Life's Abundance | Premium health products

7 Steps For Off Leash Dog Training

man training dog

Training your dog off-leash is a rewarding experience for both you and your pup! However, there are certain precautions you need to take before allowing your dog to roam freely. Off-leash training can be difficult in the beginning, especially for breeds that love to run and investigate their surroundings. It can also be easy for them to get distracted when there are other people and dogs nearby. Here are some steps that will help you in safely leading your furry friend towards their first off-leash adventure.

Off-Leash Training Steps:

  1. First things first is to evaluate if your dog is a good candidate for off-leash training. Some dogs might have more difficulty training, like beagles that love to run or chow chows that tend to be super independent.
  2. Before any training, your dog needs to learn how to sit, heel, and come.
  3. As you guide your dog into training, minimize their fears as best you can. This means making sure the environment is free of loud noises, bigger dogs, or children.
  4. Start off by keeping your dog on a long leash or in a large fenced area. You should not let them off-leash until you are 100% confident they are ready.
  5. Use high-value dog treats or toys as you train your dog to sit, heel, and come. Reward them well and shower them with attention when they complete a behavior.
  6. Over time, you can start to use a drag line, which is a smooth rope attached to a collar or harness, to give them more freedom.
  7. Once they become consistent with commands, you can consider letting them graduate to time off the leash.

woman running with beagle

The goal of the first several steps is to convince your dog that it is in their best interest to stay close to you and not run off. Sometimes, neutering can make a huge difference as the possibility of roaming decreases by up to 90%. Regardless of this and other factors, like breed, step one above is crucial - each dog should be evaluated for training. If your dog constantly runs off, or demonstrates predatory behavior, you will want to involve a professional trainer. Dogs are kept leashed for their safety and the safety of others, so we know there is some risk to going off-leash. But, there is also a big reward for your hard work and consistent effort!

If you found this interesting, check out these related stories:

Dog Training: The Secret to Canine Cooperation

Is Therapy Training Right for Your Dog?



Set Goals, Not Resolutions

journal writing

2020 has been quite the year and we’ve all been through this journey of ups and downs. The new year is finally here and you might be tempted to think of a long list of resolutions you want to accomplish. Maybe you want to start going to sleep earlier, make a workout plan, or save a certain amount of money. We get it - you may feel like you lost a lot of time and need to catch up on life. We’re here to tell you though, resolutions shouldn’t necessarily be your focus in the new year. Goal setting is a much more realistic way to reach where you are striving to be.

What is goal setting?

Goal setting is the process of defining exactly what your goals are and what steps you will take to achieve them. This ensures you have a solid plan in place with set deadlines. As you define these objectives, they should be attainable and tangible.

Why does goal setting work better than resolutions?

Resolutions are merely goals or habits you want to incorporate into your life without actually having a plan in place. This can make it extremely difficult to live out your resolutions in the new year. In fact, about 80 percent of resolutions fail before the end of February! This is usually because the resolutions set are huge goals that end up being very overwhelming, especially when you don’t have a deadline or clear plan set for yourself.

In saying this, goal setting is much more efficient in this way because even if you have a big, intimidating goal you want to reach, you can break it down into smaller ones. For example, if you are aiming to shed a bit of that holiday weight, it is better to take it little by little. Aim to lose a lesser amount of pounds each week rather than a higher amount of pounds in six months. Smaller goals are easier to obtain and you are much more likely to reach your target.

woman victory

How can you incorporate this into your life?

It’s best to identify a few goals you want to achieve. Don’t overwhelm yourself with a bunch of things you want to get done this year. It’s okay to have a top two or three objectives and put all your energy into those few. On top of this, there is also something called setting “SMART” goals. This means your goals should be:

  1. Specific - Stay away from generic goals like “eat healthier.” The more specific you are, the better it will be when you start planning.

