Author Archives: Cold Noses News: Content Services for the Dog Professional and Business

RECALL: Dave’s Pet Food

Dave’s Pet Food (Agawam, MA) has issued a voluntary recall (in cooperation with the FDA) of a single lot of their 95% Premium Beef dog food cans.

Why the Recall

The recall was initiated by Dave’s Pet Food after the FDA analyzed one lot of the product and it was found to have elevated levels of thyroid hormone. The analysis was conducted by the FDA “after receiving a complaint that four dogs consuming it were found to have low Free T4 (fT4) and Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH).”

The product was distributed along the East Coast of the USA and sold in pet stores and e-commerce websites. No other products (or other products manufactured by Dave’s Pet Food) are impacted.

The recall involves:

  • A single batch (of 548 cases);
  • The 13 oz., 95% Premium Beef canned dog food;
  • The UPC Code: 85038-11167; and
  • A Date Code: 08/2020.

What You Should Know About Beef Thyroid

Elevated levels of beef thyroid hormone (which occurs naturally), may cause the following symptoms in dogs:

  • Increased Thirst & Urination;
  • Weight Loss;
  • Increased Heart Rate; and
  • Restlessness.

If high levels are consumed over an extended period of time, symptoms may increase in severity and include vomiting, diarrhea and rapid or labored breathing. If your dog has consumed any of these recalled products and is showing the symptoms listed above, immediately discontinue feeding the treat and contact your vet.

What to do Next

Consumers with any of the recalled products should immediately stop feeding it to their dogs. Consumers may receive a refund or coupon for replacement product by contacting Dave’s Pet Food at 888-763-2738 (between 9-5pm EST Monday through Friday).

 

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

Canadians can report any health or safety incidents related to the use of this product by filling out the Consumer Product Incident Report Form.

Source: Dave’s Dog Food Recall, June 2018

Antler Chews: Are They Safe for Your Dog?

Should you give your dog antlers to chew?
Are antlers a safer option to other chews on the market?
Are all antlers the same?
How are antlers “graded” and what does it mean?

Dogs are natural chewers. Whether it’s a puppy exploring his new world through his mouth, or adult dogs chewing to release pent-up energy and/or stress, most dogs enjoy this instinctive behavior.

While almost anything is better than your K9 destroying your expensive leather shoes or couch to indulge their need to chew, are all chew treats created equal (and safe)?

Are all Chews Created Equal?

After the shocking revelation in 2007 about the toxic, Chinese-made dog treats sickening and even killing pets (dogs and cats); dog owners everywhere became more concerned and vigilant about the treats they were offering to their dogs.

When even more information came out about all the potentially deadly chemicals used to mass-produce rawhide in China, “safe” choices became even further limited for canine guardians. (Not to mention numerous horror studies about rawhide pieces becoming stuck or causing obstructions requiring surgery to save a dog.) Click here to learn the harmful truth behind making rawhide.

Are Antlers a Safer Option?

So, what about something more “natural,” like antlers from wild deer or elk?

Like most subjects about dog health, “expert” opinions about whether antlers are a completely safe chewing option falls between both ends of the spectrum. From slick marketing campaigns raving about the wonders of antlers for your dog’s chewing pleasure to so-called dog experts decrying even the thought of offering an antler to your dog to chew. While the controversy rages on, educate yourself on the pros and cons of antler chews for your dog.

Factors to Consider

Deciding whether an antler chew is good (or not) for your dog involves a number of factors, including:

  • What kind of chewer your dog is;
  • Your dog’s current dental health;
  • The “grade” of antler you are planning to give your dog to chew; and
  • The supplier/distributor of the antler chews and whether they sell cheaper, low-grade or inferior products.

When you know better, you can make better choices for what to safely offer your dog to chew. Knowing your own dog is the first place to start. Is your dog a heavy or aggressive chewer? The chewing needs or habits are vastly different for a Chihuahua versus a Rottweiler. Smaller teeth and jaws cannot stand up to extremely hard objects like antlers.

Also, consider your dog’s current dental health. Have they suffered from dental issues that would rule out giving them hard items to chew?

Not sure if your dog’s teeth are healthy? Click here to learn more.

If you have determined your dog’s dental health and chewing needs can tolerate hard chewing, keep reading to learn more about antler chews.

What IS an Antler?

Antlers come from moose, caribou, elk, reindeer and deer. Typically, elk antlers are the easiest ones to find.

It’s also believed that antlers do not splinter or chip as easily as some other bones or toys. While antlers may seem similar to “horns” … they are actually different. Cow horns are made from a substance call keratin; similar to our nails and hair. They also have a lining of bone inside them.

Antlers, on the other hand, are made from real bone and cartilage with a marrow core. They are actually a bony outgrowth of the animal’s skull. Since they are actual bone, they are also very hard. Antlers are typically shed each year allowing a new set to grow in their place. Antlers (unlike processed bones or rawhides) also offer nutritional value in the form of:

  • Calcium
  • Protein
  • Chondroitin Sulfate
  • Glucosamine
  • Collagen
  • Magnesium
  • Iron and Zinc

For dogs fed a raw diet, bones are important to their diet. But, it is not necessary for them to eat very hard bones (like antlers or weight-bearing leg bones).

Grading Antlers: What it all Means

Antlers are “graded” on five different levels. Before you buy any kind of antler for your dog to chew, below is what you need to know first.

Grade A+ Antlers

These are the highest quality and most pristine antlers, previously reserved for high-end craft and artisan use. They constitute less than 5% of all antlers each year. Only a few stores and distributors are focused on selling antlers of this caliber.

Grade A Antlers

These antlers comprise the top 10-15% of all antlers each year. They have been shed during the current – or previous – year. These antlers will appear a little more on the light-brown side; as they have been freshly shed and have had only minimal exposure to the elements.

Grade B Antlers

This grade of antler comprises the bulk of all antlers sold online by the “high-end” brands. These antlers are easily recognized as they will be white from sun bleaching which also means they are dried out. They may also show visible marks of rodent chewing. These antlers are approximately one to two years old. While they may be sold by well-established brands, it does not mean they are “safe dog chews.” While they are not the worst of the antlers, they are definitely not the safest for your dog based on their age and being dried out which means they could splinter or chip much more easily.

Grades C and D

The final two grades are combined together because, for all intents and purposes, these antlers are “junk” and definitely not safe for your dog. These antlers are not only white from years in the sun and exposure to the elements; but there is also a white powder that can be easily scraped off the surface. In addition, the antler has almost a coral-like porous crystalline structure to it, due to having lost too much moisture. This makes it even more susceptible to breaking, splintering or chipping even with minimal effort. These antlers are commonly sold in the big-box pet stores and outdoor sports stores.

A Few Final Cautions

  • Make sure any antler product you buy and give to your dog is sourced from the USA (preferably from organically raised animals). Note: China does chemically process and ship antlers to the United States.
  • Also, make sure you buy the right size antler for your dog (one that cannot be easily swallowed).
  • Do not give puppies any kind of antlers to chew on. (The high protein content can cause stomach upset and diarrhea.)
  • And finally, if you do decide to give your dog an antler chew (or any other chew as well), always supervise them to keep them safe! No chew product is 100% safe and healthy for every dog. Digestive or dental issues, possible choking (in the mouth or throat) and intestinal obstructions are always a risk.
  • Check with your veterinarian first before giving your dog any chew product.

 


Additional Resources:

The Perils of Gum Disease in Dogs

Dogs Love These Chews, But They Fracture Teeth Like Crazy

Are Deer Antlers Safe for Dogs to Chew On?

Antlers for Dogs: Are Deer Antlers Safe for Dogs to Chew On?

Are Antlers Safe for Dogs?

Deer Antlers as a Chew Toy for Dogs

Are Deer Antlers for Dogs a Good Chew Toy?


© 2018. Cold Noses News. All Rights Reserved. Content may not be reproduced, displayed or published without prior written permission of Cold Noses News. Content may be shared with proper credit and link back to Cold Noses News.


 

Fido, I Love You; but STOP Jumping on People!

For a passionate dog lover, there’s nothing better than coming home after a rough day and being greeted by a happy and jumping Fido. This display of unconditional love makes all the woes melt away.

But, what if someone else is coming through your door? Perhaps your young child’s friend? Maybe your boss? Or worse, an elderly person?

Do you really want your dog to jump on people in your home or anywhere else for that matter?

Not everyone loves dogs (I know it’s shocking, but those people do exist!). Even other dog lovers may not appreciate dog paw prints (especially dirty ones) on their clothes or dripping slobber on their face. The truth is that “hugging,” “kissing” or any unwanted jumping is not polite, acceptable dog behavior.

Why Commands May Not Work

FACT: Our dogs want our attention more than (almost) anything else in the world! If they get any reaction when they jump on you – or someone else – they will certainly do it again.

What’s often tough for humans to understand is that our dogs don’t understand any other language but “dog.” So, even when you tell your dog to “get down,” “no jump” or even “you should know better than to jump on people,” your dog simply understands that his behavior got you to notice him … in other words, to pay attention to him! One of the things they want most!

So, even if you’re trying to get the dog to stop jumping by giving him a command such as “off” or “down,” pushing the dog down with your hand(s), or trying to hold the dog back by his collar, he is still getting attention for the behavior. It doesn’t matter to him that the attention is negative; it still counts as attention (much like young kids who will do just about anything to get your attention, positive or negative).

When guests enter your home, you want to show them you are in control of your dog, so you are even more apt to talk, touch or restrain him during these times. Here’s the problem – the more you do this, the more the dog realizes (especially when new people enter) he will get lots of attention for jumping. Score one for Fido (zero for the human).

But you can’t just do nothing right?! So, what should you do?

Patience, Consistency and Calmness are Key

First, practice all training in the privacy of your home where your dog will be less distracted. In the beginning, limit the training to just you and the members of the household. Consistently practice the acceptable behavior with every single person (adults and children), every single time anyone walks in. Remember, it takes 100% consistency for a dog to learn something new, so be patient and stick with it. If you give up, he will quickly go back to his old habits and be even more confused about what you really want.

Second (and this one is a bit harder), as much as you love those “hugs” when you come home, by allowing Fido to continue this behavior with you, he will think it’s acceptable to hug everyone. How does he know that it is acceptable for him to hug you, but not other people? Stay consistent and clear in what you do want from your dog.

It takes time to break a habit (just like for us humans), so remain patient and calm. Getting angry, anxious or annoyed will only confuse your dog and make the training process longer and harder. If you find yourself running out of patience, end the training session on a positive note and try again later.

Begin with this basic exercise each time you (and others) come home. When Fido jumps on you, turn around so that you no longer face him (effectively removing the attention he seeks). He may jump on your back. Stand perfectly still and stay calm. If he comes around to your front, turn around again, so that you face away from him. He may jump on you several times, but if you completely ignore him (no eye contact, touch or talk), he will eventually get bored and try to figure out a new way to get your attention.

At first, your dog may try to get your attention in another negative way, such as by mouthing your hand, barking at you or tugging your pant leg. Remember, ignore these behaviors completely. You are teaching him that these behaviors will no longer get your attention (the thing he wants most).

If you completely ignore him for a few minutes (each dog learns at his own pace; so again, be patient), he will eventually walk away, grab a toy, sit down, or even lie down. THIS is the time to pour on the affection! You want to show him that calm behavior – with all four paws on the ground – will earn him your attention.

At first, he may get so excited by your attention that he may jump up again. As soon as he does, immediately turn your back again to remind him that jumping will not earn him attention. You may go through the process of him jumping or barking again, but eventually he will choose the right behavior again. When he does, be sure to reward him with praise and affection. Repeat this process again and again until he can handle the affection without jumping up for more.

Always end each session on a positive note. Don’t walk away frustrated. Be patient. He has never done this before. What has worked in the past is no longer working for him. You need to be patient and consistent. Give him the chance to succeed. You will be so proud of him (and yourself) when he learns what it is you really want from him!

Now Practice with Someone New

Once Fido has stopped jumping on everyone in your own household, bring in a friend to help.

Inform your friend ahead of time not to talk to him or pay any attention to him if he jumps. Have the guest turn around if Fido jumps. As hard as it will be, you will need to refrain from talking to Fido, pulling him or addressing him at all. He (again) needs to figure out how to properly earn attention on his own. Ok, so jumping doesn’t work with my family, but when I sit down, they give me love. Maybe if I stop jumping on this person and sit down, she will pay attention to me too. 

When Fido gives her the desired behavior, have your friend reward with either verbal praise or enthusiastic petting. Remind her, however, that if he jumps, she will need to repeat the process. Then start inviting more and more people to come over and practice. Soon enough, with practice, consistency and patience, Fido will stop jumping on guests!

The most important part of this exercise is to remember to reward Fido when he is calm with all four paws on the ground. Many people remember to ignore when he jumps, but then they forget to give affection for the desired behavior. This defeats the training purpose. Fido needs to learn what he should do to get attention. Remember, he just wants to please you and get you to pay attention to him. So show him how to politely get your affection and give him those “hugs” when he is on the ground.

Trust me; your bad day will still get better when you come home, especially when you see him so well-behaved and calm!

 


Meet our Guest Blogger:

Shannon Sumner, MA, CPDT, is a dog behaviorist and owner of Polite Paws, LLC in Downingtown, PA. You can find her at www.PolitePawsDogTraining.com and also at www.facebook.com/Polite-Paws-Puppy-and-Dog-Training-LLC-129384990402/.


