My Beautiful Furbabies....

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Keep Your Pets Safe this Holiday Season

The winter holidays are a wonderful time of year for us humans.  On the other hand, this is a very dangerous time of year for our pets.

Many of us have parties and lots of guests during the holidays.  With guests come doors and gates opening and closing. This is a great opportunity for your pet to get out.  After the 4th of July, this is the number 1 time of year that pets are usually lost.  Take some extra precautions during this time.

When company comes, be sure YOU are the person answering the door and make sure you keep an eye on your pet when guests come in. 

If you allow your pet freedom in the yard, this time of year it might be better to limit his freedom. There will be a lot of smells and activity going on which will entice your pet to explore.  It just takes one second for a pet to run off and get lost or worse.

Tell the guests, and especially the children, what the rules for your pet are.  Make sure you let them know that it’s not OK to feed your pet table scraps.  And be sure that the children (and even the adults) are not allowed to harass your pet.

Alcoholic beverages, candy, chocolate, turkey and fixings, pork, fish, chicken bones, are just a few of the hazards facing our pets. Do not give bones, especially chicken or turkey bones. They can splinter when chewed and eventually puncture the intestinal tract. Never give your pet chocolate!! It is highly toxic to animals -- causing stomach cramps, constipation or diarrhea. It's best to keep your pet on its regular diet. It's common to see dogs with both vomiting and/or diarrhea right after Thanksgiving and Christmas. Some can be seriously ill. Another food related hazard is the plastic six-pack beverage holders; kittens especially, can become entangled in them. Remember to cut them up before putting into the garbage. This will also help the wildlife at the landfills too (especially birds).

Electric cords, tinsel, glass ornaments, candles, spray on-snow, ribbons, plastic or foil wrapping, etc. can be dangerous to your pet. Cover up or hide electric cords, never let your pet chew on them. Do not tie ribbons around pet's necks or limbs. Watch out for rubber bands too.

Tinsel is very attractive to both dogs and cats and if ingested, can cause serious intestinal problems. 

Many plants, including Christmas rose, holly, mistletoe and poinsettia, can be toxic to your pet. Always try to keep them out of your pets reach. The smaller the pet is the more risk of toxicity if he ingests a poisonous plant. Some signs of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, nervousness, difficulty breathing, and change in pupil size. Your pet may even stumble, go into convulsions, or become unconscious.

Every year thousands of pets are seriously injured or sickened by dangers that could have been easily prevented just by using a little common sense and taking a few extra precautions.

For more tips on protecting your pets during this holiday season, watch the following video by Dr. Sarah Wooten, D.V.M.  

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Holiday Gift Baskets for Your Pets

Our furbabies give us love all year long, and the holidays are a wonderful time for us to give back. Holiday Baskets are the perfect gifts for your pets and your pet friends.

Life’s Abundance Holiday Gift Basket for Dogs contains an entertaining plush toy and an assortment of our most popular treats, including: Wholesome Hearts (low-fat, heart-shaped sensations), Gourmet Dental Treats (honey peanut butter recipe), Antioxidant Health Bars (oatmeal and apple recipe), a bag of Tasty Rewards (savory jerky treats) and Porkhide Bones (small and medium oven-roasted treats) to top it all off, the price for all of this is only $17.95 ($30.00 retail value!!!) 

Life’s Abundance Holiday Gift Basket for Cats contains a wonderful assortment of playful toys that will keep any playful kitty happily occupied during the holidays.

Plus we include a bag of our popular Life’s Abundance Gourmet Cat Treats for Healthy Skin & Coat. The cost for this wonderful basket is only $12.95 (retail value $21.00!!)

Both of these gift baskets are beautifully presented with a colorful ribbon and a cute holiday gift card that you can personalize. They make an absolutely wonderful gift for any furry friend. (Toys may vary.)

Click here for these holiday gift baskets or our regular gift baskets for dogs and cats.  But hurry – quantities are limited for the holiday baskets!  Order yours today!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Coprophagia – or How Do I Make My Dog Stop Eating Poo???

Why would I write about such a disgusting topic?  Well, mainly because I have been trying to get my pug, Hu-Mi, to stop doing this since I got him in March!  Some days I think “I could save a lot of money on dog food if I just clean up the back yard and put it all in his bowl.  He’d love it”!  UGH!  YUK!!  BLAH!!!

Actually, this is a fairly common “practice” among our canine companions.  After all, dogs in the wild are scavengers.  It is also thought that they eat their feces and that of their pups to eliminate the scent to ward off predators.

Dogs will clean up after their puppies and it’s not uncommon for one of the pups to be the “designated poo picker-upper”.  Sometimes this behavior continues on into adulthood.

There can be several things that contribute to this rather disgusting behavior; attention-seeking, anxiety or stress or health problems, such as pancreatitis and intestinal parasites can be to blame.  

If you have a doggie-doo-eater, this all may sound too familiar, but do not despair! Even if your dog has done this their whole life, it is possible for them to stop, and there are training methods and products available to curb and possibly even end the behavior.

For more information and some tips on how to stop your dog from eating poo, please take a look at this short video by Dr. Sarah Wooten, D.V.M.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Do You Know What is in Your Pet’s Food?

Many of us have become concerned over the last several years about what we are putting into our bodies.  We have become a nation of label readers, making sure that only the best is being consumed by us and our loved ones.

Do we do the same for our pets?  When was the last time you took a long hard look at what food and treats you are feeding your furry family members?

Pet lovers all over the country have begun to really pay close attention to what they are feeding their pets now.  Many of the most popular brands of food and treats contain some terrible things.  Along with the most common ingredients that most pet owners are familiar with, wheat and soy, you will also find preservatives such as BHA and BHT.  While these have gone through the review process required by the US Food and Drug Administration, the same chemical properties which make BHA and BHT excellent preservatives may also be implicated in health effects.  Propyl Gallate is another preservative found in your pet’s food and treats.  According to the International Journal of Toxicology, “animal toxicity studies indicate that Propyl Gallate was slightly toxic when ingested”.  Even “slightly toxic” is too toxic for my pets.

You could also find “bone meal” in the food and treats. The question here is what kind of bone?  If your pet happens to be allergic to beef and this is bone meal from a cow, you won’t know it until your pet has a reaction. 

Artificial flavors and colors are another popular ingredient.  When was the last time your pet turned his or her nose up at something because it was the wrong color? 
There are many, many more unnatural ingredients listed on the different foods and treats that we have been feeding our pets. Some of these products have been around for many years.

At Life’s Abundance we are determined to keep pets healthy while giving them delicious food and treats.  Click on any one of our Dog Treats then click on “ingredients”.  You will find only natural ingredients with no artificial additives or preservatives.  You will find the same with our Cat Treats.

Looking for a better food for your pets?  Compare our Dog Food and Cat Food to many of the other major brands and see how much better it is for your pet.

Keeping our pets healthy is very important to us pet parents.  It’s very important to Life’s Abundance as well.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Palliative Care

Prayer for a Dying Pet
May you find rest near refreshing waters,
may you lie in cool, green pastures,
and may you warm yourself under the sun that never sets.

You have been my constant companion,
my shadow and confidante,
my comfort and playmate.
You filled my days with life and brought me endless joy.
For this I give thanks to God who gave you to me.

Now return to your Maker who eagerly waits for you
as you waited for me at the end of each day.

In the Father’s arms, let there be no more pain.
Let there be no more suffering.
Let there be only light as it was on the day God created you.

For our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
Blessed be the name of the Lord, now and forever. Amen.

You may or may not have heard the term, palliative care.  Palliative Care is the medical approach that improves the quality of life of terminally ill patients and their families.  It helps to relieve the pain and suffering of these patients in the comfort of their own homes.
Palliative Care is now being used to help our companion animals and the people who love them address their spiritual, physical and emotional needs.  It is terribly hard to say good-bye to a beloved pet and even harder to watch them suffer from pain or a terminal illness. 
Please watch this short video to learn more about Palliative Care. 
You can also visit or to read more about in home care for your terminally ill or dying pets.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Love to Follow Fridays Blog Hop Giveaway 11/4/11 - 11/6/11

Special give-away for this weekend's blog hop!  Any customer, new or old, who makes a purchase of $30 or more on my site,, will get a $10 gift certificate for ANY future purchase from site.  There is no expiration date on the gift certificates.  You will be given a code to enter at checkout.  All you have to do is make the purchase, then come back to my blog and leave a comment on this post saying you heard about the give-away on the blog hop.  Be sure to leave your email address so I can email the gift certificate to you.

We not only have healthy food and treats for dogs and cats, but also gift baskets, nutritional supplements, grooming supplies, GREEN cleaning products and for us humans, Clay Face Masks and Sealogix Fish Oil. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Tara - Our Gentle Giant

My parents loved dogs, which I’m sure is where I got my love for them.  Growing up we had 3 German Shepherds, all males and all named Duke.  After Duke #3 went to the Rainbow Bridge, my dad swore he wouldn’t get any more dogs.  Famous last words….

My mom passed away in 1995 leaving my dad very lonely, even though she had been in a nursing home suffering from Alzheimer’s.  He kept busy by working part time for an old boyhood friend and visiting the nursing home twice a day to feed my mom her breakfast and supper.  

A few years after losing my mom, he started thinking about another dog.  I was not at all surprised when he called me and told me he had gotten another German Shepherd, this one a female.  He couldn’t very well name her Duke so he named her after a nurse that took care of my mom in the nursing home – Tara.

German Shepherds have always been my favorite breed; they're so intelligent and loyal and great protection. Even the nicest dog will scare someone with just one great big bark and a flash of those huge teeth!

She was only 7 weeks old when he got her and he immediately started taking pictures of her and sending them to me.  I swear I have more pictures of Tara growing up than I do my own 2 kids! 

Here are a couple of pictures of Tara as a pup:

She’s 4 months and 6 months in these pictures.  I always thought she’d grow into those ears but she never did. They just kept growing right along with her.  

In 2002 I lost my Dad very suddenly.  He told me he was putting himself in the hospital because he had pneumonia.  He lived in Massachusetts and I’m in Florida so my husband and I jumped in the car and headed north.  We got to his house on a Tuesday and on Wednesday he went into the hospital.  He passed away Thursday.  

For anyone who thinks that animals don’t mourn, let me tell you – they do.  The night we got back from the hospital for the last time, Tara went into my Dad’s bedroom, laid on the clothes he changed out of before leaving, and let out the most awful, loud moan.  She knew her Daddy wasn’t coming back.

The only people I trusted to keep Tara couldn’t for different reasons.  The one person who said he would take her ended his offer with “and if I can’t keep her I have a friend…”  I wasn’t about to let her be bounced from home to home, so we brought her home with us.  

My Dad always told me that he took Tara to disobedience school.  I would laugh thinking he was joking.  After living with Tara for a short time, I do believe he meant it.  Don’t get me wrong, she was a very good dog, but also a very hard headed dog.  And it’s very hard to get a 110 lb. dog to do what you want them to do if they don’t want to do it.  

She would sit out in the back yard and when I would call her to come in, she would turn her back to me and act like she didn’t hear me.  She would just look all over the place but not at me.  I swear I heard her saying "La la la la la I can't hear you".  Dumb animals – yeah, right!

Tara was TERRIFIED of thunder storms.  Her ears would go back, her eyes would get huge and she’d pant like crazy. I began calling it her thunderstorm face.  When we saw her like that we know something was scaring her and we would brace ourselves because she would try to become a lap dog.  

She had a lot of funny habits, one was barking without making a sound.  Honest!  She would mouth the word “woof”.  When she did that she either needed to go outside or she wanted fresh water.  You could tell because if she wanted to go out, she’d “woof” and look out the window.  Who says dogs can’t talk??

I always called her our gentle giant.  She was so good with other animals, never hurt any of them.  She actually is the one who found our cat.  Frankie was a tiny kitten about the size of Tara’s muzzle.  She would attack Tara and grab her tail and wrestle with it and Tara would just lay there and let her play.  They grew very close and at the end, Frankie would back up to Tara and they’d lay together on the floor and sleep.  When we brought home our second mini-dachshund, I got the best picture of the 2 of them together.  Smoke was about 2 months old at the time. Tara leaned down to sniff him and Smoke gave her a kiss.  

She was such a sweet dog.  The only thing I ever worried about with her and the smaller animals was that she might step on one of them.  

Tara could also sound very ferocious when she wanted to or felt she needed to.  Let anyone come to the door and she would bark and bare her teeth.  Strangers would think twice about knocking again, which I liked since I was home alone most of the time.  But as soon as either I or my husband let someone in the door, she knew right away they must be all right and would cover them in great big doggie kisses.  

In 2010, right around the time Tara turned 12 years (she was a Christmas baby) she started having trouble with her hind quarters.  She walked with a wobble and would slip on our hard wood floors.  I would walk into the living room and find her spread-eagled on the floor.  I would put my feet against her hind feet and she would push herself back up.  I went out and bought a lot of throw rugs and put them everywhere to keep her from hurting herself.  

She took a real turn for the worse in late February of 2011 and it got to the point that she couldn’t stand at all anymore.  My husband was on the road so it was up to me to take care of everything.  For several days I tried to get her up but she would get scared.  I ended up letting her stay on the rug in the living room and I cleaned up after her when she needed me to.  I brought her food and water to her while we waited for my son to be able to come and take us to the vet. 
On March 3rd my son carried her into the vet’s office and we said good-bye to one of the most gentle, sweet dogs I’ve ever known.  

I know Tara is happy though.  She and my Dad are together again.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Win a $10 Gift Certificate to Life's Abundance!

Enter to win a $10.00 Gift Certificate for ANY product on my Life's Abundance website during Live Laugh Love to Shop's Weekend Blog hop, 10/28 through 10/30.  To win simply follow my blog, then leave a comment under this post telling me what you like most about my blog. Don't forget to include your email address so I can contact the winner.  Winner will be chosen randomly from all entries.

 The winner will receive an email with a unique gift certificate code, along with a printable version of your gift certificate. With no hidden fees and no expiration dates, you can redeem the gift certificates for any products on my Life's Abundance web site @

Live Laugh Love to Shop's Weekend Blog Hop

Join me this weekend, 10/28 - 10/30, for another great blog hop hosted by Live Laugh Love to Shop and Network Marketer's CPA.  Find lots of great blogs to follow and enter for some awesome give-aways!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease

My only cat, Frankie
Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) describes a collection of conditions that can affect the bladder and urethra of cats. This syndrome can have many possible causes, but cats generally exhibit similar, recognizable signs. Cats with FLUTD usually show signs of difficulty and pain when urinating, increased frequency of urination, and blood in the urine. Affected cats tend to lick their genital area excessively, and sometimes they will urinate outside the litter box, often preferring cool, smooth surfaces like a tile floor or a bathtub. 

While the condition can be seen in cats of any age, it is most frequently seen in middle-aged, over-weight cats that get little exercise, use an indoor litter box, have restricted access outside, and eat a dry diet. Environmental factors, such as interactions with owners, multi-cat households, and changes in routine may also increase the risk that a cat will develop FLUTD. 

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

Additionally, you might consider providing water for your cat using a continuous fountain.  The constant motion of the water attracts the attention of cats, hopefully encouraging them to drink more.  And, of course, providing fluid-rich canned foods like Instinctive Choice Premium Canned Cat Food.

But because FLUTD can have many causes, it can be difficult to diagnose. Based on your cat's signs, your veterinarian will likely perform an initial physical examination and run a urinalysis. If the cause of the cat's signs has not been identified with a urinalysis, other testing may be recommended, including bloodwork, x-rays, and urine culture.

Here are some steps you can take to reduce occurrences and signs of FLUTD:

  1. Feed small meals on a frequent basis.
  2. For cats with a history of struvite formation, owners should feed diets that promote the formation of urine that is acidic.
  3. Provide clean, fresh water at all times.
  4. Provide an adequate number of litter boxes (usually one more than the number of cats in the household).
  5. Keep litter boxes in quiet, safe areas of the house.
  6. Keep litter boxes clean.
  7. Minimize major changes in routine.
If you take steps now, you might be able to prevent your cat from developing urinary health issues, helping him or her to live a healthier – and much more comfortable – life.