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Canine Dental Care Importance Often Overlooked

Paying attention to your dog and cat’s dental health is far too often overlooked, but can make a huge difference in their overall health!

By Marion Algier – JOMP

dental care-dog-teeth

Photo via Pinterest

Catch Fred  -  By Melissa Turner 

When it comes to the proper care of our four-legged friends one of the most important aspects of such is dental care. Many pet owners don’t realize just how important it is to care for their pets teeth. Like humans dogs are susceptible to different dental problems such as gingivitis and periodontal disease. Both of these conditions can be quite painful to your dog if left untreated and both can be prevented with proper care in the majority of cases. The best way to care for your dogs’ mouth is to prevent problems before they have a chance to occur which means taking care of their dental hygiene from an early age such as you might do with a child.

There are toothbrushes made especially for dogs however if you don’t have access to these you may use a piece of soft gauze wrapped around your finger. There is also toothpaste and mouthwash that is specially formulated for dogs. An alternative to this is a paste made from baking soda and water. You should never use human toothpaste for dogs as it can cause upset to their stomachs and create other problems in the process. It is recommended that you brush your dogs’ teeth 2-3 times per week to keep them healthy. There are of course other steps to helping keep your dogs mouth healthy as well.

When dogs eat, plaque forms on their teeth just like it does with humans. In addition to regularly brushing your dogs’ teeth there are some types of dry dog food that is specially formulated to minimize the build-up of plaque and tartar. While these special dental healthy foods may be a little more costly, it is definitely worth it in the long run to prevent very expensive canine dental treatments later on. In addition to this there are also specially formulated dog treats that will help in this process as well as avoiding using table scraps as treats for your dog.

brushing-large-dogs-teeth

Photo via Facebook

While proper dental hygiene is important for your dog it is also important to know the signs of dental problems in your dog. The most common signal that your dog may have a problem is extreme bad breath. In some cases this can also be accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea as well. Other signs include cysts on the tongue, swelling or redness of the gums and loose teeth. Some of these problems may be caused by bacteria that have accumulated in the mouth. When this happens it can lead not only to infections in the mouth but can spread to other parts of the body as well. If your dog displays any of these symptoms you should seek the advice of a vet as soon as possible to diagnose and treat the problem.

As pet owners we love our dogs as if they were a part of the family. For this reason we want to do all we can to ensure that they stay as healthy as possible. By taking care of our dogs’ teeth and mouth we are doing all in our power to prevent costly and potentially dangerous problems from developing.

Studies have shown that disease is endemic in pets.  Dental disease, or periodontal disease, has been associated with pain, heart problems, liver problems, diabetes, cancer, sinus infections, behavior changes and a host of other problems.

Brushing your pet’s teeth is the best way to prevent dental disease and is strongly encouraged.

All breeds of cats and dogs are at risk for dental disease, and all pets should undergo regular veterinary checkups to ensure that they are not suffering from dental disease or other medical conditions.

 

Here is the list:

  • Toy Poodle
  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Maltese
  • Pomeranian
  • Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie)
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Papillon
  • Standard Poodle
  • Dachshund
  • Havanese
  • Chihuahua

Again, every dog and cat is at risk of dental disease, but if your dog is on the above list, you may want to pay special attention to his or her oral health.

An old joke:  What do you call a room full of Chihuahuas:  A full set of teeth.  You could plug any of the breeds above into this joke, but brushing their teeth makes a world of difference.  Letting them chew the right size and kind of natural (real) bones also really helps!! 

Why All Your Healthy Pet Efforts May Be Worthless if You Do This… 

Getting To The "Root" of Bad Breath In Dogs And Cats 

CAUTION: Bones Can Kill Your Dog – Find Out Which Ones are Safe

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August 17, 2014 Posted by | Animal Related Education, Chihuahua, Chiweenie, Dogs, Dogs, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership | 2 Comments

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

Story at-a-glance

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

Toxic Pet Food

By Dr. Becker

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

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

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

Top 10 Dog Toxins in 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Top 10 Cat Toxins in 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related: 

Pets and Toxic Plants

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

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

Cancer and Your Pet: Two Things to Avoid 

Top 10 Human Medications That Poison Our Pets 

The Dangers of Genetically Modified Ingredients in Pet Food

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

Never Punish Your Pet for This Accident!

Video: Urinary Incontinence in Dogs and Cats

Dr. Karen BeckerBy Dr. Karen Becker – HuffPo

Please note this article addresses involuntary passage of urine only, and isn’t intended to cover other urination-related problems like too-frequent urination or behavioral-related problems like submissive urination.

Involuntary Passage of Urine

Involuntary passage of urine normally occurs while your pet is asleep or resting. When she stands up, you notice urine leakage. It can be just a small wet spot or a good-sized puddle, depending on how much urine is being unintentionally passed.

It’s important to understand your pet isn’t intentionally leaking urine. She has no control over what’s happening. This is not a behavioral problem, it’s a medical problem — so trying to correct or punish your pet is a bad idea on multiple levels.

In fact, many pets become very distressed to realize they are passing urine in places other than a designated potty spot. A housebroken dog or any kitty accustomed to using a litter box will be confused and even ashamed to know they are leaving urine in inappropriate spots.

Causes of Urinary Incontinence

There are a lot of causes for involuntary passage of urine, especially in dogs:

• Central nervous system trauma. If your pet’s brain or spinal cord isn’t signaling correctly to the bladder, this miscommunication can cause urine dribbling.
• Damage to the pudendal nerve. If the pudendal nerve, which works the neck of your pet’s bladder, is impinged, the bladder neck can remain slightly open, allowing urine leakage.
• Disease of the bladder, kidneys or adrenals, Cushing’s disease, hypothyroidism and diabetes can all cause dribbling of urine.
• Bladder stones. A dog with a bladder stone will often strain while trying to urinate. If you’ve noticed this behavior with your pet, you need to consider the possibility of bladder stones.
• Birth defects. Birth defects — structural abnormalities existing from birth — can cause incontinence. If your puppy has been difficult or impossible to housetrain, there could be a birth defect present. Some dog breeds have more of these types of from-birth plumbing problems than others.
• Urethral obstruction. Obstruction of the urethra can also cause involuntary passage of urine. A tumor can obstruct urine flow and cause dribbling. So can urethral stones.
• Age-related urinary incontinence. Older pets can develop weak pelvic floors or poor bladder tone which can result in urine dribbling. If your dog has signs of canine senility or dementia, he can also simply forget to signal you when he needs to potty outside. His bladder can overfill, and there can be leakage.
• Feline leukemia. For reasons not well understood, some kitties positive for feline leukemia have urine leakage. If your cat starts dribbling urine, it is more than likely a medical issue requiring veterinary care.

Hormone-Induced Urinary Incontinence

Hands down, the most common reason for involuntary urine leakage, especially in dogs, is hormone-induced urinary incontinence.

After a pet is spayed or neutered, the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone, which are necessary to help close the external urethral sphincter, are no longer available. This often results in urine dribbling.

Hormone-induced urinary incontinence is extremely common in spayed female dogs, and somewhat less common in neutered males. These are typically healthy, vibrant pets that just happen to dribble urine anywhere from multiple times a day to just once or twice a year.

Treatment for Urinary Incontinence

The cause of your pet’s urinary incontinence will dictate what treatment she receives.

If there’s an underlying disease process or structural abnormality causing the problem, and it can be corrected through medical management and/or surgery, that’s obviously the way to go.

If your pet is diagnosed with hormone-induced urinary incontinence, I strongly recommend you consider treating the problem naturally.

I successfully treat cases of hormone-induced urinary incontinence with glandular therapy, as well as natural, biologically appropriate (non-synthetic) hormone replacement therapy and a few excellent herbal remedies.

I also use acupuncture to improve function of the pudendal nerve and control or stimulate sufficient closure of the external urethral sphincter. Chiropractic care can also keep the CNS working properly, aiding in normal bladder and neurologic function.

I urge you to start with natural remedies, because some of the traditional drugs used to treat urinary incontinence are potentially toxic with side effects that can create more problems than they solve.

As always, I recommend you have a holistic vet on your pet’s treatment team.

Dogs with incontinence that can’t be completely resolved can be fitted with dog bloomers or panties with absorbent pads — you can even use human disposable diapers and cut a hole for the tail. Just remember that urine is caustic and should not remain on your pet’s skin for long periods, so if you use diapers, be sure to change them frequently or remove them during times when your pet isn’t apt to be incontinent.

For more by Dr. Karen Becker, click here.

For more on pet health, click here.

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

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

By reading Dr. Becker’s information, you’ll learn how to make impactful, consistent lifestyle choices to improve your pet’s quality of life.

July 13, 2014 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Keeping Your Pets Safe on the 4th of July

Family and friends of G.R. Gordon-Ross watch his private fireworks show at the Youth Sports Complex in Lawrence, Kan., Friday, June 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Mercury News – Originally posted on July 02, 2013: The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays. Hot dogs, potato salad and, of course, fireworks.

But Independence Day is not such a joyful time for our animal friends. The noises and flashes of light are anything but enjoyable for them. Some become emotionally traumatized, cowering in corners, while others may bolt out of fear. Even pets that normally aren’t phased can have bad reactions to all of the bangs and pops.

The East Bay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has kindly provided tips to help keep our animals calm and safe during the next few days:

– Keeping your dogs and cats indoors is one of the simplest things you can do to keep them safe. Even if your pet usually does well outdoors, both cats and dogs might run in a panic from fireworks or people. More pets go missing during the July Fourth holiday than at any other time of the year.

– If possible, stay at home with your pet. That way, you will be able to make adjustments to routines and comfort a distraught animal. If your dog appears fearful, allow him to go into his kennel or somewhere he feels safe. If your cat is skittish, place her in a darkened, cozy room with some of her favorite things. Most important, comfort them and reassure them that all is OK.

– Make sure your pets are wearing identification. One in three pets will go missing in their lifetime. If they don’t have identification, 90 percent don’t return home.

In addition to a collar with tags, consider microchipping your pet. Many frightened pets can slip their collars, leaving them with no path home. Contact the SPCA or other animal groups to see if they offer the service. Also make sure that contact information with the chipping company and on collar tags is up-to-date.

– Keep an emergency file. If your pet does go missing, it is a good idea to have a folder with a list of local shelters, as well as a current photo of your pet showing any unique markings for identification. Make sure the entire family knows where this folder is kept and that it is easily accessible.

– If your pet has a history of problems, talk to your veterinarian about medications. East Bay SPCA Chief Veterinarian Michael Sozanski says pets often find the loud, unpredictable noise and bright light displays frightening and should not be subjected to fireworks shows. "In case of severe phobia," Sozanski says, "nothing may work to ease your pet’s fear. If there is a chance your pet may exhibit this level of fear, speak to your veterinarian about possible medications." Medications can include anti-anxiety drugs or sedatives.

– Consider your pet when party planning. If you have friends over to celebrate, be especially mindful of doors and windows. Guests may be unaware that your dog or cat might escape even if a door is left open for a short amount of time. Try securing your cat in a quiet room or keeping your dog in the kennel or with you on a leash as guests are coming and going.

– If you are going to an outdoor event and bringing your pet, make sure there is plenty or water and shade.

American Pride - Dog with Flag

Things to watch

–In dogs, warning signs of anxiety can be excessive panting, drooling, trembling and shaking, pacing, aggression, panicking and escape behavior. Watch for inappropriate body movements, such as jumping erratically over or on furniture, that could lead to injuries.

–Symptoms in cats may include panting, drooling, trembling, hiding, freezing, aggression, panicking and escape behavior. They also may behave erratically, jumping and climbing. They may hurt themselves or others.

Joan Morris’ column runs five days a week in print and online. Contact her at jmorris@bayareanewsgroup.com.

*Even events at home and indoors can be traumatic for some dogs/pets.  Be watchful for signs.  Sometimes putting pets who are not social in a separate room by themselves or with another pet with the TV or music on and some of their toys and snacks can be helpful.

Related:

Fourth of July food safety tips

4th of July Pet Parades Around the Country

July 3, 2014 Posted by | Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, Holidays With Pets, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership | 1 Comment

Friends Do Not Make Friends Wait in Hot Cars

Image

Don’t think for a minute that dogs can survive in a hot car

K-9 dies after being left in hot patrol car 

It Is So Hot Here… My Dog Is Melting!! 😉

Car Sickness & Fear of Riding in Cars

June 7, 2014 Posted by | Animal Related Education, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Outreach for Pets, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Memorial Day and Summer Cautions and Safety Tips For Pet Owners

Memorial Day is generally considered the unofficial start of summer.  It is a season of fun and leisure but can also be a time when pets are forgotten or injured, amidst the fun, games, activates and heat.  Our pets our family members and all animals under our car are our responsibility so this is a quick reminder that  pet (animal) health should be kept in the forefront of our minds to help ensure a safe season for all.

Memorial Day is often filled with travel, parties, parades that often include pets and fun under the sun, so  while it is fun to include our pets in our activates, we can’t forget to take the extra steps to make sure they’ are safe and protected.

Below are the top five top safety tips from the ASPCA that pet owners need to remember this summer:

  • Travel in Style: Traveling can be highly stressful for our pets. If you’re planning a road trip, prep your pet in advance by taking short rides in the car and getting them used to riding in a crate or car harness. "Pet owners should never leave their animals unattended in a parked vehicle," said Dr. Louise Murray, vice president of the ASPCA Animal Hospital. "Parked cars, even with windows open, become very hot in a short amount of time, and this can lead to heatstroke or death." If you must travel by air, putting your pet in cargo isn’t ideal. If this is unavoidable, take great care to purchase the required crate and tell every airline employee you are traveling with a pet in cargo to avoid your pet being left on the tarmac or outside during extreme weather.
  • Keep Cool: Dogs and cats can become dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of water when is the weather is hot.. Also, make sure your pet has a shady place to escape the sun and don’t let your dog linger outdoors, especially on hot asphalt. Being so close to the ground, your dog’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can get burned.
  • Watch What They Eat:  Summertime can be perfect for backyard barbecues or parties, but remember that the food and drink you serve your guests may be poisonous to pets. Keep alcoholic beverages away from pets, and remember that the snacks you serve your friends should not be treats for your pet. Any change of diet – even for one meal – may give your dog or cat severe digestive ailments. Make sure to avoid raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate and products with the sweetener xylitol, since these are poisonous to pets, the no-no foods for pets.
  • Beware of "High-Rise Syndrome": During warmer months, many animal hospitals and veterinarians see an increase in injured animals as a result of "High-Rise Syndrome," which is when pets fall or jump out of windows and are seriously or fatally injured. Keep all unscreened windows in your home closed and make sure screens are tightly secured.
  • Love the Leash: Warm weather can inspire longer walks, but while this is exciting for both dog and owner, it’s important that dogs are always kept on leashes with collars and up-to-date ID tags to protect them from getting loose and injuring themselves or others.

Also, be sure to carry the numbers for your dog(s), cat(s) and other pets’ local veterinarian, the 24-Hour emergency pet clinic and the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 for immediate assistance if needed.

Below are some fun Memorial Day pet fun photos from 2013:

Fun Patriotic Memorial Day Pet Photos

Saucy Lady

Patriotic Horse

All American Dog

Patriotic Ferret

Is This Good

Patriotic Kitten

Patriotic Dachsies

Patriotic Gilla Monster

Festive Fido

Cool Patriotic Cat

Patriotic Bull Dog

Patriotic Donkey

Patriotic Cool Dude

Patriotic-Parrot 2

Patriotic Dog 3

Patriotic Piggie

Patriotic Retreiver

Patriotic Cat

Patriotic Doggie

Yeepet gallery Pets

Patriotic Chi

Yeepet gallery Pets

By Marion Algier – Just One More Pet (JOMP) – UCLA Shutterbug 

Ronald Reagan Honors America and Our Troops Past and Present 

Memorial Day 2014 

Photos From the Frontlines – The Dogs of War

Hero Dogs of 9/11 

Memorial Day Weekend Health Safety Tip Reminders 

Nation’s oldest Memorial Day Parade returns to Bay Ridge

Military Heroes and Their Dogs

Sergeant Stubby

1st national monument for war dogs honors four-legged pup soldiers of World War II and beyond

May 25, 2014 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Holidays With Pets, Just One More Pet, Pet Events, Pet Friendship and Love, pet fun, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty | 8 Comments

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

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

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

Clinically Hyperactive/Hyperkinetic Dogs are Rare

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

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

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

Abnormal Behavior… or Annoying Behavior?

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

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

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

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

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

Diagnosis of Hyperkinesis

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

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

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

What to Do If Your Dog Seems Hyperactive

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

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

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

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

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in Dogs and Cats

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

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

May 13, 2014 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal Related Education, Chiweenie, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership | 3 Comments

Angel… Our Mama Turns 10-Years-Old Today

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Our Angel, a half-long-haired, half short-haired, light red and white, fawn-face Chihuahua stole our hearts and literally saved my life, or at least my sanity, during a very dark time for me.  Angel is the mama and the alpha dog at our house and of our little pack of Chihuahuas and Chiweenies.

According to her papers, Angel was born in Oklahoma on May 3rd and ten weeks later had made her way to our home and into our hearts.

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Baby Angel

My husband was allergic to everything with fur and feathers.   But when our daughter was young we gave in starting with hamsters, mice, rats, geckos, lizards, fish, turtles… and then birds.  Then our daughter came home with a dog, Angel, while she was working part-time at a pet store, the summer after her first year of college.  She was supposed to be earning a little pocket money for the next year. Instead she pretty much spent all she earned and came home with a papered Chihuahua at the height of the Chihuahua craze… who became our Angel.

My husband said, “no way… absolutely not!” Our daughter was going back to the dorms and he was allergic, so he took Angel right back to the store.  They wouldn’t take her back because our daughter had signed the contract and they had given up a full paying customer to let her buy Angel at the employee discount, less than half of what they had had an actual customer for.  And of course, our daughter went back to school and the dorms about a month later with Angel in tow insisting she could sneak her in and keep her there. Less than an hour after her arrival at school with her 4-legged roommate, we were on our way to pick Angel up.  My husband went through 18-months of allergy shots after that so we could keep her.

A year later our daughter was off sailing around the world with the Semester at Sea program.  When she got back mid-year, she was assigned a lulu-bell for a roommate and bargained with us to get an off-campus apartment a semester early. She wasn’t there a month… when she brought home a Chiweenie puppy, Apachi, who was being given away outside the pet store, near school, where she had just gotten a part-time job after returning from her sail.  A pet store job is never a good idea for her.  Major Problem… it was a no pet apartment and we had signed a year’s lease.

Not long after getting Apachi, our daughter’s colitis flared up to an extreme level (I tend to think some vaccines that they got overseas might have exacerbated her condition adding to some stress in her life at the time and too much partying during that period and trip). After a stint at an alternative care facility, in an attempt to avoid radical surgery, she unfortunately ended up having to have 2 major surgeries and I spent a total of 54-days (24/7) in the hospital sleeping on a cot in her room, with her.  My husband, who was home with Angel and Apachi, visited daily.  With all that was going on we really didn’t think about the fact that neither 6 month old Apachi nor Angel had been fixed.  Angel was the best tempered Chihuahua with a really easy going disposition and everyone had said, if we could breed her with a like-type male, they’d love to have a puppy.  So I was looking for a mate for her and Apachi was just a baby,  and taking him in to be neutered just got lost in all the goings on.

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Next thing we knew… we had 4 puppies: Goji Angelina, Magnum, and Princess (As Pictured Below)

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Angel was a natural and terrific Mom who took great care of her little brood and Apachi watched over them from somewhat of a distance… until they were weaned, at which point he took over.

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Angel Has Always Loved Riding in the Car and Going for Walks… Before and After the Rest of the Family Arrived.

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Heading to Dana Point, CA for a Walk

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Walks in Wyoming

The Gang Moving Back to CA  12-2012

Traveling From Texas to CA

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Walking in Texas

The boy pups (Magnum and Goji) and Angelina went to new homes at 10-weeks of age and we decided to keep Princess, our ADHD girl…  Then a few weeks later Angelina came back to us, because her new family couldn’t keep her and we had requested that if anyone who took a puppy had problems that we would get them back.  Long story short… we kept Angelina too and that is how we went from birds, turtles and rats, at the time, to 4-dogs and a fish who survived being fed to our turtles.

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Angel at Age 8

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Angel (9) and Neighbor MaryAnn Playing

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Angel’s 2nd Birthday

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Angel’s 5th Birthday… USC Party

Our pups are now 7, 8 and 10-years old… We have always had separate birthday parties for everybody, but this year we are going to have a combined party next week, including for Rocky, our in-laws’ aging Cocker Spaniel.  But we had a mini-celebration today, on Angel’s actual 10th B-day.

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Our Christmas Card the Past Couple of Years (Below)… Featuring our Furkids Singing.  The Rule Within the Pack Appears to be That Nobody Can Start Singing Until Angel Starts.

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Related:

Apachi – Happy 7th Birthday

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

Pet Parties – The Latest Craze

For these moms, a dog-day afternoon

The New Breed of Baker 

Travel Fun With Dogs

Photos By: UCLA Shutterbug

May 4, 2014 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, Animal Cuteness, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Chihuahua, Chiweenie, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, pet fun, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Success Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Reality of Dumping Your Dog… A Family Member

Reality of Dumping Your Pets... Pets Are Family

Pets feel the crunch of the economic crisis

Blind Dog Living in a Trash Pile Gets the Most Beautiful Rescue – The End is Amazing

Patrick: Abuser Located and Charged

Elderly Chihuahua rescued from trash

Is Your Pet a Voiceless Victim of the Tanking Economy?

Where there is a will…

Economic Forecast: One Million Pets May Lose Homes in the U.S.

Homeless With Pets… Choosing Pets Over Shelter

May 1, 2014 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal Abandonement, animal abuse, Animal Rescues, Dogs, Dogs, Fostering and Rescue, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences, We Are All God's Creatures | 2 Comments