Monthly Archives: November 2012

Recipe Friday – Pumpkin and Peanut Butter Puppycakes

These are great treats for any leftover pumpkin from Thanksgiving.  Remember to use real PUMPKIN and NOT pumpkin pie filling.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of whole wheat flour (regular or white) (for dogs with gluten or wheat allergy, about 3/4 cup of rice flour or almond flour can work, you may have to add more, just depends on how moist you like the batter.)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 Cup skim milk
  • 1/4 Cup unsweetened & unsalted peanut butter
  • 1/8 Cup pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/4 Cup water

Frosting:

  • 1/4 Cup pumpkin
  • 1 oz low fat cream cheese

 

Directions:
1. Preheat oven 350 degrees.

2. Mix flour, egg, olive oil, honey, skim milk, peanut butter, pumpkin, and water together. Batter should be thick.

3. Pour into cupcake tins about 2/3 full.

4. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Let cool.

5. Frosting directions: Mix 1/4 Cup of pumpkin with 1 oz of cream cheese. Mix until smooth like frosting.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

6. Frost the cupcakes in any design or in any fashion you wish.

7. Store in an airtight container in the fridge, if you have leftovers for longer than a week, freeze the rest and defrost as needed.

Tips To Keep Pets and Kids Safe

Here is an article from Sasha’s vet that I thought I would share with you:

Parents love both their children and their pets. Many pet owners even call their pets fur children. But it is important to create a safe and healthy environment for both children and pets. We especially worry about parasite and bacterial transmission from animals to people, although the reverse can occur as well. The following are some ideas to keep children and pets safe.

1. Take a pet’s stool sample to your veterinarian at least twice yearly to check for parasites. This is a routine test, but some parasites are “sneaky” and won’t show up in every sample.

2. Make sure all your dogs and cats are on monthly parasite preventatives.  Some of the heartworm preventatives will also prevent some intestinal parasites that can infect people.  Discuss with your veterinarian which preventative medications are effective for which organisms.

3. Do not ever feed raw meat to your pets.  Uncooked meat can harbor parasites and bacteria that are dangerous to both people and pets.

4. Keep your cats as indoor-only pets.  Cats that are allowed to roam can eat mice or other animals that can give them parasites such as Toxoplasma, which then can be transmitted to people.

5. Reptiles can be fun to own but they are frequently found to harbor Salmonella.  There is no method to determine with certainty which reptiles have this bacteria or any way to clear them of the organism.  It might be best to not allow small children to own reptiles until they are old enough to understand that hand washing is imperative after handling.

6. Do not have a sand box in your yard or allow your children to play in one.  Roaming cats love these as they think sand boxes are a great big litter box.  Serious parasites can be transmitted from the cat’s stool to kids for months or even years after the sand is contaminated; the eggs can even survive freezing and hot weather.  These parasites can cause blindness or organ damage.

7. When your dog goes outside to defecate, pick up the stool immediately.  Parasites will have less time to become infective. If the stool is allowed to sit on the yard, the parasites are spread into a wider area by rain or water from sprinklers.

8. You should deworm puppies and kittens even before you bring them home.  It is best to obtain medicine from your veterinarian for this, as the dewormers used by breeders are usually less effective over-the-counter medicine.

9. Wash food and water bowls daily.  A recent study showed that hand scrubbing and then washing in a dishwasher was the only effective method of cleaning.  Each method done separately did not provide good sanitation.

10. A different topic is keeping kids safe from bites.  Do not let your child run up to a strange dog. Teach your children what to do if approached by a dog:  don’t run, don’t put your hands out, and don’t stare into their eyes.  If the child is able, they should back up slowly. If in danger, they should roll into a ball on the ground and protect their head.

Pets and children are wonderful, they give us so much joy and are very important members of the family. They may be initially uncertain around each other, but with some knowledge and precautions we can keep everyone in the family happy and healthy.

Product Review – Petmate Fat Cat Classic Crackler

This is a toy that is soft, stuffed and has organic catnip inside, with some crackle type material inside that when played with, sounds like a plastic bag crumpling up.  Your cat may play with this for hours on end, and then we all know what happens next.  They tend to like to have a long nap after hard playing.

We bought this for Isis and in order to get her to play with anything, we have to play with it ourselves.  So we did for a while, then we doused it with our own catnip.  I then left it in the middle of the floor.  Isis began to stalk it, then wiggled her butt and pounced on it a good four or five times.  She continued to play with it, until she dragged it off somewhere to play on her back and bite down on it.  Each time the crackling material would make noise, it seemed to encourage her to play harder.  After all that, she had a nice, long nap.

She continued to play with the toy quite a bit over the next two months, so much so that we needed to buy a replacement because the stuffing began to spill out of it.  But at $4.49, it’s not a big deal.  We should have bought two to begin with, and if you have a cat that plays hard, you might consider buying two so that your cat never runs out of it.

Final verdict: Highly recommend for any cat that likes to play hard and likes catnip toys.  Especially recommend for kittens as this toy seems to help teach and encourage stalking and hunting skills.  The only downside is having to replace the toy, but I would think that happens to toys that tend to get played with often.  The price can’t be beat, and it is offered on wag.com.

 

Recipe Friday – Turkey and Sweet Potato Treats For Dogs

Here is a great recipe for your pups to enjoy the treats from Thanksgiving!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground Turkey, cooked and drained (if your dog is allergic to Turkey, you can use beef, or pork, same amount)
  • 1 large Sweet Potato, cooked and mashed
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Milk (any kind of milk will do)
  • 2 cups Soy Flour

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

2. In a large bowl mix all ingredients one at a time, stirring well after each addition.

3. Scoop 1/2 tablespoon sized balls into prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until browned at the edges. Cool and Refrigerate.

Dog Treat Recall – Priority Total Pet Care Dog Treats

I just received this in my e-mail and wanted to pass it along to you:

 

November 20, 2012 – Carolina Prime Pet, Inc. has announced it is voluntarily recalling certain lots of its Priority Total Pet Care All Natural Bullstrips dog treats because they may be contaminated with Salmonella.

The event was reported by the US FDA in a news release dated November 20, 2012.

According to the company, there have been no reported illnesses related to these products.

The affected products were sold in Safeway Stores in Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington DC and Wyoming.

The recalled products were also sold at Vons, Pavilions and Pak ‘N Save stores in California; Randalls and Tom Thumb stores in Texas; Genuardi’s stores in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and Dominick’s stores in Illinois.

They were distributed from about the first of September until the present.

What Products Are Being Recalled?

The recall event includes Priority Total Pet Care All Natural Bullstrips in the 5-count package and carrying the UPC 0-21130-42080-3 with the following lot codes:

  • Lot Code: 20082712 S 3195
  • Lot Code: 20090312 S3195

The UPC is located on the back label of each package. And the lot Code can be found on a sticker on the back of each bag of the 5 count product.

According to the FDA bulletin…

This lot of product has yielded a positive test for Salmonella when tested by the Colorado Dept. of Agriculture. Carolina Prime Pet is not aware of any reported cases of illness related to this product.

In addition, the FDA warns…

Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever.

Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms.

Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain.

Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

What to Do?

Customers who purchased the recalled dog treats should stop feeding the products immediately and return items to the purchase location for replacement, refund, or discard.

No other products are included in this recall.

You can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to http://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.

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Cats and Skin Conditions

Here is an article Isis’ vet shared with me:

 

Cats can suffer from a variety of different skin disorders, including feline acne, allergic dermatitis, mites and ringworm. If your cat is frequently itching, scratching, licking his skin beyond normal grooming, or suffering unexplained hair loss, a skin condition may be the cause.

The first step to treating a skin condition is diagnosis of the specific problem. Many skin conditions share similar symptoms, such as dry or flaky skin. Depending on your cat’s symptoms, a veterinarian may begin by ruling out the most common skin problems.

Fleas

Even if your cat is an indoor pet, another pet in the household may have exposed your cat to fleas. Fleas can trigger allergic dermatitis and cause a host of skin problems. Flea allergy dermatitis is characterized by small bumps covering the inner thighs, base of the tail, and back of the rear legs. A single flea bite can trigger a reaction that lasts for days! Good flea control is essential to preventing allergic dermatitis.

Feline Acne

Feline acne on the chin is one of the most common feline skin conditions. That’s right; even cats can suffer from a bad case of pimples! Everything from poor grooming to an allergic reaction may be the underlying cause. For most cats, feline acne will simply clear up by itself. However, if your cat’s acne persists, a medicated shampoo or a prescription ointment will help. If the acne is associated with an allergic reaction, than removing this allergen from the cat’s environment is essential to preventing future skin outbreaks. A veterinary dermatologist can work with pet owners to identify possible allergens or if a disorder is responsible for the acne.

Dermatitis

Red skin, bumps or inflamed skin are signs of contact dermatitis as well as many skin diseases. Like some cases of feline acne, an environmental trigger may cause contact dermatitis. Possible triggers could include inhalants, food, or flea allergies. The most common allergens tend to be fleas, food, pollen, molds and house dust mites.

Mites

Not all skin problems are confined to a cat’s fur. Mites can also affect the ear. Symptoms of ear mites include constant itching, scratching at the ear, and shaking the ear. Cats with ear mites may also have excess brown wax in the ear canal. Without proper treatment, the constant scratching and itching may lead to a secondary skin infection. With prompt treatment, mite-killing ear drops can clear up the primary problem before secondary infections occur.

A veterinary dermatologist is trained to diagnose and treat different skin disorders. Prompt treatment will help prevent secondary infections or complications and keep your feline healthy.

Source:
American College of Veterinary Dermatology (ACVD)

Product Review – Kyjen Dog Game Paw Flapper

Does your dog seem bored with his/her toys?  Do they need a bit of a challenge? Perhaps this toy will be the answer to your dog’s woes.

The Kyjen Dog Game Paw Flapper is a game that has 8 chambers for food or treats, and your dog has to learn how to move or spin the paw chambers and to sniff out the scent of where their food or treats are.  This can be something they take to right away, or it can take them a day or several to finally figure out how to work the toy.  Once they figure it out, it can become one of their favorite toys.  Just give them time and have a little patience and it will pay off.

I bought the toy for Sasha and put some of the chicken jerky into a few of the chambers for her to find.  She sniffed it, scratched at it, and moved it around.  It took her about a day to figure out how to open the chambers (we also did it a few times for her to watch us, whether that helped or not, I am not sure).  Now she spends a long time trying to play and figure out which chambers I have hidden her treats in.

One person reviewing this said she uses it to help slow her dog’s eating down so that they don’t gulp their food.  This is the perfect toy to teach that to any dog who is gulping their food.

Final verdict: Highly recommend for anyone who needs to keep their dog busy and for a dog who you think might need a challenge.  Sasha literally spent two hours the other night playing with it.  Then she had a long nap after getting her treats.  I recommend this toy and hope your dog will love it.  You can find it on wag.com.

Kyjen - Paw Flapper Puzzle Toy - Click Image to Close

Recipe Friday – Gooey Meat Treat For Dogs

This is a great meatloaf kind of concoction for your dog that will make them want more and more.

Ingredients:

Chopped liver (depending how much you would like to make, use one to two large pieces and chop them up finely).
2 small potatoes
1/2 Cup Chopped carrots
1 Cup cooked brown rice
Kale (optional, I sprinkle it on top when I am finished making the loaf)
1 Cup broth (chicken, turkey, beef, vegetable, whichever you think your dog will like)

 
Directions:

1. Cook all ingredients except the kale.  Make sure the vegetables are cooked until soft.  Chop up all ingredients except the kale.

2. Break up the kale into small pieces like you would when breaking up lettuce for salad

3. Mix ingredients (except for the kale, sprinkle that on top when finished) and blend in blender (until it is the consistency of canned dog food) and warm on stove.

4. Warm the broth and pour it over the mixture each time you serve a piece to your dog.

5. Store leftovers in the fridge, along with the broth and heat both back up each time you serve it to your dog.

Antioxidants and Your Pet’s Health & An Announcement

Here is an article Sasha’s vet shared with me on the importance of antioxidants and your dog’s health:

The Pluses of Antioxidants in Pet Food

 

The science behind pet nutrition continues to make major advances. One such example of this is the use of antioxidants in pet food. Antioxidants are playing a key role in preventing certain diseases and lengthening the life of our pets.

 

Health Benefits of Antioxidants

Aside from preserving pet food, antioxidants offer a host of potential health benefits to your pets. Does your pet suffer from allergies, skin problems, immune disorders, or general problems associated with aging? Antioxidants may help. They work by reducing the cellular damage done by free radicals due to the effects of oxidation. If left unchecked, this damage continues in a chain reaction destroying both unhealthy and healthy cells.

Antioxidants have been shown to provide a health boost to animals of all ages. In young animals, they promote immune system activity before vaccination has been implemented. And in older dogs and cats, antioxidants help to slow down cellular damage to the brain and organs — providing a longer, healthier life.

Common Sources of Antioxidants

Common antioxidants used in pet foods include vitamins A, C, E, zinc, Beta-carotene and lycopene. Each has a specific role in promoting good health. For instance, vitamin E optimizes the immune system’s T-cell activation. This helps your pet maintain healthy membrane tissue and retards cellular aging. Beta-carotene, meanwhile, increases antibody levels in the blood. This helps your pet fight off illnesses and infections. Once B-carotene is converted into vitamin A, it can also improve eyesight and skin and coat health.

There are also antioxidants-rich foods that can be used as ingredients in your pet’s food. These include such things as whole grains, apples, berries, carrots and broccoli.

Choosing the Best Pet Food

If you want your pet food to have antioxidants, scan the ingredients list on the pet food bag or can. Pet food manufacturers are required to list antioxidants and their common names. You may want to consult with your veterinarian or veterinary nutritionist too. They should have suggestions as to which antioxidants benefit your pet the most.

 

 

My Announcement:

I have been doing this blog for over a year now and I never imagined it would snowball into several projects I will be doing in the real world and online. I will continue to update this blog when I receive dog or cat food or other recalls on toys, bowls, etc.  I will also share articles I receive from Sasha and Isis’ ‘respective vets. I will also post Recipe Friday and Product Reviews.  I just may not post 5 days per week like I have been, but check back often.  I will continue to update this blog as much as possible and as time allows!

 

Leptospirosis

This is a disease that affects dogs and other animals, causing liver and kidney issues.  The scariest part of this disease is that it can be transferred from animals to humans.  Sasha’s vet sent me this article and I am passing it on to you:

Leptospirosis is a re-emerging disease. This bacterial disease most commonly causes liver and kidney problems in dogs, but can also cause lung, pancreas, and eye symptoms.  It is a zoonotic disease, meaning it can be transferred from animals to people, in fact, it is the most common zoonotic disease in the world.  Drinking contaminated water is a common mode of transmission for humans and animals.  It is present in the urine of infected animals, so bodies of water, food (for instance, if rodents have access), soil, or even the beach (California sea lions carry leptospirosis) can easily be contaminated.

Decades ago, veterinarians routinely vaccinated for this disease in a combination vaccine with distemper, hepatitis, and parvo, until problems with the Lepto part of the vaccine developed.  The older vaccine protected against only two types of Lepto, the immunity lasted only about six months, and it was the Lepto portion of the vaccine that was most likely to cause an allergic reaction.  More recently, when it became apparent that the disease was becoming more prevalent, a new and better vaccine was developed.  The newer vaccines protect against four different types of lepto, the immunity lasts for a year, and allergic reactions are not likely.

Many veterinarians are now recommending that dogs be vaccinated for Leptospirosis if they are at risk due to their lifestyle.  So dogs that go on hikes, go to the beach, go to lakes, streams or rivers, or have access to wildlife should be vaccinated.  If you have a rodent problem at your house, you should have your dog vaccinated.  Discuss your dog’s risk with your veterinarian.  There are even some urban areas that have a problem with Lepto.

The first year your dog is vaccinated, it will receive a set of two vaccines, given three weeks apart.  The vaccine is given annually there after.   Ask your veterinarian if you have any questions.

Important Facts

1. There are many different types of Lepto organisms.
2. The current vaccines protect against four of them.
3. It is a disease of dogs, some livestock species, and people.
4. Ask your veterinarian if your dogs are at risk.