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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.

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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

Horse Nasal Strips… California Chrome gets OK for use in Belmont Leg of Triple Crown

Horse nasal strips figured in California Chrome’s surge to victory in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. But until Monday, it wasn’t clear that officials would allow them in his June 7 run for the Belmont Stakes.

California Chrome can bring his nasal strips to Belmont, officials announced Monday.

By  Noelle SwanStaff writer CS Monitor  -  Noelle Swan writes for the national news desk at the Monitor. She previously worked on the Business and Family pages as a writer and editor.

California Chrome, in the midst of a strong bid for the first Triple Crown since 1978, has been given the okay to use a nasal strip for the upcoming Belmont Stakes, after worries…

The three stewards who govern Belmont Park unanimously agreed Monday to allow horses to wear equine nasal strips, according to a joint statement issued by the New York State Gaming Commission and The New York Racing Association.

Chrome’s trainer, Art Sherman, said Sunday that the owners were prepared to pull the horse from the June 7 Belmont Stakes – the third jewel of the Triple Crown – if New York racing officials had refused to grant permission for the horse to wear the adhesive strips.

“The horse has been on a six-race winning streak with nasal strips. I don’t know why they would ban you from wearing one, but we’ll have to cross that bridge when we get there, I guess,” Mr. Sherman told reporters Sunday morning, before the gaming commission and the racing association announced their decision.

Sherman started affixing the nasal strips to the horse’s muzzle at the request of co-owner Perry Martin, ESPN reports.

The nasal strips are similar to those worn by humans to open nasal passages and improve air flow.

“I think it opens up his air passage and gives him that extra little oomph that he needs, especially going a mile and a half,” Sherman explained. “Anytime you can have a good air passage, that means a lot for these thoroughbreds.”

I’ll Have Another, the last horse to win both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, also wore nasal strips, but his handlers had been told he would have to forgo them in the Belmont Stakes, USA Today reports.

https://i1.wp.com/static.drf.com/horse/photos/california-chrome.jpg

The commission’s thoroughbred rule does not specifically prohibit nasal strips but states, “Only equipment specifically approved by the stewards shall be worn or carried by a jockey or a horse in a race.”

The New York State Gaming Commission issued a statement on Sunday saying it had not yet received a request for the breathing aids from California Chrome’s handlers.

”If a request to use nasal strips is made, the decision on whether to permit them or not will be fully evaluated and determined by the stewards,” the statement read.

Stephen Lewandowski of the gaming commission, one of three stewards in charge of this year’s Belmont Stakes, is new to the post since the ruling on I’ll Have Another’s request, according to USA Today.

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Every Dog Has Its Data

By NICK WINGFIELD  -  The New York Times:  A half-century ago, dogs lived in barns or backyards, domiciled in shabby little doghouses. Now they have the run of our houses and apartments. They sleep in our beds (full disclosure). In some cases, they are considered by their owners to be like children, and possibly a bit cleaner.

So it is not so strange that the connected technologies that are creeping into the lives of humans are doing the same for pets.

Wearable pet activity trackers keep tabs on Bella’s or Bear’s exercise. Some go further, monitoring dogs’ heart and respiratory rates and tracking locations in case they escape their homes. Webcams allow people who are away from home to monitor, communicate and play games with their pets, breaking up the monotony of lonely days.

What’s making all these devices possible is an abundance of increasingly inexpensive miniature components created for the smartphone business: wireless chips, motion sensors and high-resolution camera lenses that can be jammed into pet-friendly devices. Smartphone apps, meanwhile, are giving people a way to visualize the biometric data these devices collect and to snoop on pet behavior from anywhere with a wireless connection.

These device manufacturers are chasing the growing pile of money people are lavishing on animals. Total annual spending on pets in this country, including food, veterinary care and medicine, more than tripled over the past two decades to $55.5 billion last year, according to the American Pet Products Association.

The tighter bond between household animals and the people formerly known as owners has established pet wellness as a serious business, and tech firms are taking note.

“It is the idea of being able to interact with your pet in a more meaningful way,” said Con Slobodchikoff, an emeritus professor of biology at Northern Arizona University. “Right now, pretty much all people have is voice to interact with their pets or touch. People want more.”

Heidi Hurn recently clipped one of these gadgets, the Whistle Activity Monitor, to the collar of Hoosier, her 11-year-old chocolate Labrador retriever. This $130 brushed metal device, about the dimensions of a ketchup bottle cap, records when he is active, for how long and at what intensity level.  It is the canine equivalent of the Jawbone UP, a fitness tracker that Ms. Hurn bought for her fiancé.

Through an app on her iPhone, Ms. Hurn, 32, who works in medical device sales in Seattle, can see a bar chart showing how hard and for how long her dog walker is exercising Hoosier. She can see how active he is when she and her fiancé are not at home. (Revealed: Hoosier is sacked out from five minutes after they leave until the moment they get home.)

Ms. Hurn said she and her fiancé got the device because Hoosier’s veterinarian emphasized that keeping him active is likely to extend his life. She said the detailed logs of his exercise make the couple feel more responsible.

“We are very attentive parents,” she said. “He’s our only child.”

Mitzi takes the Whistle Activity Monitor out for a spin.

Nick Wingfield/The New York Times Mitzi takes the Whistle Activity Monitor out for a spin.

I, too, recently put a Whistle on the collar of Mitzi, my 5-year-old pit bull/Labrador retriever mix. After a few days, I was able to compare her activity level to other mixed-breed dogs. I felt small glow of pride when the Whistle app sent me a congratulatory text after Mitzi surpassed her daily exercise goal four days in a row.

More wearable tech for pets is on the way.  Already on sale is a collar device called Tagg that combines activity monitoring with location tracking to help recover lost pets. Voyce, an activity tracker available later this year, also monitors a dog’s heart and respiratory rates.

“We really see ourselves as the wellness coach for the life of the dog,” said Jeff Noce, president of i4C Innovations, the maker of Voyce.

It’s possible the data from these devices could eventually help medical researchers better understand pet ailments. According to a 2012 study commissioned by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, more than 52 percent of dogs and more than 58 percent of cats are overweight or obese, conditions which can lead to diabetes and worsen arthritis.

A 14-year study commissioned by Purina, the pet food company, found that a dog’s median life span can be extended by 15 percent by restricting the diet to maintain ideal weight, or almost two years for the Labrador retrievers in the survey. Veterinarians have used expensive motion sensors for years to study pet activity levels, but they say the new devices aimed at pet owners have the potential to be used far more broadly.

“I’m very excited about the activity monitors,” said Dr. Ernie Ward, a veterinarian and founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.

Mitzi's walks, naps and playtime are logged on Whistle's app.

Nick Wingfield/The New York Times Mitzi’s walks, naps and playtime are logged on Whistle’s app.

The solitude of pets is another concern that technology is tackling. Many animals spend hours alone at home while their owners are at the office. Separation anxiety, lack of exercise and other factors can lead to destructive tendencies.

Dropcam is a wireless security camera that can also be used as a pet monitor. It has a microphone and speaker so people can both speak to and hear their pets via a mobile app.  I used a Dropcam to spy on Mitzi, who had positioned herself on a couch in my living room while I was out of the house.

Through the speaker, I ordered her down. She cocked her head like the RCA dog and stared at the camera — and didn’t move. I’m hoping for an update of the product that includes pet obedience.

A device called PetCube(s), coming out in May, combines a webcam, microphone and speakers with a low-intensity laser pointer, the direction of which can be controlled remotely through a smartphone. Owners will be able to play games with their cats and dogs using the laser, assuming the animals are receptive to the idea of chasing a bright red light around a room.

People will be able to invite Facebook friends to play with their pets, too, by sharing access to their PetCubes.

While cats seem to pursue lasers without problems, Dr. Margaret Gruen, a veterinary behaviorist at North Carolina State University, said using a laser pointer with dogs could lead them to become shadow and light chasers, a compulsive behavior. Dr. Gruen said it was unclear what effect owners talking to their pets through a webcam could have.

“When they can’t see them, will that be confusing or comforting?” she said. “I don’t think we know yet.”

There are effective medications and behavior changes for treating separation anxiety in pets, and playing classical music while an owner is gone can relax dogs, too, Dr. Gruen said. While it isn’t clear yet whether these new technologies actually improve the lives of pets, they are certainly likely to answer the emotional needs of many pet parents. Remember the Baby Einstein DVDs, said to enhance the intellectual development of infants?

“There’s this industry that springs up around selling highly specialized products that will allow you to feel like you’re doing a better job of parenting,” said Aaron Easterly, the chief executive of the dog-sitting website Rover.com. “It’s really the exact same pitch for these products.”

March 10, 2014 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, pet products, Pets | 1 Comment

Could an E-collar Help Settle Your Pet’s Stomach on Car Rides?

Story at-a-glance

  • Just about every cat we know hates car trips, and many show their displeasure by throwing up as soon as the key is turned in the ignition.

  • A veterinarian in Avon, Connecticut made a fascinating discovery when one of his senior feline patients was fitted with an E-collar after a minor surgical procedure. For the first time in his life, the kitty didn’t throw up on the car ride home. Since then, the vet has recommended the E-collar for several more cats and a few dogs, and it has worked to relieve their motion sickness as well.

  • If your pet is prone to motion sickness and you’d like to give the E-collar a try, you can buy one online or at PetSmart or Petco.

E-CollarBy Dr. Becker

I just came across some interesting and potentially very useful information having to do with preventing cats from getting sick during car rides.

As anyone owned by a cat can tell you, very few of our feline friends enjoy a ride in the car. Veterinarians hear complaints all day long from cat-owning clients who dread the drive to and from their appointments.

Not only do kitties despise car rides, many also suffer from motion sickness. You’d be amazed at the number of cats who manage to throw up virtually every time they ride in their owner’s car – even if it’s just a trip around the block.

E-Collars Relieve Motion Sickness in Some Cats and Dogs

Dr. Tom Morganti, a veterinarian with a practice in Avon, Connecticut, had a cat patient who vomited every time he rode in a vehicle. The cat’s owners had long ago resigned themselves to the need to hose out the family car after taking their pet for a ride.

One day, the cat, by this time a senior citizen, underwent minor surgery that necessitated the placement of an Elizabethan collar (E-collar) around his neck so that he couldn’t access the surgical site. For the first time in his life, the cat made the car trip home without throwing up. When his owners brought him back to Dr. Morganti for suture removal, the kitty was still wearing the collar, and he made the return trip without vomiting as well.

Morganti has since suggested E-collars as a treatment for car sickness for more than a dozen cats as well as a couple of dogs, and in each case so far, it has worked.

If you have a pet with motion sickness during car rides and want to try the E-collar trick, you can buy a collar online or at your local PetSmart or Petco. Make sure it’s the lampshade type that reduces peripheral vision (there are many types of E-collars out there, the one that’s effective for motion sickness is the old fashioned type).

Kitty De-Stressors

A few natural products that can be beneficial in helping to calm a frightened and stressed-out cat include OptiBalance’s Stress and Trauma Relief Formula for cats, and Bach flower essences, including Rescue Remedy.

Also, Feliway spray is a calming pheromone product that you can spray in the cat carrier 15 minutes before you put your kitty in it.

Car Sickness & Fear of Riding in Cars 

Natural Pet Remedies For Everyday Problems   

Take the Stress Out of Car Trips with Your Dog

Stress in Dogs (Pets)

January 11, 2014 Posted by | Animal Related Education, Chiweenie, Dogs, Holistic Pet Health, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, pet products, Pets | 2 Comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to keep your dog safe during Thanksgiving holidays

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

Common Foods That Are Harmful Or Even Fatal to Dogs

Pets and Toxic Plants

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

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

When Raw Food is NOT the Right Food for Your Pet

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

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

November 23, 2013 Posted by | Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, Holidays With Pets, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, pet products, Pets | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

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

Story at-a-glance

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

Pet Food Industry

By Dr. Becker

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

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

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

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

Byproducts of WWII: Dry Pet Food and Processed Human Food

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have We Chosen Convenience Over the Health of Our Pets?

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

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

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

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

Optimal Nutrition for Your Dog or Cat

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The best food for your dog is . . .

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

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

ALL living creatures deserve real, fresh food.

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

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

Dog food corporations. "Just say no."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The awful ingredients in commercial "dog food"

THE GRAIN

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

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

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

THE MEAT

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

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

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

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

THE GREASY FAT

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

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

THE PRESERVATIVES

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

But what is this stuff that keeps ingredients from spoiling?

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

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

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

Isn’t that nice?

THE UNRECOGNIZABLE INGREDIENTS

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

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

Australian veterinarian Dr. Ian Billinghurst says:

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

Artificial diets are causing health problems in dogs.

How commercial dog food affects your dog’s health

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Resources

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

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

Keep Your Dog Healthy the Natural Way

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

Cooking for Your Dog

Bone Appetit!: Gourmet Cooking for Your Dog

And after dinner how about a nice massage?

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

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

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

Pampered pets and pet survivors

US President George Bush's Barney and Mrs. Beazly 2007

U.S. President George W. Bush’s dogs Barney and Mrs. Beazley (front) roam the driveway on the South Lawn of the White House on March 26, 2007. (UPI Photo/Roger L. Wollenberg)

UPI.com Pet Parade  -  By AL SWANSON (2010):

In his memoirs, former President George W. Bush tells a story about going from the pampering of the White House to picking up his dog Barney’s poop days later.

Bush, 10 days after leaving office, was walking his Scottie when Barney relieved himself on a neighbor’s lawn.

"There I was," Bush wrote, "the former president of the United States, with a plastic bag on my hand, picking up that which I had been dodging for the past eight years."

Barney, of course, continues to be pampered.

Despite the lingering recession hangover, with slow economic and job growth, people are still willing to spend on their pets — those who can afford it, that is.

Americans are not the only ones who spoil pets. A check of the Yellow Pages in the area around Bundaberg in Queensland in northeast Australia, shows 60 businesses offering pet services compared to 24 offering services for men.

"For a lot of people who send their cats here, their cats are like children, so they will get pampered," Sharon Bradley, owner of Avoca Boarding Cattery told the Bundaberg News Mail.

The sight of celebrity-socialite Paris Hilton shopping with her latest pampered puppy stowed in a designer handbag may make some people retch. But for many the only difference is the amount of money she has to spend. Hilton, who was sentenced to a year’s probation after her arrest for cocaine possession in Las Vegas in September, reportedly has admitted to owning as many as 18 pets from dogs and rabbits to a parrot and a pig.

She seems to enjoy indulging Chihuahuas while other celebrities are into trendy designer breeds like puggles (half poodle-half beagle), poochons (poodle and bishon) and maltipoo (maltese and poodle).

Spafinder lists the Lake Austin Spa Resort in Texas as the place to pamper your dog. House-trained dogs are always welcome but in February the 19-acre resort will offer a special four-day retreat for dogs and their owners. Both humans and animals can get pampering from massages to "peticures" while owners also learn tips about pet care, petside.com said.

The fees from "Celebrating Paws" will go to the Animal Trustees of Austin, a non-profit devoted to providing low-cost animal healthcare.

As shelters fill up it’s one way — other than writing a check — for owners of pampered pets to help pets of those who are having trouble affording them.

Shelters are reaching capacity as people who have lost jobs or homes give up their cats and dogs, Pam Burney, vice president for community initiatives at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, told USA Today.

In the pet-friendly city of Portland, Ore., pet owners can check their canines into the luxury of the Sniff Dog Hotel, a pet hotel that offers grooming, training and doggie daycare as well as posh accommodations starting at $37 per day, care2.com said. The property has a cafe serving wine, beer and food to dog owners watching Fido romp in an indoor park.

Caesars Palace, Imperial Palace and the Rio, all Harrah’s hotel-casino properties in Las Vegas, accept dogs weighing less than 50 pounds, up to two per room under their "PetStay" program, the Los Angeles Times reports. An extra fee of $20 to $25 per night covers amenities including dog food, water bowls and doggie treats. Dogs must be crated when left alone in the room. Sorry, no cats are allowed.

And there’s always a luxury staycation.

"A back yard is no place for a dog. It’s not their natural environment," Robert Holmes, an Australian animal behavior expert, told the Brisbane Herald Sun. "They should be in bed with their owners. That’s where the pack lies and they should all pile in together."

My two very energetic terriers are a little too gamey for that sort of togetherness and we don’t plan to have them groomed until Thanksgiving.

Barkley seems to prefer sleeping on the floor in our bedroom to his expensive dog bed, anyway.

Carl Steidtmann, chief economist at Deloitte, says many consumers appear ready to spend again with sales of both organic pet food and bargain pet food rising.

"People are cutting back on themselves more than they’re cutting back on pets." Bob Vetere, president of the American Pet Products Association told USA Today.

If you think pampering a pet is crazy, consider this: a poll conducted by Unbiased.co.uk found nearly 1.5 million people plan to leave their assets to their pets in their wills, while only 1 million said their money would go to a church when they die.

*President Gerald Ford was a humble man. One of the best quotes I have ever heard is:  “No one should ever have to clean up after someone else’s pet and every man should be willing  to clean up after his own pet/best friend!”

Related:

Bush and Barney, Just Like Old Times

New First Pooch Is Arriving Soon

President Bush and His Pets

February 19, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Chihuahua, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, pet fun, pet products, Pets, responsible pet ownership, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments