Dog Carries His Own Bag of Dog Food

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While walking around the neighborhood looking at the damage from Hurricane Harvey, Tiele Dockens got a surprise when she saw Otis carrying a big bag of dog food in his mouth. Otis, who is a golden retreiver mix, had his photo go viral quickly with many people commenting that "this must be a Texas dog..." in reference to its ability to survive without help from anyone.

You can see the Facebook post of Otis and his dog food on Tiele's page.

 

 
 
 

Pet Food Donation to Local Organizations

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This past Monday, 41,000 pounds of dog food was dropped off at the City Impact Center in Las Vegas to help support animal-focused charities. The donation was made by the Gallagher Group. People who attended the event also had a chance to see the finalist Piff the Magic Dragon and his dog, Mr. Piffles, from the TV show America’s Got Talent. Many local rescues and shelters picked up the pet food to help feed their animals. Whatever dog food that was left over will be stored and shared with other animal agencies in the local Las Vegas community.

Life's Abundance also focuses on supporting rescues and shelters across the United States. A portion of every sale goes to a fund that is then used to give to a number of causes throughout the year. 

Party Animal Dog Food Recall

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A recent pet food recall has been announced for Party Animal dog food. The items in question are their Beef & Turkey and Chicken & Beef dog food (in 13oz cans) labeled under their Cocolicious brand name. The beef has a best by date of July 2019 and the chicken is August 2019. The products were claimed by some customers to have tested positive for pentobarbital when brought to a lab for testing. When Pentobarbital is used in high doses it can induce death. But in this recall it is not known actually how high these levels were. The pet food company has requested the test results from this lab. The food had been manufactured and distributed in 2015. 

One of the great things about Life's Abundance pet food is that it is made in smaller batches so that it does not sit on store shelves for years. So in this particular example your dog could have been eating food that was close to two years old.

 

For more information, refer to the FDA page for recalls.

How to Survive Holiday Stress

by Blog Admin  

For many people, the holidays are a stressful time of year. Unexpected guests dropping by, entertaining relatives, and finding the perfect gift on everyone’s list are all daunting tasks. To add even more to the holiday pressure, we must still deal with our day-to-day tasks and responsibilities. Talk about unwanted stress!

Stress is the body’s normal form of defense. When faced with danger or discomfort, your body reacts in a ‘fight or flight’ mode as a form of protection. If your body is subjected to constant, repetitive and stressful situations, without time to restore itself, your health could suffer.

In a recent study, WebMd.com found:

  • 43% of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress
  • 75% to 90% of all doctor's office visits are stress-related ailments and complaints
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declares stress a hazard of the workplace
  • Stress costs the American industry more than $300 billion annually

In order to avoid the potentially harmful effects stress can place on your body, there are some simple steps that you can take to help manage your stress levels.

Read the full article on how to survive stress and the holidays...

Canine Joint Disease

by Blog Admin  

Video courtesy of Life's Abundance

Arthritis is a painful condition and is one of the most common problems affecting dogs in America. It was listed among the top ten disease conditions in dogs in 2008 (source: VPI). There may be as many as 10 million dogs currently suffering from the chronic pain of joint disease and one in five dogs will most likely develop arthritis or joint disease during their lifetimes.

Read full canine arthritis story...

Useful Tips for Winter Puppy Care

by Blog Admin  

Video courtesy of Life's Abundance

 

The holidays are fast approaching and, amid the hustle and bustle, many people choose to adopt a new puppy into their homes during the holiday season. If you are the proud pet parent of a brand new puppy, here are some great tips on how to best take care of your new bundle of joy during the cold-weather months.

Most puppies do fine in cold weather - many of the long haired large breeds love to chase snowflakes and romp through winter landscapes. If you are considering adopting a short haired breed or small puppy, never leave them outside unattended. Although it is important to watch them vigilantly to make sure they stay warm, most dogs can still enjoy short stints outside. Remember, puppies need a lot of attention and care, and for potty training purposes, they need to be able to relieve themselves every few hours. You can start potty training your puppy as young as eight weeks of age, and it can take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks.

If you have opened your home to a puppy this winter and are wondering about how best to care for your new family member, then watch this video. In it, Dr. Sarah talks about special considerations for puppies during the cold months and tips and tricks on how to beat old man winter.

Four Steps to Younger Looking Skin

by Blog Admin  

Skin. It has been with you since before you were born. The largest organ of your body, your skin stretches as you grow and shrinks when you diet. But, most importantly – ages while you age! Here are four simple steps that you can take to keep your skin looking younger and feeling healthier:

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Help Support Animal Shelters and Rescues With Pet Food Purchases

by Blog Admin  

Remember that every time you make a purchase from Life's Abundance, part of your purchase will be allocated to the Life's Abundance HealthyPetNet Foundation. The HealthyPetNet Foundation is a wonderful organization developed by Dr. Jane Bicks and helps a number of worthy animal causes like small animal rescues and shelters.

