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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 | 5 Comments

A Pet’s Plea

If it should be that I grow frail and weak
And pain should keep me from my sleep
Then you muct do what must be done
For this, the last battle, can’t be won.

You will be sad- I understand
Don’t let your grief then stay your hand
For this day, more than all the rest
Your love and friendship stand the test.

We’ve had so many happy years
What is to come can hold no fears
You’d not want me to suffer, so
When the time comes, please let me go.

I know in time you too will see
It is a kindness you do to me
Although my tail, it’s last has waved
From pain and suffering I’ve been saved.

Don’t grieve that it should be you
Who has decided this thing to do
We’ve been so close, we two these years
Don’t let your heart hold any tears.

Author Unknown

Rainbow Bridge…

The Legend of Rainbow Bridge

Great Pet Books: The Rainbow Bridge: A Visit to Pet Paradise and All Creatures Great and Small

Related: 

Meowsa! Do our pets go to Heaven?

Pets and Heaven

Heaven and Pets

Meredith and Abbey… A Beautiful Soul at the Post Office

Sometimes “Rainbow Bridge” Prayers Are Answered

Critter for Christmas Gift… Not Best Idea!

Pet owners cut back on gifts… but not for their cuddly dogs and cats

Is Your Pet a Voiceless Victim of the Tanking Economy?

Help Your Dying Pet End Life in a Kind and Gentle Way

Life in a Dog Pack: Old Age

Beck family spends time with Victor – Photos

The Kindest Decision – In Home Euthanasia for Pets

Pet Age

The Nutrient Your Pet Needs More of As They Age: Protein

World’s Oldest Dog Dies At Age 26….Requiescat in pace

The Lottie June Show – WORLD’S OLDEST CHIHUAHUA

How Long Will Your Dog Be with You? It Depends Heavily on This…

Part 2 of Dr. Becker’s Interview with Bestselling Author Ted Kerasote: The Seven Factors that Determine How Long Your Dog Will Live

Pet owners turning to non-traditional

A Natural Herb That Fights Cancer, or Chemotherapy for Your Sick Pet… Which Would You Choose?

Adopt a Senior Pet…

WCBM’s Les Kinsolving’s beautiful tribute to Brendan, Griffen, and all dogs and dog owners

If I Should Die Before My Dog…

Tails of Love

‘Dogs Have The Intelligence of a Human Toddler’

Do Dogs Go To Heaven?

And God Created Dog…

Dogs Know

On the First Day God Created the Dog!

A Dog’s Purpose – Out of the Mouth of Babes

Are Our Pets Spiritual Assignments

GoD and DoG

Dog, truly a gift!

Tribute to Brendon Griffen…

‘Dogs Have The Intelligence of a Human Toddler’

How Long Will Your Dog Be with You? It Depends Heavily on This… 

Dog Age…

Providing for Your Pet’s Future Without You

In Pets We Trust  -  Also see:  Every Dog’s Legal Guide

Pet Alzheimer’s Disease – Is Your Dog or Cat Showing Signs?

Celebrating Animals in the Afterlife

Your Dying Pet – End Life in a Kind and Gentle Way

‘Until One Has Loved an Animal, Part of Their Sour Remains Unawakened’

Cat & Dog Owners Not Considering Age When Selecting Food

More Books

Canine and Feline Geriatric Oncology: Honoring the Human-Animal Bond (Kindle)

Help Your Dog Fight Cancer: What Every Caretaker Should Know About Canine Cancer, Featuring Bullet’s Survival Story, 2nd Edition

April 8, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Meowsa! Do our pets go to Heaven?

WND: While millions of people grapple with questions about what really happens when they die, now a brand-new book is probing what might actually happen to people’s beloved pets.

The title of the book asks the timeless question, “Do Our Pets Go to Heaven?” and features biblical analysis of the issue, along with amazing stories of pets that saved people and provided companionship as well as healing.

“I must admit I cannot recount the number of times when, as a pastor of more than two decades and as a public and media personality since, I have been approached by an adult or child – eyes filled with questions – who wanted to ask me very sincerely if I believed their pets would go to heaven,” says Tom Horn, who co-authored the book with Terry James and other contributors.

“It seems to be one of the biggest secrets in Christianity,” Horn continued, “that our Western mindset has made it difficult to discuss what people in other countries as well as theologians down through time believed to be an important and theological question. Most are also usually unaware that the Bible itself has some important things to say about the issue, and that many celebrated theologians and philosophers – past and present – concluded a long time ago based on these Scriptures that our pets most likely will be in heaven.”

Video: Do Our Pets Go To Heaven?

Ironically, the Bible itself doesn’t even say the ultimate reward of saved men and women will be floating on clouds in the sky, but it does indicate Jesus Christ will raise His true believers from the grave, grant them eternal life, return to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem and rule with them here on planet Earth.

Yet there are plenty of verses in Scripture indicating the presence of animals in the coming kingdom of God.

The prophet Isaiah is famous for this future glimpse depicting people dwelling with animals, whose aggressive nature will have been reprogrammed and tamed by God in the kingdom:

“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:6–9)

Horn writes in a chapter of his book:

Indeed, we find that God values His living artistry so much that He even made some of the angelic beings to reflect the animal’s faces (see Revelation 4:6–8; Ezekiel 10:14). In addition to their artistic value, God loves the company of these creatures to the point that not even a tiny sparrow falls to the ground that He doesn’t account for (Matthew 10:29). Another amazing example of God’s concern for animals comes from the story of Jonah, in which it appears that the people of Nineveh were spared destruction because God wanted to have mercy on their children and animals (see Jonah 4:11)! Of course, to the delight of my wife, Nita, God is an equestrian and has already filled Heaven with lots and lots of horses (Revelation 6:2–8; 19:11; 2 Kings 6:17). His Son, Jesus, will even return someday on one such horse (Revelation 19:11–14).

It is further written in the Bible that:

  • God holds the lives of animals in His hands (Job 12:10).
  • He, Himself, feeds them (Psalms 104:21–30; Matthew 6:26).
  • They were created for His enjoyment (Revelation 4:11).
  • God never forgets about them (Matthew 10:29; Luke 12:6).
  • People who mistreat their pets are judged by Him as “cruel” (Proverbs 12:10).
  • Those who treat their pets kindly are called “righteous” (Proverbs 12:10).

Horn notes the idea of pets in heaven is not some rogue notion among famous Christians, stating, “Billy Graham, C.S. Lewis, Mark Hitchcock, Dr. David Reagan, and hundreds of other clergy and theologians agree that the chances are very good our pets will be in heaven.”

When Graham was once asked by a little girl whose dog had died that week whether her pet would be in heaven, he replied, “If it would make you any happier, then yes, he will be.”

Horn also cites verses in Scripture stating it won’t be just resurrected human beings offering praise to God in the future:

Animals are included with men as those who are commanded to praise the Lord! This was true in the Old Testament in places such as Psalms 148:10–13, where we read:

“Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl: Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth: Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children: Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven.”

