detection of something now could be better than dealing with it when the issue has caused pain or problems later.

This video is amazing to see what an
exam covers on your animal!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Bully Sticks for dogs

Wow - Seems these are a favorite among all types of canines: Buffalo Pizzle - better known as Bully Sticks

SO happy to share Life's Abundance Buffalo Bully Sticks click here:

bully sticks 9 inch
Buffalo Bully Sticks: Pack of Four - 9 inch sticks

Made from free-range, grass-fed buffalo, these wholesome dog treats:

Help reduce tartar and maintain canine dental health Supply a leaner alternative to beef
Are suitable for dogs with food sensitivities.
Contain no additives or preservatives Provide a rewarding chewing experience

Buffalo Bully Sticks: Pack of  Six - 6 inch sticks

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Courtesy of Life's Abundance and the March 2014 Blog


Dr. Sarah goes over in this video the very dangerous disease Parvo:
Where it attacks
How it attacks
How contagious it is
Signs of the infection
What blood test to run from your Veterinarian
The supportive treatment 
There is a vaccination that is considered very important

Don't miss this information!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Ongoing Dental Care

Although February is coming to an end - it doesn't mean an end to ongoing care of our pet's dental care.

Life's Abundance has introduced 2 new products that address dental care for dogs:

Dental Wipes and Dental Foam

Dental Wipes for Dogs

Our easy-to-use wipes will simplify your dog’s dental care routine. And you can have peace of mind using them because they’re completely free from harsh ingredients like parabens and polysorbates, as well as artificial colors and flavors. Our presoaked, disposable wipes:

  • Fight plaque & tartar buildup
  • Are textured to grip dental debris
  • Contain safe ingredients so there’s no rinsing necessary
  • Feature natural apple & mint to help freshen breath
This product contains: Purified Water, Glycerin, Natural Apple Flavor, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Glyzyrrhizin Amine, Sodium Bicarbonate, Zinc Gluconate, Benzoic Acid, Malic (Apple) Acid, Natural Peppermint Extract, Natural Spearmint Extract.
Safe for daily use on dogs and puppies over 12 weeks of age.

Dental Foam for Dogs

Our Foam Breath Freshener helps you banish doggie breath in less than a minute! This effective formula is completely free from harsh ingredients like parabens and polysorbates, as well as artificial colors and flavors. Our easy-to-use Foam Breath Freshener:

  • Promotes oral hygiene
  • Freshens breath instantly
  • Contains safe ingredients so there’s no rinsing necessary
  • Features natural apple & mint
  • No brushing or wiping required
This product contains: Purified Water,Glycerin, Natural Apple Flavor,Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Glyzyrrhizin Amine, Sodium Bicarbonate, Zinc Gluconate, Benzoic Acid, Malic (Apple) Acid, Natural Peppermint Extract, Natural Spearmint Extract.

Visit our Life's Abundance care page for more products

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cat, Dog, Human: Heart Disease

How wonderful to have Dr. Jane Bicks - important article regarding Heart Disease:
a must read!

Courtesy of Life's Abundance and the January 2014 Newsletter:

Heart Health Awareness Month is right around the corner, beginning February 1st. While technically concerned with human heart health, I think it’s vital that we expand the scope of the conversation to address canine and feline heart health, too.

Most people have a basic understanding of the risks of heart disease in humans, but when it comes to the heart health of our pet kids, that area remains a mystery to many. In the following seven frequently-asked questions, we’ll consider the parallels between all three species (humans, canines and felines), to better understand heart disease.

How Widespread is Heart Disease?

Humans: In America, heart disease is the #1 cause of death. Annually, about 600,000 people die of heart disease, one in every four deaths.

Dogs and Cats: Although reliable statistics are not readily available for adult felines or canines, heart disease is not the pressing problem that it is for humans. That being said, heart problems are still common, with one in ten dogs developing valvular heart disease. As with many health issues, the risk for heart disease increases with age, especially for dogs over the age of nine (the age varies from breed to breed).

When it comes to cats, tracking heart disease proves extremely challenging, as felines present virtually no physical symptoms from this condition.

What’s the Most Common Form of Heart Disease?

