Winter Care Tips

Wednesday, 28 November 2012 10:24 by Dr. Sarah

“Oh the weather outside is frightful” … so be careful out there! Winter will soon wrap her cold, sleety arms around much of the country. We want to remind everybody to take special precautions to keep their fur kids safe and healthy. In this episode of Pet Talk, staff veterinarian Dr. Sarah devotes time to the crucial topic of cold-weather safety. And that goes double for those of you with a puppy romping around in that wintry mix.

Yes, even though spring and summer are prime periods for bringing a new pup into the family fold, there is a corps of dedicated pet parents who believe the holiday season is the perfect time to adopt a new dog. What better way to celebrate the season of giving and caring than by embracing the responsibility of a new companion animal, right?

We’re pleased to report that Dr. Sarah has some seriously helpful tips for all of our readers, new and established pet parents alike. We’re covering some new territory on outdoor safety, as well as reissuing some practical tips from a couple of seasons ago … it’s our version of the best-of-the-best info for winter pet care, with a dash of old-school puppy safety thrown in for good measure. Hopefully, this brief video will put your mind at ease, demonstrating just how simple it is to keep wee pups, and old dogs, safe throughout the chilly winter.

Trick or Treat

Tuesday, 30 October 2012 14:32 by Dr. Sarah

In this thrilling episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah peers into her crystal ball and treats pet parents to some special tricks to help fur-kids have a happy and healthy Halloween. Our staff veterinarian offers some timely tips on keeping your pets’ paws off potentially hazardous candies. Further, Dr. Sarah conjures up the perfect spell to keep your furry friends from unexpectedly venturing out among the other creatures of the night! And, since tasty treats are central to All Hallow’s Eve, Dr. Sarah reveals some healthier options made especially with your four-footers’ nutritional needs and well-being in mind. In the brief video, you’ll learn all sorts of helpful tricks for taking the fear out of your Halloween celebration!

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Tips & Tricks for Brushing

Wednesday, 26 September 2012 16:34 by Dr. Sarah

Think back to when you chose which dog to share your life with … did grooming requirements weigh heavily on your decision-making? Chances are, probably not. It’s important that you have some understanding of your dog’s grooming needs from the get-go. You don’t want to wait until she’s uncomfortable or you are frustrated before acting. Some pet parents postpone grooming duties until the coat builds up foul odors, or when shedding is so prevalent that dog-hair tumbleweeds are rolling across the floor. But, with the helpful information provided in this short video, that’s all about to change. With assistance from her beautiful, blond assistant, Alma, Dr. Sarah offers a concise review of the basics of home grooming.

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Successful Aging - Factors in Lifespan Determination

Friday, 24 August 2012 15:48 by Dr. Sarah

Welcome to the final installment in our Successful Aging Series! In this episode of Pet Talk, we’ll devote time to one of the great mysteries of health … is it due to some sort of genetic luck-of-the-draw or does it have more to do with living wisely? Our hope is that a deeper understanding of this topic could assist all pet parents, aiding them in their attempts to ensure longer and healthier lifetimes for their dear companions. Dr. Sarah explains recent research conducted in this fascinating arena, all with an eye towards the potential benefits in regards to the longevity of our furry four-footers. Additionally, Dr. Sarah will reveal a startlingly simple and ingenious method of feeding that shows great promise for helping extend the natural life of not only companion animals, but humans too! This is one episode you won’t want to miss. Be sure to share this important health message with your friends and family.

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Camping with your Canine Companion

Thursday, 26 July 2012 16:49 by Dr. Sarah

Are you looking for an affordable alternative for summer vacation? Do you yearn to explore the Great Outdoors? Are you tired of leaving your dog behind when you leave town? If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, then this episode of Pet Talk was made just for you! In this special summertime message, our intrepid, happy-go-lucky staff veterinarian Dr. Sarah applies her ready-for-anything attitude to a great American pastime with a twist … canine camping. Aided by Alma, her fun-loving, Goldendoodle co-star, our pet expert is on location in the Colorado woodlands, sharing her insights and practical tips to help prepare you for your next nature-land adventure.

As an added bonus to our readers, we’re including a full explanation of what you’ll need to pack to mount your next expedition into the wilds. And be sure to download the handy checklist version to take the last-minute guesswork out of what you’ll need to pack.

From here on out, camping won’t be complete without your canine companion. So, shake the moths out of your tent, dust off your backpack and buy a pack of strike-anywhere matches. Don’t forget to share your camping stories with other Life’s Abundance customers in the comments section below!

Packing List for Camping with your Canine Companion

Identification tags: If your pup is out of the house, she should wear her ID tags (license, vaccination & home address) labeled with your name, city, state and phone number. For your camping trip, consider purchasing an inexpensive, temporary tag for her to wear along with the standard tags. Some stores have engraving kiosks - simply enter the relevant info (such as your dog’s name, the name of the park where you’ll be camping and your assigned campsite number). If your park of choice doesn’t assign numbers ahead of time, or if you’re camping on a wilderness trail, include the phone number of the nearest ranger station. If there’s space enough, include pertinent information about medical conditions (such as ‘Diabetic’) or behavioral issues (like, ‘Cat Aggressive’).

Leash: In addition to your standard leash and collar (make sure they’re in good condition while you’re at it), consider bringing back-ups. It’s a good idea to have one short lead, especially if your destination is heavily wooded - you don’t want Max’s retractable lead wound around a couple of trees when he’s in an excited state.

Tether or Crate: You need to have a way to safely restrain your dog while you are setting up camp, cooking, etc. - just ask anyone who’s ever tried to pitch a tent while holding a leash - not pretty. If your dog routinely sleeps in a crate, and you’re driving to your campsite, bring it along. Obviously, it’s not something you want to carry on your back if you’re hiking to your site. However, a crate is a safe place she can return to while you’re busy prepping or cleaning up your camp site.

Bedding: Bring an all-weather tarp to place under the bedding to shield you and your pup from the ground, especially for camping in cold weather. Laying on the ground risks exposure, as body heat is quickly absorbed into the earth, and we don’t want you or your dog experiencing hypothermia.

Cold Protection: To further protect your pup, especially if she has a short or thin coat, pack a doggie sweater for her to wear. Again, there’s no reason to risk hypothermia.

Booties: Depending on the terrain, presence of ice on the ground, prevalence of fire ants or if your dog has weak footpads (i.e., predisposed to tearing, not uncommon in older dogs), booties are a good solution for paw protection. Don’t forget to do some trial runs with the booties before you leave … wearing shoes for the first time takes some getting used to.

Food and Water: Don’t wing it when it comes to having enough food and water. Do not simply trust the safety of streams, rivers and lakes as a source of hydration, for you or your dog. It’s rare these days to locate natural water that isn’t tainted by giardia, toxic chemicals or other harmful bacteria. If you insist on using water from a natural source, bring giardia tablets (follow the label instructions) and a tiny bottle of bleach (you only need a couple of drops per gallon) to purify the water. When it comes to food, pack two extra days of dog food beyond your planned stay. Preserve the food in a sturdy water-proof container. If your campsite features a “bear box” (a storage container high off the ground, often on a pole), please use it - it’s there for a reason. If you don’t have travel bowls, pack your pup’s regular ones – even these can evoke a measure of comfort in an unfamiliar environment.

Toys: Even though the Great Outdoors may captivate your attention, boredom’s a distinct possibility after your dog has marked his or her territory and sniffed around the camp site a couple of times. If your dog is fearful under the stars, a favorite toy from home might provide a measure of comfort.

First Aid Kit Items: Chances are, you already plan to take some first-aid items … by adding a couple of more products, you’ll be well prepared to handle many canine emergencies, too.
Take the following items and keep them safely stored in clear storage bags … that way, you won’t waste precious time in an emergency situation digging through your backpack.

Bandages: Vetwrap (self-stick gauze), butterfly bandages (used to close open wounds), waterproof surgical tape, duct tape, 4” X 4” gauze pads and non-stick sterile pads
Styptic Powder, to stop bleeding (Kwik Stop is a good brand)
Small Scissors
Tweezers
Hemostats or needle-nose pliers
Small razor (to shave hair from injured area)
Irrigation syringe (to flush eyes and wounds)
Ear and eye ointment (ask your vet or vet tech for which brands for common conditions)
Triple antibiotic ointment with lidocaine (that last part will help with stinging, painful wounds - check with your vet)
Medication for insect stings in both a topical spray and oral capsules (again, talk with your vet about brand choice and dosages)
Hydrogen peroxide (to disinfect the wound)
Towel
Muzzle (if your dog is in pain, you need to take steps to prevent him from biting you or others while addressing the emergency)

If you are planning a camping trip in a remote location, it would be wise to consider enrolling in a back-country EMT course, which should be available through your local community college.

It sounds like a lot of work, but if you’re adequately prepared, you’re more likely to have a blast. Enjoy your trip!

(Please note: Always consult your veterinarian on your first aid kit regarding items, brand choices, dosages and guidance on their uses.)

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Successful Aging - Maintaining Strength and Mobility

Thursday, 21 June 2012 16:35 by Dr. Sarah

Welcome to the next installment of our Successful Aging Series! In this episode of Pet Talk, we’ll discuss issues that effect many creatures as they age – maintaining strength and mobility. Watch as Dr. Sarah dispenses her valuable veterinary insights about nutrition, weight control, and the importance of strength training for the preservation of healthy bones and muscles. If your dog or cat exhibits gimpiness, or just isn’t as lively as in younger years, you’ll be especially interested in learning about what options are available to you to make a positive difference in their lives, now and long into the future. Our good doctor explains how pain may be at the root of some problems, while in other cases diet may be responsible for a hitch in the get-along. Additionally, we’ll reveal some simple exercises you can do with your companion animal to make them feel better and age with grace. Be sure to share this important health message with your friends and family!

(Consult your veterinarian before starting an exercise program with your companion animal.)

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Successful Aging - Cancer in Pets

Thursday, 24 May 2012 14:26 by Dr. Sarah

Welcome to the first installment of our Successful Aging Series! In this episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah addresses one of the most frightening and heartbreaking illnesses that afflict companion animals – cancer. According to the most recent data, nearly four million dogs will be diagnosed with cancer this year, which is why we’re dedicating an entire episode to “the C-word”. To aid you in your quest to help your fur kids age successfully, Dr. Sarah shares the latest news about our current understanding of how companion animals age and the obstacles they encounter later in life. Additionally, Dr. Sarah discusses prevalent pet cancers, what sorts of treatments are available now, and groundbreaking research into potential therapies and preventatives. Don’t miss this episode, as you’ll also discover news from the National Cancer Institute about its ambitious agenda to eradicate this silent killer. We encourage you to share this timely and vital message with your friends and family!

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Competing Brands Pet Food Recall

Monday, 14 May 2012 12:10 by Dr. Sarah

You may have heard about the recent pet food recalls in the news and have some questions about salmonella poisoning. Although no Life's Abundance products are involved in this recall, we want to make sure you are aware of this current situation, as you may have friends who feed their companion animals one of the brands involved. In this video, Dr. Sarah discusses the details of this most recent recall and provides you with the information you need to know about the salmonella bacteria - including symptoms of salmonella poisoning and preventative measures to help avoid the further spread of infection. Watch this important video message and pass it on to your fellow pet parents.

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Treat Your Pet to Good Health

Wednesday, 25 April 2012 15:43 by Dr. Sarah

Even though we act like it’s true, pets aren’t just like people. Ingesting empty-calorie snacks every once in a while can have a much greater impact on pets than humans, and not in a good way. Even feeding a diet of premium food may not offset the potential damage of ingesting “junk foods”, which often contain unsavory ingredients including artificial flavors and colors. In this particular health equation, it isn’t just a matter of subtraction (or taking away the bad stuff). Thanks to Dr. Jane’s wholesome recipes, you can actually add nutrients to your companion animal’s daily intake. In this episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah reveals how simple it is to make a positive change. If you want to provide your fur kids with the best possible nutritional advantage, you owe it to yourself to watch the latest episode right now. And, please, share this vital message with your friends and family, too!

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Talking About Ticks

Thursday, 22 March 2012 14:36 by Dr. Sarah

If ticks were human-size, they’d be one of the scariest creatures on the planet. Even though ticks are tiny, they’re still an awful nuisance, especially if you don’t know how to minimize contact and the damage they can inflict if contact occurs. Over the course of the last couple of decades, large swaths of the U.S. have been churning out bumper crops of ticks, even in urban areas, and tick season is right around the corner. Thank goodness we have Dr. Sarah on-hand to clear up misconceptions about these little blood-suckers and to share helpful tips for dealing with these creepy-crawlies. If you and your companion animals plan to spend any time outdoors over the next few months, be sure to watch the latest episode of Pet Talk right now. And, please, share this video with your friends and family!