Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

FDA Notice – Bravo Packing, Inc. Expanded Recall

Thursday, March 18th, 2021

Label – PERFORMANCE DOG, FOR ANIMAL CONSUMPTION ONLY, Ingredient Statement & Guaranteed Analysis, BRAVOS

 

Bravo Packing, Inc. of Carneys Point, NJ is expanding the previously announced voluntary recall of two pet food products to now include all pet food and bones in all package sizes. During an FDA inspection, samples collected tested positive for Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes and resulted in a recall due to the potential health risks to humans and pets.  Bravo Packing, Inc. is expanding the recall due to potential cross contamination. (Full list of products CLICK HERE)

Pet Loss Bereavement Specialist Certification Course Available

Tuesday, January 21st, 2020
Pet Loss Partners has some exciting news.
They are offering an online Pet Loss Bereavement Specialist Certification Course in response to the many inquiries from people interested in the area of pet loss.
Their goal is to design a course that would give not only information about grief and pet loss but also specific and useable tools for helping grieving pet parents.

2019 Holiday Pet Shopping Report

Monday, December 2nd, 2019

California’s New Pet Medication Compliance Law

Thursday, July 25th, 2019

What California’s New Pet Medication Compliance Law Means for Your Practice

Christmas Tree Pet Safety

Saturday, December 8th, 2018

Stress-Free Holidays with Pets

Sunday, November 25th, 2018

By Kim Campbell Thornton for www.fearfreehappyhomes.com

Dangling ornaments. Rich food. Brightly blooming plants. Parties. No matter what your species—human, canine or feline—there’s a lot to love about the holidays. But in the wrong hands, er, paws, those same things can cause everything from a bellyache to a bite to a trip to the emergency room. Here are three ways to avoid common mistakes that turn holidays from happy to horrible.

Room To Chill

Some dogs and cats love the comings and goings of the holidays—visitors, parties, package deliveries—but others would just as soon not have their routine disrupted, their heads patted by strangers, or the doorbell ringing constantly to signal the arrival of cards and presents.

Whether you have a social butterfly who enjoys greeting guests or an introvert who lies low during any hustle and bustle, provide pets with a sanctuary room where they can relax if things become overwhelming. Stock it with a Snuffle Mat strewn with puffed rice or O-shaped cereal, a Kong stuffed with goodies, and some interactive toys.

If your dog or cat becomes overstimulated by the presence of non-family members or large numbers of people, it’s okay to not invite him to the party, especially if stress and anxiety could cause him to deliver a bite or scratch.

Set up his sanctuary room as far from the festivities as possible. Dampen sounds by turning on a white-noise machine or playing an audiobook (try Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” read by Tim Curry) or classical Christmas music. Plug in a pheromone diffuser to fill the air with calming chemicals that mimic the soothing natural pheromones emitted by mother dogs and cats.

Train Guests

We tend to think of our pets as the ones who need training, but human guests may be more in need of it. Not everyone is pet-savvy. Alert arrivals to house rules regarding pets: don’t let them run out the door, always close the gate fully, don’t leave food or drink within reach, don’t offer food from the table, or whatever other standards apply in your home.

Guests who are completely unfamiliar with dogs or cats may be uncomfortable around them or unsure of how to interact with them. Show them how your pet likes to be touched—or let them know if she doesn’t—advise them not to stare, remind them to watch where they step, and alert them to foods that are toxic to pets, such as chocolate, grapes, cooked bones, or anything containing the sugar substitute xylitol. Be sure they know that rich, fatty foods such as gravy and stuffing can be a recipe for life-threatening pancreatitis.

Ask if wrapped gifts contain food. Put food gifts you don’t want your pet to “unwrap” behind closed doors, not under the tree.

Talking Plants

Place holiday greenery out of reach or decorate with artificial plants. At best, pets nibble on live décor and then throw up, usually in the middle of your tree-trimming party. At worst, plants such as mistletoe, holly, lilies, and amaryllis can cause mild to severe vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, difficulty breathing, and even death if a pet eats their berries, leaves, or bulbs. Mistletoe is especially toxic and can kill within hours.

Tie down the tree. To protect it from being knocked over by playful dogs or climbing kittens, use fishing line to anchor the tree to the ceiling or wall. You may also want to surround the tree with an exercise pen or other barrier to prevent pets from chewing electrical cords. To further discourage chewing, encase cords in sturdy cable covers. Avoid decorating with tinsel or ribbon, which can be damaging or even deadly to pets if swallowed.

Safety matters, but an equally important way to keep holidays happy and pet-friendly is to maintain a normal schedule as much as possible, especially when it comes to mealtimes, walks, and playtime. You may be busy, but your pet isn’t. Spend a few minutes one-on-one with her every day. She’ll appreciate the attention, and you’ll benefit from the downtime as well.

This article was reviewed/edited by board-certified veterinary behaviorist Dr. Kenneth Martin and/or veterinary technician specialist in behavior Debbie Martin, LVT.

Bat Found on Corner of S. Country Hills Road and S. Mohler Dr. in Anaheim Tests Positive for Rabies 

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018
COURTESY–Orange County Animal Care and Orange County Health Care Agency
 
(Santa Ana, CA) – A bat found was found on the corner of S. Country Hills Road and S. Mohler Dr. in Anaheim, California on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at approximately 7:15 p.m. and has since tested positive for rabies.
 
Anyone who may have had physical contact with this bat or saw someone else having contact with the bat is asked to call the OC Health Care Agency (HCA) Epidemiology team at (714) 834-8180 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or (714) 834-7792 after hours to determine the risk for rabies.
 
The rabies virus is found in an animal’s saliva and is transmitted to people by a bite from a rabid animal. Although very rare, contamination of the eyes, mouth or an open wound by the saliva of a rabid animal can also transmit rabies. Most cases of human rabies in the United States in recent years have resulted from bat strains of rabies; bats have very small teeth, and their bites may go unnoticed.
 
Once a person begins showing signs and symptoms of rabies, the disease is nearly always fatal. For that reason, preventive treatment to stop the rabies virus from causing illness is given to anyone who may have been exposed to rabies. Medical assistance should be obtained promptly after an exposure so any wound can be cleaned and preventive treatment can be started. This treatment is safe and effective.
 
HCA and OC Animal Care recommend the following actions to minimize the risk of rabies:
 
Avoid all contact with wild animals.
Vaccinate all cats and dogs against rabies.
Do not sleep with open unscreened windows or doors.
If bats are seen inside the house or other structure, close off the area and contact animal control. Once the bat(s) have been removed, close off any areas allowing entrance into the house.
Do not leave pet food outside where it will attract wild animals.
Immediately wash all animal bites with soap and water, being sure to flush the wound well, then contact your doctor.
Report all animal bites to OC Animal Care.
Report stray animals to OC Animal Care.
 
Potential exposure to a bat or other wild animal should be reported to HCA Epidemiology at (714) 834-8180. 
To report a bat in your home, an animal bite, or a stray animal, contact OC Animal Care at (714) 935-6848. 
More information about rabies is available at the Centers for Disease Control website at www.cdc.gov/rabies

Lawsuit filed against Champion Pet Food – Acana and Orijen

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

Consumers in Minnesota, California and Florida are suing Champion Pet Food for “False Advertising”, violations of “feed law”, and numerous other charges. The lawsuit includes results of heavy metal testing and includes results that this dry dog food contains BPA – a chemical typically not associated with dry/kibble pet foods.

This is a Class Action lawsuit – currently representing consumers in Minnesota, California and Florida. The consumers are suing Champion Pet Food “for their negligent, reckless, and/or intentional practice of misrepresenting and failing to fully disclose the presence of heavy metals and toxins in their pet food sold throughout the United States. Plaintiffs seek both injunctive and monetary relief on behalf of the proposed Classes (defined below), including requiring full disclosure of all such substances in its marketing, advertising, and labeling and restoring monies to the members of the proposed Classes.”

The lawsuit claims Champion pet foods (Acana and Orijen) “contain levels of arsenic, mercury, lead, cadmium” “known to pose health risks to humans and animals, including dogs” and interestingly for a kibble pet food…the lawsuit claims the dry pet food contained “BISPHENOL A (“BPA”)”.

The lawsuit provided this chart of lab result findings in Acana and Orijen pet foods:

With the heavy metal results provided, the levels found in the Champion Pet Food appear be be below that what authorities recognize as a ‘Maximum Tolerable Level of Minerals in Feed’.

As example: the National Research Council (NRC) publication Mineral Tolerances for Animals 2005 are the guidelines that FDA enforces. Within this publication (which is a pay for publication, not free public access) the NRC provides a chart listing the maximum tolerable level for multiple species. Dogs and cats are not listed within the NRC chart. The closest species provided in the NRC publication is rodents.

For rodents, the maximum tolerable level of arsenic is: 30 mg/kg.

The highest level of arsenic found in the Acana and Orijen dog foods was 3256.40 mcg/kg (microgram per kilogram). Converting micrograms to milligrams, the highest level or arsenic found in Acana and Orijen dog foods was 3.2564 mg. Well below the NRC maximum tolerable level for rodents and we can assume dogs and cats.

That said, much of the NRC consulted science their maximum tolerable levels are established on were based on short term research. There was/is little consideration to cats and dogs that consume pet food with higher levels of heavy metals over a lifetime. The NRC Mineral Tolerances 2005 publication found that dogs fed “2.3 and 4.6 mg per day per kilogram of body weight” for only 183 days experienced “decreased weight gain and food intake”; 183 days is not a fair consideration to base pet health on when exposure could be years.

Lawyers will have to argue out the heavy metal content health risks cited in the lawsuit.

But what about the BPA found in the Champion pet foods…kibble pet foods? Most pet food consumers understand that canned pet foods could contain BPA…but not dry/kibble pet foods.

The lawsuit states “Defendants market the Contaminated Dog Foods as “Biologically Appropriate,” using “Fresh Regional Ingredients” comprised of 100 percent meat, poultry, fish, and/or vegetables, both on the products’ packaging and on Defendants’ websites. Moreover, Defendants devote significant web and packaging space to the marketing of their DogStar® Kitchens, which they tell consumers “are the most advanced pet food kitchens on earth, with standards that rival the human food processing industry.”

Where did the BPA come from if ‘fresh regional ingredients’ are used and processed in ‘the most advanced pet food kitchens on earth’?

How much BPA was found in Champion Pet Foods as compared to canned pet food?

In 2002 a study – Determination of bisphenol A in canned pet foods – found BPA levels in dog foods tested from “11 to 206 ng/g”.

Nanogram per gram (ng/g) results stated in this study is the same as microgram to kilogram (ug/kg) stated in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit cites testing of Orijen and Acana BPA levels from zero to 102.70 ug/kg. Not quite as high as results of canned pet food, but significantly high for what a kibble pet food would be expected to contain.

It will be very interesting to follow this lawsuit, to learn of future updates/arguments from both sides. As more is learned, it will be shared.

To read the full lawsuit, Click Here.

To contact the law firm, Click Here.

 

Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,

Susan Thixton
Pet Food Safety Advocate
Author Buyer Beware, Co-Author Dinner PAWsible
TruthaboutPetFood.com
Association for Truth in Pet Food

When Supervising Dogs and Kids Doesn’t Work

Monday, August 28th, 2017

From a Blog by Robin Bennett

https://www.robinkbennett.com/2013/08/19/why-supervising-dogs-and-kids-doesnt-work/

It’s sound advice given frequently:  Supervise your dogs and kids while they are together. Breeders warn parents, “Don’t leave the dog alone with children, no matter how friendly the breed.” Veterinarians advise, “Never leave a dog and a child in the same room together.” Dog trainers explain, “All dogs can bite so supervise your dog when you have children over.”  Everyone knows the drill.  So why doesn’t it work?  Why are there an estimated 800,000 Americans seeking medical attention for dog bites each year, with over half of these injuries to children ages 5-9?

Note the good intentions of the kids.
Note the closed mouth and half-moon eye of the dog.
Intervene.

The bites are not a result of negligent parents leaving Fido to care for the baby while mom does household chores, oblivious to the needs of her children.  In fact, I’ve consulted on hundreds of dog bite cases and 95% of the time the parent was standing within 3 feet of the child watching both child and dog when the child was bitten. Parents are supervising. The problem is not lack of supervision. The problem is no one has taught parents what they should be watching.

Parents generally have not received any education on what constitutes good dog body language and what constitutes an emergency between the dog and the child.  Parents generally have no understanding of the predictable series of canine body cues that would indicate a dog might bite.  And complicating matters further, most parents get confused by the good intentions of the child and fail to see when a dog is exhibiting signs of stress. The good new is all of this is easy to learn! We can all get better at this.

Here is a simple list to help you improve your supervision skills:

  • Watch for loose canine body language. Good dog body language is loose, relaxed, and wiggly.  Look for curves in your dog’s body when he is around a child.  Stiffening and freezing in a dog are not good. If you see your dog tighten his body, or if he moves from panting to holding his breath (he stops panting), you should intervene.  These are early signs that your dog is not comfortable.
  • Watch for inappropriate human behavior. Intervene if your child climbs on or attempts to ride your dog. Intervene if your child pulls the ears, yanks the tail, lifts the jowls or otherwise pokes and prods the dog. Don’t marvel that your dog has the patience of Job if he is willing to tolerate these antics. And please don’t videotape it for YouTube! Be thankful your dog has good bite inhibition and intervene before it’s too late.
  • Watch for these three really easy to see stress signals in your dog.  All of them indicate you should intervene and separate the child and dog:
    • Yawning outside the context of waking up
    • Half-moon eye – this means you can see the whites on the outer edges of your dog’s eyes.
    • Lip licking outside the context of eating food
  • Watch for avoidance behaviors. If your dog moves away from a child, intervene to prevent the child from following the dog.  A dog that chooses to move away is making a great choice.  He’s saying, “I don’t really want to be bothered, so I’ll go away.”  However, when you fail to support his great choice and allow your child to continue to follow him, it’s likely the dog’s next choice will be, “Since I can’t get away, I’ll growl or snap at this kid to get the child to move away.”  Please don’t cause your dog to make that choice.
  • Listen for growling. I can’t believe how many times I’ve heard parents say, “Oh, he growled all the time but we never thought he would bite.”  Dog behavior, including aggression, is on a continuum. For dogs, growling is an early warning sign of aggression. Heed it.  If growling doesn’t work, the dog may escalate to snapping or biting. Growling is a clue that you should intervene between the dog and the child.

To pet owners, particularly those who also have children, thank you for supervising your dog! As a dog trainer and mother of two, I know that juggling kids and dogs is no easy feat.  It takes patience, understanding, and a great deal of supervision. I hope these tips will help you get better at supervising.

How Dogs Help People Get Along Better

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

From the Greater Good Science Center, UC Berkley

By Jill Suttie | March 6, 2017 |

A new study suggests that when dogs are around, groups are closer, more cooperative, and more trusting.

My dog, Casey, is one of my favorite beings on the planet. Not only is he extremely cute, his presence calms me, makes me happy, and helps me to meet new people…especially when I take a walk with him.

My husband and I often joke that if everyone had a dog like Casey, there simply wouldn’t be any wars—the assumption being that everyone would just get along if he were around. Now, a new study suggests that we might be onto something.

Casey the dogCasey the dog

Researchers at Central Michigan University gave small groups tasks to do with or without a companion dog in the room. In the first experiment, groups generated a 15-second ad and slogan for a fictional project—a task requiring cooperation. In the second experiment, groups played a modified version of the prisoner’s dilemma game, in which individual members decide whether to cooperate with one another or to look out only for themselves. All of these interactions were videotaped.

Afterwards, participants reported on how satisfied they felt with the group and how much they trusted group members. In addition, independent raters analyzed the video recordings, looking for displays of cooperation, verbal and physical signs of bonding or closeness, and expressions of vulnerability that indicated trust.

Regardless of the task, groups with a dog showed more verbal and physical signs of closeness than groups without a dog. Also, raters observed more signs of cooperation during the first task, and group members reported that they trusted each other more during the second task, if a dog was in the room.

These results suggest that there is something about the presence of a dog that increases kind and helpful behavior in groups.

“When people work in teams, the presence of a dog seems to act as a social lubricant,” says lead author Steve Colarelli. “Dogs seem to be beneficial to the social interactions of teams.”

Why would that be? Could it be that dogs make us feel good, which then impacts our social behavior?

To test that idea, the researchers asked independent raters to watch 40-second videos of the groups edited from the first study—with the sound off and no evidence of the dog in the room—and to note how often they saw indicators of positive emotions (like enthusiasm, energy, and attentiveness). The raters noticed many more good feelings in groups with a companion dog in the room than in groups with no dog, lending some support for their theory.

Although the dogs didn’t seem to impact performance on the group tasks during this short experiment, Colarelli believes that the observed social and emotional benefits could have impacts on group performance over time.

“In a situation where people are working together for a long period of time, and how well the team gets along—do they speak together, have rapport, act cooperatively, help one another—could influence the outcome of the team, then I suspect a dog would have a positive impact,” he says.

Of course, not everyone likes dogs, and some people may even be allergic. Colarelli says that we shouldn’t just start bringing dogs into every workplace—there would be a lot of factors to consider.

But his work adds to a body of research that suggests that dogs impact social interactions and personal well-being. Past studies have shown that people accompanied by dogs tend to elicit more helpful responses from others and that dogs in the workplace can reduce stress. Though most of this kind of research has been done on individuals or pairs, Colarelli’s study shows the positive impacts of dogs may extend to groups.

While the study is relatively preliminary, Colarelli believes that his results tie into another area of research finding positive effects when people are exposed to natural elements—which he thinks could include dogs and other animals—on wellness in the workplace.

Perhaps it’s time I consider letting Casey come to our next staff meeting…for everyone’s sake.