Humans: In adults, coronary artery disease is the most prevalent kind of heart disease. The main type involves plaque build-up in the arteries, which affects their ability to deliver blood to the heart. As the layers of plaque thicken and harden, blood flow to the heart is further restricted.

Dogs and Cats: The biggest difference here is that pet kids are not at-risk for coronary artery disease. While that’s good news, there are other medical conditions that dogs and cats face. Dogs can suffer from mitral valve disease or dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Mitral valve disease describes a condition where a valve on the left side of the heart fails to close properly. The problem with this is that blood pools into the left atrium, rather than exiting the left ventricle. Older, small-breed dogs are more likely to develop mitral valve disease, and the condition is only worsened by periodontal disease. DCM weakens the heart muscle so that it pumps less vigorously and regularly, a condition more common in large breeds.

Cats, on the other hand, are prone to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Here, the walls of the heart thicken and the muscle becomes less flexible. The unfortunate result is that the heart pumps less blood. HCM is a genetic disease that is found in both pure and mixed breed cats.

What are the Symptoms of Heart Disease?

Humans: Symptoms vary depending on the disease, but patients with coronary artery disease often have chest pain, arm pain and shallow breathing. And, of course, there’s the big wake-up call of a heart attack.

Dogs and Cats: Dogs typically exhibit signs such as low energy, trouble getting comfortable, labored breathing and a low-pitched, chronic cough. On occasion, they might actually collapse or faint.

Cats may also become lethargic, as well as sleeping or hiding more than is typical. Often, cats will also lose their appetite. If a blood clot is swept from the heart and travels down through the aorta, felines can suffer a painful, sudden paralysis in their hind legs. Important note:

If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical assistance immediately. And, if your companion animal experiences any of these symptoms, seek veterinary assistance immediately.

How Do You Test for Heart Disease?

Humans: Doctors can choose from a variety of diagnostic testing, including blood exams, treadmill tests, electrocardiograms and imaging analyses.

Dogs and Cats: For veterinarians, a stethoscope is the most effective way to identify heart disease. That being said, it is difficult to detect an issue absent a murmur. Sometimes an x-ray, ECG or echocardiogram may shed light on an undiagnosed problem.

What Medications are used for Treatment?

Humans: If you were to be diagnosed with heart disease, doctors might prescribe a blood-pressure medication, a blood thinner or a cholesterol-lowering drug (among other things). Patients often use medications to make the heart beat more slowly and to relax blood vessels.

Dogs and Cats: Many of the drugs we use are also used by dogs and cats. Treatments vary according to the animal and kind of heart disease. The important thing to note is that there are treatments available, and new research is presenting new avenues for improvement.

Can Diet Help to Prevent Heart Disease?

Humans: Diet has a big influence on heart health. Eating foods heavy with saturated and trans-fats can raise cholesterol levels and contribute to plaque build-up in the arteries. Conversely, a diet rich in omega fatty acids, whole grains and fiber can help to lower bad cholesterol levels and help prevent heart disease.

Dogs and Cats: A healthy diet has not been proven to significantly alter the rates of canine and feline heart disease … however much more research has been done on humans in this regard. It’s hard to overstate the importance of quality food and your companion animal’s quality of life.

What About Exercise?

Humans: Yes, definitely! Exercise lowers the risk of heart attack and reduces stress, another risk factor for heart disease.

Dogs and Cats: The kinds of heart disease commonly found in cats and dogs can't be avoided through exercise. But, as with people, regular exercise will improve overall health and help prevent obesity in pets. And don’t forget what researchers, healing experts and therapy animals have been demonstrating for decades … that by taking care of a dog or a cat, you’ll also be taking care of your heart.

Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place for companion animals.
Dr. Jane Bicks

Fun, Winter Fun with your dog!

Another great video by Dr. Sarah courtesy of Life's Abundance and the January 2014 Newsletter:

Summer isn't the only season it can be dangerous to leave your pup in the car.
Since snow can cover scent - always keep an extra eye on him/her as they may not be able to "smell" their way back.

A canine coat might be a great idea as well as boots

Be careful when your dog wants to roll around in that snow b/c glass or other dangerous thing could be under that snow you can't see.

A dry winter air means always have clean fresh water water and so much more!
Watch Now!!