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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:

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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 *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 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
Skinny Dog

© by Bree Weasner, LLC A question that is asked of us many times is why their dog just can’t seem to gain weight. Just recently, we were contacted by an owner of a skinny dog who advised us that the dog had been checked out by the veterinarian and got a clean bill of health. Unfortunately, the dog never finishes her food, so what is a pet parent to do to fatten up their dog? The dog is probably just a svelte dog that doesn’t need to be fattened up. Yet, if you insist on trying to put a few pounds on her, these are some possible suggestions: Add a vegetable enzyme such as Prozyme to her food to increase the amounts of nutrients absorbed into her body. (We also recommend Natur’s Way MSE Probiotic Supplements.) Feed her a high-quality puppy food, 3 or 4 times daily. If she is a small dog, add 1/8 tsp. of corn oil; for a large dog, add 1/2 tsp. of corn oil to each meal. Walk her up and down the steps, and give her lots of other exercise to get those muscles bulked up. If you already feed some raw food to your dog, then you will definitely want to learn about Satin Balls Recipe, which will put weight on your healthy dog very quickly. Please tell us your “skinny” story in the comments below. Something you say will surely help at least one other dog owner.

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Author: Bree
Posted: June 10, 2014, 6:47 pm
White Dog Running in Grass

In the summer of one of the most turbulent economic periods in a lifetime, Americans are rediscovering simplicity and frugality.  These days, it’s not uncommon to see a small group playing an impromptu game of Frisbee, or a couple enjoying a nature hike through a local park, or an extended family spending an afternoon in the backyard barbecuing. The summer months provide ample opportunities for outdoor fun, whether your idea of open-air enjoyment is a power-walk with your dog or watching an afternoon storm roll in from the safety of a back porch with your cat.  These activities help us brush away the winter cobwebs, shedding new light on our daily life.  But sometimes, we make discoveries that are not altogether pleasant.  Too often, the thinner, summer coats of our pets can reveal what winter coats have hidden from plain view – reddened skin irritations, possibly the sign of a seasonal or chronic allergy. That’s right … just like humans, pets suffer from allergies.  Allergens can come from any number of sources, including grasses, trees, molds, dust mites and flea bites.  Even their food may contain allergens.  With all of these possible culprits, how can a pet parent learn what’s causing their pet’s allergy? The first step for many of us is to hop online.  We know that information is plentiful on the internet, even if not all of it is trustworthy. That inclination, to try and uncover the reasons ourselves, especially when that impulse is coupled with hard economic times, can lead to a scenario where many pet parents will try to diagnose Fido’s or Fluffy’s allergies on their own, without veterinary assistance.  But the cause of allergies is notoriously difficult to pin down because it so hard to isolate one possible cause from another. If you want to determine whether or not your four-footer is truly suffering from an environmental or food-related allergy, you should have your vet do an evaluation.  They will use either a blood test or a skin test, or perhaps both, to assess what allergens are producing the symptoms. When animals experience allergic reactions, their bodies alter normal hormone production.  Some of the resultant chemical reactions can lead to cellular inflammation, the process bodies use to remove the allergens.  To understand this process, consider the following example:  the common flea bite. Commonly, after a flea bite, there may be swelling and possible irritation (usually itchiness).  But if your dog or cat has a flea allergy, the reaction is a much larger rash with severe itching. This is the body attempting to eliminate the allergen; in this case, flea saliva. So, what’s the best way to nip allergies in the bud? Leading holistic practitioners and natural-care veterinarians have long endorsed foods and supplements rich in omega-3 fatty acids, especially those coming from fish oil, which help inhibit the body’s inflammatory response.  And the amazing properties of omega-3’s don’t end there.  When coupled with omega-6’s derived from a source like flaxseed, a balanced blend of these fatty acids are known to provide much-needed support by helping to strengthen the body’s natural response to allergens.  They do this by enhancing the functions of the immune system and by fortifying the walls of individual cells in the body.  At the same time, omega-3’s also help to protect neurological and blood systems.  If you encounter information disparaging the inclusion of fatty acids in the diets of companion animals – either from online sources, friends or even veterinarians – it may be based upon outdated beliefs about these nutrients. If you are not already feeding your companion a diet rich in omega-3’s like Life’s Abundance, you might consider incorporating into your pet’s diet a supplemental source of omega-3’s, either in chewable tablet form (like Skin & Coat Formula) or in capsule form (many of our customers provide Sealogix for their pets).  Dr. Jane advises against feeding omega-3 supplements in the half-hour immediately before and after a meal, as the precise balance of fats can be thrown off, resulting in diminished absorption of those beneficial nutrients.  Under no circumstances should you add liquid fish oil to dry food. If you believe that your favored feline or precious pup suffers from allergies, please schedule time with your trusted veterinarian to determine the appropriate treatment, and consider incorporating essential fatty acids in your pet’s diet.  By taking a proactive stance now, your pet might be able to avoid allergic reactions in the future.

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Author: Bree
Posted: June 8, 2014, 10:49 pm
Dog Wearing Swamp Cooler

by Dr. Jean Hofve, DVM, OnlyNaturalPet Most of us are out and about much more in the summer, including many of our pets! But summer comes with its own set of potential problems. Common sense, preventive measures and following some simple summer safety tips can prevent illness and injuries for our pets. Here are our Top 10 tips for a safe and happy summer: 1. Prevent Parasites!  Fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and other parasites are a year-round problem where warm weather is the norm, but in summer they’re practically everywhere. Not only are these pests a nuisance to your dog or cat, but they can carry tapeworms, heartworms, and diseases such as Lyme, Bartonella (often called cat-scratch disease, although dogs actually carry more species of this nasty bacteria than cats), West Nile Virus, leptospirosis, and even bubonic plague. Keeping your pet parasite-free requires a broad approach and vigilance on your part, with a little help from effective preventives. (See our comprehensive article on fleas here. Many natural products are available; talk to your vet about what’s needed for your area. 2. Stay Cool!   Pets can succumb to heatstroke, so be sure that whenever your pet is outdoors, he always has a shelter from the sun, and plenty of fresh water. Add ice cubes or blocks to the water to keep it cool longer. If it’s extremely hot and humid in your area, consider a cooling vest for your dog. Don’t jog or bike with your dog in hot mid-day temperatures; stick to morning and evening. This is especially important for short-nosed (brachycephalic) dogs (Pekes, Pugs, Bulldogs, etc.) or those with double-thick coats or long hair (huskies, shepherds, collies, some terriers and retrievers). Continue Reading  >>

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Author: Bree
Posted: June 5, 2014, 9:58 am
Alternative Therapies for Joint Problems in Pets Video

Like humans, companion animals are living longer. That means more and more dogs and cats must deal with complications from chronic degenerative diseases, such as arthritis. Pain associated with joint problems can more than cramp your pet’s style, it can also stop them in their tracks. Thankfully, our good doctor is here to report on therapies that many remain unaware of – specifically, class 4 laser therapy. In the latest episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah, Staff Veterinarian, Life’s Abundance reveals how these light treatments can make a significant improvement in your pet kid’s quality of life. Recent estimates put the number of dogs suffering from joint disease and chronic pain at nearly ten million, a significant percentage of the population. And, with more and more senior pet kids in American homes, those numbers are likely to remain high. Fortunately, veterinarians have adopted a treatment previously used only for humans, and it’s one that is dramatically improving the quality of life for pet patients. In this episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah explains how laser therapy offers a ray of hope for dogs and cats dealing with the pain associated with degenerative joint disease. Be sure to share this important message on alternative therapies with your fellow pet parents! Original Source:  Life’s Abundance

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Author: Bree
Posted: June 2, 2014, 7:51 pm
My Dog Smells Like Fish

Companion animals and humans share all sorts of similar health problems. And then there are issues that are uniquely canine or feline. For example, have you ever wondered why your pet kid scooches his butt across the carpet, but were afraid to ask?  Ever wonder why your dog smells like fish?  Turns out, this could signal a potentially serious glandular problem. If you’re unfamiliar with this unfortunate yet all-too-common condition, you should definitely check out Dr. Jane’s latest message. Don’t wait another moment, read Dr. Jane’s post now …

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Author: Bree
Posted: May 29, 2014, 4:25 am
Do Not Leave Pets Unattended in Hot Cars

Signing the petition asking Gov. McCrory to sign into law House Bill 612. Bill 612 would make it a crime to leave pets unattended in a car in hot or cold conditions. Petition by Debbie Lovette of Fuquay Varina, NC: “My husband and I were making our way back to our car after shopping when we heard a dog crying pitifully, nonstop in the parking lot. It was 80+ degrees outside and the owner had left the driver’s side window cracked no more than two inches; he had no shade or water. The little Maltese was panting profusely and his beard hair was completely saturated with drool. I instinctively called the 911 to have an officer help us before the dog died from heat exhaustion. When the police officer arrived, he told us that the owner wasn’t doing anything illegal. I was not only appalled, but heartbroken that we could do nothing more than stand idly by while this little dog suffered. Less than three days later, Jennifer King was profiled on the local news after she was charged with killing her two dogs by leaving them in her car while she shopped. I wonder if that little Maltese needlessly suffered the same fate. Please sign this petition and urge Governor McCrory to sign Bill 612 into law. Give our law enforcement officials the authority to save the lives of helpless animals that may die without their help.” You can also call Gov. Pat McCrory: Reach out to Gov. Pat McCrory via phone: (919) 814-2000. And Tweet at @PatMcCroryNC: Copy & Paste: @PatMcCroryNC – I support House Bill 612! To: Gov. Patrick McCrory, North Carolina Please Sign House Bill 612 into Law. Give our law enforcement officials the authority to save the lives of helpless animals that may die without their help. Sincerely, [Your name] PLEASE SIGN Petition here and PLEASE SHARE using sharing link below (Share This +)!

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Author: Bree
Posted: May 28, 2014, 8:10 pm
Pet Medicine Injection

You may know that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) works to keep foods and drugs safe for you and your family, but you may not realize the agency does much of the same for your pets. FDA engages in pharmacovigilance; that is, it monitors reports of adverse drug events (unexpected and sometimes serious side effects) from manufacturers, veterinarians and animal owners. Monitoring this information can result in changes in product labeling to better communicate drug safety information. In addition, the agency maintains a website through which consumers can report safety problems related to pet foods. “People value their pets and may not realize that FDA is constantly on the lookout for signs that there is a medication or food on the market that could result in adverse health events,” says John Baker, a veterinarian and director of the Division of Veterinary Product Safety (DVPS) within the agency’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM). Drug Safety In Fiscal Year 2013, FDA received 86,444 reports of adverse drug events from manufacturers, veterinarians, and consumers. Baker explains that while manufacturers are required by law to report adverse drug events, veterinarians and consumers are encouraged to report on a voluntary basis. Instructions for pet owners on reporting can be found at CVM’s pharmacovigilance efforts can lead to: revisions in product labels, “Dear Doctor” letters to veterinarians warning of potential safety issues, client information sheets informing pet owners of important drug information, and articles in veterinary journals. In addition, to get the word out about its pharmacovigilance efforts, FDA reaches out to veterinarians at professional meetings, continuing education courses and conferences. More recently, FDA has begun reaching out to technicians in veterinary practices, too, to encourage them to report issues of concern with veterinary drugs. “We’re suggesting that more vet techs assume the responsibility for adverse event reporting for vets who may be too tied up to do so in the course of a busy day,” Baker says. Monitoring Errors, Pet Medications Even if the medication itself is safe for your pet when given correctly, there are a number of ways medication errors can occur when the prescription is filled or when you dispense it to your pet. In 2008, CVM also began monitoring reports of medication errors and focusing on ways to increase the safe use of those medications by pet owners. According to Linda Kim-Jung, a pharmacist and safety reviewer in DVPS, some causes of medication errors include: drug names that look alike or sound alike; drug labels that look alike; drug dosage devices (such as oral syringes) that are difficult to use because of poor design or unclear directions for use; use of error-prone abbreviations or symbols on written prescriptions; illegible handwriting on prescriptions; and miscommunication when verbally prescribing orders. To help prevent such errors, CVM evaluates drug names, labeling, packaging and product design before a drug is approved, Kim-Jung says. “After a drug goes on the market, we also review adverse drug reports, which sometimes describe medication errors,” Kim-Jung adds. FDA also educates veterinary professionals and the public about veterinary medication errors and ways to minimize and prevent medication errors. For more information, please see the FDA/CVM Veterinary Medication Errors web page. Monitoring Problems with Pet Foods Pet foods also come under FDA’s purview. Lee Anne Palmer, VMD, a veterinarian and safety reviewer at CVM says that consumers may recall that in 2007, FDA confirmed that many dogs and cats in the U.S. were developing kidney failure after eating pet foods contaminated with the chemical compound melamine. Pet food manufacturers voluntarily recalled more than 100 brands of dog and cat food across the nation as a result of an intensive investigation by the FDA. More recently, FDA has asked veterinarians and pet owners to report dog illnesses related to eating chicken, duck, or sweet potato jerky treats, nearly all of which are imported from China. As a result, FDA has received many well-documented case reports that will greatly assist its continuing investigation into pet illnesses and deaths associated with these products. “Although the pet food supply in the U.S. is very safe, we want to be as aware as possible of any problems connected with animals eating pet foods,” Palmer says. “To that end, we encourage consumers to report adverse events they think may be related to pet foods and to provide as much information as possible.” In calendar year 2013, CVM received over 3,000 pet food adverse event and product problem reports. FDA scientists analyze trends over time and may identify clusters of illness tied to a particular product, looking for consistencies in such things as lot numbers or brand names. This kind of information helps FDA target problems and decide whether to collect product samples for laboratory analysis. “Many product recalls have been a direct result of adverse event reporting by animal owners, veterinarians and manufacturers,” Palmer says. Pet owners, veterinarians, and concerned citizens can report complaints about pet food products electronically through the agency’s Safety Reporting Portal. The online questionnaire asks for information about brand name, product type, package size, lot number and use-by dates. Petowners and veterinarians can also report by calling the FDA District Offices. Palmer says that lot numbers and use-by dates are particularly important in helping FDA track down potential problem sources. Consumers can also find the answers to frequently asked questions about pet food safety reporting at This article appears on FDA’s Consumer Updates page, which features the latest on all FDA-regulated products.

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Author: Bree
Posted: May 22, 2014, 1:36 pm
Petco Will Stop Selling Pet Treats From China

Petco to Stop Selling Pet Treats Made in China Yes, you read correctly!  I am still in shock!  Now let’s see how many other pet chains will follow, and who are brave enough to announce it to the world!  Please share your thoughts below in the comments! ABC News is reporting: Petco said Tuesday that it will stop selling dog and cat treats made in China by the end of this year due to ongoing fears that the imported treats are making pets sick. Investigators at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration haven’t been able to figure out why pets are getting ill from the treats since the agency began receiving reports of illnesses in 2007. In an update last week, the FDA said it has received more than 4,800 complaints of pet illnesses and more than 1,000 reports of dog deaths after eating Chinese-made chicken, duck or sweet potato jerky treats. The FDA said tests found antiviral drug amantadine in some samples of imported chicken jerky treats sold a year or more ago, but doesn’t think it caused the illnesses. The FDA said it will continue to investigate. Petco said that shoppers have asked it to stop selling treats from China. The pet food retailer said it is switching them out for treats that are made in the U.S., New Zealand, Australia and South America. It already began cutting down on the amount of Chinese-made treats three years ago, said Petco Vice President John Sturm. It expects to completely get rid of them in all its 1,300 stores by the end of this year. The San Diego company doesn’t sell any pet food made in China. Rival PetSmart Inc., which is based in Phoenix and also runs about 1,300 stores, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Source:  ABC News

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Author: Bree
Posted: May 20, 2014, 10:40 pm
Dog with Treat

Pet Jerky Recall 2014: Treats Lead To 4,800 Complaints, Including Over 1,000 Dead Dogs And 3 People Who Fell Ill The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are teaming up to investigate over 1,000 dog deaths and three people who fell ill after consuming  chicken, duck and sweet potato pet jerky imported from China. Following the FDA’s last update back on October 22, 2013, 4,800 complaints of illness, some including multiple pets in one household, have been reported to the agency involving 5,600 dogs, 24 cats and three people. According to the FDA’s latest report, around 60 percent of the cases were tied to gastrointestinal and liver disease, 30 percent kidney or urinary disease, and 10 percent that included neurologic, dermatologic, and immunologic symptoms. Approximately, 15 percent of kidney and urinary cases also tested positive for Fanconi syndrome, a rare kidney disease tied to reported cases of pet and human illnesses. The FDA has still been unable to identify an exact cause for the sudden outbreak. The FDA and CDC are collaborating on a study tracking food consumed by sick dogs reported to the agency compared to what healthy dogs ate. Researchers hope the analysis will be able to tell what type of food (human or pet food) is making pets and people sick. The FDA has already performed 26 post mortem examinations on 26 dogs reported to the agency since October 2013. It was discovered that 13 of these dogs had consumed pet jerky and 11 showed signs of kidney disease while two were identified with gastrointestinal disease. “The agency continues to review case records, test treat samples from reported cases, screen tissue, blood, urinary and fecal samples, and communicate with the attending veterinarians and pet owners to thoroughly investigate select cases,” the FDA said in a statement. “Because of the volume of information received in response to the Dear Veterinarian letter, the agency has not completed an update to our online case spreadsheets. FDA plans to complete and post these updates in the coming months.” Of the three humans who fell ill as a result of consuming pet jerky, two were toddlers who ingested it accidently and one adult who was snacking on the pet treat for unknown reasons, NBC News reported. One of the toddlers was diagnosed with a salmonella infection and the other suffered from a gastrointestinal illness and fever, similar to the symptoms experienced by dogs in the same household. The adult reportedly suffered from symptoms including nausea and headache. “Testing of jerky pet treats from China has also revealed the presence of the drug amantadine in some samples containing chicken,” the FDA added. “These samples were from jerky pet treats that were sold a year or more ago. Amantadine is an antiviral that is FDA-approved for use in people. It has also been used in an extra-label manner (using an approved drug in a way that isn’t listed on the label) in dogs for pain control, but FDA prohibited its use in poultry in 2006.” Source:  Medical Daily

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Author: Bree
Posted: May 19, 2014, 3:30 pm
Bravo Pet Food Recall

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 14, 2014 – Manchester, CT – Bravo is recalling select lots and product(s) of Bravo Pet Food because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Listeria monocytogenes is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. However, healthy cats and dogs rarely become sick from Listeria. Animals ill with Listeria will display symptoms similar to the ones listed above for humans. People who have concerns about whether their pet has Listeria should contact their veterinarian. The recalled product was distributed nationwide 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 or on a label on the box. The recalled products are as follows: 1) These products are being recalled because they may have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. PRODUCT: RAW FOOD DIET BRAVO! BEEF BLEND FOR DOGS AND CATS (Made in New Zealand) All 2lb., 5lb., and 10lb. tubes Product Numbers: 52-102, 52-105, 52-110 Best Used By Date: 10/10/15 or earlier PRODUCT: RAW FOOD DIET BRAVO! BEEF BLEND FOR DOGS AND CATS (Made in New Zealand) All 2lb., 5lb., and 10lb. tubes Product Numbers: 52-102, 52-105, 52-110 Best Used By Date: 10/10/15 or earlier 2) These products are being recalled out of an abundance of caution because while they did not test positive for pathogens, they were manufactured in the same manufacturing facility or on the same day as products that did test positive. PRODUCT: RAW FOOD DIET BRAVO! LAMB BLEND FOR DOGS AND CATS (Made in New Zealand) All 2lb., 5lb., and 10lb. tubes Product Numbers: 42-102, 42-105, 42-110 Best Used By Date: 10/10/15 or earlier PRODUCT: RAW FOOD DIET BRAVO! LAMB BASIC FOR DOGS AND CATS (Made in New Zealand) 2lb. tubes Product Number: 42-202 Best Used By Date: 10/10/15 or earlier PRODUCT: RAW FOOD DIET BRAVO! BEEF & BEEF HEART FOR DOGS AND CATS (Made in New Zealand) 5lb. tubes Product Number: 53-130 Best Used By Date: 10/10/15 or earlier PRODUCT: RAW FOOD DIET BRAVO! 100% PURE & NATURAL PREMIUM GRASS-FED BUFFALO FOR DOGS AND CATS (Manufactured by: Bravo! Manchester, CT) NET WT 2LBS (32 OZ) .91KG (Tubes) Product Number: 72-222 Best Used By Date: 1/7/16 PRODUCT: BRAVO! TURKEY BALANCE FORMULA (Manufactured by: Bravo! Manchester, CT) NET WT 2 LBS (32 OZ) .09KG, Chub (tube) Product Number: 31-402 Best Used By Dates: 1/7/16 and 2/11/16 NET WT 5 LBS (80 OZ) 2.3KG, Chub (tube) Product Number: 31-405 Best Used By Dates: 1/7/16 and 2/11/16 PRODUCT: RAW FOOD DIET BRAVO! LAMB BLEND FOR DOGS AND CATS (Manufactured by: Bravo! Manchester, CT) 5 LBS (80 OZ) 2.3KG, Chub (tube) Product Number: 42-105 Best Used By Date: 2/11/16 This voluntary recall has been issued because the FDA has reported an independent lab detected the bacteria in a sample during a recent review. The company has received a limited number of reports of dogs experiencing nausea and diarrhea that may be associated with these specific products. The company has received no reports of human illness as a result of these products. Bravo discontinued all manufacturing in New Zealand on October 10, 2013. Bravo will immediately start working with distributors and retailers to properly dispose of any affected product left on freezer shelves. The company will also be announcing the recall to pet owners to ensure they dispose of any affected product that has been purchased. Bravo is issuing this action out of an abundance of caution and sincerely regrets any inconvenience to pet owners as a result of this announcement. 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). They can return to the store where purchased and submit the Product Recall Claim Form available on the Bravo website for a full refund or store credit. More information on the Bravo recall can also be found at, or call toll free (866) 922-9222. Source:  FDA Recalls

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Author: Bree
Posted: May 15, 2014, 2:47 am
Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Doggie & Kitty Moms out there as well as ALL the Human Moms, from all of us at!

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Author: Bree
Posted: May 11, 2014, 12:55 pm
Poisoned Meatballs Left for Dogs

More servings of poisoned meat treats for dogs apparently left on street in San Francisco This time, the targeted area is the Sunset District. A woman found pill-stuffed meat treats while walking her dog. There they were, all served up on a plate near a San Francisco street corner. Dog trainer Shura Kelly was walking her dogs with a friend Monday when they came upon a white dish laden with odd-shapped meat pieces with pills stuffed inside. The plate also contained a tea light candle and quarters. “It’s bizarre,” Kelly told the San Francisco Chronicle. The city by the bay has already suffered a series of canine poison scares begining last summer when someone left meatballs filled with strychinine in two districts of San Francisco. Those cruel deposits killed a 7-year-old dachshund named Oskar. In February, police found 35 balls of meat in the Twin Peaks area, nestled in shrubs and bushes and set on curbs — places dogs like to sniff out during walks. Monday’s find has been sent for testing to determine what substance is in the pills.   Source:

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Author: Bree
Posted: May 8, 2014, 3:43 pm
First Monthly Dose Heartworm Preventative

The beginning of Spring is when veterinarians inspect dogs & cats for heartworm organisms and put pets on heartworm prevention medicines. Most vets suggest giving your pet a monthly or day-to-day pill as a heartworm preventative, but this can be dangerous as the drug for heartworm is a chemical. The ingredients in this medicine include a chemical pesticide, which can cause illness when administered via heartworm pill every day or month. The side effects of treatment are dangerous and can cause harm to your pet. Learn more about Natural Heartworm Prevention: Always have your vet do a heartworm test before beginning any preventive protocol. The numbers on the maps below represent the Months!   Natural Heartworm Prevention:    

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Author: Bree
Posted: May 7, 2014, 12:32 pm
Service Dogs Help Diabetes Patients

You’d do anything for your four-legged friends, but sometimes it’s the animals that care for us.  Watch how the Bay Area’s amazing service dogs at Dogs 4 Diabetics learn their life-saving skills and to see these miracle dogs in action. You won’t believe what they can do! CONCORD, Calif. (KGO) — Service dogs have been helping the disabled and visually impaired for decades. But now an innovative program started in the Bay Area is now training dogs to help another group of people manage a potentially dangerous disease. As a diabetic, Suzi Powers has to stay aware of both her blood sugar levels and her food intake. But now she’s hoping a new live-in coach will be able to help. He’s a black lab by the name of Laser, who can sense changes in Powers’ blood stream. “Throughout the day, sugars going up and down, he’ll let me know when I’m started to trend down,” Powers explained to ABC7 News. Full Story:

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Author: Bree
Posted: May 6, 2014, 12:53 pm
Kitty Cat's First Shell Game

If you think most cats aren’t smart, watch this adorable kitty, whose name is Kido!  Kido should be nominated for this week’s most talented and adorable precious pet!  Watch this smart kitty how he plays a shell game with his owner, and how he wins every single time! Kido’s owner writes:  “I know all cats and dogs are smart. The main purpose of sharing this video is not to show how smart Kido is, but to share my joy of knowing that Kido was willing to play shell game with me and he got it right, regardless of how he did it. If you are a pet owner, you know how hard it is to get them to do something, especially on the first time (without previous training). So I am proud of him regardless what harsh comments you may provide. Kido was abandoned twice in the first 6 months of his life. When he was about to be listed on a shelter’s kill-list, I met him and he has become the love of my life since then. I could never understand how people would abandon a sweet and fun kitty like Kido. It’s their loss and I hope they will realize. I hope all homeless animals can find their forever loving home.” Kido even has his own Facebook page! So, do you think your cat is smarter than Kido?   Please let us know in the comments below!  

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Author: Bree
Posted: May 5, 2014, 7:56 pm
Obie the Obese Dachshund

If you ever thought your pup was ‘pleasantly plump’, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!  Meet Obie the Dachshund, who, one year ago, weighed in at a whopping 77 pounds!   The average Dachshund weighs a maximum of 32 pounds. Obie was more than twice the normal weight for these breeds.  It was reported that Obie was nearly fed to death by his elderly owners, who eventually gave him up because of their own waning health. But have no fear. He’s been adopted by Portland-based veterinary technician Nora Vanetta. After months of diet, exercise and a tummy tuck, Obie has already lost 40 pounds, with about 7 more pounds to go! WARNING:  This video may be disturbing for some viewers, BUT the story does have a very happy ending…or should I say, a very happy New Beginning!  Read full story below! Full Story: Could your dog stand to lose a few pounds?  We highly recommend Life’s Abundance Weight Loss Formula for Adult Dogs, a safe, natural, never-recalled, made in the USA formula, where you feed your dog according to his/her present weight, and NOT the weight he/she should be!   Click here to learn more  >>

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Author: Bree
Posted: May 4, 2014, 3:16 pm
Hammond Cop Allegedly Abuses K9 Partner

COP K9 ABUSE? A police officer in Indiana has been placed on leave after this video surfaced on YouTube. It shows some pretty rough treatment of his K9 companion. The local mayor called the video “shocking and disturbing.” We’ve posted it in the link, but we’ll warn you that there is extremely strong profanity in the YouTube video. How does this make you feel?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! ***Proceed with caution*** Full Story:

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Author: Bree
Posted: May 2, 2014, 10:22 pm
Dr. Sarah, Life's Abundance Staff Veterinarian

by Dr. Sarah, Life’s Abundance Staff Veterinarian This month’s episode of Pet Talk with Dr. Sarah is just for felines. Turns out, that myth about finicky appetites doesn’t mean they won’t consume things that can damage their little bodies. You may think you know what human foods a cat should and should not eat, but we guarantee that some of these will surprise you. We’re talking about more than just avoiding stomach upset; some of these ingestibles may prove lethal to a cat. Because your cat’s long-term wellness is our primary concern, Dr. Sarah is throwing in an extra ‘must-avoid’ product, along with info about what constitutes a truly balanced diet for optimal kitty health. To learn which people foods should be kept safely out of kitty’s reach, click here to watch the latest episode of Pet Talk now!

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Author: Bree
Posted: April 27, 2014, 6:55 pm
Clifford's Explosive Diarrhea

When Your Pet Has Diarrhea “Diarrhea is one of the most common medical symptoms of cats and dogs,” says Dr. Sheila McCullough, veterinarian at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital. “An owner’s first reaction to diarrhea should be to note when it started, how often it is happening, how much your pet is straining to defecate, and what the character of the diarrhea is–bloody, black, mucous-like, or otherwise. In addition, you should try to recall unusual items that your pet may have eaten.” Diarrhea occurs when an accumulation of dissolved substances in the intestine causes excess water to move into the intestine. “This accumulation may be a result of decreased absorption of food, increased secretion of electrolytes by the intestine, or both. An example of overload of an absorbable solute is fructose overload. For instance, if you eat three pounds of grapes, an hour later you may be in trouble,” says Dr. Aslam Hassan, professor of gastrointestinal physiology at the college. Fructose needs help to be absorbed into the body. These helpers come in the form of carriers. If there is too much fructose, carriers may not be numerous enough to be effective. A lot of fructose will be retained in the bowel causing diarrhea. If your pet eats something it cannot absorb–i.e., adult cats and dogs  can’t absorb milk sugar lactose–the overload of solutes in the intestine may cause diarrhea. If not much intestine is functioning, there is a decreased amount of area to absorb food.   This decreased surface area can be caused by surgical removal of a part of the bowel, diseased state of the bowel, or decreased interaction time between the intestine and food.  Mucosa–the lining of the intestine–needs time to absorb what is ingested. Diseases can cause more rapid movement of food through the intestine. Veterinarians may suggest motility modifiers (drugs that can increase or decrease movement of food through the intestines) to help control the diarrhea for 24 to 48 hours until diagnoses can be made. Motility modifiers should not be used long term. “For example, if  your pet has E. coli-induced diarrhea, motility modifiers will retain the toxin that E. coli secretes and may cause life-threatening distention of the bowel,” explains Dr. Hassan. It is important to realize that a high frequency of bowel movements is not synonymous with diarrhea. Your pet can have more than one bowel movement a day; as long as the amount of fecal water is normal, that’s OK. When diarrhea begins in your pet, notify your veterinarian for help in deciding whether you should wait the diarrhea out or make an appointment to have the problem assessed. This is especially significant in young pets. “If your puppy or kitten who has not had its vaccination series gets diarrhea, you should call your veterinarian right away,” says Dr. McCullough.  “Viral diarrheas, such as parvo virus, could kill your young pet. Puppies and kittens dehydrate very quickly.” Veterinarians can initiate rehydration and fluid support. For diarrhea in adult pets, Dr. McCullough suggests withholding food for 12 to 24 hours.  “Then start your pet on small frequent meals of boiled hamburger and rice and see if the diarrhea stops.” However, if blood, foreign objects, or greasy feces are being passed, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian. Chronic diarrhea with sustained weight loss needs to be assessed by your veterinarian as well. “We need to find out whether  weight loss is associated with diarrhea or something else,” explains Dr. McCullough. Coming home to a pet unable to control bowel movements because of diarrhea is not a pleasant experience, as most pet owner’s know. When Dr. McCullough’s own animals have diarrhea, she puts them in a room with a linoleum floor that can easily be cleaned. Crating your dog with diarrhea may lead to a bigger mess. Not only will pets potentially cover themselves with their own feces, but pets may also direct the diarrheal spray outside of the cage and damage household items. Dr. McCullough suggests these tips to prevent diarrhea in pets: Don’t feed pets people food. People food may cause diarrhea as well as pancreatitis.  Keep pets away from foreign objects they can swallow. Get puppies and kittens vaccinated and keep your pets away from unvaccinated animals. Keep pets on a steady balanced diet; ask your veterinarian what the best diet is for your pet. Have your pet’s stool checked every year to control parasites. Feces consistency and content are clues veterinarians rely on to tell them what might be occurring with your pet. You can use these clues as well if you watch your pet’s feces for changes. Also, when you do bring your pet to the veterinarian, bring a fresh stool sample.  For further information about diarrhea in pets, call your local veterinarian. Article Courtesy of College of Veterinary Medicine Illinois NOTE:  If you’ve recently changed your pet’s diet and are experiencing loose stools, please read the article on How to Properly Introduce Your Pet to a New Diet here! Product Recommendations:  RuniPoo Relief, Scour-Aid and Natural Defense

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Author: Bree
Posted: April 24, 2014, 5:34 pm
Dog Proof Gardens

We all love our dogs, but people who also love gardens are oftentimes challenged with trying to have both. Dogs own their yards, and that means they fly through flower beds, dig holes and pull up our prized roses. It’s all perfectly natural for our best friend, but it certainly causes the human tons of frustration. Many people want both and they can have it, with a little ingenuity! Start with a fence, but make it a stylish one. A white picket fence, a beautiful wood privacy fence or pleasing to the eye wrought iron all make attractive perimeter fences and will harmonize with any garden. If your looking for inexpensive, try deer fencing, which installs easily and appears invisible once it is up. This makes it easy to protect already existing landscaping. It’s important not to plant right next to the fence. There should be at least a two foot strip along the inside of the fence. Dogs like to patrol their property and if you plant next to the fence you will consistently have trampled plants. What you can do both inside and outside the fence is have large shrubs like burning bush to help camouflage the fence. We have metal fencing for our dog area and we have burning bush and lilac trees on the outside of the fence. After owning the house for twenty years, we have some really nice sized trees and bushes that hide a lot of our fencing and make it more pleasing to the eye. Within the fenced in yard, there are several things you can do to protect your plants from the dog. You can weave the invisible deer fencing through existing bushes and gardens so your dog does not have access to them, or you can put a nice low fence to be a pretty barrier and train the dog to stay on the right side of the fence. This might take awhile, but with a little patience and not too much frustration, your dog can learn that the “other side of the fence” is off limits. Dogs are natural diggers and it is just plain fun for them, as well as providing a cool spot to lay in to get away from the heat. Relocating a specially designated spot for digging is a great idea. An ideal spot is under the deck. This provides escape from the heat where dogs can dig to their hearts content, and you can even but shrubs around the deck to hide the spot. I love water gardens and fountains, but you need to be careful for the sake of the dog. Make sure you have a shallow rim all the way around the inside of the pond in which you can place flat rocks and low plant to give the dogs an exit. Because no matter how hard you try, there are some dogs who were made for water and will jump in no matter what you do. If you want a cool spot for the dog and aren’t worried about being in Home and Garden, you can get a kiddie pool specifically for the dog. Rest the pool against the edge of the digging deck or a patio and then you can plant house plants and flowering plants in containers around the rest of the pool to hide it from the neighbors. Your garden will need paths and if its in the dogs area, plan for dog friendly paths. Mulch makes great path material or nice large, flat rocks that look great in a natural garden setting. Be sure to keep compost piles out of the area the dog is allowed in order to avoid dog in compost problems, and be sure to use pet friendly products for you lawn. Trees help shade the yard and give the dog a cool place to lie and watch squirrels and birds. Make sure you do not weed your garden in the presence of your dog because it will give your dog the idea that pulling up plants is a good thing. The same goes with planting because your dog will get the idea that digging is good. You need to do these things when the dog is inside taking a nap. You certainly can make the effort and have a nice garden and lawn and a dog. However, be realistic and do not expect a perfect lawn. Dogs do tend to cause brown spots when they urinate on the grass. You can control it a little by training you dog to eliminate in one specific area in the yard. But it will still happen. We always have to give up that Lawn and Garden perfection when we choose to have a dog.

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Author: Bree
Posted: April 20, 2014, 2:26 pm
Garlic Benefits

Garlic Benefits for Dogs:  Is Garlic Good for Dogs? Like many powerful herbs, garlic has been tested for a vast array of medical conditions.  The following list includes the most common applications for dogs. Garlic has a high sulfur content, and it is thought that the sulfur, excreted through the dog’s skin, repels fleas, ticks, mites and other biting insects.  The sulfur excretion can also help rid the dog of bacterial or fungal microbes that may be present on the skin, helping to heal itching, irritated skin. Fleas aren’t the only pests put off by garlic.  Worms in the digestive tract are repelled by garlic.  In a dog that has had repeated infestations of worms, garlic can be fed once or twice a week as a preventative. Garlic is also a potent anti-fungal agent.  It can be used topically on fungal skin infections. Sulfur excretion also occurs in the dog’s lungs, making garlic a strong expectorant.  It encourages the expulsion of irritants such as dust, spores and pollen from the lungs, and helps kill any bacteria that may be present in the lungs.  This makes it a perfect remedy for hay fever, seasonal allergies, kennel cough, or any other respiratory problems. Garlic also kills bacteria internally.  Any conditions or infections that are caused by bacteria, internal and external, can be treated with garlic supplementation.  It can also help prevent wounds from becoming infected. Owners of diabetic dogs, take note: Animal and human studies have shown that garlic can reduce blood-sugar levels.  Researchers noted an increase in serum insulin and improvement in liver glycogen storage after garlic administration. In humans, garlic’s most publicized successes have concerned its ability to lower blood cholesterol and prevent blood clotting.  Because it improves circulation, dogs who suffer from arthritis will benefit from periodic garlic supplementation. Garlic also promotes the production of white blood cells, thus strengthening the dog’s resistance to infection of all kinds.  That makes it a powerful treatment for dogs with low or compromised immunity (such as hunting dogs that are worked heavily in cold and wet weather, or show dogs that are taken to numerous shows or competitions).  This would include exhaustion and other nonspecific conditions associated with a subtle decline in health.  Garlic can help bolster an immune response following exposure to strange dogs. Immune system support is also helpful for newborn puppies and their mothers.  In this case, a smaller dose of garlic would be fed to the mother.  Garlic is passed through her milk to the puppies, benefiting both by fighting infections.  Due to this antibacterial action, as well as its ability to support digestive function, garlic combats diarrhea in puppies. Human studies have demonstrated that allicin, the ‘active ingredient’ in garlic, increases the levels of two important antioxidant enzymes in the blood: catylase and glutathione peroxidase, confirming the antioxidant and free-radical scavenging potential of allicin. Garlic has been shown to help re-colonize bacteria in the gut, so garlic supplementation can be beneficial for any dog that has been treated with conventional antibiotics, which can wipe out ‘good’ gut bacteria. Garlic is widely thought to have anti-cancer properties.  The research is promising enough that garlic is recommended for any dog with cancer. If you feed dried garlic, whether in a powdered or granulated form, the important thing is to get garlic that has not been heat-treated.  Also, if you are taking garlic tablets, it is important to know whether your brand is actually dissolving after you take it.   Fresh garlic is the least expensive option, and is the most potent form of the herb.  But not everyone is willing to spend time chopping it up for their dogs to eat, and not all dogs will eat it, even if it is mixed into their food.  You may have to experiment a little to determine which form is most palatable for your dog.  The fussiest eaters may benefit from pure, cold-processed garlic oil, which several manufacturers produce in gelatin capsules. Begin with a low dose, introducing garlic in increasing amounts over a week or two until you are feeding the entire dose.  According to Self, an average dose of garlic for large dogs should be about one fresh, crushed garlic clove per day.  If you feed pure, cold-pressed garlic powder or granules, the equivalent is about a half-teaspoon.  The suggestion for medium-sized dogs is half a clove (or 1/4 teaspoon of powder); for small dogs, give just a quarter clove (or a pinch or two of the powder). As with any drug or herb, it’s important to watch for any sensitivities particular in your dog’s body.  Some herbalists say that a high daily dose of fresh garlic, given for long periods of time, can deplete the intestinal flora.  If the condition you are treating is seasonal, or if the treatment is successful, slowly decrease the dose after the dog improves and maintains the improvement. If you are looking for a natural garlic-based flea and tick preventative during this season, we recommend Flea Free.  Click here to learn all about this popular product line, and how it can help your pets, and even YOU!  My Boxers are given crushed garlic (from the supermarket) and Flea Free Food Supplement, alternately. If you’d rather stay away from garlic to begin with, but still ensure your pet is protected against fleas and ticks, we highly recommend PetZone Flea & Tick Protector.   PetZone Flea & Tick Protector will replace your once-a-month flea and tick medication, and is safe for ALL animals of ALL ages, including humans.  Remember, garlic is NOT safe for puppies, kittens and nursing mommas, but our Flea & Tick Protector is!   Just attach to your baby’s ID tag on his/her collar and forget about it until it’s time to replace!  Learn more about PetZone Flea & Tick Protector.

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Author: Bree
Posted: April 17, 2014, 3:19 pm
Changes Ahead for the Pet Food Industry

With yet another pet food recall last week — this time it was the two-pound, five-pound, and 15-pound bags of Abady Highest Quality Maintenance and Growth Formula for Cats because of possible Salmonella contamination — pet owners have to wonder why premium pet foods continue to have recalls. If you have a pet then you surely know how difficult it can be to choose a quality pet food these days. You can no longer simply grab a “good” food off the shelf. Since the pet food recalls in 2007, being a responsible pet owner typically includes learning to read pet food labels — knowing ingredients, looking at the guaranteed analysis, and being familiar with the jargon used by the industry. Lots of people take it farther and want to know where ingredients are sourced, who makes the food, and other nitty gritty information about recipes. No matter. As careful as people have been in choosing pet foods in recent years, there have still been recalls affecting premium brands. How can that be? continue reading  >>

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Author: Bree
Posted: April 15, 2014, 7:12 pm