Tag Archives: pet health

Health Alert: Jerky Pet Treat Recall

jerky pet treat recallThe FDA has issued a jerky pet treat recall due to over 3600 dogs and 10 cats to date reportedly becoming ill from eating all kinds of jerky pet treats. Most of these treats are made in China. To date, the FDA has not been able to identify the cause of the illnesses, but the correlation between eating the treats and the number of illnesses has warranted an investigation.

The FDA is asking for veterinarians and consumers to report any suspected cases. The FDA and the American Veterinary Medical Association recommend eliminating jerky treats that were not made in the USA from your pet’s diet.

Jerky Pet Treat Recall: Illness Symptoms

Most pets who have been affected have had symptoms within hours to days of eating the products.  Symptoms include decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes with blood or mucous), increased water consumption and/or increased urination. Severe cases are diagnosed with pancreatitis, gastrointestinal bleeding and kidney failure, or the resemblance of a rare kidney related illness called Fanconi syndrome. Many have recovered from the illness, but the FDA has reports of more than 580 deaths.

Reporting Complaints

If you think your pet has contracted any illness due to the treats, you can help the FDA’s investigation by reporting complaints through the Safety Reporting Portal.

You can also contact the pet food/treats company and alert them about your pet’s illness (see packaging information). While this jerky pet treat recall continues, consider purchasing some safe, organic dog treats.

Source – Ridgewood Veterinary Hospital in NJ

Toxic Food for Pets

Toxic Dog FoodsYou are seated at the table for dinner and your furry baby looks at you with the eyes of someone who has eaten nothing for the last month. This situation is tempting, but it is a bad habit to give your pet food while you eat. If you keep doing it, your pet will continue to bother you and any future dinner guests you may have in the future.

Dangerous Human Food

More importantly than just encouraging bad behavior, some human food can actually be toxic to dogs. These foods can cause cardiovascular issues, kidney/organ failure, neurological problems, gastrointestinal issues and more. While cats are less commonly poisoned by food because they are more choosy than dogs, they can still be harmed if they eat the wrong thing. The following list of toxic food for pets was collected from the ASPCA and the Humane Society.

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Apple seeds
  • Apricot pits
  • Avocados
  • Cherry pits
  • Candy (particularly chocolate, which is toxic to dogs, cats, and ferrets, as well as any candy containing the toxic sweetener Xylitol)
  • Coffee (grounds, beans and chocolate-covered espresso beans)
  • Grapes
  • Gum (can cause blockages, and sugar free gums may contain the toxic sweetener Xylitol)
  • Hops (used in home beer brewing)
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Moldy foods
  • Mushroom plants
  • Mustard seeds
  • Onions and onion powder
  • Peach pits
  • Potato leaves and stems (green parts)
  • Raisins
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Salt (a small amount is ok)
  • Tea (because it contains caffeine)
  • Tomato leaves and stems (green parts)
  • Walnuts
  • Xylitol (artificial sweetener that is toxic to pets)
  • Yeast dough

As an alternative to giving your dogs potentially dangerous table foods, consider getting them some gourmet dog treats that they’ll love just as much.

Should Pets Eat Garlic?

Some say Garlic is toxic to dogs, while others say that a small amount will do good. According to the ASPCA, “gastrointestinal problems and red blood cell damage can occur as a result of feeding garlic to pets. An occasional small amount, such as that in most commercial pet foods and treats, may not cause a problem, but because of the risk, we generally recommend that you avoid feeding your pets products that contain more concentrated amounts of garlic.” Cats, however, are especially sensitive to garlic. Do not feed them any garlic.

What About Aspirin?

In addition to food, Aspirin is toxic for pets. If your pet needs pain relief, you should always talk to your vet. If you are not sure about a specific food, you should also consult your vet.

If you discover that your cat or dog may have consumed one of the toxic food for pets, it is important not to waste time. Keep handy the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center number (888-426-4435 – you may have to pay fees), or contact your vet or animal hospital.

Remember – the best cure is preventing. Store food and pesticide out of reach in closed packages.

Exercising With Your Pet – It’s Fun, Easy & Bonding

pet rescueIt goes without saying that good eating habits and workouts can contribute to our well-being and prevent obesity. While we all know that, we may or may not actually be doing anything with that information. For those who don’t, maybe the thought of making your pet happy and healthy while benefiting yourself will encourage you to get up from the sofa.

Exercising with your pet not only provides great health benefits – it can also strengthen the bond between you and your furry friend.

Exercises to Do with Your Pet

Daily walks: You know your pooch just loves going for a walk – maybe even more than running in the backyard. If you’re just starting to do it regularly, begin slowly and increase your frequency as you go. Start with 10 minutes and add another 5 minutes every few days. Even if you are not in a great shape, gradually adding speed and distance will improve your health without you even noticing it. If it’s very hot and humid, go for walks early in the morning or after sunset. If it’s very cold, consider getting some dog coats or dog shoes.

Fetch with a ball: Throw it and try to get the ball before he does. Some dogs (my Libby for instance) like to run away with the ball and wait for me to chase her. All this running can be great exercise.

Tug:  Most dogs love this game. If you have a medium to large size dog, or just a very strong pooch, you’ll be burning some calories for sure with this game.

Running together: If you are in good shape, go to the park and run with your dog. This will work your heart, lungs and legs as you burn calories. Also, try leashing the dog and running up and down some stairs together. To make it harder, take two steps at a time.

Agility training: Agility exercises provide a good workout for both dog and trainer.

Bike riding – This provides great aerobic exercise, but don’t ride too fast. Keep an eye on the dog and make sure the speed is good for him.

If you have a kitty, you can use dumbbells to exercise your arms. While you do this, have a cat toy tied to the dumbbells that your cat will chase. You can also simply dance with your kitty in your arms – have fun 🙂

Exercising with your pet in these ways will give you a cardiovascular workout while developing endurance. Best of all, you’ll be burning calories while having fun with your furry baby.

Considerations Before Exercise

Before you go out to exercise, consider the following:

  • If you have any health issues please talk to your doctor before starting a workout routine.

  • Start with low intensity and gradually get more difficult. Don’t over do it at the beginning.

  • Water is a must for a parent and furry baby during a workout.

  • Check out the 4-legged Pet Boutique for the K9 Fitness Pack.

Do you have more ideas that will motivate working out together with our pets? Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments.