Friday March 6, 2015

Protect your dog from an easily prevented and possibly fatal event…

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Find out about products that could seriously harm your pet. Our last alert was on April 7, 2012 for the most recent Diamond Pet Food recall as shown below. Put your primary email address in the form on the right to get our next update.

I’ll bet we both remember the dog food crisis of 2007 when perhaps as many as 3,600 pets died from eating food containing contaminated ingredients imported from China. In the end, more than 5,300 pet food products were recalled. Since then I was stunned to learn dog food recalls are not all that unusual. But you seldom hear about them because dog food companies are very good at releasing the information using very low key methods. To counter that, we built a sophisticated monitoring system that scans thousands of news articles every day for recall information… and we’ll let you know just as soon as we find out!
To make sure you know the next time a dog food company issues a recall or we identify some other dangerous product simply enter your email on the right so you can protect your dog’s safety. If I can keep one dog owner and one dog from anguish, I will have accomplished my objective. Because this isn’t a newsletter, we don’t have a regular publication schedule. Hopefully you won’t hear from me very often, but when you do, you should pay attention.
If you believe your pet has been affected by dog food contamination, we urge you to report it to the FDA (the US Food and Drug Administartion).


Diamond Pet recalls some Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice

In addition to the Diamond recall posted below, I have been made aware of potential issues with Kirkland’s Lamb & Rice both kibble and canned. I believe the Kirkland kibble is manufactured by Diamond as well, the canned I don’t know about. There has been no mention of Diamond’s Taste of the Wild “premium” food. We’ll let you know about any further developments.


Diamond Pet Foods is voluntarily recalling Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice. This is being done as a precautionary measure, as the product has the potential to be contaminated with salmonella. No illnesses have been reported and no other Diamond manufactured products are affected.

Individuals handling dry pet food can become infected with salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with surfaces exposed to this product. Healthy people infected with salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, salmonella can result in more serious ailments including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with salmonella infections may have decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. If left untreated, pets may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

The product, Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice, was distributed to customers located in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia, who may have further distributed the product to other states, through pet food channels.

             Product Name                    Bag Size         Production Code & “Best Before” Code

Diamond Naturals Lamb & Rice             6lb              DLR0101D3XALW Best Before 04 Jan 2013

Diamond Naturals Lamb & Rice           20lb              DLR0101C31XAG Best Before 03 Jan 2013

Diamond Naturals Lamb & Rice           40lb              DLR0101C31XMF Best Before 03 Jan 2013

Diamond Naturals Lamb & Rice           40lb              DLR0101C31XAG Best Before 03 Jan 2013

Diamond Naturals Lamb & Rice           40lb              DLR0101D32XMS Best Before 04 Jan 2013

Consumers who have purchased the Diamond Naturals Lamb & Rice with the specific production and “Best Before” codes should discontinue feeding the product and discard it.

At Diamond Pet Foods, the safety of our products is our top priority. We apologize for any inconvenience this recall may have caused. For further information or to obtain a product refund please call us at 800-442-0402 or visit

FDA recommends against feeding dogs bones, vets agree

As counter-intuitive as this may seem, the FDA has recommended that bones, uncooked or otherwise, not be given to dogs… and the vets I’ve heard from agree the risks cited by the FDA are valid concerns. Those risks are:

1. Broken teeth. This may call for expensive veterinary dentistry.

2. Mouth or tongue injuries. These can be very bloody and messy and may require a trip to see your veterinarian.

3. Bone gets looped around your dog’s lower jaw. This can be frightening or painful for your dog and potentially costly to you, as it usually means a trip to see your veterinarian.

4. Bone gets stuck in esophagus, the tube that food travels through to reach the stomach. Your dog may gag, trying to bring the bone back up, and will need to see your veterinarian.

5. Bone gets stuck in windpipe. This may happen if your dog accidentally inhales a small enough piece of bone. This is an emergency because your dog will have trouble breathing. Get your pet to your veterinarian immediately!

6. Bone gets stuck in stomach. It went down just fine, but the bone may be too big to pass out of the stomach and into the intestines. Depending on the bone’s size, your dog may need surgery or upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, a procedure in which your veterinarian uses a long tube with a built-in camera and grabbing tools to try to remove the stuck bone from the stomach.

7. Bone gets stuck in intestines and causes a blockage. It may be time for surgery.

8. Constipation due to bone fragments. Your dog may have a hard time passing the bone fragments because they’re very sharp and they scrape the inside of the large intestine or rectum as they move along. This causes severe pain and may require a visit to your veterinarian.

9. Severe bleeding from the rectum. This is very messy and can be dangerous. It’s time for a trip to see your veterinarian.

10. Peritonitis. This nasty, difficult-to-treat bacterial infection of the abdomen is caused when bone fragments poke holes in your dog’s stomach or intestines. Your dog needs an emergency visit to your veterinarian because peritonitis can kill your dog.

The complete recommendation can obtained from the FDA.

Response Products recalls Cetyl M for Dogs

Response Products of Broken Bow, Nebraska is voluntarily recalling its joint supplement for dogs called Cetyl M as a result of potential salmonella contamination.

Products contaminated with salmonella can infect both animals and people if not handled properly. This includes thoroughly washing your hands and the use of a hand sanitizer if you suspect you have handled contaminated material. However, the company reports there are no known illnesses at this time.

This dietary supplement for dogs was distributed throughout the US by way of direct sales, retail stores, veterinarians and online retailers. The recall involves lot numbers 1210903 and 0128010. For additional information, call Response Products toll free 24 hours a day 7 days a week at 877-266-9757.

Is Dog Food With Beef The Same As Beef Dog Food?

With no requirement to label the percentage of each ingredient, how can you tell how much meat is really in dog food? Its easy if you remember the 95%/25%/3% rule.

Nutro Canned Dog Food(1) The 95% rule: If a pet food is named for a meat ingredient, it’s is required to be 95% of the named meat.  “Beef for Dogs” or “Beef Dog Food” must be 95% beef.

(2) The 25% rule: For a product to be named “Beef Dinner” or “Chicken Formula” or described as an entrée or a platter it needs to contain only 25% of the named ingredient. An example of this is shown on the label of the can to the left.

(3) The 3% rule: If a product has the words “with” on it, it must contain at least 3% of that item.  For example a Dog Food with Chicken must contain 3% chicken.

You should now be able to answer the question asked by the headline of this article. Dog Food with Beef must contain at least 3% beef. Beef Dog Food must contain 95% beef. So these two descriptions of dog food indicate very different products and should be priced accordingly. 

Dog Owners Unaware of Link Between Behavior and Diet

dog with dog food bowlForty Seven percent of dog owners said they were totally unaware of a link between the food they give their pets and the way they behave.

A recent survey established nearly half of all dog owners who participated had given no thought to changing their dog’s food when bad habits or disruptive traits appeared in their pets.

It is generally accepted that children behave better when given balanced, healthy and appropriate diet free of certain stimulants, artificial components and preservatives. The same can be true of dogs. Sometimes a dog may behave poorly simply because it is on an inappropriate diet.

Each year, many dogs are given up to dog adoption shelters that are due to problems that could be resolved through better training and diet. 

The Real Difference Between Positive & Negative Training

“Positive Training” is a frequently used term, but many owners don’t understand its true meaning. Here are four training methods described so you can easily identify them when used by a trainer.

dog in trainingPositive Reinforcement – give a dog something it likes to increase a behavior.
Example: A dog sits when told to do so, then you reward him. In the future the dog is more likely to sit when instructed to do so.

Negative Reinforcement – remove something a dog dislikes to increase a behavior.
Example: A dog does not sit when told, you tighten his collar only releasing the pressure once he sits. The dog is more likely to sit when told to do so in the future.

Positive Punishment – add something the dog does not like to decrease a behavior.
Example: A dog jumps up. You then squirt him with a blast of water. The dog jumps down. In the future the dog is less likely to jump on you.

Negative Punishment – take away something the dog likes to decrease a behavior.
Example: A puppy nips during play. You then end the play session. The puppy is less likely to nip in the future.

You should now have a basic understanding of some of the terms frequently used to describe dog training methods including the concept of “positive” training techniques.

The Debate About the “Dog Whisperer”, Caesar Millan

dog trainer Caesar Millan His name is unquestionably recognized. His books are best sellers. His TV show  is entertaining. And with his cadre of supporters I am almost reluctant to ask the following question:  does Carsar Millan have a solid foundation in animal behavior and in training dogs? Perhaps not.

