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Pet Poisons: The Top 10 Suspects for Dogs – And for Cats

Story at-a-glance

  • Earlier in the year, the Pet Poison Helpline released its annual list of most common pet toxins for 2013. For the first time, canine joint supplements made the top 10 list of dog toxins. Fortunately, most dogs who sample too many joint supplements only develop diarrhea, but in rare cases of overdose, liver failure can occur.
  • Other items on the top 10 list of dog toxins included many of the usual suspects: chocolate, raisins and grapes, the sweetener xylitol, human medications, rat poison, and insect bait stations.
  • The most common toxins for cats last year included lilies, plants containing insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, household cleaners, flea/tick spot-on products for dogs, human medications, household insecticides, and glow sticks and glow jewelry.
  • If you know or suspect your pet has ingested or been exposed to a toxic substance, call your veterinarian, a nearby emergency animal hospital, and/or the 24/7 Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680. You can also download the Pet Poison Help iPhone app.

Toxic Pet Food

By Dr. Becker

Earlier this year, the Pet Poison Helpline released the top 10 household items that caused pet guardians to call for poison consultations during 2013.

According to the Helpline’s Associate Director Ahna Brutlag, DVM, the list of cat toxins didn’t change from last year, but a new item made it to the top 10 list for dogs: canine joint supplements. These supplements have "limited toxicity" according to Dr. Brutlag, but a few cases of liver failure following a massive overdose have been reported.

If you know or suspect your pet has ingested or been exposed to a toxic substance, call your veterinarian, a nearby emergency animal hospital, and/or the 24/7 Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680. You can also download their Pet Poison Help iPhone app here.

Top 10 Dog Toxins in 2013

1. Chocolate
Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which are both classified as methylxanthines. These compounds can cause hyperactivity, increased heart rate, tremors, and potentially death. The more bitter the chocolate, the more toxic it is. Bakers and dark chocolate are the most toxic, and milk chocolate can be dangerous if ingested in large amounts.

2. Xylitol
Xylitol, a sugar substitute common in sugar-free chewing gum and many other products, can cause life-threatening hypoglycemia and liver damage in dogs.

3. NSAIDs
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil, Motrin and Aleve, can cause GI ulcers and kidney failure.

4. Over-the-counter cough, cold and allergy medications
Many of these preparations contain acetaminophen (a painkiller) and pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine (decongestants) and are highly toxic.

5. Rodenticides
Rat and mouse poison can contain inactive ingredients that are attractive to dogs. Aside from eating the poison itself, dogs can also become sick from eating a rodent that has ingested poison. Exposure to rat and mouse poison can cause bleeding, seizures and kidney damage.

6. Grapes and raisins
These foods, even in small amounts, can cause kidney failure in dogs.

7. Insect bait stations
The danger here is primarily bowel obstruction when a dog swallows the plastic shell that contains the bait.

8. Prescription ADD/ADHD drugs
These drugs are amphetamines that can cause tremors, heart problems, seizures and death in pets.

9. Glucosamine joint supplements
These supplements are often flavored to appeal to dogs. Overdoses usually produce nothing more dangerous than diarrhea, but in rare cases, liver failure can result.

10. Oxygen absorbers and silica gel packs
Oxygen absorbers are found in packages of pet treats, beef jerky, and other consumables, and they contain iron that can cause iron poisoning in dogs. Silica gel packs are the small white packs found in new shoes, purses and backpacks.

Top 10 Cat Toxins in 2013

1. Lilies
The variety of lily determines whether it is relatively harmless or potentially deadly. Non-toxic varieties include the Calla, Peace and Peruvian, and typically cause irritation of the upper GI tract. Toxic lilies — including the Tiger, Asiatic, Stargazer, Casablanca, Rubrum, Day, Japanese Show and Easter lily — can prove deadly for your cat. Just a tiny amount of any portion of these plants can cause kidney failure.

2. Household cleaners
General-purpose cleaners are relatively safe (all-natural products are a much better choice), but concentrated products like drain or toilet bowl cleaners can cause chemical burns.

3. Flea/tick spot-on products for dogs
Never use a canine flea/tick product on your cat. Depending on the ingredients in the product, just a drop has the potential to kill a cat within hours.

4. Antidepressants
Cymbalta and Effexor topped Pet Poison Helpline’s toxic antidepressants list in 2013. For some reason kitties are drawn to these medications, which can cause severe neurologic and cardiac effects.

5. NSAIDs
Cats are more sensitive than dogs to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen. And because kitties are so sensitive, veterinary-specific NSAIDs should be used with extreme caution, if at all.

6. Prescription ADD/ADHD medications
Just as with dogs, these drugs, which are amphetamines, can cause tremors, heart problems, seizures and death in cats.

7. Over-the-counter cough, cold and allergy medications
Many of these preparations contain acetaminophen (a painkiller) and pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine (decongestants). Acetaminophen is especially toxic to cats – it damages red blood cells and causes liver failure.

8. Plants containing insoluble calcium oxalate crystals
Peace lilies, philodendron and pothos can cause oral and upper GI irritation, foaming at the mouth and inflammation when ingested.

9. Household insecticides
If you use insecticides on your indoor plants (which I definitely do not recommend, since they are environmental toxins), make sure to keep your kitty away from plants after application until the products have dried or settled.

10. Glow sticks and glow jewelry
Many cats enjoying gnawing on glow sticks and glow jewelry. These items contain dibutyl phthalate, a chemical that can leak out and burn your cat’s fur and tongue.

Related: 

Pets and Toxic Plants

Deadly Pet Treats Are Still Showing Up In The US After Years Of FDA Investigation… Learn to Make Your Own 

Ditch This Pet Food Now – Can Be Deadly to Your Pets 

Cancer and Your Pet: Two Things to Avoid 

Top 10 Human Medications That Poison Our Pets 

The Dangers of Genetically Modified Ingredients in Pet Food

August 3, 2014 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership | Leave a comment

Making Your Own Dog Biscuits

gourmet_doggie_biscuits

For those of you who have always been curious as to how to make dog treats at home for your pet here is a basic recipe to get you started. With all the dog food & treat recalls that have caused severe conditions and even death; it is nice to know what is going into your pet.  It is also a great gift for your pet friends!!

Gourmet Doggie Biscuits

I N G R E D I E N T S

3 1/2 cup all-purpose (or unbleached) flour
2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup skim milk powder
1 tablespoon (or 1 package) dry yeast
3 1/2 cups lukewarm chicken or meat broth (about 2- 15oz cans)

1 egg beaten with about 2 tablespoons water (for egg wash)

I N S T R U C T I O N S

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Grease cookie sheets.

Mix together all dry ingredients.

Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm chicken or meat broth. Let yeast broth mixture set 10 min. Then stir in flour mixture until a soft dough is formed. If the dough is too sticky you can add more flour.

Roll resulting dough out 1/4″ thick. Cut dog biscuit shapes from dough. Put scraps back in bowl and re-roll out until all dough is used.

Brush biscuits with egg wash.

Bake on greased cookie sheets at 300 degrees for 45 min.

Then turn off oven and leave in overnight to finish hardening.

Makes 60 medium-sized biscuits**

Free Dog Food Recipes:

Make Your Own Dog Biscuits

3/4 cup hot water
1/3 cup margarine
1/2 cup powdered milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
3 cups whole wheat flour

In large bowl pour hot water over the margarine. Stir in powdered milk, salt and egg. Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Knead for a few minutes to form stiff dough. Pat or roll to1/2 inch thickness. Cut into bone shapes. Bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes. Cool. These biscuits will dry quite hard. Variation: Increase margarine to 1/2 cup and add 2 teaspoons sugar.

Peanut Butter Dog Biscuit Recipepumpkin  dog biscuits

1 cup of water
1/2 cup of oil
2 eggs
3 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 cup of cornmeal
1/2 cup of oats

Blend wet ingredients together. Whisk dry ingredients together and mix into wet mixture to form a ball of dough. Roll out and shape. Put onto a non-stick cookie tray or lightly greased one. Cook 20 minutes at 400 F. Turn off oven and allow the biscuits to cool in oven until crisp and hard. Store in airtight container.

Vegetarian Dog Biscuits

2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup dry milk powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tbs. brown sugar
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
3/4 cup boiling water
1/2 cup carrots, shredded (optional)
1 egg

Dissolve bouillon cubes in the boiling water. Preheat oven to 300F. Mix all ingredients into a ball and roll out to about 1/4" thick. Cut with bone-shaped cookie cutter, or strips, or a cutter shape of your choice. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Need some Dog Bone / Paw shaped Cookie Cutters to make your dog’s favorite dog biscuits.  Even Wal-Mart carries them now and again.

How to make Pumpkin Dog Biscuits

2 eggs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (or freshly cooked)
2 tablespoons dry milk
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1 teaspoon dried parsley (optional)

Preheat oven to 350f (180c).

In large bowl, whisk together eggs and pumpkin. Stir in dry milk, sea salt, and dried parsley (optional). Add brown rice flour gradually, combining with hands to form a stiff, dry dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and if dough is still rough, briefly knead and press to combine.

Roll dough between 1/4 – 1/2″ – depending if you you a large or small dog and use biscuit/cookie cutter to punch shapes. Place shapes on cookie sheet, no greasing or paper necessary. If desired, press fork pattern on biscuits before baking, a quick up-and-down movement with fork, lightly pressing down halfway through dough. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully turn biscuits over, then bake additional 20 minutes. Allow to cool.before feeding them to your dog.

* Brown rice flour gives the biscuits crunch and promotes better dog digestion. Many dogs have touchy stomachs or allergies, and do not, like many people I know, tolerate wheat.

Makes up to 75 small (1″) biscuits or 50 medium biscuits

Related:

Liver Treats

July 2, 2014 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, pet fun, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets | 1 Comment

Deadly Pet Treats Are Still Showing Up In The US After Years Of FDA Investigation… Learn to Make Your Own

Sad Pug

Consider Making Homemade Treats For Your Pets.

Business Insider:  Deadly pet treats from China keep surfacing in the U.S., even after years of pet deaths and illness and warnings from the FDA. 

Last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned that 600 pets had died after eating tainted treats. Now, sadly, that number has climbed even higher.

The cause seems to be jerky treats made in China. Thousands of illnesses and more than 1,000 dog deaths have been linked to the treats since 2007, according to an ongoing investigation by the FDA.

The exact cause remains unknown, but the FDA reports that more than 5,500 dogs of all sizes, ages, and breeds have been affected by gastrointestinal illness, as well as kidney and urinary issues, that are believed to originate from chicken jerky imported from China. There have also been 24 cases reported in cats and — mysteriously — three in people.

The FDA did not name the brands involved, and pet owners resolved to stop buying all treats made in China may have a hard time doing so. Pet treats do not need to list the country of origin for each ingredient.

"Packages that do not state on the label that they are made in another country may still contain ingredients sourced from China or other countries that export to the U.S.," said the FDA update.

While individual consumers may be left feeling somewhat powerless, national pet retailer Petco has taken decisive action.

Earlier this week, the company announced that it would stop carrying dog and cat treats from China in all 1,300 of its stores by the end of 2014.

"We know the FDA hasn’t yet identified a direct cause for the reported illnesses, but we decided the uncertainty of the situation outweighs the lack of actual proof," said Petco CEO Jim Myers in a statement.

Rival PetSmart told the Associated Press it also plans to stop selling treats from China by March 2015.

In the meantime, officials advise pet owners to monitor pets that are consuming jerky treats and to watch for signs of decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, or increased urination.

The FDA has been working directly with the American Veterinary Medical Association to identify potential cases and is encouraging pet owners to submit complaints.

Making your own pet treats is a great option as well as researching companies that claim their products are 100% natural and made in the USA.

If you want to see your dog happier than he’s ever been, bake him some liver dog treats.  There is a characteristic aroma and taste dogs just can’t get enough of.  And your pup might just look like this gug:

liver dog treats

However, like with all good things, there is something to consider when using liver:

Vitamin A - Even though liver has a whole host of beneficial nutrients and vitamins, one of which is vitamin A, too much can do damage. If you dog ingests a large amount of liver at one time, in severe cases it could lead to vitamin A toxicity.

What Will Your Dog do for Liver Treats?

So, how much is too much? That depends on the size and weight of your dog. Typically organ meat should not be more than 5-10% of your dogs total diet. However, we are talking about treats. A treat is an occasional indulgence, so there should not be a need for concern.

  • Organic - You may want to consider purchasing organic liver. Since the liver functions in removing toxins from the body, an organic liver will have fewer toxins. You should also consider purchasing calf liver or organic calf liver. Since the calf is young, it will have a minimal amount of build-up compared to an adult. Whatever type of liver you purchase, it should be hormone, steroid and antibiotic free, and preferably pasture raised.
  • Stinky - OK, so this isn’t as important as nutrition. But you need to be warned that not everyone enjoys the smell of cooked liver. So, you may want to air out the kitchen during and after baking your liver dog biscuits to avoid the stinky fragrance.
  • Clean-Up - Some of the homemade liver dog treats require that you puree the liver in a food processor. Once liver is in a liquid state, it dries very quickly. It is then quite difficult to remove when it comes time to clean up. I recommend taking the time to immediately rinse any utensils used with liver. Once the treats are baking away in the oven, you can address the task of washing dishes (or in my case loading the dishwasher!).

If you are just getting into baking homemade dog treats, liver is a great place to start. Since almost all dogs love liver, you will have lots of positive reinforcement for your hard baking efforts. And with simple recipes, bake up a batch, and see what your dog will do for some liver dog cookies!

Roll Out the Fun with Dog Biscuit Recipes

These dog biscuit recipes make the quintessential or classic dog treat. Roll out the fun, when you roll and cut out these homemade dog treats.

When you make your own dog treats, part of the fun is collecting dog cookie cutters to use. That’s why we’ve compiled all of our roll and cut recipes into one easy to locate area.

But how do you choose from all of those adorable dog cookie cutters? Here is a list of helpful things to consider when choosing cutters for your dog biscuits:

  • Seasonal – This is probably the easiest cookie cutter to choose. If you are making dog treats for a special time of year, then you’re going to choose Flowers for Spring, Flip Flops for Summer, and so on.
  • Dog Treat Dough – One thing that you need to consider when choosing cutters is the thickness of your dough. If it contains rolled oats, carob chips, or another chunky ingredient, you want to use very simple shaped cutters like hearts or circles. If your dough is simple and has smooth ingredients, like the turkey wheat free dog treats, you can use shapes that have more detail since the detail will be evident after the biscuits are baked.
  • Final Destination – Where or whom are your dog biscuits going to? If you will be shipping your homemade dog biscuits you will want simple shapes to keep them in one piece while traveling. If they will be a gift, how will you package them?

All these things need to be considered before you choose a dog treat recipe, because it will effect your end result. We also have tips on using the cookie cutter once you’ve chosen the perfect theme.

  • Flour – Most dog treat doughs can be sticky. That’s why it’s a great idea to dip your cookie cutter in flour before cutting the dough. Having a lightly covered cookie cutter will help it to release from the dough and provide a crisp cut out.
  • Should You Wiggle? – When cutting the dog biscuit, resist the urge to wiggle the cookie cutter. It will make your cut out not as precise. Choose your spot and press firmly straight down.
  • Lifting the Cut Outs – Once you have cut out as many dog biscuits as you can, it’s time to transfer the cookies to the baking sheet. Start by pulling away the excess dough from around the cut outs. Place the unused dough back into your bowl to be rolled out. Gently lift the cookie away from the parchment paper or flour covered surface with a metal or thin spatula.
  • Cleaning the Cutters – You want to clean your dog cookie cutters as soon as your dog biscuits are in the oven. Using warm water and mild soap is usually all you’ll need. Once they are washed, place them on a clean baking sheet and pop them into the oven for a couple minutes. This will help them to dry completely and avoid rust. Once they are cooled, they can be stored.

