Pet Health

FDA Issues Warning - No Bones (or Bone Treats) About It: Reasons Not to Give Your Dog Bones

Many dog owners know not to toss a turkey or chicken bone to their dog; those bones are just too brittle. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says the risk goes beyond that, especially when it comes to the “bone treats” you may see at the store.

What’s a Bone Treat?

FDA has received about 68 reports of pet illnesses related to "bone treats,” which differ from uncooked butcher-type bones because they are processed and packaged for sale as dog treats. A variety of commercially-available bone treats for dogs—including treats described as “Ham Bones,” “Pork Femur Bones,” “Rib Bones,” and “Smokey Knuckle Bones”—were listed in the reports. The products may be dried through a smoking process or by baking, and may contain other ingredients such as preservatives, seasonings, and smoke flavorings.

So if you’re planning to give your dog a stocking full of bone treats this holiday season, you may want to reconsider. According to Carmela Stamper, a veterinarian in the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) at the FDA, “Giving your dog a bone treat might lead to an unexpected trip to your veterinarian, a possible emergency surgery, or even death for your pet.”

Illnesses Reported

Illnesses reported to FDA by owners and veterinarians in dogs that have eaten bone treats have included:

  • Gastrointestinal obstruction (blockage in the digestive tract)
  • Choking
  • Cuts and wounds in the mouth or on the tonsils
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bleeding from the rectum, and/or
  • Death. Approximately fifteen dogs reportedly died after eating a bone treat.

The reports, sent in by pet owners and veterinarians, involved about 90 dogs (some reports included more than one dog). In addition, FDA received seven reports of product problems, such as moldy-appearing bones, or bone treats splintering when chewed by the pet.

Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe

Here are some tips to keep your dog safe:

  • Chicken bones and other bones from the kitchen table can cause injury when chewed by pets, too. So be careful to keep platters out of reach when you’re cooking or the family is eating.
  • Be careful what you put in the trash can. Dogs are notorious for helping themselves to the turkey carcass or steak bones disposed of there.
  • Talk with your veterinarian about other toys or treats that are most appropriate for your dog. There are many available products made with different materials for dogs to chew on.

“We recommend supervising your dog with any chew toy or treat, especially one she hasn’t had before,” adds Stamper. “And if she ‘just isn’t acting right,’ call your veterinarian right away!”

To report a problem with a pet food or treat, please visit FDA’s Web page on “How to Report a Pet Food Complaint.


Looking for safe dog treats and chews that have never been recalled?

Dog Treats Never Recalled

7 Spring Cleaning Tips For Your Pet’s Health

Winter is almost over and Spring is on its way in! Before you start the fun task of spring cleaning your home, you should first think about how your spring cleaning could affect your pet. Here are 7 simple spring cleaning tips for your pet’s health:

1. Household Cleaning Products

Most people automatically associate spring cleaning with the use of household cleaning products. But before you take out that shining floor cleaner, be sure to read the label very carefully as you do not want to hurt your pet. Almost all commercially sold cleaning products contain chemicals that are harmful to pets. Even if you do use such a cleaning product, think about this: You wash your floor with a chemically-laced cleaning product whilst your dog or cat is outside or in another room, thinking that the chemicals won’t hurt your pet….at least until the floor is dry. But what happens when your dog or cat comes back into the room? Each time they place their tongue on the floor (perhaps to lick up dropped food), they ingest a tiny portion of that chemical. Each time they lick their paws, they are ingesting some of that chemical cleaner as well. Remember, to always keep any type of chemical out of the reach of your pets.

2. Paints

Some homeowners like to put a fresh coat of paint on their house as part of their spring cleaning efforts. If you are one of them, then be sure to keep the paint away from your dog or cat. Sadly, solvents, paint thinners, and other mineral spirits, if swallowed by your pet, can cause severe irritation or chemical burns. This is true even if your dog or cat’s fur or paws come in contact with these types of paint products.

3. Pesticides and Fertilizers

Spring cleaning can also pertain to your garden and you might want to spray pesticides or herbicides onto your outside flowers and shrubs to prevent them from being chewed up by annoying little insects. However, before you do, you should first check to see if the pesticide you are going to use is pet-friendly. Most of them aren’t and are quite lethal to pets, and even if yours is not lethal, it could still cause long-term health problems for your dog or cat. Recent studies show that the use of most types of pesticides and herbicides is related to increased rates of specific forms of cancer in dogs. Just like pesticides, lawn fertilizers can also be very toxic to pets. Always follow the manufacturer instructions after you have applied it to your lawn before allowing your pets outside. If your dog or cat is exposed to any pesticide or fertilizer, you should immediately wash them with soap and water and call your veterinarian or poison control center. Remember to store pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers in a safe place that is far out of the reach of your dog or cat.

4. Flower Planting

If you have a green thumb, you are most probably already planning out your flower beds and garden! Keep in mind that there are over 700 different varieties of plants and flowers that are poisonous to dogs and cats. Before you start planting those seedlings, first check to see if they are toxic to cats or dogs. For example, Lilies, Tulips, Daffodils and Morning Glory’s are quite lethal to pets.

5. Fleas

One of the most annoying creatures of springtime is fleas. These tiny, pinhead size bugs can grow very quickly and multiply as soon as they have latched onto your dog or cat. Springtime is the best time to start using preventative measures to avoid your dog or cat becoming flea-infested. Preventative measures will also help in keeping your home free of fleas as well. Avoid using commercial flea products as they contain chemicals that may result in liver damage for you and your pet. Instead, use Canine or Feline Target Spray for Fleas. It is an all-natural alternative that acts as an insect repellent to control fleas on your dog or cat. It can be used as a preventative measure as well as a treatment should your dog or cat already have fleas.

6. Pet Allergies

Springtime can cause on an onset of allergies for yourself, your dog and/or your cat as well. Make sure that any allergy medication that you are taking for yourself is kept stored away from your pets reach. Ironic as it is, almost every type of allergy that you can suffer from, your pet can also suffer from. A few examples of this would be allergic reactions to chemicals and drugs, contact dermatitis, insect bites and food allergies. If you suspect that your pet has developed an allergy, you can treat it by giving them Canine or Feline Nettle-EyeBright – an all natural supplement that helps to alleviate allergies by maintaining natural balance within your pet’s body as well as by stimulating their immune systems. (It can also be used to treat recurrent infections and fatigue.)

7. Beware the Mold

If your idea of spring cleaning means that you are finally going to clean behind your fridge or stove, then it is best to remember that the toxins that are thrown up into the air by removing mold from these places can pose a threat to your pets. Some mold produces mycotoxins, which can cause gastrointestinal, cardiac and neurologic side effects in pets. If do find mold anywhere in your house, it is best if you contact the Environmental Protection Agency to find out more on mold hazards, including safe cleaning and removal.

Pet Wellbeing Recommendations




Do You Know What The Single Most Dangerous Health Threat Is To Dogs And Cats?

Weight Loss Food And Treats For Dogs

According to Newtown Square, Pa.-based Petplan, its most frequently claimed conditions have one thing in common: obesity.

“It’s no surprise that the biggest health threat to pets in 2017 is obesity,” said Dr. Ernie Ward, Petplan veterinary advisory board member and founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. “When you consider that over half of the nation’s dogs and cats are now overweight or obese, it literally is a growing problem.”

This year, Petplan challenges pet parents to get out and get active with furry friends to avoid the extra “fluff” that can exacerbate many of Petplan’s most commonly claimed conditions, including:

Tummy troubles: Overeating can easily lead to vomiting and diarrhea, Petplan’s No. 1 claimed conditions year after year; in fact, Petplan sees an average of 900 claims every month just for stomach issues. The cost for relief averages at $850.

The Big C: There have been some indications that certain types of cancer are more common in overweight or obese pets, and that can put a bump in pet parents’ budgets—the average vet bill for cancer is $2,033.

A gimpy gait: Lameness, or general limping, is often caused by arthritis—and extra pounds mean extra stress on pets’ joints (and wallets—the average cost to treat lameness is $966).

Lifes Abundance Weight Loss Food For Dogs www.AZJungleNot-so bee’s knees: Pets who pack on pounds are also at a greater risk for cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) injuries from added joint stress and weak muscles. CCL injuries are the priciest of Petplan’s common conditions, costing an average of $3,480 to repair.

On the go: Several things can cause a urinary tract infection in pets, but obese animals may be more at risk because they can’t clean those hard-to-reach places. The average cost to treat UTIs? $590!

Matters of the heart: Obesity usually comes with high blood pressure, poor organ function and low levels of activity—all things that contribute to cardiac disease and an average $1,232.

Back attack: The long and lows (think dachshund and basset Hhound) are particularly prone to intervertebral disc disease, and added weight can increase their chances of developing the disease—and a $2,014 vet bill.

Unlike many of these conditions, pet obesity is 100 percent preventable and curable, according to Petplan.

“In addition to daily exercise, swap fatty treats for lower-calorie options, or better yet opt for praise and playtime instead of snacks,” said Dr. Ward. “And know your pet’s calorie count—ask your vet how many calories your pet needs each day, and stick to that number.”

Article originally from Pet Product News

Protect Your Dog Or Cat From Toxic Holiday Plants

Protect Pets From Holiday Plants www.AZJungle

Veterinarians are frequently presented with questions about potential pet poisoning due to eating holiday plants. Some Christmas plants are toxic and others are not so this simple rule of thumb is our best advice to all pet parents to protect your pet from toxic holiday plants and poisoning:

It is best if your pets do not have access to any of your plants – that way you do not have to worry if the plant is toxic or not!

Common plants and the problems they can cause.

Poinsettias– We get a lot of calls about this pretty Christmas plant as it is thought to be toxic. Actually its toxicity is exaggerated. A 50 lb dog would have to ingest 1-1/4 pounds of poinsettia leaves, approximately 500-600 to reach a toxic level. If your dog or cat ingests a leaf or two there will likely be no effect. The leaves are bitter, though and may cause salivation, or vomiting, which is self limiting. It is still a good idea to keep them out of reach.

Christmas cacti– These are not considered to be toxic, however if your pet eats one, he or she may experience a mild gastric upset, vomiting or diarrhea. Generally treatment involves letting the stomach rest by withholding food and water for an hour or two.

Mistletoe– This plant is toxic but the toxicity varies with the species. Do not allow your pet to eat any parts of this plant. Symptoms of poisoning are vomiting, diarrhea, depression, abdominal pain, extreme low blood pressure and death. If your pet has ingested this call your veterinarian immediately.

Holly– This plant also can be toxic, but ingestion mostly causes salivation, and vomiting. It is an irritant to the mouth. You should wash your pet’s mouth out and call your vet as your pet may need to be hospitalized for supportive care.

Christmas trees and fir roping– The needles from these can cause tummy upsets in dogs or cats and are prickly so can cause eye issues. They are not poisonous but eating the needles is hard on the intestinal tract. Keep the needles swept up so your pets do not eat them.

What to do if your pet has been poisoned?

So what do you do if you think your pet has been poisoned by a holiday plant or something else?

Get in touch with your veterinarian or veterinary emergency hospital or a poison control center, and follow their instructions. If you do not have a local poison control center, you can call the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 (a consultation fee may be applied to your credit card).

If you can’t get in touch with either one and the poisoning occurred within the last 3 hours, consider inducing vomiting (Important: Ask our Vet for the correct way to induce vomiting). Do not induce vomiting if your pet is unconscious, seizing, not able to stand, or is having trouble breathing. Do not induce vomiting if your pet has ingested a petroleum product or a strong acid or alkali or a cleaning solution. If your pet vomits save it in a plastic bag.

The best advice I can give you is to keep these things away from your pets and have the emergency numbers for your vet, your vet emergency hospital and the poison control posted in a prominent area.

Keep yourself and your pets safe this holiday season!

Dr. Jan written by Dr. Jan from Pet Wellbeing

Good Dog, Bad Food: Foods for People That Are Bad for Your Dog


If you consider the family dog, well, family—and are apt to toss him a piece of your food now and then—proceed with caution. Some foods meant for human consumption can be dangerous, and even deadly, to your dog.

How are people and animals different when it comes to food?

According to Carmela Stamper, D.V.M., a veterinarian at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an animal’s body processes food much differently. “Our bodies may break down foods or other chemicals that a dog’s can’t tolerate,” she says.

And while sometimes people can have severe allergic reactions to foods, it’s different for dogs. “Allergies in animals tend to manifest themselves more in skin or ear issues,” she explains.

Moreover, a food might harm one dog and not another. It depends on a number of factors, including the animal’s genetic makeup and size, as well as the amount that animal eats. “A big lab that eats a bar of dark chocolate may not have any problems,” she says, whereas a Chihuahua could get dangerously ill.

What Foods Top the List?

“In summer, be particularly careful of foods eaten at picnics and barbecues,” Stamper says. Among the foods you want to withhold from your dog are:

  • Raw meat, which can contain E. coli, Salmonella, or other harmful bacteria. If you’re making hamburger patties or setting out steaks and chicken breasts for the barbecue, for instance, make sure they’re well out of reach of your counter-surfing canines; you’re not doing them any favors by tossing a chunk or two. “Food safety is important to you and your pet,” Stamper cautions. Don’t handle raw meat and then give your dog a treat unless you’ve washed your hands first. And remember it works the other way around, too. “People can get sick after handling contaminated dog food, not washing their hands, and then using their hands to eat a sandwich or a slice of pizza,” Stamper says.
  • Grapes, raisins, and currants can cause kidney failure in some dogs. Stamper says not all dogs are affected, but if you think you’re handing your dog a healthy snack, you could be disastrously wrong. But what about other fruits? For instance, can dogs eat apples and bananas? Stamper says yes—just make sure that with apples, you don’t feed your dog the core or seeds.
  • Fried and fatty foods can not only give your dog a stomach ache, but can also cause a potentially life-threatening disease called pancreatitis. Even if your dog is eyeing the fried chicken with longing, resist the temptation to give him his own piece to chew on.
  • Moldy foods are not something you would feed your family, and your dog shouldn’t eat them either. If you put moldy cheese rinds or hamburger buns in the trash can, make sure your dog doesn’t then get into the garbage. By the same token, if you have a compost heap and it’s the first place your dog makes a beeline for, be sure the moldy scraps are well out of reach.
  • Onions, garlic, and chives (as well as onion and garlic powder) can be harmful to your dog, especially in large amounts. If you’ve put a lot of onions and garlic powder in your salsa, marinade, or beans, don’t let your dog get into the leftovers.
  • Salty snacks, in large quantities, could also cause problems in your dog. “Feeding the odd potato chip or pretzel probably won’t do any harm,” Stamper says. But if your dog gets into a whole bag of them, he could get really sick. Make sure your dog has access to plenty of water at all times, especially if he gets into salty snacks.

Two More Ingredients Your Dog Should Avoid

Macadamia nuts can be very harmful to dogs. If you’re packing white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies, make sure they stay in the picnic basket and out of reach of your dog.

Finally, many dog owners know chocolate is bad for their dogs, but they may not realize that xylitol, a sugar substitute used in many sugarless products, can be deadly for him. Xylitol is found in sugarless gum, candies, oral products, and some peanut butters and other nut butters. “If you feed your dog pills coated in peanut butter, or put peanut butter in their hollow chew toys, make sure to check the list of ingredients first to make sure it doesn’t contain xylitol,” Stamper says.

A Word about Cats

Why the focus on dogs? Stamper says that cats are far pickier eaters than dogs and do not often get into trouble by eating foods that will harm them. She adds, however, that cats are super-sensitive to onions, garlic, and onion and garlic powders, so make sure your cat has no opportunity to eat foods made with these ingredients.

This article appears on FDA’s Consumer Updates page, which features the latest on all FDA-regulated products.



Canine Communication And Kid Safety

Zach & Brody

The first time he came to our house, my son’s friend Joey announced he hated dogs.

Given that we have a dog - and a cute one at that, a goofy Golden who loves any and all people - this is a bit of a problem. Joey was nonetheless fearful, so I had my dog in the yard for a bit. When I asked Joey why he hates dogs, he said it was because every dog he had ever met, starting with his own min pin when he was younger, bit him.

To be fair, if every dog I met bit me I might be nervous around them as well. But it’s indicative of a much bigger problem.

Joey is not a rare case. In the United States, 900,000 people a year require medical attention due to a non-fatal dog bite; half of them are children, whose small stature and lack of inhibition make them more prone to these sorts of incidences. We all hear about the tragic cases in the news of dogs killing people who were minding their own business, and it is horrifying and heartbreaking. But it is also, thankfully, rare. The vast majority of these bites are preventable.

My fellow veterinarians like to joke that we have a harder job than MDs because our patients can’t talk, but that’s not entirely true. Dogs may not speak our language, but they sure as heck communicate. It’s just that we aren’t listening properly.

If you want a perfect example of what a distressed dog looks like, just hit up your local veterinary clinic. All those picture memes of dogs going to the vet are a perfect list of all the things dogs do to broadcast when they are feeling uncomfortable …

• Hiding behind their owners
• Shaking
• Lip licking
• Yawning
• Tail tucked
• “Half moon” of the eye showing
• Turning away from you


And take growling, for example: how many times have you seen a dog get scolded for growling? We should be rewarding them! This is them shouting, loud and clear: “I am really unhappy right now. Whatever is going on here, please stop. Don’t make me escalate things.” It’s scary when you see it, especially when a dog is growling at a young child, but it is an immediate signal for you to intervene and make the situation safe.

Some signs are more subtle than others, and can be easy to miss if you don’t know how to look for them. It is extremely rare for a dog to jump right into bite mode without giving at least one or two of these signs ahead of time. We just don’t recognize it.

Time and time again, I see people - often kids - go right up to a dog exhibiting these behaviors and start patting them and talking to them. Do you remember when women in department stores used to walk up and spray you with perfume without asking first? They stopped because too many people were snapping at them. It’s kind of like that.

I imagine most people on the Life’s Abundance site know a lot more than the average bear about doggie body language, and if you have kids they probably do as well. From the time my kiddos were toddlers, we worked (and worked and worked, because it takes time) to teach them about respecting animals’ space. In some respects, kids comfortable with the family dog are even more at risk for bites, because they are used to approaching dogs who are very comfortable with being handled and may be overly familiar with strange dogs.

So we practice, and just as importantly, we make other kids practice with us too. When my dog is showing classic relaxed body posture (wiggling, leaning into people for pets), I take this as an opportunity to show kids who may have never been taught how to approach a strange dog …

1. Use your EYES to see if the dog wants to be approached
2. Use your MOUTH to ask for permission
3. Use your HAND to hold it out and let the dog approach you
4. Only then can you pat the dog, gently, on its side … not its face!

So many times when a dog bites, the owner says, “We never saw it coming!” That doesn’t mean the signs weren’t there. I’d encourage every pet parent out there to make it part of their daily life to teach those they encounter about how to approach a dog. You just might save them some trauma down the line.


As for Joey? Over time, he began to feel empowered as he understood how to evaluate dogs and when to walk away. The last time he came over, he asked to take Brody for a walk. It doesn’t take much to keep people dog safe, just a little time and effort. Are you in?

Dr V written by Dr. Jessica Vogelsang

Dr. Jessica Vogelsang is a graduate of the prestigious UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine with experience in both emergency and general practice. Quickly recognized as an entertaining and informative voice in the pet world, Dr. V is one of the most widely read veterinarians on the web and has become a much sought-after contributor in print, television and radio. Not only that, but Dr. V is one of a small group of veterinary and journalism experts to have earned the title of Certified Veterinary Journalist through the American Society of Veterinary Journalists. Dr. V is currently featured in the series "Animals Gone Wild" on Nat Geo Wild on Friday nights at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time.


Xylitol Is Dangerous To Your Dog. Know The Products And The Symptoms And Keep Xylitol Away From Your Dog

Ucm500188Your six-month-old puppy, Hoover, will eat anything that isn’t tied down. Like many dog owners, you know chocolate can be dangerous to your pooch. But you may not know that if Hoover sticks his nose in your handbag and eats a pack of sugarless chewing gum, the consequences could be deadly.

Sugarless gum may contain xylitol, a class of sweetener known as sugar alcohol. Xylitol is present in many products and foods for human use, but can have devastating effects on your pet.

Over the past several years, the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received several reports—many of which pertained to chewing gum—of dogs being poisoned by xylitol, according to Martine Hartogensis, a veterinarian at FDA.

And you may have seen recent news stories about dogs that have died or become very ill after eating products containing xylitol.

Other Foods Containing Xylitol

But gum isn’t the only product containing xylitol. Slightly lower in calories than sugar, this sugar substitute is also often used to sweeten sugar-free candy, such as mints and chocolate bars. Other products that may contain xylitol include:

  • breath mints
  • baked goods
  • cough syrup
  • children’s and adult chewable vitamins
  • mouthwash
  • toothpaste

Why is Xylitol Dangerous to Dogs, but Not People?

In both people and dogs, the level of blood sugar is controlled by the release of insulin from the pancreas. In people, xylitol does not stimulate the release of insulin from the pancreas. However, it’s different in canines: When dogs eat something containing xylitol, the xylitol is more quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, and may result in a potent release of insulin from the pancreas.

This rapid release of insulin may result in a rapid and profound decrease in the level of blood sugar (hypoglycemia), an effect that can occur within 10 to 60 minutes of eating the xylitol. Untreated, this hypoglycemia can quickly be life-threatening, Hartogensis says.

Symptoms to Look For in Your Dog

Symptoms of xylitol poisoning in dogs include vomiting, followed by symptoms associated with the sudden lowering of your dog’s blood sugar, such as decreased activity, weakness, staggering, incoordination, collapse and seizures.

If you think your dog has eaten xylitol, take him to your vet or an emergency animal hospital immediately, Hartogensis advises. Because hypoglycemia and other serious adverse effects may not occur in some cases for up to 12 to 24 hours, your dog may need to be monitored.

(A note to cat owners: The toxicity of xylitol for cats has not been documented. They appear to be spared, at least in part, by their disdain for sweets.)

What Can You Do to Avoid Xylitol Poisoning in Your Dog?

“If you’re concerned about your dog eating a food or product with xylitol in it, check the label of ingredients. If it does, indeed, say that it contains xylitol, make sure your pet can’t get to it.” Hartogensis says. In addition:

  • Keep products that contain xylitol (including those you don’t think of as food, such as toothpaste) well out of your dog’s reach. Remember that some dogs are adept at counter surfing.
  • Only use pet toothpaste for pets, never human toothpaste.
  • If you give your dog nut butter as a treat or as a vehicle for pills, check the label first to make sure it doesn’t contain xylitol.

Do Dogs Experience Guilt?


Dog in Time Out

If you have had the opportunity to share your life with a dog, then you are probably familiar with ‘the guilty look’. Dog lovers will instantly recognize this classic expression as the one your pup adopts when you discover that he’s gotten into the trash, chewed up your good shoes, or dug a deep pit in your yard. But is he experiencing feelings of guilt behind those puppy dog eyes?

We certainly seem to think so. Seventy-four percent of dog lovers believe that their pups experience some form of guilt. But is it the same sort of guilt we feel, or is it a complex canine behavior that has been anthropomorphized, and is perhaps triggered by something else entirely?

This question is so hotly debated, canine behavior researchers decided to test the theory, and hopefully provide some answers. Consider two recent, credible studies that explored ‘the guilty look’.

In both, researchers ingeniously set up conditions to discover the origins of guilty behaviors in dogs. Based on their findings, they ascertained that the dog’s reaction is tied to the owner’s scolding, not the previous misdeed. This certainly seems to back up what many of us suspect, that humans have a natural tendency to want to interpret animal behavior in human terms.

There is plenty of evidence for what scientists refer to as primary emotions, such as happiness and fear, in non-human animals. Empirical evidence for secondary emotions like pride and jealousy, however, is extremely rare in animal cognition literature. The argument usually given for this lack of evidence is that such secondary emotions seem to require a higher level of cognitive sophistication, particularly when it comes to self-awareness or self-consciousness, that may not exist in non-human animals.

Put simply, guilt is complicated.

A group of canine cognition researchers from Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, published several studies in Applied Animal Behavior Science investigating ‘the guilty look’. In a 2009 study, pet parents reported that their dogs sometimes display guilty behavior when greeting owners. They claimed to be unaware of their dog doing anything bad, and asserted that it was the dog’s guilty behavior that told them about the dog’s infraction. However, researchers found there was no significant difference between obedient and disobedient dogs in their display of ‘guilty looks’ after having the opportunity to break a rule when the pet parents were absent.

Dog Looking Guilty

But wait, say pet parents. ‘Guilty look’ behaviors are displayed even when dogs aren’t scolded. So, in a 2015 study these same behaviorists investigated whether the dogs' own actions or the evidence of a misdeed might serve as triggering cue for the guilty behavior. If the ‘guilty look’ was based on some sort of ‘guilt’ as often claimed by dog lovers, then the cue triggering this behavior would have to be linked to the dog’s own action, namely whether the dog has or has not done something “bad”. They tested this by manipulating whether or not dogs ate a ‘forbidden’ food item and whether or not the food was visible upon the owners’ return. The findings indicate that the dogs did not show the ‘guilty look’ in the absence of scolding. So, at least in this study, the ‘guilty look’ was not influenced by the dog’s own bad behavior.

So, we have ample anecdotal evidence from pet parents, but little evidence from published studies to support this claim.



Hecht, J., et al., Behavioral assessment and owner perceptions of behaviors associated with guilt in dogs. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. (2012), doi:10.1016/j.applanim.2012.02.015
Horowitz A (2009). Disambiguating the "guilty look": salient prompts to a familiar dog behaviour. Behavioural processes, 81 (3), 447-52 PMID: 19520245
Ljerka Ostojić, Mladenka Tkalčić, Nicola S. Clayton Are owners' reports of their dogs’ ‘guilty look’ influenced by the dogs’ action and evidence of the misdeed? Behavioural Processess Volume 111, February 2015, Pages 97–100

Kitty Play Time And Keeping Your Cat Active

Cats become bored easily, especially if left to their own devices. This is exactly why it’s so vital that they enjoy structured play times with their pet parents. Not only do they get to spend fun time with you, their primary caregiver, they get to exercise their bodies and minds.

In last month's episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah provided us with fun and simple ways to tap into a cat's innate problem solving skills while helping avoid the behavioral and physical consequences of sedentary living. If you missed this video on making safe but fun DIY toys for cats, be sure to watch that next.

This month, Sarah’s back with more in-depth info on why it’s important for your cat to have regular play times. It’s partly due to their unique evolution, but also because their minds require stimulation for a long and healthy life.

Be sure to share this video with friends and family, especially if they are cat lovers. 

Shop for healthy, never recalled cat and kitten food and treats at


The Inside Scoop On Homemade Pet Food



If you’re reading this, chances are it’s not the first time you’ve given some degree of thought to the concept of a homemade pet diet. Whether you regard this topic with interest or with repulsion, a series of pet food recalls combined with the ‘foodie’ movement have resulted in growing discussion among pet parents about the costs and benefits of becoming a personal chef for one’s pet kids.

So, what are some of the reasons pet parents turn to making their own pet food? While motivations can be deeply personal, they commonly fall into these categories:

1. Your veterinarian prescribed food that your pet kid won’t eat
2. You have made specific dietary choices and want to extend them to your animal family members
3. You only trust food which comes out of your kitchen
4. You are hoping to alleviate the symptoms or severity of a medical diagnosis
5. You are ambivalent about commercial pet food and curious to see if you could get better results
6. A belief that you could save some money

While these questions provide some food for thought, motivation alone is not an assurance of health and wellbeing for pet kids. When deciding what to feed their companion animals, pet parent’s choices must be backed up by expertise and solid knowledge. So, what actually does go into the decision to take the plunge into homemade pet food?

BloggrainfreedogfoodPet Parent Education: Intensive

In the era of Pinterest, there are loads of DIY pet food recipes and enthusiastic testimonials. Some of these recipes give the appearance of being well-balanced and reasonably easy, and may even have a cute name.

But chances are that the vast majority of these will not provide pets with the nutrition they need. In an independent 2013 study of 200 homemade adult dog food recipes gathered from the internet, cookbooks and veterinarians, only five (2.5%) of them were nutritionally balanced. All five balanced recipes had come from veterinarians with advanced training in nutrition.

The takeaway here is that it is critical to involve a holistic or integrative veterinarian and/or a veterinary nutritionist to ensure the nutritional needs of your furry kid are being met.

Cost Analysis: Moderate - Intensive

If the financial bottom line is a priority, time should be spent doing an analysis of the daily cost to feed pet kids a balanced diet. With a quality recipe in hand, pet parents can take to the internet and local grocery stores to estimate the cost of the homemade meal before ever investing in buying the ingredients. The cost of any special equipment, like a meat grinder or food processor, and food storage containers, should also be factored in.

BloggrainfreecatIngredient Sourcing: Intensive

A balanced recipe from a qualified Veterinary Nutritionist is sure to include proteins, carbohydrates and a list of added vitamins and other nutritional supplements. As with any consumable product, there is great variation in the quality of all of these ingredients as well as variation in what is appropriate for different species. What many fail to realize is that improperly balanced nutrients can actually lead to a host of disease states, essentially creating toxicity within the body. To ensure maximum benefit, be certain that your nutritionist is explicit about cuts of meat and which supplements to purchase, and ensure that all of these questions are addressed:

What form should each supplement be in; liquid or powder? 
What source is okay for each supplement; synthetic, natural, purified, etc.?
Are there certain varieties of supplements that should be avoided; Cod Liver Oil or Krill Oil vs. Fish Oil? 
Are your personal dietary requirements being met; grain free or vegetarian?
Which cuts of meat are optimal, acceptable and should be avoided; white meat, dark meat, lean or fat?

Food Preparation & Storage: Moderate – Intensive

If you’ve ever done batch cooking for your human family, you’ll have an idea what it’s like to make your own pet food. This exercise takes advance planning, time management, practice and possibly endurance depending on how large a batch is being made.

This time commitment will vary by recipe, quality of equipment being used, size of the batch being prepared, and with fine tuning over time.

Food Serving: Minimal

Home prepared foods are refrigerated or frozen and may require warming to room temperature to serve. At issue here is the commitment to the frequency of this task more so than the amount of time required.

Given the level of difficulty in preparing home meals, and the expertise to get the formulas right every time, this probably isn’t a viable option for most pet parents. If you’re seeking holistic nutrition plus convenience and value, I urge you to consider the premium nutrition offered by any of our Life’s Abundance pet foods.

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

Are You Thinking About Biking With Your Dog? Great Tips!

Have you ever seen someone biking with their dog and thought, “Wow, that looks like fun … but where did they learn how to do that?” If so, this month’s episode of Pet Talk was made just for you!

In this short video, Dr. Sarah will help you to gain a basic understanding of how to safely enjoy this outdoor activity with your dog. Our Staff Veterinarian explains exactly what gear you’ll need (a minimal investment), plus all the necessary steps to train a dog to become comfortable near a moving bicycle. Trust us when we say that wheeling around with your dog really is loads of fun!

Be sure to share this video with friends and family, especially if they love pursuing new and exciting leisure pastimes.

Make sure your doggie is eating healthy, never recalled dog food and treats from


Does Your Dog Or Cat Suffer From Anxiety?


Jack Russell

As pet parents, we’re all vaguely aware that we should minimize the stress our pet kids experience. As a veterinarian, I think it’s important that we also comprehend the health risks of prolonged anxiety, too. The fact is, living in a fearful or anxious state for long periods of time can take a dramatic toll on the health of a companion animal.

DogbulgeyesAny time your pet feels endangered, whether the threat is real or imagined, the body prepares to defend itself by unleashing a torrent of stress hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline, that have far-reaching effects on the whole body. These hormones release energy, increasing respiration while inhibiting digestion, the immune system, growth, reproduction and even pain perception. These hormones also decrease blood flow to areas of the body that are necessary for movement. This is appropriate for survival in a real crisis, but when fear, anxiety or stress continues chronically, negative health effects are a real possibility. These effects could include fatigue, hypertension, gastrointestinal problems, skin disease, as well as metabolic and immune problems. You might be surprised to know that pets can manifest many of the same conditions that we do!

Chronic anxiety and stress can even cause permanent damage to the brain. We know that animals staying in shelter facilities are at increased susceptibility to infectious diseases, including upper respiratory tract infections, litterbox problems, hair loss and bladder inflammation. And that’s nothing compared to the extreme duress of prolonged fear experienced by dogs in puppy mills! We can see the affects of stress on dogs when they exhibit signs of stress colitis, an inflammatory GI condition that causes diarrhea - often seen after boarding, veterinary visits, or grooming. Stressed dogs suffering from separation anxiety can also be destructive, chewing carpet, baseboards, or scratching up doors. Dogs that are chronically stressed can lick themselves raw, creating skin conditions like lick granulomas.

Apart from the mental and physical distress, stress hormones also imprint any fearful situation firmly in your pet’s memory as something that was scary and life-threatening. These feelings can be recalled from something as seemingly innocuous as pinpricks from a vaccine needle, a person wearing a lab coat or the sight of nail clippers. Any memory of frightening situations can prove to be a powerful fear stimulus. When your companion animal encounters a similar sort of situation, the stress hormones are released and the fear cycle resumes all over again.

The effects of fear and anxiety can be profound and highly distressing. We need to recognize fear in our pets, do more to decrease their fear when possible, and prevent fear by associating potentially fearful situations with positive stimuli. As you can see, dogs and cats who demonstrate pathologic levels of fear or anxiety need our help, not only for their emotional well being, but their physical well being, too!

Be sure to watch this month’s episode of Pet Talk, where Dr. Sarah explains how you can reduce your pet kid’s stress before and during veterinary visits.

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



Symptoms Your Dog Or Cat May Have Urinary Tract Illness

Girl hugging dog

Urinary tract infections in people are fairly straight forward. Sufferers  experience pain during urination or a frequent urge to go that is a false alarm.  For us humans, going to the doctor is usually the next step, whereupon a course  of antibiotics is prescribed which usually resolves the problem. Unfortunately, urinary tract infections for dogs and cats aren’t often a simple matter. These  infections oftentimes have underlying causes, such as urinary stones, anatomical  abnormalities, incontinence, hormonal conditions, stress or even cancer, any of  which can contribute to recurrent disease. To ascertain just what’s causing your  pet kid’s urinary tract issues really does require the expertise of your  veterinarian. Urinary tract conditions can be painful and debilitating, and it  is important to detect the signs early for the best chance of solving the  problem.

Traditional veterinarians like to focus on infection as a cause, and treat  with an antibiotic. Antibiotics can cure or eliminate symptoms, whether by  killing the bacteria or acidifying the urine. Sometimes, however, this course of  treatment doesn’t represent a final answer, unless a culture tells otherwise.  For me, as a holistic veterinarian, I look at every aspect of the problem.  Urinary tract syndromes are caused by many things and other parts of the body  need to be supported, too. For example, stress can cause urinary symptoms by its  affect on hormone production.

The good news is that the signs of urinary problems are fairly obvious in  both dogs and cats. Take your pet kid to the veterinarian if you notice any of  the following symptoms …

• Out-of-character elimination in the home that is, failure to maintain expected house or litter-box training

• A dog who asks to go outside more often or a cat making excessive trips the  litter box

• repeatedly assuming the posture to pee but very little is produced

• blood-tinged urine • excessive licking ‘back there’

• excessive drinking, panting and/or obvious discomfort

It is helpful to bring a fresh sample of urine to your vet’s office, which  can be tested for the presence of white blood cells, protein, crystals and  bacteria. Your veterinarian will examine your dog and may recommend additional  testing, such as a urine culture, blood work and x-rays, especially if this is a  recurring problems.

If tests reveal crystals in the urine, then there is a possibility of urinary  stones in the bladder or kidney. Some crystals/stones (struvite) can be  dissolved simply by changing to a prescription diet, while other crystals  (calcium oxalate) are more troublesome. For some cases of urinary stones,  surgery may be the only option.

Cats can develop stress cystitis, similar to a condition in human females. In  felines, the condition is commonly referred to FLUTD (feline lower urinary tract  disease) or FIC (feline interstitial cystitis). FIC appears to be a complex  condition unique to indoor kitties that involves the urinary, adrenal and  neurological systems.

New studies show that environmental enrichment can lower the incidence of feline lower urinary tract disease. If your cat is predisposed to this  condition, consider implementing the following improvements:

• Scoop litter box daily, sanitize weekly and provide one more box than the  number of cats in the household

• keep litter boxes in a quiet area, away from foot traffic

• provide multiple sources of fresh water and consider using a fountain

• feed a high quality diet, usually a combination of canned and dry food

• have multiple cat trees and hiding spots in order to increase the available vertical space for the cats

• increase petting, grooming and play activities that simulate hunting (i.e. toss kibble, feathered fishing pole, laser pointer)

• utilize feline pheromone spray (Feliway)

• consider use of anxitane or zylkene, herbal supplements to reduce stress (your  veterinarian can tell you more about the available options)

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a human, a cat or a dog … urinary tract  problems are no fun. Hopefully, with the information provided above, and with  the valuable consultation of your trusted veterinarian, a quick and effective  solution to your pet kid’s problems is well within reach.

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



Shop today at or

How to Help a Fearful or Aggressive Dog

Sometimes, dogs behave badly. Going nuts when there’s a knock at the door. Over-reacting to the tiniest of threats. Freaking out over having their nails trimmed. Worst of all, if the proper steps aren’t taken early on, behaviors like anxiety and aggression can become the norm, rather than one-off instances.

In this episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah and her canine assistant, Alma, demonstrate two effective training techniques that can be used to overcome unpleasant reactive canine behaviors. We’ll be covering the topics of desensitization and counter-conditioning, plus why it’s important to set realistic goals. And above all, try to have fun whenever you’re training … your dog will thank you for it.

To learn more about the health-promoting and incredibly tempting Life’s Abundance treats featured in this episode and other Pet Talk episodes, visit the following links.

Tasty Rewards Training Treats

Buffalo Bully Sticks

Buffalo Meat Strips

9 Tips to Keep Your Cats and Dogs Summer Safe

Summer is here! And your pets cannot be more excited. Here are a few quick tips to help keep your pet safe this summer.
  1. Do not leave your pet alone in your car – vehicles heat up quickly in the sun, and animals left in them can succumb to heat stroke within minutes. Heat stroke is life threatening for both dogs and cats. Signs to watch for include heavy, loud breathing; a staggering gait; a bright red tongue or gum tissue; vomiting; diarrhea (sometimes blood); or even seizures. If heat stroke is suspected, bring the animal to a cool place, put cold compresses on its belly, or wet it down. Because this is a medical emergency, take your pet to your veterinarian as quickly as possible.
  2. Overheating - Short nosed dogs, like Pugs and Bulldogs, are particularly susceptible to overheating during hot, humid days. To prevent your dog from overheating, do not exercise her in very hot weather. If you want to run or walk with your dog, do it in the cool hours of the early morning or late evening. And be careful when walking your dog on hot pavement, as it can sometimes burn the footpads.
  3. Shade and Water - Dogs and cats need a cool, shady place to sleep during hot weather, as well as plenty of clean, fresh water that is accessible at all times. Feed your dog or cat in the cooler hours of the day. Older animals have a hard time in hot weather, so be extra sensitive to their needs during the hottest hours of the day.
  4. Risk of Disease - Some diseases may be more prevalent during warmer months. Parvovirus tends to flourish in hotter weather. Also, during the summer months, pets often spend more time outdoors, increasing their chances of encountering wildlife (possible rabies carriers). Your veterinarian can help you decide the best ways to prevent diseases in your area.
  5. Heartworm, Flea and Tick Prevention - If your dog hasn’t been tested for heartworm this year, you may want to see your veterinarian and discuss prevention. Heartworm is transmitted by mosquitoes, and the best time to attempt prevention is between June and November. Additionally, making sure your pet is free of fleas and ticks reduces the chances of other health problems. Many fleas and ticks carry infectious diseases that can affect your pet (e.g. Lyme Disease).
  6. Keep your pet well groomed - Daily brushing or combing lets you check for fleas and ticks. Ticks can carry infectious diseases and fleas can cause allergic reactions and “hot spots” in dogs. Hot spots are large, wet lesions that appear suddenly in areas where the dog has scratched. See your veterinarian for flea and tick preventives or if a hot spot appears.
  7. Keep dogs away from picnic garbage -  Ingesting corncobs and chicken bones can be life threatening. Keep an eye on your dog!
  8. Water Safety - Believe it or not, not all dogs can swim (or swim well)! Know your dog’s abilities in water before leaving him or her unattended around a swimming pool or other water. Consider a life vest if your dog is not a strong swimmer.
  9. Open Window Safety - Use a heavy screen on windows or keep them closed if you have cats. During the summer, the number of cats suffering from “high rise” syndrome, or falling from windows, increases dramatically. Contrary to myth, cats do not always land on their feet when falling from heights. The most severe injuries occur when cats fall from second- or third-floor windows.

And most of all - have fun with your pet companions!

Your Cat May Be Smarter Than You Think


Green eyed cat

As long as people have shared their homes with pets, dog and cat lovers have  debated which animal is more intelligent. Canine enthusiasts tout that dogs have  been trained and bred for thousands of years to herd, hunt, assist, protect,  perform tricks and obey verbal commands. Cat aficionados, on the other hand, say  that cats are simply too smart to do the sort of tricks that dogs eagerly  perform. Whereas dogs have been bred for utility, cats have been bred mostly for  appearance, leading many to believe that dogs have superior intellectual  capabilities. But, really, is it feasible to accurately compare the intelligence  of these two species?

Despite their similarities, cats and dogs are very different animals. Dogs  are social animals, are motivated by a hierarchical, pack-oriented instinct.  They will perform purely for praise, especially from whomever they consider  their pack leader. Conversely, cats are highly specialized carnivores who  generally lead solitary lives in the wild. In domestic settings, they are not  motivated by social status. Most are not even motivated by food. But, why is  that?

In the wild, if obtaining a particular source of food is too much work, cats  will generally cut their losses and go in search of easier prey. Whereas wild  dog packs will cooperatively pursue prey for miles, a wild cat tends to conserve  energy, lying in wait to ambush prey. The untrained observer may interpret this  as laziness or a lack of motivation, however animal behaviorists know that this  represents a brilliant evolutionary adaptation … one that increases a cat’s  chances of survival in the wild.

How intelligence is expressed is also largely determined by an animal’s  sensory organs and motor abilities. Cats perceive the world quite differently  than humans. For instance, they are unable to distinguish between red, orange,  yellow and green. They have 20/80 vision, which means they only have good visual  acuity at distances of less than 20 feet, and they see best in low light  conditions ideal for hunting and stalking prey at dusk. Their sense of smell is  far better than a human but much less sensitive than a dog’s. Cats have  incredible hearing and can hear ultrasonic noises made by rats and mice. You may  also be surprised to know that cats are quite dexterous compared to dogs, able  to seize and manipulate objects surprisingly well with their paws.

If you’re interested in trying to gauge your kitty’s IQ, hide a bit of food  under a towel and see how quickly the cat finds its prey. However, don’t be  surprised if your cat would rather play with the towel than find the food!

When trying to assess feline intelligence, we humans would benefit from a  paradigm shift. Since we tend to judge intelligence by comparing cats to  ourselves, or how easily cats understand and obey human cues, we are missing out  on the brilliant diversity, amazing adaptability and creative capabilities of  the most popular pet in America.

I encourage you to celebrate how cats are unique, and do your best to see the  world through your cat’s eyes.

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

Dr Jane Bicks   Dr. Jane Bicks

Dr Jane Bicks is the product formulator of Life's Abundance dog and cat food, treats, supplements and pet care products. They have never been recalled and are delivered to your door! Learn more about Life's Abundance here.


Perfiliev, S, L G Pettersson and A Lundberg. "Control of Claw Movements in  Cats." Neuroscience Research 31 (1998): 337- 342.

Martin, Paul, and Patrick Bateson. "Behavioural Development in the Cat" In The  Domestic Cat: The Biology of Its Behaviour, edited by Dennis C Turner and  Patrick Bateson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (1988).

Doré, François Y. "Search Behaviour of Cats (Felis catus) in an Invisible  Displacement Test: Cognition and Experience" Canadian Journal of Psychology 44  (1990): 359 - 370.

Collier, George, Deanne F Johnson, and Cynthia Morgan. "Meal Patterns of Cats  Encountering Variable Food Procurement Costs" Journal of the Experimental  Analysis of Behaviour 67 (1997): 303 - 310.

Blake, Randolph, and William Martens. "Critical Bands in Cat Spatial Vision."  Journal of Physiology 314 (1981): 175 - 87.

Bravo, M, R Blake and S Morrison "Cats See Subjective Contours" Vision Research  28 (1988): 861-865

Did You Know There Is A Fish Oil Specifically Designed For Cats And Dogs?

IT'S HERE! No more guessing and asking yourself -

Should my dog or cat take fish oil?

What kind of fish oil is ok for my dog or cat?

Is my fish oil ok for them and in what quantity?

We are very happy to announce that Sealogix Omega-3 Ultra-Pure Fish Oil for dogs and cats is on sale now!

This is offered in 2-oz. and 8-oz. bottles, this formula features an ideal concentration of 30% DHA and EPA for the overall health of dogs and cats.

The oil is in a triglyceride form, which is highly bioavailable. It does not contain added flavors, so it has a mild, natural taste that dogs and cats will love.

Sealogix fish oil liquids for pets are easier to feed compared to gel capsules, which can be difficult to swallow and messy when spit up. The 2-oz. bottle has an easy-to-measure dropper and the 8-oz. bottle has an easy-to-use measuring cup.

Sealogix fish oils for pets are made in a human pharmaceutical facility … the same place as our Sealogix for people. Like our fish oil for people, each bottle receives a nitrogen flush to remove oxygen from the bottle before it is sealed for ultra freshness.

Sealogix fish oils meet or exceed the highest standards in the industry for quality assurance. Every batch receives IFOS 5-Star ratings for purity, concentration and freshness. The results are posted on the website so your customers and prospects can see for themselves the quality, concentration and purity that these fish oils offer.

Plus, Sealogix fish oils offer pet parents outstanding value. For example, it costs only $.18 a day for a ten-pound cat and only $.37 a day for a 40-lb. dog (based on Autoship pricing).

Click Here To Ship For Sealogix fish oil for your dog or cat!


A Dog's World - A Keen Nose for Helping Humans


Girl holding dog

Dogs are scent-oriented creatures, with some of the most highly developed  noses on the planet. Hide a few treats around the room and see how quickly  they’re ferreted out. But does your dog’s schnoz have more practical  applications than we realize? The answer … well, it couldn’t be plainer than the  nose on your face.

Every year, scientific investigations yield more and more evidence that dogs  are up to some pretty surprising challenges, in ways that are proving quite  beneficial for people. We’ve all seen police dogs skilled in the detection of  bombs and contraband. Now researchers are applying that same olfactory prowess  to snuffling out all manner of scents, from deadly food allergens to costly  insect infestations.

For example, trainers at the Florida Canine Academy provide dogs with  instruction on how to detect the trace presence of peanuts. Just ask anyone with  a severe peanut allergy … just one nut can prove lethal. Alternately,  traditional bedbug detection methods can be very time-consuming and  labor-intensive. A canine trained to sniff out bedbugs can search the average  hotel room in less than two minutes!

Dogs have also been trained to detect seizures. Much like the job of a  seeing-eye dog, seizure dogs help their pet parents navigate day-to-day  activities, protecting them from known triggers and potentially harmful  situations. These canines excel at recognizing subtle body changes during these  traumatic neurological events. Some pups are so sensitive, they can predict an  oncoming attack early enough to allow their human to get to a safe place and  take medication to reduce the seizure’s severity.

Researchers have documented numerous instances of dogs with the ability to  detect cancerous tumors. According to an article in The Lancet, a patient  reported that her dog would repeatedly investigate a mole on her leg. At one  point, the pup even attempted to bite off the suspicious beauty mark! A medical  exam proved what the dog already knew … it was a malignant melanoma. Had it not  been for her dog’s nosy behavior, the deadly cancer might have remained  undetected.

In a 2011 study, Japanese researchers reported that an eight-year-old black  Labrador proved exceptionally accurate at nosing out the presence of colon  cancer. When doctors provided the pup with samples collected from 185 patients,  the retriever positively identified those suffering from the disease with a  success rate that was nothing short of astonishing … 97%!

Last but certainly not least, canines are proving adept at detecting  low-blood-sugar levels. In 2000, The British Medical Journal reported that more  than a third of dogs living with a diabetic human exhibited behavioral changes  when their pet parent’s blood sugar dropped. Some reacted before the person was  even aware of any symptoms. The paper also cited two cases where the dogs not  only detected the low blood sugar, but they encouraged their people to eat!  Researchers are hopeful that this natural knack can be taught, which could make  a huge difference in the ongoing care of millions of diabetes sufferers.

In light of all the evidence, there’s no doubt … our beloved best friends  really are leading the pack towards improving our lives!

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

Tired of dog food and cat food recalls? Did you know most pet foods sit in a warehouse for 12-18 months before they ever hit the store shelves? Did you know that almost all of the pet foods have had an FDA recall? Well guess what! Life's Abundance has NEVER been in recalled and has been shipping you fresh food (within 4-6 weeks of being made) since 1999!! Feed your dog or cat the very best! Shop at or

Tips for Improving Kitty Behavior

Did you know that when you make simple changes to enrich your cat's life you reap the benefits as well? From eliminating outside the litter box to aggression, even inappropriate scratching, these and other behavioral disorders of indoor cats can be treated simply by making improvements to your cat's environment. In this month's episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah shares her surprisingly simple tips that you can implement at home, all to help your feline feel purringly content. Which makes everyone in the home a little bit happier.

Tips for Improving Kitty Behavior from Life's Abundance.

Shop for natural, healthy cat and dog food and treats here! Never recalled and delivered to your door fresh!

How To Stop Dog Pawing Behavior

Many pet parents are unaware that their canine companions have expertly turned them into unsuspecting human vending machines: one poke of the paw delivers a delicious treat or a toy.  If you've ever been scratched by a rambunctious canine pawing to get your attention, then you know just how much of a pain pawing behavior can be … literally!

Why do dogs paw, and more importantly, how can you get them to stop? In the latest episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah reviews possible rationales behind your dog's pawing, as well as tips on how to cease and desist this irksome behavior. Watch this short but instructive video now to help your dog learn proper paw manners. And don't forget to share this webisode with other pet parents!


How To Stop Pawing Behavior from Life's Abundance.

Tired of pet food recalls? Tired of lugging your dog and cat food home from the store? Have it delivered fresh! Never recalled and formulated by a holistic vet. Sold online so you receive the freshest food without the hassle. Click here to shop for Life's Abundance products.

FDA warns Nestle Purina plant about 'significant violations' (Friskies, ProPlan, Alpo, Mighty Dog)

Nestle Purina PetCare 1/2/15


January 2, 2015
Jason S. Christoffersen, Plant Manager
Nestle Purina PetCare
2050 Pope Road
Allentown, PA 18104-9308
Dear Mr. Christoffersen:
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted an inspection of your low-acid canned food (LACF) manufacturing facility located at 2050 Pope Road, Allentown, PA, from September 15, 2014 through October 1, 2014. The inspection revealed that your firm manufactures a variety of low-acid dog and cat foods. The inspection also revealed that your facility has significant deviations from the LACF regulations, Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 108 and 113 (21 CFR Parts 108 and 113). 
As a manufacturer of low-acid canned food products, you are required to comply with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act) and the federal regulations relating to the processing of low-acid canned food products. These regulations are described in 21 CFR 108, Emergency Permit Control, and 21 CFR 113, Thermally Processed Low-Acid Foods Packaged in Hermetically Sealed Containers. The Emergency Permit Control regulations were issued, in part, pursuant to Section 404 of the Act, Emergency Permit Control, 21 United States Code (USC) § 344. A temporary emergency permit may be required for low-acid canned foods whenever a processor has failed to fulfill the requirements of 21 CFR 108.35, including registration and filing of process information, and the mandatory requirements in 21 CFR Part 113. 
Based upon certain criteria in 21 CFR 113, low acid foods may be adulterated within the meaning of section 402(a)(4), [21 USC § 342(a)(4)] in that they have been prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby they may have become contaminated with filth, or whereby they may have been rendered injurious to health. You can find the Act and the low-acid food regulations through links on FDA’s Internet home page at
We acknowledge receipt of your October 15, 2014, written response to the FDA Form-483, Inspectional Observations, issued to your firm on October 1, 2014. Our comments regarding the adequacy of the actions you took to correct the objectionable conditions and practices observed during the inspection are detailed after each violation that is noted below.
The significant violations are as follows:
1.    Your firm failed to process each low-acid canned food in conformity with at least the scheduled process filed with FDA, as required by 21 CFR 108.35(c)(3)(i). Specifically,
  • Your firm’s filed scheduled process (SID # (b)(4)) for Alpo Chop House Rotisserie Chicken flavor in Gourmet Gravy includes (b)(4) different process times for (b)(4) different minimum initial temperatures (IT) of (b)(4) at a minimum sterilization temperature of (b)(4).  The process specified for a minimum IT of (b)(4) is (b)(4) at (b)(4) with a minimum IT of (b)(4) and (b)(4) at (b)(4) with a minimum IT of (b)(4). However, on March 14, 2014, the Daily Process Record - (b)(4) identified a recorded IT of (b)(4) with a recorded cook time of (b)(4) for Lot (b)(4). This is less than the filed process of (b)(4) required for the recorded IT of (b)(4). Further, comments on this processing record state (b)(4) Low IT (b)(4) QA NOTIFIeD (b)(4) Cook satisfied…” The critical factor of process time filed with FDA must reflect the actual time required for delivery of the scheduled process. 
We acknowledge that your written response states that your (b)(4) Thermal Process Authority evaluated this process deviation and stated that this product received a sufficient thermal process to achieve commercial sterility. Further, your response states that this instance and actions taken were recorded in a deviation log, on October 3, 2014. Additionally, the response states that, in the future, process deviations will be documented.  We do not consider this response acceptable because your firm did not provide documentation associated with the evaluation of the entire lot of product affected by the process deviation and did not provide documentation and/or the specifics of your corrective action plan in order to ensure that your firm will prevent these occurrences in the future.
  • Your firm’s filed scheduled process (SID #(b)(4)) for FCC Mariner’s Catch 5.5oz. cans and FCC Mixed Grill, 5.5oz. cans for the (b)(4) Retort ((b)(4)) lists critical factors that require the in-feed leg to be at (b)(4), the steam dome (b)(4), and exit leg at (b)(4). However,
o   On February 25, 2014, FCC Mariner’s Catch temperature chart in-feed leg (top) fell below the required (b)(4) to approximately (b)(4), to approximately (b)(4), and to approximately (b)(4). Further, handwritten on the temperature chart is: “(b)(4) Both chain (b)(4)…” and “Both chains down (b)(4)…Both chains down (b)(4)…” Additionally, your firm failed to document indications of a temperature drop at either time on the (b)(4) Retort Daily Process Record.
o   On March 25, 2014, FCC Mixed Grill temperature chart in-feed leg (top) fell below the required (b)(4) to approximately (b)(4). Further, handwritten on the temperature chart is: “(b)(4) Both chain shut off (b)(4)…” Additionally, your firm failed to document indications of a temperature drop on the (b)(4) Retort Daily Process Record.
We acknowledge that your written response states that your (b)(4) Thermal Process Authority evaluated these process deviations and stated that the products received a sufficient thermal process to achieve commercial sterility. Further, your response states that these instances and actions taken were recorded in a deviation log, on September 19, 2014. We do not consider this response acceptable because you did not provide specifics of your corrective action plan in order to insure that your firm will prevent these occurrences in the future.         
  • Your firm’s filed scheduled process for formulated pet food chunks in gravy style (SID #(b)(4)) lists a critical factor of (b)(4) as a pouch thickness for the (b)(4) retort. On September 18, 2014, during the loading of Friskies Gravy Sensations with Turkey and Giblets in Gravy into crates, our investigators observed (b)(4) pouches stacked on top of each other entering the retort. Our investigators then obtained (b)(4)previously processed pouches of Friskies Gravy Sensation with Turkey and Giblets in Gravy, Lot #(b)(4), and measured the pouch thickness, which ranged from (b)(4). These processed pouches were from the same production batch as the ones observed entering the retort. 
Additionally, pouch thickness is a critical factor for this filed process, and your firm failed to monitor or document pouch thickness as required by 21 CFR 113.100(a). For example, our review of the batch records for Friskies Gravy Sensations with Turkey and Giblets in Gravy 3 oz. pouch processed on March 20, 2014 (Lot #(b)(4)) revealed that pouch thickness was not monitored or documented. This observation was previously discussed with your firm during the FDA inspection in 2007. 
We acknowledge that your written response states that your (b)(4) Thermal Process Authority evaluated this process deviation on October 8, 2014 and confirmed that the products received a sufficient thermal process to achieve commercial sterility. Further, your response states that this instance and actions taken were recorded in a deviation log, on October 8, 2014. In addition, your response states that, within the next (b)(4), your processing authority will file the revised SID to ensure the stack height critical factor accounts for the pouch placement process variation noted in this observation. Your response failed to state whether your firm plans to discontinue manufacturing this product until your process authority files the revised process.
2.    Your firm failed to identify, from a processor check or otherwise, deviations from the scheduled process of critical factors which are out of control and failed to record these deviations in a separate log, as required by 21 CFR 113.89.  Specifically, for the instances identified above in item #1, your firm failed to identify deviations from your filed scheduled processes and critical factors. In addition, these process deviations were not recorded in a separate file or log that details both the deviations and actions taken. 
We acknowledge that your written response states that your (b)(4) Thermal Process Authority evaluated these process deviations and determined that the products received a sufficient thermal process to achieve commercial sterility and that these instances and actions taken were recorded in a deviation log, as stated in item #1 above. Further, your response states that the HACCP Corrective Action Plan will be reviewed and revised by October 31, 2014. We do not consider this response acceptable because you did not provide specifics of your corrective action plan in order to insure that your firm will prevent these occurrences in the future.
3.    Your firm failed to chlorinate or otherwise sanitize cooling water as necessary for cooling canals and re-circulated water supplies, as required by 21 CFR 113.60(b).  Specifically, on September 16, 2014, our investigators observed that you failed to sanitize the cooling cushion water that is re-circulated in your (b)(4) Retort System during the processing of Friskies Supreme Supper, Lot #(b)(4), in your (b)(4) Retort System.
We acknowledge that your written response states that your firm is actively working with your chemical supplier representative to achieve and implement a solution within the next ninety (90) days. We do not consider this response acceptable because you did not provide specifics of your corrective action plan in order to insure that your firm will prevent these occurrences in the future.
4.    Your firm failed to establish a system for product traffic control in the retort room to prevent un-retorted product from bypassing the retort process, as required by 21 CFR 113.87(b). Specifically, we observed that your can conveyors and the reject chute do not have adequate protection in place to prevent an unprocessed can from falling into the cooling canal in the case of a can jam or other equipment malfunction in your (b)(4) Retort System.  This observation was a discussion point during our November 7, 2007 inspection.
We acknowledge that you informed our investigators that you are in the process of structuring a cover to prevent unprocessed cans from falling into the cooling canal. Additionally, your written response states that you shared this plan with our investigators and that this plan will be completed within the next (b)(4). We do not consider this response acceptable because you did not provide specifics of your corrective action plan in order to insure that your firm will prevent these occurrences in the future.
5.    Your firm failed to install the mercury-in-glass (MIG) thermometers in a location where they can be accurately and easily read, as required by 21 CFR 113.40(a)(1)(v). Specifically, the angle of installation and the location of the permanent ladder system on the (b)(4) and (b)(4) rendered the MIGs unreadable by our investigators. Further, during the inspection, your Corporate Quality Assurance Division Manager attempted to read these MIGs, and he could not provide an exact reading during the inspection.
We acknowledge that during the inspection it was stated that the firm was confident that the trained (b)(4) Retort Operators could accurately read these MIGs and that your written response states that a plan will be developed with your (b)(4) Thermal Process Authority to begin transitioning to alternate Temperature Indicating Devices (aTIDs) for the (b)(4) Retorts in 2015. We do not consider this response acceptable because you did not provide specifics of your corrective action plan in order to insure that your firm will prevent these occurrences in the future.
6.    The records of all processing and production records were not signed or initialed by a representative of plant management who is qualified by suitable training or experience, as required by 21 CFR 113.100(b). Specifically, processing records, production records, and recording temperature charts for various products were stamped with a rubber stamp that read QA REVIEWED, date reviewed, and the name of QA reviewer. The responsible QA reviewer did not initial or sign the records reviewed. The following products, lot codes, and dates were associated with these records, as follows:
(b)(4) Retort System:
Alpo Chop House Originals Roasted Chicken, Lot (b)(4)             
Friskies Indoor Chicken, Lot (b)(4)             
Mighty Dog Chicken Egg & Bacon Country Platter, Lot (b)(4)
Mighty Dog Chicken & Smoked Bacon Combo, Lot (b)(4)
Alpo Chop House Originals Filet Mignon, Lot (b)(4)
Mighty Dog Lamb and Rice, Lot (b)(4)
Friskies Mixed Grill, Lot (b)(4)
ProPlan Senior Beef and Rice Entrée, Lot (b)(4)
Friskies Salmon Dinner, Lot (b)(4)
(b)(4) Retort System:  
        (b)(4): Alpo Chop House Rotisserie Chicken in Gravy, Lot (b)(4)
        (b)(4): Alpo Prime Cuts with Beef, Lot (b)(4)
       Alpo Chop House Originals Filet Mignon, Lot (b)(4)       
(b)(4) Retort System:
(b)(4): Gravy Sensations with Turkey and Giblets in Gravy, Lot (b)(4)
This letter is not intended to be an all-inclusive list of violations. It is your responsibility to ensure that all of your products comply with the Act, the low-acid canned food regulation (21 CFR 108 and 113), the Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulation (21 CFR 110), and other applicable regulations. You should take prompt action to correct the violations described in this letter and establish and implement procedures which will prevent them from occurring in the future. Failure to take appropriate corrective action may subject your firm and products to further actions, such as emergency permit control, injunction, or seizure. 
You should notify this office, in writing, describing the corrective actions that you will take to bring your firm into compliance within fifteen (15) working days of receiving this letter. Your response should include each corrective action that you have or will take to correct these violations and, in particular, what methods and controls you will implement to prevent their recurrence. Please include copies of any documentation that demonstrates the corrections have been implemented. If corrective actions cannot be completed within fifteen (15) working days of receiving this letter, please state the reason for the delay and the time frame in which they will be completed.  
Section 743 of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 379j-31, authorizes FDA to assess and collect fees to cover FDA’s costs for certain activities, including re-inspection-related costs.  A re-inspection is one or more inspections conducted subsequent to an inspection that identified non-compliance materially related to a food safety requirement of the Act, specifically to determine whether compliance has been achieved.  Re-inspection-related costs means all expenses, including administrative expenses incurred in connection with FDA’s arranging, conducting, and evaluating the results of the re-inspection and assessing and collecting the re-inspection fees, 21 U.S.C. § 379j-31(a)(2)(B).  For a domestic facility, FDA will assess and collect fees for re-inspection-related costs from the responsible party for the domestic facility.  The inspection noted in this letter identified non-compliance materially related to a food safety requirement of the Act.  Accordingly, FDA may assess fees to cover any re-inspection-related costs.
Your written response should be sent to Lynn S. Bonner, Compliance Officer, at the address noted above. If you have any questions concerning this letter, please contact Compliance Officer Bonner at 215-717-3074 or by e-mail at
Anne E. Johnson
Acting District Director
Philadelphia District

How Much Can Your Dog Smell?

Girl holding dog

Dogs are scent-oriented creatures, with some of the most highly developed  noses on the planet. Hide a few treats around the room and see how quickly  they’re ferreted out. But does your dog’s schnoz have more practical  applications than we realize? The answer … well, it couldn’t be plainer than the  nose on your face.

Every year, scientific investigations yield more and more evidence that dogs  are up to some pretty surprising challenges, in ways that are proving quite  beneficial for people. We’ve all seen police dogs skilled in the detection of  bombs and contraband. Now researchers are applying that same olfactory prowess  to snuffling out all manner of scents, from deadly food allergens to costly  insect infestations.

For example, trainers at the Florida Canine Academy provide dogs with  instruction on how to detect the trace presence of peanuts. Just ask anyone with  a severe peanut allergy … just one nut can prove lethal. Alternately,  traditional bedbug detection methods can be very time-consuming and  labor-intensive. A canine trained to sniff out bedbugs can search the average  hotel room in less than two minutes!

Dogs have also been trained to detect seizures. Much like the job of a seeing-eye dog, seizure dogs help their pet parents navigate day-to-day  activities, protecting them from known triggers and potentially harmful  situations. These canines excel at recognizing subtle body changes during these  traumatic neurological events. Some pups are so sensitive, they can predict an  oncoming attack early enough to allow their human to get to a safe place and  take medication to reduce the seizure’s severity.

Researchers have documented numerous instances of dogs with the ability to  detect cancerous tumors. According to an article in The Lancet, a patient  reported that her dog would repeatedly investigate a mole on her leg. At one  point, the pup even attempted to bite off the suspicious beauty mark! A medical  exam proved what the dog already knew … it was a malignant melanoma. Had it not  been for her dog’s nosy behavior, the deadly cancer might have remained  undetected.

In a 2011 study, Japanese researchers reported that an eight-year-old black  Labrador proved exceptionally accurate at nosing out the presence of colon  cancer. When doctors provided the pup with samples collected from 185 patients,  the retriever positively identified those suffering from the disease with a  success rate that was nothing short of astonishing … 97%!

Last but certainly not least, canines are proving adept at detecting  low-blood-sugar levels. In 2000, The British Medical Journal reported that more  than a third of dogs living with a diabetic human exhibited behavioral changes  when their pet parent’s blood sugar dropped. Some reacted before the person was  even aware of any symptoms. The paper also cited two cases where the dogs not  only detected the low blood sugar, but they encouraged their people to eat!  Researchers are hopeful that this natural knack can be taught, which could make  a huge difference in the ongoing care of millions of diabetes sufferers.

In light of all the evidence, there’s no doubt … our beloved best friends  really are leading the pack towards improving our lives!

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

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Do You Want To Start Jogging With Your Dog?

The unspoken rule is don’t set yourself up to fail. Having a partner for your new endeavors can make a huge difference … but it has to be the right partner. The proposition to just beg off, to postpone until tomorrow, or ‘nah, let’s just go for a coffee instead’ – these statements are murder on any good intentions you may have towards making any real progress.

On the other hand, having a dedicated collaborator for these new activities can go a long way towards your long-term success. Especially if your exercise partner is someone who won’t ask you to procrastinate. How many of your friends could make that claim … that they’ll never, ever be negative and will always go with you, no matter the time of day? Probably not too many. Which is exactly why Dr. Sarah thinks someone already living in your home – namely, your canine companion – could make for one ‘Grade A’ exercise partner.

If you’re serious about getting healthy, don’t miss Dr. Sarah’s six vital steps for starting and maintaining an exercise routine with your dog.



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6 Steps For Exercising With Your Dog

With summer fully upon us, many of us are spending more time outdoors. Some of us may even be entertaining thoughts of beginning a new exercise routine.

The unspoken rule is don’t set yourself up to fail. Having a partner for your new endeavors can make a huge difference … but it has to be the right partner. The proposition to just beg off, to postpone until tomorrow, or ‘nah, let’s just go for a coffee instead’ – these statements are murder on any good intentions you may have towards making any real progress.

On the other hand, having a dedicated collaborator for these new activities can go a long way towards your long-term success. Especially if your exercise partner is someone who won’t ask you to procrastinate. How many of your friends could make that claim … that they’ll never, ever be negative and will always go with you, no matter the time of day? Probably not too many. Which is exactly why Dr. Sarah thinks someone already living in your home – namely, your canine companion – could make for one ‘Grade A’ exercise partner.

If you’re serious about getting healthy, don’t miss Dr. Sarah’s six vital steps for starting and maintaining an exercise routine with your dog.

Watch the latest episode of Pet Talk now, and check back next month for another brand new show.

Dog Jogging from Life's Abundance.


Tear Stain Removers (Angels’ Eyes, Angels’ Glow, Pets’ Spark, Glow Groom and Health Glow) For Cats And Dogs Receive FDA Warning Letter

FDA Issues Warning Letters for Unapproved Tear Stain Removers Used in Dogs and Cats

August 29, 2014

WarningThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration is issuing warning letters today to companies manufacturing unapproved animal drugs to remove tear stains in dogs and cats. These products, including Angels’ Eyes, Angels’ Glow, Pets’ Spark, and exported products Glow Groom and Health Glow, have not been reviewed by FDA for safety and effectiveness. These tear stain removers also contain the medically important antibiotic tylosin tartrate, which is not approved for use in dogs or cats, nor for the treatment of conditions associated with tear stains. Tear stain remover products are used to treat tear staining conditions around the eyes of animals, which, in particular, is associated with a condition called epiphora, mostly in cats and dogs.

FDA has serious concerns about unapproved animal drugs. Unapproved animal drugs are not reviewed by FDA and may not meet FDA’s strict standards for safety and effectiveness.

These tear stain drug products may be subject to additional enforcement action should the products continue to be marketed, such as seizure of violative products and/or injunction against the manufacturers and distributors of the violative products.


Summer Diet Warnings for Your Pet!

There are a lot of great fresh things to eat in the summer and although I am all for fruits and veggies for dogs ( 10 % of the diet maximum), there are some summer foods that can cause problems.

Corn on the cob is one food I do not recommend for dogs. Dogs love this as it usually has butter and salt on it and they love to chew the cobs. The problem is that some dogs chew them up and others do not-they swallow large chunks of the corn cob. This can cause intestinal obstruction, a potentially fatal medical condition. In addition to this, some dogs are allergic to corn and it can result in vomiting, and severe diarrhea. So at your next BBQ,do not give your dog corn! Other BBQ favorites that end up in dog's stomachs are rib bones and Shish Kabob skewers. I once treated a patient, a small ShihTzu, who developed a lump on his side. A fine needle biopsy revealed the lump to be an abscess. When I took this dog to surgery, I removed an 8 inch BBQ skewer from the lump. The dog had swallowed the skewer the week before, it traveled through the stomach, into the abdominal cavity and was trying to work its way out through the dog's side. I could not believe how dangerous these skewers could be. My patient was not the only one this had happened to. The veterinary literature has numerous reports of these skewers ending up in odd places, so be careful with BBQ skewers. Rib bones can cause similar problems so keep these away from your dog as well.

Fat from steak , fatty hotdogs and hamburgers can cause pancreatitis in dogs and cats. Pancreatitis also causes vomiting and diarrhea and can be fatal. Resist the urge to give fatty foods to your furry friend. Many times dogs and cats end up with these things because they surf through the garbage at the party while no one is looking. Be sure to keep your garbage well contained and somewhere that your pets can't get it.

Your cat and dog can enjoy foods of summer without the grief as long as their humans are very careful!


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PolyEthylene Glycol: What You Need To Know For Yourself And Your Dog

Original Article On DogsNaturallyMagazine

Recently, I was working with a dog who was suffering from severe itching and hair loss. After we went through the usual dietary factors, we started to go over her environment and eventually her grooming products. Her diet was perfect, her home environment was as non-toxic as you can get. Then, I came across a new wellness product she had been using that contained polyethylene glycol. This product touted that it quickly healed wounds and could be used as a post-surgical application to speed the healing of incisions. The product was also being sold as an “all natural” solution for wound care. Finding out that manufacturers are using polyethylene glycol in wound care and other “natural” products sparked my interest in just how many of these products were on the market. After some research, I realized there are a large number of products containing polyethylene glycol being marketed to pets and those numbers are growing. Scary. Here is the rub: Polyethylene glycol should not be in anything that you feed your dog or put on their skin, especially damaged skin.

What is Polyethylene Glycol?

Polyethylene glycol, otherwise known as PEG, is a mixture of bonded polymer plastic compounds that are combined with glycol to make a thick sticky liquid. PEG is manufactured for use in paints, wood treatments, detergents, cleaners and coatings. Somehow, the chemical has worked its way into cosmetics, canine wellness products and medicine. Sounds healthy, right? You might be more familiar with a product called Myralax, which is sold as a laxative. When taken internally, PEG causes the colon to absorb water and produce a watery stool. I know you would not give Myralax to your dog but you might unknowingly give PEG to them if you are not carefully reading labels. The product my client was using was for her dog’s surgical wound. She had just gotten spayed. How I knew that it was her post-surgical gel that was causing her itching and hair loss was that PEG causes problems with it comes in contact with broken or damaged skin. PEG can accumulate in the body if it is able to penetrate the skin layer, affecting your dog’s skin and coat, nervous system, and beneficial bacteria. Polyethylene glycol functions as a “penetration enhancer,” which means it increases the permeability of the skin to allow the rapid absorption of substances through the skin layer. This allows a high absorption rate of any product containing polyethylene glycol.


Nervous-DogThe Cosmetic Ingredient Review board (CIR) studies chemical compounds found in cosmetics. ( CIR notes that PEG compounds “should not be used on damaged skin”. If you look at polyethylene glycol’s Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), under “Skin Contact” it reads: “Immediately flood affected skin with water while removing and isolating all contaminated clothing. Gently wash all affected skin areas thoroughly with soap and water. Seek medical attention if warranted.” Um, how can anyone think that rubbing PEG on any type of skin is a good idea after reading this warning? The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health ( notes: “Ethylene glycol is chemically broken down in the body into toxic compounds. It and its toxic by-products first affect the central nervous system, then the heart, and finally the kidneys. Ingestion of sufficient amounts can be fatal”. This warning is alarming for a topical product that directs you to rub it on damaged skin.

Contamination Risk

Another issue that polyethylene glycol has is contamination. Depending on the way polyethylene glycol is manufactured, PEG can contain contaminants like ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane. polycyclic aromatic compounds, lead, cobalt, nickel, cadmium, and arsenic. The International Agency for Research on Cancer ( has classified ethylene oxide as a known human carcinogen that can harm the nervous system and interfere with human development. 1,4-dioxane is listed as a possible human carcinogen. 1,4-dioxane is a chemical that remains in the environment for long periods of time because it does not easily degrade. If the above wasn’t enough, polyethylene glycol also destroys the beneficial bacteria found on your dog’s skin and inside their stomachs. Dogs rely on these bacteria for a healthy immune system and a balanced pH level. Sadly, most manufacturers don’t know about all the research being done into polyethylene glycol and its derivatives. From the information that I found, it would not make sense for natural product and cosmetic manufacturers to use PEG and PEG derivatives but they do. Hopefully, as more information becomes available and more people complain about the use of the ingredient, they will leave polyethylene glycol to the paint and coatings manufacturers.

In the case of our canine friends, my main concern comes with topical medication geared toward the healing of damaged skin and wounds. I encourage you to keep reading labels and looking up ingredients. If you don’t know what something is, research it and find out if it is safe for you and your dog. Don’t rely on the manufacturer.

Summer Hazards And Your Pet

DogthermSummer is a great time for you and your pet but there are some hazards that you should be aware of.

Heat stroke

For most of our pets, the summer heat can be stressful and at times fatal. Heat stroke from too much exercise in hot weather or leaving your pet in a hot car is a real danger. NEVER, NEVER , NEVER LEAVE YOUR PET IN THE CAR IN THE SUMMER HEAT. The temperatures can climb in excess of 100 F and kill your dog in a few minutes.

When exercising with your pet, take frequent breaks and make sure he has enough water. If your pet is easily heat stressed avoid outside activities in the heat of the day. Remember that the young animals, old animals, brachycephalic dogs like pugs and Arctic dog breeds suffer the most from the heat. Take precautions.


Fleas, ticks and heartworms are prevalent in the summer. Flea allergy dermatitis, a allergy to flea saliva,is very common. Symptoms of this problem are scratching and biting excessively at the rump and back area, causing hair loss, bleeding and scabs. Be sure to contact your veterinarian to help you with flea, tick and heartworm prevention. Natural preventives like Shoo Tags will work for fleas, ticks and mosquitoes.

Water safety

When the pool is open or you are taking your dog to the lake, don’t forget about water safety. Dogs can fall into pools and even if they can swim may not be able to get out. If your pool does not have wide steps so your dog can get out, consider investing in a scamper ramp so your dog can get out. There are also water alarms that can be put on a dog’s collar that will alert you if he falls into the water.

Lifejackets are a must around water for dogs who can’t swim and if you are taking your dog boating. Every year dogs end up in the veterinary emergency room for near drowning. Don’t let it happen to your dog.

Paw injuries

If your pet walks on hot pavement during the summer, he may get burns or blisters on his feet. I have treated more than one dog with paw injuries caused by running on hot asphalt. If you like to run with your dog, consider booties to protect the paws. If the paw do become blistered, Pet Wellbeing’s Itchy Owie Ointment works well for pad injuries

Summer food

Be sure to watch your pet when you are having your family celebrations so he or she does not succumb to summer GI distress

Itchy Owie Ointment : “Gentle and effective treatment

FDA Warns Against Feeding Pets Raw Diets

Article originally on

Food poisoning isn’t only a human problem, according to the US Food and Drug Administration, which says that pets are also at risk if they eat foods that are contaminated with disease-causing bacteria. Two of these bacteria—Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes—are particularly dangerous to both pets and humans, says the FDA.


Raw petfood consists primarily of meat, bones and organs that haven’t been cooked, and therefore are more likely than cooked food to contain organisms that can make a dog or cat sick, says William J. Burkholder, DVM, PhD, veterinary medical officer in the FDA’s Division of Animal Feeds. Moreover, raw food can make humans sick as well if it isn't handled properly. The FDA says it does not believe feeding raw petfoods to animals is consistent with the goal of protecting the public from significant health risks.

 The agency recommends cooking raw meat and poultry to kill harmful bacteria like Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes before the food is given to pets. Burkholder says people who choose a raw diet for their pets often point out that feral dogs and cats catch prey and eat it raw. “That’s true,” he says, “but we don’t know how many of these animals get sick or die as a result of doing that. Since sick feral animals are rarely taken to a veterinarian when they’re ill, there’s no way to collect that information.”

Consumers also run the risk of getting sick if they handle contaminated petfoods and accidentally transfer the bacteria to their mouths. “If you’re going to handle raw foods, you need to pay particular attention to good hygienic practices,” says Burkholder. “Wash your hands and anything else that comes into contact with the product with hot, soapy water for at least 20 seconds.”

Feeding raw food to a pet also increases the risk of contaminating food contact surfaces and other places. “Even if the dog or cat doesn’t get sick, they can become carriers of Salmonella and transfer the bacteria to their surroundings, and then people can get the disease from contact with the infected environment,” says Burkholder. Once Salmonella gets established in the pet’s gastrointestinal tract, the animal can shed the bacteria when it has a bowel movement, and the contamination will continue to spread.

“Feeding raw foods to pets increases the risk that both the pet and the people around the pet will encounter bacteria that cause foodborne illness, particularly if the products are not carefully handled and fed,” says Burkholder. “This is certainly one factor that should be considered when selecting diets for your pet.”


Normerica Repackaged And Re-Dated Stale Dog Treats Say Ex-Employees - Costco Still Carries This Brand

Original Article From

Two former Normerica Inc. warehouse workers claim the Ontario-based pet product company had employees routinely switch pet treats between different brand name packages and re-date them after they were imported from China and Thailand.

They claim mouldy and stale pet treats were sent out to stores for sale.

Duck, sweet potato and chicken jerky treats imported by the company and sold by Loblaw, Costco and other retailers are among brands suspected of making dogs ill.

Dog treats warehouse

The former Normerica employee said warehouse staff used heat guns to remove old product labels, before repackaging old dog treats under a new label. (CBC)

The accusations from former employees came after CBC's Go Public revealed Costco is continuing to sell pet jerky treats from China, despite being warned by a pet owner whose veterinarian believes treats purchased there killed her puppy. The treats are imported into Canada by Normerica Inc.

The company has since had the Duck Tenders the dog consumed tested by the lab it uses.

"The results of the testing confirmed the absolute presence of poultry as a single ingredient, that being duck," said Mortec's report. "We concluded no untoward unwanted suspect substances were present in the finished product."

Numerous tests by the FDA on jerky treats also found no substance that would cause the illnesses, but it is still investigating.


The two former employees who said they worked in an Etobicoke warehouse for Normerica contacted Go Public to report concerns they had over how the products were stored and handled.

One sent pictures to back up their claims. They said they did not take the pictures to make them public, but decided to do so after reading Go Public's piece on the potential link between the treats and dog deaths.

Treats 'sitting there for years'

Both former employees spoke on the condition they would not be named. Go Public also agreed not to disclose the duration of their employment. Both worked for Normerica in recent years.

Dog treats warehouse

According to warehouse employees, these packages were cut open so the product could be put in new packages under different brand labels. (CBC)

One said a large part of their job was removing old product from packages that were stale or overstocked, then repackaging or relabelling it in different brand name bags — with a new date stamp.
"Some [of the jerky treats] had been sitting there for years. Dated back to 2008. We would use X-Acto knives to open the packages and then repackage them under new [product] labels and change the date on the new package [to 2011 for example]," said the former employee.
"It was disgusting ... the warehouse wasn't clean enough to have open food."

Company denial

Normerica president Colin Gleason denied packaging dates are changed, but didn't explain the photos of products being repackaged.


Two former Normerica Inc. employees say they repackaged and re-dated stale dog treats while working in an Ontario warehouse. (CBC)

"We do not repackage stale product and sell it with a new date code," said Gleason in a statement. "Our company policy on any product that is approaching the date code is to donate it locally to animal shelters."

"Some [treats] that were not packaged properly got mouldy," said the other former employee.

As a result of these allegations, Loblaw said it is removing all products from Normerica off its shelves.

"Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. We are taking it very seriously," said a statement from Kevin Groh, vice-president, corporate affairs and communication.

"We have been in contact with the vendor and are in the process of removing the implicated products from our store shelves as a precaution until our investigation is complete."

Costco said none of the products imported by Normerica and sold at Costco are stored at the Ontario warehouse in question.

"We receive the treats directly from Asia to the Port of Vancouver where it is sent to our distribution centres," said Costco spokesman Ron Damiani.

"Random testing is also conducted on each container of product before it ships."

Customers shocked by mould 

Two customers also contacted Go Public to say they bought treats packaged under the Vitalife brand and were shocked when they opened the bags and found mouldy product.

Dog treats 1

This bag of mouldy Vitalife Chicken Fingers was returned to the Costco in Nepean, Ont., by dog owner Andrea Challis. (CBC)

Andrea Challis said she bought Vitalife's chicken fingers in February at Costco in Nepean, Ont. Unlike its duck and sweet potato treats, that Normerica product is made in Canada.

"I bought the treats for my three-year-old mini golden doodle Avery, thinking they were a good alternative to the treats made in China," said Challis. 

"When I opened the bag, there was mould everywhere. The best-before date was November 2015. I wrote to Vitalife and never received a response. I returned the treats to Costco, filled out a report and was told that someone would follow up," said Challis.

"Costco's response was nonchalant ... like they'd heard it before. I never heard back."

Refunded after purchase

Cathi Iacuitto of Vancouver said her Havanese shih tzu Cooper has been chronically ill, with digestive problems, since eating Vitalife treats she purchased at Superstore and Costco.

She said she returned a bag of chicken jerky because it was mouldy.

"Under close examination of the treats using a magnifying glass there was a mould growing similar to a light Fusarium, which could be toxic," said Iacuitto, who inspects grain shipments for the federal government.

"I explained to Vitalife that their product made my dog sick and they should have to pay the vet bills. They took no responsibility and instead sent me a refund for the product I returned to them," said Iacuitto.

"Right now is the third time he has gone in [to the vet]. This bill so far is quoted at $711 and after the lab results may cost me more."

The former Normerica employees said the repackaging and re-dating of Vitalife and other products was done after shipments from overseas arrived in large containers. The treats had been irradiated and packaged already, in Asia, under various brand names.

They said some of the shipping containers arrived with bugs in them. They also said the warehouse was not air-conditioned or properly ventilated, so some of the products sat for months in overheated conditions. 

Dog treats 5

Cooper's owner said she's taken him to the vet several times, suffering from digestive problems. She fed him Vitalife chicken, duck and sweet potato treats. (CBC)

"We have no record of “bugs” showing up in containers coming to that facility," said Gleason, the Normerica president.

"We do, however, have a policy in place … that should a container show up with “bugs” it would immediately be placed in quarantine and the pest control company would take the appropriate actions to deal with the issue. We have used the services of Abell Pest Control for the last five years."

'Nothing got thrown out'

"A bunch of times we would get product and there were bugs in the containers," the former employee said. "Nothing got thrown out."

They said all the repackaging happened long after samples were sent to a Canadian lab for testing. Most of the products

Mouldy jerky

Vancouver pet owner Cathi Iacuitto returned a bag of  Vitalife chicken jerky treats after seeing the mould. (CBC)

​were never tested, they said, and were then interchanged in packages under the Vitalife, Canyon Creek and President's Choice labels.


"There were multiple brands in each [shipping] container," the first source said.

"They would unpack and repackage the stuff in different brand name packages," said the other source. "I would repackage and then down the line they would be re-dated."

They said workers often didn't wear gloves and did the repackaging on cardboard surfaces that weren't clean. One of the ex-employees estimated they would repackage and re-date approximately 1,800 individual packages of dog treats every two weeks.
"If we needed to ship out an order of Vitalife treats and we didn't have enough, we would open up the President's Choice bags and put them in Vitalife bags."

"You could really notice the treats when they got old because they would crumble in your hands [when the package was opened for transfer to another package]."
Both sources said they believe customers are charged more for treats packaged under the Vitalife label, but they said all were the same product.

Jerky treats 4

One of the two former employees submitted pictures to CBC's Go Public to back up their claims of concern about how imported pet treats were handled at the warehouse. (CBC)

Gleason said the practices at the warehouse are subject to outside scrutiny.

"Our manufacturing facilities are certified with the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). As such they are audited annually and certified to the same calibre as any human food manufacturing facility. Additionally, we are subject to random audits by our retail customers as well as inspections by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency."

However, the first former employee also said that when Normerica was expecting clients or other visitors to the warehouse, they were told to pretend they were doing other jobs
"They would come in, and we would be told to make it look like we were doing inventory."



Is There An Odor Coming From Your Dog's Behind?

Boston Terrier Puppy

If you’ve ever noticed a foul odor wafting from your pet’s hind end, there's  a chance that anal sacs may be the source of the problem. As any pet parent will tell you, nothing smells as uniquely terrible as the material emitted from these  glands. 

In some mammals, including dogs and cats, anal sacs are small pouches which store secretions from the glands between the internal and external sphincter muscles. A dog or cat can discharge the material collected in the sac through these ducts.

One thing this liquid has in common: it almost always has a terribly  offensive odor, and one that is difficult to remove from carpets, beds and  clothing.

The function of these small but potent scent glands is believed to be for  territorial marking and communication. Those unfortunate enough to have  unexpectedly frightened a dog may have experienced the canine’s ability to  ‘spray’ their glandular contents - sometimes as far as six feet! Some biologists  believe, for the ancestors of modern day dogs and cats, these organs were not  only used in communication, but could also have been used as defense (much as a  skunk sprays for self-preservation). I can assure you that when the trapped  substances are released, they’re sufficiently foul to ward off any human  predators!

In most animals, anal glands function completely normally. For the most part,  if it’s not a problem, you’d never have a reason to know about them. Many pet parents don’t even know that their pet has anal glands.

However, for some dogs and cats, anal glands can be a real pain in the tukkis.  With long-term inflammation, the sacs can become impacted and infected. In  severe cases, they can actually rupture. The first sign of trouble is when your  dog or cat hunches up and scoots his butt across the floor. That, or  repetitively and excessively licks his hind end. If you notice either of these  signs, a trip to the vet’s office is warranted.

If the problem recurs, pet parents can feel helpless in warding off this  noxious – not to mention, painful - problem. Adding fiber to the diet (such as a  tablespoon of sweet potato with meals) can provide some relief. Some pet kids (dogs more often than cats) will need to have their glands emptied on a regular  basis. While some groomers offer this service, veterinarians and vet technicians  are trained in techniques to completely drain the glands. Which is to say, if  your pet is predisposed to this sort of problem, I recommend that a medical  professional do the procedure (referred to as ‘expressing’). If the area becomes infected or impacted, understand that the condition is very painful, and should  be addressed as soon as possible. They may require pain medication, and perhaps  even a course of antibiotics. For some pets with chronic cases, vets may  advocate surgically removing the glands entirely.

If you’re looking for a culprit, know that this is just an unfortunate  consequence of genetics. While not unheard of, this medical issue is less of a  problem for large and giant breeds. Even if your dog isn’t one of the  small-to-medium size dogs predisposed to the difficulty, should you notice any  signs of discomfort, don’t rule out anal sac problems.

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


Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers for People—Are They Safe for Pets?

See the FDA Website for the complete article "Get The Facts About Pain Relievers For Pets"

Dogs are Not Small People.

Tinker Bell’s owner isn’t alone. When owners see their dog or cat limping or showing other signs of pain, they often think about giving their pet an over-the-counter pain reliever for people. But even if data show an NSAID is safe and effective in people, the drug may not be safe and effective in dogs because the drug may:

  • Last longer;
  • Have a higher absorption rate in the stomach and small intestine; and
  • Reach higher blood levels.

These differences may lead to toxic effects in pets, such as gastrointestinal upset, ulcers, and perforations as well as liver and kidney damage.

Cats are Not Small People or Small Dogs.

You have to be even more careful with cats. Compared to other species, cats have a reduced ability to break down NSAIDs.

Table 2: Common Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers for People

Active IngredientSome Common Brand Names
Acetaminophen (not an NSAID) TYLENOL

Acetaminophen is not a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug and doesn’t have much anti-inflammatory activity. Scientists don’t fully understand how acetaminophen works5 disclaimer icon. The drug seems to have more than one mode of action to reduce fever and relieve pain.

Acetaminophen has two main forms of toxicity6 disclaimer icon :

  • Dose-dependent liver toxicity—meaning the higher the dose, the worse the liver damage—that may lead to liver failure; and
  • Red blood cell damage that causes these cells to lose their ability to carry oxygen.

Dogs and cats can develop both forms of acetaminophen toxicity, but cats are more prone to red blood cell damage while dogs are more likely to get liver damage.

Cats should never be given acetaminophen. They lack certain enzymes that the liver needs to safely break down the drug.

What Should You Do?

  • Before giving any NSAID to your dog or cat, talk with your veterinarian. Tell him or her if your pet:
    • Has a history of gastrointestinal problems, such as stomach or intestinal ulcers, or has had surgery on the stomach or intestines. Even if your pet hasn’t had any gastrointestinal problems in the past, that doesn’t mean he or she has a healthy digestive tract. Dogs and cats can have stomach and intestinal ulcers without showing signs.
    • Is on any other medication. It’s not recommended to give two different NSAIDs, or an NSAID and a steroid, at the same time.
  • During and after NSAID therapy, monitor your pet for side effects, such as vomiting, diarrhea, bloody or tar-colored stool, decreased appetite, decreased activity level, yellowing of the whites of the eyes, and yellowing of the gums. These signs can occur even in a previously healthy pet. If you notice any side effects, stop giving the drug and call your veterinarian.
  • If your pet experiences side effects from an NSAID, FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine encourages you to work with your veterinarian to submit an Adverse Drug Event report, also called an Adverse Drug Experience report7.
  • Before starting your dog on long-term NSAID therapy, ask your veterinarian about performing baseline bloodwork. Talk to your veterinarian about how often to recheck your dog’s bloodwork. No NSAID is currently FDA-approved for long-term use in cats.
  • Going back to Tinker Bell, you shouldn’t give her anything in your medicine cabinet until you talk to your veterinarian.

How Little Does HSUS Give To Shelters In Your State?

FoundationLogoThe Humane Society of the United States gives only 1 percent of the money it raises to pet shelters. Surprised? You might be, if you’ve seen HSUS’s TV ads—you know, the ones full of needy dogs and cats. You, like most Americans, might think HSUS gives most of the money it raises to pet shelters. HSUS doesn’t. You, like most Americans, might think that HSUS is an umbrella group for humane societies. It isn’t. You might thin...k that HSUS at least runs one pet shelter. It doesn’t. Learn more at

Want to make your donation go farther? When you purchase Life's Abundance pet products from my site, make an additional donation to Dr. Jane's Foundation (with the purchase of every Life's Abundance product, a portion of the profits are contributed to a fund that supports the operations of this organization).

The foundation does grants to shelters and rescues all over the U.S. Please feel free to check out her foundation and Life's Abundance by going to or or a direct link to Dr. Jane,

FDA Still Warning People About Tainted Jerky Treats For Dogs

Tainted Jerky Treats are still in the news and making dogs sick. Please be a concerned consumer and pay attention to the products you are purchasing. Life's Abundance offers Tasty Rewards Training Treats as an excellent alternative. Tasty Rewards, as well as any of the Life's Abundance products, have NEVER been recalled. The company has been in business for 15 years. Stop taking chances with your dog - order Tasty Rewards today!

Watch The Video Here!

Article From Rikki Mitchell

CREATED Dec. 23, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The numbers keep climbing.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as of September, more than 3,600 dogs and 10 cats have become ill after eating pet jerky treats.

And nearly 600 of those pets died. Here in Pima County, there's one reported case where a Golden Retriever died after eating a jerky treat.

Ann Lancero owns a Golden Retriever and says she threw away her pet jerky treats and worried about feeding them to her dog.  "I won't buy them again," she said.

Malinda Nissley worries if the treats come from overseas. "It's a concern I would have especially if I looked at the label and they say they're from China," she said. But what's in the treats that's making so many pets sick? The problem is, no one knows.

"To date they have not found a connection between these treats and the diseases that create the symptoms that these dogs and cats are experiencing," said Kim Janes, manager at Pima Animal Care Center.

Janes said the FDA has not officially recalled any brands yet, but  the treats take the form of tenders or strips and are made with chicken, duck, sweet potato, dried fruit or any combination of those.

Symptoms can start within hours of the pet eating the treat and include decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea and drinking more water than usual.

If your pet has any of those symptoms after eating jerky treats, Janes says take them to the vet right away. "First of all they need to take it to the vet," he said. "Get the vet to take a look at it and get it under treatment and absolutely they need to report it to the Food and Drug Administration."

The FDA says reports of illnesses could help in its investigation.

You can report illnesses to the FDA by visiting its Safety Reporting Portal.

More information can be found on the FDA factsheet.


Holiday Safety Tips For Your Pet

Gathering your family together for a delicious, festive feast is a holiday tradition. And, while you don’t have to completely exclude your pets from the celebration, you do need to watch out for the seemingly harmless holiday fixtures that could wreak havoc on their health. In this month’s informative episode of Pet TalkLife's Abundance staff veterinarian Dr. Sarah sheds light on the things pet parents shouldn’t put under the Christmas tree. From errant table scraps, to cookies left out for Santa, to the delightful treats made for friends and family, if your dog or cat eats any of these, you could land on your vet's “naughty list”. The last thing you want to do this holiday season is forego eggnog and caroling in favor of urgent medical care for an ailing animal companion. So, watch this special yuletide message and enjoy the spirit of the season, responsibly!


Don't forget to purchase your dog or cat safe, natural, never recalled dog and cat food, treats, supplements and pet spa care products here!

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.

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

Possible New Deadly Canine Virus - Canine Circovirus

This is positive in two states so far - Ohio and California but only have seen these two articles out of Ohio. No matter what, be on the lookout for any possible signs of this Canine Circovirus. The Circovirus is a virus typically found in pigs, not dogs. Symptoms include vomiting, bloody diarrhea, weight loss, neurological problems, a lack of appetite and lethargy. This is serious because if it is left untreated a dog can die within 48 hours.

If your dog shows any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately. Please have them tested for canine circovirus – if they have any questions they can contact Ohio Department of Agriculture/Division of Animal Health for details.  All reports of illness should be reported to your Department of Agriculture for proper monitoring of this virus.


Here are the two articles so far:


Dealing With Ticks Naturally For Dogs And Cats

Natural tick prevention is difficult to do but not impossible. It is important   to remember to treat the environment to prevent tick infestations this springs.

Vacuuming regularly and getting into all the cracks and crevices in your base boards, furniture is very important to remove   the tick eggs, and immature stages. If you put herbal flea powder,   diatomaceous earth or borax in vacuum   bag, this will kill any ticks or fleas that you suck up with the vacuum.    If you have carpets be sure to vacuum at least once weekly.

For outdoor control, cut the grass in the yard short to expose ticks to   sunlight to kill them. Sprinkle grassy areas with diatomaceous earth.   Remove wood piles, a favorite hiding place for ticks, from the yard. Spraying the yard with beneficial nematodes,or natural pyrethrum ( from chrysanthemum flowers) are great natural approaches to killing ticks and other insects.

There are some new and up coming products to repel ticks, fleas and other pests. One of particular interest is the Shoo Tag.  It can be used on people or animals. According to ShooTag's website it is "a tag with a magnetic strip that works off your body's bio-energetic field. This tag contains frequencies that are specific to   the different bugs and pests, and it is those frequencies that disturb the bugs and will keep them away from the body." It claims to be effective for 4 months.It can be ordered from Petwellbeing.

Related Product: ShooTags for Flea and Tick Protection

A Look At Diet And Bladder Stones For Dogs

Bladder stones and crystals are very common in dogs and cats but they can be fairly easily prevented and in some cases treated, with the right diet and a proper amount of water. When you are using dietary therapy for your pet, it is important to know what type of stone or crystal you are trying to prevent.

Diets to prevent or treat bladder stones are vastly different depending on the type of bladder stone present. It is very important to follow a few general guidelines when dealing with stones. A diet for a dog who is prone to “uroliths” needs to be 70 % water. This means either canned food, wetting dry food or home cooking and adding broths and soups. Be sure your veterinarian approves or recommends a diet because if the diet is not right the stone may come back. It is very important to encourage lots of water drinking as this dilutes the urine, flushes out the crystals and helps prevent infection.

Struvite bladder stones can be considered the “infection” stone and in general you want the dog’s urine to be acidic, to prevent the formation of these stones. There are 3 commercial diets available that will dissolve struvite stones. Ask your vet to recommend one. A holistic veterinarian may be able to formulate a balanced, homemade diet to prevent this condition. Cranberry juice or extract may be recommended to acidify the diet to prevent infection. Raw diets tend to be high in acidic foods which are good to help prevent struvite stones.

Treats and foods to avoid for dogs who have struvite stones are listed here:

Meats: Poultry and Eggs

Fruits and Vegetables: Cabbage, Cauliflower, Mushrooms, Peas, Radishes, White Potatoes, Bananas, Melons, Plums

Grains etc: Macaroni, Rice and Spaghetti

Calcium oxalate stones are more difficult to treat and do not need an infection to start. Dietary treatment of these stones is also very strict. Canned food or homemade are the best for these dogs too.

Treats and foods to avoid with these dogs are:

Meats: Bologna or processed meat, Salmon, Herring , Oysters, Sardines

Fruits and Vegetables: all with the exception of cauliflower, bananas, melon and white potatoes, all citrus fruit

Grains: Cornmeal

Along with a good diet these dogs need proper Omega 3 fatty acids and probiotics. These help balance the body. Herbal supplements such as Urinary Gold help to treat and prevent bladder stones.

It is very important that you consult a veterinarian before you try to formulate a diet on your own for a dog with bladder stones. When properly managed this condition does not have to cause problems for your dog.

Related Product: Urinary Gold for Canine Urinary Tract Health

Nutro Pet Food Lawsuit

This is from the Delmar Law Group website:


On September 11, 2012, the Del Mar Law Group, LLP (led by class action lawyers John Donboli and Sean Slattery) obtained a Final Approval Order and Judgment against The Nutro Company in San Diego
Superior Court. The case alleged that Nutro misled consumers by claiming that its dog food products contained live Bacillus microbials. In fact, the dog food products at issue were sold with a “Guaranteed Analysis” label pertaining to the health-promoting, Bacillus microbials in the dog food products. A copy of the Complaint can be found here

It is not clear how it was determined the Nutro dog treat did not contain the probiotic stated on the label. However, I did do 2 other posts about Greenies, who are manufactured by Nutro. Isn't everyone tired of the word game they are playing. How many times can a company goof up before customer's say to themselves "hey, this isn't right and I don't want my pet harmed." Companies need to stop pulling the wool over consumers eyes!

Here are the Greenies posts: and






How Does The Drinkwell Fountain Increase My Pets Water Intake?

How many times does your cat try and drink from the faucet or how  many dogs love to drink from the garden hose? In nature, moving  water is much fresher than stagnant water. The movement constantly  breaks the surface tension of the water and draws oxygen from the  air into the water. This process is called aeration and it makes  water more appealing to drink. Pets may be drawn by instinct to  moving water for this reason.

The Drinkwell Big-Dog Fountain filters and aerates continuously moving water to keep it much fresher than standing bowl water. Even pets who don't jump on counters to drink from faucets may drink more water using the Fountain.

Why is this important? Many cats and dogs may not drink as much water as they should. This is one reason the urine becomes so concentrated and predisposes some pets to urinary tract disease, constipation or kidney disease. In particular, cats with urinary tract or kidney disease have a critical need for water to support kidney function or prevent crystal formation and obstruction.

The Drinkwell Big-Dog Fountain is veterinarian designed and recommended by vet urinary specialists. It encourages water intake and proper hydration in healthy pets, and is especially beneficial in pets with kidney or urinary tract disease.

Health Benefits

  • Improves your pet's health
  • Reduces urinary diseases
  • Improves the quality of your pet's life

By using a 5-inch falling stream of water, the Drinkwell Big-Dog Fountain continually aerates your pet's water with healthful oxygen. A charcoal filter also removes bad tastes and odors, giving your pet the best possible - and most appealing - way to stay hydrated!

Features Of The Fountain
  • Provides pets with an enjoyable "falling stream" of water
  • Removes bad tastes and odors with extra large charcoal filter
  • Adds more oxygen for freshness
  • Easy to maintain
  • Helps keep cats off counters and out of sinks
  • Patented free falling system


We have a 104-lbs. female Rottweiler who loves to drink fresh water. She was spoiled as a baby; we used to let her jump in the bathroom tub for drinks! As you can imagine, giving her drinks from the tub each time she jumped in and barked (quite loudly) if you didn't pay attention to her request, got old! She loves your fountain and adapted right to it. I wish we would have had your fountain years ago when we had two large male Rotties. They would have loved it!
Valerie, CO

I purchased the Drinkwell Pet Fountain and it is now the only thing my three cats will drink out of. I purchased it because one of my cats had severe kidney failure and it has drastically improved his health and quality of life. It has also stopped my other cat from jumping on the counter and crying for me to turn the sink on. We love the Drinkwell and would recommend it to everyone.
John & Cassandra, Maryland

Upon opening the package, the first thing I noticed was the quality of the product. It is well-made, sturdy and odorless. I was really impressed! Kaz is prone to urinary tract infections but now she won't get dehydrated! As far as I'm concerned, you have attained PURRFECTION in this imperfect world.
Judy, Alabama

Shop for the Drinkwell Pet Fountain Today!

Greenies Pill Pockets For Dogs - 100% All Natural Ingredients? The Bag Says It, So It Must Be True, Right?


I am piggybacking off the previous article regarding Cats here ( Sure enough - same story with Greenies Pill Pockets for Dogs. The bag states "All Natural" but their websites tells a different story.

Direct from their site (

GREENIES® PILL POCKETS® Canine Treats are 100% all natural tasty treats with a built-in pouch — ideal for hiding a tablet, capsule or liquid medication — so that most dogs don’t even notice there’s medicine inside. They’re the #1 veterinarian-recommended choice for giving pills.*
* Data on File, The Nutro Company 2012.


GREENIES® PILL POCKETS® Treats are nutritious and a healthier alternative to the commonly used human foods (cheese, tuna, etc.), as they contain fewer calories and less fat and sodium. They also contain antioxidant vitamins C and E to support a healthy immune system.

The bag as you can see has a nice All Natural label so the consumer will think this product is good for their dog. Guess Again!

Here is from this portion of their website listing the ingredients (

GREENIES® PILL POCKETS® Canine Treats with real Beef:
Chicken, glycerin, wheat flour, vegetable oil, beef, natural flavors, wheat gluten, dried corn syrup, corn flour, caramel color, lecithin, brewers dried yeast, salt, preserved with potassium sorbate, methylcellulose, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), preserved with mixed tocopherols, vitamin E supplement.

GREENIES® PILL POCKETS® Canine Treats with real Chicken:

Chicken, glycerin, wheat flour, vegetable oil, dried corn syrup, wheat gluten, corn flour, natural flavors, lecithin, brewers dried yeast, preserved with potassium sorbate, salt, methylcellulose, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), preserved with mixed tocopherols, vitamin E supplement.

GREENIES® PILL POCKETS® Canine Treats, roasted Duck and Pea Formula:

Duck, glycerin, dried peas, natural flavors, vegetable oil, water, salt, potassium sorbate (to preserve freshness), xantham gum, citric acid, preserved with mixed tocopherols (a source of vitamin E).

Are GREENIES® PILL POCKETS® Canine Treats all natural?

No. We take great pride in the ingredients we use and everywhere possible we use natural ingredients. Potassium sorbate (mold inhibitor) and methylcellulose (texturizer) are not considered “natural” ingredients by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Additionally, vitamins often do not have viable “natural” options either. But we are searching for natural ingredient solutions that perform the same functionality.

Yes, you read that right - the bag and front of their website states 100% (not 90%) All Natural Ingredients but their FAQs page tells a different story. Just knowing that you should not want to feed these but then take a look at the ingredients! Wheat, sugars, corn and gluten? YUK! These are all ingredients that are high allergens and your dog shouldn't be eating dried corn syrup! My favorite is the "Real Beef" one. Beef is the 5th ingredient! Do you know how much "real beef" that really is? Let me tell you - not much!

Potassium sorbate and methylcelloluse are NOT NATURAL!!!! Potassium sorbate is a mold inhibitor. They need this because they use corn and there have been so many issues and recalls with aflatoxins.
Why on earth would you even want to feed your cat this? Please don't say because he or she likes it because you are the boss and you want your loved one to be with you as long as possible.

Moral of the story? Don't believe everything you read. You're in charge of making sure your cat or dog stays healthy. This is not a product I would recommend for any dog or cat. The package makes you believe the ingredients are all natural and they are not.


Natural Treatment For Hypothyroidism in Dogs

Hypothyroidism in dogs is a very common problem. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland, a small gland in the neck adjacent to the windpipe, does not produce enough thyroid hormone. The thyroid gland is considered a master gland . It is responsible for producing thyroid hormones which have an effect on many parts of the body, including the skin and hair coat, metabolism, behaviour, attitude and even bone marrow function. In dogs, immune mediated disease and atrophy of the gland account for almost all cases.

Hypothyroidism generally develops in middle aged or elderly dogs and can occur in any breed although there are breeds that have a genetic tendency towards this problem. Breeds with definite predisposition to develop hypothyroidism include: the Doberman pinscher, the Golden retriever and Labrador Retriever, the Irish Setter, the Great Dane, the Dachshund, the Boxer, the Beagle and the Maltese.

Clinical signs of Hypothyroidism are many and varied. Common signs include poor haircoat or loss of hair particularly along the sides, recurrent infections especially with yeast, thickened skin, obesity, lethargy, anemia, a slow heart rate and elevated blood cholesterol. Neurological signs such as weakness, aggression and muscle atrophy can also be seen. Megaesophagus ( an enlarged esophagus) and laryngeal paralysis ( a cause of roaring in dogs) as well as infertility have also been linked with hypothyroidism. Dogs who rupture their cranial cruciate ligaments are also frequently hypothyroid.

Hypothyroidism is best diagnosed with a series of blood tests that measure T4, T3, free T3 and free T4 and thyroid autoantibodies. The conventional treatment of this condition is replacement of the hormone with a synthetic hormone and this usually works quite well. There is a natural canine thyroid glandular from Standard Process which may or may not be effective. There is also a natural thyroid supplement that is used for humans but it is considerably more expensive than the synthetic hormone. Chinese herbs and homeopathy can also help. Most of the thyroid supplements should have Kelp in some form, Ashwaganda and Eleutherococus Senticosus. These are contained in the herbal supplement Thyroid Support Silver and it can help if the thyroid has not been totally destroyed. However if the thyroid has been totally destroyed, supplement with the hormone L-thyroxine has proved the most effective treatment.

Related Product: Thyroid Support Silver for Dog Hypothyroidism

Inflammatory Bowel Disease In Dogs

White-hair-puppyInflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in dogs is a common problem. IBD is also known as Colitis, Chronic Colitis, Granulomatous Enteritis, Spastic Bowel Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Lymphocytic-Plasmacytic Enteritis. Anytime a dog’s intestinal tract is irritated for any length of time, some form of IBD is present.

When your dog’s intestinal tract is irritated by food changes, stress or bacteria, it causes the food to move through more quickly and if this happens long enough, the intestine becomes thickened. White blood cells and other cells accumulate in the intestinal tissue as a result of the inflammation. This causes cramping, pain and diarrhea. When the intestines bleed, disease causing bacteria can increase and the healthy bacteria decrease. This leads to decreased absorption of nutrients which causes vomiting, more diarrhea with blood and weight loss. If the lower intestinal tract, called the colon, is involved, there is likely to be flatulence and mucous covered stool.

Causes of IBD include food hypersensitivities, chronic intestinal infections by bacteria, fungus or protozoan, or intestinal tumors. Diseases which may look similar are chronic parasite infections, and pancreatic problems. Symptoms of IBD can include diarrhea, vomiting weight loss, poor hair coat and general overall illness. Diagnosis is made by ruling out other GI diseases and by intestinal biopsy.

If your pet is diagnosed with IBD, there are a few different medications that your conventional veterinarian may prescribe. Standard treatments are prednisone, metronidazole, and sulfasalazine A new treatment that is used for Crohn’s disease called budesonide has also been used. Some cases are so severe that anti cancer drugs are needed.

Dietary therapy is very important in the treatment of IBD. Diets high in fiber or low in fat or those with a novel protein may be prescribed depending on the type of IBD present. There are many prescription diets that may be used for these dogs.

Natural treatments for IBD focus on a good homemade and usually bland diet with a novel protein. Fiber is often provided in the form of oatmeal, pumpkin or sweet potato. Digestive enzymes, probiotics, glutamine and raw honey are also added to the diet.           

Chinese herbal formula and western herbs such as Slippery Elm, Plantain, Marshmallow and Licorice can be helpful. Pet Wellbeing has a new herbal for diarrhea called BM Tone up Gold that would be helpful for these dogs.  IBD can be frustrating to treat, and requires life long management, but with patience and strict adherence to diets many of these dogs live long symptom free lives.

Related Product: BM Tone up Gold - Dog Diarrhea Support

Prevention is the best medicine for your pet's health.

Advertising At It's Best - Purina's Be Happy Dog & Cat Food

BeHappy_PurinaPage_BothPurina came out with a new food and new website - Purina Be Happy Dog & Cat Food

The pet food claims "it helps keep them healthy on the inside, and happy on the outside."  Can a pet food really make your dog or cat happy? 

This new pet food - Be Happy - is a product of Purina Pet Foods. The Be Happy website states "For us, pets are the true happiness heroes. When we watch a dog chase his tail or a cat soak up the sun, we remember that there’s more good in the world than not, if you just know where to sniff it out! That’s why we created new Be Happy pet food to spread our pets’ instinctual happiness. With a scrumptious taste, it helps keep them healthy on the inside, and happy on the outside. Who doesn’t love that?" 

Ok, sounds good, right? Who wouldn't want their pet to be happy and especially a good that keeps them healthy on the inside................STOP! Ok, enough of the lovey dovey stuff, let's take a real look at the ingredients and then you tell me how happy that dog or cat would be....

Be Happy Beef Flavor Dog Food
Ground yellow corn, ground wheat, soybean meal, beef and bone meal, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), egg and chicken flavor, corn gluten meal, animal digest, propylene glycol, phosphoric acid, sugar, salt, potassium chloride, sorbic acid (a preservative), calcium propionate (a preservative), choline chloride, tricalcium phosphate, Red 40, zinc sulfate, Vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, Yellow 5, manganese sulfate, Blue 2, niacin, Yellow 6, Vitamin A supplement, calcium carbonate, copper sulfate, Vitamin B-12 supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, garlic oil, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin D-3 supplement, calcium iodate, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), folic acid, biotin, sodium selenite.

Be Happy Poultry Pair-adise Cat Food Ingredients
Ground yellow corn, corn gluten meal, soybean meal, chicken by-product meal, meat and bone meal, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), animal liver flavor, phosphoric acid, calcium carbonate, turkey by-product meal, salt, choline chloride, potassium chloride, taurine, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, Vitamin E supplement, DL-Methionine, Yellow 6, niacin, manganese sulfate, Red 40, Yellow 5, Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, Vitamin B-12 supplement, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, Blue 2, Vitamin D-3 supplement, folic acid, calcium iodate, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), sodium selenite, biotin.

Does the color RED make you happy? Red is usually a warning sign - listen to the sign and turn the other way!

Both of these foods contain the ingredients meat and bone meal and animal fat. FDA testing linked these two ingredients to the euthanizing drug pentobarbital.  This means these ingredients, per FDA testing, are likely to contain a rendered euthanized animal.

The cat food also contains by-product meals. Yes, meals are an excellent choice (when it is chicken meal, turkey meal, lamb meal) because all the water is taken out so you get the most amount of protein but you don't want by-products as your protein source. Also, how about that the first so called "meat" is listed 4th on the ingredient label - how much as you getting?

Both of these foods contain dyes.  Red 40 - per the Center for Science in the Public Interest report on food dyes titled Rainbow of Risks - "may accelerate the appearance of immune-system tumors in mice.  The dye causes hypersensitivity (allergy-like) reactions in a small number of consumer and might trigger hyperactivity in children."  The CSPI report goes on to say "Considering the safety questions and its non-essentiality, Red 40 should be excluded from foods unless and until new tests clearly demonstrate its safety."

The same CPSI report states "Blue 2 cannot be considered safe given the statistically significant incidence of tumors, particularly brain gliomas, in male rats.  It should not be used in foods."

"Yellow 5 was not carcinogenic in rats, but was not adequately tested in mice. It may be contaminated with several cancer-causing chemicals.  In addition, Yellow 5 causes sometimes-severe hypersensitivity reactions in a small number of people and might trigger hyperactivity reactions in a small number of people and might trigger hyperactivity and other behavior effects in children.  Posing some risks, while serving no nutritional or safety purpose, Yellow 5 should not be allowed in foods."

"Yellow 6 caused adrenal tumors in animals, though that is disputed by industry and the FDA.  It may be contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals and occasionally causes severe hypersensitivity reactions. Yellow 6 adds an unnecessary risk to the food supply."

Who cares about colors???? Your dog doesn't care if the food is blue, purple, red, etc! These colors are added to make the consumer choose this food because it looks fun and maybe healthy. Perhaps the blue bits are blueberries, yep keep telling yourself that.

Purina Pet Foods source ingredients from the US with the exception of supplements sourced globally including China.

Both of these foods contain corn and soy ingredients. Purina Pet Foods has stated their foods are not GMO free. Thus, we'd have to assume the corn and soy ingredients are sourced from genetically modified corn and soy. With corn and soy ingredients, we also have the worry of mold growth causing mycotoxin contamination.  A paper published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology states:
"One of the biggest issues of concern discussed, is that existing studies of mycotoxin contamination in pet food overlook the day to day consumption of small amounts of mycotoxins;  resulting in "chronic diseases such as liver and kidney fibrosis, infections resulting from immonosuppression and cancer."

So after reading this does this food make YOU happy? It sure better because it's not going to make your poor dog or cat happy!



FDA Failing To Protect Pets From Jerky Treats, Nonprofit Claims

FDA failing to protect pets from jerky treats, nonprofit claims -

Food & Water Watch, a US nonprofit organization that works to ensure safe and sustainable food and water, issued a statement, in which the organization claims that the US Food and Drug Administration is failing to protect pets from potentially toxic chicken jerky treats made in China.

According to Food & Water Watch executive director, Wenonah Hauter: "Since 2007, thousands of American dogs have fallen ill or died after eating jerky treats made in China. In the past of couple days, it has come to light that Chinese government officials overseeing the factories that make the questionable treats refused to allow US inspectors to collect samples for independent analysis.

"While this lack of cooperation shows an unfortunate disregard for health and safety on behalf of the Chinese government, it's the Food and Drug Administration who has shirked its responsibility to keep U.S. citizens and their pets safe and it's the FDA who must step up and block these potentially deadly treats from harming more animals.

"The FDA waited until it received 2,000 reports of illnesses and deaths in US dogs before launching its investigation. Although the China investigation took place in April, it took the FDA four months to admit that they were denied permission from collecting samples from the Chinese facilities. As the FDA dragged its feet, the suspect treats remained on store shelves and put thousands of dogs at risk.

"What's more disgraceful than the FDA's dawdling is the fact that it has full authority under Section 306 of the Food Safety Modernization Act to refuse shipments of these treats from China now. Enough is enough. It's time for the FDA to issue an import alert on all pet food manufactured in China before more animals and the humans that love them suffer needlessly," says Hauter.


5 years later and the FDA is finally doing something. Unfortunately there have been hundreds of recalls on dog and cat foods since 2007 but many people see a recall and then forget. PLEASE make sure you are doing the BEST for your pet. Read the label and know your ingredients. Check to see if the company has ever been recalled and then ask that company what they've done to prevent that in the future. Diamond, one of the biggest offenders, hasn't done anything. Really nice for all the foods (Diamond is the plant that makes many of the pet foods - Costco's Kirkland Signature & Nature's Domain Foods, Natural Balance, Solid Gold, Chicken Soup for the soul, etc) that are still sticking with them as their manufacturing facility (Canidae was the only smart one to pull away from them).

If you are looking for a food that has never been recalled and is delivered direct to your door within 6 weeks of being made please visit Life's Abundance.



Safeway Stops Orders For Milo's Kitchen Jerky Treats In The Bay Area & FDA Tests More Dog Treats

MiloThe FDA is expanding its investigation into possibly tainted dog treats.

The FDA has added duck jerky treats and sweet potato jerky treats to the list to test for potentially harmful chemicals.

And Safeway told NBC Bay Area today it has discontinued orders of Milo's Kitchen Chicken jerky treats to its stores nationwide. However, the store will continue the sale of the products still on shelves.

This decision comes on the heels of  thousands of complaints from pet owners,  reporting their dogs were sickened or died after eating certain chicken  jerky treats imported from China.

NBC Bay Area reported last month on a Bay Area pet owner who claims her dog died after eating Milo's Kitchen Chicken jerky treats.

Click here to view our original report

The Investigative Unit analyzed data from the FDA and found the brands with the most complaints were Nestle's Waggin' Train and Kingdom Pets.

Del Monte and Nestle say they extensively test their products for safety. Nestle even posted this video to show pet owners how the Waggin’ Train treats are made.

Kingdom Pets posts testing data on its site.  They say their chicken jerky treats come from the “same suppliers for  KFC China and McDonalds China” and have “never tested positive for known  contaminants.”

The FDA says complaints from pet owners have increased in the past nine months, but despite the complaints, no recalls have been ordered.

Extensive testing by the FDA has not linked the treats to illnesses in pets, but the agency says it continues to test samples.

Pet owners should be aware the most common symptoms listed in these complaints include vomiting, diarrhea and lack of appetite.

The FDA has just released a 97-page document updating its public database of pet owner complaints.

To view the new FDA data, click here.

To file a complaint with the FDA, click here  

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