  2. Measurable - Measure your progress in terms of amounts, time passed, etc.

  3. Attainable - Goals are meant to be achieved! They should not be so out of reach that you cannot attain them.

  4. Relevant - Keep your goals aligned with your life. Make sure it helps you get where you want to be.

  5. Time Bound - Set a deadline! It will only make it that more rewarding for you when you achieve it.


Now that you have your goals, it’s time to make a plan for each one. Write out the small steps within your large goal and make deadlines for those too. All that’s left to do is stick to your plan! Just remember that you can take advantage of goal setting at any time of the year, it isn’t only limited to each time the new year comes around.

Happy planning and Happy New Year!

If you found this interesting, check out these related stories:

Let Go of Limiting Beliefs

New Year's Goals for Pet Kids



Appreciating The Joys Our Pets Bring

puppy and kitten

I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent a ton of time lately with my dog’s head in my lap. I’ve lived with many dogs over the years, but it seems like no matter if I’m petting a lab, a Lhasa, or a coonhound, one fact remains- they always know when I need them there.

This has been an extraordinarily challenging time for everyone, no matter where you live or what you believe. Finding common ground and a sense of unity feels darn near impossible sometimes- until you start talking pets.

Like anyone who’s worked in a field where you interact with the public, I’ve met all kinds of people. One of the things I love most about veterinary medicine isn’t just that the medicine is cool- which it is- but to me, the joy is really in the immense honor and privilege I have in hearing the stories of what pets mean to us.

When I began working as an in-home hospice veterinarian, that took on an even deeper level. Unlike when someone brings a pet into the clinic, I was being invited into their homes to be present for a very momentous moment in their family’s life. I’ve sat on leather couches and corduroy; patio chairs and grassy blankets; sat in joy and sadness and dawn and dusk and no matter who, where, or when I was helping, I felt the same love and connection every time.

girl with pets

With COVID, this connection has taken on even greater meaning, as so many people find themselves spending much more time home in the company of their pets than they ever did before. Here in San Diego, our local Meals on Wheels partners with a rescue organization to deliver pet food to the seniors who rely on the program for healthy meals. Why? Because the volunteers realized many seniors were feeding their meals to their pets, choosing to do without themselves rather than have to give up the companionship of what is, for so many, their main source of emotional support.

When I feel frustrated with the state of humanity and start to wonder if things are as much of a lost cause as it sometimes feels like, I like to think that dogs and cats really do cause us to reveal our true natures. When no one’s watching, how do you interact with your pet? As hard and as rough as things can get, that answer remains constant. We all have the capacity to both give and receive a deep and unconditional love.

This belief has allowed me to be online talking with pet owners all over the world for over a decade, and allowed me to treat every family I encounter with the same dignity and respect. When it feels like there is so little space for common ground, nowhere to start and build upon, this love we share with our pets has consistently served me well for many years, and I hope it does for you as well.

When I first met the Life’s Abundance team and began writing and getting to know you all, I knew right away that this family felt the exact same way I did when it comes to how we honor and love our pets and each other. I’m so grateful to be here with all of you and get to celebrate all the little joys that our pets bring into our lives. Be safe and well!

Dr. Jessica Vogelsang, DVM

Dr V

If you found this interesting, check out these related stories:

The Many Health Benefits of Living with Dogs

Why People Prefer Cats



Holiday Health Bars Recipe

festive holiday health bars

Gingerbread cookies and peppermint bark might be the traditional holiday desserts, but what’s better than snacking without the guilt? These Holiday Health Bars are made with our Vanilla Plant Protein, so you can treat yourself freely! 

Recipe:

Makes 12 bars

  • 2 cups quick oats (regular or gluten free)
  • 1/2 cup Life’s Abundance Vanilla Plant Protein
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup almond butter (or any nut butter)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup total of your favorite ingredients. We made two varieties: one with cocoa nibs and pumpkin seeds and one with mini white chocolate chips, cranberries, and chia seeds. This is where you can get creative and personalize this recipe as your own!

