Category Archives: cats

RECALL: Carnivora Fresh Frozen Patties for Dogs and Cats

On June 15, 2020, a voluntary recall for Carnivora Fresh Frozen Patties for Dogs and Cats was issued. This recall is unique because it involves potential contamination with E. coli O157 a particularly dangerous strain of E. coli bacteria for humans

This specific strain of E. coli can cause cross-contamination and serious, even life-threatening illnesses in humans by simply handling the contaminated product. As of June 12th, four cases of human illness have been reported in Canada. Approximately 1,803 affected units were sold in Canada starting on January 13, 2020 until the recall. 

 

The Risk Behind E. coli O157

E. coli O157 produces a powerful toxin that damages the lining of the small intestine which may cause bloody diarrhea. According to the recall issued on the Healthy Canadians website, “some people infected with E. coli O157 do not get sick at all, though they can still spread the infection to others.” 

 

The Carnivora Products Recalled

 

 

E. coli O157: What You Need to Know

There are hundreds of strains of the E. coli bacteria and most are harmless and live in the intestines of both animals and humans. But according to the Mayo Clinic, the E. coli O157 strain, involved in this recall of raw pet food, is not harmless and can cause severe stomach cramps, pain or tenderness, bloody diarrhea and even nausea and vomiting in some people. Most healthy adults will recover on their own within a week to ten days with rest and plenty of hydration. But if diarrhea is persistent, severe or bloody, see your doctor. 

The Health Canada website also warns, “Pregnant women, those with weakened immune systems, young children and older adults are most at risk for developing serious complications (like a life-threatening form of kidney failure) and might need hospitalization.”

 

What to do Next

Consumers should immediately stop using any of the recalled products and contact the retailer where they purchased the products for a full refund or exchange.  Consumers may contact Carnivora Pet Food 888-665-0856, Monday – Friday from 8:30 am-4:30 pm CST or via email at: carnivorarecall@carnivora.ca.

Sources: The Dog Food Advisor, Carnivora Pet Food, Healthy Canadians and the Mayo Clinic.


© 2020. Cold Noses News. All Rights Reserved. Content may be shared with proper credit and link back to Cold Noses News.


 

Who is the Better Pet Parent?

 

It’s undeniable, we love our pets! Most of us even regard our pets as an integral part of our family instead of just animals who share our home.

In return, our pets reward us with unconditional love and devotion each and every day.

 

But, Who is the Better Pet Parent?

Since pets can’t voice their opinions, Porch.com tried to do it for them in a recent survey of over 1,000 pet parents living with their partner to find out, who IS the better pet parent!


What Kind of Pet Parent are You?


From which gender has the better pet parenting skills, who assumes most of the responsibility and day-to-day care for their pets to what pet parents fight over, the results may – or may not – reveal your own belief of who is the better pet parent!

 

Click here to see the full survey results at Porch.com!

 

 

Taking Care of our Dogs During Coronavirus

Greetings from Bella and Dublin!

Woofs from Bella and Dublin!

It’s definitely a crazy time and lots of conflicting information coupled with lots of uncertainty!

Like you, we are hunkered down here in Northern Nevada and waiting for the “all clear” signal to go back to living our lives “normally.”

But in the meantime, I’m bonding even closer with the fur-kids (IF that’s even possible!), learning a lot through webinars and taking a serious look at new, creative ways to do business to minimize personal contact. Yes, it often feels frustrating and very uncertain, but times of hardship and “necessity” are invaluable in ramping up new ways of doing things!

I’m sure, like me, you’ve heard more than enough about the coronavirus! I would like to (quickly) address just one area to hopefully dispel some misinformation and stop the unfortunate actions on the part of some pet owners. This is from our upcoming April newsletter.

 

Can My Pet Get and Pass Along Coronavirus?

Sadly, there are reports of people abandoning their pets because of the unfounded belief that their dogs and cats can get, carry and transmit the coronavirus.

In a nutshell, this is not true and there is NO evidence backing up this claim. So please keep your pet in your home with you where they belong.


CLARIFICATION: There IS a Canine Coronavirus (CCV), but the current outbreak has nothing to do with the CCV virus.

Can My Pet Transmit Coronavirus?


The WHO, CDC, AVMA and AKC all agree there is no imminent threat from our pets for transmitting the Coronavirus. The CDC says the virus is spreading from person-to-person only. The AVMA also assures that petting a dog’s fur is low-risk because the virus survives best on smooth surfaces.

 

Remember, the coronavirus is transmitted via respiratory droplets from human-to-human. So follow the AKC’s advice to consistently follow basic hygiene in thoroughly washing your hands with soap and water before and after contact with any pet. 

 

For further information, watch the “COVID-19 Update on Pets” video with Rodney Habib, Dr. Karen Becker and Dr. Sarah Caddy of the University of Cambridge.

Ok, ’nuff said!

 

Play and Engage Your Dog!

The pets of our lives enhance and enrich our lives especially in uncertain times like these!

Instead of stressing out over every news report, spend extra quality time with your beloved pet and enhance your overall Engage Your Dog With Some New Tricks!relationship and bond! Below are some great ideas to keep you and your dog active even as you shelter-in-place.

People-Oriented Dog Play

    1. Hide-and-Seek
    2. Tug-of-War

Object-Oriented Dog Play

    1. Find It
    2. Put it Away
    3. Fetch

Task-Oriented Dog Play

    1. Tricks
    2. Puzzle-Solving
    3. Dig Here

To learn more about other games to play with your resident canine, click on the links below.

 


As we all move through this uncertain time, stay safe, healthy and positive. Remember, this too shall pass.

Remember, this too shall pass.

 

RECALL: Icelandic Plus Dog & Cat Treats

 

Thankfully it’s been pretty quiet when it comes to product recalls for our beloved pets.

But on Monday, March 23rd, the FDA published a new recall for Whole Capelin Fish Pet Treats made by IcelandicPlus LLC of Fort Washington, PA. The recall was issued because some of the fish “exceeded the FDA compliance guidelines for fish larger than 5 inches.” While there have been no reports of illness as of the date of publication, Icelandic+ is cooperating with the recall because of a possible health risk. 

 

Icelandic+

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 in humans between 1981 and 1987 and again in 1991. 

Icelandic Plus says that as of March 23rd, “there have been no reported illnesses of dogs, cats or people in connection with the recalled product.” In addition, there are no positive test results for Clostridium botulinum (botulism poisoning) in connection with the Capelin product.

IcealandicPlus-Capelin-Whole-Fish-Pet-Treat-Recall.jpg

The recalled product comes in a:

  1. Clear plastic tube (2.5 ounces); or
  2. Clear plastic bag (1.5 or 2.5 ounces)

Both the tubes and packages are printed with either:

  • Icelandic+ Capelin WHOLE FISH, PURE FISH TREATS FOR DOGS; or
  • Icelandic+ Capelin PURE FISH TREATS FOR CATS.

The recalled UPC codes are:

  • 8 5485400775 9;
  • 8 5485400711 7; and
  • 8 5485400757 5.

The recalled lot numbers are 02/2020 to 02/2022.

The Entire USA is Included in the Recall

The recalled product was shipped to distributors for sale to independent retail pet specialty stores throughout the USA.

 

Botulism Poisoning: What You Need to Know

The botulism toxin can cause severe symptoms including death in both animals eating tainted products as well as people handling the contaminated product or coming in contact with exposed and tainted surfaces.

Common symptoms of botulism poisoning include:

  • Dizziness;
  • Blurred or double vision;
  • Trouble speaking, swallowing or breathing;
  • Muscle weakness;
  • Distended abdomen; and
  • Constipation.

Pets or people experiencing any of these symptoms should seek immediate medical help.

 

What to do Next

Consumers should immediately stop feeding any of the recalled products and return it to the store where it was purchased for a refund.  Consumers may contact the company at 857-246-9559, Monday – Friday from 8am-5pm EST.

Sources: The Dog Food Advisor and the FDA.

 

© 2020. Cold Noses News. All Rights Reserved. Content may be shared with proper credit and link back to Cold Noses News.


 

Dog CPR: How to Do It Safely

The Steps for Safely Performing CPR on Your Dog

Image by Luisella Planeta Leoni from Pixabay

 

No one likes to expect the unexpected.

But when you’re faced with a life-threatening emergency requiring K9 CPR, proper preparation may be all that stands between life and death for that dog.

 

 

Dog CPR Involves Artificial Resuscitation

Image by Pet Safety Crusader


Click here to learn more at the Your Pet’s Au Pair blog: “How to Safely Perform CPR on Your Dog.”


LEARN Basic First Aid and CPR from the comfort of your couch!

Sign up for the upcoming Virtual First Aid and CPR class hosted by The Pet Safety Crusader!

(Register before February 14th for the February 22nd class!)

Dog & Cat First Aid & CPR

Dog and Cat First Aid & CPR by The Pet Safety Crusader

Guest Blog: Ideas for Local Animal Shelters During the Holidays

Help Animal Shelters During Christmas

It’s December and the Season for Giving!

It’s also a wonderful time to think about our local animal shelters. 

 

For most of us, the holidays come with colder weather. As I write this, here in Wisconsin, it’s only 6 degrees! Sadly, this time of year also sees an increased number of dogs and cats in need of shelter. Since shelters usually operate from donations, whatever you can give goes a long way in helping homeless pets.

 

Ideas for Giving to Your Local Shelter

Give Love and Attention to Shelter Pets

Your Time – All dogs and cats need attention, cuddle time and exercise. Especially during the holidays, shelters and rescues are always looking for extra volunteers to help keep the animals feeling loved and well-cared for.

Food – Both canines and felines eat at least twice a day. That is a lot of food for a shelter! Depending on age and diet needs, they typically will accept a variety of quality foods both dry and wet along with treats. Other foods a shelter can typically use include peanut butter (please make sure it’s xylitol-free), fresh veggies and fruits, canned baby food and tuna. Call your local shelter first to see what they are currently accepting.

Spare Blankets, Pillows and Towels – Shelters can always use these items for their crates and bedding. They also need rags, newspapers and kitty litter.

Toys – Shelters can always use toys to help the dogs (and cats) stay happy, mentally stimulated and active. Kong toys, balls or puzzles are great, so are gently used stuffed animals! Do you have toys that your dog or cat refuses to play with? Donate them!Donate Crates and Carriers to Local Shelters

Crates and Carriers – Both dogs and cats love a secure den. Are you no longer using your dog crate or cat carrier? Donate it!  You can help a shelter animal feel safer, especially in a busy shelter where things may seem scary and overwhelming.

Other items you could give include:

  • Food and water bowls;
  • Grooming supplies; and
  • Office items.

Obviously, you can always donate money to a shelter; but there are other ways to help if you don’t have the extra money (especially at this time of year)! Extra items or those going unused at home could be very useful at a shelter. Again, call a shelter first to see what items they need and will accept.


I am in high hopes that this blog helps our animal shelters receive extra donations during this Season of Giving. Also, keep your local shelters in mind, not just over the holidays, but throughout the coming year!


A big thank you to all our animal shelters and may all the pets find forever homes!

 

Dog Bless~ 

 

 

 

Not sure where to find YOUR local shelters?

Just pull out your smartphone and google “animal shelters near me!” 

 

 


My Secret Dog BlogMeet our Guest Blogger

Holli Burch is a blogger at The Dog Connection focusing on Connecting Humans and Dogs; Mind, Body and Soul. She likes to focus everyday on giving back and uplifting dog lovers. You can follow Holli on Facebook.


 

If You Own a Dog, Are You Aware of this Suffocation Risk?

Image by Foto-Rabe from Pixabay

 

I thought I had heard it all when it comes to the trouble our dogs (and even cats) can get into. Well, I stand corrected, because recently I learned about a common danger that exists at this very moment in almost every household (probably including yours)!

