Cat language involves vocalizations, body postures (including the tail and ears) and scent signals.
Felines express themselves through more than just purring or meowing!
Cat vocalizations typically include purrs and meowing (often excessively). But feline body language and tail posturing are all clues to how your cat is feeling.
Did you know that some kitty vocalizations are SO subtle that they can only be heard by other cats?
Warning: even if you understand how your dog communicates, never assume you also know how cats communicate! In fact, many ways a dog communicates is exactly the opposite to how domestic and feral cats express themselves!
Learn how to understand your cat’s language on the latest blog at EquiGroomer.com!
NOTE: We try our best to bring you the important pet food recalls as they happen but it’s not always possible. We encourage our readers to subscribe to free, automatic pet food recalls through the following websites to protect your beloved pet immediately.
On March 26, 2021, Midwestern Pet Foods, Evansville, Indiana issued a voluntary recall of specific dog and cat food brands produced only at its Monmouth, Illinois Production Facility (identified in expiration date codes with an M”). The recall was issued because Salmonella contamination was discovered during routine sampling by the Company of finished products. Affected products were distributed to retail stores nationwide and to online retailers.
Cat and dog food brands affected by this voluntary recall include the following manufactured at the Monmouth Illinois Production Facility:
Pro Pac Performance
Pro Pac Ultimates
The entire list of affected product brands and their Expiration Date/Lot Numbers can be viewed on the FDA website here. All other Midwestern Pet Foods are unaffected by this recall.
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:
Lethargy and shock;
Diarrhea (which may last up to 3-4 weeks or longer);
Mucus and/or blood in the stool.
People infected with salmonella can also have:
For some people, their diarrhea may be severe enough to require hospitalization.
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:
Surfaces including floors; and
Pet bedding and toys.
Consumers may contact Midwestern Pet Foods Consumer Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-474-4163, extension 455 between 8am to 5pm Central Time, Monday – Friday for additional information.
If you’re traveling with your pet(s) this holiday season, make sure you avoid these 6 common mistakes outlined by our friends atAvery’s Pet Styling Salon in Philadelphia!
With some careful planning and research about the location you are traveling to, a ready-to-use Pet Travel Checklist and your pet’s “must-haves,” you can ensure safe and comfortable travels for both you and your pets! Happy Holidays!
More specifically, it’s that time of year to proactively protect your dog (and of course other pets) from seasonal dangers! While many of the dangers are associated with the Holiday Season, not all of them are. Just as many hazards are associated with the Fall and Winter Seasons. Keep reading below to learn how to best protect your beloved pet from all seasonal hazards!
Pet Dangers Associated with Fall/Winter
The Fall season presents a variety of potential dangers to our dogs (and pets)! One in particular with most kids being home-schooled due to the Coronavirus.
Gábor Adonyi from Pixabay
Keep curious noses and paws away from common school supplies like glue sticks, pencils and pens, crayons and scented magic markers! Smaller items are even more dangerous because it only takes a second for a pet to ingest things like small erasers, staples, batteries, pushpins, paper and binder clips, rubber bands, magnets and more. Although many of these items may not present a toxic threat, stomach upset and blockages are possible if your pet ingests one of these items! Remember, dogs explore their world first with their nose and then their mouths!
Benjamin Sz-J. from Pixabay
Another danger associated with homeschooling kids includes snacks and drinks. Many snacks while tasty for our kids, can pose a threat to nosy K9s! Grapes and raisins, salty pretzels and popcorn and even empty potato chip and other snack bags can pose a suffocation threat to pets who unknowingly put their heads inside the bag to lick the salt or eat up the crumbs! Once inside the bag, your pet’s breathing can tighten the empty bag around their throat and it may be too late before you notice it!
Many snacks also contain the sugar-free sweetener called xylitol. While not harmful to humans, this popular additive IS toxic to dogs and is found in a variety of candy, gum, mints, snacks, cookies and even sodas. So read all labels carefully and keep all snacks and drinks out of reach from your dog!
Avoidance is the best way to protect your dog from what lurks in leaf piles. But, if your dog or other pet gets into a pile of leaves, bathe and then carefully inspect and remove any insects trying to hitch a ride!
Rock salt and other ice-melting products like water softener salt pellets; homemade deicers with dish soap, rubbing alcohol, and warm water; or a water and vinegar mix; or fireplace ashes.
Pet Dangers Associated with the Holidays
S Jutzeler, suju-foto from Pixabay
The holidays are right around the corner and that means some additional seasonal hazards for your beloved pets.
Toxic and Poisonous Holiday Plants
Lilies (for cats)
Holly & Berries
Daffodils (especially the bulbs)
Note: Traditionally, poinsettias have been considered poisonous to pets. Actually, they are non-to-mildly toxic and prone to giving your pet a mild rash if they brush against it or mild stomach discomfort if they ingest it.
Christmas Trees & Plants treated with a pesticide pose a serious risk (and potential death) to young pets including puppies and kittens.
Other Toxic Items
PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay
Batteries: Traditionally, dogs ingest MORE batteries around Christmas than any other time of the year! Keep both old and new batteries out of reach!
Potpourri: Often a good-smelling temptation for your pet that contains toxic essential oils, chemical perfumes, pine cones, dried fruit, cloves and flowers. Bottom line, potpourri poses not only a choking hazard but pose potential poisoning for your pet. Keep it high and out of reach! (This includes all liquid potpourri too.)
Popcorn Strings, Tinsel and Ribbons: If your dog or cat gets hold of strings of popcorn, ribbons, strings or tinsel, there is a strong possibility of choking!
Ornaments and Decorations: Pets are dazzled by ornaments and decorations as much as their human guardians. But curious noses, paws and mouths can mean trouble! For the best protection, block off access to the Christmas, decorations, candles, pine needles and gifts when you cannot closely supervise your pets. Place breakable decorations higher on the tree or shelves to protect your pets if they break. Also, never hang homemade salt dough ornaments on the tree … they can actually kill your pets if ingested!
Trash: Keep all trash locked away and tightly secured from curious noses and mouths. Special holiday foods can spell trouble for your nosy and hungry pets and even wildlife!
Holiday Foods That Are Off-Limits for Your Pets!
This alphabetical list below is by no means exclusive, but it will go a long way in protecting the pets in your home at the holidays!
Linda Roisum from Pixabay
Alcoholic drinks (including egg nog, beer, wine and other spirits)
Artificial sweetener called xylitol
Bread Dough (raw, not baked)
Caffeine (including coffee, tea and chocolate)
Chocolate, cocoa, chocolate coins
Cooked bones and corn cobs
Dairy (including butter, milk, cream and cheese)
Fatty meat scraps and skin, drippings and gravy
Fruitcake, mince pie and Christmas/Plum puddings
Grapes, raisins and currants
Ham (including bones), bacon and sausage
Hanukkah doughnuts: Sufganiyot
Marlita Annette from Pixabay
Hanukkah potato pancakes: Latkes
Hanukkah pastry: Rugelach
Onions, leeks, chives, garlic and scallions
Spices (including sage, baking powder and soda, nutmeg)
Keep this blog handy as you plan and celebrate the holidays safely with family and pets!
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 O157a particularly dangerous strain of E. coli bacteria forhumans.
This specific strain of E. coli can cause cross-contamination andserious, 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: email@example.com.
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!
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!
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.
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.
The recalled product comes in a:
Clear plastic tube (2.5 ounces); or
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:
Blurred or double vision;
Trouble speaking, swallowing or breathing;
Distended abdomen; and
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.
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
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
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
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 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 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.
When eaten, potpourri can cause severe gastrointestinal problems in dogs. These issues might last for several days, even after passing through the gut.
Proactively protect your dog by keeping all potpourri securely out of reach.
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.
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.
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 & Christmas Puddings
Mince pies and Christmas puddings contain toxic grapes, currants, raisins and sultanas and should be kept away from dogs and other pets.
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!
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
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!
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
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!
Not sure where to find YOUR local shelters?
Just pull out your smartphone and google “animal shelters near me!”
Meet 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.
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)!
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!
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?
“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:
Heart problems; and
Meat also provides saturated fatty acids in usable forms (unlike many plant-based oils). Fatty acids are important for proper:
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%.
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.
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.
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.)
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.)
(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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Again, 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 SalmonellaandListeria monocytogenes. The affected product is sold in 2-pound chubs (sealed plastic tubes) and are frozen. The recall only affects the following states:
North and South Carolina
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.
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.
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:
To learn more about the Steve’s Real Food recall, click here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 equal! 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.
Smallbatch Pets Inc., of Portland, Oregon, is recalling two specific lots of its frozen bags of 2lb Chicken Blend (for dogs and cats) due to finding salmonella.
The affected products were distributed to retail pet food stores in CA, CO, OR and WA and were sold between February 1st until May 5th, 2017.
The affected lots include:
Best By Date: 2/1/2018
Best By Date: 2/27/2018
Salmonella and the Risks
Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is also a risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having come into contact with the productsor any surfaces exposed to these products. Symptoms of possible salmonella poisoning in humans include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. While rare, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation and urinary tract symptoms.
Pets poisoned with Salmonella may exhibit lethargy, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Some pets may only show signs of decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected, but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers of salmonella and infect other animals or humans.
Contact your vet or doctor if you suspect salmonella poisoning for immediate help.
Why the Recall
According to a statement from Michael Vogel of Smallbatch Pets:
“The FDA (under the direction of the CVM) called us and they want us to recall two lots due to finding salmonella. No reported illness to dogs, cats or humans.”
What to do Next
Consumers with these products may return the affected product to the place of purchase for a full refund or contact the company by calling 888-507-2712 or by email at info@SmallBatchPets.com.
Blue Ridge Beef has issued another voluntary recall; this time for one of its raw, frozen turkey products due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.
The affected product is sold in 2-lb chubs and can be identified by the manufacturing codes seen in the image below and was sold to retail stores in North Carolina, Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia.
Listeria can adversely affect pets who eat the product and their owners who do not thoroughly wash their hands (or surfaces) after coming into contact with the affected product. (Infected humans will have some – or all – of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. People exhibiting these symptoms should contact their healthcare provider.)
What to Do Next
Consumers are encouraged to immediately stop feeding these products, properly dispose of them or return them to their retailer for a full refund. If pets are displaying any of the symptoms listed above, they should be taken immediately to the vet for proper evaluation and treatment.
Blue Ridge Beef is voluntarily recalling two of its frozen products due to potential contamination with salmonella and/or listeria. The recall includes Beef for Dogs and Kitten Grind and are sold in 2-pound chubs.
Both salmonella and listeria can adversely affect pets who eat the product and their owners who do not thoroughly wash their hands (or surfaces) after coming into contact with the affected product. (Infected humans will have some – or all – of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever.)
The recalled frozen products were distributed to retail stores in these states: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and TX.
Why the Recall
The recall was initiated after the FDA received two complaints associated with these products; one involved the illnesses of two kittens and the other complaint involved a puppy death.
What to Do Next
Consumers are encouraged to immediately stop feeding these products, properly dispose of them or return them to their retailer for a full refund. Consumers can also email the company at BlueRidgeBeefGA@yahoo.com.
Even though the official “National Pet Obesity Awareness Day” has now passed; as responsible dog owners, we all need to remain mindful of the importance of keeping our dogs at a healthy weight (for their breed and age) to give them the best possible health and life.
Is YOUR dog’s breed prone to obesity? Check out the graphic below:
Want to know more about: identifying whether your dog is overweight? How to proactively prevent K9 obesity and receive a healthy treat recipe you can easily make for your dog?
Just fill out the quick form below for a FREE PDF copy of our October newsletter to be emailed to you.
This is some great news to see this addressed in the mainstream media!
This coming Thursday, September 22nd, the Dr. Oz Show will host a segment entitled, “What’s Really in Your Pet Food and Does It Matter?”
Synopsis from the Dr. Oz website:
“You love your pet, but do you love what you’re feeding them? The guy People magazine calls the “sexiest beast charmer” breaks it all down. See what’s really in your pet’s food and when it’s okay to serve your pet table scraps.
But, for many of our pets, the 4th of July is a frightening time. Exploding bright lights and deafening explosions that torture their ultra-sensitive sense of hearing. In response to this assault of uncommon sights and sounds, many dogs and cats will try to avoid the stress of the fireworks by bolting out the nearest open door, window or even out of their own yard. This is why July 5th is oftentimes the busiest day of the year for animal shelters who find themselves overwhelmed with locating lost pets and reuniting them with their worried families.
Did you know that lost pets actually increase as much as 30% during July 4-6? All due to fireworks pandemonium.
With the noisy celebration almost upon us, take some time with your family to learn what steps you can all take together to keep your four-legged, K9 furkids safe, happy and protected IN your home to avoid them becoming part of the lost pet statistic this 4th of July holiday.
Are you prepared for an emergency or natural disaster?
No one likes to consider the worst; but the best defense is advance preparation. Whether it’s a flood, tornado, fire or tropical storm, planning and preparing before disaster strikes will ensure the best protection and safety of your family and your pets.
Below is what you need to include in your Pet Emergency Kit (for each pet):
Are you the owner of a dog business or service?
Make your clients feel “catered-to” and “looked-after” with the information they need to make the best, informed decisions for their K9 fur-kids with our ready-to-use, low-cost newsletter.
There’s no quicker way to build trust and brand loyalty than doing a little bit extra for your customers!
Did you know that National Pet Day was created in 2006 by Colleen Paige, a pet and family Lifestyle Expert and Animal Welfare Advocate? As we honor the joy our pets contribute to our daily lives, make sure your pet is safe and secure as a way to celebrate your precious family member(s).
Each year, thousands of dogs (and other pets) are lost or stolen. Are you prepared if your dog wanders away from his home? Or is stolen out of your own backyard? Or becomes separated from you in the event of an emergency or disaster?
Does your dog carry permanent ID that could help return him to the safety of your home and keep him out of shelters as an unclaimed stray that could face euthanasia?
As we recognize National Pet Day today, take the time to make sure you’ve registered your pet and if you have, ensure your contact information is up-to-date (especially your phone number and address) so you can be reached quickly.
Today, there are many different types of pet ID available, including:
ID and license collar tags;
Implanted microchips (usually between the shoulders);
Permanent tattoos (on the inner ear flap, stomach or inner leg);
QR Code ID tags readable by personal cell phones; and
Whatever option you choose to use (and we recommend a combination of several options in case physical tags get lost), make sure it’s done (and current) today and keep your pet safe and in your life for a long time after National Pet Day has come and gone.
(Article from the April issue of the Cold Noses Newsletter)
For most of us, say the word “February” and one of the next things to pop into our mind is “Valentine’s Day.” And while we would never downplay the importance of human love (and memorializing it with copious amounts of chocolate, flowers and sparkly trinkets), did you realize that February also focuses on loving those ever-present critters in our life, our pets?
While the entire month is dedicated to “Pet Dental Health” and “Responsible Pet Owners,” there’s also “Love Your Pet Day” (coming up on February 20th) and “National Dog Biscuit Day” (coming up on February 23rd).
Yes, the month of February is full of reminders to love and protect our beloved pets.
From proper socialization to finding the right diet; from the best positive training to effectively controlling parasites; and from regular vet visits to making sure their golden years are as smooth and pain-free as possible, our pets are a huge presence – and responsibility – in our life.
So as you go through the rest of this month and celebrate that special bond with your particular pet, consider brushing up on the latest research on medical care, best food practices and even emergency measures in the face of a disaster to ensure you love and protect your pet to the best of your ability.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to make a couple of buckets of dog treats for my Great Danes for “National Dog Biscuit Day” . . .
Considering that in just the last 10 years (according to MarketWatch), 74 pets have died and another 14 have gone missing under Delta’s care, this new ruling comes as good news to concerned pet owners who want, or need, to travel with their beloved pets.
Unfortunately, the “allowable” pets do not include large dogs (due to their size). Delta recommends using their Delta Cargo service to transport those pets not allowed in their cabins. According to Delta: “Pets that are transported via Delta Cargo are monitored closely by customer service teams during their travel. While at airports, pets are handled in temperature-controlled holding areas and vans. Also, Delta Cargo enlists professional kenneling services if overnight stays are required.”
Guidance for customers traveling with pets can be found at delta.com.
Petco has finally stepped up to the plate and removed any remaining Chinese-made canine and feline treats from its stores and website due to fears that thousands of pets have been sickened and killed since 2007.
(There have been more than 4,800 complaints of pet illnesses, including deaths, from Chinese-made chicken, duck or sweet potato jerky treats.)