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November 2013

How Do Our Modern Dog's Diets Differ From Wolves

Hugging Dog

Along with the majority of our customers and Field Reps, I consider companion animals as family members. I believe that their diets should be as healthy and delicious as our own, which is why I have dedicated my life to researching the best foods and products for our pet kids. Although there are significant differences in nutritional  requirements and taste preferences between dogs and humans, new compelling research  published this year suggests that canine diets, and subsequent genetic profiles, evolved in order to cohabitate with humans.

Part of the ancient mystery of the makeup of the modern canine has been solved by a team led by researchers at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary  Medicine and evolutionary geneticist Erik Axelsson of Uppsala University and his colleagues in Sweden.

The study published in Nature by Erik Axelsson (et. al.) analyzed genes related  to starch digestion in domesticated canines and their ancestors, wild wolves. The  research hypothesized that when humans transitioned from a nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle to settled farming communities, wolves gave up their meat-only diets to scavenge convenient, carbohydrate-rich food from human scrap piles. Animals that could best make use of the new starchy food source developed an evolutionary advantage and gradually morphed over many generations into man’s best friend.

The Swedish study focused on genetic differences between 60 dogs representing 14 breeds and 12 wolves from around the world. Those changes, the researchers reasoned, could identify genes that were important in separating dogs from wolves.


The researchers determined the genetic makeup of groups of dogs and compared the results to those from wolves, concentrating on parts of the genetic instruction book that differ between the two species. The search revealed substantial numbers  of genes involved in starch digestion and metabolism, and in the utilization of fats. The team also found that, compared to wolves, canines have more copies of a gene that produces an enzyme that breaks starch into easily digestible sugars.

Other genetic variants seem to contribute to dogs’ increased ability to convert  a sugar called maltose to glucose, the sugar that cells prefer to burn for energy, and yet other genetic changes improve dogs’ ability to move glucose into their cells.  Combined, the mutations alter dogs’ metabolism so they can get more energy out of  a carbohydrate-rich diet than wolves can, and the scientists confirmed the effect of the genetic variants by identifying biochemical differences in starch metabolism in blood and tissue samples from dogs and wolves, showing that in comparison to  wolves, dogs have a profound adaption to utilize carbohydrates.

In addition to the Swedish study, a research group from the Canid Diversity and  Conservation Group in the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at the UC Davis School  traced back when dogs developed distinct starch-digestion genetic mutations.

Several thousand years after dogs originated in the Middle East and Europe, some of them moved south with ancient farmers. Now separated by vast distances from native  wolf populations, these early companion animals developed a distinct genetic profile, now reflected in today’s canines. To calculate when this happened, the researchers  calculated the mutation rate of genetic markers on the Y chromosome in a sample  of 100 Australian dingoes, a dog population known to have appeared about 4,200 years  ago. Knowing the rate at which these genetic mutations occur, the researchers were able to backtrack through history and estimate the point when wolves and dogs diverted paths at roughly 7,000 years ago. These findings, based on the rate of genetic marker mutations in the dog’s Y chromosome, supply the missing piece of the puzzle as to when ancient dogs ventured beyond Southeast Asia. The study results are published  in the Journal of Molecular Biology and Evolution.

Both studies fit together nicely, and confirm what I have always strongly suspected: dogs are not wolves. Plus, now I know that there is an evolutionary explanation for why my dog Otto was always so jealous of my breakfast pastries!

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

Dr Jane Bicks  Dr. Jane Bicks, Life's Abundance Pet Product Formulator

Visit our website for natural, NEVER RECALLED, dog and cat foods, treats, supplements and spa products for your pets.

How To Survive Holiday Stress

Stressed Woman

For many people, the holidays are a stressful time of year. Unexpected guests  dropping by, entertaining relatives, and finding the perfect gift on everyone’s  list are all daunting tasks. To add even more to the holiday pressure, we must  still deal with our day-to-day tasks and responsibilities. Talk about unwanted  stress!

Stress is the body’s normal form of defense. When faced with danger or  discomfort, your body reacts in a ‘fight or flight’ mode as a form of  protection. If your body is subjected to constant, repetitive and stressful  situations, without time to restore itself, your health could suffer.

In a recent study, found:

  • *43% of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress

  • *75% to 90% of all doctor's office visits are stress-related ailments and  complaints

  • *Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declares stress a hazard  of the workplace

  • *Stress costs the American industry more than $300 billion annually

In order to avoid the potentially harmful effects stress can place on your  body, there are some simple steps that you can take to help manage your stress  levels:

  • *Stay Positive – Is the glass half empty or half full? Always  try to see the positive side of things. Jot down all of the positive things  happening in your life. Focus your attention on them.

  • *Exercise – Just ten minutes on an elliptical machine or a brisk walk around  the block will be sure to boost your feel-good endorphins.

  • *Stretch – Stand tall and stretch those arms in the air. Take a few deep breaths  and release the tension from your body.

  • *Acceptance – Remember that some things are simply out of your control. You are  only responsible for what is under your direction.

  • *Breathe – Take a deep breath in through your nose and exhale through your  mouth. When you breathe in, feel your lungs fill with oxygen as your chest  expands. A few deep slow breaths will help send you to a state of calm.

  • *Walk – Remove yourself from the situation, get outside and take a ten-minute  walk. Clear your mind and take in the natural beauty of your surroundings.

  • *Supplement – Studies show that people who eat a diet rich in omega-3’s have an  easier time dealing with stressful situations. The fatty acids (EPA and DHA)  found in omega-3’s have proven to help the body maintain healthy levels of  serotonin. Serotonin helps control emotional responses and create a sense of  well-being. By supplementing your diet with an ultra-refined, ultra-concentrated fish oil like Sealogix, you can take a positive step in coping with stress in a healthier way.

The holidays should be a joyful time of the year to spend with family and  friends. Enjoy every day to its fullest, by simply helping the stress to leave  your body as quickly as it entered.

Your True Companion Pet Products Recalls True Raw Choice Bulk Dehydrated Natural Pet Treats (Canada)

Canada Dog Treat Recall: True Raw Choice Bulk Dehydrated Natural Pet Treats

Product description

  This recall involves True Raw Choice dehydrated bulk:
    Product Name    Lot Number
    Chicken Feet     214733
    Duck Feet     228870
    Duck Wings     213825
    Chicken Breast     154339
    Lamb Trachea     225215

Please note that Your True Companion Pet Products has confirmed that no remaining stock of the affected lots of chicken breast and lamb trachea were found at retail and the chicken feet, duck feet and duck wings have all been removed from the market place as of November 8, 2013.

Hazard identified

The bulk dehydrated True Raw Choice Pet Products were found to be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. Pets such as dogs and cats, and their food can carry Salmonella bacteria. People can get infected with the bacteria from handling pets, pet food or feces. Symptoms of salmonellosis often include:

  •   sudden onset of fever,
  •   headache,
  •   stomach cramps,
  •   diarrhea,
  •   vomiting.

For more information on the risks of Salmonella infection, please see the Public Health Agency of Canada's fact sheet.

Health Canada is aware of one case in Canada of illness related to these products.

Number sold

In total, 280 total cases of the affected pet treats were sold in bulk at various pet food stores across Canada.

Time period sold

The affected pet treats were sold from August 2013 to November 7, 2013.

Place of origin

Manufactured in Canada.


Your True Companion Pet Products Guelph Ontario CANADA

Images (select thumbnail to enlarge)


What you should do

Consumers should contact Your True Companion Pet Products at 1-855-260-5024 if unsure if the product you have is affected or not. All products affected have been disposed of in the market place as of November 8, 2013.

Please note that the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act prohibits recalled products from being redistributed, sold or even given away in Canada.

Health Canada would like to remind Canadians to report any health or safety incidents related to the use of this product or any other consumer product or cosmetic by filling out the Consumer Product Incident Report Form.

Joint Supplements For Your Dog Or Cat - Yes or No?

Is your dog or cat suffering from joint problems? Did you know that supplements are the best way to help? When you buy food that has "joint healing ingredients" there is no way to properly dispense the correct amount.

For example, say Fido gets 1 cup of food each day that is fortified with Glucosamine, MSM, sea mussels and hyaluronic acid. How do you know that 1 cup of food equals the correct amount Fido should be getting? Also, what happens if Fido needs a little more because it's cold and rainy or you just feed Fido more food and hope for the best? Eating more food can cause obesity and therefore hurt Fido's joints more.

We have the solution! Agility for Dogs and Cats. We personally have been using this product for the past 10 years. We started with Storm, our 8 year old rottie who had hip and elbow dysplasia surgeries before he was a year old. By 8 he was having a very tough time sitting or standing. We started him on Agility and in about 8 weeks he no longer was having those issues and no longer would whine when he stood or laid down. About a month later he started to run with our younger dogs around our 5 acres. It was truly a beautiful thing to enjoy. Storm passed away at 11 1/2 of natural causes and not because of his hips. Had he not been on Agility I don't know if we would have had him much past 8 1/2.

We currently have 3 large senior dogs and all get Agility and everyone is doing wonderful! To learn more about Agility and to place your order visit

Safety Notice - Tainted Chinese Jerky Products

Vet with beagle

Nearly 600 pets have died and more than 3,600 have been sickened in an outbreak of illnesses tied to contaminated jerky treats made in China, federal animal health officials said in an October 22nd statement. The epidemic is so severe that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is turning to vets and pet parents across the nation for help.

Bernadette Dunham, director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine said, “This is one of the most elusive and mysterious outbreaks we’ve encountered.” Companion animals have exhibited symptoms within hours of eating the tainted treats, including decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, increased water consumption and frequent urination. About 60% of cases reported gastrointestinal illness and about 30% experienced kidney or urinary troubles. A significant percentage developed Fanconi syndrome, a specific kind of kidney disease.

Some pet kids suffered severe cases of kidney failure and gastrointestinal bleeding.

This problem has been on-going for many months (if not years), with the FDA issuing several warnings. A number of jerky pet treat products were removed from the market in January after a New York state lab found evidence of up to six drugs in certain treats made in China. The cause of the deaths and illnesses remains undetermined, but the FDA has linked the issue to jerky treats containing chicken, duck and sweet potatoes.

The FDA has appealed to veterinarians around the country for help in determining the scope of this developing situation, asking for urine and blood samples from pets sickened by jerky treats. Additionally, FDA officials just published a fact sheet for pet parents – to read it, click here. If you've heard of a dog or cat exhibiting symptoms after consuming chicken jerky treats made by Purina, Del Monte, Publix or IMS Pet Industries (and possibly other makers), please encourage their pet parents to report the event to the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator.

Fortunately, Life’s Abundance offers a safe, USA-made alternative - Tasty Rewards Nutritional Training Treats, created using only nine wholesome ingredients. Made in California, this delectable jerky-style treat features New Zealand-raised lamb, chicken, ground brown rice and vitamin B12. And, just like all of our products, this formula includes zero artificial preservatives or artificial colors. It’s all part of our commitment to ensure that every kibble, treat and supplement fed to your companion animal is healthy, safe and of premium quality. Order Tasty Rewards Today by Clicking Here.

Get the Facts! Raw Pet Food Diets can be Dangerous to You and Your Pet

This article came from the FDA website on


In a recent two-year study, the FDA Center for  Veterinary Medicine (CVM) screened over 1,000 samples of pet food for bacteria  that can cause foodborne illnesses.1 (The illnesses are called “foodborne” because the  bacteria are carried, or “borne,” in or on contaminated food.) The study showed  that, compared to other types of pet food tested, raw pet food was more likely  to be contaminated with disease-causing bacteria.

The Pet Food Study

Raw pet food was not included in the first year of  the study. In the second year spanning from October 2011 through July 2012, CVM  expanded the study to include 196 samples of commercially available raw dog and  cat food. The center bought a variety of raw pet food online from different  manufacturers and had the products shipped directly to six participating  laboratories.2 The raw pet food products  were usually frozen in tube-like packages and made from ground meat or  sausage.