Holiday health bars

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and prepare an 8x8 baking pan by lining with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, Life’s Abundance Vanilla Plant Protein, ground flax seed, cinnamon, and sea salt. Set aside.
  3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine almond butter, honey, almond milk, and vanilla. Mix until fully combined. Pour your wet mix into the dry mix and stir until fully incorporated. Fold in your ingredients of choice (cocoa nibs, chia seeds, etc…).
  4. Pour into a prepared baking pan. Using a spatula, spread the mixture evenly in the pan, pressing down firmly.
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until edges begin to turn golden brown.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 20 minutes before cutting into bars.
  7. To make this recipe fun and festive, cut parchment paper and bakers twine and wrap each one like a little gift!

Key Ingredients Most Pet Parents Are Missing

Owner picking up dog poo

Wisely, more and more pet parents seek out foods for their dogs and cats that contain probiotics.  However, the quality, application and overall formulation matter. Can you be sure you’re choosing the best product?

Here’s how to be a savvy shopper when it comes to researching kibble with probiotics:

Species Specific Blend

  • Most probiotics on the market were sourced from cows because they were intended for use in cows, pigs and chickens.
  • The probiotic strains selected for Life’s Abundance foods are ideal to support the canine or feline GI tract because they originated from healthy dogs and cats.
  • One strain doesn’t do enough in the gut to provide the full benefit. With both the upper and lower GI to consider, plus all the different functions of various probiotics, from nutrient absorption to moderating stress response, there is no silver bullet probiotic organism that can do all the jobs.

Look For The Guarantee

Here’s a secret - seeing probiotics listed on a label can provide a false sense of security because many times they are not guaranteed. Without that guarantee shown in the Guaranteed Analysis, there’s no way of knowing if the probiotics will still be viable when your dog or cat consumes them. The guarantee covers the entire shelf life of the product.

So, why wouldn’t a brand just go ahead and make the guarantee, you ask? We cannot speak to anyone’s motives, but there are a few things to consider:

  • It’s not easy to get live probiotics onto dog food and cat food. To ensure survival, they must be dusted on after cooking. This equipment is incredibly specialized and not all manufacturers have it. In the vast majority of cases, probiotics blended in before cooking will not survive. Yet, they can still appear on the label, which looks appealing to consumers.
  • Making a guarantee puts the brand’s reputation on the line with both customers and regulators. For Life’s Abundance, when an ingredient is as vital to health as probiotics are, we think it’s important that we offer you that guarantee.

  • Because a guarantee amounts to an endorsement, brands would not want to stand behind lesser-quality ingredients.


Owner feeding dog and cat

Don’t (Ever) Forget The Fiber

What you may not know is that to be at their best, probiotics need a partner to fuel their health-imbuing adventures.  That’s where fiber comes in.

“Needing more fiber” is a familiar pop culture joke anytime someone finds themselves irregular.
Yet, how often have you considered this truism for your dog or cat? Even beyond stool quality, prebiotic fiber plays an important role:

  • So much more than just stool quality, when proper dietary fiber fermentation is achieved, the fibers provide nourishment for the probiotics.

  • When it comes to fiber blends in pet foods, it’s easy to get it wrong and much, much harder to get it right. The consequences can include gas, digestive upset, poorer nutrient absorption, and loose or inconsistent stools.

  • Because dietary fiber is so critical to gut health which plays a lead role in overall nutrition, Life’s Abundance has put years of work into creating custom blends.
  • There is an overwhelming amount of nuance that makes up the difference between a passable or decent nutritional result, and an exceptional nutritional result. One of these factors is fiber fermentation. Even poorly fermented fiber can produce what looks like a good stool. At Life’s Abundance we understand these nuances and engage world-leading experts to turn up the dial on fiber-blend quality.


With a steadfast formulation philosophy, consistently premium quality products and a focus on overall health through the gut, Life’s Abundance dog foods and cat foods make it easy for conscientious pet parents to make the best choice for their cuddly companion.

Make Your Holidays Sustainable With Eco-Friendly Decor

sustainable wrapping ideas

How great would it be if you could celebrate the holidays while giving our earth the gift of sustainability? Well, that’s exactly what we want to do! We’ve come up with some eco-friendly decor ideas so you can deck the halls without the guilt (or expense) of waste. Here are some of our favorites:

Pressed Leaves

As fall comes to an end, take up the leaves from your backyard and get to pressing! Elevate this tried and true activity to make gorgeous wreaths or tie them to your wrapped gifts as a colorful accessory. There are a couple ways you can press your leaves. You can use a heavy hard book and put the leaves between the pages to flatten them or iron the leaves between wax paper, paper towels or a thin cloth.  To preserve your pressed leaves, you can coat them with eco-friendly epoxy so you can use them for holiday decor for years to come!

Dried Fruit

Another elegant eco-friendly item you can use for your gifts, wreaths, and ornaments is dried fruit! This is a colorful way to decorate your space while using what you already have in your kitchen! Some of the best fruits to use are oranges, apples, and lemons. All you have to do is slice up the fruits and be sure to dry them out as much as possible with a paper towel. Then, lay them flat, bake in the oven at 200 degrees Farenheit for 3-4 hours, and make sure to flip them until they are completely dry! And there you have it! Beautiful eco-friendly decor that smells good and looks even better.

Cranberry and Popcorn Garland

Need a new garland? Look no further! Make a new one that pops with color by using cranberries and popcorn. This is a classic to be sure, but if you’ve never tried it, it’s a wonderful homemade addition! You’ll need none other than popped popcorn and washed cranberries as well as craft string and a needle for threading. Make the popcorn a few days in advance so it gets slightly stale and is firm enough for threading. Thread your two snacks through the string in any pattern you like and then add it to your tree decor! If you really want your homemade garland to last a few more years, spray it with shellac to preserve and reuse!

sustainable decor ideas

Gingerbread Ornaments

Get the kids in on the eco-friendly decor with gingerbread ornaments! This super easy craft looks adorable on trees and gives off an inviting cinnamon scent. These gingerbread cookies are made with only three ingredients, making it the perfect homemade project. All you need is craft glue, ground cinnamon and unsweetened apple sauce. Combine these ingredients together into a dough, roll out and get to work with the cookie cutter. Don’t forget to create the hole at the top for the string to hang. Let it dry by baking, air drying, or using a food dehydrator. Then, whip out the glitter and any other gingerbread accessories for decorating! Once these have all dried, string a ribbon through and hang them up for everyone to enjoy. Even though these look good enough to eat, make sure that you keep them away from kids and pets!

Cloth Gift Wrapping

Traditional wrapping paper doesn’t have the best impact on the environment, especially considering over two million pounds of it end up in landfills by the end of the holiday season. A fantastic alternative to wrapping paper, which is reusable and looks just as festive, is wrapping cloth. Also known as furoshiki, the practice of using cloth to wrap gifts originated in Japan. You don’t need to purchase the exact kind of cloth traditionally used because you probably have something very similar lying around the house. Once you find a fabric, check out the easy tutorials online for the many unique ways to tie up your gifts.

Recycled, Personalized Greeting Cards

Need a fun holiday decor project to do with the kids? Instead of buying a bunch of greeting cards that could potentially end up in landfills, make your own! You can get recycled cards or paper and customize them using potato stamps. All you need to do is outline the desired shape on the potato and then cut around it with a knife so the design sticks out. Dip into paint and you’re all set! This keeps the same festive feel as traditional greeting cards while adding a unique touch, and serious crafty bonus points

By all means, continue to enjoy festivities and less-DIY holiday decor! Just by making small changes to your decorations like we’ve listed here, you can reduce your environmental impact while still experiencing all the warm, fuzzy feelings of the holidays.

We Source From Sustainable Fisheries

fisherman on rocks

At Life’s Abundance, our purpose is to help people and their pets live healthier and happier lives. Part of this vision includes committing to sustainability initiatives because in order to be healthy ourselves, our environment must also be healthy. That’s why we are so happy to share that when we select vendors we look beyond just the quality of their ingredients, safety protocols and facilities to see that they have a commitment to environmental sustainability, just as we do.

