Nestlé Purina Petcare Company Voluntarily Recalls Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets El Elemental Dry Dog Food in the U.S. Due to Potentially Elevated Vitamin D

Nestlé Purina PetCare Company is voluntarily recalling select lots of Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EL Elemental (PPVD EL) prescription dry dog food due to potentially elevated levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for dogs; however, ingestion of elevated levels can lead to health issues depending on the level of vitamin D and the length of exposure. Vitamin D toxicity may include vomiting, loss of appetite, increased thirst, increased urination, and excessive drooling to renal (kidney) dysfunction.

Purina is taking this action after receiving two contacts about two separate confirmed cases of a dog exhibiting signs of vitamin D toxicity after consuming the diet, to date. Once taken off the diet, each of these dogs recovered.

The affected dry dog food was distributed throughout the United States by prescription only through veterinary clinics, Purina Vet Direct, Purina for Professionals, and other select retailers with the ability to validate a prescription.

Bags of PPVD EL with the UPC Code and Production Code below should be immediately discarded.

ProductUPC CodeProduction Code
(*First 8 characters equal to)
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EL Elemental (PPVD EL)
8 lb and 20 lb bags
38100 19190 – 8 lb
38100 19192 – 20 lb
2249 1082
2250 1082
2276 1082
2277 1082
2290 1082
2360 1082
2361 1082

Pet owners who purchased bags of the product listed above are asked to immediately stop feeding and throw it away in a container where no other animals, including wildlife, can get to it. If signs such as weight loss, excessive drooling, vomiting, loss of appetite or increased thirst or urination have occurred in their dog while eating this diet, pet owners should contact their veterinarian.

No other Purina pet care products are affected.

Veterinary and other retail partners should remove and destroy the affected product from their inventory.

We apologize to pet owners and veterinarians for any concerns or inconvenience this situation has caused. As pet experts and pet owners ourselves, the health and well-being of pets is our top priority.

Please contact our team directly Monday – Saturday, 8am – 5pm CST at 1-800-345-5678 or via email at https://www.purina.com/contact- usExternal Link Disclaimer for questions or assistance in getting a refund.

Company Contact Information

Consumers:Purina 1-800-345-5678

Product Photos

  • Product image, front label, Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EL Elemental Dry Dog Food
  • Product image, back label showing Production Codes and UPC, Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EL Elemental Dry Dog Food

Warning signs and treatment for Poodle Glaucoma

A standard poodle is a beautiful addition to your family. They are considered child-friendly and loyal companions. Whether you own a poodle or have the option of adopting the perfect pup into your home, researching medical history for inherited conditions is very important. Knowing what risk factors and symptoms to watch for in a disease like glaucoma is crucial to reducing the onset of symptoms. Remember that purebred dogs are more likely to suffer from diseases and other medical conditions. Therefore, being a responsible pet owner might look like investing in pet health insurance. This type of insurance will give you a security blanket to optimize medical procedures to reduce pain and damage.

To find out more about glaucoma in poodles, Breed Expert has a great article

Recent News Report on Mixed-Breed Dog DNA Tests

  From the WHOLE DOG JOURNAL by Nancy Kerns Published: March 9, 2023

On March 4, CBC News (Canada’s publicly owned news and information service) ran a television and online report about an investigation of four companies that offer dog DNA tests that purport to identify the breeds in mixed-breed dogs. Within a day, practically everyone I know was posting links to the online report with comments like, “I knew those tests were bunk!”

In the past 15-plus years that they’ve been available, I’ve been skeptical of the ability of these commercial testing products myself. However, I will say that, in my experience – and that of the CBC report – two companies in particular seem to provide results that are at least in the ballpark of possibility for the most common dog breeds found in North America. And one company seems to have a pretty good handle on identifying the origin of mixed breed dogs from other parts of the world. My response to the report, though, takes in a few details that many commenters seemed to miss.

The CBC sent DNA samples for four individuals to four different companies that offer mixed-breed dog DNA tests: Accu-Metrics, DNA My Dog, Embark, and Wisdom Panel. But they picked odd (in my opinion) candidates to use for the tests: A human, a purebred Great Dane, a mixed-breed dog from Turkey, and a mixed-breed dog from Kuwait.

As far as the human sample was concerned: I was pleased to learn that Embark and Wisdom Panel immediately sussed out that no dog DNA was present in the sample. And was not terrifically surprised when Accu-Metrics and DNA My Dog returned various dog-breed mixes in their results for the human sample. (Before seeing this report, I had never heard of Accu-Metrics before, and, a long time ago, received similarly incredible results of a test from DNA My Dog.)

The latter two companies also failed to accurately identify the purebred Great Dane. Results from DNA MY Dog suggested the dog was mostly Great Dane, but also 10% -25% Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Accu-Metrics returned the breed that the CBC suggested on its submission form that the dog most resembled: a Chihuahua! I don’t see any need to further discuss any results – or ever recommend the services from – either of those two companies.

Both Embark and Wisdom Panel correctly identified the Great Dane as 100% Great Dane.

Mixed-Breed Dogs from Other Continents

I so wish that CBC had used mixed-breed dogs from North America as their last two “test dogs,” because there are likely to be very few representatives of the most common purebreds dogs on other continents in Embark’s and Wisdom Panel’s databases. The most common (or likely) mixed-breed dogs on the streets in Turkey and Kuwait are not likely to be the breeds that are most common (or likely candidates) mixed-breed dogs found in Canada or the U.S.

Wisdom Panel identified the breed mix for the Turkish dog as Segugio Italiano, Chihuahua, Anatolian Shepherd, German Shepherd, and Estrela Mountain Dog. Without information as to how common those dog breeds are found in Turkey, it’s impossible to know how accurate this might be. To its credit, Embark identified the breed mix of the same dog as 100% West Asian Village Dog – meaning they were able to pinpoint the mixed-breed dog’s geographical origins. I’d call that a home run!

Similarly, Embark identified the dog from Kuwait as 100% Arabian Village Dog – again, at least accurately identifying the dog’s geographical place of origin. (Kuwait is also located in West Asia, but also at the northern edge of Eastern Arabia.) Wisdom Panel identified the dog as being a mix of American Pit Bull Terrier, Chihuahua, German Shepherd, Segugio Italiano, and Xoloitzcuintle.

Comparing Embark and Wisdom Panel, the two leaders

I’m a little dubious about the idea that these two foreign-born dogs could share three breeds in their Wisdom Panel results (Chihuahua, German Shepherd, Segugio Italiano), so I’m rather more impressed with Embark’s performance here. However, I’d want to compare the results from these two companies on more prosaic mixed breed dogs from this continent before dismissing Wisdom Panel altogether. In our past comparisons, using my two mixed-breed dogs Otto and Woody, the results were pretty darn close.

Otto’s DNA Test Results:

Recent News Report on Mixed-Breed Dog DNA Tests
Otto’s Embark DNA Test
Recent News Report on Mixed-Breed Dog DNA Tests
Otto’s Wisdom Panel DNA Test

Woody’s DNA Test Results:

Recent News Report on Mixed-Breed Dog DNA Tests
Woody’s Embark DNA Test
Recent News Report on Mixed-Breed Dog DNA Tests
Woody’s Wisdom Panel DNA Test

Back when I was still fostering Boone, my 1-year-old adolescent dog, I ordered a DNA test kit from Wisdom Panel, and these were the results:

Recent News Report on Mixed-Breed Dog DNA Tests

But I think I am going to go ahead and order a test kit from Embark, to compare these results. I have a feeling, based on the CBC report, that I might invest a little more confidence in Embark’s results, but I’ll let you know!

Nancy Kerns

Nancy Kerns has edited horse and dog magazines since graduating the San Francisco State University Journalism program in 1990. The founding editor of Whole Dog Journal in 1998, Nancy regularly attends cutting-edge dog-training conferences including those for the International Association of Animal Behavior ConsultantsPet Professional GuildAssociation of Professional Dog Trainers, and Clicker Expo. To stay on top of industry developments, she also attends pet industry trade shows such as Global Pet and SuperZoo, educational conferences of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association and Pet Food Industry’s Pet Food Forum. As a regular volunteer for her local animal shelter, the Northwest SPCA in Oroville, CA, she fosters large litters of puppies and helps train wayward adolescent dogs in order to increase their chances of adoption. Nancy shares her life with her husband and two canine alumni of the NWSPCA, mixed-breed Otto (whose adorably fuzzy visage was incorporated into WDJ’s masthead some years ago) and Pit/Lab-mix Woody. 

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March is Pet Poison Prevention Month

What to Do If Your Dog Eats Marijuana (Edibles, Weed, Vape Cartridges, etc.)

The amount and type of THC-containing product consumed will determine the seriousness of this event for your dog, and dictate the level of your emergency response.

By Jennifer Bailey, DVM for WHOLE DOG JOURNAL Published: January 15, 2023

Recreational marijuana has become legalized in 21 states and medical marijuana can be prescribed in 37 states. As marijuana becomes more widely available, people are looking for ways to partake of this drug without having to smoke it. This has created a market for marijuana “edibles,” also known as cannabis edibles.

Cannabis edibles are products that contain the psychoactive component of marijuana called delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). A variety of products are available as cannabis edibles, including gummies and other candies, mints, chocolates and chocolate bars, beverages, potato chips, and baked goods such as brownies and cookies. Unfortunately, many of these sweet or savory options are also attractive to our dogs. While we may have more self-control regarding how many edibles we consume at one time, dogs are more likely to ingest an entire package of any edibles they can reach because they taste delicious.

Symptoms of THC Ingestion in Dogs

Ingestion of small to moderate amounts of THC may cause the following signs in dogs: listlessness, incoordination when walking, falling over when standing, dilated pupils, slow heart rate, dribbling urine, and an exaggerated response to light, touch, and sound. Dogs who have ingested large amounts of THC may have slow breathing, low blood pressure, and may exhibit seizures or become comatose.

What to Do If Your Dog Ate a Cannabis Product

If you observe your dog ingesting cannabis edibles, take him to your veterinarian or the closest animal emergency or urgent care facility immediately. If the ingestion occurred within 30 minutes of arrival at the hospital and your dog is not showing clinical signs of THC ingestion, then the veterinary staff may induce vomiting.

If it has been more than 30 minutes since ingestion of the edible or your dog is showing signs of listlessness, then vomiting will likely not be induced. This is because THC has an anti-emetic effect; it can suppress vomiting. If your dog is already listless, causing your dog to vomit in this depressed state can lead to aspiration pneumonia.  Activated charcoal may be administered to absorb THC and minimize the effect it has on your dog’s body. If the edible contains chocolate or xylitol, then additional treatments may be necessary.

What If You Are Not Sure If Your Dog Ate a Cannabis Product?

If your dog is exhibiting signs of THC ingestion, but you did not witness or find evidence of this, have your dog evaluated by a veterinarian immediately. Be honest about what you have in the home, including any products containing THC, prescription sedatives, vape cartridges (including nicotine), and illicit drugs. Children, seniors, and roommates living in the home may not always be forthcoming about what they are storing in their bedrooms, so be firm yet gentle when inquiring about the presence of these products. The veterinary staff wants only to help your dog. They are not interested in contacting authorities about anything illegal in your home.

The clinical signs of THC ingestion look similar to the signs associated with ingestion of other sedatives, nicotine, and antifreeze. There is an antidote for antifreeze ingestion and without this intervention, this toxicity is always fatal. Your veterinarian may want to complete additional testing to rule out other causes for your dog’s clinical signs so that the appropriate treatment plan is initiated.

Although there is a urine test for THC available for use in people, this test is not always accurate in dogs. Dogs metabolize THC differently than people, so there is a high rate of false negatives with this test. However, a positive test for THC is almost always compatible with THC ingestion.

If ingestion of THC is suspected and the potential source has been identified, the veterinary team may contact animal poison control for further guidance regarding treatment. There are a number of variables that can alter how THC affects your dog. These variables include how much was ingested, your dog’s weight and concurrent medical conditions, any medications or supplements your dog may be taking, how the THC was infused into the product, and if the edible contains chocolate or xylitol.

Brownies, chocolates, and chocolate bars containing THC add another dimension to your dog’s toxicity: ingestion of theobromine and caffeine. Both of these are contained in chocolate and are toxic to your dog. Just like with THC, the type of chocolate (such as dark or milk chocolate), the amount ingested and the weight of your dog dictate the danger level and recommended treatment. (See “What to Do If Your Dog Eats Chocolate.”)

Gummies, mints, other THC edible candies and even baked goods may contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is toxic to dogs. Even tiny doses of xylitol are toxic to dogs, so it is important to know if any edibles your dog may have consumed contain xylitol.

Treatment for Cannabis Ingestion

Most mild cases of THC ingestion can be treated successfully at home by keeping your dog in a safe, quiet room where he cannot fall down the stairs or be exposed to excessive light or sound. Moderate cases of THC ingestion may require hospitalization with intravenous fluids, monitoring of heart rate and blood pressure, and medications to support the cardiovascular system and treat neurologic signs. Ingestion of high doses of THC will require hospitalization and may necessitate the administration of intralipids. Intralipids bind to THC so that it can be excreted safely from the body.

Ingested THC is fat soluble and is readily stored in body fat. Therefore, it can take anywhere from 12 to 36 hours for your dog’s clinical signs to resolve after ingesting a cannabis edible.

If you use cannabis products, store them  in a locked drawer or cabinet. Dogs are clever and some can open drawers and cabinets, but I have yet to meet one that can insert a key in a lock!

Dr. Jennifer Bailey is a 2012 graduate of the Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine. She is an emergency and urgent care veterinarian at an emergency and specialty practice in Syracuse, New York.

Stratford Care USA, Inc Recalls Omega 3 Supplements Due to Elevated Levels of Vitamin A

March 13, 2023 — Stratford Care USA, Inc is recalling multiple brands of Omega-3 supplements due to potentially elevated levels of vitamin A.

Vitamin A, while essential to a healthy diet, can cause health problems and Vitamin A toxicity if too much is ingested over a long period of time.

What’s Recalled?

Stratford Care USA, Inc Omega-3 supplements for cats and dogs. The white plastic container containing 60 soft gels has a marking on the bottom stating “lot 31133 EXP 04/13/23” and “lot 30837 EXP 10/26/22”.

Stratford Care USA, Inc is solely a distributor of supplements and the product in question was produced by a contract manufacturer and sold to Stratford Care USA, Inc.

The recalled product has been private labeled under various brand names, but you can identify it by using the labels and chart listed below.

Brand NameProduct NameUPC (If Applicable)
Orlando VetsOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
All Creatures Animal HospitalOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
All Veterinary Supply, INCOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
Jungle PetSkin+Coat Omega-3 Soft Gels85000395223
Animal Medical ClinicOmega V3 Softgels169682510808
Animal Medical Clinic Melbourne BeachOmega V3 Softgels 
Animal Care HospitalOmega-3 Fatty Acid Max Strength Soft GelsNA
Animal Medical CenterOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
Barnes Animal HospitalOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
Brentwood Animal HospitalOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
Cherokee Trail Veterinary HospitalOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
Clinton Animal HospitalOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
Clyde’s Animal ClinicOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
Coastal Animal ClinicOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
Columbia Hospital For AnimalsOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
Compassion Veterinary ClinicOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
Doc Ladue’sOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
Dogwood Veterinary HospitalOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
Doral Centre Animal HospitalOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
Eagles Landing Veterinary HospitalOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
Pet Health SolutionsOmega Caps814087005489
SPCA of North BrevardOmega-V3 Soft Gels 
LaVale Veterinary HospitalOmega-V3 Soft GelsNA
Twin MaplesOmega-V3 Soft GelsNA
University Animal HospitalOmega-V3 Soft GelsNA
Venice Pines Veterinary ClinicOmega-V3 Soft GelsNA
Lake Dow Animal HospitalOmega-V3 Soft GelsNA
MVH Mann Veterinary HospitalOmega-V3 Soft GelsNA
All Paws Animal Clinic Royal Palm BeachOmega-V3 Soft GelsNA
Bottle Tree Animal HospitalOmega-V3 Soft GelsNA
Brookwood Veterinary ClinicOmega-V3 Soft GelsNA
Cleveland Park Animal HospitalOmega-V3 Soft GelsNA
Crown Heights Animal HospitalOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
Eagle’s Landing Veterinary HospitalOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
LVH VeterinaryOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
Mt Orab Veterinary ClinicDr. Hayes’s Omega-V3 Soft GelsNA
Oak Tree Animal HospitalOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
Patterson Veterinary Hospital – MasonOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
Prospect Heights Animal HospitalOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
Smyth County Animal HospitalOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
Stateline Animal ClinicOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
The Pet Clinic of Urbana, LLCOmega-V3 SoftgelNA
Valdosta Animal HospitalOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
Viking Community Animal HospitalOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
Westbrook Animal HospitalOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
My Pet HospitalOmega-3 Soft GelsNA
North Shore Animal League AmericaOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
NPC Northgate Pet ClinicOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
Northwest Tennessee Veterinary ServicesOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
Pawstruck.comOmega-V3 Soft Gels850005963080
Perry Animal ClinicOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
Pleasant Plains Animal HospitalOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
Seiler Animal HospitalOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
Stratford Animal HealthOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
Summerfields Animal HospitalOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
SensoVet Animal Health WellnessAdvanced Omega-3 SoftgelNA
University Animal HospitalOmega-V3 Softgels\NA
Vet4BulldogV4B Bully Fish oil omega-3 EFA603981565911
Waggin’ Wheel Vet ClinicOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
Wellsboro Small Animal Hospital Veterinary Medical CenterOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
Wickham Road Animal HospitalOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA
Wilton Manors Animal HospitalOmega-V3 SoftgelsNA

No other Stratford USA, Inc products are impacted by this voluntary recall.

What Caused the Recall?

The recall has come after Stratford Care USA, Inc received a single Serious Adverse Event from a sole consumer whose dogs were exhibiting signs of vitamin A toxicity after consuming the product. This is the only Adverse Event to date.

Stratford Care USA, Inc is collaborating with the FDA and taking all necessary steps to remove all products with these lot numbers from the market.

What to do?

The FDA recommends that pet parents immediately stop feeding the affected product to their dogs and discard any remainder in a way that no wildlife or other animals can get to it.

It also recommends that veterinary and other retail partners should remove and discard the recalled product from their inventory.

Consumers are invited to reach out to Stratford Care USA, Inc with any questions or for refunds. You may call 877-498-2002, Monday-Friday, 9 am to 5 pm EST or via email at Adversevents@stratfordrx.com.

Customers who purchased this product directly from Stratford Care USA Inc, can receive a full refund by emailing their information to refunds@stratfordrx.com

Reporting Pet Food Problems

U.S. citizens can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to the FDA’s “Report a Pet Food Complaint” page.

Dog Parks


An excerpt from Turning Fierce Dogs Friendly by Kellie Snider

I’m going to take a detour into an area frequently associated with dog aggression just to get this out on the table. Earlier in the book, I told you about a pet owner whose dog began to behave aggressively toward other dogs soon after being attacked by two dogs in a dog park, and that the dog had become pushy and growly with other dogs on subsequently visits to the dog park. My response to this owner was, “Don’t ever take your dog to the dog park.” I wasn’t saying that no dog should ever go to any dog park. I was saying that this dog should never go to any dog park. He had such a bad experience there that each visit was painful for him and further convinced him that other dogs were dangerous. There was no way to perform aggression work inside the dog park, where the behavior of the other dogs was hit or miss. It wasn’t safe, and it was likely to make the dog’s behavior worse. Dog parks can be great fun, but they can also be dangerous and a place of high stress for dogs. You’ll often see dogs in dog parks who are overly excited and too poorly behaved to be there. The fact is, many dogs don’t really need to have dog friends. Some dogs really benefit from dog friends, but those dogs are usually not the ones that have aggression problems around other dogs.

Dogs need their owners to protect them from situations that are too overwhelming for them. The social life your dog has with you is the social life that is important to him. Taking him to dog parks isn’t always in his best interest. My advice is to only enter dog parks when there are just a few dogs (no more than three or four) and the owners are actively watching their dogs. If any of the dogs in the dog park is wearing shock collar or is being a bully, leash your dog and leave. If your dog is a bully, definitely leash your dog and leave! This happens. Once my own dog guarded a man he’d just met from the man’s own sixth-month-old Golden Retriever puppy! It was terribly embarrassing, and I gave a quick apology and left. That wasn’t behavior my dog needed to practice. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, although it may be momentarily embarrassing. Just apologize if needed, and leave.

To learn more about aggressive dog behavior, purchase Turning Fierce Dogs Friendly from Whole Dog Journal.

Consenting Cats Are Happier Cats

Cats must agree with how you choose to treat them.

By Marc Bekoff, Ph.D., and Steve Dale. for Phycology Today


  • Allowing cats to have their say supports their need for safety, security, and trust and enhances the bonds you form with each other.
  • It’s easier to get your cat to a veterinarian or get them to enjoy something else like being petted or playing when your cat agrees with you.
  • Consent underlies the development and maintenance of friendly relationships within and between species, and across a wide variety of activities.

The latest buzzword in the dog training world is referred to as consent training or cooperative care. Cats may benefit from this practice even more than dogs.1

Natalie Bond/Pexels

Source: Natalie Bond/Pexels

These are less productive approaches: “Just get it done.” “I’m the boss and you will do what I say when I say it.” However, the concept of consent training allows a companion animal to partake in decisions and make choices. This practice recognizes that these animals have agency, or are able to make choices about what they want to do. The dog or cat and their caretaker are partners—they both have to consent about something that is going to be done. For example, teach a cat that if you ask them to lift a paw before clipping their nails, in return they will receive a big payoff.

Getting your cat to the veterinarian

While dogs and humans benefit by feeling a sense of control, arguably this is true 10-fold in cats who are control freaks, to begin with. Think about it; being in control is synonymous with a sense of safety, which cats must have to feel secure. One reason cats like high vantage points is because they feel safe and in control of their world. And that’s one reason why cats are especially panicked at veterinary visits. They are suddenly kidnapped, forcibly removed from their safety zone, and whisked off to a place where they can sense the terror of others because of the pheromones that remain. They also are forcibly poked and prodded without their consent.

Imagine if you could merely ask a cat to simply hop into a carrier. There would be no chasing them all over the house to attempt to stuff a screaming cat into the carrier where a ladder to terror is then ascended with a car ride. By the time the exam begins, the cat may be struggling for dear life, actually thinking, “I am going to die.”

Rather than taking an unhappy, freaked-out cat to the veterinarian, carrier training can be conducted in a method consistent with consent. Here are some practical tips.

  • Leave the carrier out 24/7. If the cat was previously afraid of a carrier because of the negative association made with the veterinary visit, purchase a new carrier that looks different.
  • Randomly drop treats into the carrier so it becomes an automatic treat dispenser.
  • Once comfortable inside the carrier, begin to feed the cat in the carrier. Most cats may now hop inside, expecting a treat for doing so. Cats do train people—and now you comply.
  • Now, ask your cat to hop into the carrier on cue—and always offer high-value award for doing so.
  • Ask your cat to leap into the carrier, close it, and walk to another part of the house. Once there, open the carrier and feed. Good things happen after being inside the carrier.
  • Finally, teach the cat that car rides aren’t bad—before going to the vet, just drive around the block, and when returning home give them a meal. And when you do go to the veterinarian, go for a happy visit—no exam, only treats.

Of course, you can use force to get the job done, but we know there are deleterious psychological impacts, not to mention an erosion of trust.

Petting is okay as long as the cat consents

Another good example of how to use consent in cats is the issue of petting-induced over-stimulation. Some cats can be petted all day long, but others manage only a minute or two at a time before lashing out. Several reasons may help to explain why some cats barely have any petting patience. For some, it actually may begin to feel uncomfortable when touched for too long. The same goes for dogs, some of whom like to be petted or hugged, and others who don’t.

For cats who typically allow only a minute or two of petting, stop petting after around 30 seconds. Quit while you’re ahead, leaving the cat to decide, “I want more.” If so the cat asks to be petted more, offer only a few seconds, continuing to leave the cat wanting still more. At some point, the cat will likely say, “Okay, that’s enough.” You can increase the time you spend petting your cat while still allowing the cat to maintain control.

Likewise, if you want to play with your cat, be sure your cat tells you it’s okay. Catsdogs, and other animals clearly express their intentions and have to consent for fair play to continue; it’s best to be sure they want to play with you.

All of this is consistent with the Fear Free initiative, which is designed to minimize fearanxiety, and stress.2

The ubiquity of consent

Consent underlies the development and maintenance of friendly and happy relationships within and between many species, including animal-human relationships, and across a wide variety of activities. When you want a cat or other animal to do something, why force the issue when you don’t need to? The most significant explanation given by cat parents whose cat doesn’t like to go to the veterinarian is transit. Getting them into a carrier and the way cats respond in the clinic also are deterrents. Obviously, being able to see a veterinarian regularly benefits the welfare of our cats. Petting a cat who likes to be petted can be good for them and for us. A consenting cat is a happier cat.

Giving cats control by granting them agency and asking for their consent supports their need for safety, security, and trust, makes them happier, and enhances the social bonds you form with each other.


1) This essay was co-authored by Steve Dale, a Certified Animal Behavior Consultant (CABC) who hosts several pet radio shows and has contributed to and authored several books.

2) For more details about how to make cats happy, see Dr. Zazie Todd’s Purr: The Science of Making Your Cat Happy.

Dog Crate Anxiety

5 things to do if your dog suffers from dog crate anxiety


By  Pat Miller, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA Published:October 17, 2011Updated:March 24, 2020

dog crate anxiety

Properly used, the dog crate is a marvelous training and management tool. Improperly used, it can be a disaster. Overcrating, traumatic, or stimulating experiences while crated, improper introduction to the crate, and isolation or separation anxieties are the primary causes of crating disasters. If, for whatever reason, your dog is not a fan of the artificial den you’ve provided for him, and assuming he can’t be trusted home alone uncrated, here are some things you can do regarding his dog crate anxiety:

1. Find confinement alternatives

Every time your crate-hating dog has a bad experience in a crate, it increases his stress and anxiety and makes it harder to modify his crate aversion. Your dog may tolerate an exercise pen, a chain-link kennel set up in your garage, or even a room of his own. A recent Peaceable Paws client whose dog was injuring herself in the crate due to isolation anxiety found her dog did just fine when confined to the bedroom when she had to be left alone.

2. Utilize doggy daycare

Many dogs who have dog crate high anxiety are delighted to spend the day at the home of a friend, neighbor, or relative who is home when you are not, or at a good doggie daycare facility – assuming your dog does well in the company of other dogs. This is not a good option for dogs with true separation anxiety, as they will be no happier with someone else when they are separated from you than they are in a crate.

3. Teach him to love his crate.

Utilize a combination of counter-conditioning (changing his association with the crate from negative to positive) and operant conditioning/shaping (positively reinforcing him for gradually moving closer to, and eventually into, the crate) to convince him to go into his crate voluntarily. Then, very gradually, work your way up to closing the door with your dog inside, and eventually moving longer and longer distances away from your crated dog for longer and longer periods of time. (See “Dog Crating Difficulties,” WDJ May 2005). Note: If your dog has a separation/anxiety issue, you must address and modify that behavior before crate-training will work.

4. Identify and remove aversives.

Figure out why your dog has dog crate high anxiety. If he was crate-trained at one time and then decided he didn’t like it, what changed? Perhaps you were overcrating, and he was forced to soil his den, and that was very stressful for him.

Maybe there are environmental aversives; is it too warm or too cold in his crate? Is there a draft blowing on him? Is it set near something that might expose him to an aversive sound, like the washing machine, buzzer on a clothes dryer, or an alarm of some kind? Perhaps his crate is near the door, and he becomes overstimulated when someone knocks, or rings the doorbell, or when mail and packages are delivered. Is someone threatening him when he’s crated – another dog, perhaps? Or a child who bangs on the top, front, or sides of the crate? Maybe he’s been angrily punished by someone who throws him into the crate and yells at him – or worse. All the remedial crate training in the world won’t help if the aversive thing is still happening. You have to make the bad stuff stop.

If he’s a victim of generalized anxiety or separation anxiety and the crate aversion is part of a larger syndrome, or his stress about crating is extreme, you may want to explore the use of behavior modification drugs with your behavior knowledgeable veterinarian, or a veterinary behaviorist, to help reduce stress enough that he can learn to love his crate. Note – if your vet is not behavior knowledgeable, tell her that many veterinary behaviorists will do free phone consults with other veterinarians.

5. Take him with you.

Of course you can’t take him with you all the time, but whenever you can, it decreases the number of times you have to use another alternative. Some workplaces allow employees to bring their dogs to work with them; you don’t know until you ask. Of course you will never take him somewhere that he’d be left in a car, unattended, for an extended period of time, or at all, if the weather is even close to being dangerous. A surprising number of businesses allow well-behaved dogs to accompany their owners; if it doesn’t say “No Dogs” on the door, give it a try! Your dog will thank you.

Pat Miller, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA

WDJ’s Training Editor Pat Miller, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, grew up in a family that was blessed with lots of animal companions: dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, goats, and more, and has maintained that model ever since. She spent the first 20 years of her professional life working at the Marin Humane Society in Marin County, California, for most of that time as a humane officer and director of operations. She continually studied the art and science of dog training and behavior during that time, and in 1996, left MHS to start her own training and behavior business, Peaceable Paws. Pat has earned a number of titles from various training organizations, including Certified Behavior Consultant Canine-Knowledge Assessed (CBCC-KA) and Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA). She also founded Peaceable Paws Academies for teaching and credentialing dog training and behavior professionals, who can earn “Pat Miller Certified Trainer” certifications. She and her husband Paul and an ever-changing number of dogs, horses, and other animal companions live on their 80-acre farm in Fairplay, Maryland.

Purina Recalls Pro Plan Vet Diet Product Due to Elevated Levels of Vitamin D

from www.dogfoodadvisor.com

February 8, 2023 — Nestlé Purina PetCare Company is recalling a limited amount of Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EL Elemental (PPVD EL) prescription dry dog food due to potentially elevated levels of vitamin D.
Vitamin D, while essential to a healthy diet, can cause health problems if ingested in too high an amount for too long.
What’s Recalled?
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EL Elemental (PPVD EL) 8lb and 20lb bags. You can identify the recalled product by using the UPC and production codes in the image below.
This is a prescription-only product.

No other Purina products are impacted by this voluntary recall.

What Caused the Recall?
The recall has come after Purina was contacted about two separate confirmed cases (to date) of dogs exhibiting signs of vitamin D toxicity. Each had been on the diet but recovered once taken off.

Company Statement
According to the company (abridged statement):

Nestlé Purina PetCare Company is voluntarily recalling select lots of Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EL Elemental (PPVD EL) prescription dry dog food due to potentially elevated levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for dogs; however, ingestion of elevated levels can lead to health issues depending on the level of vitamin D and the length of exposure. Vitamin D toxicity may include vomiting, loss of appetite, increased thirst, increased urination, and excessive drooling to renal (kidney) dysfunction.

Purina is taking this action after receiving two contacts about two separate confirmed cases of a dog exhibiting signs of vitamin D toxicity after consuming the diet, to date. Once taken off the diet, each of these dogs recovered.

The affected dry dog food was distributed throughout the United States by prescription only through veterinary clinics, Purina Vet Direct, Purina for Professionals, and other select retailers with the ability to validate a prescription.

We apologize to pet owners and veterinarians for any concerns or inconvenience this situation has caused. As pet experts and pet owners ourselves, the health and well-being of pets is our top priority.

Read the complete announcement here.

What to Do?
Purina recommends that pet parents immediately stop feeding the affected product to their dogs and discard any remaining food in a way that no wildlife or other animals can get to it.

It also recommends consulting your veterinarian if your dog has eaten the product and is showing symptoms such as weight loss, excessive drooling, vomiting, loss of appetite or increased thirst or urination.

Consumers are invited to reach out to Purina with any questions or for refunds. You may call 1-800-345-5678, Monday-Saturday, 8 am to 5 pm CST or via email at https://www.purina.com/contact-us.

Reporting Pet Food Problems
U.S. citizens can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to the FDA’s “Report a Pet Food Complaint” page.

Canadians can report any health or safety incidents related to the use of this product by filling out the Consumer Product Incident Report Form.

Get Lifesaving Recall Alerts
Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Dog Food Advisor’s emergency recall warning system. Sign up at www.dogfoodadvisor.com

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