Although baking homemade dog biscuits make the cutest treats imaginable, there can be a problem. That problem is rolling out, and working with sticky, thick dog biscuit dough.

Liver Dog Treats with Cheese

What’s not to love with these liver dog treats with cheese. The aromatic flavors of liver, that all dogs seem to go crazy over, and the creamy goodness of cheese combine to create greatness.

Liver is a fantastic addition to your homemade dog treat recipes. However, we recommend you review our tips on buying and using liver before you bake up a batch of these liver dog treats.

Tips: If you do not have oat flour you can make your own by grinding rolled oats in your food processor. You will need 1 1/4 cup of oats to make 1 cup of oat flour. Grind until it is the consistency of flour. If you don’t have brown rice flour, you can substitute a few different flours. You can use barley, potato, millet or spelt flour using the same measurements.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. raw beef liver (you can substitute chicken liver)
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 cup low fat cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder or granulated garlic (not garlic salt)
  • 1 egg

Additional flour for rolling

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F
  2. Puree liver in a food processor. It’s ok if there are a few very small pieces.
  3. Pour the liver into a bowl.
  4. Stir in the flours, cheese, garlic and egg until thoroughly combined.
  5. Roll the dough out to a 1/4" thickness.
  6. Cut with dog cookie cutters or a pizza cutter. OR, drop spoonfuls for dog cookies. You can flatten them with a glass bottom dipped in flour. Or you can leave them in a ball shape.
  7. Place on a ungreased baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden in color.
  9. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Storing: These liver dog treats with cheese will last for 1 week in the refrigerator. They will be good for 6 months in the freezer.

Liver and Cottage Cheese Dog Treat Recipe

Liver dog treats are seldom turned down by dogs. They all seem to love them. So, this liver and cottage cheese recipe is sure to be a big hit.

If you’re an old pro at cooking liver, and just looking for another great liver dog treat recipe, you’ve found it.

Maybe you’re new to cooking liver and have questions or concerns about using it. Then you’ll want to review our tips on choosing liver before baking your homemade dog treats.

Are you using this liver and cottage cheese recipe for dog training treats? Then be sure to use very small dog bone cookie cutters. Or, you can roll them into little balls for quick consumption during training.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. beef liver
  • 2 large eggs (wash shells if you are going to include them)
  • 1 cup fat free cottage cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups wheat germ
  • 3 cups wheat flour

Additional flour for rolling

Instructions:

Tip: It is easier to cut liver (and other meats) while slightly frozen.

  1. Preheat oven to 300° F
  2. Rinse liver and cut into 1 inch pieces (see note above).
  3. In a 2 quart sauce pan bring liver and one cup of water to a boil over high heat.
  4. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until liver is no longer pink. Approximately 5 minutes.
  5. Reserve cooking liquid.
  6. In a blender or food processor puree the liver and eggs (if you are going to include the egg shells, now is the time to do so).
  7. Add reserved cooking liquid, as needed, to assist the puree process and keep the ingredients moving.
  8. Spoon liver mixture into a bowl.
  9. Stir in the cottage cheese, wheat germ, flour and any remaining cooking liquid.
  10. Knead dough until it no longer feels sticky.
  11. Roll out into 1/2" thickness and cut with dog cookie cutters.
  12. Place on a greased cookie sheet.
  13. Another option: Drop a tablespoon of dough onto a greased cookie sheet. Slightly flatted the ball with a fork to make a dog cookie.
  14. Bake for one hour.
  15. Cool completely on a wire rack before serving to your dog.

Once the liver dog treats are cooled, they should not leave a residue when touched. If they do, bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until completely hard and no residue remains.

These treats should last for one week in the refrigerator. If they are frozen, then they’ll last for around 8 months. You will want to use an airtight container when you store your homemade liver treats.

If your dog is motivated to please you for a food reward, these liver and cottage cheese dog treats are sure to be eaten quickly. See if you can take your dog to the next level in obedience or tricks with your homemade dog biscuits.

Fast and Easy Liver Training Treats

Ingredients:

Fresh Liver (preferably beef)

Salt

Water

Instructions:

  1. Add fresh liver to water which is at a full boil. You may add salt to this water if you wish. Allow to cook until liver is no longer pink. Usually about 5 minutes.

  2. Remove liver from the water and promptly rinse with cold water under the sink tap; all the while gently rubbing at the liver to remove any slime or white foamy stuff that may be on the liver.

  3. 3.  Pat the liver with paper towels until dry.

  4. Place liver on a cookie sheet and insert into a pre-heated 200 degree oven until it takes on a leathery appearance and feel. The liver should not crumble or break when picked up. This should take approximately 20 minutes.

  5. Once cooled, cut liver up into bite sized pieces.

Homemade Chicken Jerky for Pets

Yummy super-simple treat… and it’s also super-popular with dogs and healthy. Chicken Jerky is a Treat made from thin strips of chicken slow baked to almost the point of crispness.

Ingredients

1 pound chicken breasts (I baked three pounds!)

Start by preheating your oven to 170 or 180 degrees, depending on how low your oven will go. While that’s preheating, assemble the chicken. I used frozen chicken breast tenderloins (this is a great way to use any chicken you’ve got that’s become freezer burned!)

I had thawed the frozen chicken breasts by putting them in the refrigerator overnight…and woke up to find they were still frozen! I put the chicken in a big bowl of cold water for about 15 minutes which thawed it enough to slice with a sharp knife. TIP: It’s easier to slice the chicken when it’s semi-frozen rather than completely thawed; you can use the heel of your hand on the knife to “chop” the slices rather than trying to saw through thawed meat.

The only difficult part of this dog treat recipe is the slicing; you’ll want to slice the chicken no more than about 1/4 inch wide. Slice with the grain of the chicken, rather than against it; this will make the treats a little chewier and make them last a LITTLE bit longer when you give them to your dogs.

Slice up the chicken and place it on a greased cookie sheet; be sure to use one with a slight edge because there will be water and juices from the chicken during the first hour of cooking. Leave about a 1/2 inch or so between slices and just make sure they’re not touching.

Once you’re finished slicing, pop the cookie sheets in the oven and bake for two hours. After two hours, check the slices and see if they’re dry. You don’t want them to be crispy to the point of snapping but you do want them to be very chewy. (They should look like a very done french fry.) Because I baked three pounds of chicken at once, I had to bake my treats for an 90 minutes and I flipped the slices with a spatula after two hours of baking.

When they’re done, remove the treats from the oven and cool on a drying rack. If you don’t have one (I don’t), just flip a dish drainer over and drape with a dish towel then put your treats on the towel to dry. (You just want to get the treats up off the metal cookie sheets so they’ll cool crispier. A wicker basket flipped over and draped with a cup towel work work great, too.)

When the treats are completely cool, bag them in zippered bags or pop them in an airtight container and refrigerate. You can also freeze the treats for several months. Be warned, though: these are VERY popular treats…they’ll go fast! (Cats also love them!)

Gourmet Doggie Biscuits

I N G R E D I E N T S

3 1/2 cup all-purpose (or unbleached) flour
2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup skim milk powder
1 tablespoon (or 1 package) dry yeast
3 1/2 cups lukewarm chicken or meat broth (about 2- 15oz cans)

1 egg beaten with about 2 tablespoons water (for egg wash)

I N S T R U C T I O N S

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Grease cookie sheets.

Mix together all dry ingredients.

Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm chicken or meat broth. Let yeast broth mixture set 10 min. Then stir in flour mixture until a soft dough is formed. If the dough is too sticky you can add more flour.

Roll resulting dough out 1/4″ thick. Cut dog biscuit shapes from dough. Put scraps back in bowl and re-roll out until all dough is used.

Brush biscuits with egg wash.

Bake on greased cookie sheets at 300 degrees for 45 min.

Then turn off oven and leave in overnight to finish hardening.

Makes 60 medium-sized biscuits**

Storing Dog Treats
In general you should store dog treats the same way you would homemade people cookies. That being said, there are two main variables that determine storage time – the amount and type of fat in the recipe and your local weather conditions. If your recipe uses fats such as butter, or meat bits or juices then it will be more prone to rancidity than a recipe that uses some vegetable oil or shortening. Your treats may mold or spoil much faster in humid or very hot climates.

Refrigeration and Freezing – Refrigeration will prolong the life of more fragile dog treats. Make sure to store in a tightly sealed container or zip lock bag. You can also freeze most treats in zip lock freezer bags. Allow to thaw completely before use

Canine Meat and Grain Menu

2 cups cooked brown rice
2/3 cup Lean beef
2 teaspoons lard — or veggie/olive oil
1/2 cup vegetables — no onion*

Mix all together. You can serve the beef raw if you use chunks of beef. Do not serve ground beef raw, the grinding process increases the chances of bacterial contamination. Use any vegetables you like. You will find over time that your dog will leave any vegetables he does not like. Mix the above. Serve slightly warm, but not hot.

Chow Chow Chicken

You must remove the meat from the bones in this recipe. Chicken bones can easily splinter and cause choking problems in dogs.

2 chicken thighs — or white meat
1 stalk celery — sliced thick
3 carrot — peeled and halved
2 small potatoes — peeled and cubed
2 cups rice — uncooked

Place chicken pieces in large pot. Cover with cold water (5 -6 cups). Add carrots, celery, and potatoes to water. Add salt to taste if you want. Cover and simmer on low heat about 2 hours until the chicken becomes tender. Add the rice, cover and cook over low heat for about 30 minutes until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove soup from heat. Pull the chicken meat off the bone ( it will practically fall off), discard bones. Return shredded pieces to pot. Stir well. Let cool. Store in the refrigerator or freeze.

Meaty Dog Biscuits

Use beef, chicken or lamb strained baby food for these biscuits.

2 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup powdered milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 egg
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 to 10 tablespoons water
2 jars baby food meat, strained

Mix all ingredients together and knead for 3 min. Roll out to about 1/2 inch thick. Use a dog bone shaped cookie cutter, and place biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 min.

Makes approximately 2 dozen doggie biscuits

Bacon Bites for Dogs

6 slices cooked bacon — crumbled
4 eggs — well beaten
1/8 cup bacon grease
1 cup water
1/2 cup powdered milk — non-fat
2 cup graham flour
2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup cornmeal

Mix ingredients with a strong spoon; drop heaping tablespoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet. Bake in a 350 oven for 15 minutes. Turn off oven and leave cookies on baking sheet in the oven overnight to dry out.

Ace’s Favorite Cheesy Dog Biscuits

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/4 pound margarine (I would substitute butter) – corn or olive oil
1 clove garlic — crushed
1 pinch salt
1/4 cup Milk — or as needed

Grate the cheese into a bowl and let stand until it reaches room temperature. Cream the cheese with the softened margarine, garlic, salt and flour. Add enough milk to form into a ball.

Chill for 1/2 hour. Roll onto floured board. Cut into shapes and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until slightly brown, and firm.

Makes 2 to 3 dozen, depending on size.

I hope that these free dog food recipes will inspire you to cook safe and healthy food for your pet.

Do you need more free dog or cat food recipes? Download our free collection of dog and cat foods at Free Dog and Cat Food Recipes. and instantly download the ebooks.

Are you interested in traditional southern cooking? Diane has just finished a free cookbook of her favorite southern recipes. Download Easy Southern Favorites today. These recipes are guaranteed to have them begging for more. Best of all, its free!

Diane Watkins is a traditional southern style cook. She enjoys cooking, teaching, and writing about good food and family. For more information on southern cooking and recipes visit her website at Easy Southern Cooking

Article Source: EzineAricles.com

Posted:  Just One More Pet

Additional recipes:

Peanut Butter Dog Treats

2 tbsp corn oil
1/2 cup peanut butter (make sure you are using organic or non-tainted peanut butter)
1 cup water
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine oil, peanut butter, and water. Add flour 1 cup at a time, then knead into firm dough. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut with small bone shaped cookie cutter. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. For hard and crunchy treats, leave them in the oven for a few hours after baking.  Makes about 3 dozen.

Simple Roasted Organs

(This is a great recipe to make up for Thanksgiving to feed your canine friends… you can substitute chicken for the turkey and add a few turkey scraps at carving time, or just bake the liver and giblets and add the warm turkey as you carve… just go easy on the skin and watch for bones.)

This dish can actually double up as a treat, or healthy topping to your pet’s usual meal. Turkey giblets (hearts, livers and kidneys) are available from butcher shops and many natural food markets – and also come included with most Thanksgiving turkeys!

This recipe is super-simple and just about all pets love it! Since this recipe is cooked, turkey necks should not be used.

Ingredients

Up to 1 lb Turkey scraps, organs/giblets (don’t include bones)

6 tbsp Olive Oil

½ tsp Dried or Fresh Rosemary

1 Clove Garlic, crushed or finely diced (optional)

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the organs on a baking sheet. Slowly pour on the olive and gently shake the pan so that the oil is evenly distributed. Sprinkle on the rosemary and crushed garlic. Place in the oven and cook for about 35 minutes, until golden brown. Cool before serving and refrigerate any leftovers for up to 3 days.

For cats, dice the organs finely with a sharp knife before serving. This technique also works well to create bite-sized training treats that are a little bit different.

Related:

Beef Verses Bison for Dogs – Variety is critical for your pet to receive the full spectrum of amino acids, essential fatty acids, trace minerals, vitamins and antioxidants necessary to thrive.

May 23, 2014 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, pet products, Pets, responsible pet ownership | 4 Comments

If Your Dog Is Bouncing Off the Walls, This Could Be Why… Hyperactive, ADD, ADHD, OCD

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Dr. Becker: If your canine companion is tightly wound, wired, has no desire (ever) to settle down, relax, regroup, you probably refer to him as being hyperactive or suffering from ADHD. But even though the term is widely used in our society today, the actual clinical syndrome of hyperactivity is rare in canines.
It’s probably more accurate to label most dogs who are hyperactive as hyperkinetic. These dogs don’t ever seem to get used to the normal sights, sounds, and smells of their environment. They overreact to ordinary stimuli in their everyday lives. They seem unable to rest, no matter how quiet the surroundings or comfy the bedding.

Clinically Hyperactive/Hyperkinetic Dogs are Rare

Veterinarians generally agree that most symptoms of hyperactivity as described by the dogs’ owners, upon closer inspection, are the result of breed characteristics, conditioned behavior, lack of appropriate physical and mental stimulation, or a combination.

In clinical cases of hyperkinesis, the dogs are usually 3 years old or older (well past the age of boundless puppy energy) and haven’t learned to settle down. These dogs typically have increased heart and respiratory rates, poor body condition, reactivity, and agitation. They are emotionally aroused by routine stimuli and often stay in a state of arousal long after the stimuli is removed.

These are the poor dogs who react every single morning to the sound of the blender being turned on. Or when the kids run up or down the stairs to the second floor — no matter how many times a day that happens. Or at the sound of the garbage truck at the curb twice a week, every week.

Abnormal Behavior… or Annoying Behavior?

There’s a big and important difference between canine behavior that is abnormal and behavior that is actually normal given the dog’s circumstances, but undesirable.

Your veterinarian or animal behavior specialist will need a detailed description of your dog’s unwanted behaviors, how often she performs them, and to what degree or intensity.

He’ll also need to know about how much physical and mental activity your pet gets on a daily basis, including exercise, social interaction, playtime and exploration. You’ll also be asked how you and other family members respond to your dog’s undesirable behaviors.

All these factors will have bearing on a dog’s behavior, including whether the pet is alone much of the time, isn’t getting adequate exercise, isn’t obedience trained, has been conditioned through owners’ responses to use physical activity to get attention, or is punished for bad behavior rather than rewarded for good behavior.

If, for example, you notice your dog is much easier to be around after he’s spent an hour out back playing with your children, you can reasonably assume the social interaction and physical energy he expended playing with the kids has a positive effect on his behavior.

Diagnosis of Hyperkinesis

In order to diagnose true clinical hyperkinesis in a dog, a number of other potential causes for the unwanted behavior must be ruled out as well. These include:

• Conditioning (the dog has been rewarded for the undesirable behavior)
Phobias and anxiety disorders
• Territorialism
• Hyperthyroidism, allergies or another medical condition
Cognitive decline

If any of these problems exist, they must be addressed first. If all potential root causes for hyperactive behavior are ruled out, the traditional method for diagnosing hyperkinesis is to observe the dog in a hospital setting.

What to Do If Your Dog Seems Hyperactive

Since only a very small percentage of dogs are clinically hyperkinetic, I recommend you evaluate your dog’s lifestyle from every angle as a first step.

• Make sure your dog is getting plenty of exercise.
• Provide mental stimulation with puzzles, treat-release toys, hikes and other outdoor activities that appeal to your dog’s natural instincts.
• Focus on desired behaviors your dog performs rather than on what you don’t want him to do. Dogs respond to positive reinforcement behavior modification, which does not include punishment.
• Enroll your dog in an obedience class or an activity that helps him focus, such as K9 nose work.
• Feed your dog a balanced, species-appropriate diet to avoid food intolerances or allergies. Food sensitivity can contribute to restless, hyperkinetic behavior, not to mention less than optimal health.

Once you feel sure the lifestyle you’re providing your pet gives him plenty of outlets for physical activity and mental stimulation, if your furry buddy is still hyperactive more often than not, I recommend making an appointment with your vet.

It’s important at this point to investigate potential underlying physical or emotional causes for your dog’s unwanted behavior. 

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in Dogs and Cats

Dr. Karen Becker is a proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian. You can visit her site at: MercolaHealthyPets.com.

Her goal is to help you create wellness in order to prevent illness in the lives of your pets. This proactive approach seeks to save you and your pet from unnecessary stress and suffering by identifying and removing health obstacles even before disease occurs. Unfortunately, most veterinarians in the United States are trained to be reactive. They wait for symptoms to occur, and often treat those symptoms without addressing the root cause.

May 13, 2014 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal Related Education, Chiweenie, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership | 2 Comments

Tippy the Fainting Squirrel Has Internet Dying To Find Diagnosis

Bing Video: Tippy the fainting squirrel

HuffPo: This candid video above, titled "Tippy the Fainting Squirrel," has slowly become the talk of the Internet this week.

The short clip with no information provided by poster Honor Via depicts a squirrel appearing to eat a nut while standing, only to suddenly freeze, tip over for a few seconds, stand back up and start eating again. (Wash and repeat.)

The video has become the source of one burning question: what exactly is causing these ‘fainting spells’ to befall this poor squirrel?

Answers have varied from fermented foods causing drunkenness, orthostatic hypotension, forms of myotonia and more. Do you have some insight on this bizarre, medical condition? Be sure to leave some comment love below to let us know.

Via Scallywag and Vagabond

December 5, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Unusual Stories, Wild Animals | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Happy Thanksgiving From Just One More Pet (JOMP)

Happy Thanksgiving JOMP

Thanksgiving Pet Recipe of the Day

Simple Roasted Organs

(This is a great recipe to make up for Thanksgiving to feed your canine friends… you can substitute chicken for the turkey and add a few turkey scraps at carving time, or just bake the liver and giblets and add the warm turkey as you carve… just go easy on the skin and watch for bones.)

This dish can actually double up as a treat, or healthy topping to your pet’s usual meal. Turkey giblets (hearts, livers and kidneys) are available from butcher shops and many natural food markets – and also come included with most Thanksgiving turkeys!

This recipe is super-simple and just about all pets love it! Since this recipe is cooked, turkey necks should not be used.

Ingredients

Up to 1 lb Turkey scraps, organs/giblets (don’t include bones)

6 tbsp Olive Oil

½ tsp Dried or Fresh Rosemary

1 Clove Garlic, crushed or finely diced (optional)

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the organs on a baking sheet. Slowly pour on the olive and gently shake the pan so that the oil is evenly distributed. Sprinkle on the rosemary and crushed garlic. Place in the oven and cook for about 35 minutes, until golden brown. Cool before serving and refrigerate any leftovers for up to 3 days.

For cats, dice the organs finely with a sharp knife before serving. This technique also works well to create bite-sized training treats that are a little bit different. 

The “Not So Safe” or No-No Pet Food List 

How to keep your dog safe during Thanksgiving holidays 

A Dogs Special Thanksgiving Day

November 29, 2013 Posted by | Dogs, Dogs, Holidays With Pets, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, pet fun, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pet Recipes | , , , , | 2 Comments

Being Overweight Shaves Nearly a Year from Your Dog’s Life, Especially in These 5 Breeds

Story at-a-glance

  • Recent research suggests that dogs that are overweight at middle age may not live as long as dogs of normal weight.
  • A study of approximately 5,500 dogs from 10 different breeds showed that those who are overweight at middle age can have their lives cut short by up to 10 months. This is especially prevalent in certain breeds, including Labrador and Golden Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels, Beagles and Shih Tzus.
  • Overweight dogs can also suffer from a long list of costly obesity-related conditions that can compromise their mobility and quality of life.
  • Orthopedic problems are occurring in ever-younger pets, and with greater severity, due to obesity. Dogs that are nearly immobile from a combination of weight and joint or bone problems are becoming commonplace.
  • Helping your dog achieve and maintain a healthy weight involves a combination of feeding species-appropriate nutrition in portion-controlled meals, and insuring your pet is getting plenty of regular exercise.

Overweight Dog

By Dr. Becker

If your dog is overweight or obese, you now have another huge incentive to help him slim down. According to recent research conducted by scientists from the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition in collaboration with Banfield Pet Hospital, being overweight shortens a dog’s lifespan.

Information was collected from veterinarians on approximately 5,500 pet dogs across 10 popular breeds throughout the U.S., using body condition scores for neutered male and spayed female dogs between 6.5 and 8.5 years of age.

The study results show that dogs that are overweight at middle age may not be around as long as those at a healthy weight. The research suggests that being too heavy can shave up to 10 months off a dog’s life, and this is particularly apparent in five breeds: the Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, American Cocker Spaniel, Beagle and the Shih Tzu.

Overweight Dogs Also Acquire Devastating Obesity-Related Diseases

One thing the Waltham Centre study does not address is the quality of life of overweight and obese pets, many of which suffer from mobility problems and other obesity-related conditions for the final months of their lives.

Because so many pets are overweight these days, it’s common for veterinarians to see animals suffering from health conditions secondary to their obesity, including arthritis, hip dysplasia, diabetes, hypertension, respiratory problems, and kidney disease.

According to Petplan USA, in 2011, insurance claims for pets with diabetes increased over 250 percent from the prior year. Claims for heart disease rose over 30 percent, and for arthritic pets, nearly 350 percent. Orthopedic conditions are occurring in younger and younger pets, and with greater severity, because so many animals are overweight. Dogs that are nearly immobile from a combination of weight and joint or bone problems are becoming commonplace. Otherwise alert, healthy dogs are being euthanized because they simply can’t get around anymore, which destroys their quality of life.

How to Help a Heavy Dog Reach and Maintain His Ideal Weight

Excess weight on the relatively small sized body of a dog has serious and more immediate consequences than added weight on a human body. Couple that with the already short average lifespan of canines, and it’s easy to see how quickly and completely a dog’s life can be devastated by obesity.

If your dog is too heavy, isn’t it time to get him safely down to a healthy weight, so you can have him around as long as possible, and with a good quality of life?

My top three recommendations for helping an overweight pet lose weight:

  • Feed a balanced, species-appropriate diet. Regardless of his weight, your dog still needs the right nutrition for his species, which means food that is high in animal protein and moisture, with low or no grain content.
  • Practice portion control — usually a morning and evening meal, carefully measured. A high protein, low carb diet with the right amount of calories for weight loss, controlled through the portions you feed, is what will take the weight off your dog. And don’t forget to factor in any calories from treats.
  • Regularly exercise your pet. Daily exercise, including at least 20 minutes of consistent aerobic activity, will help your pet burn fat and increase muscle tone.

For more information: "How to Help Your Chunky Dog Release Excess Pounds." 

Sharing Thanksgiving With Your Pets

November 27, 2013 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, Holidays With Pets, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The “Not So Safe” or No-No Pet Food List

pet-friendly-home The following foods are not safe for dogs, cats, potbellied pigs, or guinea pigs. Never give the following foods or beverages to your pets:

  • *Alcohol of any kind (a no-no for all animals)
  • *Anything with Caffeine (a no-no for all animals)
  • Avocados – especially for birds and cats
  • Baby food if it contains onion powder
  • Bones from Ham, Chicken, Turkey or Cooked Bones that can splinter
  • * (Raw) Bread or Yeast Dough
  • Candied Yams
  • Casseroles (unless you absolutely know that none of the no-no foods are in them)
  • *Chocolate and Cocoa (this includes things like brownies and chocolate chip cookies) and dark chocolate is the worst
  • Raw cookie dough can also kill dogs and small children.
  • *Grapes or raisins
  • Jell-O Molds
  • (Raw) Liver
  • *Macadamia Nuts (this includes things like cookies and pies) and go easy on nuts in general (nuts in general are not great for dogs, but walnuts, macadamia nuts, and pecans are particularly harmful and add the additional possibilities of health problems caused by fungus and mold. Peanuts and peanut butter are not on the no-no list but could also cause problems because of mold issues). Nuts are rich in monounsaturated fats, which are healthy for humans, but too much fat of any kind increases the risk of pancreatitis in dogs.
  • Milk (and American Cheese) can be a problem for some dogs. They can be lactose intolerant like some people.
  • Mushrooms, particularly wild mushrooms.
  • Nutmeg
  • *Onions, including onion powder (garlic should be fed in moderation)
  • Pecans, including Pecan Pie (nuts in general are not great for dogs, but walnuts, macadamia nuts, and pecans are particularly harmful and add the additional possibilities of health problems caused by fungus and mold.  Peanuts and peanut butter are not on the no-no list but could also cause problems because of mold issues).
  • Potato Skins and Green Potatoes (potatoes in general are not digestible by dogs).
  • Pork Products because of the nitrates
  • Stuffing (it usually contains onions, which are very harmful to pets)
  • Large amounts of Grains (often a main ingredient in cheap commercial pet foods)
  • *Raisins and grapes
  • Raw eggs (raw egg whites) – (According to the ASPCA, raw egg whites contain avidin, which damages a dog’s metabolism and creates a biotin deficiency, so they recommend owners should discard the white if feeding a dog raw eggs.  Others disagree.)
  • Tomatoes (plant and fruit) – All parts of the plant except the tomato itself are poisonous to humans
  • Vitamin A in large amounts causes toxicity
  • Walnuts (nuts in general are not great for dogs, but walnuts, macadamia nuts, and pecans are particularly harmful and add the additional possibilities of health problems caused by fungus and mold. Peanuts and peanut butter are not on the no-no list but could also cause problems, for humans as well, because of mold issues).
  • *Xylitol and anything with it in it.

Depending on the amount consumed and the size, breed, species and age of the animal many of the items above can cause death, but they definitely can and usually cause discomfort for the pet/animal, more and expensive vet bills for you, butt scooting, and stress in your pets and for you. Distention of the abdomen, vomiting, muscle tremors, paralysis bloody stool, depression, stress, jaundice, disorientation, diarrhea, lethargy, lack of coordination, difficulty breathing, tremors, coma, abnormal fluid accumulation, drooling, restlessness, anemia and seizures are among the symptoms and conditions that can be caused by the aforementioned foods.

The range of diseases and conditions caused or intensified by the No-No Foods for pets include: coma, heart arrhythmia and cardiac arrest, paralysis, pancreatitis, inflammation throughout the body, seizures and tremors, gastric-dilitation volvulus (twisted stomach) and death.

*Causing the most severe health problems and the most incidents of death.

Tobacco products and many plants and herbs are also bad for pets.  Poinsettias, tomato plants and the Sago Palm are among the common plants that are toxic to dogs/pets. 

How to keep your dog safe during Thanksgiving holidays

“Holidays Are Great and Fun To Share With Our Pets, As Long As We Avoid the No-No Foods”

Common Foods That Are Harmful Or Even Fatal to Dogs

Pets and Toxic Plants

More Dogs (and Cats) Getting High, Sick and Fat In States Where Marijuana Is Legal – Drugs, unless prescribed or are specifically made and approved for animals, are a No-No!

Cooking real food or feeding a raw diet is generally the best option for most pets, but pet parents need to know the general restrictions as well as those for their particular pet plus make sure that their furkids are getting all the nutrients they need and avoiding too many fats, sugars and of course the no-no food list!  Commercial pet food, including kibble, is a rather new creation along with pre-packaged, processed and restaurant-style junk food for humans, including baby food and baby formula, filled with questionable additives and unrecognizable ingredients; none of which are proving to be the best choices, just read the labels.  All were invented for the consumers’ convenience and the profit for their manufacturers not good health and nutrition. The more fresh and freshly prepared food from good sources, as well as mother’s milk over formula for babies, the healthier we, our children and our pets are and will be!

When Raw Food is NOT the Right Food for Your Pet

Every species, breed or type of animal has its own requirements and no-no’s.  As a pet parent or the parent of a learning pet parent, it is your job to find out what those requirements and no-no’s are and meet those needs.  A pet is a living creature that adds joy to our lives.  We are all God’s creatures and any animal is a gift that has been given to you to cherish and take care of properly!!

Cross-posted at True Health Is True Wealth (THITW) and at AskMarion

November 23, 2013 Posted by | Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, Holidays With Pets, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, pet products, Pets | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

How to keep your dog safe during Thanksgiving holidays

Dog Eating Raw Turkey Examiner: Now is the time you give thanks in your life for all you have; a secure place to live, food on the table, clothes on your back, your family, friends and of course the precious pets. Your dog is full of loyalty, devotion and unconditional love. There is no better time to say thank you than during this holiday season.

Thanksgiving is such a busy, hectic holiday, with lots of foods, drinks and goodies. Your dog may love all the extra company and attention, but it may soon become too stressful for your pet. Most animals survive on a regular routine, and Thanksgiving is anything but routine. Along with the hectic schedule, there is a lot of tempting food sitting around, very appealing to the pooch sniffer. Showing your love to your dog does not mean you set a place at the table; on the contrary, that can cause your pet more harm than good. Also take precautions by not allowing any foods, including the infamous turkey from being accessible to an inquisitive, hungry pooch.

Thanksgiving consists of lots of fatty greasy items that disagrees with your dog’s system, especially the scrumptious turkey skin. Eating such foods can cause pancreatitis, vomiting and diarrhea. The last thing you want is to end up at the veterinarian’s office, while all your guests are living it up at home with the festivities.

When it comes to the holiday, try to keep your pet on its normal routine as much as possible. Try a little fun time such as a walk, jog or tossing a ball around before the festivities and at day’s end to work off some of the extra foods enjoyed at the Thanksgiving table. Avoid giving treats of the holidays to your dog and also inform your guest to do the same. A teeny bit of lean turkey added to your dog’s dinner will not hurt but keep it to a minimum. If you have a dog that gets easily stressed, preparing a dog-safe room with bed, blankets, toys and water away from the festivities, hustle and bustle may be an option for the pet’s safety.

Also remember to ensure that your trash is completely sealed off so that your pet cannot access it and rummage for “goodies.” There are a lot of dangers that lurk within that garbage, including turkey bones, butter, fat, string for tying up the turkey and more. It all takes a little effort to ward off the dangers of the holidays when it comes to showing your appreciation for all the family, together with your canine. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

 

By Susan LeeRockford Pet Care ExaminerAnimal Care Blog. Be the most educated pet parent!

Related:

Pancreatitis in Dogs 

Don’t Let This Organ Ruin Your Pet’s Life 

Can Dogs Eat Nuts? 

