May 2020

Why Taurine In Dog Food Is So Important

“Happy

At Life’s Abundance, we believe that every ingredient should provide a benefit. We also believe  in a whole-health, or holistic, approach to product formulation.  Our dog foods include all the nutrients that we know their bodies need — including some cutting edge ingredient choices we’ve made over the years that can pay big dividends to your dog’s health, taurine among them.

As the canine heart disease, dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), started making headlines in 2018, taurine publicly emerged as an important nutrient for dogs. For many, many years, our dry dog foods have included taurine at guaranteed minimum levels.  That’s because we don’t believe that formulating to just be “good” is good enough. 

What is taurine?

Taurine is an amino acid that dogs need in order to maintain proper body function, including keeping your dog’s heart pumping strong.  Because dogs can naturally make it themselves and it doesn't build protein, taurine is not considered to be an essential amino acid. However, there are other health benefits of adding guaranteed taurine to their diet. 

Here are some of the benefits of taurine for dogs:

  • Strengthens heart muscles and vascular function

  • Promotes reproductive health 

  • Supports healthy vision and retina health

  • Promotes healthy liver function

“Corgi

What is taurine deficiency in dogs?

Just like people, dogs can have nutritional deficiencies.  Sometimes they are harder to diagnose because many times there are no obvious symptoms of taurine deficiency in dogs. 

When taurine levels in your dog’s blood are low, the heart will become weaker and will not be able to circulate blood through the body properly. Taurine deficiency is one of the causes of a heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) — this is when the heart muscle thins and the chambers become enlarged. Research to uncover more about DCM and its possible causes is ongoing by the FDA. 

Although DCM can be genetic, it can also be caused by, you guessed it, taurine deficiency. Some breeds that are predisposed to taurine deficiency include:

  • Golden Retrievers

  • Cocker Spaniels

  • Doberman Pinschers

  • Great Danes

  • Dalmations

  • Newfoundlands

How do I support my dog’s heart health with taurine?

Keeping an open dialogue with your veterinarian about your dog’s health is an important first step. Next, choosing a food with guaranteed amounts of taurine for your dog’s daily diet will add nutritional support for your dog, and peace of mind for you. Check out our line of dry dog food at Life’s Abundance, which includes taurine in every kibble.   

Here’s an insider tip when it comes to dog food formulas: Taurine isn’t considered an essential or traditional amino acid because its primary function is not to build proteins, like other amino acids do. This is why finding taurine in dog food brands other than Life’s Abundance has been practically unheard of. At Life’s Abundance, your search for dry dog food with taurine is at an end.

You only want what’s best for your dog.  We know because we’re pet parents too.  Armed with a bit of useful information, we hope you can feel confident in making the right, informed choices for your furry friend. 

 

Tips For Grooming Your Dog At Home

“Happy

Let’s admit it — professional groomers are miracle workers! Washing your dog at home can prove to be quite the challenging task if you aren’t prepared.  If you’re missing your groomer, here are some DIY tips for grooming your dog while at home.

Make sure you have your grooming checklist ready:

BEFORE THE GROOMING 

Pro Tip: If your furry friend gets stressed during grooming, give them a cup of room-temperature chamomile tea with honey about 30 min before bath time, followed by a carb-rich treat like our Antioxidant Health Bars. The glucose in the treat will deliver the calming tea straight to your dog’s brain. (Make some extra tea for yourself if you're nervous too!)

  • If you don’t have a waterproof apron to protect your clothes, be sure to change into something that can get wet. Preferably it will have pockets to stow savory-smelling dog treats, while keeping your hands free.

  • Using a high-quality cleanser, like our Revitalizing Shampoo, makes a difference. The luxurious lather will not strip your dog’s protective oils or leave soapy residue on their coat.  The natural fruit extracts have a soothing fragrance both you and your dog will appreciate.

  • Long-haired breeds should be brushed with a fine-toothed comb first. Otherwise you could end up making knots in their coat even worse.

  • If your dog especially seems to dislike outside baths, it might be a good idea to try the bathtub. Many dogs respond much better to lukewarm water.

DURING THE GROOMING 

  • Start by wetting your dog at their neck and move backwards. Then, apply shampoo and use a gentle massaging motion. Give them soothing words of encouragement — your voice can be therapeutic to your dog!

  • Make sure you don’t miss any commonly missed spots, such as the underarms. Scrub from top to bottom — first wash one side, then the other.  Don’t forget inbetween the toes and to wash their face last.

  • To rinse them off, start at your pup’s head (avoiding the eyes) and move backwards, as all the soap will run down the dog.  Rinse one side of the body first, then the other before rinsing her chest, underarms, belly and legs thoroughly. To rinse their head, soak a washcloth and wring it out just above their head. Use the washcloth to wipe their muzzle and around the eyes.

    • After rinsing, use your hands like squeegees to remove excess water.  This also allows you to feel if you have left any soap behind.  Rinsing all the soap off completely is important, as any soap left behind can make your dog itchy.  Let them shake that excess water off!

“Corgi

AFTER THE GROOMING

      • Now you’re ready to dry your dog using towels. If your dog has long or cottony fur, try to use more of a patting motion rather than rubbing to avoid matting the fur.

      • Once they are dry, follow up with a skin & coat conditioner, like our Bath Fresh Mist. This conditioner helps keep their exterior hydrated, healthy and smelling fresh!

      • Don’t forget about the ears! Many breeds of dogs need to have the hair in their ears cleaned regularly — this helps fight off bacteria, dirt and grime trapped inside the ear canal. Our Ear Care Formula gently and safely removes dirt and debris while nourishing the tender skin of the ears.

      • To finish the grooming session, remember to offer your dog their favorite treat. This helps seal the experience in your dog’s mind as a positive one. 

Remember, bathe your dog no more than every 2-3 weeks.  You can use our skin and coat spray, Bath Fresh Mist, in between baths to neutralize odors and condition the skin.  Just spray and brush it in.  You will love the smell and your dog will love the attention.

Are there any must-know tips you can share with others? Leave a comment below!

We’re Now Powered By The Sun

We’re pleased to announce that South Florida’s beaming sunlight is now shining down on the brand-new solar panels located at the Life’s Abundance headquarters in Jupiter, FL!

While there are multiple benefits of solar energy, we are most excited about the environmental impact that will also get us closer to our goal of becoming carbon negative as a company — this means that we will be removing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than we emit. It is a lofty but worthwhile goal that we project to achieve within the next two years.

Our mission of empowering people and pets to live healthier and happier lives is about more than the products we offer — here are some other ways that Life’s Abundance is making a difference.

Ways we are reducing our carbon footprint:

  • Planting trees, nearly 140,000 and counting

  • Going digital and eliminating paper products

  • Utilizing smarter shipping practices

  • Eliminating plastic bubble wrap

  • Reduced energy and water consumption at our facilities

    “Worker

How We're Giving Back:

For each skin care product purchased, a tree will be planted by Trees for the Future in a community suffering the environmental and economic effects of deforestation. We are also part of Trees for the Future’s carbon sequestering program, which captures carbon by planting trees.

Quarter by quarter, we are offsetting the calculated carbon footprint of our headquarters and all six of our warehouse locations. And we are not stopping there!  The plan in place will completely offset the footprints of the daily commute of all employees, the transit and delivery of all packages we ship and receive, and even our annual convention.

At Life’s Abundance, we want to make this world a better place for all people and their pets, from the products they consume to the world we all live in — side-by-side with the support of customers, we’re fulfilling our purpose of empowering healthier, happier living!