And this amazing fact – that animals praise the Lord – will also be true in the future, as they are seen offering praise unto the Lamb of God extending into eternity in Revelation 5:13:

“And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.”

But the idea that pets go to heaven or have a similar reward to obedient human servants of God is certainly not ubiquitous among faithful believers who study the Bible.

Among them is Philip Shields, a Christian speaker and online host of LightontheRock.org, who stresses there’s a clear distinction in the book of Genesis at the time animals and mankind were created.

“Elohim (God) spoke all things – including animals – into existence,” he explained. “But to mankind only did He breathe His breath into. All humans have a spirit in man, and that spirit goes back to God after our death. But not animals’ spirits.”

He cites Ecclesiastes 3:21, which states: “Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit (breath) of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?”

Shields says, “It is this spirit in man that gives us mind (Job 32:8), enabling there to be an interface with God’s spirit so we can understand godly things, which animals don’t. Animals have their own breath, ruach [in Hebrew], or spirit, but that goes back to the earth. Man is the only one that God did mouth-to-mouth on. That did not happen to hippopotamuses and alligators, or to dogs or cats. I think that’s an important distinction, that they don’t have the breath of God.”

“I’d love to think my beloved Duchess would be resurrected or something, but I don’t think so,” he added.

“And where do you draw the line? Are the bad animals – maneaters, for example – burning in hell? Is every cockroach or mongoose or tarantula up there, too, by the billions and trillions? How about the trillions of ants and mosquitoes? And if not, why not?”

Shields also asks rhetorically, “Did Christ die for animals, too? Can animals sin?”

Anyone searching the Internet for answers about pets going to heaven will find no shortage of posts on the matter.

ClarifyingChristianity.com offers a study on the matter, and agrees animals will be present in God’s coming kingdom. However, it points out “the question is ‘Were these animals new creations or do these animals include reborn earthly creatures?’”

By the end of its treatment, the site says, “The Bible is silent regarding an afterlife for animals. However, we do have one hope. The key passage for this question does not deal with animals directly, but rather God’s promise to those who inherit God’s kingdom – those people who have gotten right with God and will go to heaven themselves. For them, the passage in 1 Corinthians chapter 2 [verse 9] applies:

“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’”

“Obviously, what God has prepared for us is wonderful beyond comprehension. Therefore, love your pets as much as you can while they are here. Those of us who go to heaven will later understand that everything worked out perfectly regarding our pets.”

Related:

Pets and Heaven 

Heaven and Pets

Meredith and Abbey… A Beautiful Soul at the Post Office

Rainbow Bridge

Sometimes “Rainbow Bridge” Prayers Are Answered

Critter for Christmas Gift… Not Best Idea!

Pet owners cut back on gifts… but not for their cuddly dogs and cats

Is Your Pet a Voiceless Victim of the Tanking Economy?

Until One Has Loved an Animal, Part of Their Soul Remains Unawakened’ 

Help Your Dying Pet End Life in a Kind and Gentle Way

Life in a Dog Pack: Old Age

Beck family spends time with Victor – Photos

The Kindest Decision – In Home Euthanasia for Pets

Pet Age

The Nutrient Your Pet Needs More of As They Age: Protein

World’s Oldest Dog Dies At Age 26….Requiescat in pace

The Lottie June Show – WORLD’S OLDEST CHIHUAHUA

How Long Will Your Dog Be with You? It Depends Heavily on This…

Part 2 of Dr. Becker’s Interview with Bestselling Author Ted Kerasote: The Seven Factors that Determine How Long Your Dog Will Live

Pet owners turning to non-traditional

A Natural Herb That Fights Cancer, or Chemotherapy for Your Sick Pet… Which Would You Choose?

Adopt a Senior Pet…

WCBM’s Les Kinsolving’s beautiful tribute to Brendan, Griffen, and all dogs and dog owners

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If I Should Die Before My Dog…

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‘Dogs Have The Intelligence of a Human Toddler’

Do Dogs Go To Heaven?

And God Created Dog…

Dogs Know

On the First Day God Created the Dog!

A Dog’s Purpose – Out of the Mouth of Babes

Are Our Pets Spiritual Assignments

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Dog, truly a gift! 

The Kindest Decision – In Home Euthanasia for Pets

Tribute to Brendon Griffen… 

‘Dogs Have The Intelligence of a Human Toddler’

How Long Will Your Dog Be with You? It Depends Heavily on This…

Books

Canine and Feline Geriatric Oncology: Honoring the Human-Animal Bond (Kindle)

Help Your Dog Fight Cancer: What Every Caretaker Should Know About Canine Cancer, Featuring Bullet’s Survival Story, 2nd Edition

December 3, 2013 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Celebrating Animals in the Afterlife

LabandJackRussellondock
Guest contributor: Maureen Harmonay

The Pet Lady Blog:  We all wonder where our animals go when they die.

In our grief at their passing, we pull out old photographs and clutch at snips of their hair, desperate to prove that they existed, that our relationship with them was real. But deep inside there remains a nagging fear: are they gone forever?

We think we hear them padding down the hall, feel them jumping up on our bed in the middle of the night, or even see fleeting glimpses that disappear as soon as we feel a shiver of recognition.

We start to think we might be going crazy.

That happened to me, too. But I have since learned to welcome the signs of life beyond death, knowing that they are not figments of my imagination. They are quite real.

In the spring of 2008, I prepared for what I knew would be the imminent death of my revered golden retriever, Ashley, who, as she approached her 16th birthday, had been diagnosed with kidney failure. She had been the perfect dog, and it was going to be very difficult to lose her. I sadly and silently admitted that it would only be a matter of time before I had to release her spirit, and as the days wore on, I cried.

On a perfect sunny morning in early June, Ashley simply laid down on the grass, looked up at me, and clearly communicated that she was really done this time; she was ready to go.

I called my vet’s office to let them know I was on my way, and gently set Ashley in the backseat. I held her paw as I tearfully reminisced with her throughout the entire 45-minute drive, knowing that this was our last ride together. She slipped away peacefully, and though I knew that it was what Ashley wanted, my heart ripped open with the pain of having lost a treasured friend. It was noon when I got back in the car for the long journey home, alone.

About six hours later, I saw her. She was facing in my direction, calmly walking toward the kitchen. In a second, she turned the corner into the kitchen and with that, she vanished. I never saw Ashley again, but her appearance was vividly real, and I knew I wasn’t imagining it. It brought me great peace, as if Ashley wanted to say, "I’m still here."

I don’t think I would have been open to Ashley’s after-death apparition if I hadn’t read Kim Sheridan’s groundbreaking book, Animals and the Afterlife, which had been published a few years before. Kim spent years compiling true stories of visitations by spirit animals from witnesses who saw them and even touched them, not always recognizing that they were interacting with forms from an ethereal dimension.

8 Kim w Kristin Pictu#74EA6 (2)

Kim Sheridan

Kim stretched my formerly rigid boundaries of what was possible. She’s not a medium or a mystic, and neither are the people whose experiences she describes. But in story after story, she demonstrates that our animals remain accessible to us after they slip out of their physical bodies, and like people, they continue to live on in spirit.

On November 3rd, 2013, Kim Sheridan will make a rare east coast appearance to deliver the keynote address at the inaugural Conference on Animals in the Afterlife, in Boxborough, MA. She is a radiant messenger of hope and healing for anyone who has experienced inconsolable grief after the death of an animal companion.

AnimalsintheAfterlifeLogo

The one-day Conference, sponsored by Animal Translations, will also feature noted paranormal investigator Jeff Belanger of GhostVillage.com, who will discuss ghostly encounters with paranormal pets; Alexis Brooks, host of CLN Radio’s Conscious Inquiry, who will discuss what she believes is the reincarnation of her cherished cat, "Clover"; and Maureen Harmonay, an animal communicator who will share chillingly compelling details of what animals in spirit have told her about their lives, their deaths, and even their awareness of events that occurred long after they shed their physical bodies.

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Joanne Gerber

Respected psychic medium Joanne Gerber will make spontaneous connections with the spirit families of some of the lucky attendees, in the fervent hope that departed spirit animals will come through during this dramatic finale to what promises to be a thoroughly amazing day.

Whether you come as a skeptic or as a believer: join us. You’ll leave knowing that these afterlife connections are possible for you and the animals who have meant so much to you, no matter how many months or years it’s been since you said good-bye.

Attendees will be entered to win one of several prizes, including autographed copies of Animals and the Afterlife, complimentary animal communication consultations with Maureen Harmonay, and a custom acrylic portrait of an animal of their choosing by popular animal artist Kerrie Ascoli.

For a complete agenda, topic descriptions, and registration information, visit The Conference on Animals in the Afterlife website.

(Maureen Harmonay is an Animal Communicator who uses telepathy and compassion to connect with animals. You can reach her at AnimalTranslations.com.)

Disclosure: (as required by the FTC) This is a paid sponsored post from The Conference on Animals in the Afterlife.

Related:

Your Dying Pet End Life in a Kind and Gentle Way

Life in a Dog Pack: Old Age

Beck family spends time with Victor – Photos

The Kindest Decision – In Home Euthanasia for Pets

Pet Age

The Nutrient Your Pet Needs More of As They Age: Protein

World’s Oldest Dog Dies At Age 26….Requiescat in pace

The Lottie June Show – WORLD’S OLDEST CHIHUAHUA

How Long Will Your Dog Be with You? It Depends Heavily on This…

Part 2 of Dr. Becker’s Interview with Bestselling Author Ted Kerasote: The Seven Factors that Determine How Long Your Dog Will Live

Pet owners turning to non-traditional

A Natural Herb That Fights Cancer, or Chemotherapy for Your Sick Pet… Which Would You Choose?

‘Until One Has Loved an Animal, Part of Their Sour Remains Unawakened’

Adopt a Senior Pet…

WCBM’s Les Kinsolving’s beautiful tribute to Brendan, Griffen, and all dogs and dog owners

Heaven and Pets

If I Should Die Before My Dog…

Tails of Love

‘Dogs Have The Intelligence of a Human Toddler’

Do Dogs Go To Heaven?

And God Created Dog…

Dogs Know

On the First Day God Created the Dog!

Meredith and Abbey… A Beautiful Soul at the Post Office

A Dog’s Purpose – Out of the Mouth of Babes

And God Created Dog…

Are Our Pets Spiritual Assignments

GoD and DoG

Dog, truly a gift!

Rainbow Bridge…

Books

Animals and the Afterlife: True Stories of Our Best Friends’ Journey Beyond Death (Kindle)

Canine and Feline Geriatric Oncology: Honoring the Human-Animal Bond (Kindle)

Help Your Dog Fight Cancer: What Every Caretaker Should Know About Canine Cancer, Featuring Bullet’s Survival Story, 2nd Edition

September 7, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets | , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Help Your Dying Pet End Life in a Kind and Gentle Way

Story at-a-glance
  • Dr. Becker interviews Dr. Alice Villalobos, a veterinary oncologist and leader in the field of end-of-life care and pawspice (pet hospice).
  • Dr. Alice, as she is known, realized as a vet student that veterinary oncology was the field she wanted to practice in. She also saw a tremendous need for end-of-life care services for companion animals. When she went into private practice, Dr. Villalobos made the decision to care for each of her patients all the way through their illness to the end of their lives.
  • Dr. Alice created the term “pawspice” to distinguish the goals of hospice care for pets from what happens in human hospice. She also developed the HHHHHMM quality of life scale for pets with cancer that has gone viral.
  • Since the publishing of Dr. Villalobos’s textbook in 2007, the subject of pet hospice and end-of-life care is being covered in an increasing number of veterinary schools. In fact, it is currently the fastest-growing specialty service in veterinary medicine.
  • One of the ways pawspice differs from hospice is the incorporation of palliative medicine, which is geared toward alleviating symptoms that cause anxiety, distress and pain. It involves using standard medicines in different ways to help trigger temporary remission without adverse events in the patient, thereby improving quality of life and happiness for pets at the end of their lives.

Video: Dr. Karen Becker Interviews Dr. Alice Villalobos

Dr. Karen Becker, a proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian, interviews Dr. Alice Villalobos regarding veterinary hospice.

    By Dr. Becker

    Today I have a very special guest chatting with me via Skype — Dr. Alice Villalobos. “Dr. Alice,” as she is known, is a University of California-Davis graduate, the director of Pawspice in Hermosa Beach, and she also runs the Animal Oncology Consultation Service in Woodland Hills.

    Dr. Villalobos is a founding member of the Veterinary Cancer Society, the Association for Veterinary Family Practice, and the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care. She’s also the past president of the Society for Veterinary Medical Ethics and founder of the Peter Zippi Memorial Fund for Animals, which has found homes for 14,000 pets since 1977, primarily cats.

    Dr. Villalobos is editor-in-chief for several veterinary-related journals, and she has authored textbooks including Canine and Feline Geriatric Oncology: Honoring the Human-Animal Bond (Kindle). She also writes a column titled The Bond and Beyond for Veterinary Practice News.

    Dr. Villalobos has received the Leo Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year award, the UC Davis Alumni Achievement award for her pioneering role in bringing oncology services to companion animals, and a Distinguished Practitioner of the National Academies of Practice award. She lectures worldwide on veterinary oncology, companion animal quality of life issues, and “pawspice,” or veterinary hospice, which is the topic of our discussion today.

    Dr. Villalobos made the decision when she entered private practice to see her cancer patients through to the end of their lives.

