December 2017

Holiday Reflections on the Season of Giving

Happy-holidays

The holiday season is upon us once again. Soon, many of us will be swept up in a whirlwind of festivities. Buying the perfect gifts, trimming trees and spending time with loved ones. Once the gifts are opened and the twinkly lights are extinguished, it’s the time to pause and reflect on the year that’s passed. And, of course, make resolutions for the New Year.

As I look back on 2017, I feel truly grateful and honored to be a part of a team of individuals that are so devoted to the health and well-being of companion animals. At Life’s Abundance, the quality of our products pretty much speak for themselves. But they all include one important ingredient you won’t find on the label … heart. From our customer service agents to our management team to our dedicated Field Representatives, everyone affiliated with Life’s Abundance plays their crucial part in fulfilling my personal mission in life … to help dogs and cats lead longer, healthier and happier lives.

Kitty-Xmas

As far as my own role, I’m thankful for every opportunity I get to speak with customers and reps, as well as potential customers. I only share my thoughts and insights in the hopes someone will benefit. That being said, because this is the season of giving, I wanted to update you on the work of the foundation that bears my name.

As you probably by know, The Dr. Jane Foundation is a non-profit organization that awards funding to small and medium-size animal rescues, each of which are committed to saving abused and neglected animals from a variety of dangerous situations. Thanks to the generosity and continued business of people just like you, our non-profit was able to help fund the everyday activities of so many worthy groups this year, as well as providing emergency funding in the wake of the disastrous flooding in Texas after Hurricane Harvey.

French-Bulldog-Santa

While the work of the foundation is a vital part of Life's Abundance, our central commitment is devotion to the people that use our products: you inspire us. Without your support and feedback we would not be the company we are today, and from the very core of my being, I thank you. Serving as Director of New Pet Product Development has been my great privilege. By monitoring discoveries in nutritional science, I will continue to improve our innovative health formulations and create new, cutting-edge products to help improve the health and longevity of companion animals. With the combined efforts of our strong, motivated team, we can surely make this New Year more successful than ever before.

On behalf of everyone here at Life's Abundance, I wish you and your family joy, health, and success in 2018.

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

Dr Jane Bicks  

Dr. Jane Bicks, DVM

Which Holiday Character is Your Pet?

Yorkshire-Holiday

No matter how old I get, I don’t think I’ll ever outgrow my inner child when it comes to excitement over the holiday season. The characters in this play of life may vary, yet one thing remains the same: as soon as Thanksgiving dinner is done, my holiday season begins.

My pets may not know what Christmas is, but they do know something is happening: the furniture moves around, someone’s always cooking and they get to spend their nights curled in front of a fire (well, as many as our warm SoCal evenings allow). Most of our December evenings are spent watching some sort of holiday movie or show. After so many years, I know all the beloved casts of characters by heart.

Part of the fun of revisiting these classics is imagining which roles my companion animals most closely resemble. Like people, our dogs and cats each have their own distinct likes, dislikes and personality quirks. Does your dog or cat remind you of any of the following pop-culture favorites?

The Grinch

Does your dog skulk around the house with a Grinch-like frown? Does your cat steal random ornaments and hide them away in the fireplace? Could be because the holidays can be stressful for many companion animals who are disturbed by the extra activity, changes in routine and houseguests. If your pet becomes Grinchy every December, make sure to provide them their own sanctuary. Just as the Grinch needed a cave on Mount Crumpit, sometimes they just need a temporary escape from all the noise, noise, noise, noise!

Kitty-Christmas-Tree

The Bumble

In Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the angry, roaring Bumble is reduced to a big old softie after Hermie the dentist removes his teeth. Dental disease is a big problem for both dogs and cats. Often going untreated, the result is many cranky mini-Bumbles wandering around with sore mouths. Want to give your pet a truly meaningful holiday gift? Make sure their mouths are healthy and disease-free. I am astounded at the turnaround many make once their dental disease is addressed and the source of constant pain resolved.

Heat Miser

Who can forget the Miser Brothers angrily hurling snowflakes and lightning bolts at each other in The Year Without a Santa Claus? While cold winter air can be refreshing, seniors (especially those with arthritis) might find winter less than comfortable on ailing joints. If your dog or cat seems to slow down when the temperature drops, shows difficulty negotiating the stairs, or seeks out the warmest spots in the house, make like the Heat Miser and crank up the heat. Cozy orthopedic beds, keeping the house at a comfortable temperature when they’re home alone and providing joint support can help seniors stay comfy even when the weather is frightening. Of course, make sure any new symptoms are brought to your veterinarian’s attention.

Naughty-Nice

Garfield

All Garfield wants for Christmas is plate after plate of lasagna. As a vet, I can tell you he’s not the only one with an ambitious appetite. The holidays are one of the busiest times of year for emergency clinics who witness firsthand the aftermath of counter-surfing Collies and trash-diving Torties. Pancreatitis, foreign bodies and the ever-present carpet-ruining “GI disturbances” are just some of the unfortunate consequences of four-footers gobbling holiday goodies. If your dog or cat has a reputation for sneaking a snack or seven, try not to leave them unguarded. Also, give them some healthy treats instead. Life’s Abundance offers a host of wonderful options that make for perfect stocking stuffers for dogs and for cats!

Peanuts

I’ve saved my favorite special for last. In A Charlie Brown Christmas, Charlie Brown frets about the consumerism of the holidays. He takes in a sad little tree and transforms it into something beautiful. As much fun as it is to get swept up in buying gifts for our furry companions, or how tempting it is to try and capture the perfect “Santa Paws” pic for Instagram, at the end of the day, the only things our critters want from us is our love and attention. Being with family and making time for each other truly makes the season special.

My dog Brody is a Linus for sure. No matter how many holiday cookies I stress eat over travel plans or finding “the right gift” for someone, Brody is there to offer a constant source of friendship and calm. I can count on him to put his head in my lap and remind me to take a breath, and be grateful for all the gifts I have this season.

I wish you and your family joy, love, and good health this December and in the New Year to come!

Dr V
Dr. Jessica Vogelsang, DVM