All posts by dr. jane

Five Plants That Can Seriously Injure Your Dog

Dr Jane Bicks

If you’re a dog lover, thoughts of summertime conjure memories of long evening strolls and outdoor recreation with your dog. In fact, you may have already started this summer to create new fond memories. Given that, the last thing you want on one of your nature walks is for your canine companion to be sidelined by an injury. Unfortunately, many pet parents don’t realize until it’s too late that there are menacing toxins lurking in the plants of both cultivated and wild landscapes. Plants that you are used to seeing in public parks, your neighborhood and perhaps even in your own backyard can lead to devastating effects. In what follows, I will review five of these dangerous plants so that you will be able to identify and avoid them when you’re with your dog. First up are four plants commonly used in landscaping that are actually toxic to canines …More...

Why Do Cats Purr?

Dr Jane BicksAs a veterinarian, I am commonly asked “Why do cats purr?” Most people believe cats purr when they are content or happy. While cats do purr when they are content, researchers attempting to uncover the answer to this 3,000-year-old mystery are finding the answer more complicated than previously thought. All domestic cats purr, as well as many wild cats, like pumas, ocelots, lions and cheetahs. Purring can occur in a variety of situations. When cats purr in the presence of other unknown cats or kittens, the behavior may serve to convey submissiveness or a friendly greeting. While it is true that cats purr contentedly while on their pet parent’s lap, they also purr when they give birth, when they are frightened, severely injured and even while dying. Because kitties clearly cannot be content in all these situations, contentment or friendliness cannot be the only reason they purr.

So why else would they purr? More...

Vitamin E and Antioxidants

Dr Jane Bicks As a holistic veterinarian, I feel it is incredibly important to take the whole animal into consideration when it comes to nutrition. And, whenever practical, my preference is to provide nutrients, minerals and vitamins in their natural forms. In this post, I’d like to talk to you specifically about vitamin E, to review both the strengths and weaknesses of natural and synthetic forms.

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

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

Tips for Feline Heart Health

 

Untitled 3

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

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

Palling Around with Pets

Bailey
This is Bailey, a high-energy two-year-old boxermix.

The Dr. Jane’s HealthyPetNet Foundation takes pride in the hard work of all its grant recipients, but the Palmetto Animal League (PAL) represents the best and noblest of rescue enterprises. PAL boasts a remarkable success rate of placement – nearly 100% – with the average time a pet is fostered at less than four months. In the true spirit of caring, nurturing and rescue, they work to avoid euthanasia at all costs. To their minds, there is no other option than to keep a dog or a cat as long as it takes to find them a forever home.

A private non-profit, the PAL organization has operated most of its 30 years using a network of volunteer foster families. Now, however, they are slowly transferring to the nearly completed construction of their first facility, the PAL’s Adoption Center. More...

Life’s Abundance and Digestive Health

I have been a pet product formulator for almost 25 years. Twelve of those years, I have been privileged to develop premium health-related products for Life's Abundance. Formulating dog and cat foods is normally a complex process; and, as a holistic veterinarian, my unique health perspective helps to inform this process. Each and every ingredient selected for a Life’s Abundance food is chosen to support all of the important bodily structures and functions. That’s why I am so proud that we have featured health-promoting direct fed microbials in Life’s Abundance Premium Health Foods for years, well ahead of competing foods. More...

Pets Make Life Healthier for their Pet Parents

Many of us agree that we should do everything within our power to make sure that our companion animals enjoy the best possible life. But did you know that simply by playing a role in your life, your furry kids could actually help you to be not only happier but healthier?

Of course you did. It’s all part of the privilege and fun of being a pet parent. What you may not know is that there’s plenty of science to back it up. As a holistic veterinarian, I’ve read so many reports regarding the health benefits associated with having companion animals, which has been accumulated over the last two decades, including numerous research studies in the U.S. and across the globe. More...

Making the World a Better Place, One Creature at a Time

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

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

Officially in the non-sporting group, Bulldogs were once bred to be very aggressive to bait bulls and fight other dogs. Thankfully, this breed has been transformed through many decades of refinement and nurturing, and now most Bulldogs are friendly and eager to please. More...

The Foundation for a Better Life

I’ve spent a lifetime working to educate our customers and the public to become aware of one simple notion – that nutrition is the foundation of life.

In my years formulating products at HealthyPetNet, I’ve done my utmost to create foods, supplements and treats that help to establish and maintain this groundwork for vitality and better health.

As a holistic veterinarian, my nutritional philosophy differs from those of some competing pet food manufacturers. To understand my mindset, and why I feel so strongly that Life’s Abundance foods help to fulfill what I view as our greatest responsibility as pet parents, I’d like to share some basic information for context.

Our companion animals depend on us to provide for their every need; so, in a sense, making sure that they get the nutrition they need to not only live but to thrive is perhaps our greatest responsibility as pet parents. The food you choose to feed your beloved pet needs to supply much-needed proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and other crucial nutrients. These vital ingredients will help them grow when they are young and to maintain health through their hopefully long adult years. More...

Improving Your Relationship with Your Companion Animal

 

For many of us, the pressures of modern life can be quite taxing, leaving us little one-on-one time with our companion animals. And yet, experts believe that positive changes in your pets’ temperament can be brought about just by your spending quality time with them. With that in mind, it’s easy to see that by enriching the bond you share with your companion animal, your quality of your life will improve, too. More...