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DIY Brushing your Dog's Teeth

Few things are more important than the health and well-being of your companion animal. For new pet parents, emotional connection does not necessarily translate into knowing the best way to take care of pet kids. Well, that’s all about to change. In the latest episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah reveals the top five DIY (do-it-yourself) items for your list of honey-do’s for pets. This episode is also a great refresher course for long-time pet parents, too! Keep your companion animal healthy and happy. A relationship with a companion animal can be one of the most rewarding experiences we encounter in our lifetimes. If you are a pet parent for the first time, or if you just want to do more to improve your pet kid’s quality of life, this month’s episode of Pet Talk was made just for you. In this video, Dr. Sarah reveals the top five do-it-yourself tasks to ensure the health, longevity and happiness of dogs and cats. Our staff veterinarian covers record-keeping, grooming, dental care, nail trimming and even evidence collection (you’ll see). Given that dogs and cats are living longer than ever before, these are definitely things you should add to your regular routine. Plus, you’ll be setting a fantastic example for your pet-friendly friends! Be sure to check out the two tutorials referenced in this month’s episode … Maintaining Your Dog’s Dental Health Tips for Better Nail Care Also, be sure to submit your comments below. We want to know if you have something to add to our top five list!

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Author: Bree
Posted: March 26, 2015, 11:53 am
Natural Heartworm Prevention Program

Natural Heartworm Prevention and Protection © by Bree Weasner, LLC The beginning of Spring is when veterinarians inspect dogs & cats for heartworm organisms and put pets on heartworm prevention medicines. Most vets suggest giving your pet a monthly or day-to-day pill for heartworm prevention, but this can be dangerous as the drug for heartworm is a chemical. The ingredients in this medicine include a chemical pesticide, which can cause illness when administered via heartworm pill every day or month. The side effects of treatment are dangerous and can cause harm to your pet. Some of these side effects are seizure, diarrhea, vomiting and fatigue. In addition, chemical heartworm medication makes the kidneys and liver work harder as they need to eliminate toxins from the body. This causes the body’s immune system to weaken, which makes your pet more susceptible to disease. The good news is that holistic and alternative veterinarians recommend natural and effective methods that are safe, free of harmful side effects and don’t contribute to illness like arthritis, liver/kidney disease, allergies and others. Heartworm Explained and Causes Heartworm is a parasite that mostly infects dogs, but cats can be infected as well. Heartworm is extremely dangerous to your pet and an infestation can kill if left untreated. Heartworm is transmitted to animals by infected mosquitos, (not all mosquitos carry the disease) and when the mosquito bites the animal, their larvae move throughout your pet’s body to the heart and lungs. From there, adult worms grow and cause serious & potentially life threatening damage. How do I know if my Pet is Infected? Symptoms of heartworm disease: • Changes in weight/loss • Fatigue • Breathing problems • Coughing It is important to note that during the beginning stages of the disease, there may not be any symptoms. Heartworm is diagnosed through a blood test. How do you treat Heartworm? Conventional Heartworm treatment includes medication that is both preventative and medication that rids worms from the heart & lungs if the disease is advanced. While this medication is effective, it is acknowledged by vet professionals that there are a number of health risks that come along with this treatment because the medication contains pesticides that accumulate in the body over a period of time. Heartworm is also dangerous because dead heartworms may become dislodged and block blood vessels, causing immediate death. Surgery is sometimes needed to remove these worms. Deciding on a prevention and treatment route, whether it is conventional, homeopathic or a combination of both is a decision you should make with your veterinarian. There are many homeopathic and holistic methods to treat heartworm without the use of chemicals and many vets across North America integrate more holistic methods into treatment in order to maintain and promote the health of animals. Alternative Heartworm Prevention & Treatment There are a few steps you must take as a pet owner to protect your pet against heartworm, as there isn’t a magic pill. Be sure to follow the steps and tips below in conjunction with your vet’s supervision. Healthy Diet Holistic vets around the world agree that commercial, processed pet foods are detrimental to pet health. Raw food like fruits, vegetables, meat, bones and water are the best foods you can give your pet. Cats are meat eaters, so raw meat, bones and chicken giblets are good for your cat. You should avoid giving your pet milk and foods with sugar, artificial flavors and preservatives. Life’s Abundance is a great natural alternative to commercial pet food. Immune System Health Animals with a healthy immune system are less likely to be bitten by mosquitos. If your pet has a healthy immune system and is bit, their natural defense system will work better to kill off larvae. Some of the contributing factors to a weakened immune system include frequent antibiotics/vaccinations, low quality pet foods, improper diet, stress and synthetic medications. A healthy liver is imperative to the health of your pet. It prevents illness, removes waste and toxins, so it must work properly. Immunity and Liver Support ensures that your pet’s liver stays healthy and strong, along with a robust immune system. Look for our Buy 2, Get 1 Free Special! Heart Health and Circulation Like humans, heart health and proper circulation is vital to your pet’s ability to fight off disease. Good circulation allows white blood cells to fight disease and red blood cells to carry oxygen. Proper diet and adequate exercise are important parts of a healthy heart and circulation system. Heart & Circulation Tonic benefits your pet in the war against heartworms and other illnesses. Look for our Buy 2, Get 1 FREE Special! De-Worming If you live in an area with a high risk for heartworm, prevention is key. Consulting with a holistic veterinarian on your options for a homeopathic heartworm prevention and treatment plan will help to fight off heartworm before it occurs. We recommend the use of PetAlive Parasite Dr.  to prevent infestations and improve overall health. Parasite Dr. contains “bitter” ingredients that make the animal unattractive to ticks, fleas and mosquitos. Parasite Dr. also contains natural anti-parasitic properties that kill and rid the body of worms. Consult with your vet before beginning at home treatment if your pet appears to be ill. Benefits of PetAlive Parasite Dr: • Rid and protect your pet against parasites like heartworm, roundworm and tapeworm • Balance digestive health, soothe digestive system • Cleanse the digestive system to improve function • Reduce yeast and protect against bacterial infection • Reduce nausea, bloating and flatulence in your pet • Improve energy levels Look for our Buy 2 & Get 1 Free Special Lastly, keep mosquitos away from pets! Everyday use of Flea Free will keep fleas, ticks, mosquitos and other pests away from pets in a natural and chemical-free manner. An all-natural formula, Flea Free is so safe that it is effective for human consumption! The Natural Heartworm Prevention Program (NSP) is also effective and consists of three products. These products...

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Author: Bree
Posted: March 20, 2015, 9:06 am
Spay Neuter Ribbon

Spring brings other hazards for unsuspecting pets. Not only do the birds and bees “turn to thoughts of love,” but so do dogs and cats. Normally well-behaved companion animals will suddenly become escape artists as instinct triumphs over training. Male dogs will climb over or tunnel under secure fences and roam for blocks on the scent of a female “in season,” dodging traffic at busy intersections and finding themselves lost in new territory with no idea how to get home again. Females, who are content to remain in the house and close to their people any other time, will dash past feet in an attempt to race out whenever a door is opened. If statistics of unwanted offspring can’t convince you to spay or neuter, won’t you do it for the safety of your own pet? If you’ve been putting off spaying or neutering your pet because of the high cost your vet charges, we recommend you look at the Friends of Animals website, where you can purchase much-discounted spay/neuter certificates that can even be used at your vet’s office!  I’ve been using them for many, many years and fortunately, my own vet participates in their program!  So check them out and get your reduced-priced certificate today!

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Author: Bree
Posted: March 8, 2015, 2:26 pm
Keeping Pets Safe in Wintry Weather

Here are some tips from Lake County Health Department to help keep your pets safe in wintry weather. Not only can winter weather be a time of illness and injury if people fail to take appropriate health and safety precautions, but harsh conditions can be tough on pets as well. Following are some tips from the Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center on how to help keep your pet safe and healthy this winter. * Do not leave dogs outdoors when it becomes uncomfortably cold. Most dogs and cats are safer indoors except when taken out for exercise. Regardless of the season, short-haired, very young or old dogs, and all cats should never be left outside without supervision. Short-coated dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater during walks. If your pet is shivering, it’s time to bring it inside. * No matter what the temperature, wind chill can threaten a pet’s life. If your dog is an outdoor dog, he or she should be protected by a dry, draft-free doghouse that is large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down comfortably, but small enough to hold in his or her body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The house should face away from the wind, and the doorway should be covered with waterproof covering or heavy plastic. * Pets that spend a lot of time outside during the winter need more food because keeping warm depletes energy. Make sure to routinely check your pet’s water dish to make sure water is fresh and unfrozen. Use plastic food and water bowls because when the temperature is low, the pet’s tongue can stick and freeze to the metal. * Salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet’s feet. Wipe the feet with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates his or her mouth. * Antifreeze is a deadly poison that has a sweet taste, which may attract animals. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze out of reach. If possible, use antifreeze coolant made with propylene glycol. If this is swallowed in small amounts, it will not hurt pets. * Do not allow your dog to run freely on open ice. It can be difficult to judge the safety of the ice, and your dog could be at risk of falling through. * During the winter, it is best to keep your pets inside with the family. The happiest dogs are those that are taken out frequently for walks and exercise, but are kept inside the rest of the time. For more information on pet safety, please call your Health Department’s Animal Care and Control facility. Information provided by Lake County Government.

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Author: Bree
Posted: March 7, 2015, 1:54 pm
Banana Honey Dog Treats Recipe

So many pet parents have asked me over the years whether bananas are healthy for their dogs, and I’ve always answered YES, but don’t give them too much or they’ll be spinning around the house with endless energy!   Are they nutritional?  Absolutely!  Bananas are loaded with amino acids, electrolytes, minerals, vitamins B6 and C, potassium, fiber and manganese.  Veterinarians also treat certain gastrointestinal disorders with bananas as they are also rich in the dietary fiber pectin, which can promote smooth bowel movements. So if you’re looking to add a little good fiber to your dog’s diet and help their energy a little too, here’s a great recipe…for both of you…even for your entire family!!!  Ingredients… 2 cups water 2 bananas, mashed 2 tablespoons honey 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 egg 4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour 1 teaspoon baking powder Directions… 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 2. Lightly grease 2 large baking sheets. 3. Combine water, mashed bananas, honey, vanilla, and egg in a large bowl. 4. Stir in whole-wheat flour and baking powder. 5. Beat dough with an electric mixer on medium speed until ingredients are thoroughly combined, 1 to 2 minutes. 6. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until no longer sticky, 5 to 8 minutes. 7. Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness and cut into mini shapes with your favorite cookie cutter. 8. Place dough shapes on prepared baking sheets. 9. Bake in preheated oven until cookies are lightly browned, about 20 minutes. 10.Turn off the oven and leave cookies until thoroughly dry and crisp, 30 to 40 more minutes. 11.Remove baking sheets from oven and allow cookies to cool on pans for 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack to fully cool. This recipe makes approximately 7 dozen dog treats! REMEMBER to either refrigerate or freeze all natural treats to avoid spoilage and insect infestation.

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Author: Bree
Posted: March 4, 2015, 8:55 pm
Pet Leash Safety

You’re walking your dog down the street and suddenly she goes absolutely bonkers. Could be a squirrel, another dog, someone wearing a hat … whatever the stimulus, this berserk response is known as leash reactivity. It’s enough to make some people give up walking their dog altogether. Fortunately, Dr. Sarah, Life’s Abundance Staff Veterinarian, knows exactly how to address this issue, and explains the details in this month’s video. Many pet parents report that problem pet leash behavior is the main reason they avoid outdoor time with their companion animal. If you’ve experienced these explosive bouts of unruly behavior, stemming from aggression or fear, you know it’s no fun at all. But, take heart, because this episode of Pet Talk addresses these very issues. In this short video, Dr. Sarah will help you to gain a basic understanding asserting leash control. If your dog can trust that you’re able to handle any oncoming ‘threat’, both of you just might be able to start enjoying the outdoors together … possibly for the first time. Wouldn’t that be lovely! Be sure to share this video with friends and family, especially if you know that leash reactivity is a pressing problem for them. And, please leave your comments if this Pet Talk episode is helpful to you!

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Author: Bree
Posted: February 26, 2015, 5:28 pm
Fish Oil for Pets

You do everything you possibly can to ensure the health of your pet kids. But have you heard the top ten reasons why they should be taking fish oil? If you’re unfamiliar with the latest science behind omega-3 supplementation for dogs and cats, you should definitely check this out.  Dr. Jane Bicks explores the health incentives for providing a quality fish oil supplement that’s formulated just for them. Fish oil supplements are an ideal complement to your pet’s diet because they supply omega-3 fatty acids, which your dog or cat’s body cannot sufficiently produce on its own. Still in doubt? Here are the top 10 reasons why it’s important to supplement your dog or cat’s daily intake with a quality fish oil supplement. 1. Your Pet Will Burn Fat More Efficiently The Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil supplements help improve the metabolism of a dog and cat’s body in a natural way and cause body fat to burn more quickly. (2,10) 2. Improved Development of Puppies & Kittens During Pregnancy During a pregnancy, supply your canine or feline mama omega-3 needs with a pure, safe fish oil supplement. The reason is because the omega-3 fatty acid DHA helps improve brain development, concentration, immunity and eyesight, among other things. (1,5) 3. Slow Down Your Pet’s Aging Process We all want to age more slowly, right? EPA and DHA found in fish oil help slow down the aging process by reducing inflammation and extending the longevity of cells. In this way, omega-3s help keep your pet kids feeling younger for longer. (3) 4. Improved Flexibility Because of the anti-inflammatory properties of EPA from fish oil supplements, the discomfort in your pet’s joints and muscles may actually decrease. What you will notice is that over time, fish oil supplements can help with stiffness to rise and help your pet be more active and enjoy walks and games with you. (4) 5. Improved Performance in Canine Athletes Omega-3s in fish oil supplements improve the functioning of the lungs. For our active agility dogs, runners, Frisbee dogs, swimmers and mountain hiker companions, fish oil will help your dog keep up with you. (14) 6. Better Concentration & Limiting Brain Cell Deterioration Thanks to EPA and DHA from fish oil, your pet’s brain may age more slowly and perform optimally. The essential fatty acids in the omega-3s contribute to sounder sleep, an essential element in keeping concentration sharp. (6) 7. Optimized Immune System Functioning A daily supplement of omega-3s from fish oil supplements help the white blood cells perform their anti-inflammatory function optimally. This helps your pet’s defense against diseases and other ailments by strengthening the immune system. (15) 8. Better Heart Health The omega-3s in fish oil supplements help keep cholesterol levels at a healthy level and help keep this vital muscle healthy. (8,9) 9. No More Grumpy Cat Fish oil supplements are proven to improve mood in humans, and studies are forthcoming about their benefits in pets! (12, 13) 10. Healthy Skin & Shiny Coat The benefits of omega-3s in fish oil supplements for skin health are well documented, but did you know that omega-3s also help protect against sunburn? (6,7) Adding health-promoting fish oil to your pet’s diet can be one of the best decisions you make for your companion animal. If you want to learn more, visit the website! Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place for companion animals. Dr. Jane Bicks, Life’s Abundance Staff Veterinarian and Product Formulator References: 1. Zicker SC1, Jewell DE, Yamka RM, Milgram NW. Evaluation of cognitive learning, memory, psychomotor, immunologic, and retinal functions in healthy puppies fed foods fortified with docosahexaenoic acid-rich fish oil from 8 to 52 weeks of age. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2012 Sep 1;241(5):583-94. doi: 10.2460/javma.241.5.583. 2. Xenoulis PG1, Steiner JM. Lipid metabolism and hyperlipidemia in dogs.Vet J. 2010 Jan;183(1):12-21. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2008.10.011. Epub 2009 Jan 23. 3. Figueras M, Olivan M, Busquets S, López-Soriano FJ, Argilés JM. Effects of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) treatment on insulin sensitivity in an animal model of diabetes: improvement of the inflammatory status. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 Feb;19(2):362-9. doi: 10.1038/oby.2010.194. Epub 2010 Sep 30. 4. Moreau M, Troncy E, Del Castillo JR, Bédard C, Gauvin D, Lussier B. Effects of feeding a high omega-3 fatty acids diet in dogs with naturally occurring osteoarthritis. J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl). 2012 Jul 14. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0396.2012.01325.x 5. Bauer JE, Heinemann KM, Lees GE, Waldron MK. Retinal functions of young dogs are improved and maternal plasma phospholipids are altered with diets containing long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids during gestation, lactation, and after weaning. J Nutr. 2006 Jul;136(7 Suppl):1991S-1994S. 6. Bauer JE. Therapeutic use of fish oils in companion animals. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2011 Dec 1;239(11):1441-51. doi: 10.2460/javma.239.11.1441. Review. 7. Popa I, Pin D, Remoué N, Osta B, Callejon S, Videmont E, Gatto H, Portoukalian J, Haftek M. Analysis of epidermal lipids in normal and atopic dogs, before and after administration of an oral omega-6/omega-3 fatty acid feed supplement. A pilot study. Vet Res Commun. 2011 Dec;35(8):501-9. doi: 10.1007/s11259-011-9493-7. Epub 2011 Jul 23. Erratum in: Vet Res Commun. 2012 Mar;36(1):91 8. Smith CE, Freeman LM, Rush JE, Cunningham SM, Biourge V. Omega-3 fatty acids in Boxer dogs with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy. J Vet Intern Med. 2007 Mar-Apr;21(2):265-73. 9. Freeman LM, Rush JE, Markwell PJ.Effects of dietary modification in dogs with early chronic valvular disease. J Vet Intern Med. 2006 Sep-Oct;20(5):1116-26. 10. Laflamme DP. Understanding and managing obesity in dogs and cats. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 2006 Nov;36(6):1283-95, vii. Review. 11. Brown SA, Brown CA, Crowell WA, Barsanti JA, Allen T, Cowell C, Finco DR. Beneficial effects of chronic administration of dietary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in dogs with renal insufficiency. J Lab Clin Med. 1998 May;131(5):447-55. 12. Hegarty B, Parker G. Fish oil as a management component for mood disorders – an evolving signal. Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2013 Jan;26(1):33-40. doi: 10.1097/YCO.0b013e32835ab4a7 13. Hegarty BD, Parker GB. Marine...

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Author: Bree
Posted: February 25, 2015, 7:49 pm

Nestle Purina Petcare Company was hit with a class action lawsuit alleging that its Beneful dog food includes toxic substances which are capable of killing dogs. According to the Beneful class action lawsuit filed in a California federal court by plaintiff Frank Lucido on Feb. 5, Purina Beneful is responsible for making thousands of dogs either seriously ill or causing them to die, which happened to one of his own dogs. Lucido owned three dogs — a German Shepherd, an English Bulldog and a Labrador. He bought a bag of Beneful for the first time in late December 2014 or early January 2015 and each dog began eating Beneful exclusively, the Beneful class action lawsuit explains. On Jan. 15, the German Shepherd began to lose a large amount of hair and began giving off a unusual odor, which concerned Lucido and his wife, who first started to notice the symptoms. Two days later the German Shepherd became “violently ill.” After being examined by a veterinarian, it was determined that the German Shepherd was suffering from internal bleeding in the dog’s stomach and the liver was also malfunctioning, which the veterinarian said was “consistent with poisoning.” On Jan. 23, Lucido’s wife found the English Bulldog dead in their yard. “Post-mortem veterinary examination revealed signs of internal bleeding in the dog’s stomach and lesions on his liver, much like [the German Shepherd],” the class action lawsuit claims. The Labrador also became ill and is being tested for similar problems. Lucido claims that he and his wife “have suffered economic losses including the purchase price of Beneful and veterinary and related medical expenses” as result of the damage Beneful has done to their dogs. According to the Beneful class action lawsuit, there have been more than 3,000 complaints posted by dog owners on the internet “about dogs becoming ill, in many cases very seriously ill, and/or dying after eating Beneful. “The dogs show consistent symptoms, including stomach and related internal bleeding, liver malfunction or failure, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, weight loss, seizures, bloating, and kidney failure,” the Beneful toxic dog food class action lawsuit alleges. Lucido gives several examples of these complaints by other dog owners. According to Lucido, Beneful is advertised as a healthful and nutritional dog food, but his experience and others has been the opposite. Beneful dog foods allegedly include propylene glycol, which is “an automotive component that is a known animal toxin and is poisonous to cats and dogs.” In addition, the Beneful class action lawsuit alleges that the dog food includes mycotoxins, which are “a group of toxins produced by fungus that occurs in grains, which are a principle ingredient in Beneful.” The class action lawsuit cites the Association for Truth In Pet Food, which tested “Beneful Original and found that it contained dangerous levels of mycotoxins.” Lucido is looking to represent two classes — a nationwide class and a California subclass for dog owners “who purchased Beneful dog food in the past four years and who incurred any out of pocket costs due to illness, injury or death of their dog resulting from the ingestion of Beneful.” The Beneful toxic dog food class action lawsuit is charging Nestle Purina with breach of implied warranty, breach of express warranty, negligence, negligent misrepresentation, strict products liability, violating California’s consumer legal remedies act, violating California’s Unfair Competition Law, and violating California’s False Advertising Law. The plaintiff is represented by Jeffrey B. Cereghino of Ram, Olson, Cereghino & Kopcyzynski, by John Yanchunis of Morgan & Morgan Complex Litigation Group, by Karl Molineux of Merrill, Nomura & Molineux, and by Donna F. Solen of Kimbrell Kimbrell & Solen LLC. The Beneful Toxic Dog Food Class Action Lawsuit is Frank Lucido v. Nesltle Purina Petcare Company, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Source: By Courtney Coren, Top Class Actions,

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Author: Bree
Posted: February 12, 2015, 6:09 am
Meeting Strange Dogs on Walks

A Proper Introduction For Dogs Out For A Walk By Doggy Dan, Expert dog trainer and canine behaviorist from Auckland, New Zealand. So often, greeting another dog on a lead becomes a total disaster, with both owners apologizing for their dog’s behaviour and neither dog enjoying the experience. Neither owner is sure what the correct meet and greet procedure is, or the what the right thing to say is, and we become too involved in what should be a purely dog affair. So I have put this simply post and video together so that you have a few key pointers up your sleeve for next time. The video to your right is a ‘must watch’ – “How to introduce dogs on a walk correctly.”  In the video you’ll see everything I discuss below, in action. Meet and Greet Tips Here are my 5 tips when meeting another dog on a leash, helping everyone (including the dogs) to stay safe and ensure a relaxed and natural encounter. 1. Play safe Every situation is different so it’s worth firstly checking out the dog coming towards you. No matter how many dogs your dog has met there are always some that you should stay clear of. Sometimes the simple question “Is your dog friendly?” before you introduce them can save you a lot of hassle. Other times you can make your own decision from a distance. Usually we are wise to go off our gut instinct and intuition. If you feel unsure or uneasy simply take a small detour around the person and their dog and carry on your way. 2. Loose leash Once you decide to let your dog sniff the other dog, make sure that their leash is loose. If you are unsure about doing so then maybe you should not be letting the dogs meet. Clearly if your dog gets over excited and you need to pull them away or restrain them, then the leash will not be loose. However if they are behaving nicely give them the respect they deserve and a nice loose leash. Imagine trying to meet somebody for the first time with somebody tugging you back by your neck! If your dog is pulling so hard you can’t loosen the lead, then you more than likely have an issue with your dog believing they’re in control of the walk. And this stems from their built-in pack mentality. A dog is either a leader or a follower, and if you’re not the Pack Leader, then your dog will naturally assume the role. This leads to 95% of the dog behavioral problems I work with everyday – from pulling on the lead, jumping up and barking to biting and separation anxiety. So make sure you are the Pack Leader. 3. Give space Once your dogs are sniffing each other give them a little space. You don’t have to walk a long way away, but simply giving them a yard of space will allow them to breathe easier and give them the feeling that you are not concerned. Standing over them and crowding them because you are getting ready to pounce gives off all the wrong messages. 4. Two’s company, three’s a crowd When you are really trying to understand what somebody you have just met is trying to say and a third person starts talking over the top of you, it really doesn’t help. It’s the same for your dog. When they’re getting to know each other and sniffing, stay out of it and give them the time they deserve. The best way to do this is to avoid any pats, words of encouragement or affection. Of course you can talk to the other person, especially if you keep the conversation light and jolly, but allow the dogs to check each other out in peace. 5. Change the energy Sometimes if things look like they’re a bit stuck or frozen you can get it all moving again by simply walking away. In the video I walk 2 yards away with Jezebel when things look a little strained and she immediately relaxes. Sometimes that is all that is needed to break the ice. Doggy Dan is an expert dog trainer and canine behaviorist from Auckland, New Zealand. His online dog training course has helped hundreds of dogs and their owners resolve behavior issues and improve the bond between dog and owner. To try Doggy Dan’s online training course for only $1, go to

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Author: Bree
Posted: February 8, 2015, 3:47 pm
Smiling Dog Teeth

It’s February, which means it’s once again National Pet Dental Health Month. Current estimates show that approximately 75% of cats and dogs over the age of three suffer from poor dental health. Oral disease represents the most commonly diagnosed health problem for companion animals. While considered an inconvenience by many pet parents, proper dental care is a necessary component for overall health, as oral disease can lead to internal organ damage. Pet parents need to be on the lookout for several dental disease warning signs, including … * Tartar build up * Receding, bleeding or swollen gums * Discolored or fractured teeth * Foul breath * Changes in eating habits * Excessive drooling * Sores on the lips or gums If you note any of these symptoms, it’s imperative that you schedule an appointment with your vet to discuss possible courses of action. The best way to prevent onset of oral disease and infection is through brushing teeth with a pet-approved toothpaste. Don’t, under any circumstances, use human toothpaste, as dogs and cats swallow toothpaste, and they cannot process the chemicals in our over-the-counter brands. While committing to brushing your companion’s teeth regularly will go a long way to prevent dental disease, you should also … * Encourage play with toys that will help to abrade debris from teeth and gums * Provide dental chews to reduce the build up of plaque and tartar * Schedule regular dental exams with your veterinarian * Feed food that promotes a healthy digestive system Did you know that certain breeds of dogs and cats are genetically predisposed to dental illnesses? According to recent data, the Maltese ranks highest among purebred dogs with persistent tooth and gum problems. In the cat world, the Siamese and the Abyssinian, charming as they are, both have serious tooth problems and often teeth pulled during their youth. The quality of your pet’s food can also contribute to the onset of periodontal disease. Low quality foods can cause gastrointestinal problems, which can lead to bad breath. Easily digestible foods like Life’s Abundance not only provide high-quality nourishment, but also work to promote intestinal health. At Life’s Abundance, we take dental health seriously. As pet parents ourselves, we know how difficult it can be to establish a consistent oral care routine. That’s why we’ve developed several products to address these critical issues, before they become major problems.   With Life’s Abundance Dental Wipes and Foam Breath Freshener, you can maintain a healthy routine without your companion animals even noticing! These formulas are the ultimate breath enhancer and dental health promoter, perfect for dogs.  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. As veterinarians will tell you, almost as important as brushing is friction from chewing something tough but malleable (actual bones are not generally recommended). The majority of chewable “bones” for dogs on the market today are made from rawhide, which is difficult to digest and can cause severe intestinal problems. But there are healthier options!  Porky Puffs and Buffalo Bully Sticks are excellent alternatives to rawhide as they are nutritious and highly digestible. Every now and again, we like to reward our beloved pups with a special indulgence. But you may have noticed that many of the popular treats on the market are laden with refined sugars, chemical preservatives, and artificial flavors and colors. Once again, Life’s Abundance has got your pet dental needs covered! Our Gourmet Dental Treats are made with a special blend of harvest grains, creamy peanut butter and natural honey. This unique recipe includes hefty helpings of calcium and phosphorus to support healthy teeth and bones. We’ve also added parsley to sweeten the breath. With Gourmet Dental Treats, you’ll be helping to support dental health and treating your dog to scrumptious oven-baked goodness! As you can see, just by taking a few simple steps, you can help your companion animal enjoy a lifetime of dental health.

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Author: Bree
Posted: February 4, 2015, 1:35 pm
Beautiful Cat

If you count a cat among your closest friends, you have some idea of just how intelligent they are. But it’s a unique sort of smarts. Unlike dogs, who are generally keen to please their people, cats are more strategic thinkers. In this month’s post from Dr. Jane, our good doctor examines the reasons, and expressions, of feline cleverness. Plus, there are loads of great references if you’d like to learn more! Don’t wait another moment, read Dr. Jane’s post now …

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Author: Bree
Posted: January 27, 2015, 6:17 pm
Simple IQ Test for Dogs

Is your pup keen to show off his brain power? Have you always known your canine is sharp as a tack, but were unsure how to test just how ‘on the ball’ he is? In this fun episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah reveals how easy it is to assess your pup’s problem-solving abilities.  She also reveals exactly how to conduct this test at home, with help from her canine assistant.  You’ll have the results of this informal test in only 10 minutes, but really … it’s all about the fun. Be sure to download our free scoring sheet to record and share your dog’s IQ! Download our free doggie IQ test to keep score- Simple 10-Minute IQ Test for Dogs. Afterwards, you’ll have a ‘report card’ to post on your fridge. It’s so much fun you’ll be asking yourself if it’s a test or a game. [Spoiler alert: it’s both!] We encourage you to share this video with your pet-parent friends, so they can do the doggie IQ test, too! And check back next month for another brand new episode of Pet Talk with Dr. Sarah.

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Author: Bree
Posted: January 24, 2015, 8:34 pm
Pup with Extra Baggage

We all packed on those extra pounds during the holidays and now it’s time to shed that extra baggage the way German Shepherds shed their coats in the summertime. We all know that America is suffering from an obesity epidemic. Somehow this epidemic—along with all of its accompanying health risks—is affecting our pet population as well. In the mid 90’s, studies showed that 15% of pets were overweight. Now it’s a whopping 40%! This does not bode well. As we know from television, radio, newspapers and magazines, those extra pounds are not ideal … not for us and not for our pets. Our pets’ growing waistlines can contribute to numerous health issues. Let’s face it, a trim pet is more likely to live a longer, healthier and happier life !!! So let’s explore this. Does this increase in pet obesity have to do with some spiritual connection between pets and humanity? Or is it something more tangible? This much is true: animals are awesome copy cats (excuse the pun!). According to a study published in Journal of Nutrition, dogs of overweight owners are nearly three times more likely to be overweight themselves. The same is probably true for cats as well. Don’t worry; you don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure this out. Simply place your hands on your pet’s rib cage with your palms facing down. If the ribs are easily felt, your pet is considered to be normal weight. If you can feel more than approximately one inch of skin and fat between the ribs or if the ribs are difficult to feel, your pet is certainly overweight. If you cannot feel the ribs at all, then your pet is probably obese. Dr. Jane recommends that you do this little test monthly since, like us, pets’ metabolisms change. Life’s Abundance Weight Loss Formula for Adult Dogs to the Rescue Thankfully for our chubby dogs, Life’s Abundance has just a solution! Life’s Abundance Weight Loss Formula for Adult Dogs has 28% less fat and 31% fewer calories per cup than Life’s Abundance Premium Health Food for Dogs. There are higher protein levels and L-Carnitine to support your pet’s metabolism and healthy weight management. And what’s a Dr. Jane’s product without omega fatty acids to promote healthy skin and a luxurious coat as well as an all around healthy body? Life’s Abundance Weight Loss Formula for Adult Dogs is made with whole foods such as premium chicken meal, catfish meal, eggs, whole ground flax seed, oatmeal, stabilized rice bran containing more than 72 antioxidants, B vitamins, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, fresh veggies loaded with phytonutrients and bioflavonoids and much more. These dynamic ingredients support strong muscles, a healthy heart, healthy organs, an active immune system, a healthy digestive system and overall wellness. According to our tests, Life’s Abundance Weight Loss Formula for Adult Dogs resulted in successful weight loss, increased vitality, less hunger and healthy skin and shiny coat. This exceptional food has also been said to put that sparkle back into pets’ eyes. After a dog loses weight on the Weight Loss Formula, there’s no need to change back to regular food. Life’s Abundance Weight Loss Formula is a great food for dogs and breeds that have a tendency to gain weight such as labs, goldens and Cocker Spaniels. You can always count on Life’s Abundance to never use any chemical preservatives. We never have and never will. Instead, we use a blend of antioxidants to help our formulas stay fresh, also supporting your dog’s healthy immune system. Unlike many other companies, we don’t use any flavor enhancers or coloring to replace what is lost during high-temp cooking. We cook at low temperatures and for less than 15 seconds to lock the nutrients inside the food. You can’t beat that! The flavor and the wholesome goodness comes from the inside out. Every bite is nutritious and delicious. If your dog’s weight is becoming a growing concern, you may want to toss those other foods you bought at the supermarket and invest in your dog’s health. Baggage Claim: How Guilty are You? So you’ve just confirmed with your vet that your pet is in fact obese. Time to fess up. As owners, we are more responsible for our pets’ weight problems than we think. Take a look at our fat checklist and take note of the statements that apply to you and your pet. It’s time for us to claim our pets’ baggage! * Your cat or dog is an indoor pet that eats, sleeps and snacks all day. * You take your dog out on super quick walks for potty and rush him back into the house. You seldom take him around the block for a good workout or to the park for a hearty game of Frisbee. * You give your dog treats whenever those irresistible eyes look your way— without considering the ingredients or the amount of calories. * Your pet is spayed or altered (slows down metabolism). * You feed your pet liberally, refilling the dish after it is emptied, never thinking about the amount you’re feeding. You pour, he eats! * You have a multi-cat household and some cats end up eating more than others. * You live in a small apartment that doesn’t have much room for your cat or dog to run about. * You feed your cats and dogs food just because, even when they’re not necessarily hungry. * You never play with your cat and she has no other kitties in the household to play with, so she just plays freeze tag alone—right on the windowsill! * You give your pets plenty of treats out of guilt to compensate for all those long hours at the job. If your cat is on the pudgy side of life, then it’s time for you to act now. Up to 40% of this nation’s cats are overweight. Obesity is the number one nutritional disorder in cats and leads to many...

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Author: Bree
Posted: January 13, 2015, 6:57 pm
Pup in Snow

by Dr. Sarah, DVW, Life’s Abundance Staff Veterinarian It’s not just a typical winter when ‘polar vortex’ is the most popular weather phrase of the year. Even as we publish this post, the nation is on the brink of another bitter cold snap. While the thought of trekking around outside in frigid temps might instill a sense of dread for most people, your pup will likely be even more eager to explore the wintery landscape. Sleet. Snow. Ice. These things make most folks want to huddle indoors cozied up by the fire. But dogs are not most people. Often, the chill in the air sparks their anticipation for fun romps through the wintery mix. But, there are dangers lurking under that blanket of white. Thankfully, Dr. Sarah is ready to reveal handy tips in the latest episode of Pet Talk, to keep your pet kids fully protected during outdoor playtime. In this episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah offers several useful tips to ensure that ‘outdoor fun time’ remains safe throughout the harsh winter season. A bit of precaution and planning makes all the difference, so break out the hot cocoa and watch the latest webisode of Pet Talk now. SPOILER ALERT: WINTERY FUN AHEAD!

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Author: Bree
Posted: January 12, 2015, 1:07 am
Petco Removes China-Made Dog and Cat Treats

Petco on Monday said it has pulled all Chinese-made dog and cat treats from its shelves after fears they sickened and killed thousands of pets. The company said all of its treats are now made in the U.S., New Zealand, Australia, or South America. The Food and Drug Administration is investigating reports Chinese-made jerky treats sold at Petco and other stores have sickened more than 5,600 dogs, 24 cats, and three people. About 1,000 of the dogs died. The investigation is still ongoing and the agency has not yet determined if all of the cases are connected to the tainted treats. “We believe this is the right thing to do,” Petco CEO Jim Myers said of removing Chinese-made treats from its stores. The FDA said the treats suspected in the pet illnesses were mostly jerky-type ones and included duck, sweet potato, yams, and dried fruits in the ingredients. Ohio couple Kevin and Candace Thaxton said chicken jerky treats made in China killed one of their dogs and nearly killed another in 2011. “It was just devastating,” Kevin Thaxton told ABC News. The couple said they only learned of the China link after the ordeal. “I grabbed the bag of treats and turned it over,” Candace told ABC. “At first I saw it said ‘Manufactured in South Carolina’ so I thought I was safe. Then I looked harder and it said ‘Made in China’ and I just said ‘Oh no.’” The couple wrote their senator, Sherrod Brown (D-OH), who helped spark the FDA investigation. Petco operates more than 1,000 stores across the country. PetSmart, which operates a similar number of stores, said it will pull Chinese-made treats from its stores by March. Source:

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Author: Bree
Posted: January 6, 2015, 8:41 pm
Itching and Scratching the Winter Away

Itching and Scratching the Winter Away Dr. Jane Bicks, DVM It’s that time when pets and humans are more vulnerable to each other than ever. Since this is the chilliest month of the year, animals are more likely to be cooped up in the house — and us with them! All of the windows and doors are closed to the world and the heat is blasting around the clock. These kinds of conditions can make our winter homes playgrounds for various allergens. Our pets are vulnerable to the dust in the carpet, the mold inside the walls of your old house and other pets. On the other hand, warm moist times of the year or times when the seasons are shifting are also high allergy times. Our pets are hardly ever safe from them. Allergies are the most common conditions affecting cats and according to Kansas State University, fifteen percent of dogs suffer from common allergies like pollen, mold and house dust. However, common allergies aren’t the only ones that affect our pets. Just like humans, pets can be allergic to anything from eggs to oak trees. Allergies are conditions that pets and humans share with equal intensity, so we must use our powers of empathy to make them as comfortable in their skin as possible. This month, the Life’s Abundance News will focus on pet allergies: what they are, what to look for and the different methods of GIVING RELIEF. So What Are Allergies Anyway? Essentially, an allergic reaction is the work of an overactive immune system. It’s when an animal responds abnormally to a seemingly everyday substance like grass or common food ingredients. Substances can cause an allergic reaction upon exposure by ingestion, inhalation or skin contact. Allergic animals possess antibodies that react badly to specific allergens to produce what we know as allergic reactions. Watery eyes and constant scratching are common manifestations of the immune system in overdrive, overcompensating to expel the allergen from the body. The Different Types of Allergies Contact Allergy Of the various types of allergies, contact allergies are the least common in both cats and dogs. Examples of contact allergens are flea collars, plants, grass and certain types of bedding such as wool. Because contact allergies result in a local reaction to the skin, symptoms include skin irritation and itching at the points of contact. Inhalant Allergy This is the most common allergy for cats and it is prevalent in dogs, as well. This type of allergy is caused by the hypersensitivity of the immune system to common environmental substances. Some of these allergens are with us seasonally (ragweed and grass pollens) and others, such as mold and mildew, are with us all the time. This type of allergy usually manifests in the form of severe, generalized itching. The itching may be most severe on the feet, flanks, groin and armpits. Inhalant allergies and food allergies are often the reasons for chronic ear infections in dogs.  Recent studies have shown that it can also affect the cat’s urinary tract resulting in crystal formation in the urine. Flea Allergy This is the most common form of canine allergy and it’s relatively common in cats, as well. The normal dog and cat experiences only minor irritation in lieu of a flea bite with minimal itching, if any. The flea-allergic dog or cat; however, suffers from severe itching when the flea’s saliva is integrated into the skin. It’s not the flea itself, but its saliva that is the culprit. Just one single bite can make a pet itch to the point of self-mutilation: chewing itself and removing large amounts of hair. Pets tend to chew mostly on and around the tail. The constant chewing makes them more vulnerable to bacterial infections, a complication which causes even more itching. This is a vicious cycle, indeed. This particular skin problem is fondly known in veterinary circles and among other pet professionals as flea bite dermatitis or FAD. A skin allergy test can be performed by a vet to determine if a dog is allergic to flea saliva. Food Allergy This is one of the hardest allergies to detect and probably even harder to treat. Pets, for the most part, aren’t born with food allergies. More often than not they, like humans, can and do develop a hypersensitivity to food they have been eating for years, which causes us to overlook the possibility of a food allergy. Cats tend to become allergic to their most common protein like tuna, while dogs can be allergic to proteins such as chicken, beef and the proteins in corn and wheat. Food allergies manifest in a myriad of ways: itchy skin, licking of the feet (especially in dogs), shaking of the head, rubbing face on carpeting, coughing and rare digestive problems such as vomiting and diarrhea. They can also result in chronic ear infections in both dogs and cats. In list form, below is an overview of the many allergic symptoms, some already discussed. Common symptoms include: excessive licking under the tail chronic ear infections irritated skin with some hair loss licking front paws sores around the muzzle and face rubbing head shaking Rare symptoms include: asthma like symptoms behavioral change seizures Allergy Sleuths:  Detecting the Problem If you detect any of the above symptoms in your pet’s behavior, make an appointment with your vet. Though itching, for instance, can be caused by a variety of different things, your vet can perform diagnostic tests to differentiate between causes of itching. For more severe and complicated cases, your vet can refer you to a board certified dermatologist. The first step in allergy treatment is pinpointing not only the type of allergy, but what your pet is allergic to. This is done several ways. Skin test: To perform a skin test, the vet shaves some parts of the animal’s body and injects specific allergens into the skin to see if the skin welts. Blood test: Just like in humans, the vet takes blood and...

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Author: Bree
Posted: January 4, 2015, 4:48 pm
Happy New Year 2015

A special thank you to all our loyal customers who have been with us for years, as well as all our customers new to this past year! Since our inception in 2001, we have always strived to bring you the highest quality products and holistic pet information for your beloved babies so that they may live the longest, healthiest and happiest lives with you, their beloved pack leaders whom they love unconditionally! We hope that 2015 brings you and your precious pets all the warmth, love, health, compassion and good fortune you all deserve!  We’re looking forward to another exciting and successful year, and it is our mission to continue to provide all of you the personal and top-notch support you’ve all been accustomed to! Happy New Year to ALL of you, from ALL of us at

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Author: Bree
Posted: January 1, 2015, 1:15 pm
Twelve Days of Christmas Holiday Pet Tips

The following are tips to ensure your pets have a happy, healthy Christmas and New Year. 1. Pets can become overexcited, confused, stressed and frightened by the constant flow of holiday visitors. Offer your pet a safe, quiet retreat spot away from guests, especially young children. Let folks know the designated space is off-limits to ensure your pet is not surprised or bothered by someone unknown. 2. Chocolate, coffee and tea all contain dangerous components called xanthines, which can cause nervous or urinary system damage and heart muscle stimulation. Chocolate with theobromine is especially problematic because many dogs love the taste. Unsweetened baking chocolate and dark chocolate are the worst culprits, but all chocolate, fudge and other candy should be put out of your pet’s reach. 3. Don’t place alcoholic drinks in reach of pets. If ingested, alcohol can cause your pet to become ill and possibly go into a coma. Every year hundreds of pets die after consuming alcohol. 4. Cats and kittens are especially attracted to stringy, shiny tinsel, but if they eat it, the strands can easily get caught and tear their intestines. Ribbons, yarn and string can cause intestinal obstruction and bunching of the intestine. These conditions require surgery and can be fatal. Ribbons around your pet’s neck may look cute, but can be dangerous. 5. Many of the plants we have in our homes during the holidays can be poisonous to pets. If ingested, holly (leaves and berries) causes stomach upset and can be potentially fatal to both dogs and cats. Mistletoe upsets stomachs and can cause heart collapse, while hibiscus may cause diarrhea. Poinsettias have an irritating sap that can cause blistering in the mouth and as well as an upset stomach. Place plants well out of your pet’s reach or use imitation holiday plants. Visit for details. 6. Fatty foods such as traditional holiday foods including turkey, ham, gravy and drippings can cause stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea and even pancreatitis in some pets. Bones from meat and poultry can also cause problems if swallowed. Even a small cooked bone can splinter and cause tearing throughout the intestinal tract. 7. Additional potentially toxic foods include onions, grapes and raisins and macadamia nuts. Onions can cause anemia, grapes and raisins can lead to renal failure and macadamia nuts can cause muscle tremors and hyperthermia. 8. Dogs with wagging tails and cats who like to climb can easily knock over your Christmas tree. Place trees in a stable stand and attach the tree securely to a window or wall with something like fish line. 9. Chewing on electrical cords, including cords of lights can cause problems ranging from burned mouths, to electrical shock to death by electrocution. Some larger lights can become quite hot and could also cause burns. Unplug decorative lights when you are not home and use pet-proof extension cords if possible. 10. Both dogs and cats will often play with glass ornaments as if they were toy balls and serious oral lacerations can result. Sharp ornament hooks can also become imbedded in your pet’s mouth or esophagus. Place ornaments that are shiny or could be swallowed or broken high up on your tree. 11. Always ensure your pet is wearing current, visible identification. With the more frequent comings-and-goings, it’s easy for your pet to slip out of the house when opening the door for holiday visitors or bringing in gifts from a shopping excursion. 12. Giving pets as Christmas gifts is an unwise idea. Pets are for life, not just for Christmas and many of them end up unwanted or neglected. If someone is thinking about getting a new pet, give the prospective adopter a variety of toys, treats, food, books, bowls and/or pet supply certificate. That way, the family can choose their own pet in their own time and make an educated, well-researched decision.

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Author: Bree
Posted: December 9, 2014, 2:31 pm
Keep Pets Jolly for the Holidays

If you don’t own a pet, please pass on to those you know who do have pets, please! KEEPING PETS JOLLY FOR THE HOLIDAYS: Taking steps to keep your feathered and furry family members safe for the holiday season can help avoid those stressful … and expensive … pet emergency care visits. 1.  Anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn’t tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pets.  Make sure to use a tree skirt or other covering so pets don’t drink water out of the tree stand. 2.  Hang tinsel well out of pets’ reach.  If ingested, it could block the intestines. 3.  Keep electrical cords and wires out of the reach of your pets.  Chewing on lighting wire can cause an electrical shock and burns. 4.  Mistletoe, holly and poinsettia are poisonous to both cats and dogs.  Don’t leave decorative plants where pets can nibble on them. 5.  Unattended alcoholic beverages may small enticing to your pets, but ingesting them could cause respiratory failure or might even be fatal. 6.  Confetti can be extremely toxic or become lodged in the intestines if ingested.  Noisy ‘party poppers’ can also damage your pets’ hearing.

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Author: Bree
Posted: December 4, 2014, 1:48 pm
Holiday Gift Baskets for Dogs

Our companion animals give us love all year long, and the holidays are a wonderful time for us to give back.  Life’s Abundance Holiday Baskets are the perfect gifts for your pets and your pet friends. They are also a great way to create good will!  Gift Baskets are on Sale NOW! Holiday Gift Basket for Dogs 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 treats, a bag of Tasty Rewards and a plush, squeak toy, we’ve also included a can of our Turkey & Shrimp Breakfast and our Chicken & Crab Dinner. Everything is neatly-bundled in a decorative, reusable basket.* Limited quantity … they go fast, so order your dog gift baskets here now! ONLY $19.95 – RETAIL VALUE $32.00 Holiday Gift Basket for Cats 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, Gourmet Cat Treats, a can of Instinctive Choice and a bottle of our Wellness Food Supplements, these baskets are a wonderful way to show just how much you care. All of these goodies are packed in a festive, reusable basket.* Limited quantity … they go fast, so order your cat gift baskets here now! ONLY $14.95 – RETAIL VALUE $21.00 For holiday shows or street fairs, you can use the gift baskets as lovely raffle prizes. Say “thanks” to good customers for their year-long patronage with gift baskets. If you are a pet professional with your own retail establishment, you can order several gift baskets and display them for impulse purchases. Or, you can promote the products with your own holiday raffle, providing baskets to a handful of winners. This will create great holiday excitement among your clients, and it’s a fun way to reward them for their patronage. For brand new pet parents, these gift baskets are a wonderful way to welcome a new addition to the family. Quantities are limited and the Holiday Gift Baskets go very fast! Limited quantity … order your Dog Gift Baskets here! Limited quantity … order your Cat Gift Baskets here! *Basket pattern and toys may vary Happy Holidays!

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Author: Bree
Posted: December 2, 2014, 9:10 pm
Stuff the Turkey - Not Your Pet

As you and your entire family sit around the dinner table this Thanksgiving, you may be tempted to invite the dog or cat to join you as you indulge in the mountain of goodies. Thanksgiving is all about sharing, but if you think Max and Paws might like just a taste of turkey or a few giblets, think again! That high-fat treat could land your pet in the hospital with a potentially life-threatening condition called pancreatitis. It’s hard to say no to those big brown eyes, but you should. “It just isn’t worth it when you think about the possibility for an extended hospital stay that could easily cost $1,000,” says Dr. Jana Gordon, resident in small animal medicine at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana. Still thinking about ladling a little gravy on Max’s Thanksgiving dog chow? Dr. Gordon recommends that pet owners completely abstain from feeding any table foods to pets. But things that typically cause problems for pets this time of year include the giblets, bones, skin, dark meat, pie and dessert, potatoes and butter- coated vegetables, gravy, and stuffing. “Any high-fat food is going to cause increased demand on the pancreas,” says Dr. Gordon. “They shouldn’t have any of it, not anything. Not just because of pancreatitis, but also because strange food and sudden diet changes can change the bacterial flora of a dog or cat’s gut, which can lead to diarrhea and vomiting.” Signs of pancreatitis in dogs are vomiting, diarrhea, depression, and not eating after recent ingestion of high-fat foods. To diagnose the problem, a veterinarian will need to take blood and may do an abdominal ultrasound and other tests. Treatment means trying to rest the pancreas — hospitalization, intravenous fluids, no food, and lots of supportive care. So give thanks for great pets and give them your time instead of your turkey feast. If Max runs off with the Butterball, be on the lookout for signs of pancreatitis, and call your local veterinarian.

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Author: Bree
Posted: November 27, 2014, 2:05 pm
Stinky Cheese Turkey Balls Recipe for Dogs

While running back out to the store for a few last-minute Thanksgiving dinner or dessert items, why not pick up a pack of ground turkey and a few other little items (if you don’t already have them at home) so you can whip up some delicious tasty stinky cheese turkey balls for your dog.  Your dog can enjoy her/his own turkey dinner while the family indulges in theirs!   They’re very easy to make and can even be made by a little human helper while you’re busy preparing the big stuff!  1 1/2 lb. Ground Turkey 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese (preferably fresh grated) 1 Cup Steamed and Mashed Sweet Potato 1 Cup Quick Oats Some chopped up fresh Parsley Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the above ingredients in a large bowl. Make 1″ balls, place them on a non greased baking sheet and bake for 15 min. or until done (your oven may differ from mine). Keep refrigerated in an air tight container. Freeze any that won’t be used within a couple of days. These are great treats to use when training and can be easily broken into smaller pieces.  Colbie and Rocky give them two paws up! REMEMBER to either refrigerate or freeze all natural treats to avoid spoilage and insect infestation.

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Author: Bree
Posted: November 25, 2014, 12:38 pm
Dog Showing Aggressive Behavior

Stop Aggressive Behavior – Stopping Puppy, Canine and Feline Aggression Naturally A pet that displays signs of aggressive behavior can be very alarming. Many owners tear their hair out trying to control their errant animals while at the same time trying desperately to find a reason for their behavior. Although some breeds are definitely more aggressive than others, experts say there are usually underlying reasons for aggressive behavior such as fear, insecurity, stress, problems relating to breeding, jealousy, past abuse, illness and pain. Aggressive behavior can be limited to specific situations such as the dog that barks or attacks the postman or it can be unpredictable, which is even more worrying. Aggressive behavior in dogs can include biting, barking, snarling, snapping and raised fur along the back of the neck and along the ridge of the spine. Aggression in cats can include scratching, biting, excessive yowling, lunging, hissing, spitting and destructive behavior. What you can do…we highly recommend you try PetAlive Aggression Formula – An Herbal and Homeopathic Remedy for Aggressive Behavior in Dogs and Cats! PetAlive Aggression Formula contains a unique combination of specially selected herbal and homeopathic ingredients well known to calm anxious and highly strung animals and also to reduce aggression levels and related problem behavior in highly strung and nervous pets. Especially aimed at pets that tend to bite, scratch or otherwise attack either humans or other animals, PetAlive Aggression Formula helps to treat the problem of aggression in socially stressed pets and allows your pet to relax and enjoy the company of other people and animals. Learn more about PetAlive Aggression Formula, Ingredients and Dosage and Testimonials »

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Author: Bree
Posted: November 24, 2014, 7:29 pm
Wheat Grain

Grains?  In Commercial Pet Food??? Most commercial diets are not well-suited to the dog’s and cat’s physical make up and metabolism. In other words, they are not ‘biologically appropriate.’  They are primarily made up of grain products. Contemporary canine nutritionists explain that dogs do not process complex carbohydrates (grains) well.  Studies demonstrate that unlike humans, dogs do not ‘carbo-load,’ that is, store up energy from meals high in complex carbohydrates.  While human athletes successfully practice this technique, it results in an accumulation of lactic acid in dogs (which causes the muscular pain experienced after unaccustomed exercise). Grains are also full of carbohydrates which can be easily converted to sugars. Cancer cells feed on sugars, and it is believed that by decreasing the amount of carbohydrate in the diet, we may greatly reduce the risk of cancer (which is a growing problem among modern dogs and cats). The makers of prescription dog foods advertise the use of high-quality, whole grains in their food.  They say these provide and “excellent source of protein” for dogs.  Large amounts of grain may be an appropriate source of protein for some species…but NOT so for animals primarily designed to eat meat! Which brings me to what ‘grains’ in commercial pet food really are.  When whole grain is used in dog food (and even cat food), it has often been deemed unfit for human consumption due to mold, contaminants, or poor handling practices.  Some brands reportedly contain damaged, spilled, and spoiled grain known as “the tail of the mill.”  This can include the hulls, chaff, straw, dust, dirt, and sand swept from the mill floor at the end of each week, which are totally unnatural nutritional ingredients!  Most of these ingredients, such as peanut hulls, are used strictly for “filler” and have no nutritional value at all!  They are also economical for the pet food companies! Imagine AAFCO approving ‘the tail of the mill’ as acceptable grains in your pet’s diet! Unbelievable!!! GRAINS – Could this be why my pet scratches constantly? Yes, grains (mainly wheat and ‘the tail of the mill’ ingredients) are one of the most common causes of allergies in pets.  Grains can also be responsible for “gunky” ears, yeast infections in the ears or on the skin, ear infections, head shaking, allergies, skin irritation, itchy feet and genitals.  Other symptoms of grains and yeast infections may be as broad ranging as: malabsorption of food nutrients, joint problems, arthritis, diabetes, colitis and kidney or bladder infections. Too much money has already been spent by American pet owners to their veterinarians, to find out the cause of the above-mentioned symptoms.  It’s a shame that most veterinarians do not take their patient’s diet into consideration FIRST, when, in fact, most of these symptoms are directly related to what the pet is eating.  Instead, great amounts of needless money are spent on pills, creams, antibiotics, injections, blood work and frequent vet visits. Be a step or two ahead of your veterinarian…look at the ingredients in the food you’re presently feeding, study them and see just what particular ingredient could be causing your pet’s allergic reaction(s). If you’re still feeding one of those popular commercial pet foods, I can almost guarantee that more than one ingredient is the culprit! is proud to represent the all natural line of Life’s Abundance, which is all wheat, corn, gluten and dairy-free!  For complete product details, to listen to an online presentation by Dr. Jane Bicks (product formulator) and to compare your brand of pet food to Life’s Abundance, please click here! Flint River Ranch is also proud to announce the addition of their Grain-Free Cat and Kitten Food, suitable for all life stages!  Details here!

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Author: Bree
Posted: November 23, 2014, 5:33 am
Chicken from China

Well this is very interesting, and very scarey, to say the least!  It’s not bad enough that pet treats imported from China have sickened so many of our beloved pets, but now the very chicken we humans consume on a daily basis may also be coming from China?  Keep in mind, while reading the article below, that this same imported chicken could also be used in your pet’s food.  Why wouldn’t it be?…it’s already approved for human use! Genuine General Tso’s chicken may soon be on the plate. The Department of Agriculture will allow Chinese poultry processing companies to ship fully cooked, frozen and refrigerated chicken to the United States. Food safety advocates have been predicting the announcement since the department last year approved the export of chicken raised in the United States to be processed in China. But shipping chicken to China for processing and then shipping it back here has proved uneconomical, and no American poultry firm has done so. Earlier this year, a major meat supplier to McDonald’s got caught up in a food scandal after a Chinese television station broadcast video showing workers in its Shanghai plant doctoring labels on chicken and beef products and scooping up meat that had fallen on the ground and putting it back on conveyor belts for processing. The country has also had frequent outbreaks of deadly avian influenza, and the Food and Drug Administration attributed the deaths of more than 500 dogs and some cats to chicken jerky treats from China. School lunch advocates have been especially worried about Chinese chicken potentially ending up on trays. Nancy Huehnergarth, a nutrition policy consultant, has noted that processed chicken does not require country of origin labeling and predicted that it would end up in chicken nuggets and chicken soup. According to the Congressional Research Service, China has wanted its chicken to be accepted as a quid pro quo for lifting a ban it imposed on United States beef products in 2003 after a cow in Washington state was found to have mad cow disease. Source:

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Author: Bree
Posted: November 17, 2014, 7:04 pm
Bach Rescue Remedy for Pets

Rescue Remedy – First-Aid Kit in a Bottle… Rescue Remedy (RR) is a Bach Flower remedy. The Bach Flower Remedies are “essences” or “energies” of various plants, each plant carrying its own therapeutic healing vibration. Because of this, flower remedies are extremely safe, and there is no way in which the user can overdose on them. Rescue Remedy is the most popular Bach Flower Remedy in North America (and probably in many other parts of the world). It’s not a single remedy, but a combination of five: Rock Rose: For terror and panic Impatiens: for irritability, nervousness, and tension Cherry Plum: For fear of losing control Star of Bethlehem: For trauma, shock, and numbness Clematis: For unconsciousness I’ve used Rescue remedy for driving-related traumas, physical injuries (especially cuts), fear-related insomnia, stressful situations, and other purposes. It has been especially helpful to me preceding a visit to the dentist, before appearing for jury duty, and when we were moving Beyond the Rainbow to its website. (We just kept the bottle by the computer). People I know have taken it before and after surgery, during labor and after childbirth, and for a wide range of traumas. I insert here the usual disclaimer that Rescue Remedy is no substitute for medical treatment; however, in my experience and that of others it has helped to alleviate the mental and emotional stresses which can worsen a medical emergency. Rescue Remedy can be used in many different ways: after a seizure to reduce pacing and other post-ictal behaviors; to reduce stress in various situations, including visits to the vet, thunderstorms, fireworks, having company in the home, etc. Anything that causes your dog to experience stress (both “good” and “bad” stress) can potentially lead to seizure activity and by lessening the effects of the stressor on the dog’s system, seizures may be prevented or the severity and/or number lessened. Many of us use Rescue Remedy with our epi-dogs and non-epis as well.  Some dogs do not respond to Rescue Remedy, post-ictally (after a seizure), however. In addition to using the RR after seizures, many people use the remedy in stressful situations and find that it has helped to calm their dogs in situations of panic and hyperactivity, such as prior to a vet visit, or when there is a lot of household commotion or change of routine. Some people believe that it may also calm their dogs enough to avoid a seizure if used when pre-ictal (before a seizure) behavior is present. You need only give a couple of drops of Flower Remedies with each dose. Actually, it is not the amount given, but the *frequency* in which the remedy is given, that determines its effectiveness. In particularly stressful situations, giving 2-3 drops of RR every 15 to 30 minutes until the stressful situation has passed is most effective. Some people add a few drops to their pet’s water bowl or food. Also, if RR needs to be given during a seizure, it is not recommended that the remedy be administered orally. Many people squirt a drop or two on the dog’s forehead or bedding during the actual seizure. How to Actually Take It It’s generally recommended that if you feel that you need a mixture with two or more of the remedies in Rescue Remedy that it makes more sense to use Rescue Remedy itself in your mixture. It counts as one remedy; however, you add four drops to your mixture instead of the usual two. In an immediate crisis you can take it directly from the bottle, four drops at a time, as frequently as every twenty minutes, or put the four drops in a glass of water and sip it often. Do be careful about taking it on an empty stomach, as Rescue Remedy, like all Bach Flower Remedies, is preserved in brandy. Giving It To Others Rescue Remedy can be given to people who are unconscious. Because lawsuits are popular activities I don’t suggest that you give Rescue Remedy to a stranger. However, if an friend of yours needs it you can put it on pulse points, such as the temples and wrists. I’ve given it several times to birds who flew into a glass window or door. Put a few drops on or into the beak. This often creates an immediate recovery. In general, Rescue Remedy can be very helpful for animals in cases of physical or emotional trauma. For animals up to human size put four drops in the drinking water. For larger animals increase the dosage to ten drops. Cats, in particular, don’t like the smell or taste of alcohol. Rub the Rescue Remedy behind their ears; they’ll hate it, but it’s good for them. It’s also good for plants when you repot them, or if they are looking unhappy. Above all, don’t be limited by my suggestions. The uses of Rescue Remedy are virtually limitless. Conclusion The following information is taken from Bach Flower Remedies for Animals written by Helen Graham and Gregory Vlamis. In the section on dosages, it says: “Flower essences (FEs) are administered in drops, a single drop at a time. They are normally given by mouth. Five days is the average period of treatment, although they can be continued for two weeks or longer. Dosage varies with the particular situation and the animal species being treated. The standard dose is 4 drops. More drops are not harmful, but wasteful. Fewer drops can be used if the animal is quite small (squirrels, hamsters, rabbits). For large breeds of dogs (St. Bernards, Great Danes), sheep and goats, 6 drops should be given. Horses and cows get 10-15 drops. These can be given as often as necessary but at least four times daily. Drops can be applied directly on or under the animal’s tongue, dropped onto the nose to be licked off, or rubbed into the gums or lips. They also can be added to water, food, treats, etc., but this is not as reliable because you...

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Author: Bree
Posted: November 11, 2014, 7:10 pm
Scoop on Poop

The Scoop on Poop Though it’s the opposite end of nutrition, checking your pet’s stool can help you and your veterinarian decide if your animal companion has any health issues that need addressing. What may seem like an offensive pile of feces can actually shed light on your pet’s internal functions. The first sign of health issues is the form of the stool. If it’s liquid or loose (overly soft), there’s something happening inside the pet. Other examinations and tests can assess exactly what may be wrong. Another sign that the animal isn’t in optimal health is if there’s a covering over the stool that looks like plastic food wrap. This means that there is an irritation within the digestive tract. If it only occurs occasionally, then harsh snacks or plants are usually to blame. This condition may be more common in younger animals while they’re teething, which results in chewing on and ingesting extraneous material. If the stool is darker than normal, it’s wise to bring it to your veterinarian for examination. The stool may contain blood at varying amounts. Before jumping to the conclusion that there’s something wrong with your pet if the stool is dark, make sure to take into consideration that some foods can cause darker stools. If the stool is loose, and you’re recently switched your pet’s diet, here’s some great information on how to properly introduce new food and what to do if your pet’s stools are loose, as a result.  Click here on How to Introduce New Foods to your Pet! For example, darker meat like lamb contains increased levels of myoglobin in the muscle, which causes dark stools in healthy animals. On the lighter side of the spectrum, if your pet produces stool that is hard and white-colored, the pup’s diet contains too much calcium. Not as easily related to a simple food imbalance, hard and small pieces of feces warrant a visit to the veterinarian. On the other hand, if the stool contains large, very soft pieces, then it can be the sign of a couple issues. It may mean that the animal is being fed too much. Otherwise, the pet may have an enzyme deficiency. If this is the case, your veterinarian can check the level of trypsin in the stool or blood sample; and the doctor may want to provide an enzyme supplement if needed. If the poop problem is due to an absence or difficult passage, your pet likely needs more roughage in the diet. Dry food has more roughage than wet food, and more roughage will produce more stools that are not as hard. This is why it’s often recommended to feed wet food to animals while house training them: it produces less stools. Though it’s certainly easier to monitor what an animal eats than what it excretes, it’s wise to know the appearance of your pet’s normal stools. If that appearance ever changes, it gives you a head start to examine possible health issues developing!

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Author: Bree
Posted: November 6, 2014, 6:54 pm
Submissive Urination - Not a Housebreaking Problem

Submissive Urination is Not a Housebreaking Problem Believe it or not, this is not a house training problem. It has to do with some normal canine behavior patterns that you can and should deal with in a positive way. Dogs are instinctively programmed to accept the authority of creatures (animal and human) that they consider to be superior to them. They seek the approval of their superiors and are eager to please them. Many dog owners prefer a dog who is submissive to people and eager to please, and selective breeding has produced many domestic dogs with this characteristic. Some dogs are more submissive than others. Very submissive dogs, shy dogs that lack self-confidence and often young pups will urinate when in the presence of more dominant dogs and humans. It’s their instinctive way of telling the superior “You are my Supreme Master. Your wish is my command. Please don’t hurt me!” Puppies usually outgrow this behavior as they mature. Dogs who are naturally shy, insecure, extremely submissive, or who have been abused may continue to exhibit submission in this way even as adults. It is generally an involuntary, subconscious reflex. The dog isn’t deliberately trying to do it. As a matter of fact, he may not even be aware that he’s doing it at the time! Many dog owners mistakenly believe that this type of urination is a house training problem, and try to correct it with discipline. To their dismay and frustration, rather than improving, the dog’s problem gets worse! Because the message he’s sending is misunderstood by the owner, the dog is caught in a vicious cycle – his instincts tell him to urinate to please his superior by showing submission. But when he does, he is punished. He then tries harder to please by urinating even more. This results in more punishment, and still more urination. After a time, the dog may become so confused and insecure that he urinates at the mere sight of a human being or another dog. If discipline won’t solve the problem, what will? Your task is to take the excitement and stress out of the periods that previously triggered submissive urination. Get cooperation from all members of the family. When you first get home, you can anticipate that the dog will get excited and urinate so you need to minimize the excitement. Instead of an enthusiastic greeting to your dog, quietly walk in the door and go about your business. Let him outside to pee as usual, but without any fanfare. If you talk to him at all, just say “Hi Rover” in a calm, casual tone of voice. Don’t make eye contact with him or pet him. After he settles down, very gently crouch down to his level presenting to him sideways (this makes you very non-threatening), then calmly and quietly praise him and tell him he’s good. Be sure to tell your family and visitors to do the same. Do everything you can to boost your dog’s confidence. As he becomes more confident, he may feel less of a need to display extreme submissive behavior: Positive reinforcement obedience training does wonders for a dog’s confidence! An untrained dog is doesn’t know how to communicate with humans or how to behave, but the trained dog understands what’s expected of him, and the words you say to him. He’s confident because he has the tools with which to please his superiors. Socialization at training classes, dog daycare, at the park, or just going with you on errands and to visit friends can do wonders for your dog’s confidence. Have guests over who are willing to help out with this problem. Agility training is another wonderfully fun way to boost your dog’s confidence using physical obstacles and mental stimulation as well as new human words to understand and obey. Incorporate basic obedience (Sit, Stay, Fetch, Come, etc.) into your daily life and when your dog obeys, he gains confidence through your praise. Just don’t overdo the praise (this can result in a puddle!). A simple “Good boy” and gentle pat is enough. Minimize the occasions your dog makes you want to scold him; think about what your dog does that causes you to scold him. For example, does he get into the trash, steal your children’s toys or chew on your sneakers? By simply putting a lid on the trash can or putting it into a closet and requiring your family to pick up after themselves, these situations can be eliminated. The easier you make it for your dog to do what you want, the quicker he’ll learn and his confidence will grown. On the other hand, discipline, scolding and physical punishment will simply reduce his confidence and worsen your submissive urination problem. Dogs, especially shy or submissive ones, are very sensitive to body language and tone of voice. Bending over a dog is a “dominant” posture that may provoke an accident. Instead, get down to your dog’s level by crouching or kneeling, preferably at his side rather than head-on. These dogs are often intimidated by direct eye contact as well. Look at your dog’s face without looking directly into his eyes, and only for very short periods. If you are expecting guests, take your dog for a walk and get his bladder emptied ahead of time, and restrict water consumption for an hour before your guests are to arrive. When speaking to your dog, use a calm, confident, moderate tone of voice. Avoid very high or low extremes in pitch. Don’t “coochy-coo” or babytalk to your dog either. These tones can create excitement that results in submissive urination. Don’t scold or punish your dog for urinating submissively. It will only make things worse. He can’t be held responsible for something he doesn’t understand or even know he’s doing. Instead, use these methods to get to the root of the matter: His basic insecurity and lack of confidence. When he’s made progress in these areas, submissive urination often disappears on...

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Author: Bree
Posted: November 4, 2014, 1:18 pm
Halloween Pet Costumes

Happy Halloween! If you’re like many pet parents, you love celebrating howlidays with your companion animals. No matter how you get your All Hallows’ Eve groove on, it’s always a good idea to take some precautions to ensure that your pet kid stays purrfectly safe. Halloween pet costumes are adorable and fun for people, but some costumes can stress out your dog or cat. Just because it’s for sale doesn’t mean it’s safe, as some pet apparel can be downright dangerous. Please, don’t ever force your furry four-footer to wear a costume he or she obviously hates. Halloween doesn’t have to be spooky … just follow Dr. Sarah’s helpful advice, dished out in the latest episode of Pet Talk. If you’re one of the many pet parents who celebrate by dressing their fur-kids in ghoulish costumes, there are precautions you need to be aware of, to prevent scenarios that are really scary. Plus, our staff veterinarian doles out tips to prevent your dog from being spooked by their own holiday garb. Pull up a chair and sit a spell!  Source:  Dr. Sarah, Life’s Abundance Staff Veterinarian

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Author: Bree
Posted: October 30, 2014, 2:01 pm
Dogs Stolen from Yard

Cicero man says men stole 3 dogs from his backyard Wednesday, October 15, 2014 10:30PM CICERO, Ill. (WLS) — A suburban man says that two men jumped his backyard fence and stole his niece’s three dogs on Tuesday. The incident in the 1500-block of South Laramie in Cicero was captured on surveillance video. “I just don’t understand why they treated them the way they did, throw them over the fence they way they did, putting them in the trunk,” said Kenneth Olivo. Olivo says at least two neighbors also had dogs stolen and believes the same men were involved. Source: PLEASE consider SHARING this!  Perhaps someone will recognize these horrible thieves and their vehicle!  

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Author: Bree
Posted: October 16, 2014, 1:16 pm
Life's Abundance Gift Certificates

Looking for a last-minute “instant” gift for that special pet or pet parent?  Now you can give the gift of health any time of the year with Life’s Abundance Gift Certificates (which can be purchased in any amount from $5.00 up to $500.00)! This is the most perfect way to introduce the safest and healthiest pet, people and planet products (our opinion, of course) to those you care about the most! It is so easy to order a Gift Certificate. Just click on this link and simply select from three attractive designs, choose the amount of your gift and enter the recipient’s email address. You can even include a personalized message. The recipient will receive an email with a unique gift certificate code, along with a printable version of the gift certificate.  With no hidden fees and no expiration dates, recipients can redeem these gift certificates for any Life’s Abundance products on the web sites or by phone order. Order your Gift Certificates Here   »

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Author: Bree
Posted: October 14, 2014, 11:47 am
Simply Nourish Biscotti Dog Treats Recall

Simply Nourish Biscotti with Beef and Sweet Potatoes Dog Treats Recall Loving Pets Corporation has announced a voluntary recall of the following expiration date of Simply Nourish Biscotti with Beef & Sweet Potatoes Dog Treats due to the potential of mold growth. No other Simply Nourish or Loving Pets treats are affected Product Description SKU UPC Expiration Date Simply Nourish Biscotti with Beef & Sweet Potatoes Dog Treats 5203800 73725747061 EXP 02.16   It is recommended that you immediately stop using the specified product and return it to any PetSmart store for a full refund. To receive a full refund, please bring your receipt or a copy of this email to your local PetSmart store. Our store associates can help you find a replacement. If you have any personal or pet health concerns please contact your health care provider or veterinarian. For any additional questions related to this Product Recall please call the Loving Pets Corporation at 1-866-599-7387. For more immediate communication from PetSmart, please register your email address with PetPerks® at At PetSmart, we are pet parents too, and care about the well being of you and your pets. We’ll continue to do everything we can to help you and your pet during this time. Source:  PetSmart NewsRoom

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Author: Bree
Posted: October 8, 2014, 7:00 pm
Clean Dog Ears

Cleaning your dog’s ears can be a daunting task. It’s not unusual to hear pet parents say they are unsure about how to do this routine procedure. Repeated head shaking. Foul-smelling, waxy build-up. Red, painfully inflamed ears. What do all these things have in common? All are symptoms of otitis externa, or what is commonly referred to as ear infections. If you have ever groaned inwardly and felt dismay the moment your dog starts shaking his head or rubbing his ears along the nearest available surface, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, too many pet parents are more than familiar with this recurring medical problem. Often, it is accompanied by an offensive odor and one can only imagine how overwhelming the smell is to the suffering pup! Canine ear infections result from an overgrowth of yeast or bacteria in the ear canal, causing redness, irritation and a heavy accumulation of wax. Likely triggers of these maladies are skin reactions to inhaled allergens – like pollen, mold or dust mites – or food allergies and sensitivities. Be aware that both large ears and swimming predispose dogs to ear infections. Humans tend to develop ear infections as a result of viral infections, typically in infancy or early youth. As youngsters, our Eustachian tubes are very small. Respiratory congestion can lead to blockage of these canals, resulting in otitis media (a middle ear infection). Because the infection is internal, they frequently require oral antibiotics. In contrast, pets usually develop ear infections as adults, and the infection is almost always localized in the external portion of the ear. In most cases, the application of prescription drops or ointments directly into the ear canal usually resolves the illness. If you suspect your companion animal may be suffering from an ear infection, please seek veterinarian assistance for diagnosis and treatment. If necessary, your vet may prescribe a topical medicine and advise routine cleaning. In this episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah, Life’s Abundance Staff Veterinarian, reveals the simple steps to safe and effective cleaning to promote overall ear health.

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Author: Bree
Posted: October 5, 2014, 1:22 pm
Adorable Puppy and Kitten

Over the years, commercial pet food companies have come up with some of the most confusing variations in which formula to feed our pets, especially when it comes to our precious puppies and kittens. This can be compared to getting a cold and not quite sure whether you should purchase the cold medicine for sniffles, coughs, runny nose, fever, allergy, non-drowsy, alcohol free, headaches, sneezing, and all the other slew of symptoms nasty colds allow us to experience. Have you ever stood in the cold medicine aisle in your pharmacy, just staring at all the products available to you, trying to decide which one is the best one for your present symptom(s)? If you’re not nodding your head up and down, then you’re braver than most of us! Why all the confusion by the pet food companies? Because they’re trying to out-do the competition with the best formula, cutest puppy & kitten pictures, most colorful packaging, great price, still neglecting to tell you that their ‘baby’ food contains harsh chemicals and by-products, that will set the stage for the future adult health of your pet, which is why most pets, who have been fed commercial food since day one, have so many health problems as adults today! Now for the simple truth, if a food is high quality (and all natural), there is no need to feed a puppy or kitten food separately. All natural food, such as Life’s Abundance, was formulated, fed and tested according to nutritional profiles of AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officials) for ALL stages of life; puppy/kitten and senior included. While many people think that puppies and kittens need more calcium than adults, according to AAFCO, both ‘baby’ and adult food requires a 1/1 ratio of calcium to phosphorous; which is what the above-mentioned food contain. These foods are also great for seniors because they are highly digestible and contain high quality protein that seniors require.  Life’s Abundance’s line also contains digestive enzymes/probiotics, powerful antioxidants, namely ActiVin, which is derived from grape seed extract, and contains NO wheat, corn or dairy. All natural and holistic foods are excellent alternatives to those pet owners who don’t have the time to feed a homemade or raw diet for dogs, or who are still in the research process of learning how to feed a homemade or raw diet. So, if you’re already feeding an all natural & holistic food to your adult baby, then feel great about feeding it to your baby-baby! compare your brand of dog food » compare your brand of cat food » read Life’s Abundance most frequently asked questions » read more about Dr. Jane Bicks, Life’s Abundance’s product formulator » become a Life’s Abundance Field Rep Distributor  » free dog and cat food and treat samples  »

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Author: Bree
Posted: October 2, 2014, 1:56 pm
Pumpkin Dogs

I don’t know about you, but it seems like all I see in the grocery store these days are pumpkins… and lots of them piled high outside in bins… and I guess it’s not surprising with Halloween right around the corner. I’ve never really thought of pumpkin as a fruit but that is the correct classification. It’s not a vegetable as many people believe. Pumpkin has been described as a “ mystery food”, a “super food” and the “miracle” for pets because it is able to cure symptoms of diarrhea as well as constipation. But before you begin any treatment like this, it’s always wise to consult your veterinarian just to be sure of the underlying cause of the problem. What makes pumpkin so special? Pumpkin is rich in carotenoids, beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, magnesium, zinc, potassium, vitamin A, iron and of course FIBER! It’s low in calories too. In fact, foods like pumpkin that are so rich in carotenoids have been shown to decrease the risk of various cancers and the two carotenes found in pumpkin – beta and alpha-carotene are very powerful phytonutrients. Some of the other health benefits of pumpkin are: A resistance to infection Improved night vision Improved blood pressure Added support in the production of healthy red blood cells. Now let’s get back to your pet… You can effectively relieve your pet’s digestive upset in a matter of a few hours by simply adding a puree of canned pumpkin to your dog’s regular food. You can buy canned pumpkin in almost any store. Be sure you get 100% natural canned pumpkin (organic if possible) and not the sweetened pumpkin filling that is used for those delicious pies! You can get this natural remedy at your local supermarket. The pumpkin puree is a good source of fiber and it has a high water content that will help with both constipation as well as bouts of diarrhea. The water in the pumpkin will hydrate the intestine, which is needed to relieve the constipation and the high fiber content will absorb the excess water that is generated from the loose stool of an agitated colon. How much should you feed your pet? This all depends on the size of your pet but a good rule of thumb is two teaspoons daily for small breed dogs (under 15 pounds), 2 tablespoons for dogs 15-35 pounds and for large/giant breeds you can give up to 5 tablespoons of pureed pumpkin per day. This year, instead of letting that leftover pumpkin go to waste, use it to help “trick” your pet’s digestive system into proper working order. This will “treat” your dog or cat using natural remedies instead of conventional treatments. Your pets will thank you for it! Source:   Robert Mueller, BSc, Pharm. is a registered pharmacist, author of “Living Enzymes: The World’s Best Kept Pet Food Secret”, and co-developer of BARF World’s BARF diets patties, nuggets and supplements – the first company to make the Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (BARF) diet conveniently available to animals everywhere. NOTE:  Once your pet’s stools have returned to normal, STOP the canned pumpkin immediately OR it will have the reverse effect.  Yes, pure canned pumpkin works both ways! 

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Author: Bree
Posted: September 30, 2014, 6:08 pm
Veterinarian Checking Dog

End of Life Considerations by Dr. Jane Bicks While there are many articles on how to determine when it’s time to say goodbye to your pet, there are significantly fewer on how to work with your veterinarian during this trying period. That’s why Dr. Jane has written an in-depth post on the topic, to help you communicate effectively with your vet when determining the best course of action, both for you and your companion animal. Our readers are sure to appreciate our good doctor’s delicate treatment of this difficult subject. 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....

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Author: Bree
Posted: September 30, 2014, 1:02 am
Improving Kitty Behavior Tips Video

All sorts of bad feline behavior can stem from home-environment causes. And that’s a good thing, because it’s possible to make changes fairly easily. If your kitty is displaying symptoms of a behavioral disorder – from unexpected aggression to failure to use the litter box – the solution could be as simple as making improvements to your cat’s surroundings.  Dr. Sarah, Life’s Abundance Staff Veterinarian, shares her surprisingly simple tips that you can implement at home, to help your feline feel purringly content. Did you know that when you make simple changes to enrich your cat’s life you reap the benefits as well? From eliminating outside the litter box to aggression, even inappropriate scratching, these and other behavioral disorders of indoor cats can be treated simply by making improvements to your cat’s environment. Don’t forget to share this video with other kitty parents! Source:  Dr. Sarah, Life’s Abundance Staff Veterinarian

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Author: Bree
Posted: September 29, 2014, 5:33 pm
Bravo Recalls Select Chicken and Turkey Pet Foods

Bravo Recalls Select Chicken and Turkey Pet Foods Because of Possible Salmonella Health Risk Consumer: 866-922-9222 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 26, 2014 – (Manchester, CT) Bravo of Manchester, CT is recalling select lots of Bravo Turkey and Chicken pet foods for dogs and cats because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products. Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers. 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 recalled product was distributed nationwide beginning on November 14, 2013 to distributors, retail stores, internet retailers and directly to consumers. The product can be identified by the batch ID code (best used by date) printed on the side of the plastic tube. 1) These products are being recalled because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. RAW FOOD DIET BRAVO! TURKEY BLEND FOR DOGS AND CATS Product Number: 31-102 Size: 2 lb. (32 OZ) plastic tubes Best used by date: 11-05-15 UPC: 829546311025 Keep Frozen Bravo! Blends All Natural Chicken Blend diet for dogs & cats Product Number: 21-102 Size: 2 lb. (32 OZ) plastic tubes Best used by date: 08-11-16 UPC: 829546211028 Keep Frozen 2) These products are being recalled out of an abundance of caution because they were manufactured in the same manufacturing facility or on the same day as products that tested positive. Premium Turkey Formula BRAVO Balance RAW DIET Product Number: 31-405 Size: 5 lb. (80 OZ) 2.3KG plastic tubes Best used by date: 11-05-15 UPC: 829546314057 Keep Frozen Bravo! Blends All Natural Chicken Blend diet for dogs & cats Product Number: 21-105 Size: 5 lb. (80 OZ) 2.3KG plastic tubes Best used by date: 08-11-16 UPC: 829546211059 Keep Frozen The recall was initiated after routine testing by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture revealed the presence of Salmonella in two lots of product. This batch tested negative by a third party independent laboratory prior to release for distribution to consumers. No additional products affected by this recall. The company has received no reports of illness in either people or animals associated with these products to date. In addition to the voluntary recall of the above products, Bravo has chosen to voluntarily withdraw the following poultry products from the marketplace to provide its customers with the certainty of safety. Those products include all sizes (2 lb., 5 lb. and 10 lb.) of Bravo Chicken Blend(s), Bravo Turkey Blend(s), Bravo Balance Chicken Balance and Bravo Balance Premium Turkey Formula frozen raw diet products with best used by dates between June 20, 2016 and September 18, 2016. This is being done out of an abundance of caution despite no evidence of any manufacturing defect or distribution problem. None of these products are known to have tested positive for the presence of pathogens. This market withdrawal has NOT been requested by the FDA, but is being done voluntarily by Bravo. The recalled product should not be sold or fed to pets. Pet owners who have the affected product at home should dispose of this product in a safe manner (example, a securely covered trash receptacle). Customers who have purchased the recalled pet food can return to the store where purchased and submit the Product Recall Claim Form available on the Bravo website for a full refund or store credit. More information on the Bravo recall can also be found at, or call toll free (866) 922-9222 Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (EST). Source:

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Author: Bree
Posted: September 26, 2014, 11:43 pm
Fall Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe

Believe it or not, but Fall is right around the corner, and as we already begin to mourn the end of a fun-filled summer season, a new set of cautions present themselves that we must make ourselves aware of.  We love our pets and do everything we humanly can to protect them from all sorts of dangers, so please try and remember the following Fall tips to keep your pet safe as we prepare to enter one of the most beautiful seasons of the year. Antifreeze and pets don’t mix. Your pet may be inclined to lick up this sweet tasting, but toxic chemical. Check the ground for spills after you use antifreeze, and store it safely out of reach. Use rodenticides carefully. Rodenticides lure mice and rats, but they can also attract your pet. Read directions carefully and take precautions to keep your pet safe from these chemicals. Candy is a “no-no.” Halloween candy and its wrappings can make your pet sick if ingested. Also, while jack-o-lanterns and maize are relatively non-toxic, they can upset your pet’s tummy. Human medications can be harmful. They topped the ASPCA’s list of common hazards for the past few years. Be careful—your pet can grab a bottle off a counter or eat pills dropped on the floor. If your pet does ingest poison, the ASPCA® Poison Control Center (APCC) can help at 1-888-426-4435. Keep these fall tips in mind and the phone number of the APCC handy just in case! Do you have your own Fall tip for pet safety to share with us?  Please let us know in the Comments below!

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Author: Bree
Posted: September 25, 2014, 11:04 am
Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar

The Wonders of Apple Cider Vinegar (This article is about ACV with the ‘Mother’ – NOT ACV from the supermarket used for salad dressing) “Vinegar” comes from the French “Vinaigre” – “Vin” for wine and “Aigre” for sour, therefore vinegar stands for “the wine that has gone sour.” Vinegar was accidentally discovered by French. The fermented wine was exposed to air by accident and vinegar appeared! Where does the vinegar actually come from, you ask? The sweet apple juice is allowed to age, sealed tightly away from the air. Until all the natural sugar has been converted to alcohol, mother-of-vinegar is then added to start the second fermentation. Meanwhile, it is left open to the air, and, the alcohol changes to apple cider vinegar. Amazing! Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is golden liquid concentrated with the healthy goodness of apples. It contains more than 30 important nutrients, 12 minerals, over 6 vitamins, essential acids and several enzymes. Moreover, it has a large dose of pectin for a healthy heart, and thus, healthy as a whole. ACV is cheap, easy to use and it really benefits our health in numerous ways. ACV can benefit both people and their pets. It is antibacterial and anti-fungal and gives the immune system a good boost. As a high potassium electrolyte balancer, it remineralizes the body and helps normalize the blood’s alkaline acid balance. ACV is proving most beneficial to people or animals with arthritis because it breaks down calcium deposits in the joints while remineralizing the bones. It has proven to be equally beneficial to dogs with hip dysplasia. ACV is a good remedy for food poisoning and helpful in digestive upsets. It is also effective for urinary tract infections and it lowers high blood pressure. In fact, daily use of ACV eliminates tear stains around the eyes and nose of pets with white or light-colored fur. For those on diuretics, it is helpful in replacing potassium depletion. ACV is the natural king of skin remedies. It is wonderful for itching and scratching pets as well as a superb skin and hair conditioner. Good old apple cider vinegar either straight or diluted 50/50 with water can be applied directly to the affected area and allowed to dry. It will eliminate dandruff, rejuvenate hair, skin and help sweeten and balance the pH levels in the body. When giving your pet a bath, shampoo, rinse, then apply ACV either straight or diluted, followed by rinsing with water. Notice, any residue shampoo will be washed out and you will feel and see an increased softness and sheen to the coat. It can be followed with a conditioner of your choice. Taken internally will help the body against arthritis, itching, obesity, bad odor, dry skin, joint problems, lack luster hair and weak immune system. Average dosage for a dog or person is 1/2 oz morning and 1/2 oz. evening. A cat is half that dose. Can be diluted fifty fifty with water, dripped on food. Finicky pets try tiny doses then work up to suggested amount. For centuries, people have recognized ACV’s health benefits to fight infection, promote digestion, and even in fighting osteoporosis. So when you eat that salad with the cider vinegar and oil dressing, you’re reaping large health benefits as well as good taste! Perhaps the most sought after benefit of APPLE CIDER VINEGAR is the quick, easy WEIGHT LOSS it helps promote. Since it naturally helps your body get rid of excess fluids, helps speed up a slow metabolism and helps to “curb” your appetite. An age old product has been “re-discovered” and is now being used by millions to aid them in their weight loss endeavors. This liquid is highly absorbable so it starts working on you very quickly. You will be on your way to looking and feeling younger. Enjoy! You can find ACV with the ‘Mother’ in your local health food store, many supermarkets or online, at Braggs, right here! An excellent resource for detailed information on ACV, testimonials and cures is EarthClinic, which also includes lots of information on the use of ACV with dogs, cats and horses (including us humans)!

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Author: Bree
Posted: September 22, 2014, 1:21 am
Dog Dressed as Spider

Even though it may seem early, Halloween is right around the corner. Now is the time to start working on your haunted house, take stock of how much candy you’ll need to feed trick-or-treaters, and of course, find the perfect costume for your canine friend. Halloween is also a time of pranks—terrifying, scare-the-living-life out of you pranks. And YouTube user SA Wardega is a master at scaring people silly. Normally, when people dress up their dogs for the October holiday, it’s for laughs. There are cowboy costumes, Star Wars costumes, and even food-inspired costumes. But SA Wardega decided to dress up his dog as a GIANT FURRY SPIDER and let the dog loose on some unsuspecting humans. The result is one of the most devilish tricks we’ve seen to date—because at first glance, the spider costume is pretty convincing. The medium-sized black dog really manages to look like a huge, hairy, mutant arachnid that crawled directly out of your worst nightmare. The dog runs after people in parks, surprises ladies waiting for an elevator, jumps out at a man who is opening the door to a building and manages to make a subway rider run for his life. You have to see it to believe it, folks. Chica the DogSpider now has a Facebook page, and we have a feeling that she’ll be getting a lot of love online during this spooky season. Prepare to be terrified. Courtesy of

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Author: Bree
Posted: September 19, 2014, 12:31 pm
Five Ways to Help End the Pet Abandonment Crisis

As uncertainty about the economy lingers, the pace of pet abandonment is on the rise. Largely attributable to the collapse of the housing market in 2007, the effects of which continue to ripple through our economy, nearly every state has seen a dramatic increase in the number of homeless animals. During this short time frame, tens of thousands of companion animals have been surrendered to rescue organizations, or worse, simply abandoned, left to fend for themselves. You’ve probably read some of the heartrending stories: dogs left behind, locked in foreclosed homes; a box of kittens dumped in a community park; and families facing homelessness themselves surrendering to a shelter all of their pets in a moment of heartbreak. The problem is so severe that some shelters have exhausted their resources and are forced to refuse new intakes. As a society of pet lovers, this represents an unprecedented situation in most of our lifetimes. Now, more than ever, homeless pets need our help. Many of us want to provide assistance, but don’t know the best way to make a difference. Fortunately, there are five ways to reach out and make a difference to pets in need. 1. Volunteer at a shelter Brimming with new admittances, many shelters urgently need “boots on the ground”. Volunteers are needed to walk dogs, play with kittens and greet potential adopters, as well as handle routine feeding and cleaning tasks. In some cases, you may be able to offer assistance based upon your unique skillset. If you have a knack for organization, your talents could help streamline anything from file systems to fundraising appeals. Even if you only volunteer for only a couple of hours per week, you will still be providing invaluable help. 2. Donate money Unfortunately, growing shelter populations are not the only crisis shelters and animal rescues are experiencing. Organizations of all sizes are struggling with finances, as personal and corporate donations have dropped off a cliff. As you might expect, this lack of funding affects every aspect of a shelter’s operations, including staffing, facility maintenance, veterinary care, food and medical supplies. Any amount you can spare will be welcomed by your local shelters. Don’t fall prey to the misconception that small donations don’t make a difference. Even $5 or $10 can provide several meals for a pet in need. 3. Donate goods If you prefer to donate physical items rather than cash, please consider donating items like food, treats, blankets or toys. In most cases, these items are sorely needed and gratefully accepted at most animal rescue organizations. Be sure to contact your local shelter to learn their specific needs prior to deciding what you’ll give. If you can’t afford to give new items, consider doing some “Fall cleaning” … because old towels dry just as well as new ones! Just like with financial donations, the gift of goods is tax deductible; just be sure to confirm that the organization you choose has non-profit status. 4. Foster a homeless pet Fostering a pet is a great option if you’re not ready to commit to a long-term relationship with a companion animal. As a temporary adopter, you will not only provide a loving and healthy environment for a pet in need, but you will also free up valuable space and resources at rescue facilities. Be aware that many of these animals are coming from difficult circumstances and may require a good deal of patience and understanding on your part. To get more information, speak with your local rescues, veterinary schools or humane societies about foster programs in your area. 5. Adopt a pet Lastly, the boldest and most dramatic step you can take also offers the greatest rewards. Perhaps the best way to combat pet homelessness is by opening your home to an abandoned pup or kitty. Many shelters maintain an online presence where you can review photos and descriptions of the companion animals that are available for adoption. Even if they receive outstanding care during their stay, shelter animals experience high levels of stress, which can lead to minor illnesses (like colds). With time, love and good nutrition, these conditions usually quickly abate. If you adopt, remember to be realistic about your expectations with the pet and invest time early on acclimating your new family member to their new environment. If you have ever considered adopting a companion animal in need, the time to act is now. If your circumstances prevent you from taking part in any of these solutions, please keep in mind that simply by purchasing Life’s Abundance products you’ll be making a positive difference. Every order that you place results in a contribution to our foundation, which in turn awards financial grants to small rescues across the country. No matter how you choose to help during this crisis, you will have my eternal thanks, and the thanks of the entire Life’s Abundance staff. Together, we truly can make our world a better place. Article courtesy of Dr. Jane Bicks

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Author: Bree
Posted: September 17, 2014, 4:03 pm
Health Benefits of Pet Ownership

Owning Pets Can Make You Healthier It’s no surprise to many pet owners that pets make us happy, but did you know they can also make us healthy? There are a lot of emotional and physical benefits to owning pets, and recent studies show that there are probably more physical benefits than a lot of pet owners know of. The American Heart Association has linked pet ownership, especially dogs, with a reduced risk for heart disease and greater longevity. Here are some other benefits of being a pet owner: Pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets. People with pets have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without pets. Playing with a pet can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax. Pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels (indicators of heart disease) than those without pets. Heart attack patients with pets survive longer than those without. Pet owners over age 65 make 30 percent fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets. While people with dogs often experience the greatest health benefits, a pet doesn’t necessarily have to be a dog or a cat. Even watching fish in an aquarium can help reduce muscle tension and lower pulse rate. Despite all of the benefits of being a pet owner, don’t just run out and buy any pet. Make sure that the pet you buy or adopt fits your lifestyle. Consider the following before bringing a pet into your home: Are there children in the household? How about elder adults? How active are you? Do you plan on running/walking your pet frequently or will the pet spend a lot of time indoors? Do you currently have other pets in the household? Do you have a large or small backyard – or any backyard at all? Do you have the time to commit to potty training? Source:

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Author: Bree
Posted: September 14, 2014, 11:47 am
Liver Treats for Dogs

Now that temps seem to be dropping in many areas of the country, what a perfect time of the year to begin using your oven to bake home-made liver treats for your pets.  This recipe is so simple, and will keep your baby coming back for more! 1 lb chicken livers 1 cup flour 1 cup corn meal 1 Tablespoon garlic powder 1 Egg Place chicken livers and liquid in blender, liquify. Add egg, mix a minute more. Pour into bowl. Add flour, corn meal and garlic powder. Mix. Spray jelly roll pan with Pam. Pour mixture into pan. Bake 15 minutes in 400 degree hot oven. Cut into small squares while still warm. Keep in freezer to prevent spoilage. Can also be fed frozen for a great treat on a hot summer day!

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Author: Bree
Posted: September 10, 2014, 9:03 am
Dog Eats Socks

Yeah, it sounds like an urban legend, but when you see the evidence — a photo and series of X-rays — you not only know it’s true, but, in a funny way, you have to admire the damn dog. Nearly 44 socks? Imagine eating, say, five large pizzas in one sitting and you get some idea of what the Great Dane must of have been experiencing when his owners hauled him into Northwest Portland’s the DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital. The symptoms? Repeatedly vomiting and retching. Oh, and not eating. So they checked him in, filled out all the paperwork and Dr. Ashley Magee took the dog to a back room for X-rays. She found what was described as “a lot of foreign material in his stomach,” said Shawna Harch, the hospital’s communications specialist. Whatever was in the dog’s stomach couldn’t be digested, and that meant surgery. So then Magee put the dog under the knife. During the nearly two-hour surgery, she must have thought she was working in a department store as she pulled out sock after sock after sock. In the end, Magee removed 43 1/2 socks. That 1/2 sock remains a mystery. Look at that photo again — and is it only me, or do those socks look like something laid out on a barbeque grill? You have to ponder what that mutt — he was only 3 — was up to that day last February. The guys in the hotdog eating contests have nothing on this dog — yes, the pun was intentional. By the time the dog was stitched up and sent home, details of the case were making the rounds at the hospital. Can you believe it? No one could. Harch said it’s perhaps the strangest case in hospital history, and certainly the record set for the most socks eaten. The owners, she said, were unavailable for comment, and she couldn’t release their names. But I can imagine the conversation in their home the day they realized something was going on. “Say, where are all the socks?” “No idea. Did you check the washing machine?” They look at the dog. Tail wag. Innocent look. Dog lies on the floor, but that gaze is really contemplation of a dress sock in the corner. It will be a nice after-dinner treat. Earlier this year, DoveLewis officials learned of a contest sponsored by Veterinary Practice News, a magazine for vets. The publication announced a contest — ongoing for nearly a decade — “They Ate WHAT?” Vets were asked to submit an X-ray along with case details. And, of course, DoveLewis knew what to submit. They learned they came in second place and won $500. The money will be placed in a fund to help low-income people pay for vet bills. As for the Great Dane? Apparently still kicking, Harch said. Hey, Gold Toe socks, I got your next spokesman for you. –Tom Hallman Jr. Courtesy:  OregonLive, Portland

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Author: Bree
Posted: September 4, 2014, 8:10 am
How to Stop Pawing Behavior Video

If you have a canine living in your home, it’s very likely that you’ve experienced an excited dog pawing to get your attention. Dogs paw to communicate, but their claws can cause severe skin injuries and, depending on the size of the dog, this behavior can even knock you off balance. Many pet parents are unaware that their canine companions have expertly turned them into unsuspecting human vending machines: one poke of the paw delivers a delicious treat or a toy. If you’ve ever been scratched by a rambunctious canine pawing to get your attention, then you know just how much of a pain pawing behavior can be … literally! Why do dogs paw, and more importantly, how can you get them to stop? In the latest episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah reviews possible rationales behind your dog’s pawing, as well as tips on how to cease and desist this irksome behavior. Watch this short but instructive video now to help your dog learn proper paw manners. And don’t forget to share this episode with other pet parents!   Courtesy of Dr. Sarah, Life’s Abundance Staff Veterinarian  

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Author: Bree
Posted: September 1, 2014, 8:40 pm
Common Pet Dangers

Keeping your companion animal out of harm’s way isn’t always easy or obvious for that matter. There may be dangers lurking in your home right now. But there’s no need to worry because our good doctor is here to help. In this post, Dr. Jane reveals a list of common pet perils and provides some steps you can take if you think your pet has been poisoned. 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 common pet 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, DVM, Life’s Abundance Pet Products Formulator

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Author: Bree
Posted: August 29, 2014, 10:59 pm
Unapproved Pet Tear Stain Removers Warning

FDA Issues Warning Letters for Unapproved Tear Stain Removers Used in Dogs and Cats August 29, 2014 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is issuing warning letters today to companies manufacturing unapproved animal drugs to remove tear stains in dogs and cats. These products, including Angels’ Eyes, Angels’ Glow, Pets’ Spark, and exported products Glow Groom and Health Glow, have not been reviewed by FDA for safety and effectiveness. These tear stain removers also contain the medically important antibiotic tylosin tartrate, which is not approved for use in dogs or cats, nor for the treatment of conditions associated with tear stains. Tear stain remover products are used to treat tear staining conditions around the eyes of animals, which, in particular, is associated with a condition called epiphora, mostly in cats and dogs. FDA has serious concerns about unapproved animal drugs. Unapproved animal drugs are not reviewed by FDA and may not meet FDA’s strict standards for safety and effectiveness. These tear stain drug products may be subject to additional enforcement action should the products continue to be marketed, such as seizure of violative products and/or injunction against the manufacturers and distributors of the violative products. Additional Information Unapproved Animal Drugs Blanc du Blanc, Inc. Warning Letter I’m a Little Teacup Warning Letter Petaware Warning Letter Contact FDA 240-276-9300 240-276-9115 FAX Issued by: FDA, Center for Veterinary Medicine Communications Staff, HFV-12 7519 Standish Place Rockville, MD 20855

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Author: Bree
Posted: August 29, 2014, 6:43 pm
Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition Dog Food Recall

Pedigree Recall | Adult Complete Nutrition for Dogs FRANKLIN, Tenn., Aug. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Mars Petcare US announced a voluntary recall of 22 bags of PEDIGREE® Adult Complete Nutrition dry dog food products due to the possible presence of a foreign material.  The bags were produced in one manufacturing facility, and shipped to one retail customer.  The facility production line has been shut down until this issue is resolved. Affected bags, which were sold between August 18 and August 25 in 12 Dollar General stores* in Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana, may contain small metal fragments, which could have entered the packages during the production process. The foreign material is not embedded in the food itself, but may present a risk of injury if consumed.  We encourage consumers who have purchased affected product to discard the food or return it to the retailer for a full refund or exchange. We have not received any reports of injury or illness associated with the affected product. The lot codes indicated below should not be sold or consumed. Mars Petcare US is working with Dollar General to ensure that the recalled products are no longer sold and are removed from inventory. Recalled Pet Food Only 15-pound bags of PEDIGREE® Adult Complete Nutrition dry dog food sold at Dollar General in Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana with the production code shown below are included in this voluntary recall.  Each product will have a lot code printed on the back of the bag near the UPC code that reads 432C1KKM03 and a Best Before date of 8/5/15.  No other PEDIGREE® products are affected, including any other variety of dry dog food, wet dog food or dog treats. UPC DESCRIPTION 432C1KKM03 PEDIGREE® Brand Adult Complete Nutrition dry dog food in 15 pound bags At Mars Petcare US, we take our responsibility to pets and their owners seriously.  We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused by this recall. Pet owners who have questions about the recall should call 1-800-305-5206 or visit *Affected product would only have been sold in Dollar General Stores in these cities: Arkansas: Perryville Cabot Louisiana: Baton Rouge Calhoun Hineston Jonesville Pineville Slaughter Mississippi: Magnolia Vicksburg Tennessee: Memphis “At Mars Petcare, we take our responsibility to pets and their owners seriously. We sincerely apologize for this situation and encourage you to reach out to us at 1-800-305-5206 from 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. CST if you have questions.” SOURCE:  Mars Petcare US & Pedigree

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Author: Bree
Posted: August 26, 2014, 11:51 pm
Pet Disaster Survival Kit

Prepare for the unexpected; don’t let an emergency catch you off-guard! Emergencies come in many forms, and they may require anything from a brief absence from your home to permanent evacuation. Each type of disaster requires different measures to keep your pets safe. The best thing you can do for yourself and your pets is to be prepared. Step 1   Get a Rescue Alert Sticker This easy-to-use sticker will let people know that pets are inside your home. Make sure it is visible to rescue workers, and that it includes 1) the types and number of pets in your household; 2) the name of your veterinarian; and 3) your veterinarian’s phone number. If you must evacuate with your pets, and if time allows, write “EVACUATED” across the stickers. To get a free emergency pet alert sticker for your home, please fill out our online order form ; please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery. Your local pet supply store may also sell similar stickers. Step 2   Arrange a Safe Haven Arrange a safe haven for your pets in the event of evacuation. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND. Remember, if it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pets. They may become trapped or escape and be exposed to numerous life-threatening hazards. Note that not all Red Cross disaster shelters accept pets, so it is imperative that you have determined where you will bring your pets ahead of time: * Contact your veterinarian for a list of preferred boarding kennels and facilities. * Ask your local animal shelter if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets. * Identify hotels or motels outside of your immediate area that accept pets. * Ask friends and relatives outside your immediate area if they would be willing to take in your pet.     Step 3   Emergency Supplies and Traveling Kits Keep an Evac-Pack and supplies handy for your pets. Make sure that everyone in the family knows where it is. This kit should be clearly labeled and easy to carry. Items to consider keeping in or near your pack include: * Pet first-aid kit and guide book (ask your vet what to include, or visit the ASPCA Store to buy one online) * 3-7 days’ worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food (be sure to rotate every two months) * Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans are perfect) * Litter or paper toweling * Liquid dish soap and disinfectant * Disposable garbage bags for clean-up * Pet feeding dishes * Extra collar or harness as well as an extra leash * Photocopies of medical records and a waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires (Remember, food and medications need to be rotated out of your emergency kit—otherwise they may go bad or become useless.) * Bottled water, at least 7 days’ worth for each person and pet (store in a cool, dry place and replace every two months) * A traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet * Flashlight * Blanket (for scooping up a fearful pet) * Recent photos of your pets (in case you are separated and need to make “Lost” posters) * Especially for cats: Pillowcase or EvackSack, toys, scoopable litter * Especially for dogs: Extra leash, toys and chew toys, a week’s worth of cage liner. You should also have an emergency kit for the human members of the family. Items to include: Batteries, duct tape, flashlight, radio, multi-tool, tarp, rope, permanent marker, spray paint, baby wipes, protective clothing and footwear, extra cash, rescue whistle, important phone numbers, extra medication and copies of medical and insurance information. Step 4   Choose “Designated Caregivers” This step will take considerable time and thought. When choosing a temporary caregiver, consider someone who lives close to your residence. He or she should be someone who is generally home during the day while you are at work or has easy access to your home. A set of keys should be given to this trusted individual. This may work well with neighbors who have pets of their own—you may even swap responsibilities, depending upon who has accessibility. When selecting a permanent caregiver, you’ll need to consider other criteria. This is a person to whom you are entrusting the care of your pet in the event that something should happen to you. When selecting this “foster parent,” consider people who have met your pet and have successfully cared for animals in the past. Be sure to discuss your expectations at length with a permanent caregiver, so he or she understands the responsibility of caring for your pet. Step 5  Evacuation Preparation If you must evacuate your home in a crisis, plan for the worst-case scenario. If you think you may be gone for only a day, assume that you may not be allowed to return for several weeks. When recommendations for evacuation have been announced, follow the instructions of local and state officials. To minimize evacuation time, take these simple steps: * Store an emergency kit and leashes as close to an exit as possible. * Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification. Your pet’s ID tag should contain his name, telephone number, and any urgent medical needs. Be sure to write your pet’s name, your name and contact information on your pet’s carrier. * The ASPCA recommends microchipping your pet as a more permanent form of identification. A microchip is implanted in the animal’s shoulder area, and can be read by scanner at most animal shelters. * Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pets can become disoriented and wander away from home during a crisis. * Consider your evacuation route and call ahead to make arrangements for boarding your pet outside of the danger zone at the first sign of disaster. Step 6  Geographic and Climatic Considerations Do you live in an area that is prone to certain natural catastrophes,...

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Author: Bree
Posted: August 22, 2014, 2:18 pm