The participating laboratories analyzed the raw pet food for harmful  bacteria, including Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes. In  past projects, CVM had monitored dog and cat food for the presence of  Salmonella. But before this study, the center “had not investigated the  occurrence of Listeria in pet food,” said Dr. Renate Reimschuessel, a  researcher at CVM’s Office of Research and one of the study’s principal  investigators. Dr. Reimschuessel further noted that “quite a large percentage of  the raw foods for pets we tested were positive for the pathogen Listeria  monocytogenes.” (Pathogens are disease-causing germs, like some bacteria.  Not all bacteria are harmful pathogens, though. Some bacteria are helpful to  people and animals, such as those that live in the intestines and contribute to  a healthy gut.)

Read the entire article here

FDA: Bailey’s Choice Expands Product Recall Of Dog Treats In Georgia

Bailey's Choice Dog Treats Recall Expands - From FDA Site

Bailey’s Choice Expands Product Recall of Dog  Treats in Georgia


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - November 6,  2013 - Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black is alerting Georgians to the  expanded recall of particular packages of Bailey’s Choice dog treats sold in  Georgia. These products have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella  and should be discarded.

Bailey’s Choice Dog Treats, LLC, of Waleska, Ga., is  expanding the recall to include additional five-ounce packages of dog treats,  including:

  • 100% Chicken Treat, lot # “Jun 2 2013”
  • 100% Chicken Treat, lot # “Jun 3 2013”
  • 100% Chicken Breast Treat, lot # “Jun 4 2013”
  • 100% Chicken Treat, lot # “Jun 15 2013”
  • 100% Chicken Treat, lot # “Jul 8 2013”
  • 100% Chicken Treat, lot # “Jul 11 2013”
  • 100% Teriyaki Chicken Treats, lot # 132881

Georgia Department of Agriculture inspectors will  continue checking retail stores and warehouses to make sure the recalled  products have been removed from sale.

Dogs that have become infected by consuming treats  contaminated with Salmonella may experience fever, lethargy, diarrhea or mucus  in stool, vomiting, dehydration, weight loss or rapid heart rate. Pets  experiencing these symptoms should be taken to a veterinarian immediately. This  bacterial disease is zoonotic, meaning it can be transmitted to humans.

Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often  experience fever, diarrhea that may be bloody, nausea, vomiting and abdominal  pain. In rare circumstances, infection can result in the organism getting into  the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses, such as arterial  infections, endocarditis and arthritis. The very young, the elderly, and persons  with compromised immune systems are most susceptible to foodborne illnesses.  People experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.

To date, no illnesses have been reported.

Consumers who purchased  these products for their pets should return the products to the place of  purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions should contact Bailey’s  Choice Dog Treats, LLC, for additional information at 770-881-0526 or or online at www.baileyschoicetreats.com1.

To see the previous recall  announcement issued by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, please visit: To view a comprehensive list of food  and feed recalls affecting Georgia, please visit If this recall expands or additional  details become available, the website will provide the most up-to-date  information.


Tired of Recalls? Choose Life's Abundance dog and cat food, treats, supplements and pet care products! Life's Abundance has NEVER had a recall! The food is shipped fresh to your door and formulated by a holistic vet. Stop playing with your dog or cat's life - choose a product that has never been recalled! Our products are sold online by clicking here.

Dog Chicken Jerky Recall - Baileys Choice

Posted on Bailey's Choice Facebook Fan Page:

Bailey's Choice is issuing a voluntary recall of our chicken jerky treats that have two lot dates: June 5, 2013 and October 8, 2013. These two lots tested positive for salmonella.  We have had no reports of anyone or any pet becoming sick. These treats will not harm your dog, dogs digestive systems are designed for eating raw food. It is more dangerous to humans. As with all raw foods, after handling jerky products, we recommend washing your hands thoroughly. We are working with the GA Dept of Agriculture closely to recall the effected lots. We will have more details here as they become available.


Bailey's Choice is located in Waleska, Georgia


Bailey’s Choice Dog Treats LLC will provide a full refund. They can be reached at 770-881-0526, by email at or online at




Looking for safe, NEVER RECALLED pet food and treats? Look no further! Life's Abundance has been in business for 15 years and has never had a recall. The food is made in small batches and shipped fresh to your door. Our treats are exceptional and compliment our foods. Shop online at