Category Archives: blogs about dogs

RECALL: Darwin’s Natural Dog Food (What You Need to Know)

Yesterday, on March 26th, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning to dog owners to avoid feeding 3 separate lots of Darwin’s Natural Raw Dog Food.

(NOTE: All 3 lots were manufactured in October/November of 2018.)

After a consumer complaint, the FDA collected and tested samples from 3 lots and all tested positive for salmonella.

Darwin's Pet Food

These frozen dog food products are manufactured by Arrow  Reliance Inc., doing business as Darwin’s Natural Pet Products. Products are sold online direct to consumers.

UPDATE: The company just issued a public response to the FDA’s warning; it can be read here

 

The Recall: The Affected Products/Lots:

Darwin’s Natural Pet Products Natural Selections Chicken Recipe with Organic Vegetables for Dogs
Package: 5309(11)181019
Manufacture Date: October 19, 2018

Darwin’s Natural Pet Products Natural Selections Chicken Recipe with Organic Vegetables for Dogs
Package: 5375(11)181106
Manufacture Date: November 11, 2018

Darwin’s Natural Pet Products Natural Selections Turkey Recipe with Organic Vegetables for Dogs
Package: 5339(11)181026
Manufacture Date: October 26, 2018

 

What You Should Know About Salmonella

Salmonella poses a risk to animals ingesting the affected product (including dogs and cats) and can also be transmitted to humans. Pets infected with salmonella may display symptoms including:

  • Fever;
  • Lethargy and shock;
  • Diarrhea (which may last up to 3-4 weeks or longer);
  • Vomiting;
  • Weight Loss;
  • Dehydration; and
  • Mucus and/or blood in stool.

People infected with salmonella can also have:

  • Diarrhea;
  • Fever; and
  • Abdominal cramps.

For some people, their diarrhea may be severe enough to require hospitalization.

What to do Next

Consumers should contact their veterinarian if their dogs have consumed any of these recalled products and are exhibiting any of the symptoms listed above.  Also, contact your own doctor if you are feeling any symptoms of salmonella.

The affected product should be thrown away immediately.

Consumers should thoroughly wash their hands after handling any affected products or cleaning any potentially contaminated surfaces including freezers/refrigerators where the product was stored, bowls, utensils, bedding, toys and floors.

 

Sources: The Truth about Pet Food, the Dog Food Advisor and the FDA.

 


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El Paso County Colorado: Rabies Resurface After 45 Years

Rabies Have Resurfaced in El Paso County CO

After 45 years (1974), a canine has tested positive for rabies in El Paso County in the state of Colorado.

Thanks to the strict laws and easy availability of the rabies vaccine in the United States, rabies in pets in extremely rare.

An infected animal spreads rabies through their saliva. Rabies can also be transmitted to people from infected animals when the rabid animal’s saliva gets into a person’s:

  • open wound or cut; or
  • eyes, nose or mouth.

Vaccinations are especially critical in places where wildlife and humans live in close proximity as Dr. Robin Johnson, medical director at El Paso County Public Health, explains: “Pet owners need to understand how close the threat of rabies is to their families. Living in Colorado, rabies is often as close as your own backyard due to the skunks, raccoons or foxes that walk through there. Vaccinating your pets is your first line of defense.”

 

Source: Dog Tests Positive for Rabies for 1st Time in 45 Years

RECALL: Hill’s Pet Food Recall Is Expanded

 

Hill’s Pet Nutrition (of Topeka, KS) expanded its voluntary recall of January 31st to include canned dog food products due to the presence of elevated levels of Vitamin D.  Specific lots of Prescription Diet and Science Diet dog foods are included in the expanded recall and were distributed to both retail pet stores and veterinary clinics throughout the U.S.

According to Hill’s, no dry foods, cat foods or treats are affected by these recalls.

Why the Recall

Hill’s originally received “a complaint in the United States about a dog exhibiting signs of elevated Vitamin D levels.” The recall was expanded after a detailed review isolated the issue to a vitamin premix from an American supplier.

The Recall: What Products and What’s Being Done

For a complete list of recalled products (including both the January 31st and March 20th recalls), click here.

According to an email sent to veterinarians on March 20th, Hill’s Pet Nutrition has:

  1. Expanded the availability of their consumer call center to 7 days a week (800-445-5777).
  2. Promised to begin collection of affected products from stores, clinics and shelters beginning March 21st.
  3. Promised to pay for:
    1. Diagnostic screening for Hypervitaminosis D for any pet who has consumed the recalled food;
    2. Continued diagnostic testing and medical treatment for affected pets until they are back to normal.

What You Should Know About Elevated Levels of Vitamin D

Dogs who eat elevated levels of Vitamin D may exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Excessive drooling
  • Weight loss

When consumed at very high levels, dogs can face serious health issues (including potentially life-threatening) including renal (kidney) dysfunction.

What to do Next

Consumers should immediately contact their veterinarian if their dogs have consumed this recalled product and are exhibiting the symptoms listed above.

The affected product should be thrown away immediately or returned to the purchase place for a full refund (unopened products only).

Consumers with any questions should contact Hill’s Pet Nutrition (Consumer Affairs) at 800-445-5777 (Every Day from 7am-7pm CST) or via email at ContactUs@HillsPet.com for more information.

 

Sources: Truth About Pet Food and the Dog Food Advisor.

Turmeric: The Golden Healer for Dogs

Turmeric: The Spice Your Dog Needs

Dog owners, do you recognize (and better yet, use) this powerful, all-natural spice to support your K9’s best health?


This “golden spice” (from India and Southeast Asia) offers a wealth of health benefits for your beloved canineTurmeric can help your aging dog companion usually without side effects.

Does your dog suffer from:

  • Arthritis?
  • Cancer?
  • Pain?
  • Allergies?
  • Chronic Inflammation?
  • Kidney, Dental or Digestive Issues?

 

If your dog suffers from any of these health challenges,

click here to learn about the 5 benefits of turmeric for dogs

without harmful side effects from our friends at Dogs Love Kale.

(P.S. This information could also help YOU!)

 


 

Happy New Year to Dogs and Their Owners!

The New Year celebrations are right around the corner.

As you’re making plans for your end-of-the-year parties and resolutions, be sure to include your dog and his comfort in your plans!

What do you need to consider to ensure Fido enjoys the festivities? Keep reading to find out.

 

Fireworks

With your dog’s incredible hearing ability, fireworks can be a dog’s WORST nightmare! Consider this: humans hear at a range of 20 and 20,000 Hz. In stark contrast, our beloved K9s hear a frequency range of 40 to 60,000 Hz! With that kind of hearing, loud fireworks can rattle even the calmest dog.

Click here to learn more from our blog post last year.

Holiday Food & Drinks

Sadly, emergency vet visits increase this time of year and they can quickly destroy the holiday spirit and your budget! Remember, many of the foods, treats and drinks (alcoholic and those that are not) you enjoy can be potentially dangerous to your canine. Traditional favorites include (but are not limited to):

  • Turkey, skin & bones, ham ,etc.
  • Table scraps (especially those that are spicy and fatty)
  • Alcoholic beverages including egg nog, beer, wine and cocktails
  • Yeast dough
  • Sweets (especially those with xylitol) and chocolate

Have a Safe and Happy New Year!

New Year’s Parties & Celebrations

Not all dogs are well-equipped to deal with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, especially when it comes into their safe place/home. Keep in mind, these celebrations are never a good time to “socialize” your dog especially if they usually tend to not be social.

If you’re bringing the New Year’s Eve party home, make sure your dog (and even other pets) has a safe and quiet place so they are both secure and protected from running away or unleashing an unwanted bite (because of fear, anxiety or stress).

In addition, below are some other traditional New Year’s Eve items you should consider banning to keep the pets in your home safe during the celebrations:

  • Confetti
  • Sparklers
  • Party favors
  • Glow sticks & bracelets
  • Party poppers
  • Noisemakers

With some thoughtful planning, you and your pets can enjoy the New Year’s celebrations safely!

Happy New Year's 2019

 


Additional Reading:

Holiday Pet Safety: www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/holidays.aspx

Holiday Safety Tips: www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/holiday-safety-tips

8 Tips for Helping Your Anxious Pet When There are Fireworks Outside: www.petmd.com/dog/slideshows/care/noise-anxiety-staying-calm-during-celebrations

 

Guest Blog: Is Reiki Energy Healing Right for Your Dog?