 

RECALL: Merrick Beef Dog Treats

Merrick Pet Care (Amarillo, TX) has issued a voluntary recall of five production codes of their beef treat products. The recalled products include: Prime Patties Real Beef Recipe, Sausage Cuts Real Beef Recipe, Real Beef Jerky, Real Beef Sausage Cuts and Real Steak Patties.

Why the Recall

The recall was initiated by Merrick after the FDA shared a consumer complaint of their dog’s health being temporarily impacted after eating Merrick Backcountry Great Plains Real Beef Jerky, 4.5 oz. The dog fully recovered after the treat was no longer fed.

According to a press release from Merrick, “we have not received any similar reports to date from consumers about issues with these products.”

These treats are distributed in the United States through pet speciality, grocery and online retailers with limited distribution in Canada.

The limited recall includes only the production codes listed below (production codes are listed on the lower back of treat bags):

What You Should Know About Beef Thyroid

Elevated levels of beef thyroid hormone (which occurs naturally), may cause the following symptoms in dogs:

  • Increased Thirst & Urination;
  • Weight Loss;
  • Increased Heart Rate; and
  • Restlessness.

If high levels are consumed over an extended period of time, symptoms may increase in severity and include vomiting, diarrhea and rapid or labored breathing. If your dog has consumed any of these recalled products and is showing the symptoms listed above, immediately discontinue feeding the treat and contact your vet.

What to do Next

Consumers with any of the recalled products may receive a refund by:

 

Source: Merrick Pet Care Beef Dog Treats Recall

Be the BEST First-Time Dog Owner!


Are you getting a dog for the first time in your life?

What can you expect? How should you prepare?

Be the best first-time dog owner with the tips below!

 

It’s important to get the right type of dog. Emotions can run wild when you start your search (especially with those huge puppy eyes!), but before you commit yourself to a particular breed, do some research first.

 

Things to Consider before Adopting a Dog

Considering a big or even giant-breed dog? Without proper training, they can be difficult to restrain even on a leash and transport. Active breeds like Shepherds, Labs, Weimaraners, Huskies and any Sporting, Working, Hunting or Herding dogs all need a great deal of exercise, especially in the first five years of their lives. (Be prepared to walk them for at least an hour a day, maybe more.) Without proper exercise and training on a daily basis, large dogs can quickly become unmanageable and exhibit a variety of behavioral problems. With that being said, big dogs may work out really well for runners and frisbee enthusiasts as most have greater endurance than smaller breeds.

Even if you have a fenced-in yard, your dog will still require regular and adequate exercise and socialization.

Do you suffer from allergies? If you do, you may also be allergic to dogs. If you are, you will need to take that into consideration when choosing a dog. If you have your heart set on getting a dog, consider breeds that shed very little, like Poodles and Portuguese water dogs (like the First Dog, Bo).

Another important consideration is the size and nature of your home. If you are renting, for instance, you need to check with your landlord first about what kind of dog, if any, is allowed. Many landlords will allow small dogs, but not the larger breeds. Before adopting a Pitbull or Staffordshire Terrier, check your local ordinances for any breed restrictions in your community. Denver and Miami, for instance, still outlaw Pitbulls and even dogs that look like them.

Also, keep in mind that many landlords today require pet deposits or even monthly “pet rent” if you have a dog in the residence.

Consider rescue first. According to the ASPCA, animal shelters take in 7.6 million dogs and cats each year. Unfortunately, only 2.7 million are adopted each year. When you adopt a rescue or shelter dog, you are saving two lives; the dog you adopt and the dog who will take his now-available place.

Still not sure what breed is right for you? Take this quick quiz at Dogtime.com and find out in just 21 quick questions!

 

Preparing Your Home for Your New Dog

Before bringing Fido into your home, review it relative to the safety of your dog and your belongings. Keep in mind that happy dog tails can be disastrous to fragile knick-knacks, plants and more. Relocate such items to out-of-reach shelves or protected cabinets for your dog’s safety. Also keep food, candy and potential poisonous plants out of reach of inquisitive noses and mouths.

Also buy a comfy (and easy-to-clean) dog bed and/or dog crate that will become your dog’s comfort zone. Dog crates are wonderful training tools for both puppies and older dogs; it gives them a “safe place” to go when they get tired or are overwhelmed.

 

You’ll also need a collar, leash or harness, dog bowls, dog toys to keep your dog busy (and distracted from inappropriate chewing) and a well-formulated dog food. Local experts can help you make the best, well-informed choices.

Bonding with Your Dog

Congratulations! You’ve done your homework and found the best breed for you and your lifestyle and have prepared your home for the new four-legged arrival!

Remember, your dog will need a period of adjustment after you adopt him and bring him home.

Patience will help make the adjustment easier and facilitate a stronger bond.

Dogs may cry, bark or whine a lot their first few days in a new place. They may want to hide in closets or under the bed. Food may be a great motivator when it comes  to helping your K9 adjust more easily (or a toy depending on your dog’s preference). Put the food (or toy) within sight and smell of your new dog; but not in their hiding spot. When he comes out to eat (or play), praise him. If he lets you, give him some reassuring pats. Before long, your dog will begin to trust both you and his surroundings. Daily brushing can also help build trust.

Make sure to walk your new dog around the neighborhood and let him get used to the new sights, smells and sounds. Introduce him to new people and dogs of all sizes. This helps build their confidence. Take your time and never force your dog to do something he seems uncomfortable in doing.

Invest in dog training! Not only will this enhance your bond with your dog, but it will also help head off or address any bad habits or negative behaviors. Dog classes or one-on-one training are both beneficial.

 

Dog ownership is, without a doubt, one of the greatest joys of life. Whether you are bringing home a new puppy or an older dog, you will enjoy many years of unconditional love by following these tips.

 

Photos By Pixabay.


Meet our Guest Blogger:

Jessica Brody is an avid dog lover and passionate advocate for rescue pets. She created OurBestFriends.pet to offer an online place for animal lovers to share their favorite pet photos and stories about their furry pals. Jessica believes dogs are the best creatures on earth and enjoys writing about and sharing photos of dogs (and other pets!) on her website.


 

RECALLS: The Dog Food Recalls Continue …

Recent recalls include products made by:

  • K9 Natural
  • Vital Essentials
  • OC Raw Dog

Below are the latest recalls since our last blog post.

 


K9 Natural Ltd

On April 13th, K9 Natural Ltd of New Zealand voluntarily recalled four batches of its K9 Natural Frozen Chicken Feast (the 2.2 and 11lb bags) that were imported to the United States in June 2017. The recall was issued due to potential Listeria monocytogenes.

The recall involves:

K9 Natural Frozen Chicken Feast (2.2 lb bags):

Shipped to distributors/pet speciality retail stores in WA, CA, TX and CO with the batch #170517 and an expiration date of 17NOV2018.

K9 Natural Frozen Chicken Feast (11 lb bags):

Shipped to distributors/pet speciality retail stores in WA, CA, TX, CO and PA with the following batch numbers:

  • #150517 (expiration date of 15NOV2018)
  • #160517 (expiration date of 16NOV2018)
  • #170517 (expiration date of 17NOV2018)

There have been no reports of illness.

Customers with questions may contact the company via phone at 1 888 345 4680, M-F 8am-5pm PST & EST and S-S 14 &15 April 2018 8am-5pm PST & EST or email info@k9natural.com.

Click here to learn more about the K9 Natural recall.

 


 

Vital Essentials

For the third time,  another recall was issued on two Vital Essentials products: Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Beef Toppers and Vital Essentials Frozen Beef Chub Entree for Dogs due to potential Salmonella contamination.

Salmonella can infect both dogs, cats and humans.

The recalled products can be identified with the following information:

 

Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Beef Toppers: Lot #13815, Best by 06/04/19

Vital Essentials Frozen Beef Chub Entrée: 5 lb., Lot #13816, Best by 12/27/18

Customers may notify their retailer for a replacement or refund or contact the company at 920-370-6542.

Click here to learn more about the Vital Essentials recall.


OC Raw Dog

OC Raw Dog of Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, issued a voluntary recall of approximately 1,560 lbs of their Chicken, Fish & Produce Raw Frozen Canine Formulation due to potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

The affected products were manufactured on October 11, 2017 with a Lot number of 3652 and a Use By Date of October 11, 2018.

The recalled Lot #3652 was shipped and sold to Independent Speciality Retailers in the following states: CA, CO, FL, MD, MN, PA and VT.

Click here to read more about the OC Raw Dog recall. 

NOTE: Another recall was also issued by OC Raw Dog for its Freeze-dried Sardines because the product exceeded FDA size restrictions (of 5 inches). (The FDA has determined that salt-cured, dried or fermented un-eviscerated fish larger than 5 inches have been linked to outbreaks of botulism poisoning between 1981 and 1987 and then again in 1991.)

Click here to read more about the OC Raw Dog recall for Freeze-dried Sardines. 

 


 

We try our best to keep our readers informed with the latest recall information (here on our blog and on our Twitter/Facebook pages); unfortunately that’s not always possible. To stay informed with the latest recalls, subscribe to one (we recommend all) of the recall alerts below.

Your pet is counting on you.

Dog Food Advisor

Truth About Pet Food 

American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMA)

US Food & Drug Administration (FDA)

« Older Entries