I’m talking about empty snack bags that contain:

  • Chips
  • Pretzels
  • Crackers
  • Popcorn
  • Jerky
  • Cookies and MORE!

Click here to learn more at the Ken Caryl Pet Spa’s blog with this life-saving post: Yes, Your Nosy Dog Can Suffocate in an Empty Chip Bag!

And PLEASE, share it with a friend to protect other curious dogs, cats and pets!

YOU Can Make a Difference on Clear the Shelters Day!

 

Now in its fifth year, Clear the Shelters is fast-approaching this Saturday, August 17th! Since the campaign started in 2015, more than a quarter of a million homeless dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and even birds have found their “fur-ever” homes!

 

Want to adopt your new best friend this year?

Find a Clear the Shelters participating

partner (by zip code) by clicking here.

 

 

Have a shelter or rescue organization and want to participate in this year’s Clear the Shelters campaign?

Click here to register now!

 

For questions or more ways you can help the 2019 Clear the Shelters event, contact your local participating shelter or rescue using this map!

Pitbull image by Beverly Lussier from Pixabay.

 

 

Guest Blog: Should You Feed Your Dog a Raw Diet?

With the recent flurry of recalls and news stories about potential links of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) to grain-free pet foods, more pet owners are taking another look at feeding their pets a raw meat diet. Our guest blogger, Jade Bossenbroek, Founder of 4 Raw Pets Raw Feeding, dissects this important subject below.


Why Feed Raw?

Some people might argue that our domestic cats and dogs with all the years of domesticating, breeding and being fed processed foods like kibble, they have adapted to live, survive and thrive on a more – or even complete – plant-based diet. But is this really true?

 

Carnivores vs Herbivores

Carnivore” literally means “meat-eater” in Latin. “True” carnivores (called obligate carnivores), are meat-eaters whose survival depends and thrives on nutrients found in animal flesh because they lack the necessary physiology required to digest a large amount of plant material.  In other words, true carnivores must eat meat to survive. Cats, dogs and even ferrets are obligate carnivores. Their bodies are anatomically adapted to eating meat in the following ways:

  • Their teeth are sharp and pointy, meant for holding, tearing and crushing, all of which are needed for a meat-based diet.
  • Carnivores have a very short digestive tract, so food passes through fast and as such the food has got to be easily absorbed to be useful.
  • They do not have the enzymes to break down carbohydrates found in plant-based products.
  • They produce enzymes specifically for breaking down meat in their stomach.
  • The saliva found in their mouths is better suited to prevent cavities, there are no digestive enzymes present in their saliva, it is purely designed to get the food down into the stomach where the digestive process can start.

For the carnivore, meat protein is necessary for healthy muscles and organs. Meat also contains important vitamins, minerals and amino acids that help the body function in every way; including metabolism, brain function and healing. In contrast, feeding high carbohydrate diets (like kibble and other processed foods) can lead to many health issues for the carnivore such as allergies, gum disease, tooth decay and much more.

It is said that all the amino acids needed to function can be found in meat in the right levels; one of which is taurine, an ingredient only found in muscle and organ meat (large amounts of taurine can be found in the brain, retina and heart). This amino acid cannot be found in – or replaced by – plant-based protein. Cats and also foxes need a higher concentration of taurine compared to dogs. Without it, they can suffer from:

  • Blindness;
  • Heart problems; and
  • Even death.

Meat also provides saturated fatty acids in usable forms (unlike many plant-based oils). Fatty acids are important for proper:

  • Hormone production
  • Energy
  • Cell membrane formation
  • Protection of vital organs

Saturated fatty acids in animal-based proteins range around 80-90%, whereas plant-based proteins only contain around 10-20%.

 

(To learn more, read Dogs: The Omnivore-Carnivore Question by Dr. Jeannie Thomason & Dr. Kim Bloomer)

 

On the other hand, an herbivore is an animal who is well-adapted to primarily beating plant material (anatomically and physiologically). In contrast to the carnivore, herbivores:

  • Have teeth that are flat with a jaw that moves from side to side to breakdown plant material.
  • Produce enzymes (starting in their mouths) to break down plant-based products; and
  • Have a longer digestive tract so plant-based material has time to pass through and be adequately absorbed.

 

The DNA Link

Whether you have Chihuahua or a German Shepard, domestic dogs and wolves share roughly 99.9% of their DNA and because of this, wolves and dogs also share a lot in common anatomically. No matter how domesticated your dog may be, it still has the same short digestive tract, sharp teeth and the same enzymes for breaking down meat as his ancestors over 10,000 years ago.

Wolves are strict meat-eaters, but they will sometimes supplement their diet with greens and berries. This mostly occurs when there’s a food shortage or when they feel under the weather or lacking something. Think of your dog eating grass and then throwing up. But some occasional plant materials does not automatically make them an omnivore as some suggest.

 

Is Your Pet REALLY Fine on a Kibble Diet?

Ok, you might be able to survive on McDonald’s every day, but would you really be healthy?

Sadly, it’s all too common for our pets to die from cancer or kidney failure today. These illnesses that weren’t all that common just 30 years ago are now claiming pet lives at an alarming rate. Just like with us humans, nutrition plays a critical part in the overall health and well-being of our pets.

Yes, of course not everything can be blamed on diet alone. Genetics, the environment, stress levels and more all play an important role. But there’s unrefutable proof there’s a strong connection between health and overall nutrition.

Today’s commercial kibble contains a high ratio of carbohydrates. In order to maximize their profits, the pet food industry has been adding carbohydrates in the form of fruits, vegetables and grains into their products instead of meat. Both vets and/or the pet food industry do not want to potentially discredit their own industry, but basic common sense and research really can unearth the deceitful marketing tactics and indiscretion of the industry.

Humans (who are omnivores – beings who can eat and survive on both plants and meat) identify fruits, vegetables and grains as “whole foods” with valuable vitamins and minerals. But for our carnivorous pets, they can’t digest these “whole food” carbohydrates fast enough to utilise most of the nutrients.

Many carbohydrates we consider healthy such as peas, carrots and rice (which all turn into sugars) are actually pretty high on the glycemic index (the measurement of sugar in the blood) for dogs, cats and ferrets. Some of these same carbohydrates are linked to serious heart conditions and even cancers in our pets. Besides running the risk of developing diabetes, high sugar content also affects hyperactivity and is often converted into fat leading to obesity, a current epidemic among household pets. A weight management diet isn’t going to help, whilst these formulas may drop the fat content, the content of fibre and grain is increased more, which can worsen the condition.

 

Kibble: The Additives

Since the nutritional value of the raw ingredients has been depleted during the intense manufacturing (cooking) process, the pet food industry then adds artificial vitamins and minerals to mimic a balanced diet. Unfortunately, the ratio of vitamins and minerals added to kibble – and other commercially produced pet foods – is generalised so it covers a wide range of pets. The numbers posted in the analysis section only indicate maximum and minimum numbers and are not exact (think of a recent Hills Science Food recall, where high levels of vitamin D were found).

Since these added vitamins and minerals are not customized to your individual pet (some pets may absorb more nutrients than others), for some animals, there can be too much (for instance) calcium or magnesium which can result in painful crystals.

Then last but not least, in addition to the above, artificial food colouring and flavouring is often added to make it more appealing and palatable to the consumer (for marketing purposes). Sadly, many of these artificial colour and flavour additives have the potential for undesirable and high-risk health issues for our pets as well.

 

Kibble: The Lack of Moisture

Another hidden problem in kibble is the lack of necessary moisture which begins to tax our pet’s kidneys and can result in eventual kidney failure. Dry kibble typically contains only 7%-10% moisture (whereas meat contains 70% and more) in moisture. Vets already recognise that hydration is important, so why are they recommending dry kibble diets when they contain so little moisture?

The lack of critical moisture eventually results in many common illnesses such as urinary tract infections and chronic kidney failure, especially in cats.

 

The Proof is in the Poo

Meat protein sources are highly bioavailable at 90-95% (an ingredient’s potential to be absorbed); whereas plant-based proteins are only around 70% bioavailable. This is why when comparing pets on a raw meat diet with those on a kibble diet, those on kibble have large, smelly poos because they are not completely digesting what they are eating and therefore producing more (smelly) waste.

 

The Final Word

In short, despite human views and lifestyle choices, obligate carnivores like dogs, cats and ferrets cannot thrive on diets of grains and vegetables. As a human, you might choose a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, but those lifestyles should not be imposed on your carnivorous companion.


Meet our Guest Blogger:

Jade Bossenbroek, Founder of 4 Raw Pets Raw Feeding, turned to raw feeding after struggling to find a commercial dog food that would work for all four of her dogs. Each of the dogs was struggling with some kind of issue including flaky, smelly skin, hot spots, food-related allergies, strong dog smells and bouts of vomiting and explosive diarrhea. (She also lost a few cats at a young age form kidney failure.)  After doing research on raw feeding, Jade finally took the plunge and her dogs have been transformed for the better because of it. To help other dog guardians, Jade started the 4 Raw Pets website as a free resource to share her extensive research and information on species-appropriate, raw meat diets.


 

RECALL: Nestlé Purina PetCare: Muse Wet Cat Food

While Cold Noses News typically focuses on all things canine, we do have a huge soft spot for our felines, especially when it comes to protecting their life and health.

After complaints from cat owners, Nestlé Purina PetCare Company has voluntarily recalled limited amounts of their Muse wet cat food.

The recall was issued after cat owners found pieces of rubber in the cat food. These pieces of rubber were translucent yellow with a blue backing and could pose a potential choking hazard.Purina's Muse Natural Chicken Recipe Wet Cat Food has been recalled

The recall only impacts Muse wet cat food, Natural ChickenRecipe in Gravy, in 3-ounce cans.

There have been no reports of injury or illness to date.

 

The Recall: The Affected Lots

UPC Codes Best by date Lot identification number
38100 17199
(single three-ounce can)
4/30/2020
4/30/2020
8094116209
8094116210
38100 17780
(from Muse 6-can variety pack)
4/30/2020 8094179001

These products were distributed nationwide at pet specialty and e-commerce retailers.

Purina Muse Wet Cat Food recalled Purina Muse Wet Cat Food Recall

 

What to do Next

Consumers should throw away any of the recalled product and reach out to the Company for assistance at 800-982-3885.

 

Sources: The Truth about Pet Food and the FDA.

 


© 2019. Cold Noses News. All Rights Reserved. Content may be shared with proper credit and link back to Cold Noses News.


 

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.

 


© 2019. Cold Noses News. All Rights Reserved. Content may be shared with proper credit and link back to Cold Noses News.


 

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

 

RECALLS: A Look at 10 Years of Pet Food Recalls

An in-depth look by Susan Thixton of TruthAboutPetFood.com at the past ten years of Pet Food and Treat recalls and what we can learn.

A Decade of Recalls

During the past ten years (January 1, 2009 to November 4, 2018) did you know there’s been 173 pet food recalls posted on the FDA website?

BUT wait; that’s NOT the whole story!

Those 173 recalls represents the number of recall Press Releases issued, NOT the total number of actual pet foods recalled. In addition, some recalls count as “one” recall even though multiple products may actually be involved in the “one” recall.

The Recalls: What’s Actually Included?

The recalls over the past ten years have included the following categories:

  • 59 Treat Recalls
  • 48 Raw Recalls
  • 45 Kibble Recalls
  • 17 Canned Recalls
  • 3 Dehydrated Recalls
  • 1 Cooked, Sold Frozen Pet Food

What Should YOU do Next?

Education is the best defense in keeping your pets safe and healthy.

Learn more about the last decade of recalls at TruthAboutPetFood.com.  Learn about the specific causes for the recalls and which ones pose the greatest risk for your pet. (Hint: Salmonella, Listeria and E.coli rank at #1.)

Did you know that some causes behind the recalls even pose health risks to YOU, the pet owner?! (Including infants and children 5 years and younger; adults aged 65 and older; AND people with weakened immune systems.)

Your Dog Depends On You To Protect Him!Your Cat Depends on You To Protect Her!

 

Remember, your pet is depending on you to be his advocate and educated consumer!

What you don’t know can hurt your beloved pet!

 

 

(Again, we thank Susan Thixton for this in-depth expose about what we can learn from the past ten years of Pet Food and Treat recalls.)

 

Source: Truth About Pet Food.

RECALL: Steve’s Real Food

Steve’s Real Food  (of Salt Lake City, UT) issued a voluntary recall on September 7th for 3 separate product lots: Turducken Recipe dog food (5-lb bags), Quest Emu Diet cat food and Quest Beef Diet cat food (both in 2-lb bags) for potential salmonella or listeria contamination.

Why the Recall

The recall was initiated after a  routine sampling by the Washington Department of Agriculture positively revealed the presence of the bacteria. Subsequent testing by the Company resulted in negative results for both salmonella and listeria. No illnesses have been reported to date.

The recall specifically involves:

 



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 in stool.

What You Should Know About Listeria Monocytogenes

Listeria monocytogenes poses a risk to both animals ingesting the affected product and humans (if they do not thoroughly wash their hands after coming into contact with a contaminated product). Pets infected with listeria may display symptoms including:

  • Mild to severe diarrhea;
  • Anorexia;
  • Fever;
  • Nervous, muscular and respiratory system issues;
  • Abortion;
  • Depression; and
  • Shock and even death.

Infected animals can also serve as sources of infection to other household animals and humans.

What to do Next

Consumers with any of the recalled products should immediately return it to their retailer, where it was purchased, for a full refund. Consumers with questions can contact Steve’s Real Food at 888-526-1900 (Monday-Friday: 9am-4pm Mountain).

 

Source: FDA: Steve’s Real Food Recall 

RECALL: G & C Raw

G & C Raw, LLC (of Versailles, OH) issued a recall on August 6th for two of their products, 1-lb containers of Pat’s Cat Turkey Cat Food and 2-lb containers of Ground Lamb Dog Food for potential Listeria contamination.

Why the Recall

The recall was initiated after a  routine sampling by the Ohio Department of Agriculture revealed the presence of the bacteria. No illnesses have been reported to date.

The affected products are not being produced or distributed until the investigation has been completed and the source of the problem identified.

The recall specifically involves:

  • PAT’S CAT TURKEY CAT FOOD
    • (30) 1-lb clear plastic containers
    • Lot #WWPKTF051618
    • Distributed in OH, MI, IN, PAN, KY, NC and GA through direct delivery
  • GROUND LAMB DOG FOOD
    • (40) 2-lb plastic container
    • Lot #MFF022718
    • Distributed in OH, MI, IN, PAN, KY, NC and GA through direct delivery


What You Should Know About Listeria Monocytogenes

Listeria monocytogenes poses a risk to both animals ingesting the affected product and humans (if they do not thoroughly wash their hands after coming into contact with a contaminated product). Pets infected with listeria may display symptoms including:

  • Mild to severe diarrhea;
  • Anorexia;
  • Fever
  • Nervous, muscular and respiratory system issues;
  • Abortion;
  • Depression; and
  • Shock and even death.

Infected animals can also serve as sources of infection to other household animals and humans.

What to do Next

Consumers with any of the recalled products should immediately return it to G & C Raw, 225 N. West Street, Versailles, OH for a full refund. Consumers with questions can contact the company at 937-827-0010 (Eastern) or by email at GCRawDogFood@yahoo.com.

 

Source: Truth About Pet Food: G & C Recall, August, 2018 and FDA: G & C Raw, LLC Recall

RECALLS: What You MUST Know

(Note: We’ve been trying to publish this post since February. But with the constant barrage of recalls, it’s been almost impossible to stay up-to-date with all the information.)

The last few months have been nothing short of frightening when it comes to recalls and our beloved pets. Unfortunately, we’ve all become a bit immune to seeing recall announcements here and there. But as the few months have clearly shown, recalls are on the rise particularly with the bacterial contamination of Salmonella which can infect dogs, cats and humans.

 

Recent recalls include products made by:

  • J.M. Smucker Company: Gravy Train, Kibbles ‘N Bits, Ol’ Roy & Skippy
  • Northwest Naturals
  • Vital Essentials
  • TruPet
  • Smokehouse Pet Products
  • Redbarn Pet Products
  • Raws for Paws
  • Darwin’s Natural Pet Products
  • Blue Ridge Beef
  • J.M. Smucker Company: Milo’s Kitchen Dog Treats
  • Blue Buffalo Company
  • Radagast Pet Food
  • Steve’s Real Food
  • Raw Basics
  • An Update on the Deadly Chinese Jerky Treats

 

Keep reading to learn more about each recall.


J.M. Smucker (Dogs & Cats)

In early February, traces of pentobarbital (a drug used to euthanize cats, dogs and horses) were found in Gravy Train canned dog food. The findings came out of an  ABC station’s investigation (WJLA in Washington, DC). The investigation found pentobarbital in 9 out of 15 cans (or 60%) of Gravy Train dog food. Over months of testing and re-testing, WJLA News tested a total of 62 samples of dog food.

Sourcing meat for pet food from a “diseased animal or an animal that has died otherwise than by slaughter” is a direct violation of federal law (Section 342(a)).

The Smucker Company (Orrvile, OH) later expanded the recall to include certain lots of Gravy Train, Kibbles ‘N Bits, Ol’ Roy and Skippy wet dog food products.

 Click here to learn more about the original recall and the affected SKUs/UPC codes.

(UPDATE: A day after the story broke on February 8th, a class action lawsuit was filed against Big Heart Brands Gravy Train for advertising, misrepresenting and selling contaminated dog foods.)

(NOTE: J.M. Smucker also recalled certain lots of canned cat food in January. Click here to learn more about this limited voluntary recall.)


Northwest Naturals

Near the end of February, Northwest Naturals of Portland Oregon, issued a recall for its 5lb frozen Chicken and Salmon pet food chubs (sealed plastic tubes) due to potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

While no pet or human illnesses were reported, Listeria monocytogenes poses a risk to both animals ingesting the affected product and humans if they do not thoroughly wash their hands after coming into contact with a contaminated product.

Click here to learn more about this recall.

 


Vital Essentials

Again at the end of February, Carnivore Meat Company of Green Bay, WI, recalled 73 cases of Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Beef Nibblets Entree for Dogs pet food due to potential Salmonella contamination.

The affected product was distributed through both independent and online retailers, Chewys.com and Amazon.com. Salmonella can infect both dogs, cats and humans. The contamination was found following the Michigan Department of Agriculture’s collection of a single batch, retail sample that tested positive. There have been no reports of illness.

Click here to learn more about the Vital Essentials recall.

 


 

TruPet

Another recall during the last week of February included a limited recall from TruPet of Milford, OH, for their “Treat Me Crunchy Beef Delight” 2.5 oz pet treats due to possible Salmonella contamination.

Click here to learn more about the TruPet/TruDog treat recall.

 

 


Smokehouse Pet Products

 

On February 19th, the FDA announced a recall of Beefy Munchies dog treats by Smokehouse Pet Products of Sun Valley, CA.  The recall included all sizes and package types (including individual bags, resealable bags and plastic tubs (labeled “Beefy Bites”) due to possible Salmonella contamination.

The recall was issued after routine sampling and testing by the Colorado Department of Agriculture revealed Salmonella in two 4-oz packages.

Click here to read more about the Smokehouse Pet Products Beefy Munchies recall. 

 


Redbarn Pet Products

In early March, Redbarn Pet Products of Long Beach, CA, expanded its original recall (of February 9th) to include all lots of their Bully Sticks under the brand names of Chewy Louie, Dentley’s and Good Lovin’.

The presence of Salmonella was revealed through testing by the Colorado Department of Agriculture. The investigation led to a raw ingredient from a single supplier as the source. The affected products were distributed in pet speciality and grocery retail stores nationwide.

Click here to learn more about the recall and click here to view all 25 recalled products and their images.

 


Raws for Paws

In early February, approximately 4,000 pounds of Ground Turkey Pet food were recalled by Raws for Paws of Minneapolis, MN because of the potential presence of Salmonella.

Both the 1- and 5-pound chubs (sealed plastic tubes) were including in the recall. The affected product was distributed throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and through online mail orders.

Two illnesses were reported in connection with this recall. The recall was issued after testing by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture returned positive results.

Click here to learn more about the Raws for Paws recall of Ground Turkey Pet Food. 

 


Darwin’s Natural Pet Products

Another early February recall involved two Darwin’s Pet Food products (of Tukwila WA):

  • ZooLogics Chicken Meals with Organic Vegetables for Dogs; and
  • ZooLogics Turkey with Organic Vegetables Meals for Dogs.

Testing revealed the presence of Salmonella. According to Gary Tashjian, the Founder of Darwin’s Pet Products, customers who received these meals were notified directly. Darwin’s Natural Pet Products are sold exclusively through a subscription service directly to their customers.

Just a few days ago, the recall was expanded to include a total of four lots of products. The following products were also added to the recall with the potential of Salmonella and E. Coli (0128):

  • Natural Selections Chicken with Organic Vegetables Meals for Dogs; and
  • Natural Selections Duck with Organic Vegetables Meals for Dogs.

Click here to learn more about the expanded recall of Darwin’s Pet Food products.

 


Blue Ridge Beef (Dogs & Kittens)

Front Chub package BRB Complete; Back of Chub package with Nutrition InformationAgain, just a few days ago, another recall was issued, this time for Blue Ridge Beef (BRB) of Eatonton, GA. The recall involves one lot of its BRB Complete Raw pet food because of the potential presence of both Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes. The affected product is sold in 2-pound chubs (sealed plastic tubes) and are frozen. The recall only affects the following states:

  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • North and South Carolina
  • Tennessee

The contamination was revealed after samples were collected and tested by the FDA.

To learn more about the Blue Ridge Beef recall, click here.

NOTE: On March 2nd, Blue Ridge Beef also issued a recall for one lot of their Kitten Grind Raw Pet Food again for the potential contamination of both Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes. Click here to learn more about this recall.

 


J.M. Smucker Company (Milo’s Kitchen Dog Treats)

Just a few days again, the J.M. Smucker Company issued another recall for two specific lots of Milo’s Kitchen dog treats. The treats potentially contain elevated levels of beef thyroid hormone. Dogs ingesting elevated levels of beef thyroid hormone may exhibit symptoms like increased thirst and urination, weight loss, increased heart rate and restlessness. While these symptoms may resolve themselves once the affected product is no longer fed, prolonged consumption can result in serious vomiting, diarrhea and rapid and/or labored breathing. 

Click here to learn more about the recall and the affected UPC codes.

 


Blue Buffalo Company

Earlier this month, Blue Buffalo (Wilton, CT) issued a recall of one lot of its BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Red Meat Dinner Wet Food for Adult Dogs because of the possibility of elevated levels of beef thyroid hormones.

Dogs ingesting elevated levels of beef thyroid hormone may exhibit symptoms like increased thirst and urination, weight loss, increased heart rate and restlessness. While these symptoms may resolve themselves once the affected product is no longer fed, prolonged consumption can result in serious vomiting, diarrhea and rapid and/or labored breathing. 

NOTE: Blue Buffalo Pet Food was recently purchased by General Mills (the makers of Cheerios, Haagen-Dazs, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury and Old El Paso.

Click here to read more about the Blue Buffalo recall. 

 


Radagast Pet Food (Cats)

UPDATE: Radagast Pet is expanding their original recall to all varieties of Rad Cat Raw Diet due to potential listeria contamination.

Click here to learn more about the latest, expanded recall and the affected lot numbers.

The Portland, OR company, Radagast Pet Food, Inc., is recalling two lots of their products as of March 20th due to the potential of Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

The two recipes being recalled include:

  • Rad Cat Raw Diet Free-Range Chicken; and
  • Rad Cat Raw Diet Free-Range Turkey.

Listeria monocytogenes poses a risk to both animals ingesting the affected product and humans if they do not thoroughly wash their hands after coming into contact with a contaminated product.

Click here to learn more about the Radagast Cat Food recall and the two lots affected.

 


Steve’s Real Food

Earlier this month, Steve’s Real Food (Cottonwood, UT) issued a recall for its Raw Frozen Dog Food Turkey Canine Recipe after testing positive for Salmonella.

The affected lot (52 cases) involved their frozen 5-pound bags of turkey nuggets. They were distributed to retail pet food stores in the following states:

 

 

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Florida
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • North Dakota
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • Nevada
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington

To learn more about the Steve’s Real Food recall, click here.


Raw Basics

Another frozen raw pet food issued a recall on March 6th. Raw Basics of Pleasant Prairie, WI, recalled its 5-pound boxes of Tucker’s Raw Frozen Pork-Bison Dog Food for potential Salmonella contamination.

The presence of Salmonella was revealed after testing done by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture. The contamination was isolated to one lot of 108 boxes (540 pounds) and distributed to pet specialty retail stores in Minnesota, Georgia, Kansas and Pennsylvania.

Click here to learn more about the Raw Basics recall.

 


An Update on the Deadly Chinese Jerky Treats

It’s happened again, this time in Oklahoma with a 4-year-old Yorkie.

Within hours of eating of chicken jerky dog treats with “all natural farm fresh ingredients” sourced from China, Zoe was dead.

It’s been over 11 years since imported food and treats from China have been harming – and even killing – our pets. Yet the treats still sit on store shelves for unsuspecting customers to buy and feed to their pets.

If you thought someone is looking out and protecting both you and your beloved pets, think again. If you’re looking for obvious information and disclosures about the treats you buy, think again too.

Read ALL the print, especially the tiny print buried on the back of the package (as illustrated below with the treats that killed Zoe, sold at Walmart).

With no answers from the FDA’s years-long investigative research, but with pets still being sickened and dying, become your own best advocate and learn all you can about what you feed your pet. Until safety takes precedent over profits, your pet’s health is in potential danger.

Click here to read more about unsafe Chinese jerky treats.

Click here to read Zoe’s story.

 


 

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)

Please Help Us Help Others.

The holidays are a wonderful time for most of us. Families come together and create new, happy memories, eat lots of wonderful food and eagerly open presents.

But for many people, the winter season can be a difficult time trying to stay warm and still have enough food to eat for not only themselves and their children, but also for their furry family members.

Please support your local pantries to help those in need. The simpliest things can mean the most to those who need help. And let us know about the pet pantries in your area so we can add them to our website to help even more people this holiday season.

Email us directly at Bobbie@ColdNosesNews.com, click on the images to email us or leave a message below.

Thank you and Happy Holidays everyone!

Poinsettia … Holiday Friend or Foe?

The holidays are coming! Trees, decorations and beautiful, festive plants are appearing everywhere!

But, if you have dogs in your home, are you hesitant to bring the traditional poinsettia plant into your home?

It’s true that poinsettias have traditionally been considered poisonous to pets.

However, the truth is that they are “non” to “mildly” toxic. Poinsettias are actually more prone to giving your pet a mild rash if they brush against it; or, if they ingest it, just mild-to-no stomach discomfort.

So go ahead and enjoy this gorgeous plant!

Learn more about which holiday blooms and buds are toxic to Fido by clicking here.

Beware the Dangers of Fall for Your Dog.

Ahh, fall is in the air! Beautiful foliage and temperatures that have dropped.

But don’t let down your guard when it comes to protecting your dog from potential autumn dangers, including:

  • Antifreeze
  • Mushrooms
  • Snakes
  • Rodents
  • Compost Piles/Bins

Keep reading to learn how to protect your pup from autumn dangers.

Antifreeze is a Sweet Menace

Antifreeze (an ethylene glycol-based engine coolant) unfortunately offers a sweet smell that attracts curious pets.

A mere 8 ounces can kill a 75-pound dog and as little as half a teaspoon can kill an average-sized cat.

What You Should Do: Use “Low Tox” antifreeze made of propylene glycol instead. While not completely non-toxic, they are less toxic and could mean the difference between life and death if your pet comes across a spill. 

Mushrooms Pose a Natural Toxin

Autumn means mushroom season! While only 1% of them are highly toxic to pets, prevention is always best because that 1% can cause life-threatening problems. (One of the most dangerous is the Amanita phalloides or death cap mushroom, found throughout the United States.) Since the proper identification of mushrooms can be very difficult, prevention is the most effective way to protect your pet.

What You Should Do: Learn which toxic mushrooms grow in your locality and avoid those areas. Also, keep your dog on a leash to protect them.

Contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately if you witness your pet eating a wild mushroom.

Snakes … oh my!

Snakes are busy getting ready for their winter hibernation which means they may be out and about even more with the cooler temperatures.

What You Should Do: Familiarize yourself with the local venomous snakes. Avoid the areas they are typically found; and again, keep your dog on a leash to protect them.

Heat-Seeking Rodents 

Rodents are also hard at work at finding warmer places to call home during the winter months especially indoors. Consequently, this is the season for prevalent use of rat and mouse poisons as people begin to winterize their dwellings. As toxic poisons meant to kill small rodents, if ingested, these same poisons can potentially be fatal for your pets (particularly for smaller dogs and cats).

Another risk of rodenticides is  called relay toxicity.

“In other words, if your dog eats a large number of dead mice poisoned by rodenticides, they can experience secondary effects,” explains Dr. Ahna Brutlag, Assistant Director of Veterinary Services at Pet Poison Helpline.

