Monthly Archives: July 2013

Dog and Cat Treat Recall – Dogswell Recalls Treats

Here is the latest recall.  It is for dog and cat treats, read on:

 

July 26, 2013 — Arthur Dogswell LLC has today announced it is voluntarily withdrawing certain Dogswell and Catswell brand duck or chicken jerky treats with a “Best Before” date of January 28th, 2015 (or any earlier date).
Dogswell Logo
The vast majority of these products were distributed via retail stores and mail order companies before March 1st, 2013.

These products may contain trace amounts of an antibiotic residue that has not been approved for use in the United States.

According to a letter posted by Dogswell, the affected jerky treats were made in China.

There is no evidence that products containing trace amounts of this antibiotic pose a health risk for pets or humans.

The company is taking this action after learning this week that the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM) found trace amounts of the additive during a routine product sampling.

Antibiotics are commonly used, both in the USA and other markets, when raising animals fit for human consumption. And the antibiotic in question is accepted for use in poultry in other parts of the world.

What’s Being Recalled?

The withdrawn products include Chicken Breast and Duck Breast jerky marketed under the following brand names:

  • Breathies
  • Happy Heart
  • Happy Hips
  • Mellow Mut
  • Shape Up
  • Veggie Life
  • Vitality
  • Vitakitty

The affected products contain a “Best Before” (or earlier) date of January 28th, 2015. No other products are affected.

Additionally, Chicken Breast and Duck Breast jerky products with a “Best Before” date of January 29th, 2015 and later have been fully tested for these antibiotics and are not affected.

The “Best Before” date can be found stamped in black ink on the back of the package on the bottom right hand side.

Company Statement

According to company spokesperson, Brad Armistead…

“We encourage our customers to reach out to us with any questions about this withdrawal.

“It is important for consumers to know that all Dogswell and Catswell products remaining on the market are safe for dogs and cats to consume and enjoy as directed.

“Since January, the company has been using state-of-the-art testing procedures to ensure that our chicken and duck products do not contain these unapproved antibiotics.”

What to Do?

In the event a consumer is in possession of any of the affected products, he or she should contact Dogswell to arrange for a full refund by calling 1-888-559-8833 from 8 AM to 5 PM PT, Monday through Friday.

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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Is My Dog Sick?

Here is an article I received from the veterinarian.  Hope it will help those when deciding to bring their dog to the vet:

Identifying the signs of sickness in a dog can be challenging, even for the most vigilant pet owners. Since a sick dog is unable to verbally communicate what hurts, pet owners must pay close attention to identify the signs of illness. Subtle changes in behavior or appetite may be symptomatic of an underlying health problem. While dogs cannot verbally tell us when they are sick, they use physical symptoms and behavior changes to communicate.

Determining when a trip to the doctor is warranted can be challenging. One of the most common symptoms of illness is vomiting or diarrhea. Dogs, however, may vomit on occasion without actually being ill. Eating food too quickly or drinking water too fast can cause vomiting, although the dog will feel much better afterwards. So how can a vigilant pet owner tell when a dog actually needs veterinary care?  Profuse vomiting, bloody vomiting, lethargy or anorexia concurrent with vomiting all require immediate medical intervention.  Vomiting or diarrhea for more than 24 hours is a sign that a pet needs veterinary care. Vomiting or diarrhea for an extended period may be symptomatic of many things, including pancreatitis, infections, ingestion of foreign material,  accidental poisoning, or parasites, all of which require urgent veterinary care.

Dog owners should also be alert for signs of lethargy. If a normally active dog suddenly loses interest in playing fetch or no longer runs across the room, this may be a sign of illness. A long run at the park may cause exhaustion, but if a pet owner cannot identify a specific cause, then contact a veterinarian. Lethargy can be symptomatic of hundreds of disorders, one example is  heart disease, which requires veterinary care. Pet owners should also look for a change in exercise tolerance and unexplained weakness. A loss in consciousness, difficulty breathing, bleeding, or seizures always requires immediate emergency care for all animals.

Pet owners should also be on the lookout for the following symptoms: poor appetite, lameness, weakness, frequent urination, excessive scratching or licking, nasal discharge, constipation, an unusual bump, or excessive thirst. If these symptoms occur for more than two days, pet owners should contact their veterinarian.

In general, it is better to be proactive about veterinary care than to wait. In the wild, animals instinctively mask symptoms of illness so they will not appear weak to predators or be shunned by their own kind. Consequently, a dog will instinctively try to hide any health problems. Prompt care thanks to a vigilant pet owner can make a big difference for a dog’s health.  If you question whether a visit to the doctor is needed, please call and discuss it with your veterinarian.

Source:

American Animal Hospital Association, “Urinary Tract Infections.” 2013.

