August 2020

World Cleanup Day - Upcycle Challenge

“Dog

Upcycling, or creative reuse, is finding a way of turning your useless, unwanted packaging or waste into something brand new. At Life’s Abundance, we’re all about going green — that’s why we challenged ourselves to find exciting ways to upcycle with our own product packaging!

Our employees competed to create the best upcycle projects using their leftover product packaging at home. Here are our five upcycle challenge winners, including a runner-up and a winner! Which one will you try to replicate at home?

Cardboard Scratcher Tray by Arin Roos

“Upcycled

Cat parents unite!  Satisfying your cat's need to scratch can be costly, but cardboard scratchers are a popular recyclable choice.  To save a little money, buy the refill version that does not come with a cardboard tray.  With help from a little tape, you can create your own backing from the trays Life's Abundance canned cat food comes in.   

What you’ll need:

  • Two Life’s Abundance cardboard cat food trays 
  • Tape

Tea Light Holders by Sasha Stephens 

“Upcycled

This upcycle project was inspired by the many evenings we have been spending in our garden. After serving my dog her Life’s Abundance canned food, I cleaned the can out with soap and water. Next, I glued strips of wrapping paper (but you can use any paper or even fabric) around the can and voilà, instant mood lighting for a dinner in your backyard! 

What you’ll need:

  • Life’s Abundance can food, can be dog or cat
  • Wrapping paper or fabric 
  • Glue 
  • Tea Light
  • Scissors  

Market Bag by Angelina Nava 

“Upcycled

Whenever I grocery shop, I bring my own bags and reusing my empty dog food bags are a great way to upcycle them! To start, just lay the dog food bag on the ground and decide how tall you want your tote to be, then cut off the top of your dog food bag. Next, take the bottom of the dog food bag and fold down the edges where you cut. Tape the folded-over flap on the bottom of your dog food bag and handles to secure them into place. Lastly, fold two pieces of tape in half (these will be your handles) and put them in place. Also, I found the best way to get rid of the dog food smell was a bit of dish detergent and a couple days of air drying. 

What you’ll need:

  • Life’s Abundance dog food
  • Masking Tape
  • Scissors 

Upcycle Challenge Runner-Up:
Coasters by Stephanie Greenhalge

“Upcycled

I was very excited to participate in this challenge! I have always wanted to find a creative way to upcycle my Life’s Abundance dog food and treat bags and this gave me the perfect opportunity to be crafty. To make these coasters you will need cardboard (I used a wet can food sleeve) which you will want to cut into 4- 6” squares. Next, you will cut your Life’s Abundance bag to the same size as your cardboard cut out, you will need two pieces per coaster. Then, glue on your Life’s Abundance bag cut pieces onto the front and back of your cardboard, I used a glue stick. After the glue dries you will want to use a clear acrylic gloss sealer and let it dry for 24 hours.  

What you’ll need:

  • Life’s Abundance Dog Food or treat bags
  • Glue 
  • Clear acrylic gloss sealer
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors 

Upcycle Challenge Winner:
Amber Glass Vase by Lindsey Whitehead

“Upcycled

Since spending more time at home I have been filling my apartment with flowers to keep things cheery and found the Life’s Abundance Fish Oil bottle makes an excellent vase! Simply clean your bottle with a bottle brush and leave it soaking in dish soap and water overnight. Peel off the label or scrub it off with a scouring pad — you can also use some baking soda to speed up the process and get rid of any residue. 

What you’ll need:

  • Life’s Abundance Fish Oil bottle
  • Scouring sponge 
  • Dish soap 
  • Baking powder 

4 Ways To Celebrate National Dog Day This Year

“Woman

In a time when nothing is as it should be and the script seems to change every day in terms of what our lives are going to look like, it’s more important than ever to try and find those moments of normalcy, of joy, and of presence. 

It is times like these where the love of a dog takes on entire new levels of meaning.

When California shut down back in March, it felt apocalyptic. The streets were empty of cars, Google Maps showed green on every single highway at the height of what should be rush hour, the smoggy skies over Los Angeles as clear as they have ever been. The only way you even knew humans were still around was the presence of the dog owners, dutifully masked up and walking the dog because as far as the dog is concerned, they gotta do what they gotta do.

In the ensuing months, I’ve gotten to see what these constant companions have meant for people. Shelters cleared top to bottom as people took on fosters or new adoptions. Seniors unable to visit their grandchildren found themselves relying on a dog more than ever for that ever so important daily connection to another living being. Phones at the vet clinic ringing off the hook as pet owners, now spending hours upon hours a day with their dog, suddenly noticed a problem that may or may not have been there since last year (that’s ok, we are happy you found it!)

As our connection to each other feels especially fragile, our connection to our dogs has taken up a lot of the slack. And that is something to celebrate.

August 26th brings us to National Dog Day, the greatest day (ok, one of the greatest days) of the year. If you forget, your dog won’t mind. But if you do think of it, there really is no greater time to acknowledge how your pet has helped you and your family cope with unprecedented circumstances. There are so many ways to thank them for the smiles, the love, the smelly toys dumped in your lap, the drooly kisses. Here are just a few:

    1. Find a new hike. Getting outside is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your dog, both physically and psychologically. Depending on your area’s current social distancing guidelines, many areas do have hiking trails open as long as you bring a mask and it’s not too packed to stay safe.

    2. Learn a new trick (or two). The key to effective dog training is repetition and consistency - and maybe some Life’s Abundance treats - so why not take advantage of your time at home to bond through training? Whether it’s a simple new trick to master or practicing a sport like dock diving or agility, dogs love the attention and mental exercise!

“Dog

  1. Give them an end-of-summer makeover. If, like me, your local businesses are still shut down to services like grooming, the hair situation may be getting dire. Regular grooming helps maintain clean and healthy skin, and many pets also need regular nail trims that may have fallen by the wayside. It may be messy and it may not look nearly as neat as it does when the pros have at it, but sometimes you just have to roll with what you have. And if what you have is, like me, a Doodle, there may be a terrible clipper job involved. The good news is, they don’t even get embarrassed.

  2. Donate to help homeless dogs. As we all know, there are many pets in search of loving homes and many wonderful organizations and individuals working to make that happen. In honor of your dog, why not make a donation to your favorite charity in their name to help another dog become as lucky as yours? At Life’s Abundance, a portion of every sale supports rescue organizations - so get an extra bag of Porky Puffs or (Ollie’s favorite) Tasty Rewards knowing your selections are helping pets in need!

While we’re not past challenging times by any measure, most of us are now trying to figure out what the new normal is going to look like. Fortunately for all of us, our dogs have been one of the few consistent bright spots throughout. Are you going to celebrate National Dog Day this year? Hope you can join us!

Wishing your family health and love,

Dr. Jessica Vogelsang, DVM

Dr V 

3 Ways Dogs Help With Mental Health

“Dog

Millions of people around the country love having dogs as a part of their family — what they may not know is how greatly their furry friend can benefit their mental health.

Recent studies exploring the bond between humans and animals have started revealing what so many of us have suspected all along - having a dog has many benefits! This research is how we found that dogs are great at interpreting our mood through our tone of voice, body language and gestures. 

Now we have started to better analyze precisely how our furry friends benefit us mentally and emotionally. Here are three ways dogs can help with our mental health:

1. Early exposure to dogs decreases the chance of psychiatric disorders

A recent study showed that adults who had a dog during childhood were 25% less likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia.  

The apparent effect of exposure to a pet dog is the most evident when the dog is present at a child’s birth or joins a family before the child turns three years old. Exposure to a family dog during this time was associated with a 50% less chance for a schizophrenia diagnosis.

2. Dogs can help battle depression

Studies have found that dog parents are less likely to suffer from depression than those without dogs. Playing with dogs and even feeding them treats has shown to raise levels of serotonin and dopamine, which helps pet parents relax and be happy. 

Companionship from a dog can help fend off some triggers of depression such as isolation and loneliness. Studies have shown that having a dog can even prevent illness and add years to your life!

“Playing

3. Dogs promote a healthy routine and self-care

A lack of routine and structure in a person’s life can make them feel unorganized or anxious. Many people who struggle with maintaining a healthy, normal routine may benefit from bringing a dog into their life.  

If you don’t wake up early enough, your dog most likely will! Going for a walk in the morning and eating breakfast is a staple in every dog’s life. This gets you up and out of the house for walks, hikes or runs — just being outdoors provides its own mental health benefits. Taking care of a pet reminds us to take care of ourselves. 

---

Of course, bringing a dog into your home isn’t the answer for every person or family, but people should be aware of the mental health benefits that come with the furry package! Remember, dogs can help us just as much as we can help them.

 

News Alert: FDA identifies over 100 dangerous hand sanitizers

“Mom

 

Note: Life’s Abundance Rinse-Free Hand Cleanser is not involved in this FDA report. Our product has been tested for safety and is confirmed to contain at least 70% organic ethyl alcohol and does not contain any methanol.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers to be on the lookout for dangerous hand sanitizing products. There are two areas of concern to watch for.

Methanol Contamination

The FDA has seen a spike in hand sanitizers that have tested positive for methanol contamination. This has led to an increase in adverse health events related to methanol, which can be toxic when absorbed through the skin and can even be life-threatening if ingested. 

“Consumers must… be vigilant about which hand sanitizers they use, and for their health and safety we urge consumers to immediately stop using all hand sanitizers on the FDA’s list of dangerous hand sanitizer products,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D. “We remain extremely concerned about the potential serious risks of alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing methanol. 

Low Alcohol Content

FDA test results have shown that other hand sanitizers have “concerningly low levels of ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol,” which are active ingredients in hand sanitizer products. These sub-potent hand sanitizers have also been added to the FDA list of hand sanitizers to avoid.

Click here for the FDA's full list of dangerous hand sanitizers to avoid.