All posts tagged 'holiday dogs'

Giving Thanks This Holiday Season

family-dog-christmas-celebration

Honestly, I was just getting used to it being 2018. Where does the time go?

For me, the holidays are a time of joy and reflection. A time to celebrate our family and friends. To fondly remember those we’ve lost. To find inspiration and hope. To share with those who are less fortunate than ourselves. To do something meaningful and unexpected for someone in need or having an especially hard time. To my mind, there is so much to be grateful for and so much to cradle in our hearts.

Perhaps more than anything, I'm truly thankful to be part of a company that is so focused on helping others improve their quality of life. A company that works to make life better for both people and their companion animals.

I consider it a great privilege to work with such a dedicated team. And to communicate with you through this blog, where we try to share valuable information to help people be informed and entertained. And, of course, to bring you updates about the vitally important work of The Dr. Jane Foundation.

Our charitable foundation has achieved great things this past year! In addition to 18 financial awards given to worthy animal rescues through our usual grant process, we were also able to provide emergency funding to two groups that coordinated assistance to injured and homeless animals displaced by devastating fires that raged in California last month. As many of you know, the Camp Fire was the deadliest wildfire in California's history. The emergency response of the last two groups on the following list of grant recipients made a tremendous difference for all kinds of animals, and for that, we are extremely grateful. Without further ado, here's the list of amazing rescue organizations that received funding from our non-profit this year.

  • Paw Warriors, Inc. of Spring Hill, FL
  • BARC Humane Society of Quitman, GA
  • People & Pets Together of Minneapolis, MN
  • Paws for Life of Youngsville, NC
  • Rescues Unlimited of Gregory, SD
  • ACTion Programs for Animals of Las Cruces, NM
  • Animal Rescue of Southern Colorado of Antonito, CO
  • Bounce Animal Rescue of Fort Collins, CO
  • Boxer Aid and Rescue Coalition, Inc. of Tallahassee, FL
  • Eastern Plains Animal Welfare Alliance of Burlington, CO
  • MeeowzResQ of Orange, CA
  • My Second Home Rescue of Carr, CO
  • New England Society for Abandoned Animals of Barnstable, MA
  • Res-Que, Ltd of Reno, NV
  • The Animal Interest League & Sanctuary (dba TAILS) of Delta, CO
  • Rehoboth Animal Advocates of Rehoboth, MA
  • Herd U Needed A Home Rescue of Bend, OR
  • Greyhounds in Motion of Winter Park, FL
  • Humane Society of Ventura County of Ojai, CA
  • North Valley Animal Disaster Group of Chico, CA

The generosity and patronage of our customers enables our foundation to continue its good works. From the bottom of my heart, I thank each and every one of you. Every time you shop at Life's Abundance, a contribution is made to our funding. And we are very proud that over 95% of that money goes directly to the organizations that need the most help.

kitty-helps-wrap-gifts

While the work of the foundation is a vital part of Life's Abundance, our central commitment is devotion to the people who 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. Rest assured, we 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 committed and motivated team, we can surely make 2019 our most successful year ever!

Thank you for the privilege of working with you and your families, for the trust you place in our products, and for all you do to make the world a better place for companion animals.

From all of us here at Life’s Abundance, we wish you and yours a Meowy Christmas and Happy Paw-nukkah!

Dr Jane Bicks  Dr. Jane Bicks, DVM

Five Ways to Give Thanks to Pets

With half of November already over and done, the holiday season is practically upon us. At this time of year, our thoughts linger over how much we have to be thankful for, as well as everyone who fulfills an important role in our lives. For many of us, a special canine or feline friend makes our family complete!

Since partaking of turkey and all the trimmings is out of the question for most dogs and cats, we devoted some serious thought into novel approaches (that won't lead to gastric upset) pet parents can use to express their gratitude to companion animals. Just like with people, going the extra mile to show how much you appreciate everything they do to enrich your life can make all the difference!

Without any further ado, here’s our handy infographic outlining five simple ways you can show your dog or cat how grateful you are to have them in your life. To view or download the full-size PDF, simply click on the image below.

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What are some of the ways you use to show your companion animal how much you care? Be sure to share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below!

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

Make Thanksgiving Great For Your Dog

Of all the holidays, Thanksgiving is surely a canine favorite. There's abundant food, there's full gatherings of friends and family, and did we mention the food?

The downside is much of the bounty you'll be serving at your feast doesn't jibe too well with a dog's digestive system. Sure, they'll enjoy it in the moment, but there can be some serious side effects to all the sneaky feeding of scrumptious table scraps.

Fortunately, we have some food for thought, presented in the following holiday infographic. You'll learn about some of the incredibly tasty and oh-so-nourishing alternative foods and treats your dog is sure to love. After all, we all want this Thanksgiving to be the best it can be for your beloved pup-pup.

To view the full-size PDF, simply click on the image below. And be sure to share this post with your friends and family!

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May Your Holiday Season be Golden

According to one recent study, upwards of 60% of pet parents buy their pet kids a Christmas stocking. My response is … ONLY 60%? Granted, I fall a little further on the extreme end of the pet-enthusiast spectrum. I don’t just do stockings … we wrap gifts, don holiday sweaters and even keep a goodly supply of festive cookies!

My beloved Golden, Brody, started joining in the holiday merriment as a pup. His first Christmas was 2009, as a bouncy little five-month-old filled with joy at this strange new festivity. The candy-cane shaped chew treats were icing on top of the holiday cake.

My dog gets super excited on Christmas morning. (The cat not so much, but that doesn’t deter me from trying.) He senses the excitement as the kids start tiptoeing around starting at 5 am, poking boxes and whispering their prognostications about what might be hidden inside each festive package. Brody plays along, sniffing at each gift in turn and standing patiently under his own stocking until it’s his turn to discover his holiday goodies.

He isn’t as excited about his ornament as I would like him to be, but hey, we can’t win them all. Maybe if they made scented decorations he’d be more appreciative.

Your dog’s enthusiasm may vary, of course. My dog Kekoa, who blessed our house until her passing in 2012, was not nearly as excited about donning holiday garb. She was quick to figure out that not tolerating costumes meant she got to skip straight to the treats. That’s what you call a “smart cookie”.

As we enter the 2016 holiday season, I’m reminded of how much he has changed since Brody’s first puppy Christmas back in 2009. He’s a little slower, short one ear we had to amputate, and grey around the muzzle. He’s like the Ghost of Christmas Present from Dicken’s A Christmas Carol … an amiable chap who lives in the moment, which seems to pass by in the blink of an eye.

Dogs are an ever-present reminder to stop and enjoy every moment, because you don’t get it again once it’s gone. I’m hopeful we’ll be able to enjoy many more Christmases together. Taking my cues from him, I’m trying not to worry too much about the future, but rather just taking in the precious moments and enjoying his lovable presence in the here and now.

So this year, instead of being sad about that little bit of grey already creeping into his coat, I’m remembering to be grateful for all the joy he has brought us over the years, thankful for him simply being who he is, and appreciative of the varied comforts our four-footed companions bring to the holiday season.

What are your favorite canine holiday memories? Share your story in the comments section below! Or, submit your very own holiday pet pics to our secure Dropbox account.

Wishing you and yours a very happy holiday season! 

Dr V Dr. Jessica Vogelsang