    I asked Dr. Alice, since she has been a veterinarian for many years, how soon into her career she realized there was a huge gap in end-of-life care services for pets.

    She explained that she was still in veterinary school when she decided to practice oncology, and her animal patients had their end-of-life experiences right there at UC Davis. So Dr. Villalobos was able to see the gap in services first-hand while still a vet student.

    When she went into private practice, she made the decision to see her patients all the way through to the end of their lives, unlike what happened back in those days (1970s) in human medicine, when no one wanted to discuss death. This predated the human hospice movement and the concept of helping people die peacefully, without pain.

    Dr. Alice decided to work with her animal patients and their families right through to the very end of the journey. Fortunately, we are able to help pets have a very peaceful passing because society condones euthanasia for animals. Dr. Villalobos made it a point to talk about the subject with each family from the first day she felt euthanasia was inevitable for their pet.

    Next I asked Dr. Villalobos who she sought counsel from originally, since back in the 1970s there weren’t any mentors or role models for treating pets at the end of life. She answered that in the late 1960s and early 1970s at UC Davis, there was a very special pioneer in the field of animal oncology, Dr. Gordon Theilen.

    Dr. Theilen wrote the first two textbooks on veterinary cancer medicine. Dr. Alice considers him a great role model who is filled with compassion. She mentions Leo Bustad as a role model as well. He was also a part of the UC Davis team and was responsible for the term “human-animal bond.”

    Dr. Villalobos noticed that pet owners would come into her practice wanting to keep their dog or cat with them for as long as possible. They didn’t want a replacement. They wanted to get treatments for their pets and when the time came, they wanted to insure their animals were able to pass on in the right way – at home, with the best of care, surrounded by their human family.

    Dr. Alice looked into what was being done with pediatric oncology. She interviewed human patients and asked questions like, “You have this cancer. How does it feel?” Part of the reason for her research was because at vet school, she was taught animals don’t experience pain on the level they actually, in fact, do. Back in those days, rather than being given pain medications, animals were restrained for procedures and prevented from moving after surgery. Fortunately, all that has changed.

    As a member of the International Veterinary Association of Pain Management, Dr. Alice knows that veterinary hospice practitioners must have extensive knowledge and expertise in pain management, because it is one of the biggest problems for cancer patients (both human and animal) at the end of their lives.

    Taking treatment of terminally ill pets and end-of-life care to the next level.

    I asked Dr. Villalobos if, when she first got started, she was met with conflict. Were her colleagues confused? Did they question her? She replied, “Dr. Becker, I’m still pulling the arrows out of my back.” I asked her to expand on the conflicts and confrontations she has encountered.

    Dr. Alice explained that back in the early 1970s, treating a cat with both leukemia and FIP was “almost blasphemy.” People thought, “What is she doing?” But at UC Davis, they treated cats with lymphoma, and the most likely cat to have lymphoma was also positive for the leukemia virus.

    Dr. Theilen was the doctor who isolated the three subtypes of the leukemia virus that ultimately resulted in a vaccine. UC Davis was working extensively with leukemias and lymphomas in felines. In fact, Dr. Niels Pedersen of UC Davis is the person who characterized the FIP virus and discovered the feline immunodeficiency virus.

    Dr. Alice explains she was surrounded by fantastic researchers and a wonderful atmosphere. When she finished vet school, she was actually in the midst of a “mock” residency with Dr. Theilen who wanted to put a veterinary student through a clinical oncology program. So Dr. Villalobos actually began her residency while still a sophomore in vet school, and she continued that work for Dr. Theilen through her next three years of school.

    So in addition to the stigma attached to treating viropositive animals, Dr. Villalobos also had a passion for helping them die well. I asked her what kind of response she received. She answered that most of her colleagues felt they were already doing that – providing animals with a good end of life experience. But as she further explains, it requires a certain expertise. Palliative medicine is a specialty. She expects at some point it will become a specialty in veterinary medicine just as it is in human medicine.

    Dr. Alice goes on to explain that hospice is another area of expertise. She views it as, “The types of psychology that we need to know to help comfort the bewildered, bereft, grieving, and the anticipatory grief that comes through, even suicide. People feel that they can’t go on another day.”

    When a pet dies, veterinary professionals need to be well versed in all these forms of psychotherapy, comfort care and grief counseling. It’s a necessary service, but in a busy practice, when a DVM isn’t accustomed to working with end-of-life care patients and clients, it just doesn’t happen.

    Dr. Alice’s “pawspice” concept and the HHHHHMM quality of life scale.

    End-of-life care hasn’t been taught in vet schools. Students are taught how to euthanize animals, but that’s about it. I do think palliative medicine is coming, though, and certainly pain management is even farther along, thankfully. But putting all those pieces together to offer truly thoughtful, heartfelt support isn’t there yet.

    I asked Dr. Villalobos if she thinks vet school courses are addressing some of these skills today. She replied she believes they are coming along. She says that after her textbook arrived in 2007, vet schools quickly took the book into their libraries, and some of the programs that were developed even taught pawspice.

    Dr. Alice explains she wanted to call pet hospice “pawspice” because the word hospice is actually very confusing for those who want to adapt the concept for veterinary medicine. She says that in human hospice, the arrival of death isn’t slowed down. Patients receive pain management, but what everyone is doing is simply waiting for the patient to die.

    In veterinary medicine, we can apply a quality of life scale to each patient. In fact, a scale that Dr. Villalobos proposed in 2004 went viral. It went everywhere. It’s the HHHHHMM scale. It’s designed to be easy to remember. The five H’s are for:

    … no Hurt
    … good Hydration
    … no Hunger
    … good Hygiene
    Happiness

    Hurt, Hydration, Hunger, Hygiene, and Happiness. These are the five basic areas that pawspice professionals must be able to talk to their clients about.

    The first M is for Mobility. This is extremely important for large pets, for example, Great Danes. If a Great Dane can’t move around on his own, it’s over unless there are some very strong family members who can physically move the dog as often as necessary. In smaller animals, mobility isn’t such a huge factor. On the quality of life scale, they can have a score of 0 all the way up to 10 and still be okay. It’s similar to people in wheelchairs – they can have great quality of life even though they don’t have full mobility.

    The second M is for More good days than bad days. This is something the pet’s family has to focus on. Is this a good day for Buddy? Or is this a bad day? If there are more bad days, say two or three or four in a row and no really good days, it’s time for the family to consider the gift of euthanasia.

    Our pets only think in present time. They exist in the now. Even if you’re five hours late coming home, they are still full of joy and not mad at you. They’re just happy to see you now, because they exist in the now. If they’re suffering now, that’s all they know, and if there are too many times of suffering, frustration builds up.

    Sometimes people don’t understand this. It can be difficult to understand things from a pet’s viewpoint. When there are more bad days than good days, our pets welcome the gift of euthanasia. They don’t need to live for the graduation of a niece or nephew. They’re not looking back with regret and hoping to reconcile with someone before they die. The human hospice philosophy simply doesn’t apply at the end of an animal’s life. They’re here to enjoy the moment. It their quality of life is poor, it’s up to us as their protectors not to make them endure further suffering.

    This is the way Dr. Alice talks to her clients, “You are his protector. Buddy needs you to make the decision to help him, you know, change worlds.” She says Barbara Myers, a pet loss consultant, uses that beautiful phrase, “Let’s help them change worlds.” It’s often comforting to families to use euphemisms like “transitioning,” or “crossing the Rainbow Bridge.” It’s not necessary to use tough words when talking about the death of a beloved companion animal. Families, and especially children, welcome thoughtful, loving words to describe what will be happening to their pet.

    End-of-life care/pet hospice is the fastest-growing specialty in veterinary medicine today.

    Next I asked Dr. Alice about her passion for teaching and consulting other professionals and vet schools about end-of-life care for pets. She explained that she has taught all over the world, and her textbook is translated into Spanish and Portuguese. When she goes to Portugal, Spain, or South America, she’s treated like a celebrity!

    Dr. Villalobos is also well known in the U.S. for being one of the leaders of the pet hospice movement. She says her decision to treat pets with cancer in vet school was pivotal in creating a specialty service for animals in the final stages of life. She says it’s the fastest-growing specialty service in all of veterinary medicine. New veterinarians in particular are really embracing pet hospice.

    Dr. Villalobos says one of the reasons for its popularity is that DVMs can set up an independent practice. They can do house calls. This is especially attractive to young DVMs who may not be able to find a practice they really like, or who work at a practice in which the owners want them to work more hours than they can handle while raising a family. Going the house call route has worked out very nicely for many of these young vets.

    Dr. Stephen Withrow of Colorado State University’s Flint Animal Cancer Center has incorporated hospice and end-of-life care chapters written by Dr. Villalobos in his textbook, and she says his students call her all the time for help. She says CSU has set up a wonderful hospice service, as have a number of other veterinary colleges in the U.S. It’s also a growing movement in Canada, South America and France.

    Helping pet owners give their animals a good quality death.

    Dr. Villalobos is also passionate about using the term “pawspice” for pets to alleviate the confusion and negative impression many people have of hospice services for humans.

    As she explains it, when a pet owner has arrived at those final moments, she or he is often paralyzed with doubt or fear about causing the pet’s passing by making that final decision to euthanize. Dr. Alice sees her job, and the job of all professionals in the specialty, to help comfort those pet owners by letting them know it’s actually a vet’s duty by the oath he or she takes to prevent suffering.

    In my practice, I tell clients that the decision to help their pet transition is, of course, the most difficult decision they may ever make. But I also explain that as their veterinarian, the most important thing I can do is to help their pet die well rather than poorly. I ask them, “Do you want to rip the Band-Aid off really fast, or really slow?” I explain that they will be heartbroken either way, but for their pet’s sake, we can help by offering a good and peaceful transition. A good quality of death.

    Dr. Villalobos believes quality of life/quality of death questions should also apply to humans. She says that if any of you listening or reading here today have a family member or a child with a terminal disease, you should advocate for a quality passing for that person.

    In human medicine, it’s all about what can be done – we can do this, and we can do that, and we can do something else. Even at the end of the road with, say, a cancer that has been resistant to all forms of treatment, someone will come up with yet another treatment that is usually more risky. The patient has an adverse reaction, winds up in the ICU, and has a bad death.

    One of the things I’m so grateful to Dr. Alice for is helping veterinarians understand it’s okay to tell a pet owner, “We’ve pushed this animal far enough.” It’s human nature, especially for optimists like me, to say, “We can try this and this and this” when our patients no longer want to keep going and their bodies are tired. I tell my clients that sometimes the body becomes a cage for the soul, and the body doesn’t work, so they need to think seriously about setting the soul free. Animals can become frustrated or depressed, and there comes a point where we should stop pushing, which actually takes all the pressure off the pet.

    Sometimes we need to give clients permission to say, “You know what? We’re going to stop and we’re going to voluntarily withdraw all treatment.” Instead of trying to cure or change the disease situation, we’re going to switch our focus to helping the animal have a peaceful, good quality death.

    The role of palliative medicine in end-of-life care.

    Dr. Alice has really helped veterinarians understand and be able to talk about dying well versus just euthanasia. There’s a gap between the two. When we have a terminal patient and we know euthanasia is coming, there are things we can do to prepare the family, the pet, and our hearts. Dr. Villalobos has paved the way for veterinarians in this regard and I’m really thankful to her for that.

    She explains that one of the reasons pawspice is different from hospice is that it incorporates palliative medicine, which is a very misunderstood area in human medicine, especially in the U.S. There’s this idea that palliative medicine is “giving up,” but it is not. It is simply taking care of symptoms that cause anxiety, distress and pain. Dr. Villalobos stresses that we use standard medicine inside palliative medicine.

    She says that when a pet patient is diagnosed with a life-limiting cancer, with pawspice what she does is select standard therapy for that patient that will hopefully bring a period of welcome remission. But the therapy isn’t one that will be hard on the animal. It will be something that brings only good days – and few if any bad days. Dr. Alice avoids medications, therapies, treatments and regimens that will result in adverse events for the patient.

    For example, she may use a strong drug, but split it to give in two doses instead of one. The techniques she uses are in her textbook, and many DVMs are adopting them. Dr. Villalobos says it has evolved into something called metronomic therapy, which is a continuous low-dose treatment that reduces the formation of new blood vessels, which all tumors need in order to grow. Sometimes she just tries to control the tumor, maybe slow down the growth a little, while preserving the patient’s level of happiness and quality of life.

    Thank you, Dr. Alice!

    Since not all veterinarians are providing hospice care, I asked Dr. Alice where my Healthy Pets listeners and readers can go to learn more about end-of-life care. She invites everyone to visit her Pawspice website, where you can find lots of information and links to other resources.

    I so appreciate Dr. Villalobos taking the time to speak with me today. I’m grateful for all the work she has done and continues to do for sick and terminally ill animals.

    Related:

    Life in a Dog Pack: Old Age

    Beck family spends time with Victor – Photos

    The Kindest Decision – In Home Euthanasia for Pets

    Pet Age

    The Nutrient Your Pet Needs More of As They Age: Protein

    World’s Oldest Dog Dies At Age 26….Requiescat in pace

    The Lottie June Show – WORLD’S OLDEST CHIHUAHUA

    How Long Will Your Dog Be with You? It Depends Heavily on This…

    Part 2 of Dr. Becker’s Interview with Bestselling Author Ted Kerasote: The Seven Factors that Determine How Long Your Dog Will Live

    Pet owners turning to non-traditional

    A Natural Herb That Fights Cancer, or Chemotherapy for Your Sick Pet… Which Would You Choose?

    ‘Until One Has Loved an Animal, Part of Their Sour Remains Unawakened’

    Adopt a Senior Pet…

    WCBM’s Les Kinsolving’s beautiful tribute to Brendan, Griffen, and all dogs and dog owners

    Heaven and Pets

    If I Should Die Before My Dog…

    Tails of Love

    ‘Dogs Have The Intelligence of a Human Toddler’

    Do Dogs Go To Heaven?

    And God Created Dog…

    Dogs Know

    On the First Day God Created the Dog!

    Meredith and Abbey… A Beautiful Soul at the Post Office

    A Dog’s Purpose – Out of the Mouth of Babes

    And God Created Dog…

    Are Our Pets Spiritual Assignments

    GoD and DoG

    Dog, truly a gift!

    Rainbow Bridge…

    Books

    Canine and Feline Geriatric Oncology: Honoring the Human-Animal Bond (Kindle)

    Help Your Dog Fight Cancer: What Every Caretaker Should Know About Canine Cancer, Featuring Bullet’s Survival Story, 2nd Edition

    August 30, 2013 Posted by | Animal Related Education, Holistic Pet Health, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Stop Euthenization | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

    CORONA: Gourmet dog treat ready for its close-up

    TERRY PIERSON/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

    PE.com: Jackboy’s Dog Bakery owner Athena Yap of Corona with her dog Kernel and some of the many dog treats she makes in Corona, CA. The all natural artisan doggie pastries are good enough to eat but they are made for dogs.

    As the founder of Jackboy’s Dog Bakery, Athena Yap has an uncanny talent for thinking outside of the bone.

    And thereby hangs a tale of a former aerospace engineer who used to convert fighter planes into drones. These days she transforms dough into doggie delectables for a clientele that includes the T.J. Maxx Corp.

    Now Hollywood has come knocking. Eventually, you can catch one of her cookie creations on a new series, tentatively called “Game of Pawns,” or “Pawn in the Game,” that Yap was told would begin later this month on the Discovery Channel. However, a spokeswoman for them, Emily Robinson, wrote in an email that the cable network hasn’t officially announced the show and there’s no definite air date yet.

    Since Yap launched Jackboy’s in Corona six years ago, Jackboy’s has been a hit with customers who have helped double her revenues every year. Yap said sales of her 50 varieties of homemade, all-natural canine confections range from between $8,000 and $20,000 a month.

    Clients include pet spas, animal hospitals, groomers, doggie boutiques and gift stores. About 70 percent of her business is online, catering to purists who clamor for Yap’s gluten-free, salt-free, filler-free, dye-free, chemical-free cakes, cake pops, cupcakes, cookies and artisan pastries. They’re made with human-grade ingredients that include honey, olive oil, carob, eggs, roasted peanuts, oatmeal and minimal sugar.

    In fact, these pooch products are so good that Donna Kennedy Clark spotted her 3-year-old niece nibbling a Cranberry Bis-Scotties at The Paw Spa she owns at 320 S. Main St. Corona.

    “I only carry top-of-the-line natural, holistic cakes and cookies,” Kennedy Clark, 47, said. “Athena cares about every ingredient that goes into them. She even makes her own sprinkles using beets and turmeric for the colors. Customers come in looking for her cookies because their dogs won’t eat any other kind.”

    Yap said with a laugh that some people think she uses a fake name enhance her business. Actually, Yap, 40, is Chinese and grew up in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia in an animal-loving family. At 19, she enrolled in Iowa State University in Ames because of its ranking as one of the top schools for aerospace engineering. After graduating, Yap received her MBA during her 15-year tenure in the industry, specializing in composite materials and processes. Her most recent position was supervising four engineers at BAE Systems in Mojave, but Yap wanted to be her own boss.

    Her next move became clear after she and her fiancé, Steve Sunde, rescued from the streets a red German shepherd and dingo mix they named Jackboy, “He picked us,” Yap said. She began making her own dog food in 2007 after many animals died from eating poisonous pet food from China containing tainted wheat gluten. But the snacks and treats Yap whipped up really piqued Jackboy’s palate and with him as her chief taster, a business was born.

    At their Corona home, Yap experimented, initially mixing wheat flour, canola oil and parmesan cheese to produce her classic twists called Knotty Parmesan. As her research intensified, so did her commitment to the finest ingredients and a ban on artificial colorings, flavors and commercially produced beef and chicken bouillon. She swapped the canola for 100 percent olive oil. “Everything evolved and business began snowballing,” she recalled.

    Yap figures she’s invested more than $150,000 to grow the business. In 2009, she rented a commercial unit on Ott Street in Corona. A year ago July she relocated to her current, 800-square-foot site at 109 N. Maple Street, Unit B, where she employs two workers who bake every day but Sunday. Retail prices run from about $6.99 for a 5-ounce bag to a big birthday cake for $34.99

    “People want instant gratification,” Yap said of her two-day turnaround. Jackboy stores shipments for its 15 to 20 daily orders in the warehouse of her boyfriend’s Corona business, Rockwell Aviation Services.

    Jackboy died in April at age 12, but another rescue, a Chihuahua and miniature pinscher mix, now helps vet each new roll-out and disdains all but fresh baked goods. Her beau christened him “Colonel,” but Yap mistook the high-ranking title for the seed and registered the mutt as “Kernel.”

    The showbiz request came last February from a freelance Hollywood producer who found Jackboy Dog Bakery online. Yap designed the cookie to replicate a World War II-era license plate for a pawn shop in Branson, Mo., that gives customers the chance to earn their asking price by playing a little trivia game. Jackdog’s confection represents the soybean license plates made by some states in the 1940s to save metal for the war effort. The plates began disappearing when animals began eating them right off the cars.

    The indefatigable Yap seems to dream up a new goodie every week. Fare includes Garlic Pup-zels, Coco-Mutt Macaroons, Snickerdroodles, Muddy Paws Carob Fudge Sandwiches and Honey Dough-Mutts. “I do it all,” she said. “The design, recipes and labeling. I have a mission to make people appreciate their pets and treat them as part of the family.”

    Follow Laurie Lucas on Twitter @LaurieLucas and check her blog on pe.com/business

    August 26, 2013 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 Nutrition, pet products, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

    Rotweiller Saves Tiny Chiweenie from Coyote

    Although taken in 2004 and posted three years ago by YouTube user jdpmep, this remarkable video of the unsuspecting pooch that was clearly a sitting target for the coyote, has gained sudden notoriety.

    It could have been a doggie breakfast. But in just 30 seconds, the luck of a tiny Chihuahua-wiener dog, a chiweenie, named Trixxie turned, thanks to the loyalty of a canine friend. While the little black chiweenie was lying in the sun about 7:00 am, a coyote hurled across a field and viciously attacked her.

    Video: Badass rottweiler saves a teeny chiweenie from a coyote

    The vicious predator mauled the tiny pup for about 10 seconds, and would have already dragged her away if she was not tied up. Things weren’t looking good, until the struggle caught the attention of a neighbor’s dog.

    Rottweiler ‘Happy’ can be seen streaking across the screen, from out of nowhere, to rescue the tiny pooch.

    Through clouds of dust, Happy can be seen charging at the coyote who drops Trixxie.

    As the tiny Chiweenie runs for her life, Happy chases the coyote out of the yard.

    From out of nowhere, a Rottweiler races to the rescue of the helpless Chihuahua as it is getting mauled by a vicious coyote

    From out of nowhere, a Rottweiler races to the rescue of the helpless Chihuahua as it is getting mauled by a vicious coyote

    The tables have turned, with the coyote now the one being pursued as the Rottweiler chases him out of the driveway

    The tables have turned, with the coyote now the one being pursued as the Rottweiler chases him out of the driveway

    YouTube user jdpmep posted footage showing the moment a Rottweiler named Happy saved his tiny Chihuahua-wiener dog, Trixxie, from a coyote. jdpmep said his Cheweenie, Trixxie, only received a few punctures and didn’t need a rabies shot, adding that prior to this unusual attack, there had been no coyote sightings in the city.

    While Rottweiler’s typically get a bad wrap for being vicious dogs, breeders say they can be loyal and considerate pets when trained.

    The Huffington Post reported that this was not the first time a canine received adulation and praise for chasing off a predator.  In January, a Maltipoo saved its family’s younger Maltipoo from a coyote attack in California and miraculously survived the confrontation.

    Happy was definitely a hero, and Trixxie was lucky, but I’m a little suspect of the fact that this little dog was outside alone yet being filmed as this happened.  Seems a bit too convenient and more like she was being used as bait for this YouTuber and questionable pet parent.  Am I the only one?  Hopefully someone has kept their eye on this poor pup and his owner ever since!!  JOMP~

    h/t to Mary Ann Feedler

    June 25, 2013 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Animals Adopting Animals, Chiweenie, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Wild Animals | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

    Story at-a-glance
    • As we predicted in November of last year, dry dog foods containing corn and corn products harvested from last summer’s crop could present a significant risk of aflatoxin contamination.
    • The summer of 2012 across the Midwest was very dry and very hot, creating an environment in which certain types of plant mold proliferate. These molds produce metabolites called aflatoxins, which are mycotoxins known to cause acute lethal illness in both animals and humans.
    • Voluntary recalls of dry dog food due to high levels of aflatoxin contamination have already begun across states in the Midwest. Unfortunately, because of the behavior of the molds involved, it has proved difficult to control, minimize or even accurately assess levels of contamination.
    • If you feed dry dog food to your pet, we are repeating our recommendations to transition to another type of diet and/or carefully avoid any pet food containing corn or corn products

    Dry Dog Food

    By Dr. Becker

    In an article last November, I reported on the very real danger of future widespread aflatoxin contamination of commercial pet food, primarily dry dog food. Thanks to the very hot, dry summer of 2012, experts predicted U.S. corn crops would be heavily infested with two types of mold — Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus.

    These molds produce metabolites called aflatoxins. Aflatoxins cause acute lethal illness and cancer in animals and humans, and are among the most carcinogenic substances on earth. Aflatoxins poison the liver, and their carcinogenic properties can lead to tumor formation.

    Recalls of Aflatoxin-Contaminated Dog Food Have Begun

    Reuters reports high levels of aflatoxins have been discovered in bags of dog food on store shelves in Iowa. And according to Michael Wright, the CEO of Pro-Pet, a pet food company in Ohio that recently learned some of its product was contaminated with aflatoxins, “Last year’s corn crop – it’s a huge issue. We test every load coming in. And we reject a lot of loads.”

    During the last week of February, the Hy-Vee Inc. grocery chain was forced to recall five different products in its private dog food line due to high levels of aflatoxins in the corn used in the formulas. The dog food was produced at a Kansas City Pro-Pet plant and distributed across eight Midwestern states.

    As I explained back in November, the behavior of the A. flavus and A. parasiticus molds makes it very difficult to control or minimize aflatoxin contamination, or to accurately assess the extent of the problem. There can be pockets of plants that are heavily contaminated, while the rest of the crop is relatively mold-free, so analyzing occasional random samples of corn plants can give misleading results.

    The corn used in the recalled Hy-Vee formulas had been tested before it was added to the dog food, and the finished product was reportedly tested as well. But the contamination wasn’t discovered until a random bag was pulled from a store shelf in Iowa by an inspector for the Iowa Department of Agriculture.

    According to PetfoodIndustry.com, Hy-Vee officials say the recall is only a precautionary measure and no illnesses have been reported. The recalled products were distributed to Hy-Vee stores in Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin between October 26, 2012, and January 11, 2013. Specific details of recalled products can be found here.

    If you happen to have a bag of recalled product, you should stop feeding it to your pet. You can also return the food, opened or unopened, to a Hy-Vee store for a full refund.

    How to Avoid Aflatoxin-Contaminated Pet Food

    Aflatoxin-related illness is seen much more often in dogs than cats because more commercial dog foods than cat foods contain corn products.

    To be very safe, I recommend you transition your pet away from all dry food. Replace it with a high quality canned food, a commercially prepared raw diet, dehydrated raw, a balanced home cooked diet, or a combination.

    If you want to continue to offer dry food to your dog, I recommend you study the ingredients carefully and avoid products containing corn in any form, including corn gluten meal, whole grain corn, corn flour, etc. Corn is not only highly susceptible to aflatoxin contamination, it is also allergenic and difficult for most pets to digest.

    Related:

    The Feeding Mistake Linked to the Cause of Most Disease – Are You Making It?

    Why Upgrading Your Pet’s Diet is More Important Now than Ever

    More Dog Food Recalled for Toxic Contaminants

    Yet ANOTHER Pet Food Recall for Deadly Contaminants

    Pet Food Red Flags You Want to Avoid

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

    The Dangers of Genetically Modified Ingredients in Pet Food

    Pet Jerky Death Toll Update: 360 dogs, 1 Cat According to FDA

    A Raw Food KIBBLE?

    When Raw Food is NOT the Right Food for Your Pet

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

    Free Homemade Dog Food Recipes

    Liver Dog Treats Equals One Happy Dog

    The Importance of Bones in Your Pet’s Diet

    The Nutrient Your Pet Needs More of As They Age: Protein

    Pancreatitis in Dogs

    Good Diet and Advice for Dogs with Pancreatitis

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

    Gourmet Doggie Biscuits and Some Holiday Snacking Tips

    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.

    Fatty Acids May Improve Mobility In Osteoarthritic Dogs

    Pets and Toxic Plants

    Natural Pet Remedies For Everyday Problems

    Allergies and Springtime Ailments in Pets

    Do Vaccinations Affect the Health of our Pets?

