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Stuff the Turkey - Not Your Pet

As you and your entire family sit around the dinner table this Thanksgiving, you may be tempted to invite the dog or cat to join you as you indulge in the mountain of goodies. Thanksgiving is all about sharing, but if you think Max and Paws might like just a taste of turkey or a few giblets, think again! That high-fat treat could land your pet in the hospital with a potentially life-threatening condition called pancreatitis. It’s hard to say no to those big brown eyes, but you should. “It just isn’t worth it when you think about the possibility for an extended hospital stay that could easily cost $1,000,” says Dr. Jana Gordon, resident in small animal medicine at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana. Still thinking about ladling a little gravy on Max’s Thanksgiving dog chow? Dr. Gordon recommends that pet owners completely abstain from feeding any table foods to pets. But things that typically cause problems for pets this time of year include the giblets, bones, skin, dark meat, pie and dessert, potatoes and butter- coated vegetables, gravy, and stuffing. “Any high-fat food is going to cause increased demand on the pancreas,” says Dr. Gordon. “They shouldn’t have any of it, not anything. Not just because of pancreatitis, but also because strange food and sudden diet changes can change the bacterial flora of a dog or cat’s gut, which can lead to diarrhea and vomiting.” Signs of pancreatitis in dogs are vomiting, diarrhea, depression, and not eating after recent ingestion of high-fat foods. To diagnose the problem, a veterinarian will need to take blood and may do an abdominal ultrasound and other tests. Treatment means trying to rest the pancreas — hospitalization, intravenous fluids, no food, and lots of supportive care. So give thanks for great pets and give them your time instead of your turkey feast. If Max runs off with the Butterball, be on the lookout for signs of pancreatitis, and call your local veterinarian.

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Author: Bree
Posted: November 27, 2014, 2:05 pm
Stinky Cheese Turkey Balls Recipe for Dogs

While running back out to the store for a few last-minute Thanksgiving dinner or dessert items, why not pick up a pack of ground turkey and a few other little items (if you don’t already have them at home) so you can whip up some delicious tasty stinky cheese turkey balls for your dog.  Your dog can enjoy her/his own turkey dinner while the family indulges in theirs!   They’re very easy to make and can even be made by a little human helper while you’re busy preparing the big stuff!  1 1/2 lb. Ground Turkey 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese (preferably fresh grated) 1 Cup Steamed and Mashed Sweet Potato 1 Cup Quick Oats Some chopped up fresh Parsley Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the above ingredients in a large bowl. Make 1″ balls, place them on a non greased baking sheet and bake for 15 min. or until done (your oven may differ from mine). Keep refrigerated in an air tight container. Freeze any that won’t be used within a couple of days. These are great treats to use when training and can be easily broken into smaller pieces.  Colbie and Rocky give them two paws up! REMEMBER to either refrigerate or freeze all natural treats to avoid spoilage and insect infestation.

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Author: Bree
Posted: November 25, 2014, 12:38 pm
Dog Showing Aggressive Behavior

Stop Aggressive Behavior – Stopping Puppy, Canine and Feline Aggression Naturally A pet that displays signs of aggressive behavior can be very alarming. Many owners tear their hair out trying to control their errant animals while at the same time trying desperately to find a reason for their behavior. Although some breeds are definitely more aggressive than others, experts say there are usually underlying reasons for aggressive behavior such as fear, insecurity, stress, problems relating to breeding, jealousy, past abuse, illness and pain. Aggressive behavior can be limited to specific situations such as the dog that barks or attacks the postman or it can be unpredictable, which is even more worrying. Aggressive behavior in dogs can include biting, barking, snarling, snapping and raised fur along the back of the neck and along the ridge of the spine. Aggression in cats can include scratching, biting, excessive yowling, lunging, hissing, spitting and destructive behavior. What you can do…we highly recommend you try PetAlive Aggression Formula – An Herbal and Homeopathic Remedy for Aggressive Behavior in Dogs and Cats! PetAlive Aggression Formula contains a unique combination of specially selected herbal and homeopathic ingredients well known to calm anxious and highly strung animals and also to reduce aggression levels and related problem behavior in highly strung and nervous pets. Especially aimed at pets that tend to bite, scratch or otherwise attack either humans or other animals, PetAlive Aggression Formula helps to treat the problem of aggression in socially stressed pets and allows your pet to relax and enjoy the company of other people and animals. Learn more about PetAlive Aggression Formula, Ingredients and Dosage and Testimonials »

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Author: Bree
Posted: November 24, 2014, 7:29 pm
Wheat Grain

Grains?  In Commercial Pet Food??? Most commercial diets are not well-suited to the dog’s and cat’s physical make up and metabolism. In other words, they are not ‘biologically appropriate.’  They are primarily made up of grain products. Contemporary canine nutritionists explain that dogs do not process complex carbohydrates (grains) well.  Studies demonstrate that unlike humans, dogs do not ‘carbo-load,’ that is, store up energy from meals high in complex carbohydrates.  While human athletes successfully practice this technique, it results in an accumulation of lactic acid in dogs (which causes the muscular pain experienced after unaccustomed exercise). Grains are also full of carbohydrates which can be easily converted to sugars. Cancer cells feed on sugars, and it is believed that by decreasing the amount of carbohydrate in the diet, we may greatly reduce the risk of cancer (which is a growing problem among modern dogs and cats). The makers of prescription dog foods advertise the use of high-quality, whole grains in their food.  They say these provide and “excellent source of protein” for dogs.  Large amounts of grain may be an appropriate source of protein for some species…but NOT so for animals primarily designed to eat meat! Which brings me to what ‘grains’ in commercial pet food really are.  When whole grain is used in dog food (and even cat food), it has often been deemed unfit for human consumption due to mold, contaminants, or poor handling practices.  Some brands reportedly contain damaged, spilled, and spoiled grain known as “the tail of the mill.”  This can include the hulls, chaff, straw, dust, dirt, and sand swept from the mill floor at the end of each week, which are totally unnatural nutritional ingredients!  Most of these ingredients, such as peanut hulls, are used strictly for “filler” and have no nutritional value at all!  They are also economical for the pet food companies! Imagine AAFCO approving ‘the tail of the mill’ as acceptable grains in your pet’s diet! Unbelievable!!! GRAINS – Could this be why my pet scratches constantly? Yes, grains (mainly wheat and ‘the tail of the mill’ ingredients) are one of the most common causes of allergies in pets.  Grains can also be responsible for “gunky” ears, yeast infections in the ears or on the skin, ear infections, head shaking, allergies, skin irritation, itchy feet and genitals.  Other symptoms of grains and yeast infections may be as broad ranging as: malabsorption of food nutrients, joint problems, arthritis, diabetes, colitis and kidney or bladder infections. Too much money has already been spent by American pet owners to their veterinarians, to find out the cause of the above-mentioned symptoms.  It’s a shame that most veterinarians do not take their patient’s diet into consideration FIRST, when, in fact, most of these symptoms are directly related to what the pet is eating.  Instead, great amounts of needless money are spent on pills, creams, antibiotics, injections, blood work and frequent vet visits. Be a step or two ahead of your veterinarian…look at the ingredients in the food you’re presently feeding, study them and see just what particular ingredient could be causing your pet’s allergic reaction(s). If you’re still feeding one of those popular commercial pet foods, I can almost guarantee that more than one ingredient is the culprit! PreciousPets.org is proud to represent the all natural line of Life’s Abundance, which is all wheat, corn, gluten and dairy-free!  For complete product details, to listen to an online presentation by Dr. Jane Bicks (product formulator) and to compare your brand of pet food to Life’s Abundance, please click here! Flint River Ranch is also proud to announce the addition of their Grain-Free Cat and Kitten Food, suitable for all life stages!  Details here!

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Author: Bree
Posted: November 23, 2014, 5:33 am
Chicken from China

Well this is very interesting, and very scarey, to say the least!  It’s not bad enough that pet treats imported from China have sickened so many of our beloved pets, but now the very chicken we humans consume on a daily basis may also be coming from China?  Keep in mind, while reading the article below, that this same imported chicken could also be used in your pet’s food.  Why wouldn’t it be?…it’s already approved for human use! Genuine General Tso’s chicken may soon be on the plate. The Department of Agriculture will allow Chinese poultry processing companies to ship fully cooked, frozen and refrigerated chicken to the United States. Food safety advocates have been predicting the announcement since the department last year approved the export of chicken raised in the United States to be processed in China. But shipping chicken to China for processing and then shipping it back here has proved uneconomical, and no American poultry firm has done so. Earlier this year, a major meat supplier to McDonald’s got caught up in a food scandal after a Chinese television station broadcast video showing workers in its Shanghai plant doctoring labels on chicken and beef products and scooping up meat that had fallen on the ground and putting it back on conveyor belts for processing. The country has also had frequent outbreaks of deadly avian influenza, and the Food and Drug Administration attributed the deaths of more than 500 dogs and some cats to chicken jerky treats from China. School lunch advocates have been especially worried about Chinese chicken potentially ending up on trays. Nancy Huehnergarth, a nutrition policy consultant, has noted that processed chicken does not require country of origin labeling and predicted that it would end up in chicken nuggets and chicken soup. According to the Congressional Research Service, China has wanted its chicken to be accepted as a quid pro quo for lifting a ban it imposed on United States beef products in 2003 after a cow in Washington state was found to have mad cow disease. Source:  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/07/business/usda-to-allow-chicken-from-chinese-companies.html

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Author: Bree
Posted: November 17, 2014, 7:04 pm
Bach Rescue Remedy for Pets

Rescue Remedy – First-Aid Kit in a Bottle… Rescue Remedy (RR) is a Bach Flower remedy. The Bach Flower Remedies are “essences” or “energies” of various plants, each plant carrying its own therapeutic healing vibration. Because of this, flower remedies are extremely safe, and there is no way in which the user can overdose on them. Rescue Remedy is the most popular Bach Flower Remedy in North America (and probably in many other parts of the world). It’s not a single remedy, but a combination of five: Rock Rose: For terror and panic Impatiens: for irritability, nervousness, and tension Cherry Plum: For fear of losing control Star of Bethlehem: For trauma, shock, and numbness Clematis: For unconsciousness I’ve used Rescue remedy for driving-related traumas, physical injuries (especially cuts), fear-related insomnia, stressful situations, and other purposes. It has been especially helpful to me preceding a visit to the dentist, before appearing for jury duty, and when we were moving Beyond the Rainbow to its website. (We just kept the bottle by the computer). People I know have taken it before and after surgery, during labor and after childbirth, and for a wide range of traumas. I insert here the usual disclaimer that Rescue Remedy is no substitute for medical treatment; however, in my experience and that of others it has helped to alleviate the mental and emotional stresses which can worsen a medical emergency. Rescue Remedy can be used in many different ways: after a seizure to reduce pacing and other post-ictal behaviors; to reduce stress in various situations, including visits to the vet, thunderstorms, fireworks, having company in the home, etc. Anything that causes your dog to experience stress (both “good” and “bad” stress) can potentially lead to seizure activity and by lessening the effects of the stressor on the dog’s system, seizures may be prevented or the severity and/or number lessened. Many of us use Rescue Remedy with our epi-dogs and non-epis as well.  Some dogs do not respond to Rescue Remedy, post-ictally (after a seizure), however. In addition to using the RR after seizures, many people use the remedy in stressful situations and find that it has helped to calm their dogs in situations of panic and hyperactivity, such as prior to a vet visit, or when there is a lot of household commotion or change of routine. Some people believe that it may also calm their dogs enough to avoid a seizure if used when pre-ictal (before a seizure) behavior is present. You need only give a couple of drops of Flower Remedies with each dose. Actually, it is not the amount given, but the *frequency* in which the remedy is given, that determines its effectiveness. In particularly stressful situations, giving 2-3 drops of RR every 15 to 30 minutes until the stressful situation has passed is most effective. Some people add a few drops to their pet’s water bowl or food. Also, if RR needs to be given during a seizure, it is not recommended that the remedy be administered orally. Many people squirt a drop or two on the dog’s forehead or bedding during the actual seizure. How to Actually Take It It’s generally recommended that if you feel that you need a mixture with two or more of the remedies in Rescue Remedy that it makes more sense to use Rescue Remedy itself in your mixture. It counts as one remedy; however, you add four drops to your mixture instead of the usual two. In an immediate crisis you can take it directly from the bottle, four drops at a time, as frequently as every twenty minutes, or put the four drops in a glass of water and sip it often. Do be careful about taking it on an empty stomach, as Rescue Remedy, like all Bach Flower Remedies, is preserved in brandy. Giving It To Others Rescue Remedy can be given to people who are unconscious. Because lawsuits are popular activities I don’t suggest that you give Rescue Remedy to a stranger. However, if an friend of yours needs it you can put it on pulse points, such as the temples and wrists. I’ve given it several times to birds who flew into a glass window or door. Put a few drops on or into the beak. This often creates an immediate recovery. In general, Rescue Remedy can be very helpful for animals in cases of physical or emotional trauma. For animals up to human size put four drops in the drinking water. For larger animals increase the dosage to ten drops. Cats, in particular, don’t like the smell or taste of alcohol. Rub the Rescue Remedy behind their ears; they’ll hate it, but it’s good for them. It’s also good for plants when you repot them, or if they are looking unhappy. Above all, don’t be limited by my suggestions. The uses of Rescue Remedy are virtually limitless. Conclusion The following information is taken from Bach Flower Remedies for Animals written by Helen Graham and Gregory Vlamis. In the section on dosages, it says: “Flower essences (FEs) are administered in drops, a single drop at a time. They are normally given by mouth. Five days is the average period of treatment, although they can be continued for two weeks or longer. Dosage varies with the particular situation and the animal species being treated. The standard dose is 4 drops. More drops are not harmful, but wasteful. Fewer drops can be used if the animal is quite small (squirrels, hamsters, rabbits). For large breeds of dogs (St. Bernards, Great Danes), sheep and goats, 6 drops should be given. Horses and cows get 10-15 drops. These can be given as often as necessary but at least four times daily. Drops can be applied directly on or under the animal’s tongue, dropped onto the nose to be licked off, or rubbed into the gums or lips. They also can be added to water, food, treats, etc., but this is not as reliable because you...

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Author: Bree
Posted: November 11, 2014, 7:10 pm
Scoop on Poop

The Scoop on Poop Though it’s the opposite end of nutrition, checking your pet’s stool can help you and your veterinarian decide if your animal companion has any health issues that need addressing. What may seem like an offensive pile of feces can actually shed light on your pet’s internal functions. The first sign of health issues is the form of the stool. If it’s liquid or loose (overly soft), there’s something happening inside the pet. Other examinations and tests can assess exactly what may be wrong. Another sign that the animal isn’t in optimal health is if there’s a covering over the stool that looks like plastic food wrap. This means that there is an irritation within the digestive tract. If it only occurs occasionally, then harsh snacks or plants are usually to blame. This condition may be more common in younger animals while they’re teething, which results in chewing on and ingesting extraneous material. If the stool is darker than normal, it’s wise to bring it to your veterinarian for examination. The stool may contain blood at varying amounts. Before jumping to the conclusion that there’s something wrong with your pet if the stool is dark, make sure to take into consideration that some foods can cause darker stools. If the stool is loose, and you’re recently switched your pet’s diet, here’s some great information on how to properly introduce new food and what to do if your pet’s stools are loose, as a result.  Click here on How to Introduce New Foods to your Pet! For example, darker meat like lamb contains increased levels of myoglobin in the muscle, which causes dark stools in healthy animals. On the lighter side of the spectrum, if your pet produces stool that is hard and white-colored, the pup’s diet contains too much calcium. Not as easily related to a simple food imbalance, hard and small pieces of feces warrant a visit to the veterinarian. On the other hand, if the stool contains large, very soft pieces, then it can be the sign of a couple issues. It may mean that the animal is being fed too much. Otherwise, the pet may have an enzyme deficiency. If this is the case, your veterinarian can check the level of trypsin in the stool or blood sample; and the doctor may want to provide an enzyme supplement if needed. If the poop problem is due to an absence or difficult passage, your pet likely needs more roughage in the diet. Dry food has more roughage than wet food, and more roughage will produce more stools that are not as hard. This is why it’s often recommended to feed wet food to animals while house training them: it produces less stools. Though it’s certainly easier to monitor what an animal eats than what it excretes, it’s wise to know the appearance of your pet’s normal stools. If that appearance ever changes, it gives you a head start to examine possible health issues developing!

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Author: Bree
Posted: November 6, 2014, 6:54 pm
Submissive Urination - Not a Housebreaking Problem

Submissive Urination is Not a Housebreaking Problem Believe it or not, this is not a house training problem. It has to do with some normal canine behavior patterns that you can and should deal with in a positive way. Dogs are instinctively programmed to accept the authority of creatures (animal and human) that they consider to be superior to them. They seek the approval of their superiors and are eager to please them. Many dog owners prefer a dog who is submissive to people and eager to please, and selective breeding has produced many domestic dogs with this characteristic. Some dogs are more submissive than others. Very submissive dogs, shy dogs that lack self-confidence and often young pups will urinate when in the presence of more dominant dogs and humans. It’s their instinctive way of telling the superior “You are my Supreme Master. Your wish is my command. Please don’t hurt me!” Puppies usually outgrow this behavior as they mature. Dogs who are naturally shy, insecure, extremely submissive, or who have been abused may continue to exhibit submission in this way even as adults. It is generally an involuntary, subconscious reflex. The dog isn’t deliberately trying to do it. As a matter of fact, he may not even be aware that he’s doing it at the time! Many dog owners mistakenly believe that this type of urination is a house training problem, and try to correct it with discipline. To their dismay and frustration, rather than improving, the dog’s problem gets worse! Because the message he’s sending is misunderstood by the owner, the dog is caught in a vicious cycle – his instincts tell him to urinate to please his superior by showing submission. But when he does, he is punished. He then tries harder to please by urinating even more. This results in more punishment, and still more urination. After a time, the dog may become so confused and insecure that he urinates at the mere sight of a human being or another dog. If discipline won’t solve the problem, what will? Your task is to take the excitement and stress out of the periods that previously triggered submissive urination. Get cooperation from all members of the family. When you first get home, you can anticipate that the dog will get excited and urinate so you need to minimize the excitement. Instead of an enthusiastic greeting to your dog, quietly walk in the door and go about your business. Let him outside to pee as usual, but without any fanfare. If you talk to him at all, just say “Hi Rover” in a calm, casual tone of voice. Don’t make eye contact with him or pet him. After he settles down, very gently crouch down to his level presenting to him sideways (this makes you very non-threatening), then calmly and quietly praise him and tell him he’s good. Be sure to tell your family and visitors to do the same. Do everything you can to boost your dog’s confidence. As he becomes more confident, he may feel less of a need to display extreme submissive behavior: Positive reinforcement obedience training does wonders for a dog’s confidence! An untrained dog is doesn’t know how to communicate with humans or how to behave, but the trained dog understands what’s expected of him, and the words you say to him. He’s confident because he has the tools with which to please his superiors. Socialization at training classes, dog daycare, at the park, or just going with you on errands and to visit friends can do wonders for your dog’s confidence. Have guests over who are willing to help out with this problem. Agility training is another wonderfully fun way to boost your dog’s confidence using physical obstacles and mental stimulation as well as new human words to understand and obey. Incorporate basic obedience (Sit, Stay, Fetch, Come, etc.) into your daily life and when your dog obeys, he gains confidence through your praise. Just don’t overdo the praise (this can result in a puddle!). A simple “Good boy” and gentle pat is enough. Minimize the occasions your dog makes you want to scold him; think about what your dog does that causes you to scold him. For example, does he get into the trash, steal your children’s toys or chew on your sneakers? By simply putting a lid on the trash can or putting it into a closet and requiring your family to pick up after themselves, these situations can be eliminated. The easier you make it for your dog to do what you want, the quicker he’ll learn and his confidence will grown. On the other hand, discipline, scolding and physical punishment will simply reduce his confidence and worsen your submissive urination problem. Dogs, especially shy or submissive ones, are very sensitive to body language and tone of voice. Bending over a dog is a “dominant” posture that may provoke an accident. Instead, get down to your dog’s level by crouching or kneeling, preferably at his side rather than head-on. These dogs are often intimidated by direct eye contact as well. Look at your dog’s face without looking directly into his eyes, and only for very short periods. If you are expecting guests, take your dog for a walk and get his bladder emptied ahead of time, and restrict water consumption for an hour before your guests are to arrive. When speaking to your dog, use a calm, confident, moderate tone of voice. Avoid very high or low extremes in pitch. Don’t “coochy-coo” or babytalk to your dog either. These tones can create excitement that results in submissive urination. Don’t scold or punish your dog for urinating submissively. It will only make things worse. He can’t be held responsible for something he doesn’t understand or even know he’s doing. Instead, use these methods to get to the root of the matter: His basic insecurity and lack of confidence. When he’s made progress in these areas, submissive urination often disappears on...

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Author: Bree
Posted: November 4, 2014, 1:18 pm
Halloween Pet Costumes

Happy Halloween! If you’re like many pet parents, you love celebrating howlidays with your companion animals. No matter how you get your All Hallows’ Eve groove on, it’s always a good idea to take some precautions to ensure that your pet kid stays purrfectly safe. Halloween pet costumes are adorable and fun for people, but some costumes can stress out your dog or cat. Just because it’s for sale doesn’t mean it’s safe, as some pet apparel can be downright dangerous. Please, don’t ever force your furry four-footer to wear a costume he or she obviously hates. Halloween doesn’t have to be spooky … just follow Dr. Sarah’s helpful advice, dished out in the latest episode of Pet Talk. If you’re one of the many pet parents who celebrate by dressing their fur-kids in ghoulish costumes, there are precautions you need to be aware of, to prevent scenarios that are really scary. Plus, our staff veterinarian doles out tips to prevent your dog from being spooked by their own holiday garb. Pull up a chair and sit a spell!  Source:  Dr. Sarah, Life’s Abundance Staff Veterinarian

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Author: Bree
Posted: October 30, 2014, 2:01 pm
Dogs Stolen from Yard

Cicero man says men stole 3 dogs from his backyard Wednesday, October 15, 2014 10:30PM CICERO, Ill. (WLS) — A suburban man says that two men jumped his backyard fence and stole his niece’s three dogs on Tuesday. The incident in the 1500-block of South Laramie in Cicero was captured on surveillance video. “I just don’t understand why they treated them the way they did, throw them over the fence they way they did, putting them in the trunk,” said Kenneth Olivo. Olivo says at least two neighbors also had dogs stolen and believes the same men were involved. Source: http://abc7chicago.com/pets/cicero-man-says-men-stole-3-dogs-from-his-backyard-/352551/ PLEASE consider SHARING this!  Perhaps someone will recognize these horrible thieves and their vehicle!  

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Author: Bree
Posted: October 16, 2014, 1:16 pm
Life's Abundance Gift Certificates

Looking for a last-minute “instant” gift for that special pet or pet parent?  Now you can give the gift of health any time of the year with Life’s Abundance Gift Certificates (which can be purchased in any amount from $5.00 up to $500.00)! This is the most perfect way to introduce the safest and healthiest pet, people and planet products (our opinion, of course) to those you care about the most! It is so easy to order a Gift Certificate. Just click on this link and simply select from three attractive designs, choose the amount of your gift and enter the recipient’s email address. You can even include a personalized message. The recipient will receive an email with a unique gift certificate code, along with a printable version of the gift certificate.  With no hidden fees and no expiration dates, recipients can redeem these gift certificates for any Life’s Abundance products on the web sites or by phone order. Order your Gift Certificates Here   »

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Author: Bree
Posted: October 14, 2014, 11:47 am
Simply Nourish Biscotti Dog Treats Recall

Simply Nourish Biscotti with Beef and Sweet Potatoes Dog Treats Recall Loving Pets Corporation has announced a voluntary recall of the following expiration date of Simply Nourish Biscotti with Beef & Sweet Potatoes Dog Treats due to the potential of mold growth. No other Simply Nourish or Loving Pets treats are affected Product Description SKU UPC Expiration Date Simply Nourish Biscotti with Beef & Sweet Potatoes Dog Treats 5203800 73725747061 EXP 02.16   It is recommended that you immediately stop using the specified product and return it to any PetSmart store for a full refund. To receive a full refund, please bring your receipt or a copy of this email to your local PetSmart store. Our store associates can help you find a replacement. If you have any personal or pet health concerns please contact your health care provider or veterinarian. For any additional questions related to this Product Recall please call the Loving Pets Corporation at 1-866-599-7387. For more immediate communication from PetSmart, please register your email address with PetPerks® at https://petperks.petsmart.com/. At PetSmart, we are pet parents too, and care about the well being of you and your pets. We’ll continue to do everything we can to help you and your pet during this time. Source:  PetSmart NewsRoom

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Author: Bree
Posted: October 8, 2014, 7:00 pm
Clean Dog Ears

Cleaning your dog’s ears can be a daunting task. It’s not unusual to hear pet parents say they are unsure about how to do this routine procedure. Repeated head shaking. Foul-smelling, waxy build-up. Red, painfully inflamed ears. What do all these things have in common? All are symptoms of otitis externa, or what is commonly referred to as ear infections. If you have ever groaned inwardly and felt dismay the moment your dog starts shaking his head or rubbing his ears along the nearest available surface, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, too many pet parents are more than familiar with this recurring medical problem. Often, it is accompanied by an offensive odor and one can only imagine how overwhelming the smell is to the suffering pup! Canine ear infections result from an overgrowth of yeast or bacteria in the ear canal, causing redness, irritation and a heavy accumulation of wax. Likely triggers of these maladies are skin reactions to inhaled allergens – like pollen, mold or dust mites – or food allergies and sensitivities. Be aware that both large ears and swimming predispose dogs to ear infections. Humans tend to develop ear infections as a result of viral infections, typically in infancy or early youth. As youngsters, our Eustachian tubes are very small. Respiratory congestion can lead to blockage of these canals, resulting in otitis media (a middle ear infection). Because the infection is internal, they frequently require oral antibiotics. In contrast, pets usually develop ear infections as adults, and the infection is almost always localized in the external portion of the ear. In most cases, the application of prescription drops or ointments directly into the ear canal usually resolves the illness. If you suspect your companion animal may be suffering from an ear infection, please seek veterinarian assistance for diagnosis and treatment. If necessary, your vet may prescribe a topical medicine and advise routine cleaning. In this episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah, Life’s Abundance Staff Veterinarian, reveals the simple steps to safe and effective cleaning to promote overall ear health.

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Author: Bree
Posted: October 5, 2014, 1:22 pm
Adorable Puppy and Kitten

Over the years, commercial pet food companies have come up with some of the most confusing variations in which formula to feed our pets, especially when it comes to our precious puppies and kittens. This can be compared to getting a cold and not quite sure whether you should purchase the cold medicine for sniffles, coughs, runny nose, fever, allergy, non-drowsy, alcohol free, headaches, sneezing, and all the other slew of symptoms nasty colds allow us to experience. Have you ever stood in the cold medicine aisle in your pharmacy, just staring at all the products available to you, trying to decide which one is the best one for your present symptom(s)? If you’re not nodding your head up and down, then you’re braver than most of us! Why all the confusion by the pet food companies? Because they’re trying to out-do the competition with the best formula, cutest puppy & kitten pictures, most colorful packaging, great price, still neglecting to tell you that their ‘baby’ food contains harsh chemicals and by-products, that will set the stage for the future adult health of your pet, which is why most pets, who have been fed commercial food since day one, have so many health problems as adults today! Now for the simple truth, if a food is high quality (and all natural), there is no need to feed a puppy or kitten food separately. All natural food, such as Life’s Abundance, was formulated, fed and tested according to nutritional profiles of AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officials) for ALL stages of life; puppy/kitten and senior included. While many people think that puppies and kittens need more calcium than adults, according to AAFCO, both ‘baby’ and adult food requires a 1/1 ratio of calcium to phosphorous; which is what the above-mentioned food contain. These foods are also great for seniors because they are highly digestible and contain high quality protein that seniors require.  Life’s Abundance’s line also contains digestive enzymes/probiotics, powerful antioxidants, namely ActiVin, which is derived from grape seed extract, and contains NO wheat, corn or dairy. All natural and holistic foods are excellent alternatives to those pet owners who don’t have the time to feed a homemade or raw diet for dogs, or who are still in the research process of learning how to feed a homemade or raw diet. So, if you’re already feeding an all natural & holistic food to your adult baby, then feel great about feeding it to your baby-baby! compare your brand of dog food » compare your brand of cat food » read Life’s Abundance most frequently asked questions » read more about Dr. Jane Bicks, Life’s Abundance’s product formulator » become a Life’s Abundance Field Rep Distributor  » free dog and cat food and treat samples  »

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Author: Bree
Posted: October 2, 2014, 1:56 pm
Pumpkin Dogs

I don’t know about you, but it seems like all I see in the grocery store these days are pumpkins… and lots of them piled high outside in bins… and I guess it’s not surprising with Halloween right around the corner. I’ve never really thought of pumpkin as a fruit but that is the correct classification. It’s not a vegetable as many people believe. Pumpkin has been described as a “ mystery food”, a “super food” and the “miracle” for pets because it is able to cure symptoms of diarrhea as well as constipation. But before you begin any treatment like this, it’s always wise to consult your veterinarian just to be sure of the underlying cause of the problem. What makes pumpkin so special? Pumpkin is rich in carotenoids, beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, magnesium, zinc, potassium, vitamin A, iron and of course FIBER! It’s low in calories too. In fact, foods like pumpkin that are so rich in carotenoids have been shown to decrease the risk of various cancers and the two carotenes found in pumpkin – beta and alpha-carotene are very powerful phytonutrients. Some of the other health benefits of pumpkin are: A resistance to infection Improved night vision Improved blood pressure Added support in the production of healthy red blood cells. Now let’s get back to your pet… You can effectively relieve your pet’s digestive upset in a matter of a few hours by simply adding a puree of canned pumpkin to your dog’s regular food. You can buy canned pumpkin in almost any store. Be sure you get 100% natural canned pumpkin (organic if possible) and not the sweetened pumpkin filling that is used for those delicious pies! You can get this natural remedy at your local supermarket. The pumpkin puree is a good source of fiber and it has a high water content that will help with both constipation as well as bouts of diarrhea. The water in the pumpkin will hydrate the intestine, which is needed to relieve the constipation and the high fiber content will absorb the excess water that is generated from the loose stool of an agitated colon. How much should you feed your pet? This all depends on the size of your pet but a good rule of thumb is two teaspoons daily for small breed dogs (under 15 pounds), 2 tablespoons for dogs 15-35 pounds and for large/giant breeds you can give up to 5 tablespoons of pureed pumpkin per day. This year, instead of letting that leftover pumpkin go to waste, use it to help “trick” your pet’s digestive system into proper working order. This will “treat” your dog or cat using natural remedies instead of conventional treatments. Your pets will thank you for it! Source:   Robert Mueller, BSc, Pharm. is a registered pharmacist, author of “Living Enzymes: The World’s Best Kept Pet Food Secret”, and co-developer of BARF World’s BARF diets patties, nuggets and supplements – the first company to make the Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (BARF) diet conveniently available to animals everywhere. NOTE:  Once your pet’s stools have returned to normal, STOP the canned pumpkin immediately OR it will have the reverse effect.  Yes, pure canned pumpkin works both ways! 

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Author: Bree
Posted: September 30, 2014, 6:08 pm
Veterinarian Checking Dog

End of Life Considerations by Dr. Jane Bicks While there are many articles on how to determine when it’s time to say goodbye to your pet, there are significantly fewer on how to work with your veterinarian during this trying period. That’s why Dr. Jane has written an in-depth post on the topic, to help you communicate effectively with your vet when determining the best course of action, both for you and your companion animal. Our readers are sure to appreciate our good doctor’s delicate treatment of this difficult subject. With advances in veterinary medicine in the past 30 years, we now have more tools than ever before to treat disease. As a consequence, dogs and cats are living longer, which means plenty of visits to the vet’s office. As long as there are no major medical issues to contend with – just wellness checks and treatments for the occasional injury or illness – there’s a pretty low level risk of tension between a vet and a pet parent. But when things go badly, such as with a terminal diagnosis, that risk can escalate dramatically. Pet parents can often be so uncomfortable thinking about end-of-life care, much less talking it through, that they become defensive when discussing treatments for a terminally ill companion animal. I think it’s because veterinarians are trained to cure disease, and that’s our primary focus. When you present us with a problem, our chief goal is to find a solution. Not every pet parent, however, has the desire or the means to fight terminal conditions to the fullest extent. The advances in veterinary medicine come with a high price tag, and while aggressive therapies may prolong life, they can prove overly stressful to pet kids and parents alike. If anything prevents open, honest communications between veterinarians and pet parents, it only makes it harder on your dog or cat. You and your vet have a shared goal of caring and comforting a beloved companion animal in a tough spot, so try to see your relationship as a partnership. Some pet parents can have difficulty expressing an unwillingness to pursue aggressive treatment. Some fear appearing callous or uncaring, while others may be embarrassed by financial constraints. It’s our job as veterinarians to provide all the relevant information, to empower you to make the right decision for your set of circumstances. The last thing you want is any friction between you and your vet, especially when a terminal condition is involved. Such a diagnosis will likely mean loads of interaction, sometimes several times per day. I mean, these are literally life-and-death decisions. There are some things to keep in mind when discussing the best course of action with your vet, in order to be the best possible advocate for your pet kid during this difficult phase of life. Questions & Second Opinions are Good Things If concerns about quality of life outweigh all other considerations, make sure your veterinarian understands that fact. The benefits and potential disadvantages of each treatment should be crystal clear to you. After the initial diagnosis, write down a list of medical care questions. Reading the blogs of other pet parents who’ve dealt with similar issues could prove helpful if you don’t know what to ask or where to begin. Hospice care is a relative newcomer to the field of veterinary medicine. In fact, some clinics may not even have a protocol for this option. Even if your vet doesn’t offer these services, they will know who does in your area. If you grow uncomfortable with the options being given to you, don’t be intimidated by, or even feel guilty about seeking a second opinion. It isn’t rude or disloyal … it’s an effective method of information gathering. Don’t Rush Decisions In a typical scenario, testing will yield a diagnosis fairly quickly. When the assessment is presented, be sure to take notes. Trust me, when bad news comes it can have a negative effect on your memory. If the prognosis is poor, but the condition is not an emergency, take all relevant info home and sleep on it for the night. For many, a dire diagnosis comes as quite a shock. Give yourself time to process the information. Many find that 24 hours to mull over and research a condition helps them have a more objective, and less emotionally charged, follow-up conversation. Palliative Care is a Valid Treatment Option Palliative care is the logical choice if the decision’s been made not to pursue restorative treatment for a likely terminal illness. It should not be viewed as giving up, it’s just another valid care option. With extra hydration, pain medication, nausea prevention, and more, it’s a way to ensure a peaceful and humane end of life. The duration is entirely dependent upon the advancement of disease. Palliative plans can last weeks, days or hours, giving people time to say their goodbyes while allowing pet kids to pass naturally and as close to pain-free as possible. Be Clear about Your Limits from the Beginning It is your veterinarian’s job to discuss all of the options available for treatment. A vet may even grade the treatments as ‘good’, ‘better’ or best’. We are trained not to make any assumptions about what measures a pet parent is willing to take. Try to have an open mind about the treatment options. For example, to many, amputation sounds like a devastating prospect. However, many pets cope quite well with the loss of a limb. Chemotherapy can be quite unpleasant for people, but some pet kids don’t experience nausea and they rarely lose their hair. If your vet proposes a treatment option that you find unacceptable, speak up! Tell them what you are willing and unwilling to do. Articulating your preferences will help veterinary care providers tailor a treatment plan according to your needs. Nothing will make it less painful, but the more we learn about end-of-life care for companion animals, the better equipped we’ll be to handle these situations....

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Author: Bree
Posted: September 30, 2014, 1:02 am
Improving Kitty Behavior Tips Video

All sorts of bad feline behavior can stem from home-environment causes. And that’s a good thing, because it’s possible to make changes fairly easily. If your kitty is displaying symptoms of a behavioral disorder – from unexpected aggression to failure to use the litter box – the solution could be as simple as making improvements to your cat’s surroundings.  Dr. Sarah, Life’s Abundance Staff Veterinarian, shares her surprisingly simple tips that you can implement at home, to help your feline feel purringly content. 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. Don’t forget to share this video with other kitty parents! Source:  Dr. Sarah, Life’s Abundance Staff Veterinarian

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Author: Bree
Posted: September 29, 2014, 5:33 pm
Bravo Recalls Select Chicken and Turkey Pet Foods

Bravo Recalls Select Chicken and Turkey Pet Foods Because of Possible Salmonella Health Risk Consumer: 866-922-9222 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 26, 2014 – (Manchester, CT) Bravo of Manchester, CT is recalling select lots of Bravo Turkey and Chicken pet foods for dogs and cats because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products. Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers. Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian. The recalled product was distributed nationwide beginning on November 14, 2013 to distributors, retail stores, internet retailers and directly to consumers. The product can be identified by the batch ID code (best used by date) printed on the side of the plastic tube. 1) These products are being recalled because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. RAW FOOD DIET BRAVO! TURKEY BLEND FOR DOGS AND CATS Product Number: 31-102 Size: 2 lb. (32 OZ) plastic tubes Best used by date: 11-05-15 UPC: 829546311025 Keep Frozen Bravo! Blends All Natural Chicken Blend diet for dogs & cats Product Number: 21-102 Size: 2 lb. (32 OZ) plastic tubes Best used by date: 08-11-16 UPC: 829546211028 Keep Frozen 2) These products are being recalled out of an abundance of caution because they were manufactured in the same manufacturing facility or on the same day as products that tested positive. Premium Turkey Formula BRAVO Balance RAW DIET Product Number: 31-405 Size: 5 lb. (80 OZ) 2.3KG plastic tubes Best used by date: 11-05-15 UPC: 829546314057 Keep Frozen Bravo! Blends All Natural Chicken Blend diet for dogs & cats Product Number: 21-105 Size: 5 lb. (80 OZ) 2.3KG plastic tubes Best used by date: 08-11-16 UPC: 829546211059 Keep Frozen The recall was initiated after routine testing by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture revealed the presence of Salmonella in two lots of product. This batch tested negative by a third party independent laboratory prior to release for distribution to consumers. No additional products affected by this recall. The company has received no reports of illness in either people or animals associated with these products to date. In addition to the voluntary recall of the above products, Bravo has chosen to voluntarily withdraw the following poultry products from the marketplace to provide its customers with the certainty of safety. Those products include all sizes (2 lb., 5 lb. and 10 lb.) of Bravo Chicken Blend(s), Bravo Turkey Blend(s), Bravo Balance Chicken Balance and Bravo Balance Premium Turkey Formula frozen raw diet products with best used by dates between June 20, 2016 and September 18, 2016. This is being done out of an abundance of caution despite no evidence of any manufacturing defect or distribution problem. None of these products are known to have tested positive for the presence of pathogens. This market withdrawal has NOT been requested by the FDA, but is being done voluntarily by Bravo. The recalled product should not be sold or fed to pets. Pet owners who have the affected product at home should dispose of this product in a safe manner (example, a securely covered trash receptacle). Customers who have purchased the recalled pet food can return to the store where purchased and submit the Product Recall Claim Form available on the Bravo website www.bravopetfoods.com for a full refund or store credit. More information on the Bravo recall can also be found at www.bravopetfoods.com, or call toll free (866) 922-9222 Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (EST). Source: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm416452.htm

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Author: Bree
Posted: September 26, 2014, 11:43 pm
Fall Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe

Believe it or not, but Fall is right around the corner, and as we already begin to mourn the end of a fun-filled summer season, a new set of cautions present themselves that we must make ourselves aware of.  We love our pets and do everything we humanly can to protect them from all sorts of dangers, so please try and remember the following Fall tips to keep your pet safe as we prepare to enter one of the most beautiful seasons of the year. Antifreeze and pets don’t mix. Your pet may be inclined to lick up this sweet tasting, but toxic chemical. Check the ground for spills after you use antifreeze, and store it safely out of reach. Use rodenticides carefully. Rodenticides lure mice and rats, but they can also attract your pet. Read directions carefully and take precautions to keep your pet safe from these chemicals. Candy is a “no-no.” Halloween candy and its wrappings can make your pet sick if ingested. Also, while jack-o-lanterns and maize are relatively non-toxic, they can upset your pet’s tummy. Human medications can be harmful. They topped the ASPCA’s list of common hazards for the past few years. Be careful—your pet can grab a bottle off a counter or eat pills dropped on the floor. If your pet does ingest poison, the ASPCA® Poison Control Center (APCC) can help at 1-888-426-4435. Keep these fall tips in mind and the phone number of the APCC handy just in case! Do you have your own Fall tip for pet safety to share with us?  Please let us know in the Comments below!

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Author: Bree
Posted: September 25, 2014, 11:04 am
Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar

The Wonders of Apple Cider Vinegar (This article is about ACV with the ‘Mother’ – NOT ACV from the supermarket used for salad dressing) “Vinegar” comes from the French “Vinaigre” – “Vin” for wine and “Aigre” for sour, therefore vinegar stands for “the wine that has gone sour.” Vinegar was accidentally discovered by French. The fermented wine was exposed to air by accident and vinegar appeared! Where does the vinegar actually come from, you ask? The sweet apple juice is allowed to age, sealed tightly away from the air. Until all the natural sugar has been converted to alcohol, mother-of-vinegar is then added to start the second fermentation. Meanwhile, it is left open to the air, and, the alcohol changes to apple cider vinegar. Amazing! Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is golden liquid concentrated with the healthy goodness of apples. It contains more than 30 important nutrients, 12 minerals, over 6 vitamins, essential acids and several enzymes. Moreover, it has a large dose of pectin for a healthy heart, and thus, healthy as a whole. ACV is cheap, easy to use and it really benefits our health in numerous ways. ACV can benefit both people and their pets. It is antibacterial and anti-fungal and gives the immune system a good boost. As a high potassium electrolyte balancer, it remineralizes the body and helps normalize the blood’s alkaline acid balance. ACV is proving most beneficial to people or animals with arthritis because it breaks down calcium deposits in the joints while remineralizing the bones. It has proven to be equally beneficial to dogs with hip dysplasia. ACV is a good remedy for food poisoning and helpful in digestive upsets. It is also effective for urinary tract infections and it lowers high blood pressure. In fact, daily use of ACV eliminates tear stains around the eyes and nose of pets with white or light-colored fur. For those on diuretics, it is helpful in replacing potassium depletion. ACV is the natural king of skin remedies. It is wonderful for itching and scratching pets as well as a superb skin and hair conditioner. Good old apple cider vinegar either straight or diluted 50/50 with water can be applied directly to the affected area and allowed to dry. It will eliminate dandruff, rejuvenate hair, skin and help sweeten and balance the pH levels in the body. When giving your pet a bath, shampoo, rinse, then apply ACV either straight or diluted, followed by rinsing with water. Notice, any residue shampoo will be washed out and you will feel and see an increased softness and sheen to the coat. It can be followed with a conditioner of your choice. Taken internally will help the body against arthritis, itching, obesity, bad odor, dry skin, joint problems, lack luster hair and weak immune system. Average dosage for a dog or person is 1/2 oz morning and 1/2 oz. evening. A cat is half that dose. Can be diluted fifty fifty with water, dripped on food. Finicky pets try tiny doses then work up to suggested amount. For centuries, people have recognized ACV’s health benefits to fight infection, promote digestion, and even in fighting osteoporosis. So when you eat that salad with the cider vinegar and oil dressing, you’re reaping large health benefits as well as good taste! Perhaps the most sought after benefit of APPLE CIDER VINEGAR is the quick, easy WEIGHT LOSS it helps promote. Since it naturally helps your body get rid of excess fluids, helps speed up a slow metabolism and helps to “curb” your appetite. An age old product has been “re-discovered” and is now being used by millions to aid them in their weight loss endeavors. This liquid is highly absorbable so it starts working on you very quickly. You will be on your way to looking and feeling younger. Enjoy! You can find ACV with the ‘Mother’ in your local health food store, many supermarkets or online, at Braggs, right here! An excellent resource for detailed information on ACV, testimonials and cures is EarthClinic, which also includes lots of information on the use of ACV with dogs, cats and horses (including us humans)!

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Author: Bree
Posted: September 22, 2014, 1:21 am
Dog Dressed as Spider

Even though it may seem early, Halloween is right around the corner. Now is the time to start working on your haunted house, take stock of how much candy you’ll need to feed trick-or-treaters, and of course, find the perfect costume for your canine friend. Halloween is also a time of pranks—terrifying, scare-the-living-life out of you pranks. And YouTube user SA Wardega is a master at scaring people silly. Normally, when people dress up their dogs for the October holiday, it’s for laughs. There are cowboy costumes, Star Wars costumes, and even food-inspired costumes. But SA Wardega decided to dress up his dog as a GIANT FURRY SPIDER and let the dog loose on some unsuspecting humans. The result is one of the most devilish tricks we’ve seen to date—because at first glance, the spider costume is pretty convincing. The medium-sized black dog really manages to look like a huge, hairy, mutant arachnid that crawled directly out of your worst nightmare. The dog runs after people in parks, surprises ladies waiting for an elevator, jumps out at a man who is opening the door to a building and manages to make a subway rider run for his life. You have to see it to believe it, folks. Chica the DogSpider now has a Facebook page, and we have a feeling that she’ll be getting a lot of love online during this spooky season. Prepare to be terrified. Courtesy of pet360.com

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Author: Bree
Posted: September 19, 2014, 12:31 pm
Five Ways to Help End the Pet Abandonment Crisis

As uncertainty about the economy lingers, the pace of pet abandonment is on the rise. Largely attributable to the collapse of the housing market in 2007, the effects of which continue to ripple through our economy, nearly every state has seen a dramatic increase in the number of homeless animals. During this short time frame, tens of thousands of companion animals have been surrendered to rescue organizations, or worse, simply abandoned, left to fend for themselves. You’ve probably read some of the heartrending stories: dogs left behind, locked in foreclosed homes; a box of kittens dumped in a community park; and families facing homelessness themselves surrendering to a shelter all of their pets in a moment of heartbreak. The problem is so severe that some shelters have exhausted their resources and are forced to refuse new intakes. As a society of pet lovers, this represents an unprecedented situation in most of our lifetimes. Now, more than ever, homeless pets need our help. Many of us want to provide assistance, but don’t know the best way to make a difference. Fortunately, there are five ways to reach out and make a difference to pets in need. 1. Volunteer at a shelter Brimming with new admittances, many shelters urgently need “boots on the ground”. Volunteers are needed to walk dogs, play with kittens and greet potential adopters, as well as handle routine feeding and cleaning tasks. In some cases, you may be able to offer assistance based upon your unique skillset. If you have a knack for organization, your talents could help streamline anything from file systems to fundraising appeals. Even if you only volunteer for only a couple of hours per week, you will still be providing invaluable help. 2. Donate money Unfortunately, growing shelter populations are not the only crisis shelters and animal rescues are experiencing. Organizations of all sizes are struggling with finances, as personal and corporate donations have dropped off a cliff. As you might expect, this lack of funding affects every aspect of a shelter’s operations, including staffing, facility maintenance, veterinary care, food and medical supplies. Any amount you can spare will be welcomed by your local shelters. Don’t fall prey to the misconception that small donations don’t make a difference. Even $5 or $10 can provide several meals for a pet in need. 3. Donate goods If you prefer to donate physical items rather than cash, please consider donating items like food, treats, blankets or toys. In most cases, these items are sorely needed and gratefully accepted at most animal rescue organizations. Be sure to contact your local shelter to learn their specific needs prior to deciding what you’ll give. If you can’t afford to give new items, consider doing some “Fall cleaning” … because old towels dry just as well as new ones! Just like with financial donations, the gift of goods is tax deductible; just be sure to confirm that the organization you choose has non-profit status. 4. Foster a homeless pet Fostering a pet is a great option if you’re not ready to commit to a long-term relationship with a companion animal. As a temporary adopter, you will not only provide a loving and healthy environment for a pet in need, but you will also free up valuable space and resources at rescue facilities. Be aware that many of these animals are coming from difficult circumstances and may require a good deal of patience and understanding on your part. To get more information, speak with your local rescues, veterinary schools or humane societies about foster programs in your area. 5. Adopt a pet Lastly, the boldest and most dramatic step you can take also offers the greatest rewards. Perhaps the best way to combat pet homelessness is by opening your home to an abandoned pup or kitty. Many shelters maintain an online presence where you can review photos and descriptions of the companion animals that are available for adoption. Even if they receive outstanding care during their stay, shelter animals experience high levels of stress, which can lead to minor illnesses (like colds). With time, love and good nutrition, these conditions usually quickly abate. If you adopt, remember to be realistic about your expectations with the pet and invest time early on acclimating your new family member to their new environment. If you have ever considered adopting a companion animal in need, the time to act is now. If your circumstances prevent you from taking part in any of these solutions, please keep in mind that simply by purchasing Life’s Abundance products you’ll be making a positive difference. Every order that you place results in a contribution to our foundation, which in turn awards financial grants to small rescues across the country. No matter how you choose to help during this crisis, you will have my eternal thanks, and the thanks of the entire Life’s Abundance staff. Together, we truly can make our world a better place. Article courtesy of Dr. Jane Bicks

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Author: Bree
Posted: September 17, 2014, 4:03 pm
Health Benefits of Pet Ownership

Owning Pets Can Make You Healthier It’s no surprise to many pet owners that pets make us happy, but did you know they can also make us healthy? There are a lot of emotional and physical benefits to owning pets, and recent studies show that there are probably more physical benefits than a lot of pet owners know of. The American Heart Association has linked pet ownership, especially dogs, with a reduced risk for heart disease and greater longevity. Here are some other benefits of being a pet owner: Pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets. People with pets have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without pets. Playing with a pet can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax. Pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels (indicators of heart disease) than those without pets. Heart attack patients with pets survive longer than those without. Pet owners over age 65 make 30 percent fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets. While people with dogs often experience the greatest health benefits, a pet doesn’t necessarily have to be a dog or a cat. Even watching fish in an aquarium can help reduce muscle tension and lower pulse rate. Despite all of the benefits of being a pet owner, don’t just run out and buy any pet. Make sure that the pet you buy or adopt fits your lifestyle. Consider the following before bringing a pet into your home: Are there children in the household? How about elder adults? How active are you? Do you plan on running/walking your pet frequently or will the pet spend a lot of time indoors? Do you currently have other pets in the household? Do you have a large or small backyard – or any backyard at all? Do you have the time to commit to potty training? Source: http://www.thepetwellnessclinic.com/articles.php

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Author: Bree
Posted: September 14, 2014, 11:47 am
Liver Treats for Dogs

Now that temps seem to be dropping in many areas of the country, what a perfect time of the year to begin using your oven to bake home-made liver treats for your pets.  This recipe is so simple, and will keep your baby coming back for more! 1 lb chicken livers 1 cup flour 1 cup corn meal 1 Tablespoon garlic powder 1 Egg Place chicken livers and liquid in blender, liquify. Add egg, mix a minute more. Pour into bowl. Add flour, corn meal and garlic powder. Mix. Spray jelly roll pan with Pam. Pour mixture into pan. Bake 15 minutes in 400 degree hot oven. Cut into small squares while still warm. Keep in freezer to prevent spoilage. Can also be fed frozen for a great treat on a hot summer day!

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Author: Bree
Posted: September 10, 2014, 9:03 am
Dog Eats Socks

Yeah, it sounds like an urban legend, but when you see the evidence — a photo and series of X-rays — you not only know it’s true, but, in a funny way, you have to admire the damn dog. Nearly 44 socks? Imagine eating, say, five large pizzas in one sitting and you get some idea of what the Great Dane must of have been experiencing when his owners hauled him into Northwest Portland’s the DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital. The symptoms? Repeatedly vomiting and retching. Oh, and not eating. So they checked him in, filled out all the paperwork and Dr. Ashley Magee took the dog to a back room for X-rays. She found what was described as “a lot of foreign material in his stomach,” said Shawna Harch, the hospital’s communications specialist. Whatever was in the dog’s stomach couldn’t be digested, and that meant surgery. So then Magee put the dog under the knife. During the nearly two-hour surgery, she must have thought she was working in a department store as she pulled out sock after sock after sock. In the end, Magee removed 43 1/2 socks. That 1/2 sock remains a mystery. Look at that photo again — and is it only me, or do those socks look like something laid out on a barbeque grill? You have to ponder what that mutt — he was only 3 — was up to that day last February. The guys in the hotdog eating contests have nothing on this dog — yes, the pun was intentional. By the time the dog was stitched up and sent home, details of the case were making the rounds at the hospital. Can you believe it? No one could. Harch said it’s perhaps the strangest case in hospital history, and certainly the record set for the most socks eaten. The owners, she said, were unavailable for comment, and she couldn’t release their names. But I can imagine the conversation in their home the day they realized something was going on. “Say, where are all the socks?” “No idea. Did you check the washing machine?” They look at the dog. Tail wag. Innocent look. Dog lies on the floor, but that gaze is really contemplation of a dress sock in the corner. It will be a nice after-dinner treat. Earlier this year, DoveLewis officials learned of a contest sponsored by Veterinary Practice News, a magazine for vets. The publication announced a contest — ongoing for nearly a decade — “They Ate WHAT?” Vets were asked to submit an X-ray along with case details. And, of course, DoveLewis knew what to submit. They learned they came in second place and won $500. The money will be placed in a fund to help low-income people pay for vet bills. As for the Great Dane? Apparently still kicking, Harch said. Hey, Gold Toe socks, I got your next spokesman for you. –Tom Hallman Jr. Courtesy:  OregonLive, Portland

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Author: Bree
Posted: September 4, 2014, 8:10 am
How to Stop Pawing Behavior Video

If you have a canine living in your home, it’s very likely that you’ve experienced an excited dog pawing to get your attention. Dogs paw to communicate, but their claws can cause severe skin injuries and, depending on the size of the dog, this behavior can even knock you off balance. 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 episode with other pet parents!   Courtesy of Dr. Sarah, Life’s Abundance Staff Veterinarian  

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Author: Bree
Posted: September 1, 2014, 8:40 pm
Common Pet Dangers

Keeping your companion animal out of harm’s way isn’t always easy or obvious for that matter. There may be dangers lurking in your home right now. But there’s no need to worry because our good doctor is here to help. In this post, Dr. Jane reveals a list of common pet perils and provides some steps you can take if you think your pet has been poisoned. What do you think are the most common pet poisonings? Rat poison? Insecticides? The Pet Poison Hotline publishes a list of most common poisonings reported in dogs and cats – many of these items are non-toxic to humans but can be deadly to fur babies. In this month’s post, we’ll be taking a look at some of the common pet dangers lurking in your home and how to best to protect your pet kids. Chocolate: Dark equals dangerous! For dogs, chocolate toxicity can lead to seizures, vomiting, diarrhea and coma. In extreme dosages, chocolate poisoning can even prove fatal. Baking chocolate and dark chocolate are the most deadly. Xylitol: This common sugar substitute is found in sugar-free gums, candies and many other foods. What many don’t know is that it’s not uncommon in some medications and nasal sprays. Xylitol is toxic to dogs, not cats, and can cause low blood sugar and liver failure. Over-the-counter medications: Ibuprofen, naproxen and acetaminophen cause gastric ulcers in both dogs and cats. Acetaminophen can even lead to anemia in cats. Cough and cold medications that contain phenylephrine, pseudoephedrine or acetaminophen are also dangerous, as these medications are often formulated in tasty liquids pet kids find irresistible. Never give these medications to your fur kids. Keep them in a high cabinet, well out of reach of pets. Prescription drugs: ADD and ADHD medications can cause tremors, seizures, heart problems and even death in companion animals. Felines are highly sensitive to antidepressant medications. Cymbalta and Effexor, among others, can cause severe neurological and heart problems. Rodenticides: Rat poison is just as deadly for dogs as it is for rodents. To make matters worse, dogs love the flavor of the bait. These toxic substances cause fatal internal bleeding and brain swelling. Grapes or Raisins: While harmless to humans, grapes and raisins contain a substance that can lead to canine kidney failure. The exact source of the problem remains a mystery to veterinary experts. Oxygen Absorbers: You know those little freshness packets in jerky treats? That’s an oxygen absorber, included to keep foods and treats fresh. Oftentimes, they contain iron, which can be poisonous to pets. Whatever you do, don’t let your fur kids ingest these little packets! Flea products for dogs are toxic to cats! These products often contain pyrethrins, which can cause feline seizures and tremors. If it says ‘for canine use only’, take that warning to heart! Household Plants: Lilies are the number one source of toxicity reported in cats. These beautiful house plants cause kitty kidney failure. A good rule of thumb … if you have a cat, don’t keep lilies in your house (or your yard, for that matter). Lilies aren’t the only plants with the potential for harm – philodendrons and pothos can cause oral ulcers and foaming at the mouth. What to do if your companion animal is poisoned … 1. Take a deep breath and try to remain calm. 2. Remove your companion animal from the area where the poisoning occurred. 3. Make sure your pet kid is breathing and behaving normally. If not, go immediately to the emergency clinic. 4. Contain the poisonous material, preventing additional exposure. Obtain a sample of the questionable material, store in a plastic baggy for preservation and ease of transport. The more evidence you can supply your veterinarian, the more easily they’ll be able to diagnose the problem, and solution. 5. Don’t just hope things will improve on their own … go to a vet for immediate assistance. Call your vet’s office for guidance prior to your visit, or contact the 24-hour Pet Poison Hotline at 800-213-6680 ($35 fee). Make sure to save these numbers on your phone now, so you won’t have to scramble for the numbers later. Do not induce vomiting without the advice of a veterinarian and never give your pet oil, milk, food, salt or anything orally without talking to a veterinarian first. The prognoses for poisoning are better the sooner it’s reported, so never hesitate to get help as soon as possible. There is a narrow window of time to neutralize most poisons. Immediate treatment could save your pet’s life! Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place for companion animals. Dr. Jane Bicks, DVM, Life’s Abundance Pet Products Formulator

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Author: Bree
Posted: August 29, 2014, 10:59 pm
Unapproved Pet Tear Stain Removers Warning

FDA Issues Warning Letters for Unapproved Tear Stain Removers Used in Dogs and Cats August 29, 2014 The 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. Additional Information Unapproved Animal Drugs Blanc du Blanc, Inc. Warning Letter I’m a Little Teacup Warning Letter Petaware Warning Letter Contact FDA 240-276-9300 240-276-9115 FAX Issued by: FDA, Center for Veterinary Medicine Communications Staff, HFV-12 7519 Standish Place Rockville, MD 20855

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Author: Bree
Posted: August 29, 2014, 6:43 pm
Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition Dog Food Recall

Pedigree Recall | Adult Complete Nutrition for Dogs FRANKLIN, Tenn., Aug. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Mars Petcare US announced a voluntary recall of 22 bags of PEDIGREE® Adult Complete Nutrition dry dog food products due to the possible presence of a foreign material.  The bags were produced in one manufacturing facility, and shipped to one retail customer.  The facility production line has been shut down until this issue is resolved. Affected bags, which were sold between August 18 and August 25 in 12 Dollar General stores* in Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana, may contain small metal fragments, which could have entered the packages during the production process. The foreign material is not embedded in the food itself, but may present a risk of injury if consumed.  We encourage consumers who have purchased affected product to discard the food or return it to the retailer for a full refund or exchange. We have not received any reports of injury or illness associated with the affected product. The lot codes indicated below should not be sold or consumed. Mars Petcare US is working with Dollar General to ensure that the recalled products are no longer sold and are removed from inventory. Recalled Pet Food Only 15-pound bags of PEDIGREE® Adult Complete Nutrition dry dog food sold at Dollar General in Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana with the production code shown below are included in this voluntary recall.  Each product will have a lot code printed on the back of the bag near the UPC code that reads 432C1KKM03 and a Best Before date of 8/5/15.  No other PEDIGREE® products are affected, including any other variety of dry dog food, wet dog food or dog treats. UPC DESCRIPTION 432C1KKM03 PEDIGREE® Brand Adult Complete Nutrition dry dog food in 15 pound bags At Mars Petcare US, we take our responsibility to pets and their owners seriously.  We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused by this recall. Pet owners who have questions about the recall should call 1-800-305-5206 or visit www.pedigree.com/update. *Affected product would only have been sold in Dollar General Stores in these cities: Arkansas: Perryville Cabot Louisiana: Baton Rouge Calhoun Hineston Jonesville Pineville Slaughter Mississippi: Magnolia Vicksburg Tennessee: Memphis “At Mars Petcare, we take our responsibility to pets and their owners seriously. We sincerely apologize for this situation and encourage you to reach out to us at 1-800-305-5206 from 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. CST if you have questions.” SOURCE:  Mars Petcare US & Pedigree

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Author: Bree
Posted: August 26, 2014, 11:51 pm
Pet Disaster Survival Kit

Prepare for the unexpected; don’t let an emergency catch you off-guard! Emergencies come in many forms, and they may require anything from a brief absence from your home to permanent evacuation. Each type of disaster requires different measures to keep your pets safe. The best thing you can do for yourself and your pets is to be prepared. Step 1   Get a Rescue Alert Sticker This easy-to-use sticker will let people know that pets are inside your home. Make sure it is visible to rescue workers, and that it includes 1) the types and number of pets in your household; 2) the name of your veterinarian; and 3) your veterinarian’s phone number. If you must evacuate with your pets, and if time allows, write “EVACUATED” across the stickers. To get a free emergency pet alert sticker for your home, please fill out our online order form ; please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery. Your local pet supply store may also sell similar stickers. Step 2   Arrange a Safe Haven Arrange a safe haven for your pets in the event of evacuation. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND. Remember, if it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pets. They may become trapped or escape and be exposed to numerous life-threatening hazards. Note that not all Red Cross disaster shelters accept pets, so it is imperative that you have determined where you will bring your pets ahead of time: * Contact your veterinarian for a list of preferred boarding kennels and facilities. * Ask your local animal shelter if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets. * Identify hotels or motels outside of your immediate area that accept pets. * Ask friends and relatives outside your immediate area if they would be willing to take in your pet.     Step 3   Emergency Supplies and Traveling Kits Keep an Evac-Pack and supplies handy for your pets. Make sure that everyone in the family knows where it is. This kit should be clearly labeled and easy to carry. Items to consider keeping in or near your pack include: * Pet first-aid kit and guide book (ask your vet what to include, or visit the ASPCA Store to buy one online) * 3-7 days’ worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food (be sure to rotate every two months) * Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans are perfect) * Litter or paper toweling * Liquid dish soap and disinfectant * Disposable garbage bags for clean-up * Pet feeding dishes * Extra collar or harness as well as an extra leash * Photocopies of medical records and a waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires (Remember, food and medications need to be rotated out of your emergency kit—otherwise they may go bad or become useless.) * Bottled water, at least 7 days’ worth for each person and pet (store in a cool, dry place and replace every two months) * A traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet * Flashlight * Blanket (for scooping up a fearful pet) * Recent photos of your pets (in case you are separated and need to make “Lost” posters) * Especially for cats: Pillowcase or EvackSack, toys, scoopable litter * Especially for dogs: Extra leash, toys and chew toys, a week’s worth of cage liner. You should also have an emergency kit for the human members of the family. Items to include: Batteries, duct tape, flashlight, radio, multi-tool, tarp, rope, permanent marker, spray paint, baby wipes, protective clothing and footwear, extra cash, rescue whistle, important phone numbers, extra medication and copies of medical and insurance information. Step 4   Choose “Designated Caregivers” This step will take considerable time and thought. When choosing a temporary caregiver, consider someone who lives close to your residence. He or she should be someone who is generally home during the day while you are at work or has easy access to your home. A set of keys should be given to this trusted individual. This may work well with neighbors who have pets of their own—you may even swap responsibilities, depending upon who has accessibility. When selecting a permanent caregiver, you’ll need to consider other criteria. This is a person to whom you are entrusting the care of your pet in the event that something should happen to you. When selecting this “foster parent,” consider people who have met your pet and have successfully cared for animals in the past. Be sure to discuss your expectations at length with a permanent caregiver, so he or she understands the responsibility of caring for your pet. Step 5  Evacuation Preparation If you must evacuate your home in a crisis, plan for the worst-case scenario. If you think you may be gone for only a day, assume that you may not be allowed to return for several weeks. When recommendations for evacuation have been announced, follow the instructions of local and state officials. To minimize evacuation time, take these simple steps: * Store an emergency kit and leashes as close to an exit as possible. * Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification. Your pet’s ID tag should contain his name, telephone number, and any urgent medical needs. Be sure to write your pet’s name, your name and contact information on your pet’s carrier. * The ASPCA recommends microchipping your pet as a more permanent form of identification. A microchip is implanted in the animal’s shoulder area, and can be read by scanner at most animal shelters. * Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pets can become disoriented and wander away from home during a crisis. * Consider your evacuation route and call ahead to make arrangements for boarding your pet outside of the danger zone at the first sign of disaster. Step 6  Geographic and Climatic Considerations Do you live in an area that is prone to certain natural catastrophes,...

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Author: Bree
Posted: August 22, 2014, 2:18 pm
Recalled Pet Food - Here's What you Need to do

Every now and again, though it seems to be happening more often these days, we hear about a food recall, maybe even a food or brand you feed to your family. Food safety is left in the hands of food producers, whether organic or conventional, vegetables or animal products, consumers trust that the safety policies in place will protect them. With the growing demand for food worldwide, it makes you wonder if food manufacturers are skipping steps or cutting corners just to answer the constant need of human food consumption. Food recalls can be a voluntary move by a manufacturer or company if they suspect their food product has been contaminated and poses serious health risks–or can even cause death. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can also order recalls. But have you ever thought about the possibly of your pet’s food being recalled? Like people food, store-bought pet food and treats have the same potential to end up on a recall list, except in these cases, companies do not always go above and beyond to let consumers know. As loving animal guardians, you always do you best to protect your fur babies from dangers inside and outside your home — if it’s not on your mind already, start protecting them now from pet food dangers. Hear About a Recall, Check What You Have On one hand, you probably know the brand of pet food you buy. What you might not know is the type or variety of food, package size and lot number — information needed in order to identify if you possess a recalled product. Call the manufacturer to check if your pet’s current food is one that is on their recalled list to compare the recall info with the product you have. Stop Feeding a Recalled Food Immediately, Get a New One So you discovered you have a recalled pet food. Stop feeding your pet the food immediately and go get new food. It’s best to gradually introduce a new food over a few days, but in the case of a recall, you must take a different approach. It is recommended to find a similar pet food, one that is easily digestible: then, since you will not be mixing with the old (recalled) food, give your dog or cat smaller portions for a few days until their system starts properly regulating the new food. If you are not comfortable cutting the portion size down so suddenly, you can mix the new food with small amounts of thoroughly cooked rice and beans and fresh pet safe fruits and vegetables. Observe and Examine for Signs of Illness While the signs can vary based on the reason for a recall, once you know you have a recalled pet food, immediately check pets for unusual symptoms. Signs that your pet has been poisoned, be it by a food, a toxin or household item, can result in similar symptoms ranging from vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, discolored urine, difficulty moving or breathing, and organ failure. Make an appointment with the vet if needed or if you are unsure. Click here to learn more about how to spot if your pet has been poisoned. Contact the Pet Food Manufacturer, Keep Records Should your pet become sick or die from ingesting a recalled food, contact the manufacture about what has happened, then consider filing an online report with the FDA . Make sure to take good notes, pictures, keep a sample of the recalled food, and save all vet records. Take Precautionary Steps If you’re already a watcher of your own health, then you likely follow your favorite food brands or health blogs online and on social media. This is not only a great way to stay up to date on the latest news, but they are also good channels to receive recall notices and warnings about possible food caused illnesses. Do the same for your pets! Follow the brands and stores on social media, subscribe to blogs dedicated to pet food topics, and periodically check company websites. For recall postings and to search all sorts of product recalls for humans and pets, bookmark this site and check out the site’s option to sign up for automatic alerts. Even if you make your pet’s food at home or you get it from an independent holistic or organic company, you still need to be aware of the individual ingredients used in a homemade food or treats in case an ingredient is recalled. Source:  OnePlanetGreen

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Author: Bree
Posted: August 12, 2014, 1:51 pm
Repel Ticks With This Natural Oil

(NaturalNews) With summer in full bloom and more and more cases of Lyme disease being reported, many are searching for ways to repel ticks without having to resort to harsh chemicals. Luckily, there is one sweet-smelling alternative that is proving to be quite powerful in the fight against this growing concern. It’s summer and time to experience the great outdoors, yet many are opting out in order to avoid the feared tick bite that could possibly lead to a host of health challenges. The good news is that something as simple and natural as rose geranium essential oil has been found to help ward off those pesky little parasites. Ticks operate mostly by using their sense of smell. Ticks don’t jump or fall from trees; instead, they do something called “questing.” That is, they climb to the top of a blade of grass or plant and stick their front legs up in the air, waiting for the scent of a victim to walk by. If you find one on your head, then it crawled there. Their front pair of legs have what are called Haller’s organs, which detect smell, temperature, movement and carbon dioxide. This is how they know that you are coming. And since it is well known that they like warmth and moisture, they are waiting for a warm, moist environment to call their home. The best part about this is that, for some reason, they are not attracted to the scent of rose geranium essential oil. There are two varieties of rose geranium oil. In order to get the most bang for your buck in repelling ticks, you want to find the one with the botanical name Pelargonium capitatum x radens. The more popular rose geranium oil under the name Pelargonium graveolens is from the same family, but not the same species. continue reading  >> Young Living produces the second of the two geranium oils (Pelargonium graveolens) mentioned in this article, as well as the other essential oils.   We believe Young Living oils are MUCH more effective than what many people experience in general with essential oils that are not seed-to-seal as Young Living is. We recommend Young Living Essential Oils due to their high quality and purity! To learn how Essential Oils can benefit your pets, click here.  Learn how to order Young Living essential oils and products at 24% discount order Young Living essentials oils at 24% discount.   To order via telephone, call 800-371-2928 and please use the referral number 827420.

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Author: Bree
Posted: August 9, 2014, 8:47 pm
Holistic Veterinarian

It is very common for pet owners to use both holistic veterinarians (for natural healing and natural health), as well as their regular conventional vet (for routine exams). This is not being disloyal to your regular vet, and most vets will work with each other too, to give your pet (and you) the best of both ‘worlds’! Most times, you can find one in your Yellow Pages or simply by searching the internet for one in your local area.  Sometimes the results are not accurate and none are listed.  The best resource I’ve found to find a holistic vet in my local area is by using the AHVMA Referral Directory here.   AHVMA is the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association.  This is where I found my holistic vet, who just happens to be 15 minutes away from my home…and she wasn’t even listed in my phone book!

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Author: Bree
Posted: August 6, 2014, 12:39 am
Stolen Great Danes

Stolen from a trainer’s home in Homestead/Miami FL area on July 20, 2014, a very large reward in the amount of $20,000 will be given for any information leading to the recovery of 4 stolen Great Dane pups. Correspondence from one of the owners to NBC News: “Dear NBC News, Last Sunday July 20, 4 Great Danes puppies (2 of which were mine) were stolen from my trainer’s home in Homestead/Miami FL area~ While the police have been notified, they have not been extremely helpful. The best chance we have of finding our puppies is to do what we have been doing all week which is to get the word out as well as the photos of our stolen babies. We have gotten coverage from the news stations in Miami including WPLG Local 10, CBS Miami Channel 4, and NBC Miami Channel 6. This media coverage along with tens and tens of thousands of shares on Facebook were a huge help in getting our story out, however, today, Monday July 28, now 8 days after the puppies were stolen, it seems to have died down. It is my sincere hope that you could please help our story go out nationwide. We honestly believe that the thieves who have our babies intend to sell them as soon as the “buzz” dies down. On behalf of myself, and the other owners of the dogs who were stolen, Elena Ledon Bustillo, Elyades Betancourt, and Sid & Cyndi Calk, we will not rest until our babies are home with us…. We will NEVER let the “buzz” die down. If you have any questions or are able to help at all, please feel free to contact me, Kathleen 239-209-8052 or email fendanegreatdanes@hotmail.com With sincere thanks,” Additional Information and Photos from Craigslist: All 4 puppies are microchipped and the micro-chip company has been notified. All vets, clinics, shelters have received STOLEN POSTERS of the 4 Dane Puppies. 2 are fawns (solid tan color with dark black faces)~ 1 male 1 female 2 are harlequins(white with black patches)~1 male 1 female   Post by PreciousPets. Let’s get the buzz going again!  Please share this with as many people as you can to help these heartbroken owners get their babies back home again ASAP!

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Author: Bree
Posted: July 29, 2014, 8:16 pm
Lyme Disease - An Emerging Problem

The call of the Great Outdoors … it’s hard to resist in the summer months, especially for dogs craving a bit of adventure. However, this year, many pet parents are concerned about the prevalence of Lyme disease, as well as its symptoms like joint pain. How can you protect your canine from this illness that’s on the rise in the U.S.? Our pet product formulator, Dr. Jane Bicks, brings you all the details about the recent outbreak, including steps you can take to keep your pet kids safe this summer. Read the latest from Dr. Jane now …

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Author: Bree
Posted: July 28, 2014, 1:36 pm
Should You Shave Your Pet?

Nearly everywhere in America, this summer is a scorcher, and we know that as a responsible pet parent, you want to do everything you can to keep your best four-legged friends cool. So when you look at your Pomeranian, Golden Retriever or long-haired cat wearing a thick, fluffy coat, you might feel tempted to break out your grooming tools and give him a serious hair cut. But hold those clippers! While you or I would hate to sport a fur coat in 100-degree weather, your pets’ fur coats are actually providing them with heat relief. “A dog’s coat is kind of like insulation for your house,” explains Dr. Louise Murray, Vice President of the ASPCA Animal Hospital. “Insulation stops your home from getting too cold in winter, but it also keeps it from overheating in summer—and your dog’s coat does the same thing.” Dogs’ coats have several layers, and these layers are essential to your dog’s comfort in the heat. Robbing your dog of this natural cooling system can lead to discomfort and overheating. And keeping your dog cool isn’t the only reason to leave his coat intact, Dr. Murray warns. Your dog’s coat prevents your pup from getting sunburn and helps protect her from skin cancer. So what can you do? “It’s OK to trim your long-haired dog’s long hair, such as any hair that hangs down on his legs,” Dr. Murray says. Just never attempt to clip mats off your pet’s coat with scissors, Dr. Murray adds. And if you’ve got a long-haired kitty, leave her coat intact. Instead, brush her a little more frequently during the hot summer months. To protect your pet from sunburn and skin cancer, save longer walks for evenings, and consider applying pet-specific sun block to thinly covered areas like the bridge of your dog’s nose, the tips of his ears and his belly, Dr. Murray suggests, noting that pets with thin coats, as well as those with white or light-colored coats, are especially at risk for sun damage. Of course, pet parents should remember to keep pets inside with plenty of water during hot days—hydration is key! Source:  ASPCA  

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Author: Bree
Posted: July 24, 2014, 2:18 pm
Dog in Back of Car

Dog-Friendly Travel: Road Trip Checklist Article courtesy of PetAlive Since summer has arrived, what better time than now to hit the open road with one of your favorite companions? However, preparing your 4-legged friend for a 4-wheel road trip adventure is a must to ensure that his health and well-being stay intact along the way. 1. Make sure your dog is comfortable in the car. For safety, many experts recommend purchasing a dog harness/seat belt or carrier. Several weeks before your departure, take your dog on a few short, local rides and get him accustomed to riding. This will also give you a chance to see if he has any tendencies to get anxious or carsick. 2. Practice bathroom breaks. Some dogs are only able to have bowel movements in familiar territory. Consider if the areas you’ll be stopping at will have adequate grassy areas, and if you need to help train your dog to go to the bathroom in different environments. While still at home, give your pet a few weeks to get adapted to a potty cue phrase, and offer a reward afterwards for reinforcement. 3. Plan your lodging itinerary. Not all hotels are dog-friendly, so make sure you check and confirm by phone before you book. For recommendations, check out this blog post. 4. Keep your pet to a schedule. As much as possible, keep your pet on the same bathroom and feeding schedule as he would have at home to minimize the chance for any accidents or digestive upset. 5. Exercise your pet. In addition to potty breaks, give your pet ample time to go for a long walk, run around and relax.  Packing along a favorite toy can help keep him entertained while he’s cooped up in the car until you reach your next break spot. 6. Keep your dog’s head in the car. While most dogs love the feel of the breeze on their face, this can not only be dangerous, but can also be harmful to the eyes. Excessive wind can lead to dry eyes and road debris can lead to scratches and irritation. 7. Watch out for wooded/grassy areas. While your pet may be excited to roam, be aware of possible ticks, snakes and other dangers. Keep your pet on a tight leash and check him thoroughly after a hike. Make sure vaccinations are current.  If you do find a tick, prompt and correct removal is of the utmost importance to your pet…to you too!  Here are some tips on how NOT to remove a tick! 8. Pack the essentials. Before your trip, make sure you have all your pet’s medicines and natural remedies on hand. Check your pet’s collar and tag to be sure it’s secure and up-to-date. Pack an extra leash, plenty of bottled water, feeding bowls, food and bags for waste pickup. EasyTravel Solution™ — Homeopathic remedy to relieve motion sickness for balanced digestion and calm, happy cats and dogs during travel.  

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Author: Bree
Posted: July 20, 2014, 10:33 pm
Grains in Pet Food

In all my years of learning as much as I can about pet food ingredients, I find it very disheartening that so many pet parents are dead set against feeding grains to their pets.  Who started this anyway?  Where does this come from?  What I really find disturbing is the pet food manufacturers are giving in to this ‘fear of grains’ and are appropriately manufacturing new pet food formulas promoting grain-free, just to keep the money rolling in.  Well, this is my opinion, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. Did you know that grains are actually healthy?  They’re loaded with protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and more.  So tell me, when was the last time you saw a wolf in the wild, after a fresh kill, pull out the contents of their prey’s digestive tract and toss it all aside?  Well maybe not recently, but you will notice that the stomach contents is one of the first items on their menu. So, since it’s all in the timing, and this information just shared with me by Jay P. Margedant, President of Flint River Ranch couldn’t have been timed better, I want to share with you and any other interested pet parents, the valuable nutrition our pets receive from a vast majority of grains, and then get the reaction from all you ‘Say No to Grain’ers”! “We hear from people who have questions about pet products and what they feed to their pets. Some are wondering if a grain-free diet better than one that contains some grains. Truly, there is not one type of diet that is best for every dog and cat in the world. All pets have different metabolism & nutritional needs and results vary depending on their individual metabolism and the nutrition that is presented. Flint River Ranch has always advocated adjusting your pets diet to meet their nutritional needs. Some pets may do well on a grain-free kibble while others find success with formulas that have healthy grains or a unique carbohydrate mix.   It is important to remember that what holds dry kibble together when it’s cooked (or baked as in the case of Flint River Ranch products!) is its carbohydrate source.  All dry kibbles need a carbohydrate to bind the ingredients together. “Grain-free” does not mean carbohydrate-free. Carbohydrates can be from a grain source like potatoes, conventional grains, tapioca or non-cereal grains. Here are some of the popular carbohydrates used in making dry kibble for dogs and cats: • Brown Rice: Complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) is fairly easy to digest. Brown Rice is a source of fiber and contains magnesium, 4 different B-Vitamins, calcium, iron, protein and zinc. • Oatmeal: Naturally rich in soluble and insoluble fiber, B-vitamins, Vitamin E, Zinc, Selenium, Copper, iron, protein, calcium, Manganese and Magnesium and is considered gluten free. • Millet: A grass seed, not a grain.  Gluten Free, high in fiber and protein, B-complex vitamins, calcium, zinc, iron Vitamin E, and contains essential amino acids (18 amino acids!). • Potato: Quick to digest, gluten-free, Vitamin C, B-complex, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. • Sweet Potato: Easy to digest, gluten-free, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, and carotenoids (antioxidants) • Peas: Gluten-free, Vitamin-B complex, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Calcium, Iron, Copper, Zinc, Protein and Manganese. • Tapioca: Fiber source, gluten free, calcium, phosphorous, potassium, iron, B-vitamins, and Magnesium. Gluten free. • Quinoa: Seed from a vegetable plant related to spinach and beets, not considered a grain: High in protein & fiber, gluten free, Vitamin B-complex, complex carbohydrate • Whole Wheat: Good source of fiber, easy to digest, contains protein, calcium, Vitamins B6, E & K, manganese, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, selenium and copper. • Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans): Contain protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and Vitamins A, E, K & C.Rich in B Vitamins. Gluten free. • Lentils: Contain protein, Vitamins B, C, E, K, phosphorus, potassium, copper, selenium, calcium, iron and manganese. Gluten free.   The nutritional benefits of the ingredients above are not 100% complete; there are other trace minerals and vitamins in the ingredients used to make various formulas. Some of these ingredients listed are gluten free, others are not.  My point is to show you that there are nutritional benefits to all of the carbohydrate sources used to make dry kibble. Additionally, foods with carbohydrates that break down quickly during digestion and release glucose rapidly into the bloodstream have a high Glycemic Index. Foods with carbohydrates that break down more slowly release glucose more gradually into the bloodstream and have a low Glycemic Index. The slower carbohydrates are broken down, the more likely it is the body will use up the glucose, rather than store it as fat. (lesson for us all!)  Additionally, complex carbohydrates that break down slower allow time for the body to readily absorb valuable nutrients.     Flint River Ranch provides different formulas for flavor variety and to assist with the various nutritional needs of your pets. If your dog doesn’t have an issue with grains, then find the best formula your pet does well on; they may do great on our Original Canine Kibble and/or our Lamb & Millet formula. It may be that they do well on our limited grain formulas; we present our Trout & Potato and Duck & Oatmeal for you to try. (Yes, we do use oats, but oats are free of the antigens and used when the body has an allergic outbreak.  There are no other commercial grains in these formulas.)   And remember, it is not always just “ingredients” that are the key to a healthy formula. Superior nutrition also has to do with the delivery method of all ingredients & nutrients. We use a superior oven-baking process that others don’t. This makes an even better, more nutritionally dense formula if given the same ingredients. I’ll always bet on our slow oven-baking process over the quick-steamed, extruded products any day!...

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Author: Bree
Posted: July 16, 2014, 4:46 pm
Veterinarian Medicine

Veterinarian Medicine and Essential Oils Essential oils have been used very successfully on many different kinds of animals from tiny kittens to 2,000 lb. Draft horses. Animals respond to essential oils similarly to humans. Animals are not as sensitive to the phenol and sesquiterpine constituents so the oils can be applied “neat” or full strength. A determination must be made which oils are applicable to the situation. For long term treatments or health regimens, a few drops of oil can be applied 3-4 times daily. General Guidelines: For small animals (cats & small dogs) apply 3-4 drops per application. For larger animals (large dogs) apply 6-7 drops per application. For horses apply 15-20 drops per application. Helpful Tips: For open wounds or hard-to-reach areas, oils can be put in a spray bottle sprayed directly on location. After applying the oils locally, cover the open wound with Rose Ointment. It seals the wound & protects it from further infection. It also prevents the essential oils from evaporating. There is no right or wrong way to apply essential oils. Use common sense and good judgement as you experiment with different methods. Take care not to get essential oils in the animal’s eye. When treating animals with essential oils internally, make sure that the oils are pure and free of chemicals, solvents, and adulterants. How to Apply Essential Oils: For non-ungulate animals (not having hooves), oils can be applied to paws for fast absorption. For hoofed animals, apply oils on the spine or auricular points of the ears. Apply on the gums, tongue, or underneath the top lip. Sprinkle a few drops on the spine or flanks and massage them in. For a dog or cat, apply on the pads of their feet. Examples of Applications: When treating animals for viral or bacterial infection, arthritis, virus, bone injury, use the same oil and protocol recommended for humans. EXAMPLE: If you have a high-spirited, jittery horse that is tough to saddle, apply Peace & Calming and Valor on yourself. As you approach him, he will have a tendency to bow his head or flare his nostrils when he perceives the aroma. Kneel down or squat beside him and remain still so that the animal can become accustomed to the smell. As he breathes in the fragrances, he will become calmer and easier to manage. Animal Treatment A to Z Arthritis: (common in older animals and pure breeds) To prevent: Power Meal and Sulfurzyme. Arthritis: Ortho Ease or PanAway (massage on location or put several drops in animal feed). Use Raindrop-like application of PanAway, birch or wintergreen, pine or spruce and massage the location. For larger animals use at leas 2 times more oil than a normal raindrop would call for on humans. Put Power Meal or Sulfurzyme in feed or fodder. Small animals: 1/8 to ¼ serving per day. Large animals 2-4 servings per day. Birthing: Gentle Baby. Bleeding: geranium, helichrysum. Bones (pain, spurs) all animals: PanAway, birch or wintergreen , lemongrass and spruce. Bones (fractured or broken) Mix PanAway with 20-30 drops of birch or wintergreen, and spruce. Cover the area. After 15 minutes, rub in 10-15 more drops of birch or wintergreen and spruce. Cover with Ortho Sport Massage Oil. Calming: Peace & Calming, Trauma Life, lavender (domestic animals respond very quickly to the smell). Colds and flu: Small animals put 1-3 drops Exodus II, Immupower, or Di-Tone in feed or fodder. For large animals, use 10-20 drops. Colic: For large animals (cows) put 10-20 drops of Di-Tone in feed or fodder. For small animals, use 1-3 drops. Inflammation: Apply Ortho Ease, PanAway, pine, birch or wintergreen, or spruce on location. Put Sulfurzyme in feed. Insect Repellent: Put 10 drops each of citronella, Purification, eucalyptus and peppermint in 8 ounce spray bottle with water. Alternate formula: Put 2 drops pine, 2 drops Eucalyptus (globulus), 5-10 drops of citronella in a spray bottle of water. Shake vigorously and spray over area. Floral waters such as peppermint and Idaho tansy can also be used. Ligaments/tendons (torn or sprained): Apply lemongrass and lavender (equal parts) on location and cover area. For small animals or birds, dilute essential oils with V-6 Mixing Oil (2 parts mixing oil to 1 part essential oil). Mineral deficiencies: Mineral Essence. (In one case, an animal stopped chewing on furniture when his mineral deficiency was met). Mites (ear mites): Apply Purification and peppermint to a Q-Tip and swab the inside of the ear. Nervous anxiety: Valor, Trauma Life, geranium, lavender and valerian. Pain: Helichrysum Saddle sores: Melrose and Rose Ointment. Shiny coats: Rosemary and sandalwood. Sinus problems: Diffuse Raven, R. C., pine, myrtle, and Eucalyptus (radiata) in animal’s sleeping quarters or sprinkle on bed. Strangle in horses: Mix 4 parts Exodus II with 1 part Melrose. Ticks: To remove ticks, apply 1 drop cinnamon or peppermint on Q-Tip and swab on tick. Trauma: Trauma Life, Valor, Peace & Calming, melissa, rosewood, lavender, valerian and chamomile. Tumors or cancers: Mix frankincense with lavender or clove and apply on area of tumor. Worms and parasites: ParaFree and Di-Tone. Wounds (open or abrasions): Melrose, helichrysum and Rose Ointment. We recommend Young Living Essential Oils due to their high quality and purity! To learn how Essential Oils can benefit your pets, click here. To order Young Living Essential Oils, click here. To order any of the items above, call 800-371-2928 and use the referral number 827420.

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Author: Bree
Posted: July 13, 2014, 8:46 pm
Frosty Paws Ice Cream Treats for Pets

Frosty Paws ice cream treats will be a big hit with your dogs in your home during these hot months.  Well actually, it’ll be a big hit outside cause I don’t think many of us want melted ‘ice cream’ all over the rugs and floor!  lol  These are so easy to make and might I add, very nutritious too.  Since they’re made with ingredients we ourselves eat on a regular basis, go ahead and try one and tell us what you think!  32 ounces vanilla yogurt 1 mashed banana or 1 jar of baby fruit 2 tablespoons peanut butter 2 tablespoons honey Blend all together and freeze in either 3 ounce paper cups, ice cube trays or empty styrofoam egg cartons.  I’ve even been tempted to fill Kong’s and freeze…WOW, this was a BIG hit!!! Let us know if these were a hit in your household and what other mold you may have used!   

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Author: Bree
Posted: July 10, 2014, 5:32 pm
Sloppy Kiss

If you love animals and love to send eCards like I do, then you’re going to absolutely LOVE Sloppy Kiss Cards!  I became hooked several years ago when a friend sent me a birthday ecard in which a Boxer dog was the star of this hilarious animation.  To those of you who know me, you’ll know all about my passion and obsession for Boxers.  My first thought was ‘how did she do this?’  Immediately I began my investigation and discovered that I could do this too, and not just using Boxers, but a huge selection of over 250+ breeds of dogs, cats and other pets!  I was instantly in puppy heaven, putting it mildly! Sloppy Kiss Cards is an animated ecard greeting service for pet lovers and pet businesses. Each ecard tells a story. You choose and name the dog, cat, horse, bird, fish or other pet that stars in your ecard. They offer over 250 pets to choose from when customizing your dog ecard, cat ecard or pet ecard. If you can’t find a photo of your breed, you can upload your own photo. There are animated ecards for just about every holiday and occasion you can think of.  The service works just like other ecard services where you can schedule your ecards ahead of time (or send immediately), track when they’ve been opened and even maintain your own easy-to-use address book for future sending.  There is NO limit on how many ecards you can send…it is UNLIMITED! “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  ~ Maya Angelou You can sign-up for your Sloppy Kiss Cards FREE 30-Day Trial and start sending ecards immediately.  If you enjoy the service after using it for 30 days, and want to keep it, it’s just a mere $13.95 a year…yes, ONE YEAR!   I could go on and on about how much I love Sloppy Kiss Cards, but the only way you’re going to understand is to try it yourself, for FREE! Personalized Ecard Campaigns for Pet Businesses Every ecard customized with your client’s pet & name. The automated way to send pet ecards for birthdays, holidays, reminders and more! Drive Repeat Business Build & Maintain Relationships Save Time & Money Promote Your Business How it works Upload Contacts Select eCard Select Campaign Type Personalize & Send There are eCards specific  for Veterinarians, Pet Sitters, Dog Groomers, Dog Boarding, Dog Walkers, Doggie Daycares, Breeders, Pet Stores and more … Learn more and get started TODAY!

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Author: Bree
Posted: July 8, 2014, 5:30 pm
Dog Sitting in Car

Article courtesy of PetAlive What is Car Sickness? Any motion that a pet is not used to can cause them to feel ill and disorientated. While some animals see a car trip as an exciting journey, for others it can become a stressful time of feeling ill and unwell. The first signs of car sickness are yawning and excessive drooling (sometimes followed by vomiting). What Causes Car Sickness? Car sickness can be caused by: * Car motion * Confinement * Previous bad experiences in a car * A first-time ride * Anticipation of the destination Help for Car Sickness Conditioning can go a long way in helping your pet to overcome car sickness. Sit with your pet inside a parked car with the engine off, playing with toys and giving your pet praise and positive attention. Let your pet get used to these new surroundings. Initially, just sit in the car with your pet and give him/her lots of praise and love for not showing any symptoms of sickness. Next, repeat the same thing for the next few days, but this time, run the engine (don’t forget the praise!). Next, when the engine is running, try backing out of the driveway and then pulling up to the house again. Continue showing praise. Finally, try going around the block and keep this up until your pet is able to ride without getting sick. For severe cases and for long trips, you may want to try motion sickness medication – always consult with your vet. Natural remedies There are many herbal and homeopathic remedies that can safely help treat and prevent car sickness without harmful side effects for your pet. Zingiber officinalis has a long history of use in relieving the symptoms of nausea, vomiting, indigestion, flatulence and dizziness. Working mainly in the digestive tract, Zingiber boosts digestive fluids and neutralizes acids, making it an effective alternative to conventional anti-nausea medication. Mentha piperita relaxes the muscles of the digestive tract and stimulates the flow of natural digestive juices and bile, while Kalium phosphate provides quick relief of a ‘nervous stomach’. Aconite and Cocculus are homeopathic remedies that treat illness accompanied by fear, anxiety and panic attacks. Pulsatilla vulgaris helps to calm and soothe animals during bouts of travel sickness. It is particularly useful in animals that are averse to being confined in small areas. Tips to Prevent Car Sickness A number of steps can be taken to help prevent car sickness. Here are some helpful tips: * While traveling with your pet in the car, open a window a crack to get some fresh air. * It is important that the dog be able to see out of the window so try to arrange a spot in the car that the dog can get up onto and see the road ahead. * Train your dog to get in and out of the car with a specific command. This will teach him or her not to get into strangers’ cars. * Safety first while on the road. If your dog is jumping around inside your car, put him or her in a crate for a short while. After your pet has settled down, open the crate and offer some freedom so long he or she behaves. EasyTravel Solution: Homeopathic remedy to relieve motion sickness for balanced digestion and calm, happy cats and dogs during travel  

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Author: Bree
Posted: July 6, 2014, 6:08 pm
Running Dog

Prior to anticipated fireworks, vigorous exercise and play will help to mentally and physically tire the animal so that they are less responsive to the stimuli. Another benefit of exercise is that it increases natural serotonin levels, which can have a sedative effect. Wags of Wisdom “You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.” -Erma Bombeck Wishing everyone a wonderful and safe 4th of July!!!

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Author: Bree
Posted: July 3, 2014, 1:41 pm
Dog in Pool

Did you know that heat stroke (hyperthermia) can occur in pets that are overly exercised during a heat wave, even while outdoors? It’s true! Dogs have very few sweat glands – most are in between their paw pads – which is why they must pant in order to cool themselves down when their body temperature gets too high. A dog’s normal body temperature is between 100 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit but if it gets over 104 degrees, your pet could be at risk for hyperthermia which could lead to unconsciousness, coma, or even death! It is important though for your dog to continue to get his or her regular daily exercise despite the heat so here’s a list of activities and tips that you and your pet can use to get some exercise in on those especially unforgiving summer days: 5 Exercise Tips to Keep Your Dog Cool and Fit This Summer: * Go for your daily walk, run or bike ride before sunrise or after sunset as the weather is usually cooler than during the day . * Make sure your dog always has a constant supply of water to keep his or her body temperature down and be sure to allow for frequent breaks throughout your exercise routine. * Try running your dog on the treadmill at home while having the air conditioner or a fan turned on. * Doggie daycare facilities will usually have indoor activities for dogs when the weather outside is too hot for the dogs to play in. Just make sure that the facility will have the air conditioning on. * If you’re near a beach, lake or swimming pool, going for a swim or playing fetch in the water will keep your pet cool while exercising. Hopefully this list also helps sparks your imagination to think of new ways for your pet to stay cool and fit this summer!  If you have any other cool tips for me to add to this list, please post them in the Comments below!

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Author: Bree
Posted: July 1, 2014, 5:40 pm
Help Your Pet Relax This July 4th

Yup, no lie….the 4th of July is right around the corner!  Are you ready for the fireworks?  Is your dog? As you make your shopping list for the 4th of July this year, don’t forget that fireworks can cause intense anxiety in dogs and cats.  And festivities aren’t the only summer stressers for pets – thunderstorms and summer travel can be just as bad.  So when you prep for that BBQ or picnic, add Flower Essences and a Thundershirt to your list. continue reading  >>

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Author: Bree
Posted: June 29, 2014, 7:13 pm
Ice Bucket Treat for Dogs

Would your dog play with an ice bucket?  Probably, but wouldn’t it be better if it had some frozen, and even tasty, treats inside of it?  Here’s a fun, home-made treat to keep your dog cool during the ‘dog days’ of summer! Fill a pail or bucket with water or chicken stock, toys, treats, carrots, etc and freeze!  This will keep your pups busy for hours outside!  Yeah, you wouldn’t want to let your dog have this inside, not unless you have a little baby pool in the house, and he/she will stay in it!  We’d love to hear from our readers who have done this!  What kind of treats did you freeze?  Please let us know in the comments below, and you’ll probably give others some great ideas!

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Author: Bree
Posted: June 27, 2014, 11:40 am
Couple Files Suit After Woman Claims She Got Salmonella from Dog Food

Suit: Elmwood Park woman contracted salmonella from dog food A west suburban couple filed a federal lawsuit Monday against Diamond Pet Foods, claiming the woman was one of dozens people to contract salmonella from tainted dog food in 2012. Joanna and Cezary Cygan, of Elmwood Park, filed the product liability and negligence lawsuit against Diamond Pet Foods Wednesday in U.S. District Court. Diamond Pet Foods initiated a voluntary recall on some of their pet food products in April 2012, after an FDA investigation at the company’s Gaston, South Carolina, factory revealed an outbreak of Salmonella Infantis in dry dog food, according to the lawsuit. The recalled products were produced between December 2011 and April 2012. As of July 2012, 49 people — 47 individuals in 20 states and two others in Canada — were infected with salmonella from dry dog food produced by Diamond Pet Foods, according to the Center for Disease Control. Joanna Cygan purchased Diamond Pet Food dog food sometime in 2012 and fed her dog from the bags regularly, according to the lawsuit. In August 2012, Cygan began experiencing severe gastrointestinal discomfort, including vomiting and diarrhea, and her condition deteriorated rapidly to the point where she could not move and feared for her life, the suit claims. She was taken to Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park the next day when her temperature climbed to 104 degrees, the suit alleges. Cygan tested positive for a salmonella bacteria infection and the lawsuit claims the Illinois Department of Public Health concluded the source of her infection was the contaminated dog food. The severity of her infection, the suit alleges, complicated the care and treatment of her diabetes, while Cygan used the product “exactly as intended: by feeding her dog daily.” The seven-count lawsuit claims product liability, negligence, fraudulent misrepresentation, and breach of implied warranty, among other things. The Cygans are seeking an undisclosed amount in damages. Diamond Pet Foods has not yet been served with the suit, said Vice President Mark Schell, who declined to comment on it Tuesday evening. Copyright SunTimes

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Author: Bree
Posted: June 24, 2014, 10:24 pm
Cat and Dog Playing Chess Behavior

Fur-kids can be fascinating. And sometimes, a little confusing. In the latest from Dr. Jane, our holistic veterinarian takes a look at a few of the baffling behaviors that make pet parents scratch their head. From your dog circling around the ground just prior to eliminating wastes, to the real reasons behind your cat’s meow, don’t miss this intriguing exposé on creature curiosities. Read on to find out the skinny on common-but-puzzling pet behaviors. We love our companion animals. But sometimes their actions are mystifying, if not altogether baffling. Fortunately, our own Dr. Jane is on-hand to offer some rationale behind some of the most perplexing pet behaviors. Why Does My Dog Stare At Me? Dogs stare at their human companions for any number of reasons. Often, it’s because they want something from you: a tasty snack, a walk around the block, an impromptu game of fetch, etc. Dogs can also stare as a form of attention-seeking behavior. Others are simply indicating neediness for human touch, praise or direction. With more perceptive dogs, they may actually be attempting to read an emotion in our facial expressions. Rest assured that in most cases, staring is considered to be a positive behavior, as most trainers encourage dogs to stare at their pet parents. There are instances, however, where staring at a dog can be considered confrontational or a direct challenge (in the wild, canines stare down their challengers). Staring deeply into a canine’s eyes is an activity that should only be engaged within the bounds of a healthy human-dog relationship. If you aren’t sure, don’t do it before talking it over with an animal behaviorist. Why Does My Dog Turn in Circles Before He Poops? Not all dogs do it, but many pet parents have watched with confusion at a dog who spins in circles, then steps from one back paw to the other before doing his business. No one knows for sure why dogs do this, but there are several theories. Twirling in circles may be evolutionarily beneficial, in that it enables wild dogs to scan the horizon for predators, so as not to be attacked while in a vulnerable position. Other experts believe the walking helps get the bowels moving. Canines have scent glands in their paws, so twirling might be another way for them to spread their scent around, letting other dogs know that the territory has been claimed. Why Does My Cat Lick Me? How many of you have had a cat that licks you incessantly? Well, experts in feline behavior believe that when a cat grooms and licks another cat or a human, they’re conveying trust, affection and caring. These licks are actually ‘kisses’ and a sign that your cat feels happy and safe. When a cat bonds to a human, there can be no limit to feline affection. Why Does My Cat Meow At Me? Anyone who has ever lived with a vocal cat has certainly asked this question. The experts say that when a cat meows at their humans, they’re asking for something. Over time, felines have figured out that meowing gets results, but why is this so effective? Feline behaviorists believe that ‘meowing’ is actually a cat’s way of imitating the cry of a human infant. It’s a behavior that kittens learn early on, as kittens meow to their mothers, often because they’re hungry. I find it interesting that cat meows can vary depending on what they are asking for. For example, the meow to ‘go outside’ can sound very different from the one for ‘feed me’. Experts have also found that cats meow differently to different people. For the most part, when a kitty is making a vocal request, it is out of pleasure and trust that their human companion will fulfill the feline’s every need. If your cat is obsessively meowing and the behavior is increasing, it is always a good idea to get your kitty checked by your local veterinarian. Certain medical conditions, such as hyperthyroidism, can cause excessive vocalization. If you have a question about your pet kid’s behavior, please share it with us in the comments section below! Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place for companion animals. Dr. Jane Bicks

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Author: Bree
Posted: June 19, 2014, 12:26 pm
Dog in Hot Oven

Rayne Nolte was in the parking lot of a Mankato, Minnesota, mall last week when she spotted Roxie, a Yorkie mix, trapped in a car. The temperature was 88 degrees with a heat index of 103, and the car’s owner was gone. You may have found yourself in Rayne’s situation before. Many pet parents believe that cracking a window is enough to keep their dogs cool in the car while they make a quick pit stop—but they couldn’t be more wrong. “Automobile temperatures can very quickly rise to dangerous levels; the average temperature increase in a parked car is 40 degrees, and the majority of this increase occurs in the first 15 to 30 minutes,” says Dr. Louise Murray, Vice President of ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital. When it’s 80 degrees outside, your car will be a staggering 114 degrees after 30 minutes! Worse still, dogs can’t cool themselves down as easily as people, and once they overheat, they can suffer extensive organ damage or die. Luckily, Rayne made all the right moves. Follow her lead by taking these simple steps. Step 1: Try to Locate the Pet Parent Roxie’s people were nowhere in sight, so Rayne called mall security, who tried to find Roxie’s family through the loudspeaker. (You can ask most stores to do this.) Step 2: Educate Rayne couldn’t find Roxie’s pet parents, but if you do, explain the dangers of leaving a pet in a hot car. Make sure the pet gets out of the car as soon as possible. Step 3: Call 911 Fourteen states have enacted specific laws that protect dogs in hot cars, as have many municipalities—but even in places lacking such a law, leaving an animal in a hot car may constitute cruelty. Rayne and the mall security officers dialed 911. When the police pulled Roxie from the steamy vehicle, she was very ill but soon on the road to recovery. Step 4: Pat Yourself on the Back Pets are counting on people like you to save their lives. Rayne rescued Roxie just in time, and she made a full recovery! And according to the Mankato Free Press, the pet-sitter who left Roxie in the car was charged with a petty misdemeanor. For more ways to help animals beat the heat, please visit ASPCA’s Pet Care pages.

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Author: Bree
Posted: June 17, 2014, 3:55 pm
Dog Pancreatitis Symptoms and Treatment

My Dog Has Pancreatitis. Can a Raw Dog Food Diet Help? By Robert Mueller, B. Pharm. While it’s true that our dogs are carnivores, it’s important to note that they are also very resourceful scavengers and, as such, can survive eating foods that are essentially detrimental to their health and longevity.  Yes, your dog can live off of kibble and canned pet foods (which are high in carbohydrates) and they may even appear to be quite healthy and happy on this type of diet for the first few years. But here’s something important that I must share with you.  In my 30+ years experience of formulating and feeding raw food diets for zoo carnivores, racing greyhound, and household dogs and cats, I’ve come in contact with many different breeds, conditions, styles of feeding, and opinions from pet parents, vets, and specialists.  Yet one of the things that is constant and remains very clear is the fact that the signs of degenerative disease most often appear in dogs around the age of 5-6 years old that are fed a commercial pet food diet.  Unfortunately dog pancreatitis is one such degenerative disease. What is Canine Pancreatitis? Pancreatitis literally means ‘inflammation of the pancreas’.  A dog that has been diagnosed with pancreatitis is essentially suffering from an inflamed pancreas that is either damaged or stressed, which prevents it from functioning properly. The pancreas has two functions: first, it has a major role in the regulation of the metabolism of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, and secondly, it produces digestive enzymes.  When the pancreas releases enzymes prematurely, they begin to digest the pancreas itself.  This is what we see in cases of pancreatitis in dogs.  Signs of pancreatitis in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain.  If pancreatitis is suspected, your veterinarian will most likely conduct a blood test to check to see if your dog’s enzyme levels are elevated.  They may also request a CT scan, ultrasound, or MRI for further confirmation of the disease. Canine pancreatitis can range from mild, moderate, or severe.  If left untreated, this disease can cause various health complications – such as damage to the surrounding organs, heart arrhythmias, sepsis, or Malabsorption Syndrome – some of which can be fatal. What Causes Pancreatitis in Dogs? Canine pancreatitis is usually seen in middle-aged dogs that have spent a lifetime being fed a diet mainly consisting of cooked and processed foods.  Some alternative veterinarians believe it is because high-carbohydrate based pet foods, which are hard for pets to digest, overstress the pancreas, quickly depleting its enzyme reserves. Pets on steroid treatments (which are commonly used to treat allergies in dogs or canine arthritis) are also susceptible to developing pancreatitis, as are overweight or obese dogs.  Dogs that are regularly fed table scraps, which are usually very high in fat, are also susceptible. The common anti-seizure medication, potassium bromide, taken by epileptic dogs to treat epileptic seizures has also been linked to increased instances of pancreatitis in dogs.   However, not all dogs with pancreatitis contract the disease from food or medication.  Certain breeds are more prone to contract the disease, such as Yorkshire terriers and Schnauzers. How to Treat Pancreatitis in Dogs The common treatment for pancreatitis in dogs is the use of medication to treat the various symptoms, such as vomiting and diarrhea.  Conventional veterinarians will usually prescribe a prescription dog food or recommend feeding a bland, low fat dog food.  Unfortunately, these diets are high in carbohydrates and not very appetizing for the animal. It has been my experience that feeding a natural, raw food diet is very beneficial when treating pancreatitis in dogs.  Raw, uncooked foods contain an abundance of live, active enzymes.  These living enzymes help with the digestion process, and also reduce stress on the pancreas that is forced to produce additional enzymes to break down the food. This makes a raw food diet the best dog food for pancreatitis. Again, it’s important to remember that dogs with pancreatitis should be fed a low fat dog food in order to reduce further aggravation to the pancreas.  Stay away from meat proteins that are high in fat, such as lamb and pork.  Instead, feed meats that are lower in fat, like chicken or beef – and if they are raw and uncooked, it is even better. I’ve seen firsthand how effective it is to feed the BARF Diet (aka biologically appropriate raw food) to dogs suffering from pancreatitis.  It improves their appetite, digestion, and absorption of nutrients.  Here’s a recent testimonial from one of my clients who decided to feed raw to her pancreatic dog – you’ll be amazed by her story… “I cant thank you all enough for saving Charlie’s life! Our doggie just turned 7 and he became so ill that he almost didn’t recover. End of July 2013 he was shaky and couldn’t hold his head up or go near water or food. We rushed him to the hospital and discovered he was diabetic with his glucose at 800. The vet said we have 2 choices, to either administer insulin every 12 hours for the rest of his life or have him put down (that was never going to happen). So he stayed in ICU for 7 days and finally came home. Two weeks ago, my mom called and said Charlie is vomiting uncontrollably and has diarrhea also, so I rushed him to his vet and after blood work he was diagnosed with pancreatitis. The range is to be under 200 and his was 839. The vet gave him tons of injections and sent him home with tons of anti-biotics and many other meds. A week later he started vomiting again and I rushed him back to his vet. Blood work was repeated and his pancreatitis range was now at 1000. The vet called me in with the saddest look on his face and asked what my plan was for Charlie. I began hysterically crying as I couldn’t imagine our life without...

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Author: Bree
Posted: June 13, 2014, 4:12 pm