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Dog Jerky Suspect in Multiple Dog Illness and Death

Pet owners in eight states are filing a class action lawsuit against Nestle Purina , saying that two of their brands of chicken jerky for dogs  have caused their pets to become ill with nausea, vomiting or kidney failure. The product, manufactured in China, includes Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch, brands produced by Nestle Purina. Another product, Milo’s Kitchen Home-style Dog Treats, produced by the Del Monte Corp, has also been reported as suspect by pet owners but is not included in the lawsuit.  The class action lawsuit is expanded to include almost all pet owners who have purchased dog treat products containing chicken made by Nestle Purina in the past 4 years.

Over 1,000 pets have been reported as affected by these products, all manufactured in China. While the FDA has conducted repeated tests in the manufacturing facilities, they have failed to turn up unsafe levels of any chemicals they say could cause the illnesses. This includes tests for melamine and melamine derivatives which were culprit to thousands of dog deaths in 2007. While stores selling the products, such as Wal-Mart and Target could voluntarily remove the product from their shelves,  and Purina could stop distributing the product, pet owners are frustrated that no action thus far has stopped sales.

This information was taken from an article published on For a link to the full article, click here.

You May Soon be Able to Have Your Dog With You at the Hospital!

ABC Good Morning America reported today that several hospitals around the country have expanded their dog therapy programs. They now allow some patients’ dogs to stop by for a visit. Advocates say that the visits can improve a patient’s moods, pain and comfort level.

One such program was initiated at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston four years ago. For children who must have extended stays, a social worker or child life specialist can speak with the doctor and the doctor can then approve the visit. At Children’s Hospital in Texas, the national organization PAWS (Pets are Wonderful Support) coordinates the visit. A representative from PAWS works with the family to ensure the vaccines are up to date and the dog has a bath just prior to visiting.  The family meets the PAWS volunteer at the hospital entrance to make sure the dog’s behavior is appropriate for the visit.

Methodist Hospital System, also in Houston pioneered the program almost a decade ago. Tricia Lewis, nursing director, says that in the history of the program at her hospital there have been no bad incidents. “No bites, no infections.”

To see the complete article from ABC NEWS, click here.


Dogs Now Allowed in Some Hospitals

German police phasing out German Shepherds

Whenever I hear somebody mention police dogs, I usually picture German Shepherds. Apparently I might need to start picturing a different breed of dog. In one of the German states, the police are starting to replace the German Shepherd in their force.

German Shepherd Image

The following excerpt is from an article written by Kirsten Grieshaber for the Associated Press. It was last updated on August 24, 2011 at 10:39 PM:

Guenther Bonke, in charge of police dogs in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that “while the German Shepherd is definitely not stupid, it often does not have the potential we need.”

Click here to read the full article.

What to do when your pets become parents

While nobody expects their unaltered dog or cat to become pregnant, it happens more often than it should. What would you do if you are surprised with a litter? This article offers some good suggestions for help with finding homes for your pet’s babies.

The following excerpt is from an article written by Erika Enigk for the GateHouse News Service. It was last updated on February 11, 2011 at 4:28 PM:

Puppies and kittens are wonderful additions to the family, but pet owners who find out their animal is expecting a litter may go into panic mode without a plan.

Barb Peterson of Duluth, Minn., breeder of soft-coated wheaten terriers and cardigan welsh corgis, offers these tips for when you find out you’ll soon have grandpuppies or grandkitties.

Click here to read the full article.

Pets come first for 14 percent of paramours

What would you do if you were faced between choosing between your beloved human or your beloved pet? It would be awful to have to make that type of decision; so I hope nobody has to face this choice! As much as I love my pets, I would not be one of the 14 percent.

The following excerpt is from an article that was published on page A7 of the Wednesday, February 2, 2011 edition of The Columbia Daily Tribune:

Your sweetheart or your pet. Whom would you choose to dump if one had to go?

Most current pet owners said they would hold on to their spouse or significant other (84 percent), but a sizable 14 percent picked their pet, according to an poll.

Click here to read the full article.

Your Dog Ate..What?

While scooping yards, I have seen evidence of strange things that dogs have eaten. Some our clients’ dogs have eaten crayons, stuffing from toys, plastic food containers, and even ribbons and wrapping paper.

The following excerpt is from an article written by Amanda Hauck, DVM for the Mount Vernon Patch. It was last updated on Jan 30, 2011:

Most pet owners aren’t too concerned when their pets gobble down some grass, try to eat a bone or even grab the wrapper from a candy bar. But, when their tastes turn to gravel and rocks or even plastic toys, you might have a serious problem!

Every year, a leading veterinary trade magazine has a contest reviewing the weird things pets across the country have eaten. And, every year, thousands of veterinarians submit their x-rays wondering if their patient will win the grand prize honor of having swallowed the most unusual object!

Click here to read the full article.

Smart dog learns more than 1,000 words

I have known that dogs can be very smart; but I was very surprised to hear about this dog! I had no idea that dogs were capable of learning that many words. Apparently they can even learn the difference between nouns and verbs too!

As a kid, I always wished my dog could talk. He always seemed to be a good listener though. Now I wonder how many words he really understood. The dog I have now knows some words too…her favorite ones are “dogfood” followed by “outside” and “walk.”

The following excerpt is from an article written by Kerry Sheridan, AFP for Mother Nature Network. It was last updated on 3:21PM EST on Jan 7, 2011:

Chaser learned the names for 1,022 toys, so many that her human handlers had to write on them in marker so they wouldn’t forget.

She just might be the smartest pooch ever.

A border collie has learned more than 1,000 words, showing U.S. researchers that her memory is not only better than theirs, but that she understands quite a bit about how language works.

Click here to read the full article.

Dogs are ‘smarter than cats’

Don’t let your cat read this article! I made sure my cat was outside while I worked on this post. Maybe I should have put my dog outside too? She will probably tell the cat all about it. My cat will probably claim that the study was biased and unscientific. All kidding aside, I thought this was an interesting article to read.

The following excerpt is from an article written by Peter Hutchison for The Telegraph. It was last updated on 7:00PM GMT on Nov 22, 2010:

Dogs are cleverer than cats because their friendly character has helped them develop bigger brains, a study set to end the argument between pet lovers has shown. The intelligence of “a man’s best friend” has evolved at a greater rate than the less social cat over millions of years, scientists at Oxford University have claimed.

Click here to read the full article.

Pet Corner: Keeping Warm

When I was a kid growing up in North Dakota, I lost one of my cats to the cold. My dad had been meaning to get around to putting up a heat lamp for the cats; but unfortunately he delayed one day too long. Winter cold can can be very dangerous for pets; so I thought this article with tips for keeping pets safe in the colder weather would be good to share.

I wish I had discovered this article before we had the recent snowy weather in the Seattle area around Thanksgiving. According to some reports, we’re still supposed to have colder winter this year; so it may still come in handy!

The following excerpt is from an article written by Melissa Bonnel for the Pleasanton Patch. It was last updated on November 12, 2010:

With the weather cooling down and winter fast approaching, we must take certain precautions to keep our pets warm, healthy and happy. Of course, keeping your pet inside is the safest option, but aside from this, there are other steps we can take to help our furry friends.

Click here to read the full article.

Holiday entertaining harbors perils for pets

Since we are into the holiday season now, I thought it would be good to share the following article. It offers some tips for helping keep our pets safe over the holdidays. It covers a variety of topics including food, plants, lighting, decorations, and parties.

The following excerpt is from an article written by Michelle Chan for the McClatchy-Tribune News Service on the website. It was last updated on November 21, 2010 at 1:00AM EST:

It’s the holiday season, and when it’s cold out, nothing is quite as nice as cuddling up next to your family pet. No one is nicer (or warmer) this time of the year.

Follow these tips for a safe and enjoyable holiday season with your pet.

Find the Perfect Dog for Your Family’s Lifestyle

Are you thinking about getting a dog for your family? Different dog breeds have different temperaments; so it’s important to pick a breed that matches your family lifestyle. Some dog breeds are more active than others. Some dog breeds are better for families with children.
The following excerpt is from an article written by Kristen Seymour from the website last updated on November 11, 2010 at 10:00AM:


If you’re considering expanding your clan by adding a canine, do you know what breed is best for your family? You need to look beyond which dog’s coat is the same color as your couch, and really ask the important question: which breed’s personality is the best fit for your family’s lifestyle? With a little help from our friends at the American Kennel Club, including Gina DiNardo, Assistant Vice President of the AKC, we’re offering helpful hints for narrowing down your decision.


Man rescues his dog from alligator, revives it with CPR

Here’s a story that you don’t hear about everyday! Who would have expected a happy outcome in a confrontation between a six-foot-four-inch alligator and a little Jack Russell terrier…well a happy outcome for the dog at least!

The following excerpt is from an article written by staff and news service reports from the website last updated on November 5, 2010 at 4:41:58 PM ET:

Lizabeth the terrier experienced the canine terror of being dragged underwater in an alligator’s jaws — and lived to bark the tale.

The gator wasn’t so fortunate.

Tom Martino said he and his Jack Russell terrier were taking their afternoon walk along the Hillsborough River in Tampa on Thursday when he heard splashing — the alligator had snatched the 15-pound dog off riverside rocks and pulled her into the water.

Thinking about flying with your pet?

With the holidays coming up, many people will be flying to other places. If you are thinking about flying with your pet, you may wish to consider a couple of things. Your pet would likely be happier staying at home with a pet sitter or staying at a boarding facility.

If your pet must travel, it might qualify as a carry-on item as long as its carrier can fit under your seat. If it is too large to be carried-on, your pet will have to fly as cargo. While there are regulations in place to help ensure the safety of animals in the cargo hold, flying as cargo can be very stressful and even dangerous for your pet(s).

Normally I only provide one link per post; but I felt this post warrants two links. The first link will take you to an article which recommends against pets travelling as cargo. The second link takes you to a website which provides tips for making a dog’s airplane trip safer.

Animal Communicator Polly Klein will be at Earth Pet in Issaquah

Have you always wanted to know what your pet is saying? Now is your chance!

If you were unable to meet with animal communicator Polly Klein during Earth Pet’s Anniversary Celebration, good news, she will be back on Nov. 13th from 10am-2pm.

Sessions are 20 minutes for $40. Please call (425) 369-0208 or visit Earth Pet to set up an appointment!

SCRAP THE SCRAPS: Common foods can be pooch poison

It can be very hard to resist those cute “puppy dog eyes” that Fido uses to guilt you into sharing your food with him; but this article might help strengthen your resolve. Sharing human food doesn’t only lead to overweight pets…it can also be deadly!

The following excerpt is from an article written by Corey Levitan for the Las Vegas Review-Journal on October 17, 2010:

Dogs can eat poop. So they can eat anything, right?

Wrong. In fact, some of the most dangerous substances to feed Fido come from your very own dinner table.

Plenty of human foods are safe for dogs, such as rice, carrots and skinless broiled chicken. But plenty aren’t. And unless you’re a vet, it’s hard to know.

Dr. David Henderson of Sunrise Veterinary Clinic sees one or two canine food poisoning cases per month. It’s not just our digestive systems that differ, according to Henderson, but our metabolic tolerances.

Click here to read the full article.

Local vets warn dog owners of parvo threat

The canine parvovirus can be deadly to dogs.  It is very contagious! All it takes for your dog to become infected is direct contact with an infected dog, the “doody” from an infected dog, or even contaminated soil. The virus can survive for over a year! Your dog could become infected while on a walk or at a dog park. Fortunately it is also very easy to prevent an infection! Most vet clinics charge less than $25 for the vaccination.

The following excerpt is from an article written by Bethany Monroe for the Molalla Pioneer on October 7, 2010:

Some local veterinarians have seen recent cases of canine parvovirus and are encouraging dog owners to make sure their puppies are not put at risk.

“The biggest thing for people to know is that if they get their animal vaccinated, it will be prevented,” said Dr. Kimberly McBride at Hope Animal Hospital in Molalla.

McBride has seen about six young dogs with parvo in recent months and South Clackamas Veterinary Service has treated three cases lately. Molalla Veterinary Clinic has not seen any recent parvo cases.

Click here to read the full article.

Treats for the trick of a nice greeting

Does your dog bark when people come to your door? This article has some tips on training your dog to be calmer and more relaxed when people show up at your door. It might be too late to help out with Halloween visitors this year; but people making deliveries might appreciate this training.

The following excerpt is from an article written by Joan Klucha for the North Shore News on October 17, 2010:

For those with reluctant canine trick-or-treaters, Halloween can still offer a good training opportunity.

If your dog shows aggression towards people at the door, it isn’t wise to use the visiting children as a way to help your dog get over this issue. That requires some one-on-one time with a professional trainer. These training tips would be more for those dogs who get excited at the doorbell ringing, people entering the home or if they are slightly fearful of unusual looking people.

It is best that a training partner be available to help, as assisting the children at your front door and teaching Fido how to be calm and relaxed at the same time may be a bit much to handle on your own.

Click here to read the full article.

Do’s & don’ts with kids and dogs: How to behave around the family pet

Here’s a great article on kids and dogs! It has some great suggestions for teaching children proper behavior around dogs.

The following excerpt is from an article written by Rod Lockwood for the Toledo Blade on October 17, 2010:

Children and dogs.

They are perhaps two of the most combustible, unpredictable pairings imaginable.

On the one hand, what is childhood without a trusty canine companion as a playmate and buddy? Always there for a child with a friendly lick and a happy wag, a dog can teach children lessons about responsibility, compassion, and nature.

On the other paw, for a dog, kids can be royal pains. Their body movements are herky jerky and hard to read, they’re constantly in motion — making them ideal targets when the animal’s prey drive kicks in — and they can be incredibly annoying, especially when they snatch away your favorite toy or grab and squeeze you.

Click here to read the full article.

Canine Corner: Tips for dog owners in multi-unit residences

This article has a bunch of great tips for dog owners living in an urban environment! The author gives tips on safety for your dog and others, respecting your neighbors, and obedience training.

The following excerpt is from an article written by Colin Glass for the Naples Daily News on October 5, 2010:

We all know what joy having a canine companion can bring, no matter where we call home. However, for those who live in multi-unit dwellings — and Naples has literally thousands of condos — a misbehaved dog whose barking and bad manners disturbs others can easily cause ill-will among the most rational of tenants.

So, with season just about upon us, here are some tips for dog owners who share living space in apartments, condos, townhomes and the like.

Click here to read the full article.

Is your dog a pessimist or an optimist? It could explain his behavior, researchers say

We always used to refer to one of our dogs as our “optimistic doggy.” Whenever we were in the kitchen, our dog was sure that we would give her some food. Occasionally she was proved right…something would be dropped to the floor. It looks like we were right in calling her an optimist after-all.

The following excerpt is from an article written by Amina Khan for Los Angeles Times on October 14, 2010:

If your dog is misbehaving, it might be because he’s a food-dish-half-empty kind of canine. That’s the word from a study published in Current Biology this week.

The University of Bristol researchers wanted to see if separation-related behavior — all that howling, pooping and wholesale furniture trashing some dogs engage in when their humans leave them home alone — might be related to a dog’s underlying state of mind. Were some dogs more upbeat and others more prone to negative behavior?

The scientists set up an experiment. They put a dish with food in one corner, and an empty dish in the other, training the dogs to recognize which was which. Then they began putting the dishes in “ambiguous” places between the two corners, and saw which dogs ran quickly over to a dish — apparently hoping for food — and which dogs hung back, keeping their expectations low.

Click here to read the full article.

Pet Owners Beware: This Common Sweetener Can Poison Dogs

With the upcoming holidays and all the holiday baking which come with them, I thought it would be a good idea to share with you. Please help spread the word!

The following excerpt is from an article written by Dr. Richard Palmquist for The Huffington Post on September 27, 2010:

Humans enjoy sweet tastes and scientists discovered that fruits contain an alcohol that tastes sweet. In an effort to help us satisfy our sweet tooth while reducing the amount of sugar we eat, these food engineers isolated the chemical and found it assists people in losing weight and reducing cavities. So far the chemical called xylitol seems safe for people, and many dentists and doctors are suggesting people buy it in granules and use it at home to reduce their consumption of sugar. It’s a common sweetener used in candy, gum and baked goods like muffins and breads.

While xylitol is not known to be dangerous to people, veterinarians across the nation are seeing increased rates of serious poisoning in dogs that accidentally ingest even small amounts. Pet owners need to become aware of xylitol in products so they can carefully isolate these items from their dogs. Any dog that ingests xylitol, even in very small amounts, should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Click here to read the full article.

Woman spends months trying to save stray dog in Mesa

I enjoyed reading this article! It’s nice to read some good news in the news; so I thought I would share this with you. The following excerpt is from an article written by Scott Craven for the The Arizona Republic on September 7, 2010:

It was just one dog.

It roamed a concrete basin south of Mesa’s Fiesta Mall, not far from a two-story parking garage where everyday shoppers likely caught a glance of the stray, scared and dirty, ribs poking through matted fur. Maybe they shook their heads and felt pity before stuffing their bags into their trunks and driving away.

Because it was just one dog.

A few months earlier, it had been two dogs. A large yellow dog ran with the smaller, scrawny one, until a rescue agency was called and took away the yellow dog, which eventually had to be euthanized.

But the smaller dog was too smart, too fast to be taken in. And so the man carrying the long pole with the noose gave up, hopping into his truck and disappearing.

Leaving just the one dog.

Click here to read the full article.

Dog poop has bright side: Powering Mass. park lamp

This is an interesting idea! Who knew that dog poop could be so useful? I guess it’s a new form of renewable power.

The following excerpt is from an article written by Jay Lindsay for the Seattle Times:

It stinks and it’s a hazard to walkers everywhere, but it turns out dog poop has a bright side.

Dog poop is lighting a lantern at a Cambridge dog park as part of a months long project that its creator, artist Matthew Mazzotta, hopes will get people thinking about not wasting waste.

The “Park Spark” poop converter is actually two steel, 500-gallon oil tanks painted a golden yellow, connected by diagonal black piping and attached to an old gaslight-style street lantern at the Pacific Street Park.

After the dogs do their business, signs on the tanks instruct owners to use biodegradable bags supplied on site to pick up the poop and deposit it into the left tank.

Click here to read the full article.

Pet Talk: Dogs behaving badly? Experts have some answers

This article was written by Sharon L. Peters for USA Today’s Paw Print Post. It is based on a previous article written about a fence-lunging German Shepherd which escaped its fence and attacked her dog. Based on her readers’ comments and emails, she compiled a list of questions for two of the trainers she had quoted in that article. She asks the trainers questions that cover:

  • a dog that’s friendly to people and other dogs that it knows but barks at unfamiliar dogs
  • dogs that bark at other people and dogs when they are home but are shy and timid when away from home
  • which breeds are more likely to be territorial
  • a dog which barks and growls at people and dogs walking by on the sidewalk
  • how to talk to a neighbor that has a fence-lunging dog

Click here to read the article.

Anmesty Ends Soon for Unlicensed Pet Owners in Bellevue!

Residents of Bellevue, WA with unlicensed dogs or cats have until September 30, 2010 to license their pets with King County. After the 30th, owners of unlicensed pets face fines of $125 for spayed/neutered pet and up to $250 for unaltered pets.

These are the current license fees on King County’s website:

Type Comments Cost
Juvenile Under 6 months of age; 6 months expiration $15
Altered Proof required $30
Unaltered Includes $25 voucher for savings on spay/neuter $60
Senior Proof that pet is altered and proof that owner is 65 years of age or older is required. $15
Service Animal Statement that owner has disability and animal is a service animal. $0

Pets can be licensed online, in person, or through the mail. Visit for all the details.

Walk for the Animals Event

On September 26, 2010, you and your dog can help raise money for the Seattle Humane Society!

Each year walkers like you raise life-saving donations for the thousands of animals in the Seattle Humane Society’s care. By walking 2.25 miles with or without your dog and getting donations from animal-loving friends and family members, you help the Seattle Humane Society provide food, medical care and shelter to the animals in their care. Even if you can’t attend, we hope you’ll still consider making a donation to the Seattle Humane Society.

For complete details, click here to go to the Walk for the Animals website.

Pain in pets can be difficult to detect

Here’s a great article by Julie Damron with Pet Care. She explains why it can be hard to detect when pets are suffering from pain, lists some behavioral changes which can be signs that a pet is in pain, and discusses some treatment options. Here’s an excerpt from her article:

It can be difficult to identify signs of pain in pets for several reasons.

Animals rarely cry out in pain unless the level of discomfort is very high. This is a protective instinct from living in the wild that helps to prevent predators from knowing that a creature is wounded. The cues that our companions provide are often subtle, and people may not see them as signs of pain.

Pet caretakers traditionally see their buddies on a daily basis. This can make it difficult to identify slight changes in behavior or mannerisms. Many pets live outside, so caregivers may not see how they act when they are getting up and down, eating, or doing other daily activities. Also, pet owners associate many of the signs of chronic pain as typical signs of old age in their companions and don’t realize there could be a health problem.

To read the full article, click here.