Antioxidants and Vitamin E

by Blog Admin  


Vitamin E is an incredibly complex and important nutrient that, among other things, functions as an antioxidant. Antioxidants are naturally occurring nutrients that promote health by slowing the destructive aging process of cells (a breakdown called “peroxidation”). In peroxidation, damaged molecules known as free radicals steal pieces from other cells, like fat, protein or DNA. The damage can spread, damaging and killing entire groups of cells. While peroxidation can be useful to destroy old cells or germs and parasites, when left unchecked, free radicals produced by peroxidation also damages healthy cells. Antioxidants can help to stem the tide of peroxidation, thus stabilizing free radicals.

Antioxidants like vitamin E are crucial to the health of companion animals of any age. They can improve the quality of the immune response and the effectiveness of vaccines in young pets, and help maintain a vital immune system in seniors.

Vitamin E occurs in one of two forms, either natural or synthetic. Natural vitamin E is a collection of eight chemically unique compounds that are derived from plants, including four tocopherols and four tocotrienols. More commonly used and less expensive, synthetic vitamin E is one compound – alpha-tocopherol.

For Dr. Jane, the choice of using natural or synthetic vitamin E in my formulas couldn’t be clearer, and neither could the evidence. The synthetic form of vitamin E is not as active or easily absorbed as the natural form of vitamin E. The molecular structure of vitamin E determines how well the body can utilize it. In human trials, researchers found that proteins in the liver specifically select the natural form of vitamin E and largely ignore the synthetic form. In a Japanese study, scientists found that it took three times the amount of synthetic vitamin E to equal the blood levels of natural vitamin E. In the U.S., researchers found that body tissues and blood retained far higher levels of natural vitamin E versus synthetic. In addition, synthetic alpha-tocopherol vitamin E has only half the vitamin activity of the natural alpha-tocopherol vitamin E.

Why is there such a difference between synthetic and natural forms of vitamin E? The key to understanding how the body absorbs these two types differently lies on the molecular level. The cellular structure of mammals more easily recognizes natural forms of vitamins. And cellular proteins and blood plasma bind to natural forms more readily than their synthetic counterparts. Unfortunately, synthetic vitamins are cheaper and, therefore, are more prevalent in many products on the market today.

So, how can you determine if the products you are using contain the synthetic or natural form of vitamin E? Simply check out the ingredient labels! Natural vitamin E is listed as a-tocopherol acetate, d-alpha tocopherol, d-alpha tocopheryl acetate or d-alpha tocopheryl succinate. Alternately, synthetic forms of vitamin E are labeled with a “dl-“ prefix.

Foundation Award to Noah’s Ark Sanctuary

by Blog Admin  


Catch up on the latest Dr. Jane’s HealthyPetNet Foundation news and see how your purchases and donations have helped a South Florida rescue. This month’s featured award was presented to Noah’s Ark Sanctuary, an organization whose mission is to save lives and make the world a better place for companion animals. Even though they have limited resources, there’s no limit on the size of their hearts.

In this post (click link to full story at top), you’ll learn about the thriving cat colony helped by our financial award, including a very special feline who beat cancer thanks to life-saving surgery … all thanks to you!

Yet Another Pet Food Recall

by Blog Admin  


Multistate Outbreak of Human Salmonella Infantis Infections Linked to Dry Dog Food

If you buy store bought pet food, be careful. Another voluntary pet food recall but it could affect YOU or your family and not just your pets. Possible Salmonella contamination.

Video courtesy of Life's Abundance

Tips for Feline Heart Health

by Blog Admin  


Here is a excerpt from our Life's Abundance blog. It's a very informative article by Dr. Jane Bicks on how to look for signs of heart health problems in our cats.

"When I consider what I like most about cats, I’d probably say it’s their mysterious demeanor. I never know why one of my cats will suddenly pounce on my computer keyboard, why another might hide for hours on Wednesdays, or what could possibly be going on inside the head of one who spends time shadow boxing in my bathroom. Just as their motivations and desires remain secret to us, they are also, unfortunately, masters at concealing any illnesses they might have. A cat can have a medical problem and even the most watchful owner may not realize it until the condition becomes full-blown.

An unhealthy heart is an all too common feline problem, regardless of age. The good news is that heart conditions are best treated when found early. Additionally, early detection and treatment also give felines opportunities to live relatively healthy and happy lives. All you have to do is be proactive by routinely giving your cat a quick home-health examination. Don’t worry – it’s easy, fun and can even save a life."

Read the entire blog post on cat heart health for more information and how to properly examine your cat.

Digestive Health Products for Our Pets

by Blog Admin  


Our exclusive Life's Abundance pet food formulas contain multiple types of direct fed microbials, all of which are guaranteed to be viable after cooking so they can take up “residence” in the GALT. To protect these beneficial bacteria, we micro-encapsulate the direct fed microbials prior to cooking our foods. This process ensures that they will survive in order to establish and maintain healthy digestive system cultures.

Click the link above to read more from Dr. Jane Bicks, Life's Abundance product formulator.

Pet Emergency Situations Video

by Blog Admin  


Video courtesy of Life's Abundance


For all caring pet owners, the very thought of our beloved companions becoming sick or injured is very frightening. Now add to that a true animal emergency situation makes it even worse. We feel helpless, powerless to provide the proper help for our pets. However, with some basic knowledge on how to determine what an emergency situation is, you can help your companion animal successfully navigate an emergency situation.

First of all, what constitutes an emergency? Many pet parents are unsure and often fail to seek appropriate treatment after an emergency, thus hampering your pet’s chance for a positive outcome. Conversely, some become anxious over a problem that may not need immediate attention. Reasons to seek immediate care for your companion animal include:

  • profuse, bloody diarrhea or continuous vomiting
  • abdominal swelling, restless behavior or retching (especially in large breed dogs)
  • an inability to urinate (any species)
  • consumption of poison, such as rat bait or antifreeze
  • trauma, such as a car accident or injuries sustained from another animal (like a deep bite wound, etc.)
  • breathing problems, such as shortness of breath, extending head or neck to breathe, or wheezing
  • seizures, convulsions or fainting
  • eye problems, such as foreign objects in the eye, loss of vision, squinting or sudden appearance of cloudiness in the eye

If your pet is experiencing any of these signs, you likely have an emergency and the most important thing for you to do is stay calm. Don’t panic! Your pet is likely frightened or experiencing pain, and will need calm and reassuring words from you. Be alert and breathe. Keep your eyes open and assess the situation. The more you know, the more you will be in control.

The second most important thing to do is be prepared. You often can’t prevent emergencies from happening, but you can help decide the outcome. Watch this video for more information as Dr. Sarah details the steps to take before and during an emergency situation.

Digestive Health

by Blog Admin  

Probiotics have received a great deal of attention lately, and this focus is absolutely justified. An increasing number of products, from yogurts to pet foods, contain probiotics. Often referred to as “healthy” and/or “friendly” bacteria (or microorganisms) in the media, their proper notation is “direct fed microbials” when used in pet foods.

Basically, probiotics are helpful bacteria that reside in the intestinal tract. In fact, every digestive system contains millions of bacteria, both those with a healthful purpose (like probiotics) and some that are not so beneficial. While some kinds of bacteria can be harmful, many (like direct fed microbials) actually help the immune system adapt to internal changes within the body and thus naturally support good health.

Read more on digestive health...

Pet Parents Can Be Happier and Healthier

by Blog Admin  

All pet parents know that we should do whatever we can to ensure that our companion animals enjoy the best possible life. But did you know that by playing a role in your life, your furry companions could actually help you be healthier and happier?

What you may not know is that there’s plenty of science to back it up. A study published in The British Journal of Health Psychology reports that people who have companion animals tended to be healthier than those who did not. Additionally, when a dog was part of the family, the human family members had fewer minor ailments, lower blood pressures and lower cholesterol levels. Although the explanation for these advantages is unclear, these researchers guessed that all benefits might be accounted for by reduced stress levels. In these cases, lower stress levels might have been due to increased physical activity (like walking the dog) and levels of social interaction (hanging out with other pet-friendly folks).

The positive effects of having a canine companion have also been published in the prestigious American Journal of Cardiology. A recent year-long study looked at the effect of having a canine companion in 369 patients who had previously suffered an acute heart attack. The positive effects were nothing short of extraordinary! The patients who had a dog in the home had a much better chance of long-term survival. Over 7% of patients without a dog died during the study, compared with only 1% of those who had a canine companion. Even though these seem like small percentages, the difference between these groups is enormously significant.

Researchers at the University of Leicester found that when pets are in a household, children six years and younger develop social skills at an accelerated rate. Additionally, these children tend to have better coordination, improved confidence, superior communication skills and are even less likely to have allergies!

The British Medical Journal concluded that companion animals serve a vital need for socialization, especially for people at a higher risk for isolation, like those who suffer from physical limitations that might prevent them from interacting socially. Most medical professionals agree that the broader the network of social contacts, the better we are able to deal with the difficult times in life. This study, and others like it, supports the idea that this need for social relations can be fulfilled equally well by companion animals as with people.

These and many other studies reinforce what we as pet parents have suspected all along. That our beloved animal companions play a huge role in our health and happiness as members of our families.

And now I’m off to find the cats for a little happy, healthy playtime!

Tips on Winter Exercise for your Dogs

by Blog Admin  

Video courtesy of Life's Abundance


It's important that you provide a year-round health and wellness program for all your pets. With dogs, it's even more important to provide the necessary exercise each day and not just during the time when the weather is warm.

A number of animal behavioral specialists claim that if dogs do not receive regular exercise periods during the winter and cold weather months can become restless and reactive in the Spring and even can develop unwanted behavioral patterns.

Winter and cold months can present a number of challenges that make it difficult to keep up a regular exercise routine for our dogs. Watch this video where Dr. Sarah gives viewers tips and advice from venturing outside to transforming your indoor space into a canine activity center. Most activities do not require fancy technology or major space overhauls – just some creativity and a sense of fun.

Are you overlooking your dog’s weight problem?

by Blog Admin  


When dogs carry too much weight they place an extra strain on all their organs. And, they can be at an increased risk for other health problems. But how do you determine whether or not your dog is overweight? And, if your dog is overweight, what can you do about it? Watch this helpful video to find out more about this important topic.

Click to read full story on dog's weight problems and see video.

Feline’s Pride Issues Nationwide Recall Due to Salmonella Contamination

by Blog Admin  


On July 1st a press release was posted by Feline’s Pride cat food announcing a voluntary recall of:

  • Feline’s Pride Raw food with ground bone for cats and kittens
  • Natural Chicken Formula
  • Net Wt. 2.5 lbs. (1.13 kg., 40 oz.)produced on 6/10/10

because of possible Salmonella contamination. Pet owners who are handling the raw pet food may become infected with Salmonella. It is recommended that you thoroughly wash your hands after having contact with the raw cat food or any surfaces exposed to the product.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

The product is packaged in uncoded plastic containers and sold frozen to private consumers nationwide. Once thawed, the pet food has a shelf life of about 1 week. The firm manufactures the pet food on an as-ordered basis. This recall affects only those orders placed and shipped from June 10 through June 17, 2010.

This product should not be fed to pets but should instead be disposed of in a safe manner (e.g., in a securely covered trash receptacle). People who are experiencing the symptoms of Salmonella infection after having handled the pet food product should seek medical attention, and report their use of the product and illness to the nearest FDA office.

Better Business Bureau issues warning about Dynamic Pet Products' Real Ham Bone for Dogs

by Blog Admin  


Based on a number of consumer complaints that dogs became seriously ill or died from internal damage due to bone fragments, the Better Business Bureau issued a statement cautioning pet owners about feeding Dynamic Products' Real Ham Bone for Dogs to their pets. According to media reports, the FDA is investigating the complaints.

Read the Better Business Bureau statement...

Nature's Variety Pet Food Voluntarily Recalls

by Blog Admin  

Yet another pet food recall. If you have any of these products please return it to your local retailer immediately, then purchase your pet food and treats from a company that's never been part of any Life's Abundance!

Nature’s Variety has begun a voluntary recall of their Chicken Formula Raw Frozen Diet for dogs and cats with the “Best If Used By” date of 11/10/10 because these products may be contaminated with Salmonella. The only products affected are limited to chicken medallions, patties, and chubs with a “Best If Used By” date of 11/10/10. The date is located on the back of the package directly above the handling instructions.

This includes:

  • 3 lb chicken medallions (UPC# 7 69949 60130 2) with a “Best If Used By” date of 11/10/10
  • 6 lb chicken patties (UPC# 7 69949 60120 3) with a “Best If Used By” date of 11/10/10
  • 2 lb chicken chubs (UPC# 7 69949 60121 0) with a “Best If Used By” date of 11/10/10

According to Nature's Valley, no human or pet illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem and no other products are affected by this issue.

If you have purchased a bag of Nature’s Variety Chicken Formula Raw Frozen Diet (medallions, patties, or chubs) with the “Best if Used By” date of 11/10/10, they ask that you take one of the following steps:

  • If your package has not been opened, please return the unopened product to your retailer for a full refund or replacement.
  • If your package has been opened, please dispose of the raw food in a safe manner by securing it in a covered trash receptacle. Then, bring your receipt (or the empty package in a sealed bag) to your local retailer for a full refund or replacement.

Westminster Dog Show Pet Food

by Blog Admin  

Ellen Moon has a Labrador Retriever named Corey that is a third generation lab that she feeds Life’s Abundance pet food. Corey showed at the prestigious Westminster Dog Show at Madison Square Garden in New York City on February 15th and 16th of 2010.

Corey is one of the only 15 females shown out of the 42 Labrador Retrievers entered worldwide. Corey’s pet food diet consists mainly of Life’s Abundance Premium dry dog food and Life's Abundance canned foods as toppers. Ellen also gives Corey Agility and Skin & Coat Formula supplements on a regular basis. Ellen said that Corey loves Tasty Rewards dog treats so much that it's her handler’s choice in the show ring.

Corey is truly a happy dog. Ellen said she’s always having fun and she makes everyone smile.


The Dr. Jane’s HealthyPetNet Foundation

by Blog Admin  

Thanks to The Dr. Jane’s HealthyPetNet Foundation, an English Bulldog will enjoy shelter and quality medical care until he can be adopted into a loving, forever family.

The charitable non-profit’s latest financial award has been given to the Southern California Bulldog Rescue which is dedicated to saving the lives of abandoned Bulldogs. Providing safe haven to these noble creatures, this rescue actively works to place Bulldogs in new homes and covers the medical expenses for more than 200 Bulldogs annually. Entirely funded through donations and operated by an all-volunteer network of dedicated Bulldog lovers, SCBR makes sure that every Bulldog that comes their way is cared for responsibly.

Read more about this heartwarming story of Spanky the bulldog and how his special needs request was granted. Full story on The Dr. Jane’s HealthyPetNet Foundation.

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