Study Reveals 200 Dogs and Cats Killed By Tainted Pet Food

Health, News, pets 32 Comments »
Posted by at 4:25 pm

Puppy Eating

Tainted pet food killed 200 dogs and cats: study
Yahoo! News — A major recall was begun last March after ingredients imported from China were found to have contaminated some pet food. Canadian manufacturer Menu Foods Income Fund was hardest hit, recalling 60 million packages of pet food. A survey posted on the Internet, and widely publicized by the American Veterinary Medical Association, attracted just 500 responses and of those, only 348 cases of pet sickness met the criteria for kidney failure caused by the contamination. Read the full article…

Quick News Bites: Thanksgiving Edition

Advice, Health, Holidays, pets 35 Comments »
Posted by at 12:15 am

Sad DachshundEnjoy That Turkey Dinner But Keep It From Pets
“It’s not a good thing to give your pets table scraps or things they’re not familiar with that can cause an upset stomach and diarrhea and things you don’t want to deal with during the holiday season…”

Table Scraps Can Be Deadly For Dogs
“Many people think table scraps are a special treat, but some can be deadly for dogs. Cesar Millan, host of National Geographic’s the Dogs Whisperer says there are some things you should definitely avoid feeding your pets. High-fat foods, like turkey skin, are hard for dogs to digest, and can lead to pancreatitis. Turkey bones can also be dangerous. Unlike rawhide bones, cooked poultry bones are brittle and can splinter easily. Onions can also be a problem. High levels of onion ingestion in dogs and cats can cause a life-threatening blood disorder.”

Pets Shouldn’t Partake of Holiday Feast
“It’s OK to give them turkey, as long as you remove the skin and rinse the meat. Pet owners should avoid giving their dogs the fat and gristle from meat. Remember, if you wouldn’t eat it, neither should your pet.”

More On How To Pick A Good Pet Sitter

Boarding, Health No Comments »
Posted by at 8:34 pm

Most pet owners are concerned about the health and well-being of their pet when they have to leave them behind for trips or vacations. We previously offered up some tips on picking the right pet sitter and now Earthtimes offers up more advise to help you choose an in-home pet care professional as an alternative to going with traditional kennel or day care facilities.

1. Diligently check all of the company’s references — at least three should be voluntarily provided
2. Ensure the company is fully bonded and insured
3. Verify that your sitter can accommodate both your pet’s daily feeding and exercise schedule as well as your desired vacation schedule during busy holidays
4. Ensure the company offers 7-day per week telephone and email availability
5. Confirm that your sitter has undergone a criminal background check and has received proper training
6. Pre-interview your sitter with your pet(s) present to observe interactions and establish a “comfort level” for both you and the pet(s)
7. Clearly state how you would like your sitter to use his/her visit time in terms of walking, playing, feeding, cleaning, etc.
8. Provide medical and behavioral history about your pet(s) as well as veterinary and other emergency contact information, and gather all necessary supplies, including food, vitamins, and treats in one central location
9. Ensure the company has “backup” measures in place should your sitter have an emergency that prevents them from completing your assignment
10. Confirm that your sitter will leave you a pet report card at the completion of their assignment and that the company offers a customer satisfaction guarantee in case you are dissatisfied in any way.

The above quote comes from an in-home pet care company called Fetch! The article comes off as a bit of an advertisement and I’ve never used them before, so I’m not recommending them in any way… but the advise they offer sounds reasonable and you should be able to apply it to any in or out of home pet care service.

Safeguard Your Pet From Seasonal Alements via Earthtimes via Fetch! Pet Care

Update: I just ran into an article that goes to show why you should do your homework before picking an in-home pet sitter.  The owner/operator of a pet and house-sitting business called Pet City was arrested after the “pet’s owner returned home earlier than expected and discovered various items missing from her residence. At the time of arrest, Brooks was wearing a gold-colored ring identified by the victim as part of the missing property.

Pet Sitter Charged with Stealing From Clients Via WPTV

Sweetener May Be Dangerous To Dogs

Dogs, Health, Safety 2 Comments »
Posted by at 10:14 am

Dog chewingIn October of last year, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) posted a press release warning that Sugar Substitutes May Be Dangerous To Dogs saying “If you think it’s no big deal that your dog just ate some sugar-free gum or a cookie or two, think again. You may want to make an immediate trip to your veterinarian“.

The sweetener is xylitol which is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol that’s found in many fruits and vegetables like berries, corn husks, oats, and mushrooms. It has about the same sweeness as sucros, but with only 2/3’s the food energy which is what makes it a low-calorie alternative to sugar. The sweetener can be found in a variety of sugar-free products like chewing gum, toothpaste, candy and baked goods.

Unfortunately, the sugar substitute lowers the blood sugar in dogs which can result in “loss of coordination, depression, collapse and seizures as soon as 30 minutes after ingestion“.

Read more…

Insurance Covers Pet Injury/Death While Driving, Doesn’t Prevent Accidents

Health, Insurance, Safety 2 Comments »
Posted by at 11:35 am

Dog speeding down the highwayIf your concerned about your pet’s safety while driving, but you stop short at strapping them behind a seatbelt (good luck) or putting them into a pet carrier, Progressive Insurance has recently announced that they’re now “providing collision coverage for customers’ dogs or cats at no additional premium cost. It will pay up to $500 if a customer’s dog or cat is hurt or dies in a car accident.

Of course, no amount of insurance will help you get over the loss or injury of a pet due to accident, so you should always take care to secure your pet safely when driving in the car. I know, Fluffy looks soooo cute on your lap while you’re driving and she just looooves looking out the window with you, yes she does, but this is a potentially distracting situation for you and the worst place for her if something goes wrong.

What methods do you take to ensure that your pet is safe while you’re driving? Tell us about it in the comments. Read more…

Build Your Own Pet Waste Composter

Health, HowTo 2 Comments »
Posted by at 1:26 pm

boston terrierThere’s an article over at Instructables on how to build a DIY pet waste composter that might be just your thing if you have a lot a poop lying around and no good place to put it.

Keep in mind before taking on this project that Dog poo contains harmful bacteria and some nasty pathogens like round worms and tape worms so you definately don’t want to use the compost in beds with edible plants/vegetables. And you should probably keep it away from kids and pregnant women. In fact, if you really want to compost your pet waste, the safest option would probably be to bury it in a really deep hole far away from water sources and never touch it again. Or just chuck it over the fence into your neighbors yard (kidding!)

Sitter Charged For Over Feeding Pig

Health, News, Pigs 2 Comments »
Posted by at 8:35 pm

Portly PigIf you’re a pet owner who believes that the path to a happy and affectionate pet means giving them heaping helpings of all their favorite foods, you might want to take a look at this article.

A pet pig whose weight tripled while it was in the care of a sitter has been placed on a diet and an animal cruelty charge has been filed against the caretaker.

Apparently the pig gained so much weight that its collar had to be surgically removed after she ballooned to a portly 150lbs — 100lbs over her ideal weight of 50lbs. Crazy!

Via ABC News

Potential Health Risk Prompts Cat Vitamin Recall

Cats, Health, News No Comments »
Posted by at 8:18 pm

Just a quick update to let you know that if you’re using Hartz Vitamin Care for Cats, you should check your product to see if your affected by the recall.  The recall was posted on the FDA web site on November 2, 2007.

The Hartz Mountain Corporation is voluntarily recalling one specific lot of Hartz Vitamin Care for Cats due to concerns that one or more bottles within the lot may have been potentially contaminated with Salmonella. Hartz is fully cooperating with the US Food and Drug Administration in this voluntary recall.

The product involved is 3600 bottles of Hartz Vitamin Care for Cats, lot code SZ- 1637 1, UPC number 32700-97701, which was manufactured by a third party manufacturer, UFAC (USA), Inc., in Baconton, Georgia.

Read the entire press release after the jump. Read more…

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