    How the Pet Food Industry Has Helped Create "Carnivore Metabolic Syndrome"

    Now dogs Have a Food Truck of Their Own With Bow-Wow Chow

    Dysbiosis: The Root Cause of Many Other Pet Health Problems

    Cancer and Your Pet: Two Things to Avoid

    Now dogs Have a Food Truck of Their Own With Bow-Wow Chow

    The Nutrient Your Dog Needs More of As They Age: Protein – And Expecting Your Pet to Get It from Rendered Pet Food Is the Worst of the Worst of the Worst Options!

    Pupcakes

    Gourmet Doggie Biscuits and Some Holiday Snacking Tips

    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.

    Chicken Jerky Recipe for dogs

    WHAT HUMAN FOODS ARE UNSAFE FOR PETS? (the 12 worst)–> chocolate, sugarless gum & artificial sweeteners, alcohol, yeast dough, grapes & raisins, Macadamia nuts, onions (bad for dogs and cats… but poison for cats), garlic (for cats), caffeine, fat trimmings and bones (bad for cats and limited fat and the right bones for dogs), raw eggs (for cats, but must be careful for dogs and humans), and milk.

    Some of the best human foods for dogs: peanut butter (although peanuts and peanut butter can contain mold so could be bad for humans and dogs), cheese including cottage cheese (some some dogs can be prone to be lactose intolerant like people), yogurt, watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe, blueberries, salmon, green beans, sweet potatoes, fresh raw carrots, pumpkin, and lean meat… cooked or raw.

    Did You Know There are Two Kinds of Raw Pet Food on the Market?

    Megacolon: A Terrible Outcome for Constipated Pets

    Resources:

    Not Fit for a Dog!: The Truth About Manufactured Dog and Cat Food

    See Spot Live Longer – How to help your dog live a longer and healthier life!

    Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs: The Definitive Guide to Homemade Meals

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    Keep your pets healthy and help extend their lives with:

    StemPet and StemEquine – Stem Cell Enhancers for Pets

    April 8, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, 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

    Apachi – Happy 7th Birthday

    Our sweet little guy, Apachi… a Chiweenie (half-Chihuahua/half-wiener dog or Dachshund), turned 7-years-old on March 28th. Happy Birthday Apachi. He is the sweetest guy, worries about everyone and makes us smile everyday.

    Father's Day '06 012Spindly Apache

    Our daughter, who was working at a pet store at the time, rescued him from a box outside the store, where he and his siblings were being given away.

    Save Me OmaFather's Day '06 014

    Father's Day '06 015

    He was quite the character from day one and the total opposite of our Chihuahua, Angel, who our daughter also brought home when she was working part-time for another pet store. She spent the bulk of her summer earnings on papered Angel, whereas Apachi was free.

    Apachi The Mickey Mouse Dog

    Hospital and Recovery Iliostomy Reversal 005Hospital and Recovery Iliostomy Reversal 006

    Apachi was a sweet dog from day one, easy going, patient and he and Angel hit it off immediately.

    Angel and Apachi 2007 011Angel and Apachi 2007 015

    Courtship Dance

    Very long story but through a chain of events before we knew it… puppies were on their way… and then there were six.

    Curious PapaPapa and Grandpa Talking

    Apachiman in the Basket

    Male dogs are not always good with their offspring (some even kill and/or eat them), but Apachi was a concerned dad who wanted to be part of the process, watched over Angel and their pups from a distance (because she wouldn’t let him get any closer in the beginning) and then took over once Angel weaned them and was done. (Angel was a great mom… nursed them for 9-weeks, but when she was done… she was done!)

    7 Week Old Pups - I Love You Papa 2

    Apachi with his boys… Goji and Magnum their last night with us. Both went to their forever homes the next day. He spent time with both of them that night, like he knew they were leaving and he needed to give them his fatherly advice. They both went to great homes and we still hear from them now and again. Winking smile

    We Are Ready... Where's Mom - June 2010

    Although we found one of the girls a home as well… she came back to us because they couldn’t keep her and we had asked all the pups’ new parents to bring them back if for some reason they couldn’t keep them… and they did.

    Chiweenies Apachi and Princess Sad That Jerry Is Leaving 06.29.10Pets and River Visiting - Mar 2009 010

    Apachi loves his girls… Princess and Angelina. He is a great dad!

    But as we all know parenting is a tough job!

    Angel & Apachi's Puppies 039Angel and Apachi 2007 029

    First Date Out After Surgery 004

    Let's Go In Says Apachi

    P1010031

    These are not chocolate chip cookies. They are doggie friendly carob cookies.

    Apachi's 4th Be-Day 3.28.10Pensful Apachi

    Hospital and Recovery Iliostomy Reversal 004Silly Apachi

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Furkid Adventures at Our New Home - Sundance Wy 4

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Aapchi in the Big Bowl Chair

    Angel and Angelina's 3rd Birthdays 04.19.10

    Outing to the harbor with our very pregnant niece… 6 of us and 6 furkids. And our nieces two were in Arizona. The following Thanksgiving we had an unusually small Thanksgiving… 6-adults, 1 baby and 8 furkids.

    Sundance Wyoming - Our New Home 4Top of Steps at Jerry and ConniesLeaving CA  - We Are Sooo Ready to LeaveOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    The Aliens Have Arrived

    We Want To Help 2

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    P1010044

    Helping with the packing

    Potty Break in Tucson

    The Gang Moving Back to CA  12-2012

    Happy 7th B-Day Apachi 3.28.2013-4

    March 2013 006

    Happy 7th!!

    Apachi (the Patchman… Ears as Grandma JoAnn calls him) worries and watches out for everyone… his girls, Angel and us, his human parents. His favorite part of the day is playing with Dad… the only other male in the family. Apachi loves to help and be part of everything that is going on including travel… even though he suffers from severe car sickness. We do our best to keep him from getting sick (liquid ginger root or ginger cookies) and just go prepared for the often inevitable ‘in-car’ emergency. (We’ve taken him on three  1,600 mile trips in the past 3-years… twice  in a U-Haul moving truck and once in a pick-up… and he never got sick once. We stacked sofa cushions between the bucket seats, or pick-up bench seat, high enough for our 4-furkids to sit on making them level with the dashboard, which seemed to help Apachi’s nausea and sickness.) Maybe we should have been driving a U-Haul all along? (And yes… I’ve thought about it!)

    ‘Until One Has Loved an Animal, Part of Their Soul Remains Unawakened’

    I made homemade treats today for Apachi’s birthday, as I do for all our gang’s special occasions… Here are the recipes for a few of them.

    Photos by the UCLA Shutterbug

    March 29, 2013 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, Chihuahua, Chiweenie, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets | , , , , , | 2 Comments

    Liver Dog Treats Equals One Happy Dog

    DoggieKitchen.com: 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.

    You can take advantage of this eager to please side of your dog and use liver as your dog training treats and training tool.

    What 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?

    liver dog 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.

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    March 29, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pet Recipes, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments