Another Great WalMart Find

On the same day I found the Grandma’s Casserole, I decide to look up another dog food that had peaked my interest that is kept in a colder.  Freshpet Selects slice and serve.  Looking at the package makes one think this would be a very helpful dog food, but as we all know packaging can be very deceiving, otherwise I would be feeding my dogs Beneful  with all the pictures of vegetables and fresh meat on the package.

However when I did my research on Freshpet Select I was very pleasantly surprised as it gets a five star rating! And you can buy it in most grocery stores!!

This product comes in a roll, I take it and stuff my dogs Kong’s and that is how I now serve them there dinner.  Not only do the dogs love this new twist at dinner time, it takes them a while to eat it, so I get a few min to unwind or in most cases fix my two legged family their dinner.

We give Freshpet Selects Four Paws Up!   Let us know if your dog likes it as much as ours.

New Year’s Resolutions for You & Your Pet

As the year comes to an end, we tend to instinctively think about the improvements we can make in our lives and how we can be better in the year to come. This New Year I propose to not only consider yourself, but your pet as well. I have put together this guide on how to keep your dog or cat healthy, happy and safe in 2013.
Trips to the Vet
At minimum you should take your pet to the vet once a year for an annual exam. Vaccines that are needed can be given at this time and any necessary blood work can be taken. Younger animals, older animals, or those with medical conditions may need more frequent visits. For example, the majority of your dog’s vaccines will be given in the first few years of life, meaning more vet trips during the puppy years. Consult with your veterinarian about vaccine schedules and routine visits to make sure you stay on track in the upcoming year.
Diet & Exercise
Most of us are guilty of looking at the New Year as the perfect starting point for a diet or exercise regimen. Why not take this opportunity to help your pet get fit in 2013 by making healthy changes to their diet and incorporating more fitness into their days.
The easiest way to improve your dog or cat’s diet is by doing some simple research on the pet food and treats you feed them. Are the ingredients wholesome and nutritious or is your pet food muddled with chemicals and preservatives? (My recent series What is Your Pet Eating? can offer more insight on this topic.)
As important as diet is exercise. All pets, young to old, need some form of physical activity. How much depends on his or her breed, age, size, and health condition, but every pet can benefit from a little bit every day. Walking, swimming, jogging, and playing games are just a few of the ways to get your pet moving. Swimming is the lowest impact activity, which means it’s safe for almost everyone, even those with limited mobility.
You would be surprised at how many things in your home and around your property can be hazardous to your pet. (I’m sure a few of you have discovered this season that your pet has a palette for Christmas tree ornaments…) Save yourself and your pet from a horrible ordeal by taking similar precautions that you would with a small child. Below you’ll find a few easy tips:
• Baby safety gates are excellent in blocking off dangerous areas of your home (or shielding your Christmas tree, for example).
• Cable clips can help compile wires or place them in discreet places where your animal won’t be tempted to investigate them.
• Outdoor floor lighting (or simply carrying a flashlight) can help illuminate areas when you take your pet out after dark. This will help you avoid an unexpected visit from a poisonous frog or friendly snake.

At the end of the day you know your pet better than anyone and are aware of which parts of his or her life could most benefit from improvement. I hope these tips aid in you making 2013 the best year for you and your pet. Happy New Year

I’ve got a beef with chicken jerky

I’ve got a beef with chicken jerky
This summer more shocking news flooded in that seemingly innocent dog treats were causing more harm than happiness. Complaints surfaced from pet owners with reason to believe their pets died shortly after eating certain brands of chicken jerky. These new cases added to over two thousand illnesses and deaths that had previously been reported.
So what’s the jury on this jerky? Speculations have been made about the treats’ origin. The product in question, Nestle Purina’s Waggin’ Train Yam Good, is made in China despite misleading packaging that reads, “Waggin’ Train of St Louis Missouri.”
An April investigation by the FDA, which attempted to produce samples from plants in China, was less than successful. No samples were permitted to be released for U.S. testing and it was also discovered by investigators that the number of previous routine tests that were conducted on the meat in question ranged from few to none.
But this news is far from new. The first warning about chicken jerky was released back in 2007. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a caution to pet owners in regard to chicken jerky products imported from China. That warning has since been updated in late 2011 and can be reviewed here. However, no proof has yet to be established that these sicknesses and deaths are directly related to the consumption of chicken jerky from China, which is why the treats can still be found on shelves.
Aside from the fact that the U.S. permits pet food to be irradiated at almost twice the limit considered safe for human consumption, this particular case is more likely related to the meat and other specific ingredients that are found in the chicken jerky.
Since the product has yet to be recalled it up to you to protect your pets. We recommended avoiding chicken jerky until further information is provided explaining the exact cause of these unnatural deaths. Many safe alternatives are available, as well as more natural options.
Check back next week for more information on this issue as well as recommendations on some of our most loved dog treats.

Plants Poisonous to Dogs

With spring here many of us are spending more time outside, and our dogs are outside with us.  If you have just gotten a protect you dog from poisonous plantsnew dog or puppy, or maybe  moved into a new home, take a look around for thing that  could be dangerous.

Some things you might want to look at are the plant life in your yard, especially if you have a puppy or young dog that loves to bite and chew.

Below is an article written by Jenna Stegowski, RVT

Many types of plants and flowers can be poisonous to your dog. Effects range from mild to severe depending on the type of plant and the quantity consumed. Some plants will only cause slight stomach upset, while others can cause seizures, coma or even death. Learn about the plants in your yard and neighborhood that are dangerous and be sure your dog does not have access to them. Ideally, toxic plants on your own property should be removed. Houseplants are a bit easier to control – simply do not keep toxic plants inside your home and you have removed the risk. If you are planning to get new plants or flowers, research them ahead of time to learn whether or not they are toxic.

Find out what plants and flowers may be poisonous to dogs with the following list of common toxic plants and flowers. Please note that this is not a complete list. If you have a particular plant in mind for your home or yard, you should thoroughly research it first. If you suspect your pet has come into contact with a potential toxin, please contact your vet or animal poison control immediately.

Plants Poisonous to Dogs

Aloe Aloe vera vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, depression, tremors, change in urine color
Amaryllis Amaryllis sp. vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, depression, abdominal pain, excessive salivation, tremors
Apple and Crabapple Malus sylvestrus seeds, stems and leaves can result in red mucous membranes, dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, panting and shock
Autumn Crocus/Meadow Saffron Colchicum autumnale oral irritation, bloody vomiting, diarrhea, shock, organ damage, bone marrow suppression
Azalea/Rhododendron Rhododendron spp. vomiting, diarrhea, excessive salivation, weakness, coma, death
Calla Lily/Trumpet Lily/Arum Lily Zantedeschia aethiopica oral irritation and pain, excessive salivation, vomiting, difficulty swallowing
Castor Bean/Castor Oil Plant Ricinus communis oral irritation and burning, increased thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, kidney failure, convulsions; Note: beans are highly toxic
Chrysanthemum/Mum/Daisy Chrysanthemum spp. vomiting, diarrhea, excessive salivation, loss of coordination, dermatitis
Cyclamen Cyclamen spp. excessive salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, heart arrhythmias, seizures, death
Daffodil/Narcissus Narcissus spp. vomiting, salvation, diarrhea, convulsions, low blood pressure, tremors, heart arrhythmias
Dumbcane Dieffenbachia oral irritation and burning, excessive salivation, vomiting, difficulty swallowing
Elephant Ears Caladium hortulanum and Colocasia esculenta oral irritation and burning, excessive salivation, vomiting, difficulty swallowing
English Ivy Hedera helix vomiting, abdominal pain, excessive salivation, diarrhea
Foxglove Digitalis purpurea heart arrhythmias, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, death
Hosta Hosta plataginea vomiting, diarrhea, depression
Hyacinth Hyacinthus orientalis vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors
Hydrangea Hydrangea arborescens vomiting, diarrhea, depression
Iris Iris species excessive salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy
Lily of the Valley Convallaria majalis vomiting, irregular heart beat, low blood pressure, disorientation, coma, seizures
Marijuana/Hashish Cannabis sativa depression, vomiting, loss of coordination, excessive salivation, dilated pupils, low blood pressure, low body temperature, seizure, coma
Mistletoe/American Mistletoe Phoradendron flavescens gastrointestinal complications, cardiovascular collapse, difficulty breathing, slow heart rate, behavior changes, vomiting, diarrhea
Oleander Nerium oleander vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination, shallow/difficult breathing, muscle tremors, collapse, cardiac failure
Peace Lily Spathiphyllum oral irritation and burning, excessive salivation, vomiting, difficulty swallowing
Philodendron Philodendron spp oral irritation and burning, excessive salivation, vomiting, difficulty swallowing
Pothos/Devil’s Ivy Epipremnum aureum oral irritation and burning, excessive salivation, vomiting, difficulty swallowing
Sago Palm Cycas revoluta, zamia species vomiting, black (tarry) stools, jaundice, increased thirst, bruising, blood clotting problems, liver damage, death
Schefflera Schefflera oral irritation and burning, excessive salivation, vomiting, difficulty swallowing
Tobacco Nicotiana glauca hyperexcitability then depression, vomiting, loss of coordination, paralysis
Tulip Tulipa species vomiting, depression, diarrhea, excessive salivation
Yew/Japanese Yew Taxus sp. sudden death from acute cardiac failure (early signs include muscular tremors, difficulty breathing, seizures


In case of toxin exposure, keep a list of important phone numbers in a visible, easily accessible location. Be sure pet sitters and other people who might be in your home are aware of the location of the list. The following phone numbers should be included:

  1. Your primary veterinarian
  2. One or more nearby 24-hour veterinary emergency clinics
  3. ASPCA Poison Control: (888) 426-4435 ($50 fee)
  4. Animal Poison Hotline: 888-232-8870 ($35 fee)
  5. Pet Poison Hotline: 800-213-6680 ($35 fee)
  6. An emergency contact number for you and your dog’s co-owner (if applicable).

Older Dogs and Their Diets

Our pets are living much longer than they did 30 years ago. There are many factors that contribute to this, such as betterRelaxation time with your senior dog veterinary care, the fact that most of our animals are now inside and the fact that we know so much more than we used to about their nutrition.

The number one fact is that our pets have moved from the backyard into our living rooms. They are now such an intricate part of our lives; we take them to the park, we play with them while we watch TV and we see the changes that happen as they are aging and want to keep them comfortable and happy.

Dogs and cats are no longer animals that live outside to keep away pests and vermin. They are now truly members of our families and become even more so as our two-legged children grow up and go away to college. As we see our pets starting to age, we are concerned. We want to keep them active and part of our lives. One of the ways we can do Senior cats need special attentionthis is by better nutrition. As we age, our nutritional needs change and our dogs are no different. Each dog is different as well and we as dog owners have to make decisions about their diet. So where do we go, as pet parents, to get the information that we need to make sure our dog’s needs are being met? There are so many differences between breeds: small breeds, large breeds and giant breeds. There also differences between each dog. How do we, as pet parents, adjust their food and nutrition needs?

The first thing you should do is answer a couple of questions:

  • How active is your dog? Just like people, each dog is different. Some dogs will become lazy or inactive as early as three or four years old while other dogs will remain active past 10 years, so you have to look at your dog to make that decision. Is he or she high, medium or low activity?
  • Is your dog experiencing any discomfort? I have a dog that is 15 years old, I would still rate her as medium activity. However when she first gets up and starts to move you can see the stiffness in her back legs. She doesn’t have the strength that she used to have in her hind quarters, but she can walk 3 miles if the terrain is flat. I exercise her more often, but not as long.
  • Is your dog overweight? As they age, many dogs develop a weight problem, just as many people do. Take a good look at your dog; is she on the pudgy side? Are you willing to increase her exercise or do you need to adjust her diet to help take care of some of those pounds? Be honest with yourself, if you’re not willing to increase the exercise, then you must cut the number of the calories. A note of warning here: so many of the foods that are considered lite on calories actually cut nutrients and use fillers that are high carb. I would rather see you use vegetables to increase the bulk but keep the nutrients still on a high level. One more note on vegetables, if you are using canned vegetables make sure you are using low sodium vegetables.
  • Is he or she showing any other problems of aging? Incontinence, pain, loss of hearing, loss of eyesight and irritability may or may not be able to be controlled with nutrition, but the first thing to remember is to provide a dog the best food that you can afford. Do not trust the labels alone, food manufacturers have learned to disguise labels when the food is really not as good as they would like you to think. I hate to say this but also do not rely on your veterinarian. Though your vet is a wonderful resource for many things, you need to do your own homework on nutrition. After you have done your own research, have a conversation with your veterinarian and see if he or she has a problem with what foods you have decided on.
  • Keep it simple. Natural additives can sometimes be the best. There are many drugs that can help with arthritis but there are also natural additives that you could use such as fish oil, flaxseed oil and fresh salmon. If you keep to natural ingredients you don’t have as many worry to the side effects.
  • Think outside the box. Again, you don’t always have to put your dog on a chemical medication to relieve arthritis pain. Look into acupuncture, massage, and exercise. In my mind medication should be the last thing that you turn to in keeping your pet pain free.

These questions are really good idea at any stage of your dog’s life, not just seniors. Whenever you realize that your dog is going into another stage of life these are just a few basic questions you need to go back to review. A couple of other things that you need to take into consideration are how much time you want to take preparing food and exercising your dog.

With the Internet there is an endless source of really good information on nutrition for your pet whether it be a dog or cat. However as you search the Internet for information there is one thing I’d like to warn you about. You need to look out for who is sponsoring each website. One of the red flags that I look for is if there are food manufacturing companies sponsoring the website. I always look for a website that does not accept advertisements from the manufacturers. Just don’t get taken in by a flashy website a lot of propaganda. Some of the large manufacturers have wonderful commercials that would lead you to think that they love your pet as much as you do, but after you do your research you may find that where they buy their products would give you nightmares.

As your pet ages you will need to make adjustments to his food depending on how your individual dog is doing. Be very careful if your dog is overweight and you’re looking to get a lite dog food. Many of the well-respected manufacturers of dog food have introduced specialized dog foods, like foods for seniors or for overweight pets, and a lot of these foods are lacking in the nutrients that any dog needs for a healthy life. Do your homework; it takes a lot of time but is well worth it. We want to keep our pets with us for as many years as we can and we want them to be healthy and an active part of our overweight puglives. Please remember I am not a veterinarian or an animal nutritionist; you have to do your own homework and then team up with your veterinarian to make the right choices for your pet.

Stay healthy, and have fun.