Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Non-Toxic Flea Collars for Cats and Dogs

It is summer and that is the time of year that fleas seem to be at their worst. Most flea and tick products on the market are harmful to your pets.

I have found a holistic doctor who sells a non-toxic flea and tick collar for dogs, puppies, cats and kittens called MediPatch.

For more information go to: http://www.holisticfamilyandpets.com/


Read my blog - March, 18, 2009

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Don't Give Corn Cobs to Your Dog

Many dogs love to chew on corn cobs -- most love the taste of the salt, butter and bits of corn. However, corn cobs can cause intestinal obstruction, a very serious (and potentially fatal) medical condition. Additionally, some dogs are allergic to corn and can suffer intestinal and other health effects from allergy, as well as the cob obstruction.

Please keep all cobs away from your dog, safely secured in the trash.

If you suspect your dog has eaten a cob, please call your vet, as soon as possible. The symptoms of intestinal obstruction may include: vomiting or dry heaves, diarrhea, painful abdomen or lethargy.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Personalized Frames For Your Pet Dog or Cat

I have a business of making handpainted frames. I have been selling my frames on Ebay for 10 years. You can see my frames by going to The Krazylady Store,


I can change the inscription, paint the frame the color of your choice and of course, personalize the frame with your pets name.

No Red Dye for Hummingbirds

Spring is here and summer is coming soon. I love to feed the birds in my backyard and I have a hummingbird feeder as well. I wrote a blog last year on July 8th about the dangers of using red food color in the hummingbird feeder. It is totally unnessesary to color the water red to attract the birds.

The Red Dye # 40 is made from coal tar and has been reported to cause tumors on the bills and liver of hummingbirds. The purchased nectar also contains preservatives that can harm the birds.

A simple recipe for your hummingbird feeder is to mix 1/2 cup sugar with 2 cups of water (or 1 part sugar to 4 parts water). Mix in a sauce pan and warm it until the sugar dissolves. Put in feeder when cool. Change once a week or more often if you see mold forming.

I use bottled water because I don't want the birds to have fluoride, chlorine, pharmaceutical drugs, lead and other contaminants that are in the tap water.

If Red Dye #40 is harmful to the birds, it is just as harmful to our kids and adults as well.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Keep Pets Safe on Easter Sunday

This Sunday is Easter and that means lots of Easter baskets and candy. Some of these items can be dangerous to your pets.

Easter grass can cause digestive blockages to cats and dogs. Chocolate is poisonous to dogs and candy and gum sweetened with Xylitol can be fatal to dogs. Plastic eggs can be chewed on by your dogs and can cause cuts and damage to the digestive system if swallowed.

Easter is a fun day, but please keep your pets safe.

Happy Easter from Buddy and me!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Shock Collars are Cruel

I recently watched an episode of America's Funniest Videos. One of the videos clips was of a man trying to program his dogs' shock collar. The man had the collar on himself and he was trying to adjust it, his dog barked and the collar shocked him and the man was in horrible pain. It wasn't very funny. It was disturbing to me because I thought of all the dogs that are subjected to that pain and shock every day.

Most dog experts agree that a combination of boundary setting, follow-up, and positive reinforcement work best when training young dogs. They also agree that negative reinforcement, such as hitting, spanking, or the use of electric shock collars, can have negative long term psychological, and sometimes physical effects on dogs.

According to the American Humane Society, shock collars are painful, cruel, and inhumane. Shock collars can be dangerous to pets, sometimes causing painful burns to a dog's skin. In England, there is a law under consideration that would ban shock collars.

I think that a requirement for the use of these collars should be that the owner needs to try it out first!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Flea shampoos, collars and drops are causing tens of thousands of animals to have reactions such as: burned skin, seizures, vomiting and all the side effects of being poisoned. Thousands of animals have died.
The shampoos, collars and drops are manufactured by Sergeants, Bio Spot and Hartz. The ingredients that are poisoning these pets are Pyrethrins and Pyrethroids.

Thousands of complaints still have not resulted in these products being pulled from the shelves. The poisoning of innocent pets continues. There were 36,472 reported incidents in 2009 and 27, 216 reported in 2010. Statistics show that only 1-10% of side effects are reported. That means the numbers killed or injured by these products is staggering.

To read about some victims of these products go to: http://www.hartzvictims.org/

To read my blog on Natural Solutions for fleas go to "Problem with fleas - Natural Solutions" July 27, 2008.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Irish Dogs - Happy St. Patrick's Day

There are nine breeds of dogs that are native of Ireland. Dogs of great size are believed to come to Ireland from Greece by 1500 BC. The first definite mention of the Irish Wolfhound occurred in Rome in 391 AD.

The nine breeds are: Irish Red and White Setter; Irish Red Setter; Irish Wolfhound; Kerry Beagle; Irish Water Spaniel; Glen of Imaal Terrier; Kerry Blue Terrier; Irish Terrier; and Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Dogs and Protein

There seems to be a lot of misinformation of protein in the diet of dogs. Dogs perform best on animal based products. A good source of information regarding dogs and protein is in the B-Naturals Newsletter, written by Lew Olson, PhD Natural Health. For more information on dogs and protein; concerns about protein and kidney problems; protein and senior dogs; protein and puppies, click on the web address to the newsletter you would like to read.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

What Causes Hip Dysplasia?

Hip Dysplasia is the term that describes a poorly formed hip joint. The veterinary profession generally regards hip dysplasia as a genetic problem, complicated by a variety of environmental influences. It is common among dogs. Along with genetics being passed down, it can skip a generation or two, other causes are improper nutrition, over use due to too much exercise and over vaccinations of young developing animals.

Dr. Pitcairn in his book "Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats" says part of the preventive program is to minimize the effects by using the smallest number of vaccines possible and using them as infrequently as you can. Puppies are usually over-vaccinated, which can cause a whole lot of health problems. A good preventative is to give lots of Vitamin C (ascorbic acid). The instructions are in his book of how much to give the pregnant female and then how much to give puppies to prevent the disease. He recommends giving older dogs that have hip dysplasia, 500 milligrams to two grams a day. Start out giving a small amount and build up to a higher amount and give in divided doses with breakfast and dinner.

I wrote 4 blogs about the dangers of vaccines, August 8, 9, 10, and 11th, 2008.
Holistic veterinarians use acupuncture with great success if started early. Supplements also have been successful, MSM, glucosamines, omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin C.

Friday, March 13, 2009

March is National Nutritional Month

I received the March newsletter from Only Natural Pet Store. I thought you would find it interesting. This month's newsletter has a lot of information regarding Food Safety, Pet Food Recalls and what ingredients should not be in your pets' food.

Their website has natural foods and supplements for sale and also has interesting articles, etc. You can also sign up to receive their free newsletter. For more information go to: http://www.onlynaturalpet.com/

For the link to this month's newsletter go to:

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Buddy! - How Old is My Dog in Human Years?

Buddy celebrated his 5th birthday yesterday. My granddaughter made sure that Buddy had a grand celebration with streamers (some draped on him!), balloons, presents and a dog food cake with candles. Buddy barks when we sing "Happy Birthday" and that blows out his candles, it's pretty funny. Buddy turned 5 years old which is 36 in human years.

Contrary to popular belief, one "dog year" does not equal seven human years. The veterinarians are using a different chart. How long a dog lives also varies with the breed of dog, and the size of breed. Small breeds tend to live longer and giant breeds have a life expectancy that is significantly shorter. While it is fun to know the relative age of your pet in human years, it can also help you understand your dog's behavior, his special needs as he gets older, and different nutritional requirements as he progresses through life. The chart shown is a fairly accurate measure of the relative age of the average dog when compared to humans.

Age of Pet -"Human Years"
1 year = 15 years
2 years = 24 years
3 years = 28 years
4 years = 32 years
5 years = 36 years
6 years = 40 years
7 years = 44 years
8 years = 48 years
9 years = 52 years
10 years = 56 years
11 years = 60 years
12 years = 64 years
13 years = 68 years
14 years = 72 years
15 years = 76 years
16 years = 80 years
17 years = 84 years
18 years = 88 years
19 years = 89 years
20 years = 93 years

Friday, February 27, 2009

Do Pets Go to Heaven?

I wrote a blog in October about pets going to Heaven (Do Pets Go to Heaven?, October 22, 2008). There is a website http://www.eternalanimals.com/, that has a lot of great information.
You can sign up for their monthly newsletter and you can ask for prayer for sick or lost animals. They even have stories about answered prayers. The site has many articles, stories and resources about animals.

