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Make the Holidays Safe and Stress-Free for Your Dogs and Cats

If you’re like most people, you’re currently in the midst of another incredibly busy holiday season. With planning, traveling, baking, shopping, get-togethers with friends and family, there seems to be no end to the to-do list … or the holiday stress. Unfortunately, during all of the hustle and bustle, we sometimes forget about the needs of our four-legged family members.

Dogs and cats can be overwhelmed by visitors, the smells coming from the kitchen, and the curious colors and textures of holiday decorations in the home. The holidays offer up unique hazards for our pets. In fact, every year thousands of pets are seriously injured or sickened by dangers that could have been easily prevented. In most of these cases, pet parents are simply unaware of the risks associated with holiday food, treats and decorations. And that’s why we’re so pleased to bring you the following presentation.

In this episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah details many of these holiday hazards for dogs and cats, including decorations and food risks that might be present in your home right now. Additionally, Dr. Sarah shares easy-to-follow tips on surviving the holiday season with less stress and more joy.

Be sure to share this safety video with your friends and family. Who knows … one of the gifts you give may be saving the life of a furry companion!


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Foreclosure Crisis Leads to More Homeless Pets - The Dr Jane's HealthyPetNet Foundation to the Rescue!

Even though the ongoing housing crisis shows small signs of recovery, another crisis is growing to epidemic proportions. Countless dogs and cats have been, and are continuing to be abandoned by families driven out of their homes due to foreclosures. These devastating situations result in dire circumstances for pets, who are either left trapped inside a foreclosed home with little or no food and no one to provide medical attention, or are turned out onto the streets to fend for themselves.

Fortunately, when a group of real estate professionals in Scotsdale, Arizona, were faced with these heartbreaking situations, time-after time, they decided to do something about it. More...

Eating Number Two is Number One Among Pet Parent Concerns

What is coprophagia? For those of you that have a dog that does it, no explanation is necessary. But for the rest of us…

According to Wikipedia, coprophagia is the consumption of feces, from the Greek κόπρος copros ("feces") and φαγεῖν phagein ("to eat"). Many animal species practice coprophagia as a matter of course; other species do not normally consume feces but may do so under unusual conditions.

Gross!

It is a fact of life: many of us know and love a dog that practices this disgusting gustatory habit, and many dog owners are pulling their hair out trying to get their pet to stop! More...

Foundation Delivers Aid to Retired Racing Greyhounds

Thanks to The Dr. Jane’s HealthyPetNet Foundation, four “retired” Greyhounds have crossed the finish line to guaranteed shelter and care, until they can be adopted into loving, forever families.

Our charitable non-profit’s latest financial award was bestowed upon the Greyhound Adoption of Greater Cincinnati, which is dedicated to saving the lives of retired racing Greyhounds. More...

Not All Dog Treats are Created Equal

For years, holistic practitioners have worked to educate consumers about how even the slightest changes in environment, stress and diet can cause significant changes in health. As a holistic vet myself, I believe that nothing should be overlooked when it comes to ensuring the wellness of our beloved buddies.

Since we know that food is the foundation for a healthy life, most people select the best food to provide the many essential nutritional components our dogs can’t do without. But to make sure they receive the nutrition required to help boost healthy functioning, additional nourishment from healthy dog treats can be just what the doctor ordered.

To that end, dog treats should be selected based upon their nutritional merits rather than on cost, flavor or glitzy packaging.

Your pet’s treats should add the healthy components that are known to support hardy immune systems, strong muscles and optimal health. The nutrients required for superior support of these systems can be found in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, as well as in foods like cranberries, apples, tomatoes, rice bran, whole grains and many others. Unsurprisingly, these wholesome foods appear in the ingredient panels of some of the premium treats I’ve been fortunate enough to formulate for Life's Abundance.

If your dog could decide which treats they’d want, I feel confident that they would choose all of those offered by Life's Abundance, including Antioxidant Health Bars (Oatmeal & Apple Recipe), Gourmet Dental Treats (Honey Peanut Butter Recipe), Wholesome Hearts Low-Fat Treats and Tasty Rewards Nutritional Training Treats.

I feel very strongly that every treat you give your pet should have a health benefit so that at the end of the day, your pet truly is a reflection of his or her food, dog treats and love.

Thank you for all that you do to make the world a better place for companion animals,

Dr. Jane Bicks


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Tips for Holiday Travel With Your Pet

If you are like many people, your holiday plans will include some form of travel. Increasingly, travelers are opting to include their dog or cat on their journeys. According to Road and Travel Magazine, 78% of pet owners are hitting the road and soaring through the skies with their furry friends, and this percentage keeps growing! If you are thinking about taking your companion animal along for the ride, keep in mind that traveling with pets usually involves more than just putting them in the backseat and driving off, especially if you are traveling long distances.

If you are traveling by plane, there are many things to consider, including proper documentation, regulations and services, and a special carrier. If by car, consider booking hotels that accept dogs or cats well in advance of your travels. International travel represents a whole new set of challenges, including quarantine periods, a different set of laws and regulations, and special fees and documents.

Unfortunately, some pets become separated from their pet parents during travel – it is important to protect your pet with proper ID. Also, for any kind of traveling, there are certain things you should pack (like food and medication) and other things best left at home. If you aren’t prepared, you may be adding to the stress of the season for both you and your companion animal. The best bet to a safe and hassle-free trip is proper planning and preparation: what you don’t need in the middle of a trip is one more thing to worry about.

In this video, Dr. Sarah details suggested preparations for traveling with your companion animal. From necessary travel documents and how to keep your pet safe, to ideas for easy clean-up so your dog or cat doesn’t wear out their welcome, this video is a must-see for merry holiday travel planning!


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Scores of Dogs Dropped Off at Local Shelter; Lifes Abundance Heeds Call for Assistance

Palm City, Florida – When the Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County issued a public plea for assistance, after their dog population doubled in a single day, a company headquarted in Palm City stepped up to the plate … literally.

Seventy-five Chihuahuas and one Pug were dropped off at the shelter on October 19th, when a local breeder hit hard by the economy determined she could no longer operate her business.

Life's Abundance heeded the Society’s call for donations, providing more than 300 pounds of Life’s Abundance Premium Health Food for Puppies & Adult Dogs and Life’s Abundance Weight-Loss Formula for Adult Dogs and 46 pounds of Gourmet Dental Treats – Honey Peanut Butter Recipe. More...

How to brush your dog's teeth

While many people like the smell of puppy breath, the same can’t be said for “Dog breath.” It’s almost universally considered as eye-stingingly unpleasant. This phrase has even been used as a playground insult! While it’s a joke to some, when you look at the science behind foul panting, it’s clear that bad breath is anything but funny.

In fact, bad breath is epidemic, affecting four out of five companion animals over the age of three. Additionally, this condition could be a sign of dental disease, which can lead to health consequences throughout the whole body, not just in the mouth. As some veterinarians have rightly noted, infections of the gums and teeth can spread to other parts of the body, including the heart, kidneys and intestinal tract … even the joints!

Brushing your dog’s teeth and providing them with dental snacks are two ways to help improve the health of teeth and gums, especially in reducing the build-up of plaque. Unfortunately, however, many pet parents find brushing frustrating, which can result in a stressful experience for pets.

Thankfully, Dr. Sarah is here to share with you the proper technique for brushing your dog’s teeth.

If dental health is a priority for you, watch this short, how-to video about dental care, so you can help your pet fight dental disease and bad breath.


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Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease and Stress

As many pet parents know, urinary tract problems are a common kitty complaint. In part, that’s because cats evolved as desert animals, and therefore don’t have a strong instinctual drive to drink water. Not taking in enough fluids can result in a scenario where minerals pile-up in the kidneys and bladder, setting the stage for the formation of stones or crystals.

These problems are common enough that you should be on the lookout for these warning signs:

  • Frequent urination
  • Urination in places other than the litter box
  • If he/she strains to urinate
  • If you see any hint of blood in her urine

And now, there’s evidence to suggest that stress can be one of the primary causes of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD). Stress can let loose a flood of hormones that could cause the muscles of the lower urinary tract to constrict.  Changes in your routine, a new companion animal in the home, changes in weather and even a lack of attention can increase your cat’s stress level. You can see how important it is to be in-tune with your cat’s emotional state, and take steps to decrease or eliminate stress in her life.

Additionally, you might consider providing water for your cat using a continuous fountain.  The constant motion of the water attracts the attention of cats, hopefully encouraging them to drink more. And, of course, providing fluid-rich canned foods like Instinctive Choice can help boost overall fluid intake, too.

If you take steps now, you might be able to prevent your cat from developing urinary health issues, like FLUTD, helping him or her to live a healthier – and much more comfortable – life.


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Dealing with the Loss of a Dog or Cat

Losing a companion animal is devastating. And yet, many pet parents don’t receive the kind of emotional support they might expect if they had lost a human family member. Failing to show such a depth of compassion is common for those who have never shared a special bond with a dog or cat. These people might say to themselves, “What’s the big deal … it was just a pet.”  What they don’t understand is a very simple truth: losing a companion animal is losing a member of your family.

Anytime we suffer a dramatic loss, it is appropriate to grieve. Your first priority should be to come to grips with the fact that it is perfectly acceptable to grieve the passing of your companion animal. Accepting the magnitude of your loss can facilitate the process of grieving. The more you fight to suppress your feelings, the worse your grief can become. Hiding the heartache will do you no good.

Grief takes many forms, whether it’s denial, anger, bargaining, depression and ultimately, acceptance. While many tout the different characterizations of grief as if they were absolute stages, these steps should be interpreted more as a continuum of emotion. That is, some may not experience them and others may experience many simultaneously.

Some find the process of grief frustrating, as it is a process of reaction. We may ask ourselves, “What can I do to feel better?” Those who have experienced a recent loss should take some comfort in knowing that there are outlets for this impulse. There are several organizations that allow you to contribute funds in the memory of your dog or cat. Many of these groups will publish an announcement of your gift along with a special message of tribute. In this way, you can create a legacy for your companion animal.

Additionally, you should be certain to actively take care of yourself physically. Because grief takes a toll on us physically, you should allow yourself extra time to sleep, be sure to exercise and eat well.

Don’t arbitrarily assign time limits to your grief. The bottom line is – as with most emotional processes – it takes as long as it takes.

Above all, know that you are not alone in your experience. Be sure to talk to other pet parents about your loss, but be sure to spend time sharing memories about the best times you spent with your dog or cat, too.


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