Dogs are mindful, spiritual beings who generously give of themselves to the lives of their humans. If you appreciate the beauty of nature and animals or share your life with companion animals, you already appreciate this priceless, unconditional love. Many dog lovers believe the relationship with their canines is based on a pure, spiritual connection creating deep, long-lasting bonds. Reiki can help promote those closer bonds.

Unfortunately, just like their humans, dogs can also suffer from physical and emotional issues. This is especially true if an animal has suffered a difficult or traumatic experience; came from not-so-ideal circumstances or is struggling with grief, abuse or fear of humans.K9 stress may also occur due to:

  • A restricted or unnatural lifestyle like overbreeding;
  • Boredom and a lack of regular exercise or mental stimulation; and
  • An improper diet.

Any of these situations can produce an unhappy, unhealthy and stressed dog. Reiki can help promote healing and the ultimate return to health.

What is Reiki?

The word “Reiki” comes from the Japanese terms “higher power” and “life force energy.” Reiki is a non-invasive, respect-based and meditative energy healing practice. It was traditionally used in human circles for spiritual healing, stress relief and self-improvement. For generations, people have benefited from the peace, relaxation and healing shifts that come from a Reiki session.

But energy healing is not just for people. Reiki can also be a simple, yet powerful form of energy healing for enhancing calm and well-being in your canine companion while creating and fostering a closer bond with them.

Originally designed for use in shelters and sanctuaries to calm its stressed and anxious residents, Reiki has evolved into an effective tool to calm an upset dog as well as assist an ill or injured one. Regular sessions of Reiki may also help keep long-term, chronic diseases, disorders or pain in check and even help lessen the severity of the symptoms.

Hands-On or Hands-Off Reiki?

Reiki energy healing can be done in one of two ways: hands-on or hands-off (over distance). The hands-on approach is generally more effective if the dog enjoys being touched. In cases where the dog does not tolerate physical touching (for reasons ranging from medical to psychological), distance – or hands-off – Reiki may be a better option.

Most dogs enjoy the calming, soothing and healing energies employed by a skilled Reiki practitioner. Some dogs cannot get close enough during a session and may actually lean into the practitioner or even end up fast asleep in their lap.

For dogs in high-stress situations (such as shelters or when being transported for adoption or veterinary purposes), distance reiki usually works better. It can also used for K9s who do not live near their Reiki practitioner or who are in hospice.

Reiki works well with most animals because they are naturally open and receptive to energy. They naturally understand and respond to the flow of energy and tend to heal more quickly than people since they are not prone to mental blocks or defense mechanisms that can block the flow of healing energy.

What to Expect

Sessions can run from 20-60 minutes, depending on the dog and their willingness to staying still for an extended period of time. The greatest benefits from Reiki are achieved with regular sessions (weekly, bi-weekly or monthly) determined by each individual dog and the level of healing they require.

Many pet parents report positive effects in their dog’s general health and disposition with the use of Reiki. Feedback from others have offered hope in the reduction of chronic pain and even the possible reversal or remission of severe medical issues.


However, please remember that Reiki is not a replacement for routine veterinary care, or a reason to disregard needed medications or medical procedures.


Reiki offers a non-invasive energy healing suitable for any dog and condition. It will not interfere or contraindicate with any regular veterinary care and serves as a useful tool in helping your dog with physical or psychological issues. Please keep in mind that even in healing sessions for ailing animals, it may only ease an inevitable passing. Reiki is powerful, however, it is not a perfect cure-all. Ultimately, it is always the animal guardian’s decision regarding what level of care to seek including which modalities.

When approached with an open mind and heart, Reiki energy healing for your dog may offer a healthier, calmer and happier life.


Meet our Guest Blogger:

Raven Hannah is a self-described animal whisperer, lifelong pet parent, and owner of HolisticPetsAndPeeps.com. She is certified as a holistic consultant, aromatherapist, Reiki practitioner (for animals and people), and pet nutritionist. She encourages others to celebrate animals as part of the family, as well as keep them happy, healthy, and spoiled! When Raven isn’t busy being a slave to her very demanding senior cats or helping her favorite rescues with fundraising projects, she is most likely working on growing her businesses and raising awareness in an effort to make this world a better place for all creatures.


 

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