The fisheries that supply the whitefish meal in our dog foods and cat foods follow sustainable practices! This is particularly important because of the delicate nature of the ocean environment and the impact of overfishing on the food supply and ecology.  Our fish come from commercial fisheries on the West Coast of the United States, which are certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council. This means that they have met sustainability standards including minimizing environmental impact, a commitment to healthy fish population levels, and complying with relevant laws.

school of fish

The whitefish meal in our dog and cat foods is derived from de-boned, fresh cuttings of marine whitefish. The fish is tracked from the moment it is caught all the way through to its processing, ensuring only the highest quality ingredient goes into our pet foods. Cats and dogs love the flavor, but what they don’t know is that these strict standards mean that consistently robust nutrient levels are achieved with each batch - a wonderful source of wholesome protein complete with naturally high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.

We appreciate being able to do business with those who not only provide exceptional ingredients, but share our values and aim to promote responsible marine resource management practices. Whether you are considering our dog foods and cat foods for the first time, or already feeding them, you can feel good knowing that you are choosing high-quality nutrition that is also considerate of the earth.

Promote Healthier Locks With Clean Hair Care

shampoo and conditioner

We get it - looking for a truly clean formulation in hair care that delivers on its promises is harder than it should be. When we couldn’t find plant-based products formulated with organic ingredients that soothed our scalps, nourished our locks, and gave us the lustrous hair we’re promised in shiny commercials, we tackled this problem head on and formulated our very own. 

Our duo of clean hair care products, shampoo and conditioner, are carefully formulated with potent botanicals and soothing ingredients for a natural experience. If you’ve tried your fair share of natural hair products, chances are you’ve faced the same disappointments as we have; hair that’s left with build-up, stripped of its natural oils, or stiff and lifeless. Free from sulfates, parabens, phthalates, silicone, dyes, synthetic fragrance and known carcinogenic preservatives like formaldehyde, our hair care is plant-powered with organics to provide deep nourishment, smoothness, strength and shine, starting from follicle to strand’s end.

Why switch to clean hair care?

Since you’ve landed here, you’re already one step closer in your journey to finding clean hair care that’s skin-safe for the rest of you, too. Each time you lather up in the shower, every chemical-laden, artificially fragranced sud inevitably washes across your entire body. When searching for hair care products, we believe it’s important to consider how they affect your body as a whole. From endocrine-disruptors to artificial dyes made from coal tar, many conventional shampoos and conditioners have led us astray from attaining healthful scalps, hair, and skin. In a sense, switching to clean, botanical hair care also means switching to safer body care that’s less likely to harm your skin or other bodily systems, without sacrificing the deep nourishment, moisture and shine your hair craves. 

Hair anatomy & function 101

The hair structure consists of 3 main elements; the shaft which is exposed above the scalp’s surface, the root, and a follicle beneath the skin’s surface which contains the root. While our hair is technically dead tissue mainly composed of the protein keratin, it contributes to how we shape our physical identity and is responsible for impressive processes like thermoregulation and UV radiation protection. An average scalp has between 100,000 and 150,000 hairs and grows about a half inch each month. With all of that hard work at play, your hair deserves clean nourishment and care. 

shampoo and conditioner on leaf

Feed your hair and scalp with plant-based nourishment

Simply put, we love plants and organic ingredients because we believe in their power to help promote the reparative process. Explore how our clean hair care system that’s formulated with carefully researched and thoughtfully chosen ingredients works to promote health and resilience from follicle to hair’s end! 

Start at the scalp

  1. Nourish the hair follicle and root to promote new growth

.

    • Stimulate healthy hair growth by strengthening the root with the help of organic sage leaf extract and antioxidant-rich organic horsetail extract.

    • Organic ginseng root extract, provitamin B5 and vitamin E restore + nourish roots and follicles.
  2. Hydrate and fortify the scalp to encourage strong hair.

    Hair growth is promoted by a healthy, hydrated scalp. Hair growth stemming from a weakened scalp environment can result in cuticle damage.

    • Organic monoi and rose hips seed oils as well as provitamin B5 and vitamin E help nourish the scalp and hair follicles.
    • Organic sunflower oil that’s especially high in fatty acids like phospholipids as well as ceramides and antioxidants to help nourish and soothe both dry hair and scalp.

    • Organic, plant-based cetearyl alcohol helps restore the scalp to a balanced state.

Nurture the hair shaft

  1. Strengthen and protect hair to help prevent breakage/brittleness
.

    • Marigold flower extract promotes healthy collagen production.

    • Organic glycerine for its humectant properties that allow it to absorb moisture, creating a protective coating over each strand.

    • Organic aloe vera provides a nourishing base that helps clean, strengthen and hydrate.

  2. Help protect against damage from environmental stressors
.

    • Antioxidant-rich organic sunflower oil that’s especially high in fatty acids like phospholipids helps nourish, soothe, and protect dry hair.
    • Organic chamomile essential oil helps protect from environmental stressors.

  3. Hydrate for healthy looking hair and a longer hair life
.

    • Hydrolyzed wheat protein enables the hair shaft to receive and retain proteins and moisture to strengthen and hydrate from the inside out.

    • Meadowfoam oil’s long-chain fatty acids coat hair to lock in moisture and add shine.

Clean hair care can be hard to come by - but we've made it easy with our nourishing shampoo and conditioner. Treat your hair right with this product duo that promotes the healthy, glossy hair you've been striving for.

Is Coat Color a Clue into Cat Personality?

woman holding two kittens

Whether you’re bringing a cat into your home for the first time, or you're a seasoned cat parent, there are some things you will want to understand about our feline friends.  Let’s explore one question you may not have considered: can coat color predict a cat's personality?

For years, researchers have tried to determine whether cat coat colors have an impact on cat personality traits. Rumors have circulated among cat parents that their orange tabby cats were notoriously friendly, compared to their gray and white counterparts who were seemingly more aggressive. In order to try to uncover whether the genes that impact cat coat color also play a role in the development of cat personality traits, researchers took a closer look.

Cat Coat Color and Personality Traits

In order to understand whether cat coat color has an impact on its personality, it's important to recognize how cats inherit their coat colors. Coat colors are determined by genetics, and largely by the sex-linked genes. These four categories often define a cat's coat color:

  • Control Spotting
  • Pigment Intensity
  • Orange and Agouti Color Switching
  • Patterns

Female cats, for example, are more likely to have certain types of coats, including tortoiseshell coloring and calico patterns. It is rare to find a male cat that will have these types of coats. So, in that sense, coat color can influence personality — but the gender of the cat also may have a significant impact on their personality as well.

Purebred cats are more likely to have defined personality traits rather than typical domestic shorthair cats that are mixed-breed. For instance, a Siamese cat is going to have a very distinct coat color and pattern. Due to its breed, it also may inherit specific personality traits, such as being more vocal or even demanding. 

There is certainly enough evidence to suggest that sometimes a cat's coat color can influence its personality, but some experts believe it has less to do with the actual color of the coat and more to do with other genetic factors.

woman kissing cat

Myths vs. Reality

In all actuality, the idea that coat color influences a cat's personality is more about human perception. Recent studies indicate that pet parents do feel that cats with specific coat colors may exhibit certain personality traits. These are a few examples of common perceptions about cats and their coat colors:

  • Gray-and-white cats are often perceived as being the most aggressive cats, regardless of their gender. A University of California study noted that these cats often exhibited the most aggressive behaviors during routine veterinary appointments.
  • Calicos are often perceived to be more irritable cats. The same study from the University of California found that cats with this type of coat did not enjoy being handled by veterinarians.
  • Many cat owners have felt that black cats are more comfortable with indoor living and plenty of people.

Obviously, perceptions are highly subjective and a person's perception of a cat and its coat color can be influenced by their own background and experiences. It seems that perception drives the impression that cat coat colors influence personality rather than genetic makeup.

Which Factors Influence Cat Personality?

So, if coat color does not determine a cat's personality, then what does? There are several important factors that will ultimately determine what type of personality traits a cat exhibits:

  • Parental Genes — Cats are likely to inherit personality traits and certain behaviors from their parents. Some studies indicate that cats inherit many of their socialization skills from their fathers. It also has been noted that cats will naturally inherit certain behaviors from their parents. For example, if a cat's mother was particularly loving and cuddly, a young kitten may also exhibit that same personality trait. On the other hand, a cat who had a father that was jumpy and skittish may also have a tendency to be the same way.
  • Socialization in Early Life — The American Association of Feline Practitioners notes that the first few weeks of a kitten's life are critical for socialization with people. A house cat should be introduced to people between three and nine weeks old so that it can become accustomed to human contact and interaction.
  • Treatment in Adulthood — A cat's personality is likely to remain relatively stable for the first few years of its life, but its treatment into adulthood can influence its behaviors over the course of time.

Regardless of your cat's coat color or its genetic history, you are going to want to give it the best possible life. One of the ways that you can do this is to feed your cat a nourishing and fulfilling diet. At Life's Abundance, we have a variety of cat foods, treats, and care products that will help your cat to thrive, no matter what color coat they have. 

What It Means To Be An Employee Owned Company

ESOP spirit week

Since 2012, Life’s Abundance has been a 100% employee-owned company. Our purpose is to empower people and their pets to live healthier and happier lives. From the beginning, we have always put people first, and this includes our employees! We believe our team members have a lot to give, so they should benefit from all their hard work and share in our growth and success.

What is ESOP?

Employee Stock Ownership Plan, or ESOP, is a special type of employee benefit plan that allows workers to have shares within the company. How amazing is that? This means employees are stakeholders in the truest sense. That means everyone - from each warehouse team member to customer service to our executives- owns a portion of the company.

The decision to make Life’s Abundance a 100% employee-owned company originated from a discussion regarding exit strategies as the ownerships looked to retirement. Lester and the leadership team made preserving the mission and purpose of the company a priority, which could be hard to maintain during ownership changes. So, Lester proposed an ESOP which everyone, including the company owners, could see would protect the company culture, mission, and team members. It was an all-around great decision that was approved wholeheartedly.

How does it benefit consumers?

When employee owners have a stake in the company, you can feel it! Just call our Customer Care team or speak to anyone within the company, and you’ll realize you aren’t just speaking to just another employee. You’re speaking to an owner! It’s simple - owners make better employees. This ensures that you are receiving top-notch customer service all around from people who really care about serving you in the best way possible. As employee owners, we aim to lead with purpose and grow at a controlled pace. This allows us to put our full heart and attention into new projects that will ultimately make your experience with us unforgettable.

How does it benefit employees?

ESOP benefits all parties involved. Financially, we are better prepared for our future as ESOP is a retirement plan. Since we are vested owners, we are empowered to work more creatively. We find ways to better our performance and grow within the company. In turn, with our hard work and amazing results, the company’s performance improves and increases the value of the stock. It’s a win-win!

spirit week

Employee ownership is fun!

Employee Ownership Month is celebrated every October, and we were able to have a super exciting ESOP Spirit Week, virtually of course. Each day, we did an activity that was either educational or just plain fun. Here’s a recap of how we celebrate being employee owned:

On Monday, we embraced our employee ownership by taking a photo of ourselves with a sign saying “I’m an employee owner.” Some departments went all out with their signs for added team spirit!

Tuesday, we were placed into random teams for a crossword puzzle competition that tests our knowledge on ESOP. The first team that completed the puzzle and sent it back to Human Resources received a sweet prize.

Wednesday was pajama day! As an employee-owned company, you can both see AND feel the difference in our team. We’re a tight knit group and loved showing up to our company-wide morning meeting dressed from head to toe in our comfiest pajamas, slippers and all.

As employee owners, everyone in the company has different roles and responsibilities, but we all work together in creating something great! That’s why Thursday was named crayon box day and each department was given a color to rock for the day. Even our CEO wore a tie-dye shirt since he brings each and every department together.

On Friday, we stopped by the virtual lunchroom and put our knowledge to the test. We played an ESOP trivia game with, once again, prizes for the winning team!

Employee ownership is fun, profitable and empowering for everyone we touch. It makes a big difference in the way we show up for each other and customers every single day. For Life’s Abundance, all of this energy and passion stems from the purpose we all share - to empower people and pets to live happier, healthier lives. From all of the employee-owners, thank you for your business.