 

Is Your Dog Sick?
If your dog exhibits the following symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately:

•    In distress with Vomiting or diarrhea
•    Swollen abdomen
•    Labored breathing
•    Collapse, loss of consciousness or seizures
•    Bleeding
•    Symptoms of acute pain, such as crying out, whining or whimpering
If your dog exhibits these symptoms for more than 2 days, contact your pet’s doctor
•    Lethargy or general weakness
•    Excessive thirst
•    Frequent or inappropriate urination (e.g., wetting the bed, or accidents in the house)
•     Frequent panting

When in doubt, talk to your veterinarian.

 

Recipe Friday – Chicken and Rice Crockpot Style For Dogs

This is a great recipe for augmenting the food you feed to your dog.  Make sure to take into account your dog’s weight and activity level and feed accordingly:

Ingredients:
Base

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups water

Vegetables

  • 1/2 lb. green beans, broken into segments
  • 1 medium sweet potato, raw, cut into medium-sized chunks (leave skin on)
  • 3 carrots, sliced into about 1″ thick rounds

Protein

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts (with or without skin)

 

Directions:
1. Put all ingredients into the crockpot in the order given (layer, don’t mix).

2. Cook on low for about 8 hours, on high for about 5 hours.

3. When done, stir, breaking up the chicken into small pieces. Everything will be quite soft.

4. Let cool and serve; can be used with a quality kibble or by itself, in a serving size appropriate for your dog’s weight and activity level.

Refrigerate unused portion; keeps up to three days.

Substitutions are allowed! For vegetables, try broccoli florets, zucchini, spinach or any of several types of squash. For the protein source, beef cubes, turkey or lamb also work. Use organic ingredients if possible.

Recipe Friday – Fishy Treats For Cats

Here is an extremely simple recipe for some cat treats.  Haven’t done cat treats in a while and thought I would dig one up and share:

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Cod (or you can use Salmon, although you may have to add more of the other ingredient to make this recipe work.  You may have to play around with it a bit to get it to the right consistency if you use Salmon.)
  • 1/2 cup instant potato flakes (use more or less, for consistency)
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Puree fish and potato in food processor until it forms a play dough consistency.

3. Spread evenly into ungreased cake pan.

4. Bake for 20 minutes until fish is springy to the touch.

5. Turn fish onto cooling rack I then put the cooling rack into a sided cookie sheet. Place another cookie sheet on top and then weigh it down (with any kind of heavy pot or pan) this will squeeze out the moisture and make it a semi moist treat.

6. Put this stack back into the oven for about 15 minutes.

7. Carefully pull everything out and let it cool all stack up

8. When cool, you can cut into bite-sized pieces.
9. Store in the fridge lasts about 1-2 weeks can be frozen for up to 2 months.

This can make about 40-50 kitty cat bite size treats.

Why Pet Nutrition Matters

I thought I would share an interesting article my vet sent to me:

The First Step in Preventative Care

With more than half of all dogs and cats overweight or obese, pets are increasingly at risk for a number of chronic health problems, according to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). An appropriate, balanced diet can make a significant difference for a pet’s overall health, reducing the risk for chronic health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and other types of chronic pain.

Nutrition counseling and weight management are an essential part of every veterinary wellness exam. Just like humans, dogs and cats have unique wellness needs. A one-size-fits-all approach to dietary management overlooks important aspect of nutrition counseling. Today’s veterinarian makes dietary recommendations based on a pet’s specific needs, such as weight loss, organ function, mobility restrictions, or a chronic pain condition. A veterinary nutrition evaluation will also take into account a pet’s medical history, food preferences, and current activity level.

For some health conditions, dietary management can completely resolve the problem, no medication or surgery required. For example, consider the case of Max, a dog who was overweight and suffered from disc-related back pain. Max had been on chronic pain medication, including muscle relaxers, but was still unable to be active. Dietary management helped Max safely lose weight and today he romps in the neighborhood dog park like he was never in pain. The lesson here is simple: nutrition and dietary management matters.

Dietary management should start as soon as pet owners introduce a new pet into their family. Puppies and kittens have unique nutrition requirements in order to grow into healthy adult pets. For example, large-breed puppies should be fed a large-breed puppy food; this food helps these puppies safely grow slowly over time. Rapid weight gain should be avoided as it can strain the musculoskeletal system and increase the risk for skeletal and joint problems, including hip dysplasia.

In addition to considering which pet food to use, the AAHA also reminds pet owners to keep a close eye on their pets’ treats. Treats can be a sneaky source of calories and sabotage a pet’s weight management diet. Positive praise is just as effective and calorie free.

An extra few pounds may seem insignificant to us, but those pounds can adversely affect a pet’s health. Veterinary care that proactively monitors a pet’s weight and diet is the best way to keep pets healthy and active throughout their lives.

How to Pick the Right Food for Your Pet

With an almost overwhelming number of food choices in today’s pet superstores, choosing the right food for your pet can be a challenge. Your veterinarian can help. Ask your veterinarian the following:

•    How much food should I feed my pet each day?
•    Should I feed my pet once or twice per day?
•    Does my pet need a special dietary food to address a health problem?