Also keep in mind: even if YOU are not using rodent poisons, your neighbor(s) may be using them on their property.

What You Should Do: Only use these fatal toxins in places that are inaccessible to dogs, pets and even children and keep your dogs confined to your property.

Composts are NOT Dog-Friendly

Yes, your compost is environment-friendly and waste-reducing, but it might also be dangerous to your dog(s), pets, wildlife and even children.

As the contents of your compost pile or bin break down, dangerous pathogens (illness- or disease-causing agents) and tremorgenic mycotoxins (poisons from molds which can cause tremors or even seizures) are created and can seriously harm – or even kill – your dog and other pets.

Even small ingested amounts can lead to tremors or seizures within as little as 30 minutes to several hours.

What You Should Do:

  • Never compost dairy, grains, nuts, legumes, breads or meats due to their tendency to become moldy.
  • Use tightly sealed and secured compost containers.

Learn more from our post: Psst … Your Compost may not be Dog-Friendly!

 


To learn more about autumn dangers for your dog, go to ASPCA.org and Pet Poison Helpline.


 

Improve Your Health and Sex Appeal: Get a Dog!

You’ve probably heard that a dog is good for your health; both mentally and physically! From giving us a reason to exercise every day (which also lowers your blood pressure and cholesterol), to helping relieve stress and boost our mood, dogs make a real impact on our overall well-being each and every day.

But now, there just might be another reason to get a dog … improving your sex appeal!

Yes, all you single people out there, a dog can be an effective “social tool” in attracting the attention of a potential companion!

In a recent study, 1,210 single pet-owners registered on Match.com (61% women and 39% men) were polled to see how pets influence their dating habits and preferences. The result? Thirty-five percent of women and twenty-six percent of men said they were more attracted to someone if they owned a pet; and women were even LESS likely to to date someone who simply didn’t like pets!

Now, before you rush out and get that K9 ball of fur, be forewarned that not all pets are created woman-888389_640equal! This study also revealed that bigger just might be better when it comes to men’s preferences in the romantic influence of a pet. About twenty-eight percent of the men in the study admitted that if their date’s pet could fit into her purse … that would be a major turn-off!

So while a dog might not be able to make up for a lousy personality, lack of social skills or knock-you-out halitosis, the results do seem to indicate that having a canine friend may help improve your dating chances.


To learn more about the health benefits, go to: “All You Need to Know About Pets Improving Your Health.


Source: “Having a Dog Makes You Sexier, Study Says” on News.Health.com.

Foxtails: Tiny but Deadly

They are typically called Foxtails (bushy spikelets or spikelet clusters that resemble a fox’s tail) or Grass Awns (bristle-like fibers). They are present from May through December and abundant after rainy, moist weather (in sidewalk cracks, edges of roads, alongside trails and in pastures).

While found throughout the USA; the types of grasses that produce foxtails are most common in the western United States (west of the Mississippi). Usually, the worst cases are found in California.

Foxtails are also known by other names, including:

  • Wild Barley
  • Cheat Grass
  • Needlegrass
  • Bromegrass
  • Spear Grass

Foxtails are produced once certain types of grasses have gone to seed; and their hardened tip and arrow-shaped barbs pose a real threat to your dog (and cat). To make matters worse, the Whole Dog Journal warns that a single foxtail “is made up of dozens of hard, pointed seeds”  all ready to become easily – and quickly – embedded in your dog.

Foxtails commonly become embedded in the following areas (although they are not limited to just these areas):

  • Ears;
  • Eyes;
  • Mouth;
  • Nose (foxtails can be easily inhaled);
  • Paws and toes; and
  • Genitals and groin area.
  • Long ears and long and/or curly hair are also potential targets for foxtails.
  • But foxtails can also just latch onto your dog’s fur or skin with their barbed seed heads and over time eventually work themselves into your dog’s body; even into vital organs (like the brain, lungs, eardrums and spine) causing irreversible damage and possible death.

Despite their tiny size, the real issue behind foxtails is that the canine body cannot degrade or break down these tough, hard seed heads. Once embedded into the body, they easily travel (burrow) throughout the body (and because of the microscopic barbs, they cannot work themselves back out of the body; they can only travel “forward”).  So what may start out as a simple irritation, an embedded foxtail can lead to a deadly infection that could, if left untreated, lead to death.

Signs Your Dog May Have Embedded Foxtails

  • Body/Skin: Persistent licking or chewing at a specific spot (including the genitals); swelling, abscesses and open sores.
  • Ears/Ear Canals: Incessant scratching or pawing; tilting or shaking of the head.
  • Eyes/Eyelids: Redness, discharge or tears, swelling, inflammation, squinting or pawing.
  • Mouth/Gums/Tongue/Throat: Coughing, retching and/or gagging; difficulty eating and swallowing.
  • Nose: Discharge; bloody nose; excessive, even violent, sneezing; repeated pawing.
  • Paws: Swelling or limping.
  • Unexplained fever, vomiting or difficulty breathing.

Preventing Issues from Foxtails

After being outside (especially in areas where foxtails are common; including open fields, areas of tall grasses and overgrown grassy areas), always check your dog’s:

  • Armpits.
  • Coat/fur.
  • Genital/groin area.
  • Face, ears, mouth and gums.
  • Paws (especially between the toes).

Remove any foxtails you find with tweezers (if it can be easily removed). However, if one is already embedded or the area around the foxtail is red and/or swollen, see your veterinarian immediately for proper medical attention.

If you commonly find foxtails in a certain area of your dog’s body, consider trimming the hair in that area to avoid more foxtails becoming attached. To keep painful and potentially dangerous foxtails out of your dog’s ears, nose and eyes, an OutFox Field Guard is helpful (essentially a mesh bag over the dog’s head that doesn’t affect natural breathing, panting, sniffing and drinking). Protective vests (covering the chest and abdomen) can also help prevent foxtails from attaching to the dog’s body.

To learn more about foxtails: