February 2017

Our Non-Profit Announces Four New Grants


Even though great progress has been made in the last 30 years to reduce the number of animals being euthanized, a recent report by Best Friends Animal Society puts that number at 5,500 per day. To put that in a historical context, in 1984 that total was well over 46,000 per day (approximately 17 million per year)! While that represents a huge decrease, we think everyone can agree that two million every year is still two million too many.

That’s just one of the many reasons why our non-profit’s work is so important. By supporting the vital work of animal rescue groups who are dedicated to saving all lives, we are truly making a difference.

As the charitable arm of Life’s Abundance, The Dr. Jane Foundation provides financial support to small and medium-size rescue groups who work to prevent animal homelessness, abuse and chronic neglect. Because charitable work is central to our mission of wellness, every order we process aids homeless animals. And all of those small donations add up to a significant force for good. In the span of several years, The Dr. Jane Foundation has awarded funding to over 150 groups!

In a very real sense, every one of our loyal customers helps to support the cause of animal rescue, regardless of what you buy! While your focus may be on the well-being of your companion animals, or even yourself, you can rest easy knowing that you're not only helping homeless animals become companion animals, you’re also helping to eliminate the need for euthanasia.

And now, we’re pleased to inform you that our Board of Directors just held a quarterly meeting on February 8th. They approved four applications, funding the grant requests of the following animal rescue organizations.


Hoopeston Animal Rescue Team

Based in Illinois, this all-volunteer, no-kill organization only began last year and they’re already having an incredibly positive impact on their community. According to their charter, HART is “dedicated to meeting the physical, emotional and medical needs of all local homeless animals”, a claim easily backed up by their record. Amazingly, they have been responsible for reuniting dozens of lost pet kids with their families (46 dogs and 12 cats in 2016 alone!). Hundreds of animals came through their doors last year, and they take enormous pride in the fact that no animal is ever turned away, for any reason. They even operate an open-intake shelter, so they’re on the front lines of all sorts of pet emergencies. Thanks to the superior medical care they provide, some of their patients have made recoveries that are nothing short of miraculous! To see the before-and-after photos, and for more information about their adoptable dogs and cats, visit hartshelter.org.


Pawsitive Tails

Pawsitive Tails is a non-profit organization focused on finding forever homes for dogs and puppies in Kansas City and Topeka. They are not a traditional shelter organization, but rather a network of foster homes. This all-volunteer organization puts special focus on finding the perfect home for each rescue dog. During their time in foster care, the temporary pet parents closely observe the behaviors and personality traits of the pups. Later, they will use this info to help match prospective adopters with their ideal dog.

Another new rescue group, in their first 12 months of operation they took in 379 dogs and 349 were placed in loving homes ... remarkable! And every penny they raise goes directly to the care of their rescues. Our financial award will go towards funding their spay-and-neuter program and to help provide food for the foster pups. For more information about their adoptable dogs, visit pawsitivetailskc.org.


Schnauzer Rescue of Louisiana

Based in New Orleans, this foster group has been active since 2003 and was severely impacted by Hurricane Katrina. With a focus on purebred and mixed-breed Schnauzers, this small but dedicated rescue takes in dogs from local shelters and owner surrenders. Many of the pups in their care were made homeless when their caretaker passed away. They have rescued more than 300 Schnauzers since they began operations, and save as many as 38 per year. While some canines require months-long stays due to medical complications, this group attempts to place new rescues in loving homes in just a couple of weeks. Currently, they are working to expand their foster network and to provide rescue services in areas of Louisiana where shelters rely on euthanasia. Now that Schnauzer Rescue has built a reputation for their commitment and superior care, more and more rural areas are looking to them for help in dealing with homeless dogs. For more information about this rescue’s adoptable dogs, visit nolaschnauzer.com.


West Tennessee Spay Neuter Coalition

Based in Jackson, this coalition works on multiple fronts to reduce pet overpopulation and to foster a culture of responsibility when it comes to pet parenting. Their primary focus is on providing low-cost spay and neuter surgeries for both dogs and cats in West Tennessee. We’re proud to contribute to this relatively new enterprise, which only began just last fall. While they have performed procedures on cats in feral colonies, the vast majority of their ‘clients’ are dogs and cats who have a home. Based on their research, making alteration surgeries affordable for low-income pet parents will have a dramatic effect in preventing overpopulation, thus reducing incidence of homelessness, neglect and euthanasia. Eventually, they hope to open a spay-neuter clinic, which will help them to make even more of an impact in their community. For more information about this alliance and the work they do, visit westtnspayneuter.org.

To all of these groups, we say "congratulations!" Your remarkable efforts to make the world a better place for companion animals are truly paying off.

Are you involved in an animal rescue, or know someone who is? We are currently accepting applications for 2017 funding. Our Board will be considering applications for the next round of funding in April, so try to have completed grant requests submitted by the end of March to ensure your group’s consideration.

For all those who actively support our non-profit, we can’t thank you enough. Thanks to your personal donations and continued patronage, we are taking real steps to help animal rescue groups across America achieve their goals. Together, we’re making a positive difference in the world, one animal at a time.


Whey Overrated


Whey is a very popular ingredient in protein powders, especially in bodybuilding formulas. But is this commonly used ingredient all that it’s cracked up to be? In this post, we’ll look at the conventional wisdom and why whey might not be the best option for health-conscious consumers.

Let’s Talk Protein

It’s hard to understate the importance of consuming sufficient amounts of nourishing proteins. Your body needs quality protein to function properly, to build and repair tissues and to make enzymes, hormones and other key bodily chemicals. The amino acids in protein are the building blocks of bones, cartilage, muscles, hair and blood. So, there’s no controversy here … protein does a body good!

What Makes Whey Popular?

In the last decade or so, the media began educating consumers about the importance of getting an adequate amount of protein in their diet on a daily basis. That created a demand for a convenient and inexpensive source of protein. That’s when whey protein powders started on their journey to popularity.

Whey-t a Minute!

Unfortunately, whey protein has significant shortcomings, especially for those with sensitive stomachs. First, it’s derived from cow’s milk. Specifically, it is the liquid left over once milk has been curdled and strained. Moreover, it’s a by-product of the cheese-making process. It’s precisely due to its dairy origins that many people experience digestive issues consuming whey, such as bloating, gas, cramps, fatigue and/or loose stools. Formulators in-the-know attribute these reactions to whey’s lactose content, and many adults have some degree of lactose sensitivity.

Plant Power

Here’s our take. Animal-derived proteins are good, but they also may carry the dubious additions of saturated fat, cholesterol, added hormones and antibiotics. However, you can source excellent protein directly from plants without any of those nutritional drawbacks! For example, pea protein contains all nine essential amino acids and therefore is considered an excellent source of protein. Since it contains no dairy or soy, it’s regarded as a “clean source” of protein with zero gluten content. Hooray for plant power!

So, if you’re up for supplementing your diet with a protein powder, but you’re not interested in dealing with the possible digestive distress commonly associated with whey, try a plant protein powder instead!

Dental Care 101

Does your fur kid have dental disease? If your dog or cat is over the age of two, then the answer is “highly likely”.

It’s February, which means it’s also National Pet Dental Health Month! If you’re wondering why the awareness campaign lasts for a whole month, it’s because periodontal disease is the most commonly diagnosed disease in dogs and cats. Veterinary dentists will tell you, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats over the age of two have some form of periodontal disease.

That number may seem awfully high, but unfortunately it’s also accurate. Plaque and tartar accumulate on our pet’s teeth just like it does on our own, but the vast majority of pet parents don’t brush their companion animal’s teeth twice a day. Or even once a day. (It’s OK to admit it, you’re in good company). By their second birthday, your fur kid is basically fully grown. And far too many of these adults have never had their teeth brushed.

“But his teeth look fine!” you might protest. That very well may be true. However, plaque (the gummy film that forms on a pet’s teeth within hours of eating) isn’t obvious to the naked eye. Over the course of several days it combines with minerals to harden into tartar. Over weeks and months, this tartar builds into a thick brown stain. Often referred to as “yuck mouth”, there are less familiar technical terms for it (such as Stage IV periodontal disease, the worst level). With routine care and attention, you should be able to prevent them from ever experiencing that stage.

Evaluating a pet kid’s teeth and gums begins with a visual inspection. I call it “flip the lip” because you really need to lift that lip up to view the back molars, which is where the really bad buildup occurs. During the visual exam, we check for tartar, any anomalies (like extra or missing teeth), and for gum inflammation. We also check for any unusual masses. Two of my dogs have had oral melanomas, both discovered during routine exams.

Even if you regularly brush their teeth, they will eventually need a full cleaning at the veterinarian. This dental cleaning will often include x-rays of the mouth, a vital component of an oral exam. Bone loss, where the root is diseased below the gum line is more common than many realize.

Cats suffer a unique condition that makes x-rays even more crucial. Three quarters of cats over the age of five suffer from tooth resorption, a painful condition where the body reabsorbs the protective dentin covering on a tooth, leaving the root exposed. The cause is unknown, and it can affect just one or many teeth. The worst part is, the entire lesion may be below the gum line, resulting a normal-looking crown but with a terribly painful root. The only treatment at that point is extraction of the affected tooth. As stoic as felines are, even the most observant pet parents won’t see any evidence of this problem. Scary, right?

The concept of “anesthesia-free dentistry” has become very popular over the years, but I would caution you to know its limitations. We anesthetize our fur kids because that is the only way we can be thorough in our examination, clean underneath the gum line where much of the bacteria and plaque reside, and extract teeth if necessary. I have seen many dogs and cats at my clinic just weeks after an anesthesia-free cleaning who are still suffering from significant dental disease. If you do use this option, just know that while it may remove tartar and plaque from the visible surface of the tooth, it does not provide the health benefits that a full cleaning under anesthesia would.

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, treat your companion animal to the gift of health! Many veterinary clinics offer special deals or packages during the month of February, so if you’ve been putting off that dental cleaning, there’s no time like the present to schedule an appointment. And be sure to check out the Life’s Abundance dental-health products discounted for the month of February in celebration of National Pet Dental Health Month. We’re offering these great products at their reduced Autoship prices (up to 18% off retail!): Gourmet Dental Treats, Porky Puffs and Buffalo Bully Sticks!

By making just a couple of improvements to your care regimen, you could help to add years to your pet kid’s lifetime.

Dr V Dr. Jessica Vogelsang