Don’t wait until your pet is sick or overweight to ask these questions; a proactive approach will keep your pet healthy and active for life.

Sources:

American Animal Hospital Association, “Nutrition: The First Step in Preventative Care.”

Recipe Friday – Frozen Dog Treats (Carob and Peanut Butter)

These treats are great and can’t be beat in the heat!  Also, humans can try them as there isn’t anything in them that we cannot eat.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups plain yogurt (your choice of fat %)
  • 1/2 Cup chunky peanut butter
  • 1 Tablespoon carob powder (CANNOT be substituted with chocolate)
  • 1 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 12 small paper cups

 

Directions:

1. Mix ingredients in a large bowl. Divide evenly into 12 cups (approx. 1/4 cup each).

2. Put into the freezer for at least 3 hours. Peel off, or pop out of, paper cup. Serve.

Makes about 12 cups.

Pets Can Have Allergies?

Instead of a product review, I figured I would share this article from my vet with you.  It is a good read in helping to deal with food allergies and an elimination diet:

Managing Food Allergies in Pets with an Elimination Diet

Food allergies are the third most common allergy that affects dogs and cats, outranked only by fleabites and inhaled allergens (e.g., pollen). Allergies to common food ingredients are also on the rise and now account for at least 30% of all allergy cases. Unfortunately for many pets, the most common food allergens are also the most common pet food ingredients. Consequently, as a pet owner, identifying and isolating the trigger for a pet’s food allergy can be difficult.

The first step in diagnosing a food allergy is to recognize the symptoms. Common food allergy symptoms including excessive itching and scratching. Dogs with a food allergy commonly lick their feet, scoot their rear end in an attempt to scratch it, or have ear problems. Cats have a wider variety of skin symptoms, almost any pattern of hair loss or scabs can be a sign of an allergy. Food allergies can also cause gastrointestinal problems such as chronic vomiting or soft stools. If a pet suffers from recurring gas or diarrhea, a food allergy may be the cause. Symptoms of a food allergy may slowly build over time as a pet’s immune system mounts an increasingly greater response. It may be several months before hair loss, coat deterioration and skin lesions occur.

Food allergies have a genetic basis, although environmental factors can also have an impact. Recent research suggests that different environmental factors in early puppyhood or kittenhood may increase the chance that the immune system overreacts to certain food substances. However, a genetic predisposition for this overreaction must first occur for an allergy to develop. Dogs are most commonly allergic to beef, chicken, and wheat. The most common allergens in cats are fish and dairy. However, any pet can be allergic to any ingredient they have eaten in the past.

An elimination diet is the most effective way to determine a food allergen as there is no valid blood or intradermal skin test for food allergies. A veterinarian will recommend a “novel” diet that is entirely different from a pet’s regular food. All protein and carbohydrate sources must be swapped out and fed for a length of time to see if the symptoms disappear or at least lessen. The dog or cat must consume nothing but the novel diet for 8 to 10 weeks. During this time, allergy symptoms should gradually disappear.

Next, owners can gradually reintroduce elements of the past diet one ingredient at a time. One ingredient should be introduced and then monitored for one to two weeks. If symptoms return, this ingredient can be confirmed as at least one source for the food allergy. Talk to your veterinarian before beginning an elimination diet.

“Does my pet have food allergies?”

If your pet has the following symptoms, he or she may have food allergies:

•Itching, scratching, biting the skin
•Licking feet
•Scratching rear
•Chronic soft stool
•Excess gas

•Chronic vomiting

If you suspect that your pet has a food allergy, talk to your veterinarian. Food allergies may even lead to weight loss.

Identifying food allergies in your pet can be a difficult, but necessary, process. Your veterinarian will work with you to replace your pet’s current diet with alternate protein and carbohydrates sources.

Sources:
Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, “Food Allergies.”

Recipe Friday – Frozen Berry Bones For Dogs Gluten/Grain free

Your dog can participate in the weekend 4th of July festivities (if you live in the USA, if not, your dog will still love these frozen yogurt bones).

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup to a cup of plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup to a cup strawberries (you can use frozen)
  • 1/2 cup to a cup blueberries (you can use frozen)

 

Directions:

1. Thaw your berries if you’re using frozen ones.

2. Puree the berries with a blender, or even your fork and some effort will do it if they’re from frozen, because they’re so soft.  You can even use a potato masher if you have one handy.

3. Layer them into your mold (one layer of strawberries, one layer of yogurt, one layer of blueberries). You can use a silicone bone mold, or you could even use muffin tins.  Freeze each layer for an hour. Keep adding layers and freezing for one hour,  until the mold is full, making sure your top layer a blueberry layer. freeze for at least five hours.

4. When ready to serve, thaw slightly and serve.  You can make double or triple recipes, depending how many you want to make and how many dogs you have.