Category Archives: dog bloggers

RECALL: Sunshine Mills Dog Food Products

Recall NoticeOn September 2, 2020, Sunshine Mills, Inc., issued a voluntary recall for some of their dog food products. Sunshine Mills manufactures dog food products under the brand names of Family Pet®, Heartland Farms®, or Paws Happy Life®.

This voluntary recall was issued due to elevated levels of Aflatoxin beyond acceptable limits. Aflatoxin is a naturally-occurring mold/fungus (from the growth of Aspergillus flavus on foods) which can infect pets if consumed in significant quantities. 

 

Aflatoxin – and other molds – can cause serious illnesses in people or pets with a weakened, suppressed, or compromised immune system, underlying lung disease, or asthma.

 

The elevated levels of Aflatoxin were discovered through routine testing by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry with a single 4-pound bag of dog food. While no adverse health effects related to these recalled products have been reported to date, Sunshine Mills, in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, issued a voluntary recall. 

The recalled products were distributed nationally in retail stores. There are no other Family Pet®, Heartland Farms®, or Paws Happy Life® products or other lot codes of these products affected by this precautionary recall.

 

The Sunshine Mills Products Recalled

Recalled Dog Food Products from Sunshine Mills, Inc.

 

Recalled Dog Food from Sunshine Mills, Inc.

 

Symptoms of Illness from Aflatoxin Consumption

Dogs that consumed any of the recalled products and are exhibiting the following symptoms should be seen by their veterinarian:

  • Reluctance to eat
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy or sluggishness
  • A yellowish tint to the eyes or gums
  • Diarrhea 

 

What to do Next

Consumers should immediately stop using any of the recalled products and return the unused portion to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers may contact Customer Service at Sunshine Mills at 800-704-2111, Monday – Friday from 7am to 4pm Central time or via email at customer.service@sunshinemills.com

Sources: Truth About Pet Food, VCA Hospitals, and the FDA.


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


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.


 

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: 11 Christmas Risks for Dogs

Protect Your Dog from These Christmas Risks

Christmas is a time to have fun, indulge and celebrate!
Since our pets are such an important part of our family, it’s natural to
include them in the holiday celebration as well!

 

But this festive season also presents many hidden dangers to our canine and feline friends, from toxic food to hazardous seasonal plants and even decorations!

To ensure your beloved pet remains safe this holiday season, keep reading about the unusual risks to our pets this festive season.

 

11 Christmas Risks for Dogs

Batteries

Batteries Pose Risks to Pets

Did you know that more dogs ingest batteries during Christmas than at any other time of the year?

Just like with your kids, apply the same security measures for your dogs. It is vital to cover all batteries and wires so that your dog cannot access them. Batteries can cause burns in the mouth and esophagus leading to other severe internal injuries.

Enjoy a safe Christmas with your dogs by keeping all new and old batteries out of reach of your pets.

 

Live Christmas Trees

Live Christmas Trees Pose Risks To Pets

 

For some people, Christmas is incomplete without a Christmas tree. But pine needles (real and fake) are dangerous if your dog chews or swallows them! They can cause mouth injuries and swelling; if ingested, they can cause vomiting and diarrhea. 

Also, stagnant water from live trees can cause diarrhea or nausea in your dog.

Whether you use a real or artificial tree, create a perimeter to prevent your dog from swallowing any of the tree’s needles (and decorations!).

Also, ensure that the tree is securely stable so it won’t fall over and cause injuries to your dog, other pets or even children. 

 

Salt Dough Ornaments

Salt Dough Xmas Ornaments are a Risk to Pets

 

These commonly used holiday ornaments are made out of baked dough and contain flour, salt, and water. This mixture can be fatal for our dogs, especially small puppies

But unfortunately, these ornaments can invite a pet’s curiosity thanks to their curious shape, colors and smells. But if ingested, the results can be unpleasant and worse for our pets.

 

Candles

Lit Candles Pose Risks to Pets

Candles can be a great way to bring Christmas spirit into our homes. But as a pet parent, avoid leaving burning candles unattended – or within reach – of your pets.

Dogs (and cats) are naturally curious about new smells and tastes. A curious pet could easily get burned; or worse, cause a fire if a burning candle is knocked over.

Consider using no-flame candles instead. If you decide to light candles, be sure to place them on secure tabletops and remember to extinguish them before leaving the room.

 

Silica Gel

Silica Gel Poses Risks to Pets

 

Silica gel in small packets is often found in the packaging of new handbags, shoes or electrical equipment. Although it has low toxicity, it can cause blockages in your dog’s gut if they eat it.

Always be careful when opening Christmas presents with silica gel packets and securely dispose of them immediately.

 

 

Potpourri

When eaten, potpourri can cause severe gastrointestinal problems in dogs. These issues might last for several days, Keep Potpourri away from Petseven after passing through the gut.

Proactively protect your dog by keeping all potpourri securely out of reach. 

 

Chocolate

Chocolate can cause severe gastrointestinal problems in dogs. These issues might last for several days, even after passing through the gut.

To protect your dog, you should keep them out of reach.

 

Blue Cheese Poses Risks to Dogs

Blue Cheese

Despite the popularity of blue cheese, it does contain roquefortine C, a substance which dogs are susceptible to. As with all of the Christmas foods around, be sure to keep blue cheese away from your dog.

 

 

Cooked Bones

While you may think that cooked bones are a safe treat to give to your dog to enjoy, nothing could be farther from the truth!

Cooked bones are very brittle and can easily break into tiny, sharp pieces when chewed. These tiny pieces can cause irreparable harm to your dog’s gastrointestinal tract including blockages and piercing of the intestines. Keep all cooked bones away from your dog and make sure they are securely disposed of where your dog cannot get to them. 

 

Mince Pies Pose Risks to Pets

Mince Pies & Christmas Puddings

Mince pies and Christmas puddings contain toxic grapes, currants, raisins and sultanas and should be kept away from dogs and other pets. 

 

 

Alcoholic Drinks Pose Risks to Pets

Alcohol

Alcohol can cause diarrhea, vomiting, tremors, coma and even death in dogs.

Keep any and all alcohol beverages (including beer) out of reach of all pets and children for a safe holiday celebration! 

 

 


Wishing you, your family and four-legged best friends a safe and Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 


Image Credits (In Order Shown):

Image by Pexels.com

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay 

Image by Maciej Szewczyk from Pixabay 

Image by Gerhard Gellinger from Pixabay 

Image by Ann San from Pixabay 

Image by Deb Douglass from Pixabay 

Image by Don Johnoghue from Pixabay

Image by darianstibbe from Pixabay

Image by Михаил Прокопенко from Pixabay

 

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!

Guest Blog: 5 Reasons You Need Your Pet More

Pet parents know that having a pet brings an incredible amount of happiness into their life. But caring for your doggo can also have an invaluable impact on your health and well-being. While properly caring for your pet is a big responsibility, you will also enjoy improvements in your physical health, emotional health, and even your social life! It may make you feel like you need your pet more than they need you!

Good for Your Heart and Overall Health

According to a study by Sweden’s Uppsala University, adopting a dog can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, especially in people who live alone. Owning a pet has even shown to increase life expectancy. Whether you’re taking your pup on a daily walk around the block, taking him on a hike or to the dog beach, you are also taking care of your heart and increasing your physical activity. And hey, pets are great for your “emotional heart” as well!

Reduces Stress

Stress can have significant effects on your mental health and sense of well-being. It can make everything seem much more dire than it really is and leave you at an increased risk for things like depression and anxiety. Stress is often hard to get rid of, but it turns out that pets can help! According to the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, a study showed that owning a pet can actually help diminish symptoms of stress on a long-term basis.

Better Sleep

Sleep is important to both physical and mental health, and it can be particularly difficult to achieve quality sleep when you’re not in the right headspace. Did you know that sleeping with your pet could help? Many people find that they feel more comforted and secure with their pet in the room than they do without them. If you have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, consider sharing some space with your pet to see if it helps. While it doesn’t prove effective for everyone, especially if you have a rambunctious pup, you may be surprised at how much your pet’s presence can help.

 

Improved Social Life

Looking to jump-start your social life? Get a dog. Walking your dog can help you connect with neighbors and meet new people. Many conversations – and friendships – begin at the dog park. While this, at first glance, may not seem crucial to your health, it is believed that people with more social connections often live longer. You can actually help reinforce your physical health as well as your social circle simply by taking good care of your furry friend and meeting people along the way.

 

Unconditional Love

A price cannot be put on the unconditional love your pet gives you. We all have to cope with stress and the unexpected twists and turns of life. However, the one thing you can always rely on is the love of a pet. Your dog will always be there waiting for you at the front door with an open heart and a wagging tail. That’s a great way to end the day.

Our pets need us to help take care of their physical health, but it turns out that they might give us more than we could ever hope to give them. Having a pet is great for your mental and physical health!

 

Sources: The Benefits of Sleeping With Your Pet and aha Journals.

 


Meet our Guest Blogger:

Stephanie James is a dog-walker by day and freelance writer by night, who covers a variety of topics, including holistic health for both pets and owners. To read more work by Stephanie, connect with her on Twitter @sjaywrites13.


 

Is it Safe to Handle Your Pet’s Raw Food?

As the debate rages on about whether a raw diet* is good or not for our pets, below is an interesting study about the potential risk of humans getting sick or infected from handling their pet’s raw food. The study included over 16K pet households in 81 countries. The research is published in the BMJ journal Veterinary Record.

(*Raw food includes any meat, internal organs, bones and cartilage fed uncooked to pets.)

(Did you know that more than 60% of pet owners in the Netherlands feed raw?)

 


It’s safe to feed raw food to pets, finds new study.


 

Guest Blog: Shave Your Dog! Truth or Myth?

 

When a man decides not to shave his face – it’s usually for an admirable reason, like No-Shave November (designed to raise cancer awareness throughout the month). Sometimes it’s just an excuse to get out of shaving, but – more often than not – there’s a purpose behind that decision!

But, when a groomer decides not to shave a dog’s coat, it’s rarely “just because.” It’s in the dog’s best interest for multiple reasons.

 

A Dog’s Coat is Suited for Heat or Cold

Often, pet parents mistakenly assign human conditions to their pets. For example, thinking their Husky, Chow or Samoyed gets too hot and should be shaved. The truth is their coats serve as natural heating and cooling mechanisms.

 

“These breeds have a double-layered coat that protects the

from the snow and cold, and prevents sunburn in hot months,”

says Humberto Z., who has been a groomer since 2008.

 

Shaving double-coated dogs can also cause unwanted medical conditions, like alopecia, which prevents the coat from growing back properly. Sam, an experienced pet stylist, explains, “I try to educate pet parents who request a shave on a double-coated dog on why it is harmful to do so.”

 

Does Shaving Stop K9 Shedding?

People tend to also believe that shaving will stop shedding – fake news! Fur returns, and with it comes inevitable furballs rolling across the floor like tumbleweeds. “Double-coated dogs shed a lot during hotter months because they’re letting their undercoat out <blowing coat>,” further advises Humberto. “When you do a de-shedding brush out it’s fine because you’re taking only the undercoat out and leaving what is called the guard coat – a layer to prevent sunburn.”

Brittany Z, who has been grooming professionally since 2005, offers alternatives to shave requests. “I would first offer a really good bath with de-shedding shampoo, blow out and a de-shedding brush out with the best tool for that dog’s coat. Then to reduce shedding, I recommend a good brush out every 2 weeks and a bath every 4 weeks.”

 

Fur-Bearing vs Hair-Bearing Canines

Fur-bearing dogs have different needs than hair-bearing dogs; talk with your groomer about what’s best for your pup. Hair-bearing dogs like Poodles, Shih Tzus and Yorkies, need haircuts regularly and can typically be shaved if needed. But fur-bearing, double-coated dogs, such as Alaskan Malamutes, Labs and Golden Retrievers have fur that grows to a particular length and should NOT be shaved.*  You can find a complete list of breeds and coat types at www.akc.org.

Sometimes, when a dog has gone too long without proper grooming and develops tightly packed matted fur against their skin, a shave is necessary. These mats are painful – their skin is being pulled by the tightening fur, and skin diseases can develop if left untreated. Most of these shaves should be performed with the dog under sedation with vet supervision, followed by a skin/coat care regimen to protect the pup while their fur grows back, and a regular grooming schedule to prevent a reoccurrence.

With a bit of coat education, you can keep your pup’s coat and skin healthy, while the groomer makes them look grrrr-eat!

 


Meet our Guest Blogger:

Renee Ventrice is the VP of Marketing for Woofie’s LLC, proud mom of Beemer, a 13-year-old Parsons Russell Terrier and human mom to her 20-year-old son Gino.

Woofie’s was established in 2004 and is an award-winning pet care company offering pet sitting, dog walking and mobile pet spa services as well as franchising opportunities. Learn more about Woofie’s at www.woofies.com.

 


 

* Source: http://www.GroomersGallery.com

Photo Credits: Ellen Zangla Photography

RECALL: Texas Tripe Raw Pet Food

 

The USDA (US Food and Drug Administration) issues a recall alert on August 14th regarding 35 frozen lots of Texas Tripe Raw Pet Food (manufactured by Texas Tripe Inc).

The recall was issued after samples tested positive for Salmonella and/or Listeria monocytogenes. Testing was done by the Office of the Texas State Chemist (OTSC). Of the 23 samples tested,  16 were positive.

The recalled products were sold frozen in 20- and 40-pound cases containing multiple plastic pouches in 23 product varieties. NOTE: There are no unique identifications numbers on the individual chubs (plastic pouches) to identify them as the recalled products. Lot codes are only printed on the outside of the cases.

Here is the list of all the recalled products and lot numbers:

(Courtesy: The Dog Advisor)

The States Included in the Recall

The recalled products were sold directly to consumers (online and over the phone) in the following states:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

 

ALSO … A Special Note

The products below were also tested and showed positive for Salmonella and/or Listeria monocytogenes but have NOT been recalled.

  • Texas Tripe Chicken Blend: Lot 19196-6
  • Texas Tripe Pork Blend: Lot 19190-09
  • Texas Tripe Beef Blend: Lot 19191-05

Pet treats and food contaminated with Salmonella and/or Listeria monocytogenes pose a public health concern because they can affect both the health of animals and humans. Refrigeration or even freezing does not kill the bacteria.

 

What You Should Know About Salmonella

Salmonella poses a risk to animals ingesting the affected product (including dogs and cats) and 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 the 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 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 should immediately stop feeding any of the recalled products and discard them in a secure container where stray animals or wildlife cannot access them.

Consumers should also:

  • Clean their refrigerator/freezers where the product was stored.
  • Thoroughly wash their hands after handling any recalled products.
  • Clean and disinfect any:
    • Utensils;
    • Bowls;
    • Surfaces including floors; and
    • Pet bedding and toys.

 

Sources: 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.


 

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.

 

 

RECALL: Bulk Pig Ears Recalled in 33 States

UPDATE: 

The CDC has expanded its investigation to 27 states regarding the outbreak of human Salmonella infections because of contaminated bulk pig ear dog treats.

According to the CDC website, as of July 16th, 93 people have been infected with one of 3 genetic strains of the salmonella bacteria found on the bulk pig ear dog treats (from 27 states) and twenty people have been hospitalized. The CDC labels these infections as “multidrug-resistant.” Since it takes 2-4 weeks for a person to become ill (with diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps) after handling a contaminated pig ear, not all illnesses may have yet been reported.

Those at the greatest risk include children under the age of 5, adults 65 years and older and those with weakened immune systems.

In addition, infected pets can carry and infect other animals and humans.

Source: Dog Food Advisor and CDC.gov.

 


 

Pet Supplies Plus has issued a recall to over 400 retail stores in 33 states for bulk pig ears (dog treats).

The recall only includes bulk pig ears stocked in open bins. Prepackaged branded pig ears are not included in this recall.

The recall was issued after testing by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development revealed the presence of Salmonella.

The States Included in the PSP Recall

Bulk Pig Ear Dog Treats are Being Recalled

The recall involves Pet Supplies Plus stores in:

Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

 

ALSO … An Investigation

On July 3rd, the FDA (together with the CDC) announced an investigation of contaminated pig ear dog treats that may be connected to human, drug-resistant Salmonella infections that have sickened 45 people in 13 states with 12 patients hospitalized from coming into contact with the contaminated pig ears.

The recall may or may not be related.

 

What You Should Know About Salmonella

Salmonella poses a risk to animals ingesting the affected product (including dogs and cats) and 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 the 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 immediately stop feeding any recalled pig ears and discard them in a secure container where stray animals or wildlife cannot access them. Consumers who have further questions are welcome to contact Pet Supplies Plus Neighbor Service team at 734-793-6564 between Monday and Friday 9 am to 4 pm ET (excluding holidays).

 

Pet Supplies Plus Recalls Pig Ears Dog Treats in 33 States

FDA Investigates Contaminated Pig Ear Pet Treats Connected to Human Salmonella Infections

Sources: 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.


 

RECALL: Thogersen Family Farm Pet Food

On April 4th, the Thogersen Family Farm (Stanwood WA) issued a voluntary recall for some of their frozen raw pet food.

The recall was issued after samples collected by the Washington State Department of Agriculture tested positive for listeria contamination.

There have been no reports of illness to date.

The Recall: The Affected Products

The products are frozen in 2-pound flattened, rectangular clear plastic packages.

Recalled varieties include frozen, raw:

  • Coarse ground rabbit
  • Coarse ground mallard duck
  • Ground llama
  • Ground pork

According to the FDA’s recall notice, Recalled product labels did not contain any lot identification, batch codes, or expiration dates. The front of the package contains one large white square label with the company name, product type and weight.”

These products were sold to individual customers or two retail establishments which have been notified of the recall.

 

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 should stop feeding any of the affected products and call the company with any questions at 360-929-9808.

 

Pet Age: Thogersen Family Farm Disputes FDA Recall

Sources: The Dog Food Advisor and the FDA.

 

 

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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.


 

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

 

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: Nutrisca Dry Dog Food

Nutrisca (St Louis, MO) is voluntarily recalling one formula of their dry dog food (Chicken and Chickpea). The recall was issued due to the presence of elevated levels of Vitamin D. (Note: The company also issued another recall for their Natural Life Chicken & Potato Dry Dog Food.)  

Why the Recall

The recall was issued after an investigation of complaints from 3 pet owners for Vitamin D toxicity after consumption. The investigation revealed a formulation error led to the elevated levels.

The Recall: What and Where

The recall specifically involves:

4 lbs Nutrisca® Chicken and Chickpea Dry Dog Food Bag UPC: 8-84244-12495-7
15 lbs Nutrisca® Chicken and Chickpea Dry Dog Food Bag UPC: 8-84244-12795-8
28 lbs Nutrisca® Chicken and Chickpea Dry Dog Food Bag UPC: 8-84244-12895-5

(Note: Nutrisca Chicken & Chickpea wet dog foods are not impacted by this recall.)

A Best By Date of February 25, 2020 – September 13, 2020 is found on the back or bottom of the bag.

The recalled product was distributed to retail nationwide.

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 renal 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 or returned to the purchase place for a full refund.

Consumers with any questions should contact Natural Life Pet Products at 888-279-9420 (Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm CST) or via email at ConsumerServices@Nutrisca.com for more information.

 

Sources: Truth About Pet Food and the FDA.

RECALL: Natural Life Dry Dog Food

Natural Life Pet Products (St Louis, MO) is voluntarily recalling its Chicken & Potato dry dog food in 17.5 lb bags.  The recall was issued for the presence of elevated levels of Vitamin D.

Why the Recall

The recall was issued after an investigation of complaints from 3 pet owners for Vitamin D toxicity after consumption. The investigation revealed a formulation error led to the elevated levels.

The Recall: What and Where

The recall specifically involves:

  • The 17.5 lbs Natural Life Chicken & Potato Dry Dog Food
  • A bag UPC of 0-12344-08175-1
  • A Best By Date of May 29, 2020 – August 10, 2020 (found on the back or bottom of the bag)

The recalled dog food was distributed to retail stores in:

  • Alabama
  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • North and South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia

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 renal 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 or returned to the purchase place for a full refund.

Consumers with any questions should contact Natural Life Pet Products at 888-279-9420 (Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm CST) or via email at ConsumerServices@Nutrisca.com for more information.

 

Sources: Truth About Pet Food and the FDA.

RECALL: Performance Dog Frozen Raw Pet Food

Bravo Packing, Inc. (of Carneys Point, NJ) has issued a voluntary recall for two  products: Performance Dog in the 2-lb and 5-lb plastic sleeves. The recall was issued for potential salmonella contamination.

Why the Recall

The recall was initiated after an FDA inspection collected and tested a sample which tested positive for salmonella. No human or animal illness has been reported to date.

The recall specifically involves:

Performance Dog Frozen Raw Pet Food in 2-pound and 5-pound plastic sleeves with the Manufacture Date Code of 071418. (This code is printed on the cardboard boxes containing the plastic sleeves, NOT on the individual sleeves. There are NO unique ID numbers of the sleeves.)

If customers purchased either of these recalled products after July 14, 2018, the FDA recommends throwing the product away to protect the health of your dog and yourself from potential contamination from salmonella.

Note: Performance Dog typically works with Tefco, a Brooklyn, NYC distributor which fulfills orders to brick-and-mortar retail stores and to consumers directly.


Product label, Bravo Performance Dog


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 to do Next

Consumers with any questions should contact Bravo Packing, Inc., at 856-299-1044 (Monday-Friday, 6am-2pm EST or Saturday, 4am-9am EST) or via their website at http://www.BravoPacking.com.

 

Sources: Dog Food AdvisorFDA Website and 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 

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.