Friday, October 31, 2008

Keep Your Pets Safe on Halloween

Halloween is full of fun things for you and your family to enjoy, but it's one of those holidays that is enjoyed more by people than by pets. Keep the following precautions in mind when preparing for the frightfully fun festivities and help ensure that everyone in your family - including your pet - has a safe Halloween.

Keep your pet in a quiet place, away from trick-or-treaters and other Halloween activities. You may know that the monsters and goblins who come knocking on Halloween aren't real, but pets don't. In addition, frequently opened doors provide a perfect opportunity for escape, which can go unnoticed during all the commotion. Be sure all pets are wearing collars and ID tags in case of an accidental getaway.

Cats--black ones in particular--often fall victim to pranksters. Keep cats safely indoors. Visit for more information.

Place live flame decorations like candles and jack-o'-lanterns out of your pet's reach. Curious critters risk being singed or burned by the flame--they could also easily knock over a candle or pumpkin and cause a fire.

Keep candy away from pets. All those sweets may taste great to pets, but candy, especially chocolate, can be toxic to pets. Candy wrappers can also be harmful if swallowed. Raisins are also toxic. Candy and gum sweetened with Xylitol can be deadly.

Don't let the family dog accompany the kids on their trick-or-treat outing. Your dog can get easily spooked by the strange costumes, sights and sounds of trick-or-treaters. Your dog can get loose and run away.

Keep decorations that pets could chew on--like streamers, fake spiders webs, wires or cords. If pets chomp on Halloween decorations they could choke or become ill. Pets could also become tangled and injured by dangling cords or decorations.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Keep Your Pets Safe While Traveling in Your Car

Here are some tips to keep your pet safe when traveling.

1. Choose a special safety harness or belt that will keep your pet from jumping around the vehicle or from flying forward if you have to slam on the brakes.

2. Remember that the air bags can be deadly for a pet in the front seat in case of a collision.

3. Being restrained will keep a pet from falling or jumping out of the window.

4. Never leave your pet in the car on warm days because heat can be deadly and also, because your pet can be stolen.

5. Always take water along for your pet. They make collapsible food and water bowls.
6. Small pets can safely travel in a crate.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A New Book - "Speaking for Spot"

This book should be in the library of every person who loves their dog. Dr. Kay provides step-by-step guidelines that teach you how to be a responsible and informed advocate throughout your dog's life. It could save you thousands of dollars and give you the tools to prevent the heartache that comes with making uninformed or rushed decisions about your dog's health care.

Visit for more information including sample chapters, downloadable health forms, POD cast interviews, and order information.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pets Are The Victims of Economic Downturn

Pets are being turned in to shelters and rescue organizations in alarming numbers. Pet owners are having to give up their pets because they can not afford them anymore. Shelters are bursting at the seams. It's very sad because a large percentage of these pets will be euthanized.

Unfortunately, it is going to take quite awhile before the economy improves. In the meantime, if you are looking for a new pet, go to your local shelter first and rescue one of the many cats, dogs, rabbits, goats, or horses that are looking for a home.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pets Thefts Rise As Economy Hits Low

It is very sad, but dog thefts are up. There's a black market for dogs. People sell them on the roadside out of vans, at flea markets or through online classifieds. Some thieves walk off with puppies from pet stores and animal shelters or take dogs tied up outside stores and coffee shops. Other break into cars where dogs have been left while their owners run an errand. Some have even posed as prospective puppy buyers to case breeders' homes, breaking in later to snatch the dogs.

In most states, the value to the animal determines whether pet theft is a felony or a misdemeanor. People increasingly view their pets as members of the family and are willing to cough up big rewards if they go missing.

How to protect your dog:
1. Don't leave your dog alone in your yard for long periods, especially if it's visible from the street. Don't leave your dog in a car.
2. If strangers approach you with admiring comments about your dog, don't share information about his cost or where you live.
3. Report a theft to police and animal control as soon as it happens.
4. Keep a current photo of your pet so you can make flyers or posters immediately and post the photo on web sites.
5. If possible, hold back some kind of descriptive information about your pet so you can sort out crank calls from serious ones.
6. Microchip your dogs and cats, and keep microchip registration information up to date so shelters and veterinarians can contact you if your pet is found. A microchip also serves as proof that an animal belongs to you.
7. A tattoo on the inner thigh is a permanent way of identifying your dog if the tattoo is registered with a tracking organization such as National Dog Registry.
8. Consider GPS for your pet. New GPS collars allow owners to set up a safety zone. If the pet strays beyond it, an alert goes out e-mail and text message. The collars have potential for tracking missing dogs, but they're expensive at $129.99 and up, and they can be removed by someone who finds the dog and decides to keep it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Are You Ready For A Dog?

A dog relies on you for everything, from his food, water, shelter, exercise, grooming, his companionship, training, veterinary care and protection. Know what you are getting into. Are you prepared to spend the next 10-15 years of your life taking care of your dog? That is about how long your dog will live.

Can you afford the added expense of a dog? When you get a dog, it is a life long commitment, and should not be treated like a piece of furniture that you can just "get rid of" when you get tired of it. After all, this dog will be part of your family.

The decision to get a dog needs to be carefully thought out. Do you honestly have the time to take care of a dog? Is anyone in your family allergic to dog hair? Are you bothered by hair on everything from your clothes to your toast? Some breeds are heavy shedders, while others hardly shed at all.

Do you have children? Are you going to have children in the next 10-15 years? Do you have friends who visit your home who have children? Some dogs are excellent with children and would be their best friend. Some are only good with children when they are raised with them from puppyhood, while others are very sensitive and may bite your child if they are pestered by him or her.

Do you mind holes being dug in your yard? Some dogs like to dig, while others are less likely to dig. Do you mind hearing a dog bark all the time? Some dogs love to bark and do it all the time, while others are more quiet, barking only when necessary.

Do you have time to exercise your dog? Some dogs need daily vigorous exercise and you would need to take them out every day for a run and a nice long walk, while others will get enough exercise with a shorter walk and by running around the inside of your house.

Some dogs need a job to do or they will become restless, bored, very destructive and unruly. Some can be highly obedience trained, while others cannot.

All breeds of dogs are different, and all families are different. Find a dog that fits well into your family, so you and your dog can live in harmony.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Lawn Burn Products Can Be Harmful

Products are being sold in pet stores and on the internet that are supposed to prevent lawn burn from your dogs urine. These products are to be given to your pet internally, do not work and can be harmful to your pet. The products are urine acidifiers. Too much acid in a dog's urine may predispose them to bladder stones.

The basic cause of lawn burn from a dog's urine is the urine concentration. Highly concentrated urine contains a large amount of nitrogen (from protein digestion). This makes dog urine just like liquid fertilizer. The brown spots are basically over fertilized. To prevent this burn, try to increase your dog's water consumption, dilute the urine spot with a bucket of water or turn on the sprinkler. It is a good idea to create a potty area in the yard with mulch or stones. Your dog can be trained to use this area.

The products that are sold to prevent lawn burn contain chemicals that are hard on the liver and kidneys. Read the fine print on the label of the warnings.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Dogs Go 'Batty' On Chains, Not a Good Idea

Dogs who are chained run a much higher risk of biting and are more likely to be the dogs that run off and don't come back when called.

Why? Chaining a dog goes against its natural instincts. Dogs were not meant to be chained. Most become protective of the area around them and in some cases, down right mean, even to their owners. They feel confined, trapped and it drives them crazy. They are harder to train and some appear to be literally untrainable when really they are just going stir crazy. Most chained dogs will take off on you any chance they can get off the chain. And why not? Coming back means they have to go back on the chain and they want to enjoy the freedom if even for a little while. Not all dogs will be biters and runners if chained, but all dogs would be happier, with a better temperament, if they were not chained.

I am not talking about the occasional time when you need to tie your dog up for a little while.
I am talking about the Back Yard Dogs. The ones with the dog house and a chain. The ones that spend the majority of their time and life chained, sitting and waiting, with nothing else to do but wait and protect.

Other options: Invisible fences are great. You can not see them and the dog has some freedom to walk without dragging a chain behind them. They are relatively cheap compared to the above ground fence. A regular fence is another option. The bigger the area your dog has the happier he will be and in return, the happier you will be with your dog. Training. Take your dog to obedience classes or teach him yourself. Teach him to stay around the house. An outside kennel would be better than being chained, if the owners take the dog out every day to run free or for a walk and play. But in the end, it all depends on how much time you spend with your dog. If you do not have time to spend with your dog you probably should not have one.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Xylitol Sweetner is Toxic to Dogs

A sugar substitute found in a variety of sugar-free and dietetic cookies, cupcakes, mints, candies, toothpaste and chewing gum is proving highly toxic, even fatal, to dogs.

It doesn't take a whole lot of xylitol, and the effects are so rapid that the window of opportunity to treat the dog is extremely small.

Within 30 minutes of consuming a small amount of a xylitol-sweetened product, dogs can experience a dramatic drop in blood sugar, and they usually begin vomiting, become lethargic and can have difficulty standing or walking. Some have seizures, develop internal hemorrhaging and lesions and suffer liver failure. As few as two or three sticks of xylitol gum could be toxic to a 20-pound dog.

Immediate and aggressive veterinary treatment, which includes glucose drips and IV fluids, has proved effective in many cases.

Pet owners need to be very careful because some dogs, get into just about everything and eat everything they find.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Do Pets Go to Heaven?

I believe that pets do go to heaven. The Bible tells that there are animals in heaven. The Bible tells us that God gives us the desires of our hearts. God loves and cares for the animals. After all, He made all of the wonderful animals in the world.

A book that is based on Bible Scripture on this subject is: There is Eternal Life for Animals by Niki Shanahan

Monday, October 20, 2008

How To Choose a Dog Collar That Fits Your Dog

Dog collars are an important accessory for your dog. Putting a collar on your dog enables you to walk it safely. Collars can help you teach your dog obedience skills and they come in many different styles, shapes, sizes and colors.

The collar should be the right size for the dog. A small dog should have a small, thin, delicate collar. A large dog should have a thicker, stronger collar. The size and strength of the collar should fit the size and strength of the dog. A leather collar is best for all dogs. Leather is comfortable and it lets your dogs neck breathe.

All colors should fit your dog properly. It is best to either measure your dogs neck or take your dog to the pet store to try on the collar. The collar should not be too tight. A tight collar can restrict air flow when the dog is breathing and a tight collar can make swallowing hard or impossible for a dog. Many dogs get their collars imbedded in their necks when they are too tight. You should be able to put two fingers easily between the collar and the dogs neck. A dog with a tight collar is a very unhappy dog. A collar that is too loose can slide down the dog's neck and cause trachea damage.

Choke collars should be used for training or walking only. Dogs can strangle if the choke collar gets caught on something when no one is around. Metal collars are uncomfortable and get hot in the sun and cold in the winter.
Veterinarians say pet owner's should be checking their dogs collar every 2 weeks throughout the animals lifespan to make sure that it's not too tight.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Regular Stool Checks A Good Idea

Regular stool checks are a critical part of our pets annual wellness visits. Regardless of having never seen worms in your pets stools, it is important that a fecal exam be done at least once yearly on all pets.

Several of the parasites that affect pets are contagious to humans and can cause serious illness. It is simple to have a stool check preformed. Just bring a stool sample to your veterinarian at every wellness visit, but especially when they have stomach or intestinal illness.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Don't Spook Your Pet on Halloween

If you or your children are planning to wear a costume this Halloween, be careful not to frighten your dog. The American Veterinary Medical Association, warns that masks and disguises can be confusing and alarming for animals, and could increase the potential for dog bites. "Dogs believe they are the guardians of their homes, and they can feel threatened if a 'stranger' enters their space".

If your pet is stressed or nervous when the doorbell rings, prepare for trick-or-treaters in advance by finding a safe and comfortable place for your pet.

Friday, October 17, 2008

EMFs May Threaten Pets

Several studies have linked residential electromagnetic fields (EMFs) with human cancer, especially those of the blood. A new study now suggests that these fields may pose a similar risk to pets.

A study at Colorado State University focused their study on 230 dogs hospitalized with cancer. These included 93 animals with canine lymphoma, a common blood cancer whose origins remain unknown. They did a study of each pets home and measured the actual magnetic fields where the dog spent most of its time.

Overhead power lines running along streets and up to homes constitute the biggest overall contributor to residential EMFs. In this study, factors associated with those lines also showed the strongest link to lymphoma. Compared to animals whose homes were fed by buried power lines, dogs exposed to these factors faced double the cancer risk--and it tripled if the animal spent 25 percent or more of its time outside. The most powerful statistical association to the cancer occurred in those 10 dogs whose homes were located very near a large, primary power distribution line. Researchers found that the dogs had 13.4 times the lymphoma risk of animals from homes with buried power lines.

This investigation suggests that "dogs may act as a 'sentinel' species" for studying environmental threats to the families with whom they share a home. This study was done in 1993! New housing developments are still being built next to large power lines even though this there is evidence of the connection to EMFs and cancer in humans and pets.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Too Much Salt Can Be Toxic or Deadly

Salt in high amounts can cause kidney problems. Also dogs that eat salty food may then drink too much water and develop bloat which is fatal unless emergency treatment is given very quickly.

Salt used in pet food is used to cover up rancid meat and fat, and can cause kidney and heart disease, hypertension. It is used in cat food to encourage cats to drink water (another problem of dry food for cats).

Dogs that swim in the ocean can become very sick or can cause death, when drinking salt water. Homemade playdough that is high in salt can also be toxic.
It would be best to feed a pet food that is free of salt and don't give salty foods to your pets.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Allergies in Pets

If your pet has been raised on commercial food, he or she may experience food allergies. The inferior quality of meat and poultry by-products, brewer's yeast and other pet food ingredients for increasingly common allergic reactions. Dogs can be allergic to beef, beef by-products, milk, yeast, corn, corn oil, pork, turkey, eggs, fish, fish oils, wheat and wheat by-products. Cats can be allergic to beef, beef by-products, tuna, milk, yeast, pork and turkey.

In addition, any pet may react to chemical additives, mold or contaminated drinking water. Some of the chemical that can cause an allergic reaction are sodium nitrite, benzoic acid, red dye number 40, blue dye number 2, BHA, BHT, MSG, sodium metabisulfate, ethoxyquin, artificial flavors, sugar, propylene glycol and formalin.

As an experiment, study the ingredient list of whatever food your dog or cat has been eating, then prepare a high quality diet based on other foods and supply only clean (filtered, bottled or distilled) drinking water. Raw meat does not cause the same allergic reaction that cooked meat does and organic meat can be tolerated, when meat from the supermarket can set off their symptoms.

In most cases of food sensitivity, the change is rapid, obvious and dramatic. A scratching pet stops itching, a lifeless coat begins to shine, a tired dog becomes an energetic puppy, a high strung cat becomes calm and affectionate and symptoms of poor digestion disappear.

Find a holistic veterinarian in your area for more help with an allergic pet.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Chocolate Can Poison Your Dog

With Halloween just around the corner, it is important to know that chocolate is poison to dogs. Once dogs have tasted chocolate, they want more. And for dogs, that's a bad thing. The problem, according to veterinary experts, is that eating a speck of chocolate leads a dog to crave more. It can mean that your dog will jump at an opportunity to get any type of chocolate. Certain chocolates in large amounts can be lethal.

"Chocolate ingestions are one common reason why pet owners and veterinarians call us," said ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. There is always a rise in chocolate calls around holidays, Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day and Easter.

Why is chocolate lethal? Chocolate contains theobromine which is a naturally occurring stimulant found in the cocoa bean. Theobromine increases urination and affects the central nervous system as well as heart muscle.

You can recognize that your dog has eaten a toxic dose of chocolate from the symptoms. Within the first few hours, the evidence includes vomiting, diarrhea or hyperactivity. As time passes and there's increased absorption of the toxic substance, you'll see an increase in the dog's heart rate, which can cause arrhythmia, restlessness, hyperactivity, muscle twitching, increased urination or excessive panting. This can lead to hyperthermia, muscle tremors, seizures, coma and even death.

To answer the question "how much is too much" is not simple. The health and age of your dog must be considered. Not all chocolate is the same. Some has a small amount of theobromine and others have large amounts. The quantity eaten has a relationship with the weight of your dog.

Baking chocolate has 450 mg of theobromine per ounce.
Semi-sweet chocolate has 260 mg per ounce.
Milk chocolate has 60 mg per ounce.
Hot chocolate has 12 mg per ounce.
White chocolate has 1 mg per ounce.

If your dog has eaten chocolate call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435

Monday, October 13, 2008

Keeping Your Pets Safe in Catastrophic Situations

Catastrophes come in many forms: earthquakes, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, violent storms and even terrorism. In the event of a disaster, would you know what to do to protect your pet?

The best thing any responsible pet owner can do is to be prepared. It is recommended to have a disaster travel kit readily available should you need to hit the road with your pet.

Your evacuation kit should be readily assessable, easy to carry and contain essential pet supplies for at least 5 days. Consider keeping the following basic items in your pet disaster kit:
1. Food, water and portable feeding bowls.
2. Collar, leash, rope and/or harness.
3. Pet medications, medical records and the name and number of your vet.
4. Garbage bags or doggie waste bags, small litter box, scoop and litter.
5. Current photos of your pets.
6. Carriers and/or portable kennel.

You might also consider taking along pet toys and bedding to help reduce your pets' stress and to keep them as comfortable as possible.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Plants That Are Poisonous to Pets

Certain plants can be dangerous to the lives of our pets. More than 700 plants have been indentified as producing toxic substances in sufficient amounts to cause harmful effects in animals. Poisonous plants produce a variety of toxic substances and cause reactions ranging from mild nausea to death.

For more information on plants that could be dangerous to pets, go to The Humane Society of the United States website:

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Keep Cats Safe On Halloween

Cats and their owners can safely enjoy Halloween with some advance planning and some common sense, says the American Humane Association. As you get ready for the festivities, keep these tips in mind.

Keep your cat safe inside. Make sure your cat is kept away from the door so it doesn't escape when you disperse candy to trick-or-treaters.

Make sure your black cat is safe from harm. Halloween in particular can lead strange people to do strange things to black cats, AHA says. Children may even react to seeing a black cat by yelling or scaring the cat. Bring your cats inside for the night and away from sight of the front door.

Make sure your pet has identification. With so much activity happening near your front door, your cat may slip outside. Identification will help ensure your cat returns to you if she becomes lost.

Keep lit candles out of reach of your pets and don't give your pet candy which can make them sick.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Tips On Finding a Lost Pet

It can be a traumatic experience when your beloved dog or cat strays from home. Here are some tips that will help you find your pet.

1. Contact local animal shelters and animal control agencies. File a lost pet report with every shelter within a 60 mile radius of your home and visit the nearest shelters daily, if possible. To find your local shelter go to or check your phone book. If there is no shelter in your community, contact the local police department. Provide these agencies with an accurate description and a recent photograph of your pet.
2. Search the neighborhood. Walk or drive through your neighborhood several times each day. Ask neighbors, letter carriers and delivery people if they have seen your pet. Hand out a recent photograph of your pet and information on how you can be reached if your pet is found.
3. Advertise. Post notices at grocery stores, community centers, veterinary offices, traffic intersections, online at and, at pet supply stores and other locations. Also, place advertisements in newspapers and with radio stations. Include your pet's sex, age, weight, breed, color, and any special markings. When describing your pet, leave out one identifying characteristic and ask the person who finds your pet to describe it.
4. Be wary of pet-recovery scams. When talking to a stranger who claims to have found your pet, ask him to describe the pet thoroughly before you offer any information. If he does not include the identifying characteristic you left out of the advertisements, he may not really have your pet. Be particularly wary of people who insist that you give or wire them money for the return of your pet.
5. Don't give up your search. Animals who have been lost for months have been reunited with their owners.

A pet, even an indoor pet, has a better chance of being returned if she always wears a collar and an ID tag with your name, address, and telephone number.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Keep Fake Spider Webs Away From Pets

Halloween is a fun time to decorate your home. Dogs and cats who eat or chew on the fake spider webs can have some horrible digestion problems. The fake webs can clog their intestines and this requires surgery to remove. Deaths have been reported. Please keep your pets safe and keep fake spider webs out of their reach or don't take a chance and keep them out of the house.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Are Microchips Safe?

There is a new debate starting about the possible dangers of microchips. At this time it may be best to get your vet to tattoo your pet instead of microchipping. Tattooing may have many advantages over the chipping. Microchips do not always work and they tend to migrate. Also a tattoo can be removed, but a microchip is more difficult to remove. Also many pets end up getting killed because the chip never showed up on the scan, or that shelter doesn't have a scanner.

A series of veterinary and toxicology studies, dating to the mid-1990's, stated that chip implants had "induced" malignant tumors in some lab mice and rats. Fibrosarcomas and Liposarcomas have been reported in dogs at the site of an implanted microchip.

To read what a vet has to say on the subject of microchips, go to:

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Preventing Animal Cruelty

Nothing tugs at the heartstrings more than a neglected or mistreated pet. It is everyone's responsibility to ensure the safety of the animals around us. The following are 10 tips that you can use to prevent animal cruelty.

1. Familiarize yourself with your local animal control or ASPCA organization so that you know whom to call to report signs of animal cruelty.
2. Get to know the pets in your neighborhood. Know the conditions they are kept in and whether they seem healthy and well cared for.
3. Know what to look for. Animal cruelty can manifest in many forms; tick or flea problems, hair loss, injuries that have not received medical care, and being severely underweight are all signs of neglect. If you see any of these signs, contact your local animal control or shelter.
4. When reporting a case of animal abuse try to have as much information as possible detailing what you have seen and pertinent facts (name, address) for the abuser.
5. If you see a pet that is frequently chained without adequate food, water or shelter, contact your local animal care organization.
6. Become active politically supporting anti-cruelty laws. This may include writing letters to legislators or starting a petition in your neighborhood.
7. Know your state and city's laws pertaining to animal cruelty and abuse.
8. Support your local animal rescue organization. This can be monetary, donating supplies or volunteering your time.
9. Teach your children how to treat animals with kindness and respect.
10. Set a positive example by treating your pets with love and care.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Mysterious Thyroid Disease in Cats

There is a mysterious thyroid disease in cats that is being linked to flame retardants, says EPA chemists. This hyperthyroidism is a new condition for cats that emerged in the 1980's and is today a leading cause of death in cats.

PBDE fire retardants are structurally similar to thyroid hormones. Fire retardant chemicals are believed to migrate out of furniture and then accumulate in house dust, food, animals, and people. People in the United States have the highest PBDE levels in humans worldwide, but our cats are even more exposed--some with levels 100 times greater than humans.

When tested in animals, fire retardant chemicals, even at very low doses, can cause endocrine disruption, thyroid disorders, cancer and developmental, reproductive and neurological problems such as learning impairment and attention deficit disorder.

There are federal regulations that put these chemicals in everything in our homes from our children's pajamas to our computer. Fire retardant were suppose to protect us from our things catching fire, but instead our health and that of our pets have been compromised. We don't even know the full extent of the problems.

Write letters to your state legislature to stop the practice of adding chemicals to our furniture and clothes. The state of California has an Assembly Bill 706 that will prohibit PBDE in furniture, etc. The chemical companies are spending millions opposing reforms that would protect our health and environment. They are even calling for federal regulations that would lead to higher levels of fire retardants in all furniture, bed clothing and pillows.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Receipe For Homemade Dog Treats

Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 medium eggs
1-1/2 cup water

1/4 natural crunchy peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

2-1/2 cups whole-wheat flour

3/4 cup unbleached flour

1 cup cornmeal

3/4 cup rolled oats

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix together the water, oil, eggs, peanut butter, and vanilla. In another bowl mix the dry ingredients. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Roll the dough into a ball and place it on a sheet of floured wax paper. Roll or pat the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch. Cut the dough with a cookie cutter (if you can find one shaped like a dog bone, great!) and place the biscuits on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the biscuits in the oven for one hour. Makes 1 to 2 dozen biscuits, depending on the size of your cookie cutter.

These are not for dogs with allergies to wheat or corn.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

"Meat First" Food, Not Really Meat First

In the 1980's, some dog food manufacturers heavily promoted the "meat first" position in the ingredient panel. The dog food manufacturers have continued letting you think that the food you buy has meat as the main ingredient. It is a game that food manufacturers play.

Ingredients are listed in order by weight. If two or more ingredients are used in the same amounts, the manufacturer can choose the order in which to list the ingredients. Also, dog food manufacturers divide up the grain ingredients into different types, such as: ground rice, rice flour, rice bran, rice gluten and rice hulls. The food really has more than twice as much grains than meat.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Treats Can Add Up Alot of Calories in a Day

We all love to treat our dogs. Sometimes we treat our dogs to reward them for doing what they are told, but most of the time we give them treats because we love the interaction with our dogs. Dogs show their happiness when we give them treats, and that gives us pleasure. The treats we give our dogs are often one of the highlights of the dog's daily life. But unless we give our dogs the right treats, we may be shortening their lives.

Treats are often a major source of calories. A large biscuit or green treat may have more than 100 calories. One extra biscuit a day can cause a dog to gain a pound a month or 12 pounds per year. The grain and gluten content of these foods can add considerably to the carbohydrate level of the diet, and the stress placed upon the digestion system. Avoid treats with artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, salt and sugar.

The size of the treat is not important to dogs, it's the interaction and play with their humans that is important. Therefore give tiny treats instead of large biscuits. Tiny treats can be Charlee Bear Dogs Treats or small biscuits from Old Mother Hubbard or small pieces of meat, bananas, cheese, lettuce, a blueberry, carrot or other fresh food.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Close-to-the-Ground Toxins Your Pet Needs to Avoid

Dogs and cats are low to the ground. Their noses are always at ground level, sniffing, tasting, eating, licking and drinking. They can find and consume human-made toxins which we often don't think about. Run-off water from farmland or suburban lawns may have high concentrations of toxins including pesticides and herbicides. These chemicals can be neurotoxic (poisonous to the nervous system, including the brain) and can cause cancer. This is not what you want your pet to drink.

Certain lawn chemicals and carpet cleaners are dangerous to dogs and cats. Our pets absorb some of the chemicals through their pads. Read the fine print on all labels of chemicals and cleaners.

Pressure-treated wood decks contain arsenic that may be absorbed by dogs through their pads. We do not know the long-term effects of dogs absorbing the arsenic through their pads. It is most important to prevent dogs from chewing on pressure treated wood decks and picnic tables.

Flame retardants (polybrominated diphenyl ether - PBDE) are used in products that range from kid's pajamas, carpets, fabrics (couches and curtains), pet beds, pet costumes, to computers. A flame retardant may be especially dangerous to fetuses. Products containing PBDE may release or outgas these chemicals. If your pet is pregnant, keep her away from products containing flame retardants. Be careful of the fabric used in the pen when the puppies are born.

Other toxins to watch out for include many plastic pet toys, bug bait, bug sprays, certain fertilizers, oil, snail bait, antifreeze, sidewalk and road salts, certain soaps, fabric and pot/pan coatings, burnt trash, flame retardants found in electrical appliances, building materials and household products and many more.

Some of the human-synthesized preservatives --ethoxyquin, BHA, BHT and others are known to be poisons. (Used in pet foods and treats).

The dangers from many toxins are cumulative; every exposure weakens your pet. We have to watch close to the ground for human-made toxins and help our pets avoid them.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Natural Remedy for Cushings Disease

Cushing's disease results from an excess of adrenal gland hormones. It is a common side-effect of drugs like Prednisone, which is often prescribed to treat dog arthritis, allergies and other ailments. Cushing's disease can also result from a benign tumor on one of the adrenal glands or the pituitary gland.

Symptoms of Cushing's disease include:

1. Increased thirst and appetite

2. Frequent urination

3. Loss of hair

4. Skin problems

5. Panting

6. High blood pressure

7. Increased susceptibility to infections

If left untreated, Cushing's disease can lead to even worse conditions like diabetes and heart problems.

Traditional treatments for dog Cushing's disease: If your dog's Cushing's disease was caused by a tumor, surgery might be an option. Only your vet can answer this question. If caused by a corticosteriod drugs such as Prednisone, it may be possible to wean your dog off these drugs. You should speak to your vet about this. Prednisone sometimes has side effects that are worse than the condition it was used to treat, and make your dog more susceptible to bacterial and viral infections.

There is a natural, herbal treatment: Supraglan.

Supraglan is highly effective in treating the symptoms of Cushing's disease. It helps normalize adrenal functioning and balance corticosteriod levels. No awful side effects, that usually prescription medications have. Ask your holistic vet for a recommendation.

For more information on Supraglan go to :