Monthly Archives: May 2012

Furminator – All Hype or Just Right?

After seeing commercials on tv and the in store video displays of this product, I was curious as to whether it did as it claims, or was it all hooey?

The Furminator is a tool to remove the undercoat of dogs as well as cats.  It comes in all sizes for all dogs as well as cats.  It comes in sizes for short haired dogs and cats, and long haired breeds as well.  From “toy” breeds to “giant” breeds, your dog is covered.

The video claims it will stop about 90% of shedding by removing the undercoat, if used daily.  They recommend using long and gentle strokes, as short and pushing into the animal type strokes will hurt them because it has a metal head with teeth on it.

I have written about the Furminator in the past, but I wanted to write after receiving it and using it on both Sasha and Isis.  I can say with 100% certainty that it does what it claims to do.  Both were shedding quite horribly before this miracle product arrived at our doorstep, but after receiving it and using it even the first time, the shedding has diminished to almost none.

If your pet does not like to be brushed, I recommend putting the brush beside the cat or dog, and giving them treats to associate it with something positive.  After some time, taking the brush and running it along their body with the opposite side (the side without the teeth) can get your pet used to the Furminator even more.

Long and gentle strokes seem to work best with both Sasha and Isis.  Sasha has no problem with the brush and never did.  She will roll onto her back so that we can give her pets after using it.  I think she likes the teeth, as it must feel like a form of scratching an itch she cannot reach.

Isis had to get used to it a bit more.  I use it on her for only a few minutes at a time.  She gets overstimulated and then gets upset.  Even with the short amount of time, her shedding is almost nil.

The first time using it on Sasha, I think we got enough fur off her to knit a sweater for her for winter!  We got a good sized ball of fur of Isis as well.  The amount of hairballs that Isis has thrown up since using that has diminished.

Another wonderful advantage is that the Furminator distributes the natural oils of the coat throughout their coat, thus making their fur shiny and softer than I have ever felt before.

Overall, this is a huge rave for me and I recommend the Furminator to anyone needing to diminish the amount of shedding in their household.  I also suggest buying it on ebay.  WE bought ours from ebay and paid $20.  In the store, they were charging close to $55 for the same one.

They also offer shampoo and other supplies made by the Furminator brand.

They definitely have a lifetime customer with me.

Fixing Aggressive Behavior Issues

Many of us have adopted dogs and were not sure of their temperament, nor their behavior health.  Many times we need to work diligently to help remove the undesirable behavior and instill our desired behavior.

One thing that needs mentioning is that changing undesirable behavior, can be a daunting task and can take anywhere from hours to days, to even months.  Please do not give up on your new best friend.  They are probably scared, confused and desperately wanting to please you but aren’t sure what you are asking for.  Patience and some good treats can work wonders for teaching good behavior.

When retraining your dog, it is always good to use common sense and take a step back and figure out why your dog is acting a certain way.  If your dog is growling or snapping, they are putting you on notice that they are at their limit for what they can tolerate.  By punishing them for doing so, you are essentially telling your dog not to perform instinctual behavior and behavior that can help you to determine when to back off, thus confusing the dog.  Yes, your dog needs to learn that they cannot go off the deep end and bite you or maul you, but when they warn you in this way, that is how they are communicating with you.

This website is wonderful and has great information to teach your dog how to respond to you and how to display more desired behavior.  If your dog is aggressive, this will help to show them they are good dogs who just need a little help from being confused and not trained properly.

Dog Food Recall – Brand Added and Bag Code #’s Changed

Here is an e-mail I received regarding an update to the dog food recall.  I hope the next update I receive will be that the recall is over.  This is very frustrating.  Here you go:

Brands. Bag codes. “Best-By” dates. As the Diamond Dog Food Recall of 2012 continues to unfold, it’s become increasingly difficult for a concerned dog owner to keep up with all the changes.
Logo for Diamond Pet Foods
So, to help readers stay up-to-date on this ever-changing event, I’ve created this special summary report.

Here you’ll find links to pages that contain all the important articles, bag codes and best-by dates for each recalled product.

The following is a list of all the brands currently associated with the Diamond Dog Food Recall:

The Bottom Line

Like with human food recalls, dog food recalls are inevitable and unpredictable. So, your only defense is to stay informed.

Due to the widespread nature of this particular event, you may wish to bookmark this page for future reference. That way, if any additions or changes occur, you’ll be able to quickly return to this page and find your way to your specific brand.

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Weekly Trick – Walking Your Cat On A Leash

Okay so this is something that might be crazy or new to some of you.  I have been trying this with Isis, as I would love to take Sasha and Isis for a walk together.  Be prepared though, cats will not walk the same as a dog does on a walk.  Your cat will want to stop often, and I mean OFTEN to smell the roses and explore the world, so to speak.

You will need to get your cat a cat harness, NOT a collar.  Your cat needs to get used to the harness, so putting it on the cat at mealtimes, will get the cat to associate the harness as something good.

It may take a long time for your cat to get used to the harness and not try to fight to get it off (it took Isis about 4 months to realize it wasn’t some sort of torture device I was putting on her).

Take them outside and start slowly, even a short walk around the driveway will give them time to get used to the outdoors and even give them lots of time to explore, while having the security of being able to run inside if they are scared.

Also, command words will be needed once you are able to venture out of the driveway.  This can take months to get to this point.

Treats or rewards are needed so that your cat knows it is doing what you want them to do.

To learn specifically how to train your cat, here is more information!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Baby Burger Bites For Cats

Here is a great recipe for some unique cat treats.  Remember to feed in moderation.

Ingredients:

  • 3 oz Sausage or finely ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp. Oatmeal (you can buy gluten free oatmeal if your cat has food allergies)
  • 1 Egg (eggs from free range chickens are best)
  • Catnip (small amount) finely chopped

 

Directions:

Knead the ingredients together with your hands, forming the whole mixture into a flat oval.

Broil under medium heat for 5-9 minutes, turning often, until the outside is nice and crisp.

Let the mixture cool thoroughly, then slice into bite size chunks for your cat.  Use as a training treat or give as a treat anytime in moderation.

 

Senior Cat Care

As our kittens grow up to be cats, then growing into their senior years, caring for them at this age is more and more important.  The senior stage of life for cats usually begins between the ages of 8-12.  This is marked by usually a cat who is not as interested in their food and is not as playful as they once were.  It can be very sad to realize that our cats are getting older and are not immortal.  It is at this stage that we must start to take action, double our efforts, and give our cats the best years of their life.

As diseases can become more prevalent at this age, such as arthritis and many digestion issues, it is important to think about giving our seniors cats highly digestible food, as well as any supplements that will help them stay young and agile.

It is important during this time of transition to make sure that you keep your cat active.  Try playing with them, running a string across the floor, using any toys that they have liked as a kitten.  Playtime won’t be as vigorous or as long, but even one good play session per day will help to keep your cat’s joints lubricated and not as stiff as a cat who gets no playtime.

Dental hygiene is just as important now as ever.  Older cats will need their teeth to chew their food and to keep them healthy.  As we know, bad teeth can be a sign of heart disease and we do not want to complicate matters more with an older cat having bad teeth.  You can clean their teeth with a cat toothbrush or take them to your vet and make sure that they get a thorough cleaning.

For more information on keeping our little cats as young as possible, here is a great article, along with some products that are great for senior cats.

 

Coping and Help with Noise Phobias

Many pets get fearful and even stressed at the sound of a thunderstorm, fireworks or any loud noises.  If a cat or dog is phobic, they tend to run away, they can urinate, defecate, some will vomit (Isis will do this if there are loud trucks outside or a prolonged thunderstorm).  There are many symptoms of noise phobia, learning to treat it and get your pet used to the sound and not associating it with something negative is, at times, extremely difficult.

Noise phobias may not be able to be treated completely.  Some pets are more receptive to treatment, some, it is so ingrained in their psyche that they cannot process the sound any differently than associating it with negative aspects.

Changing the behavior usually comes in the form of medications, environment changes and modifying the behavior.  I am not particularly fond of medication, only for EXTREME cases in any situation.  I think a more natural approach to the other steps works better than medication.

One thing for sure, if your pet is running and hiding from loud sounds, do not pet them and pay extra special attention to them while they are running and hiding.  This only enforces the behavior and your pet will think this is the proper way to act when loud noises are occurring.

To find out how to work with your pet on their noise phobias, here is an article.  Just remember, this will not be fixed overnight, if at all.  In time, the behaviors may diminish some, but in some pets it may never go away completely.  Also, have patience in teaching your pets not to react negatively to loud sounds.  Always ensure your pet is in healthy condition and not ill.  Helping your pet get over phobias may be one of the most rewarding things you and your pet can do, and it can create a bonding experience like nothing else ever could.

Animal Ear Care

Ear care can be one of the most neglected areas of health care for our pets.  Sometimes we worry about being mean to our pets when if we don’t clean their ears, that can cause health issues or not catching mites when they first occur.

If you have a young cat, it is best to start cleaning their ears as soon as you can.  This will get them used to the idea and find that it is just a routine thing they endure once a month.  You are not hurting them by doing this, just do not dig in the ear, be careful when cleaning and do not get flustered.  Your cat will sense if you are.

Remember to only clean your cat’s ears when the cat is generally happy.  An angry cat will not stand for the cleaning and will most likely try to scratch you.  DO NOT punish the cat if they try to do that, it is just cat behavior.

Cleaning your cat’s ears can help determine if there is an infection, mites, yeast infection, or any other issues going on.  It doesn’t take long and sometimes if you rub your cat’s ears after, they will start to forgive you for doing so even quicker.

If you want more information on how to clean your cat’s ears properly, here is an article.  I am sure that most of the information is also very relevant to keeping your dog’s ears clean.

 

Dog Food Recall Again – More Brands Added

Instead of posting my weekly trick, I am posting an updated list of brands that are being recalled, via an e-mail I received, if you feed your dog dry food, it may be on this updated list:

May 4, 2012 – Diamond Pet Foods has today announced that it is expanding its voluntary recall to include batches of nine brands of dry pet food formulations due to potential contamination with Salmonella bacteria.

Logo for Diamond Pet Foods

The affected products were manufactured between December 9, 2011 and April 7, 2012.

This current event is in addition to three other recalls announced by Diamond last month.

According to the company, none of the additional products being recalled today have tested positive for Salmonella. However, the manufacturer claims it is pulling these products from store shelves “as a precaution”.

Brands Included in the Recall

Brands named in this recall now include:

  • Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul
  • Country Value
  • Diamond
  • Diamond Naturals
  • Premium Edge
  • Professional
  • 4Health
  • Taste of the Wild
  • Kirkland Signature

Distributed in These Locations

The recalled products were manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods in Gaston, S.C., and were distributed in the following states and Canada:

  • Alabama
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Canada

However, further geographical distribution through other pet food channels may have occurred.

Important Batch Information

Due to the ever-changing nature of this unusually widespread recall event, we recommend visiting the special Diamond Pet Foods Recall website for the most up-to-date information.

You may also wish to check out the Diamond news release on which this report was actually based.

The recall site provides specific batch information and diagrams that show how to read package codes and “Best By” dates to accurately identify affected products.

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Get dog food recall alerts delivered right to your Inbox the moment we become aware of them. Subscribe to The Dog Food Advisor’s Dog Food Recall Alert email notification list now.

Recipe Friday – Yummy Salmon Bars (Gluten Free)

If your dog has a food allergy, this will be a great treat for him/her.  Sasha tried these last night and gives a tail-banging two paws up!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of Parsley
  • One 8 ounce can of salmon (Make sure the can says Gluten Free)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of ground flaxseeds (make sure the package says Gluten Free)
  • 1/2 cup of ground sesame seeds (make sure the package says Gluten Free)
  • 2 cups of rice (make sure the rice is gluten free)
  • Rice flour to make a doughy consistency (no set amount, just what will work to make it into dough)

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a cookie sheet, or line with parchment paper.

Finely chop the parsley in a food processor. Add all other ingredients except flour, and mix. Add flour slowly with food processor on low. The dough should form a ball when ready.

Knead dough on a floured surface. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle of desired, consistent thickness. Cut into bars or bite size squares. and place on cookie sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until hard. Store extra treats in the refrigerator.