No-No Foods for Pets

“Holidays Are Great and Fun To Share With Our Pets, As Long As We Avoid the No-No Foods”

Common Foods That Are Harmful Or Even Fatal to Dogs

Pets and Toxic Plants

More Dogs (and Cats) Getting High, Sick and Fat In States Where Marijuana Is Legal

November 17, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, Holidays With Pets, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets | , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Best "Pet" Food Money Can Buy… And the Absolute Worst

Story at-a-glance

  • The pet food industry in the U.S. is relatively young, which is surprising when you consider the vast and confusing array of pet food offerings available on the market. Prepared pet food has only been around for about 60 years, and has experienced most of its growth spurt in just the last 30 years.
  • World War II introduced Americans to two things that have shown great staying power – dry pet food and processed human food, which would also ultimately have a tremendous impact on the pet food industry.
  • After WWII, the U.S. enjoyed a period of tremendous growth and expansion in every direction. During those boom years, in response to the tremendous increase in consumer appetites, the human food industry created vast quantities of waste from slaughterhouses, grain mills, and processing plants. Pet food manufacturers – still in their infancy — immediately understood the unlimited opportunity of human food waste to their industry. By 1960, pet food companies had figured out how to mass-produce dry pet food to meet growing consumer demand for pet “convenience” foods.
  • There’s a problem, however. Carnivorous dogs and cats have not evolved to digest and assimilate the primary ingredients in the vast majority of commercially prepared pet foods. As a result, for over a half-century we’ve created dozens of generations of animals that suffer from degenerative diseases linked to nutritional deficiencies.
  • To be optimally healthy, dogs and cats need unadulterated, fresh, moisture-rich whole foods. They don’t need grains, fillers, artificial preservatives, colors, additives, chemicals, or byproducts. Although animals can eat some processed foods, they aren’t designed to consume a lifetime of dry or canned diets.

Pet Food Industry

By Dr. Becker

Commercially prepared pet food in the U.S. has a relatively short (less than 100 years), but interesting history. Believe it or not, the only food made exclusively for pets prior to the early 1920s were dog biscuits!

During the 1920s and ‘30s, the pet food market began to expand a bit. Americans with enough money to purchase their pet’s food could find dehydrated, pelleted and canned formulas made from meat and grain mill scraps. But most pets were still fed primarily raw meat and table scraps, plus whatever food they hunted for themselves.

The Great Depression of the 1930s and early ‘40s had a significant impact on the growth of the commercial pet food market, however, lack of industry regulation invited anyone who wanted to make a buck to produce a can or bag of pet food. During that period, canned pet food accounted for over 90 percent of the market.

During World War II (1939 to 1945), not only was metal rationed, but pet food was categorized as “non-essential” by the U.S. government. The combination spelled death for the canned pet food industry. In addition, food rationing led to fewer table scraps. Pet owners who could afford to bought dry pet food or dog biscuits – the only commercially available products at the time.

Byproducts of WWII: Dry Pet Food and Processed Human Food

Unfortunately, the American pet owner’s love of dry pet food has endured well past the end of World War II. The war also sparked the processed food revolution in the U.S. Spam and similar products were developed in the 1930s to feed the troops abroad and to help with food rationing restrictions at home. All the factors that made processed food attractive to humans ultimately had a significant impact on the pet food industry as well.

The period after the end of WWII was a time of enormous economic growth and expansion in the U.S. Jobs were plentiful and more Americans were able to buy their own homes. As more families moved out of cities to suburbia, giant supermarkets replaced small grocery stores. Consumer demand for processed foods, for fast food – for food in general – kept pace with increases in educational and employment opportunities, individual wealth, and ever-expanding lifestyle options.

In responding to the tremendous increase in U.S. consumer appetites, the human food industry created vast quantities of agricultural scraps from slaughterhouses, grain mills, and processing plants. Pet food manufacturers immediately understood the unlimited opportunity of human food waste to their industry.

By 1960, Pet Food Companies Were Able to Mass-Market Kibble

It’s absolutely true — our pet population provides a place for recycling waste from the human food industry. Grains that fail inspection, uninspected pieces and parts of waste from the seafood industry, leftover restaurant grease, deceased livestock, and even roadkill is collected and disposed of through rendering — a process that converts all sorts of human food industry waste into raw materials for the pet food industry.

In the late 1950s, a U.S. pet food company developed a way to create kibble from boiling cauldrons of meat, fat and grain scraps – it’s called extrusion. The raw materials are purchased by pet food manufacturers who then blend the rendered fat and meat with starch fillers. They add bulk vitamin and mineral supplements, and then they extrude the mix at high temperatures, creating all sorts of toxic reactions including advanced glycation end products and heterocyclic amines. This is what passes for pet food and it’s sold to consumers at a tremendous profit.

This “advancement” in manufacturing allowed pet food companies to capitalize on the popularity of kibble. Now, they were able to mass-market the type of pet food most popular with U.S. pet owners due to its convenience and low cost.

Today, there are hundreds of kibbles, canned and semi-most dog and cat foods to choose from. This is remarkable, given that not quite 60 years ago, commercial pet food was almost unheard of.

Have We Chosen Convenience Over the Health of Our Pets?

No one really argues with the fact that in order for optimal health to occur, animals – including humans — must consume the foods they were designed to eat, and preferably whole, fresh and unadulterated. This is known as species-appropriate nutrition. For example, vegetarian animals must eat vegetation for optimal health. Carnivores must eat fresh whole prey for optimal health.

Carnivorous pets have not evolved to digest and assimilate foods like corn, wheat, rice or potatoes – yet these are the very foods the vast majority of pet food manufacturers use as primary ingredients in their formulas. Fortunately, dogs and cats are extremely resilient creatures. Not only do they not die immediately upon eating biologically inappropriate foods, but it often takes years before the significant physical degeneration that occurs from a lifetime of eating the wrong foods becomes noticeable.

One of the reasons we’re able to deceive ourselves into believing convenience pet foods are good for dogs and cats is because the changes to a pet’s health and vitality brought on by a dead, processed diet are usually not immediate or acute.

For over a half-century, our pets have been fed inappropriate diets that have kept them alive, but not thriving. In fact, we’ve created dozens of generations of animals that suffer from degenerative diseases linked to nutritional deficiencies.

Optimal Nutrition for Your Dog or Cat

Dogs and cats need quality protein, fats, and a small amount of vegetables and fruits, which provide antioxidants and fiber to animals that no longer hunt whole prey.

Natural sources of trace minerals, vitamins, and fatty acids must be added, since the soils in which foods are grown are depleted of many of the nutrients pets need. Also, food storage, whether it’s in a freezer or a pantry, decreases critical essential fatty acid levels in foods.

Pets need unadulterated, fresh, whole foods that are moisture dense. They don’t need grains, fillers, artificial preservatives, colors, additives, chemicals, byproducts, or processed foods. Although animals can eat some processed foods, they aren’t designed to consume a lifetime of dry or canned diets.

If you would like to learn more about the importance of fresh, whole, unprocessed diets for dogs and cats, I recommend you watch or read my three-part series on raw food diets for pets:

Part 1 — The Feeding Mistake Linked to the Cause of Most Disease-Are You Making It?
Part 2 — The Biggest Myths About Raw Food (And Why They’re Mostly Nonsense)
Part 3 – Common Feeding Mistakes That Can Harm Your Pet

You can also find a vast amount of additional information here at Mercola Healthy Pets on how to choose the best foods for your pet, and what foods to avoid.

Ditch This Pet Food Now – Can Be Deadly to Your Pets 

Dr. Becker’s Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats: Simple Homemade Food – Cookbook

Surprise, Surprise… the Best Food for Dogs Is Homemade Food

Real meat is the best food for your dog….nothing else even comes close.

The best food for your dog is . . .

Real food. Fresh food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, bison, venison, fish. Fresh vegetables. Yogurt, eggs, cottage cheese.

No, this is not "people food." Calling real food "people food" makes it sound as though people are the only living creatures entitled to eat real food. That’s not true.

ALL living creatures deserve real, fresh food.

"You can boost your pet’s health profoundly by making one simple decision. All you have to do is change his diet from commercial-brand fare to something you may never have imagined giving him – real food. The fresh food you buy at the market for yourself is the food you should give your pet, too."

Generations of dogs lived to ripe old ages on fresh foods…before the pet food corporations came along and changed (ruined) everything.

Dog food corporations. "Just say no."

Dogs have been domesticated for about 15,000 years (that’s amazing, isn’t it?) and up until the 1930s, they were NEVER fed "kibble" or "canned" brands from a store. Dogs were fed real meat and vegetables, and a little homemade bread. On this diet they thrived, frequently living into their late teens.

Dogs didn’t eat kibble until the 1930s when the grain and meat industries needed a market for their rejects.

That all changed in the 1930s, when cereal and grain manufacturers were looking for something profitable to do with their rejected cereals and grain – their wheat and corn that failed USDA inspection because of mold, rancidity, and other contaminants.

These companies discovered that hey, the meat industry faced the same dilemma – meat that failed USDA inspection because it had spoiled or because the livestock was diseased.

The ingenious idea of mixing the rejects together and calling it "dog food" was born.

Marketing firms spent an enormous amount of money planting this lamentable idea in the public’s mind, and today commercial diets are promoted by multi-billion dollar pet food corporations and the veterinary industry, both of whom have a huge financial stake in getting you to feed these products.

But processed kibble and canned products were not then – nor are they now – "dog food."

Real dog food was, is, and always will be real food.  That’s what your dog should be eating.

"The whole concept of Insta-Meal for humans is repulsive. Most people would soon be climbing the walls in frustration, desperate for a salad or some fruit – anything whole and fresh, or just different. Perhaps the thought of eating kibbles for the rest of your own life helps make the point that pets forced to do so are being shortchanged. All of us – humans and animals – should have fresh, wholesome, unprocessed food in our daily diet.

The awful ingredients in commercial "dog food"

THE GRAIN

Virtually all dog food brands are heavily based on fibrous grains and cereals. But dogs do not have the long, winding digestive tract required to digest fibrous grains and cereals. Dogs have a short straight digestive tract designed to digest meat.

Many dogs who eat corn, soybeans, or wheat develop health problems.Excessive shedding or dandruff. Loose stools. Gassiness and flatulence. Itchy skin, where your dog licks his feet or rubs his face against the carpet, trying to ease the itch. You might never think to associate these problems with the grain in your dog’s diet, but that is often the case.

To make matters worse, GOOD grain is reserved for the human market. What goes into the pet food bin is deemed unfit for human consumption because of mold, rancidity, or contaminants – yuck!

THE MEAT

Unless a dog food brand says its meat passed USDA inspection…it didn’t.

Contrary to what the dog food companies show you on TV commercials, your dog doesn’t get sirloin from a healthy cow who spent its life cropping grass, nor does he get white chicken breast from a hen who spent its life pecking happily around the barnyard.

No, your dog gets the meat that didn’t make the cut for the human market – 4D meat from livestock that was Diseased,Disabled, Dying, or already Dead when it arrived at the slaughterhouse. It won’t pass USDA inspection, so into the pet food bin it goes….

….along with the growth hormones that were fed to the livestock to make them grow faster…and with the antibiotics fed to the livestock to prevent massive outbreaks of disease in their crowded living conditions. These hormones and antibiotics trickle through to your dog.

THE GREASY FAT

You know that pungent smell that wafts up from a freshly opened bag of kibble? That’s greasy fat sprayed onto the hard little pebbles to tempt your dog to eat it. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be recognizable to him as food. So dogs gobble up their kibble for the same reason kids gobble up french fries. But we don’t let our kids eat only french fries just because they love the smell or taste, do we?

Bags of kibble can sit on a shelf for so long because of the chemical preservatives.

THE PRESERVATIVES

Preservatives make the bags and cans last longer That’s convenient for the dog food company, which can leave it sitting in their warehouse for a long time. Convenient for the retailer who can leave it sitting on his shelf for a long time. Convenient for the owner who can leave it in the pantry for a long time, then pour it into his dog’s bowl and leave it sitting there all day if necessary.

But what is this stuff that keeps ingredients from spoiling?

The most common dog food preservatives are BHA and BHT (both of which are associated with liver and kidney dysfunction, and bladder and stomach cancer) and ethoxyquin, which is manufactured by that giant chemical corporation Monsanto as a rubber preservative. The Department of Agriculture lists it as a pesticide. OSHA lists it as a hazardous chemical. The containers are marked POISON.

All 3 chemicals are banned in Europe, but because their manufacturers have so much legislative clout here in the U.S., they’re still tolerated here. Sad, but true.

"Good news!" you say. "None of those preservatives are in MY dog food brand." Well, not so fast. Even when it’s not listed, it can be in there, anyway. A legal loophole, you see, allows dog food companies to only list what they themselves put into the bag. If they buy some of their ingredients from a supplier who has already added the chemical, the dog food company doesn’t have to disclose that on the bag.

Isn’t that nice?

THE UNRECOGNIZABLE INGREDIENTS

Brewer’s rice? Wheat bran? Beet pulp? Corn gluten? Do you know what any of that stuff is? Can you see yourself picking up a bag of corn gluten or a carton of beet pulp for your dog’s supper?

What about animal digest? This ingredient is officially described as "material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and undecomposed animal tissue." Doesn’t that sound tasty? It’s actually a boiled concoction from the rendering plant, and the "animal tissue" can include anything from cattle to rats to roadkill to dogs and cats euthanized at the animal shelter. Yes, the FDA has found sodium pentobarbital – the chemical used to euthanize animals – in some brands of dog food.

Australian veterinarian Dr. Ian Billinghurst says:

"If you look at the ingredient list on a can or a bag of pet food – with understanding – you will realise that what is being listed is a heap of rubbish. Definitely not the wholesome nutritious food you would want to feed to a valued member of your family!"

Artificial diets are causing health problems in dogs.

How commercial dog food affects your dog’s health

Every day, unhappy dogs parade through veterinary offices. They suffer from:

  • itching
  • hot spots
  • dandruff
  • excessive shedding
  • foot-licking
  • face-rubbing
  • loose stools
  • gassiness

What are these dogs eating? Virtually every one of them is eating an artificial diet.

"Since I graduated from veterinary school in 1965, I’ve noticed a general deterioration in pet health. We now see very young animals with diseases that we used to see only in older animals. Without the perspective of several decades, vets just coming out of veterinary school think these degenerative conditions in younger animals are "normal." They do not realize what has happened over the passage of time.

I believe, along with poor quality nutrients, the chemical additives in pet food play a major part in that decline. Pet foods contain slaughterhouse wastes, toxic products from spoiled foodstuffs, non-nutritive fillers, heavy-metal contaminants, pesticides, herbicides, drug residues, sugar, and artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives."

Dr. Martin Goldstein D.V.M. sums it up:

"When I tell an owner that a change of diet can affect her pet’s health in a matter of days, the first reaction is usually delight, sometimes even exhilaration."

Dr. Richard Pitcairn D.V.M.  Packaged and canned dog food like packaged and jarred baby food and insta-meals or artificial diets for people are not only not better but are generally bad for those who eat them. Insta-meals, commercial baby food and commercial pet food are industries dreamed up for profits by entrepreneurs that only get worse as the companies and their focus on profits gets bigger.

Without a doubt pets who eat real healthy food live longer and healthier lives… and it saves on the vet bills! 

And cooking for your pets does not have to be a chore.  They can eat many of the same things you eat and there are some great recipes for meats, stews, etc that you can fix for both you and your pet!

h/t to my great friend and vet Dr. Susan for sending this article~

Resources

The Natural Pet Food Cookbook: Healthful Recipes for Dogs and Cats

Everything Cooking for Dogs Book: 150 Quick and Easy Healthy Recipes Your Dog Will Bark For (Everything: Cooking)

Keep Your Dog Healthy the Natural Way

Your Purebred Puppy, Second Edition: A Buyer’s Guide, Completely Revised and Updated

Cooking for Your Dog

Bone Appetit!: Gourmet Cooking for Your Dog

And after dinner how about a nice massage?

November 14, 2013 Posted by | Animal Related Education, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, pet products, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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