Recommended books from Eternal Animals:

"Who Says Animals Go to Heaven?" - A collection of prominent Christian Leaders beliefs in life after death for animals.

"The Rainbow Bridge: Pet Loss is Heaven's Gate" - Pet loss support from a Christian perspective.

"There is Eternal Life for Animals" - Proves through Bible scripture that all animals go to Heaven.

"Animal Prayer Guide" - Prayers and blessings for your pet that you can use everyday.
All of these books can be purchased on their website.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Should a Dogs Nose Be Hot or Cold?

Many of us were taught that a dry, hot nose was a sure sign our dog was sick and that a wet, cool nose was a sign of health. In fact, your dog's nose may change from wet and cool, to dry and hot from one minute to the next in the course of the day, based on environment (temperature, humidity, etc.).

The most important gauge of illness is how your dog behaves. Does he have a good appetite, is he full of energy and wants to play?

If your dog acts sick and has a hot dry nose, check with your veterinarian.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Kindred Spirits - Healing Your Pets Naturally

Last night, I watched a video called Kindred Spirits, Healing Your Pets Naturally by Allen M. Schoen, DVM. The video had a lot of useful information for pet owners. The most important thing is to feed them a quality diet, that prevents most health problems. He give instructions about giving your pets a "body scan" that will alert you to problems when they first arise. It is worth watching. I rented it from Netflix.

Dr. Schoen has also written a book by the same name, "Kindred Spirits: Healing Your Pets Naturally".

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pregnant Woman Shouldn't Clean Kitty Litter

My daughter and her family have a cat, she is also pregnant with my third grandchild. Her husband is cleaning the kitty litter box and for good reason.

Pregnant women need to be aware that toxoplasmosis can cause problems with pregnancy, including abortion. Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. This parasite is carried by cats and is passed in their feces (stool). Our immune systems typically protect us from harm caused by toxoplasma, but this is not the case for a developing fetus. If a woman contracts toxoplasma while pregnant, the parasite can reach her developing baby. The baby's immune system is not able to defend against the parasite, and damage to the eyes, brain or even a miscarriage may occur.

Preventive measures will reduce the risk of toxoplasma infection.
1. If you own a cat, have a non-pregnant person change the litter box. If there is no one else to change the litter box, wear gloves and wash hands with soap and running water after changing the litter.
2. Change the litter every day. The risk of infection is reduced.
3. Keep cats indoors.
4. Don't feed your cat raw or undercooked meat.
5. Avoid adopting or handling stray cats.
6. Do not bring a new cat into your house that might have been an outdoor cat
or might have been fed raw meat.
7. Wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw meat and working in the garden.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Costco Dog Food (Kirkland) Causes Gas

My daughter's dog, Shasha was having horrible gas. She was feeding her dog Kirkland Lamb and Rice (from Costco) and the gas was disgusting. She switched to Kirkland Chicken and Rice and it was worse, so she switched back. Shasha finally stopped eating her food.

My daughter has taken Shasha off Kirkland and is now feeding her Natural Balance, grain free brand. The gas is gone and Shasha is eating again.

I did some research and found that a lot of dogs have gas on Kirkland Dog Food and also on Diamond Dog Food, who makes Kirkland. Something is in the food to cause such a reaction. It does contain some ingredients that are not good for your dog, like meat "meal", beet pulp, chicken fat and salt, to name a few.

So, if your dog has gas and you are feeding Kirkland, switch to a higher quality food and try a grain free brand and see if the gas goes away.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Why Do Dogs Dig?

Digging is instinctive behavior for a dog. Dogs may dig for any of the following reasons: they are bored; it's fun; they are hot; they are trying to escape; they are lonely; they have excess energy; or you have put fertilizers in the garden (nice smelling to your dog).

To stop the digging, try to find the reason.
Alleviate the boredom. If you leave your dog alone in the yard for long periods of time, provide him with something to do. Leave him with bones to chew or toys to play with. (Bones really need to be supervised and some toys also are dangerous.) It would be a good idea to exercise and play with your pet before leaving him. He probably would sleep instead of being destructive.
A lonely dog can be a digging dog. It's no fun being left alone most of the day. Dogs are pack animals and crave company. If you work long hours or are away from home a lot consider hiring a professional dog walker, a neighbor who would take him for walks or a doggy day care. Boredom sets in when dogs are in the back yard for hours on end. Bring him inside and let him be part of the family.
Your dog may be digging holes to keep cool. In hot weather many dogs will dig a cool hole to lie in. Ensure that your dog has a cool place to retreat to during the heat of the day or bring him inside. Make sure that he has plenty of water. Another idea is to supply him with a kiddie wading pool. Many dogs just love to splash and play in these and after cooling down will not have a need to dig a hole.
Dogs may dig under fences and gates in order to escape. They usually want to escape because they are bored and things look more interesting on the outside. If your dog is not spayed or neutered he/she may be trying to escape in order to mate. Spaying or neutering usually fixes this problem.
Let him have a designated digging area. Some breeds have a very strong instinct to dig. Perhaps there is one part of your yard that you will permit digging.
To stop dog re-digging existing holes. Use dog-poop! Place some of his poop in the hole. Lay chicken wire over the hole.
When Buddy was a puppy, I filled a soda can with pennies with the top tapped shut. When he started to dig, I shook the can, yelled NO, startling him. Don't let him see that you have the can. Buddy never dug in the back yard again.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Pet Dairies - Today, Dog Diary

My cousin sent me an email today called Pet Dairies. Today I will share "Dog Diary".


8:00am - Dog Food! My favorite thing!
9:30am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00pm - Dog biscuits! My favorite thing!
1:00pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00pm - Dinner! My favorite thing!
7:00pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Dangers of New or Self-Cleaning Ovens for Birds, Cats, Dogs and Humans

I turned on my new oven tonight and the smell was horrific. My granddaughter started coughing, I felt like I couldn't breathe and Buddy was sneezing. I turned the oven off and aired out the house and turned on all of my air purifiers.

I looked at the instruction book that came with the oven and there was nothing about toxic fumes for a new oven or warnings about using the self-cleaning function.

I looked online and found that the fumes from new ovens and when self-cleaning can put out toxic fumes that can kill your pet birds. The birds should be moved to another room and put a towel under the door to block out any fumes.

If these fumes are so toxic that they can kill a bird, they can be toxic to cats, dogs, children and adults, as well. I found out that the fumes cause flu-like symptoms (polymer fume fever) in humans.

It is the non-stick surfaces that contain polytetrafluoroethylene that are toxic. The oven needs to off-gas by heating full blast for 2 hours. The windows need to be opened up and keep pets, birds and humans outside.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Secondhand Smoke Dangerous to Pets

Secondhand smoke causes almost 50,000 deaths in adult nonsmokers in the United States each year, and there's a mountain of evidence that secondhand smoke can affect a pet's health as well.

Studies have linked smoke exposure to oral cancer and lymphoma in cats and nasal and lung cancer in dogs. Both dogs and cats can suffer from bronchial disease due to smoke.

A 2007 study found a link between secondhand smoke, lung cancer, eye, skin and heart problems in pet birds.

People are motivated to help their pets and so hopefully these smoking pet owners will not expose their pets or their families to secondhand smoke.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Natural Treatment for Ear Mites in Dogs and Cats

Ear mites are a tiny spider like parasitic mite that infect the ears of dogs and cats. They usually live in the ear canals but can live on other parts of the dog or cat's body. Ear mites are the most common cause of ear infections seen by vets. They are more commonly found in cats.

Some breeds of dogs are more prone to ear mite infections, especially dogs with long floppy ears. The ear mites thrive in the warm moist area where the air flow is restricted.

Ear mites feed on epidermal debris and ear wax. They burrow into the ear, causing inflammation which the body responds to by producing more wax.

Ear mites are terribly uncomfortable for your pet. Usually the first symptom you notice will be your pet is scratching his ears or shaking his head. His ears may be painful to touch and he may cry in pain when you touch them or while he is scratching them.

Inside the ear of an infected dog or cat you will see dark reddish brown or black debris (this is the discharge from the mites) throughout the ear canal which looks somewhat like coffee grounds.

Ear mite infections can be serious if left untreated resulting in damage to the ear canals and eardrums and leaving deformity of the ears and possible deafness. Secondary bacterial or yeast infections are also common so it is important to consult your veterinarian.

Dr. Pitcairn in his book "Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats", recommends: A mixture of 1/2 ounce of almond or olive oil and 400IU vitamin E (from a capsule) makes a mild healing treatment for either cats or dogs. Blend them in a dropper bottle and warm the mixture to body temperature by immersing it in hot water. Holding the ear flap up, put about 1/2 dropper-full in the ear. Massage the ear canal well so that you hear a fluid sound. After a minute of this, let the animal shake its head. Then gently clean out the opening (not deep into the ear) with cotton swabs to remove debris and excess oil. The oil mixture will smother many of the mites and start a healing process that will make the ear less hospitable for them. Apply the oil every other day for six days (3 treatments in total). Between treatments, cap the mixture tightly and store at room temperature. After the last oil treatment, let the ear rest for three more days.

Once the ears are cleaned out, one of the simplest ways to kill mites is with the herb Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus). You can purchase this herb in the form of a tincture. Dilute it, three drops herb to one teaspoon of pure water or nine drops to one tablespoon. Apply it in the same way as the oil, above. Treat the ears once every three days for three to four weeks. You may need to shampoo your pet because the mites hang out around the outside of the ears and head.

Ear mites are very contagious and can be passed on from dog to dog or cat to dog, etc. It is important to treat all of your pets at the same time.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Snail Bait Poisoning in Dogs

Snail bait is one of the most common causes of accidental poisonings in dogs. The toxic active ingredient found in most slug and snail baits is metaldehyde.

Snail bait usually comes in pellet form which your pet can find very attractive because it resembles dog kibble. The snail pellets are sometimes combined with molasses, apples and bran which is added to attract the slugs and snails. Unfortunately this also attracts your dog to them.

Snail bait is also available in liquid and granule form, however, if you use it in this form dogs may walk on it and later lick their paws. It is in your dog's best interest not to use snail bait around your yard.

A very small amount of snail bait is fatal for dogs. Approximately 1 teaspoon per 10 lb of bodyweight will cause death in fifty percent of ingestions.

Symptoms of snail bait poisoning occur quickly after ingestion. The most common symptom is twitching. Initial symptoms may include nervousness, apprehension, increased excited mood. Other symptoms include excessive drooling, muscle tremors, panting, fever, seizures, diarrhea, fast heart rate, respiratory failure, rigidity, and vomiting.

It is critical to get veterinary attention immediately if you suspect snail bail poisoning. Your dog could die within hours of ingestion. Get to the vet as soon as possible. Every minute counts.

Try to stay calm and before heading off to the emergency room remember to grab the packet containing the snail bait so your vet can check the active ingredients. If you dog has vomited at home it may also be useful to take the dog's vomit with you to the vet for testing.

There is no antidote for metaldehyde poisoning. Your vet will give supportive treatments by treating the symptoms.

There are pet safe snail killers and repellents. There is a product called Sluggo, which is said to be non toxic to pets.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Be Careful of Revolution

A relatively new "medication" for pets, is Revolution. It is a parasiticide, which is basically a poison that you apply to your pet's skin once a month. It is a treatment for a long list including: heartworm, fleas, ear mites, sarcoptic mange, ticks and cats from roundworms and hookworms, and other foreign invaders.

The problem is that the drug companies usually do not do long term studies about the safety of their products. You and your pets are basically the guinea pigs for new drugs.

I have a friend whose dog was put on this. Her dog was having a lot of side effects. I asked my friend if her dog had ear mites? mange? fleas? or lived in an area where there were ticks or mosquitos? She said no. Why was this poor puppy put on this medication? I told her, that her dog was basically being poisoned!

The side effects are: digestion problems, hair loss at the site of application, loss of appetite, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and muscle tremors. For humans, it can be irritating to the skin (how about the poor animals). Bathing or shampooing the pet will not reduce the effectiveness. Which means you can't get it off, once you put it on. It is not advisable to use on pets that are ill or underweight.

Revolution works by penetrating the skin and entering your pet's bloodstream!

I can't imagine what the long term effects will be from this medication, I hate to even think about it.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Are You Exposing Your Pet to Toxins Around Your Home?

I wrote a previous blog (October 2, 2008 "Close-to-the-ground toxins your pet needs to avoid."), but this subject is well worth repeating.

Think about all of the places your dog or cat walks around inside and outside of your home. Now consider some of the everyday products that you use -- household cleaners, garden products, and more. All of these products are such a part of our everyday lives, most pet parents don't think about how harmful they can be to your pets. In fact, many of these products go beyond just giving your pet a tummy ache if licked or eaten. They can pose a real health hazard to your furry friends.

Because our pets walk and play on the floors, and come in contact with just about everything in the house, they are constantly being exposed to dangerous toxins -- things like:
Wall/floor/toilet bowl cleaners, bleach, detergents, rust removers, metal polish, drain cleaners, ammonia, oven cleaners, furniture polish, floor wax.

Chemical fertilizers and pesticides are a major source of environmental toxins. A study at the School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, revealed that the exposure to lawns treated with herbicides four or more times a year doubled a dog's risk of canine lymphoma. And the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Assoc. reported that, when exposed to chemically treated lawns, some breeds of dogs were four to seven times more likely to suffer from bladder cancer.

Antifreeze is made with ethylene glycol. It has a sweet taste that animals love, but can be fatal in a dose as small as 1 teaspoon.

De-icing salts used to melt snow and ice on your walkways and driveway can irritate paws and can be poisonous if licked off. Wash and dry your pet's paws as soon as they come in from the outside. Boots help protect your pet's feet outdoors.

Carefully read the labels of housecleaning and garden products. Change to safe and environmentally friendly products that will help prevent your pet from getting sick --or worse.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

No Animals Were Harmed in Super Bowl Commercials

There were a variety of animals, including a rhinoceros, ostrich and water buffalo, sometimes in outrageous situations, in the commercials shown during the Super Bowl. The American Humane Association say that they have Certified Animal Safety Representatives that monitor the many commercials. The AHA ensures us that no animals were harmed. In fact, most TV networks will not air a commercial featuring animals unless it receives American Humane's sign-off letter stating that the production did not harm any animals.

The American Humane Association is strongly supporting the adoption message. Far too many healthy and treatable animals who could be adopted are euthanized because there are just not enough resources or loving homes for them. They are reminding people to adopt an animal from a shelter or rescue group --to save a life while enhancing your own with a new companion.

In today's economic climate, the need for adoptive homes is greater than ever. More and more animals are being abandoned in vacant houses - as people lose their homes to a foreclosure. American Humane responded to this situation by establishing a foreclosure pets grant to help shelters deal with this new flood of incoming pets. It's just one of the many ways they are working to protect animals and promote the human-animal bond.

To donate to the American Humane Association go to: www.americanhumaneassociation.com

Monday, February 2, 2009

Salmonella Recall Includes Some Pet Foods

Pet products are on the list of food recalled in connection with a nationwide salmonella outbreak that sickened more than 500 people and several deaths.

Dog products appear most frequently on the list of recalled pet products, ranging from puppy chow to rawhide bones. Most have been sold nationwide, and some could be in your pantry. The latest were four Carolina Prime dog treat products and rawhide dog chews made by Salix that contain peanut butter manufactured by the Peanut Corp. of America, which is being investigated for the salmonella outbreak. The Salix chews are sold at Target and Petsmart.

You can find the products on the recall list by visiting www.ocregister.com/pbrecall or www.fda.gov.

If your pup contracts salmonella, he's not the only one in danger, the FDA warns.
"Salmonella is an organism that can potentially be transferred to people handling these pet treats, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products," according to an FDA release.

Sick pets are often lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Some will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain.

Contact your vet if you think your pet might have eaten one of the products on the list. If you find one in your pantry, throw it away or return it for a refund or exchange, the FDA says.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Words of Wisdom From Cesar Millan

What your pet can teach you, by Cesar Millan. The most valuable lessons I've received have come from animals. Here are some of the ways dogs have helped me become a better, happier, and more-balanced human being.

Live in the moment. People often wonder how I get such quick results with the dogs I rehabilitate. The answer is simple: Dogs live in the moment. They don't regret the past or worry about the future. If we can learn to appreciate and focus on what's happening in the here and now, we'll experience a richness of living that other members of the animal kingdom enjoy.

Nurture a balanced life. I tell my clients to follow this simple rule with their dogs: Offer exercise, discipline, and affection every day. Do the same for yourself. We humans are happier if our routines include physical activity, a sense of structure, and the opportunity to give and receive love on a daily basis.

Learn to listen. Make the time to lend an ear to those you love or those who want to transform their lives. But don't try to fix their problems, and don't take their problems personally, either. A great leader is also a great follower and knows that everybody counts.

Don't hold grudges. There's a remarkable lack of conflict in dog packs. That's because members resolve the situation when disagreements arise, then move on. Imagine what our world would be like if we dealt with our conflicts before they escalated out of control. Holding onto negative feelings tends to make them multiply and prevent us from moving forward.

Celebrate every day. For a dog, every morning is Christmas morning. Every walk is the best walk, every meal is the best meal, every game is the best game. We can learn so much by observing the way our pets rejoice in life's simplest moments. Take time every day to celebrate the many gifts that are hidden in the ordinary events of your own life.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Animal Odd Couple

A friend emailed me this youtube video about a friendship between an elephant and a dog. Enjoy!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Get Rid of Allergens, Not Pets

Today in my local paper, there was a column written about a 10 year old boy with allergies. His family has cats and his doctor said to get rid of them. The writer responded about how tramatic it would be for the boy to lose his pets.

She had this advice to get rid of allergens in the house.
1. Have your house steam cleaned. This is a safe, chemical-free way of eliminating allergens that are already in your home.
2. Then, be diligent with vacuuming. This means carpet, furniture, all the corners of every room, walls, etc. You'll need to use the hand tools to get all the nooks and crannies. This is a big job if you haven't vacuumed this way before, but once you get past the first time, it will be much easier and quicker after that, especially if you vacuum on a daily basis.
3. Invest in a couple of high quality HEPA air purifiers. These devices work great and really do clean the air. You'll notice allergy relief almost immediately once these are up and running. Be sure to change the filters according to the directions.
4. Teach your children to wash their hands frequently, especially after playing with or petting your pets. A lot of kids rub their eyes without thinking. Make sure they keep their hands away from their face and eyes. This will take practice and frequent reminders.
5. Keep the pets out of their bedroom. This should be a pet free zone. Having one room in the house should remain allergen-free, especially the one they spend their sleeping hours.
6. Finally, the most important step involves the use of a product that is called Allerpet/c (cats) or Allerpet/d (dogs). All you need to do is to regularly comb your pet and then apply Allerpet/c or d. with a microfiber cloth directly to your pets' coat. The application process is fairly enjoyable for your pet. It's like a massage. You'll want to use strokes that go both with and against the direction of the fur growth. You only need to apply the Allerpet/c or d weekly. But you should comb or brush you pet daily.

This seems like a lot of work, but allergy sufferers who love their pets have developed systems that work for them, and these systems become fairly simple routines.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thought For The Day

"Acquiring a dog may be the only time a person gets to choose a relative." Unknown

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Obese Cats, Grains and Diabetes

I wrote in a previous blog about overweight cats, diabetes and the cause (The Diabetes Food Connection in Cats, Sept. 3. 2008). Cats are becoming obese and getting sick with diabetes at an alarming rate. The cause --- their food. Most cat foods are filled with grains, mostly corn. Cats are carnivores, they need meat as the main ingredient in their food, not grains.

I was visiting a friend the other day and her cat is very obese. She said she was very concerned about him. I asked to see the food she was feeding him. She brought out a bag of Meow Mix. I showed her the first ingredient --WHOLE YELLOW CORN. I told her that cats are not grain eaters and the corn is just turning to sugar, which turns to fat. I had her switch to a natural brand of food, Wellness, they have a grain-free food for cats. I have a picture of her cat now, (at 23 pounds !) and will give you an update in a month.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Important Information About Chew Toys

This information is from Frazer Hale, DVM, FAVD, DAVDC, of the American Veterinary Dental College: Just because pet stores sell chew toys, does not necessarily mean the objects are good for pets' teeth.
He recommends the following rule when evaluating the appropriateness of chew toys: If you would not want the chew toy thrown at your knee cap, you shouldn't allow your pet to chew on it. (Hard on your knees, hard on their teeth!)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Pet's Ten Commandments

I received this from a friend today in an email:

A Pet's Ten Commandments...

1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful.
2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.
3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.
4. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but I have only you.
5. Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me.
6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.
7. Before you hit me, remember that I could hurt you, and yet, I choose not to bite you.
8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.
9. Please take care of me when I grow old. You too, will grow old.
10. On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me please. Never say you can't bear to watch. Don't make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there, because I love you so.

Remember that they can't do a lot of things for themselves and that they depend on you to make their life a quality life!

Take a moment today to thank God for your pets. Enjoy and take good care of them. Life would be a much duller, less joyful experience without God's critters.

Now please pass this on to other pet owners. We do not have to wait for Heaven, to be surrounded by hope, love and joyfulness. It is here on earth and has four legs!

Friday, January 9, 2009

When Do Dogs Turn Grey?

I tried to do research about what age dogs turn grey. I found out that some can be as young as 1 years old and some don't turn grey until 9 or 10. Some breeds don't turn grey at all.

Buddy has alot of black fur on his face. I have noticed in the last year that it is sprinkled with white hair. He will turn 5 years old next month. I thought this was much too young to turn grey. Jake was probably 10 years old when he started turning grey.

What I have found out is that, dogs are like humans, some turn grey young and some turn grey when they are very old.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Pet Toys Can Be Dangerous

My last blog was about how much pets love new toys, but pet owners have to be very careful and cautious about what to buy.
There are no safety protocols in effect for pet toys. Most toys are made in China and some even contain lead. Pets can become sickened due to lead poisoning. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, difficulty walking, abdominal pain, tremors, blindness and even coma.

Some toys have small parts, robe or strings that can be swallowed by pets, but not passed in the stool. This can lead to intestinal blockages. Some of these pieces can actually perforate the intestines or the stomach, or leech toxic chemicals.

Cat owners need to be careful about bungee toys affixed to cat trees, cats have been strangled by the cord.
Dogs have choked to death on rawhide treats. Avoid rawhide toys.
Dogs have gotten their tongues sucked into rubber balls.

If you have a bird, you need to be especially careful. There are a lot of plastic bird toys. These are easily broken up by any sized bird and the sharp pieces can be swallowed. Avoid bird toys with bells as some of these are coated with zinc.

Supervise your pet when you give him a toy. Make sure the toy is size and species appropriate. Purchase products that come from trusted manufacturers and appear to be high quality. (I avoid anything made in China). Balls should have a number of air holes so that suction will not be created when a dog chews on them. Cat toys on strings/springs/elastic bungees should only be used when a cat is being supervised.

There just aren't the same safety measures taken for pets that there are for people. When in doubt, talk with your veterinarian. Most veterinarians have seen accidents that are toy-related and can give you some good tips on what to avoid.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Dogs Enjoy Presents for Christmas

This is a photo of Buddy with his new toys that he opened for Christmas. My granddaughter picked out a green fuzzy bone that squeaks. She wrapped it up and Buddy opened it on Christmas morning. I don't know who had more fun, she or Buddy.

Santa brought him a new ball, biscuits and some duck jerky in his stocking. Buddy gets very excited about his new toys. He knows that Christmas is a special day.

When I was a child, our family had a dog named Cindy. She was a shepherd mix. Cindy always had a new toy wrapped for her under the tree each Christmas. The wrapped toy would be put under the tree weeks before Christmas. She would proudly carry around the wrapped toy, but she knew not to open it. On Christmas morning, as we were opening our presents, Cindy knew it was OK to open hers. I can still remember how happy she was about her new toy. It is just one of many fond memories that I have of her. I haven't had a dog since that would carry around a wrapped toy and not want to open it.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Pets Get Scared of Noise

Christmas, New Year's Eve and the Fourth of July, are times for fireworks. Unfortunately, many dogs are lost when they become frightened of the noise, and escape from their yard or the house.

To prevent your dog escaping, make sure he's securely confined. Ideally, this means he's inside your house, either in a crate or locked in a room. It's unlikely he'll escape under these circumstances.

If he does need to stay outside, be sure your fence is in good condition. Have a sturdy collar on your dog, make sure it won't slip over his head. Have a current ID tag on his collar. Hopefully you won't need it, but take a good clear photograph of him, so it's easy to make posters and share his description online, if he should escape.

Buddy and I wish you a Happy New Year!