The Foundation for a Better Life

Friday, 15 January 2010 15:54 by Dr. Jane

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.

Most pet foods are made based upon formulas that, at least in purely technical terms, fulfill the generally accepted nutritional requirements, which are then labeled “complete” or “balanced diets”. Shockingly, some of these pet foods use unsavory sources for their “nutrients”, including diseased cattle and animals killed in automobile accidents (aka “roadkill”) including deer, opossums, birds and perhaps most disturbingly, dogs and cats. Of course, you won’t find any of these upsetting sources listed on any labels.

Over the years I’ve seen hundreds of undernourished puppies and kittens – whose ears, skin and intestinal tracts are in various stages of decline – all of whom ate regularly. I’ve also seen far too many middle-aged cats and dogs on these diets pass general examinations but lack energy, have dull eyes, have disagreeable temperaments, experience urinary tract issues, and suffer with skin and coat conditions.

On the positive side, I’ve also witnessed dogs and cats responding positively when they eat a diet with wholesome foods and high levels of nutrients, having the effect of improving health and shoring up immune systems. Creating Life’s Abundance Premium Health Food has been one of the great pleasures of my life, and that feeling is reinforced every time I read testimonials from customers who are overjoyed by the difference our original formulas have made in their pets’ lives.

Before I reveal more about the philosophy behind the original formulas of Life’s Abundance, I want to address a growing epidemic in America … obesity in companion animals. It’s not uncommon for pets who consume poor-quality foods to be overweight, especially when they are free-fed. These poor creatures are literally starving for the nutrients their bodies require, and so they eat and eat and eat. Because they’re eating the same food every day, without the nutrition they need to thrive, they pack on pounds, and probably feel miserable, too. That’s exactly why, in addition to my original Life’s Abundance formulas (one for dogs and one for cats), I created Weight-Loss Formula … to help dogs trim unwanted pounds and maintain a healthy weight, as naturally as possible.

I know from my professional experiences that for any food to deliver the nutrients necessary to support optimal health, it must be formulated based upon different standards. As my professional peers will tell you, I have extremely high standards when it comes to the foods we feed our dearest companions. These higher standards must take into account the actual physiology of dogs and cats in addition to accepted nutritional requirements.

Just like humans, dogs and cats are complex organisms. At HealthyPetNet, we believe that a pet’s food must nourish every part of their bodies. That’s why we’ve included such a broad spectrum of nutrients, where every ingredient is selected to enhance specific parts of the body. The resulting balance of ingredients is combined in a very particular way, which becomes our premium formula – each ingredient working with the others to fulfill the myriad needs of dogs and cats. And believe me, there are numerous needs to fill!

When formulating Life’s Abundance, I selected ingredients to support all of the important bodily structures and functions. Explaining all of the elements of these three formulas would be so extensive, it would fill up a book! So, to illustrate the amount of work that goes into formulation, I want to highlight one problem area and how Life’s Abundance Premium Health Food for Puppies & Adult Dogs addresses it. In this post, I want to touch on skin and coat health, since biting and scratching are among the top reasons pet parents take their companion animals to the vet.

Protein is crucial for skin and coat health – especially for puppies and seniors – so I selected highly-digestible, superior-quality proteins, putting in exactly the amounts that both young and old require for optimal skin and coat health. We also added flaxseed meal because it includes proteins that meats don’t have and antioxidants which the skin needs for optimal health. Not only that, but flaxseed meal contains a nice mixture of B vitamins and oil.

We added omega-3 fatty acids (from fish oil), as numerous studies have shown it’s essential to skin health. As well as addressing the direct requirements of skin and coat, we included ingredients to help support the immune system, a must for the healthiest possible skin.

Life’s Abundance also features a proprietary blend of vitamins and minerals , which includes easily-absorbed minerals that work to improve the effectiveness of antioxidants (for instance, the skin attracts zinc, making zinc a great “delivery vehicle” of antioxidants). And since one of the largest immune organs is located in the gut (GALT), several ingredients were selected to provide nourishment for this important immune organ.

I hope that you can see the importance of building a food based on the physiology of our precious companions. I truly believe that Life’s Abundance represents the ultimate pet food, with all the ingredients necessary to help your companion animals live long, healthy and happy lives.

For all of you already feeding Life’s Abundance, I thank you for being responsible pet parents, and for being agents of positive change in the lives of your companion animals.

Warmest wishes,
Dr. Jane Bicks, DVM
HealthyPetNet Product Formulator

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Comments (12) -

January 16. 2010 15:53

Georgia

Can you tell me if dogs should eat cottage cheese?  Also why isn't corn good for dogs and how come most dog foods have corn in them.

Georgia

Georgia

January 16. 2010 16:38

Karen Hillebrand

Just like humans, don't you think cats like to have a variety of different flavors. I don't think people would like having pizza for every single meal.  I still have to try and find some other cat food in order to give them a variety. If I only gave them your good cat food, then they'd be having the same thing for EVERY meal. Couldn't you make different flavors, such as chicken, turkey, salmon, beef, cod, etc. instead of putting them all together for one meal?

Karen Hillebrand

January 16. 2010 21:23

m. wilson

Hello Dr. Bicks,

As a pet parent, I applaud your dedication to the wellness of our pets. We became 'fans' when we discovered your products.
After much research of a better product for our family member-our Lab, he couldn't be happier and healthier!

As you mentioned, most of the pet food on the market is really quite atrocious.
Thank you!

m. wilson

January 18. 2010 13:35

Arline Brown

I would like to know about the remark above about the cottage cheese also!!@ Georgia:

Arline Brown

January 19. 2010 05:48

Doris Lockwood

Dr Jane,

Love the cat food, as do my 12 cats.  Are there plans in the near future to package the cat food in larger cans?  The dog food is in the 5.5oz cans, why not cat food.  I agree with Karen Hillebrand about having more variety in the cat food line.  The dog food line keeps growing.  It would make it easier for Field Reps to have more variety in cat food.

Doris Lockwood

February 5. 2010 10:08

Jeffrey Otto

Dr. Jane--

I couldn't agree with you more about the importance of *quality* ingredients in our pets' food and of maintaining a healthy weight.  To that end, I'd love to see a Light formula available in the dry cat food line.  Are there any plans for that?

Thanks,

Jeffrey Otto
Oregon

Jeffrey Otto

May 29. 2010 15:07

Marsha Hoff

I would like to know if there is any cat food on the market that I can buy that helps with flea control?

Marsha Hoff

June 22. 2010 23:46

Karin

Dear Dr. Jane,
   We are new cat parents and "Moonshine" LOVES your food, supplements, and treats!  He is two years old and we've already noticed improvement in his energy level.  We can't thank you enough for formulating a food that we can truly trust.  Our three "senior" dogs have been on Life's Abundance for a year and it has been an amazing experience watching their health improve drastically in many ways.

Karin

June 28. 2010 22:53

Jordan Jumpman

I have been visiting your blog lately because I am interested in reading the quality articles that you post. Many thanks!

Jordan Jumpman

May 22. 2011 18:21

Jeneanne

I have two Westies, one is 3 years, one is 10.  I have always fed them wet and dry food mixed because the dry food makes them constipated.  I like them to eat dry food to help with keeping their teeth clean.  I would like to drop the wet food.  Will your dog food help with constipation?

Jeneanne

November 20. 2011 20:10

Harrie K

Dr. Jane,
I have encountered many questions regarding the benefits of holistic/healthier pet foods vs the "veterans", and the testing of products (for quality, consistency and frequency to avoid contamination). The larger, long standing companies claim they have the research to back them up regarding food content and better quality control as they test "every" batch, and that the smaller companies don't have the research behind them to validate content and don't test as frequently, thus questioning quality control (not only purported by the large companies but by many vets as well). Any insight from your perspective?

Harrie K

December 4. 2013 07:06

Magda Rugh

magnificent writing

Magda Rugh

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