Feel good knowing that while you're providing your cat or dog with healthy, nutritious food, supplements and care products you are also indirectly support local organizations who are in desperate need for financial support.

Head over to my Life's Abundance website to order your pet food and treats today and help support these organizations!

Life's Abundance Receives 2012 Florida Companies to Watch Award!

by Blog Admin  

Life's Abundance has been recognized as a recipient of the 2012 Florida Companies to Watch(SM) award, an honor presented by the Florida Economic Gardening Institute (GrowFL) at the University of Central Florida.

Florida Companies to Watch is an awards program that celebrates privately held second-stage companies headquartered in the state. To be eligible, applicants must employ between six and 99 full-time equivalent employees and have between $750,000 and $50 million in annual revenue or working capital in place. Awardees are selected for demonstrating the intent and capacity to grow based on employee or sales growth, exceptional entrepreneurial leadership, sustainable competitive advantage, outstanding corporate culture, inspired community giving and other notable strengths.

In its second year, Florida Companies to Watch is presented by SunTrust Banks and the University of Central Florida in association with the Edward Lowe Foundation and with special support from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. Fifty companies from across the state of Florida will receive their recognition at an awards gala on Friday, October 19th in Orlando, Florida.

Welcome Home to Your New Pet. Now What?

by Blog Admin  

According to recent statistics, more and more Americans are adopting not only their first companion animal, but their second and even third. The pervasiveness of multiple pet households indicates just how important pets have become in our lives, and that we want our existing pets to have companions of their own.

Having multiple pets increases everything: the joy, the cost, the hair, and the cuddles. As a veterinarian, I am often asked for advice on how best to integrate a new pet into a home that already has resident animals. In this post, I’ll be focusing on dog-only and cat-only households.

In a Dog-Meet-Dog World
When seeking to add an additional dog to your family, be sure to choose a breed, gender and personality that compliment your current canine. For example, it’s unwise to match a tea cup poodle puppy with a large or giant breed dog, especially an active one. Even if no harm is intended, the puppy could easily be injured. Similarly, be conscientious if you already have an older dog with arthritis, as a puppy could prove overwhelming. In general, opposite genders get along better, as do spayed and neutered pets (procedures I heartily endorse). In general, we would recommend the adoption of a dog younger than the resident dog; if the ages are reversed, tension could result, leading to recurring fights over who claims dominance. Of course, as I mentioned earlier, personality is an important factor. You know your resident dog’s disposition and it’s essential to take that into consideration when bringing a new dog into your home.

It’s always a good idea to have your existing dog as well-trained as possible prior to bringing a new dog into your home. Trust me, it will make your life easier and may even help facilitate the training of your new dog. As pack animals, dogs instinctively pick up the habits of their pack members. If you have a well-trained resident dog, then he or she can show the newcomer ‘how things are done’.

Even if your dogs seem to hit it off great from the get-go, don’t leave them unsupervised until you are certain that they have fully accepted each other. To that end, some experts advise that the dogs have time away from each other, as well as time off from you, too. This will help foster their bonds to you while also teaching them that it’s okay to be alone.

Feeding time can be a challenge with more than one dog. If the dogs compete for food, it may result in snarly spats and possibly overeating (at least, for one of the dogs). In addition, the dogs may develop the habit of ‘bolting their food’, or eating too quickly while not chewing their food sufficiently. Bolting may lead to serious problems like chunks becoming lodged in the throat, or cause GI distress like vomiting or diarrhea. The simplest way to avoid these problems is by feeding the dogs separately. If you have dog crates, consider feeding them while they’re safely ensconced inside their individual crates. Short of that, consider feeding in separate rooms, but be sure to close the doors! Whatever method you choose, make sure the feeding areas are places where your dogs will feel safe and will be able to eat undisturbed. Remember to remove the bowls after your dogs are finished eating.

Lastly, make sure that you purchase separate bedding, bowls and toys for your new dog. Some experts believe that it’s vital that each dog has his or her own property, as this will help your resident dog feel less threatened by the newcomer.

Cat Plus Kitty Doesn’t Have to Mean Catty
Just like with dogs, be thoughtful of your resident cats when bringing a new cat into your home. If your existing cat is quiet or reserved, then a mature companion can be good choice; if you have an active cat, consider getting a cat with an energetic disposition. If you choose to introduce an adult cat, try to find one who has lived in a feline community before. The best combinations are based on personality, so choose a cat with a temperament that compliments your resident cat. Adding together two unneutered male cats can be recipe for conflict. Please make certain that your newcomer has had a thorough veterinary exam and tests negative for intestinal parasites, feline leukemia and AIDS, as the latter two are highly infectious diseases.

The best way to introduce a new cat is gradually. A new feline in the home will likely lead to some measure of stress for your resident cat, especially if your cat has no prior experience living with other pets. Keep the new cat in an area separate from your resident cat, such as a bedroom or bathroom with a shut door, and introduce them in stages, using progressively increasing increments of exposure time. Never leave them unattended until both the cats appear to fully accept one another. Be forewarned, sometimes this process can take between a week and a month, depending on the temperament of both cats. Cats, by nature, don’t like change. Chances are, your resident cat may hide, ignore or hiss at the newcomer for a few days, so give your kitty some time to adapt. In the majority of cases, the household will resume normalcy over time.

In the meantime, there are things you can do to ease the transition. Give the new cat its own bedding, litterbox, food dishes and toys in an area separate from the resident cat’s belongings. Make sure both cats have separate areas where they can retreat to if threatened. Add additional cat trees and scratching posts around the house for environmental enrichment. You might also consider purchasing plug-in Feliway dispensers, which can reduce stress during the introductory period.

With a little bit of forethought and patience, you too will be able to welcome your home (and your heart) to a new companion animal and incorporate them safely into your existing family.

Your Pets Rely on You to Stay Healthy

by Blog Admin  

The cat’s bowl is full of nutritious Instinctive Choice. Your canine companion has had his daily Wellness Food Supplement. You know that you are forgetting something, but you just can’t seem to place it. Maybe it’s not something you’re forgetting but rather someone! As important of a role your pets play in your life, you are the main character in their lives! Without you who would they turn to?

By changing a few simple things in your daily routine, you could be around for more belly scratches and rub downs!

Get Active – Don’t just let Fido out by himself – join him. A recent survey found that more than 65% of Americans are overweight or obese. Since the health problems associated with excess weight include heart disease, diabetes and stroke, it's important to make weight loss and fitness a priority in your life. So lace up those sneakers and take your dog for a daily walk at the local park or around your block! The fresh air will invigorate you and the companionship of your dog will make this daily activity more enjoyable and seem less like exercise. Not only will this help keep your weight under control, but it will also help make for a healthier heart.

Eat Healthy – You feed your pets the best, most nutritious foods, and you should be doing the same. Hate the word “diet”? Try the 80-20 factor. Eat healthy 80% of the time and indulge for the other 20%. This is a very simple way to improve your diet. The American Heart Association recommends eating foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. An easy way to ensure that you are getting health-promoting omega-3 fatty acids on a daily basis is to try Sealogix Omega-3 Fish Oil. Thanks in large part to its superior quality, purity and concentration of nutrients, Sealogix represents an exceptional value compared to other market brands.

Stop Smoking – Many of us grew up when smoking was cool. Well, it’s not cool anymore. The American Heart Association could not have put it any clearer. Smoking is the most preventable cause of premature death! Your bad habit does not only affect you - it affects everyone in your home – pets included! There are so many cessation programs available these days that quitting may be easier than you think. Procrastination is one of the biggest hurdles, so make the decision to stop smoking today and consult your health care provider for the program that’s right for you.

Let your pets continue to enjoy the life that you have worked so hard to give them. You need to stay healthy, too!

Helpful Tips on Caring for Senior Pets

by Blog Admin  

Link: http://blog.lifesabundance.com/post/2010/07/22/Helpful-Tips-on-Caring-for-Senior-Pets.aspx?realname=40017955

Video courtesy of Life's Abundance

 

A relationship with a companion animal can be one of the most rewarding experiences we humans encounter in our lifetimes. In the last 20 years, medical science has repeatedly shown that having a dog or cat in your life can result in health benefits for you, including improved, self-reported mental and physical health, and even fewer doctor visits compared to no-pet people. Additionally, caring for pets can help us to develop a greater sense of responsibility, elevate our own sense of self-worth and foster a mutually beneficial bond that enriches not only our lives but those of our pets, too.

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Plants That are Harmful or Can Injure Your Dog

by Blog Admin  

If you’re a dog lover, thoughts of long evening strolls and outdoor recreation with your dog fill your head. In fact, you may have already started to create new fond memories. Given that, the last thing you want on one of your nature walks is for your canine companion to be sidelined by an injury. Unfortunately, many pet parents don’t realize until it’s too late that there are menacing toxins lurking in the plants of both cultivated and wild landscapes. Plants that you are used to seeing in public parks, your neighborhood and perhaps even in your own backyard can lead to devastating effects. First up are four plants commonly used in landscaping that are actually toxic to canines.

Azalea – Rhododendron Species -
A typical choice for landscapers due to its hardiness and lovely flowers, these unassuming ornamentals contain a toxin which can be lethal, even in small amounts. Both the plant’s leaves and nectar are known to be harmful if eaten or chewed by your dog, and can cause drooling (often a symptom of nausea), vomiting, weakness and collapse. If greater amounts of its toxins are ingested, it can lead to severe poisoning, possible coma and even death.

Oleander -
Widely recognized as one of the most poisonous plants in the world, even minute quantities of Oleander can trigger a fatal response. Unlike the Azalea, every part of the Oleander is toxic, from flowers to roots. If dogs should chew on any part of this plant, they could suffer varying degrees of illness, including upset stomach, abnormal heart functioning and possibly even death. Beware of the sap, which can irritate the skin and eyes, as well as the leaves, which retain their toxicity even when dried out.

Sago Palm -
Most commonly used in planned landscapes where climates tend to be hot and dry, Sago Palms are nevertheless popular all over the U.S. While the whole plant contains harmful chemicals, it’s the seeds that contain the highest levels of toxins. Estimates currently put the percentage of animals that die after eating the seeds of the plant as high as three out of four. The incidence of Sago Palm poisoning in dogs and cats has risen 200% in the past few years, although dogs seem to enjoy the flavor of the plant and the seeds more than cats. Ingestion of Sago Palm can cause vomiting, diarrhea, liver failure and seizures.

Chrysanthemum -
Chrysanthemums are popular ornamentals blooming late in the summer and early in the fall. While beautiful, their flowers contain a natural insecticide. If a canine chews on the Chrysanthemum blooms, the insecticide can cause excessive drooling, vomiting and diarrhea.

If your furry one is exposed to any of these toxic plants, please contact your veterinarian immediately. As is often the case in toxins and poisons, the sooner your pet receives treatment, the less likely they are to experience dramatic, and sometimes fatal, reactions.


And now here is a common weed that can cause a great deal of grief for your pets.

Foxtails -
Weeds that resemble the tail of a fox, Foxtails are considered a widespread nuisance in most states, especially west of the Mississippi. Prevalent from late spring to early fall, they become more dangerous in late summer when their seeds dry. When the seeds are released from their pods, they are covered in barbs like little fish hooks, making them potentially very dangerous to your dog. If she merely brushes up against the Foxtail plant, the seeds can become snagged in her coat. Worse, the seeds can pierce the skin, or even be inhaled!

As a result, Foxtail seeds can become lodged between a dog’s toes, in their ears or armpits; they can be inhaled or swallowed and latch onto the interior walls of the nose or throat; or, they can stick to the eyes. Obviously, all of these circumstances can be very painful. Perhaps most frightening, the seeds are so small that they can be difficult to locate, and, if embedded in the skin, have been known to migrate to other areas of the body, resulting in severe infections.

If the Foxtail seed becomes infected under the skin, it may result in a visible, inflamed and painful lump. Commonly these lumps are between the toes, and are painful enough that your dog will repeatedly lick or chew the raised area. If a seed becomes lodged in your dog’s nose, she will likely sneeze, violently and over-and-over, and may even repeatedly paw at her face. If the seed latches to or in her ear, she will likely shake her head side-to-side and/or scratch incessantly at her ear. In the case where a Foxtail becomes stuck in or near the eye, you’ll likely see lots of repeated squinting, tears and redness; you may even see the foxtail poking out!

If you see any evidence of an encounter with a Foxtail, take your dog to the vet immediately. If you notice a red bump in between the toes, soak the paw in a mixture of lukewarm water and Epsom salts. This will help to ease the swelling until you can be seen by your veterinarian. Keep in mind that the longer you wait for treatment, the more difficult it is to treat an embedded Foxtail seed, so time is of the essence.

The best way to prevent Foxtail incidents is with an ounce of prevention. During hikes, keep your dog away from grassy weeds, and check her paws after walks. In addition, you should consider brushing her coat while using your hand to feel for any raised areas, checking inside the ears, in between toes, under armpits and throughout the belly and groin area. If you find a Foxtail in the coat, carefully pull or brush it out. If your dog has thick or long hair, consider getting a ‘Foxtail Clip’, a term applied to trimming away the hair between your dog’s toes. And, if you live in an area where Foxtails are common, remove them from your yard (be sure to exercise caution and carefully bag the weeds).

By using a little common sense and being aware of your surroundings, summer walks can be fun and free from environmental injuries. Then, you can get back to making some wonderful, new, summer memories together with your dog outdoors.

Why do cats purr?

by Blog Admin  

Link: http://blog.lifesabundance.com/post/2010/06/17/Why-Do-Cats-Purr.aspx?realname=40017955

“Why do cats purr?” Most people believe cats purr when they are content or happy. While cats do purr when they are content, researchers attempting to uncover the answer to this 3,000-year-old mystery are finding the answer more complicated than previously thought. All domestic cats purr, as well as many wild cats, like pumas, ocelots, lions and cheetahs. Purring can occur in a variety of situations. When cats purr in the presence of other unknown cats or kittens, the behavior may serve to convey submissiveness or a friendly greeting. While it is true that cats purr contentedly while on their pet parent’s lap, they also purr when they give birth, when they are frightened, severely injured and even while dying. Because kitties clearly cannot be content in all these situations, contentment or friendliness cannot be the only reason they purr.

So why else would they purr?

Perhaps it is helpful to look at purring in the context of natural selection. Natural selection tells us that a particular behavior or trait will persist from generation to generation only if it is beneficial to an animal’s survival. For purring to exist in both domestic and wild cats, there must be something vital about the behavior. Purring is created by the vibration of the cat’s larynx and diaphragm, and therefore requires an expense of energy. If a kitty is sick, they would not use precious energy to purr unless there was a very good benefit.

Researchers have found certain types of purrs are meant to communicate with their people. In 2009, researchers discovered a high-pitched cry, similar to that of a human infant, embedded in the purrs of cats soliciting food. They were using the purr to signal their human caretakers that they needed something. Those sneaky kitties!

I’m sure you have heard the expression that “cats have nine lives”. Similarly, veterinarians have an old saying that if you put a cat who has broken bones in a room with other cats, the breaks will heal. In fact, cats are amazing self-healers: they have fewer post-operative complications than dogs, have a lower incidence of bone and joint disease than dogs, and 90% of cats survive high-rise falls – I’m talking falls from 5 story buildings! (Robinson, et. al 1976) What could possibly account for these facts?

One theory is that the purr has healing properties. Researchers have found that vibrations in the frequency range between 25 and 50 hertz promote bone strength, stimulate healing of fractures, provide pain relief, and help heal tendons and muscles. In 2001, National Geographic reported a study where chickens grew stronger bones after been placed on a vibrating plate for 20 minutes daily. Bioacoustic researchers have recently studied purring in 47 cats, both wild and domestic. They studied the frequency, pitch, loudness and duration of purring in relation to the cat’s behavior, and guess what they found? The domestic house cat purrs in the range of 25 and 50 Hz: the exact range associated with healing properties such as increased bone density.

Maybe this has something to do with a cat’s uncanny ability to “heal by association”. Perhaps purring is part of the reason why, when we fall ill, having a cat sit on our laps can actually make us feel better. Whether it is simply the comfort of having a friend nearby, or whether it’s the vibrational frequencies of your kitty’s rumble, the joy of a cat purring on your lap is priceless.

Whatever the reason, I encourage you to take care of your cat. Keep him happy and purring and you’ll likely both lead healthier and happier lives.

Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC)

by Blog Admin  

Video courtesy of Life's Abundance

 

Feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC) is the most common lower urinary tract disorder diagnosed in cats. Symptoms can include painful urination, urination outside the litter box and blood in the urine. Stress is a significant factor in the incidence of FIC. Veterinary researchers have determined that cats with highly sensitized nervous and endocrine systems are more prone to FIC. Research indicates that felines suffering from FIC may experience high levels of stress without exhibiting any noticeable symptoms. Fortunately, there are specific alterations to your home and changes you can make in your cat’s daily routine that can help to prevent mental and physical stress.

The first thing to consider for possible modification is your cat’s diet. Cats suffering from FIC typically have highly concentrated urine and are fed mostly dry food. Your veterinarian may suggest transitioning to a canned food, or adding water to dry food, but this may not always be the best option. Some cats simply prefer dry foods and may experience increased stress if forced to transition to a canned food. Luckily, the solution is simple - just offer canned food next to his typical dry food, in hopes of a gradual transition.

If after watching this video you believe your cat has FIC, please visit your veterinarian to rule out any other causes of urinary tract problems, such as an infection or bladder stones.

If your cat has previously been diagnosed with FIC, now is the time to take steps to minimize the chances of the disease reoccurring. In the second of this two-part series, Dr. Sarah discusses how to view your home from your cat’s perspective and how to reduce your kitty’s stress by making their environment more kitty-friendly.

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