According to many sources including Wikipedia, Caesar Millan is self-taught.  But, his results oriented style can’t be challenged simply because he is self-taught.  However many who do have a formal education in dog behavior and training are concerned with the “Dog Whisperer’s” approach.

For example, when discussing Mr. Millan’s television program Dr. Nicholas Dodman, an animal behavior pharmacologist and the director of the Animal Behavior Clinic at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, stated in a February 2006 article for the New York Times that ”My college thinks it is a travesty. We’ve written to National Geographic Channel and told them they have put dog training back 20 years.”

Andrew Luescher, DVM, Verterinary Behaviorist at the Animal Behavior Clinic which is part of  Purdue University put it this way in an internet post: “Most of the theoretical explanations that Millan gives regarding behavior problems are wrong.”

An article by Lisa Mullinax, CPDT (Certified Pet Dog Trainer) discusses the underlying conceptual flaws in Mr. Millan’s approach. The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior holds a similar opinion as documented in this article and in their position papers.

Perhaps what makes a good reality TV show is not as good in reality.

Nature’s Variety Recalls All Frozen Chicken Dog Food

Nature’s Variety Has Expanded Their Voluntary Nationwide Recall to Include All Their Raw Frozen Chicken Diets with Any ‘Best If Used By’ Date On or Before 2/5/11

Nature's Variety dog food LogoNature’s Variety has expanded its voluntary recall of Chicken Formula Raw Frozen Diets for dogs and cats to include the “Best If Used By” dates of 10/29/10 and 11/9/10 because these products may contain Salmonella. Salmonella can affect both people and animals. People handling contaminated pet food can become infected with Salmonella, especially if they have not washed their hands thoroughly after handling the product or any surfaces exposed to these products.

Pets infected with Salmonella can become lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, or vomiting. Some pets may experience only a decreased appetite, fever, or abdominal pain. If your pet has consumed any of the affected products and is experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

Salmonella causes the following symptoms in humans: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this any Nature’s Variety frozen chicken product should contact their healthcare providers.

The recall includes the following products with a “Best If Used By” date of 10/29/10 or 11/9/10:

* UPC#7 69949 60131 9 – Chicken Formula 0.75 lb trial sized medallions
* UPC#7 69949 60130 2 – Chicken Formula 3 lb medallions
* UPC#7 69949 60120 3 – Chicken Formula 6 lb patties
* UPC#7 69949 60121 0 – Chicken Formula 2 lb single chubs

Nature’s Variety has expanded this voluntary recall to include all Chicken Formula and Organic Chicken Formula Raw Frozen Diets for dogs and cats with any “Best If Used By” date on or before 2/5/11. Nature’s Variety has voluntarily chosen to clear the market of all raw frozen chicken diets as it implements an updated manufacturing process.

The products included in this expanded recall are any Chicken Formula or Organic Chicken Formula Raw Frozen Diet with a “Best If Used By” date on or before 2/5/11, including:

* UPC#7 69949 60131 9 – Chicken Formula 0.75 lb trial sized medallions
* UPC#7 69949 60130 2 – Chicken Formula 3 lb medallions
* UPC#7 69949 60120 3 – Chicken Formula 6 lb patties
* UPC#7 69949 60121 0 – Chicken Formula 2 lb single chubs
* UPC#7 69949 50121 3 – Chicken Formula 12 lb case of chubs
* UPC#7 69949 60137 1 – Organic Chicken Formula 3 lb medallions
* UPC#7 69949 60127 2 – Organic Chicken Formula 6 lb patties

The “Best If Used By” date is located above the safe handling instructions on the back of the package. The affected products were distributed in retail stores and through internet sales in both the United States and Canada.

No Nature’s Variety Raw Frozen Diets are involved in this expansion other than chicken, and no other Nature’s Variety products are involved.

If you are a consumer and have purchased any of these products, return unopened products to your retailer for a full refund or replacement. If your package has been opened, please dispose of the raw food, then bring your receipt (or the empty package in a sealed bag) to your local retailer for a refund or replacement.

Consumers with questions can call the Nature’s Variety Customer Service line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 800-374-3142.

EPA concerned about pet injuries from flea products

EPA Logo, flea product advisoryAfter complaints from consumers increased from 28,895 in 2007 to 44,263 in 2008, the EPA has announced an intention to place new restrictions on “spot-on” flea and tick products. Spot-on products are usually in liquid form and applied directly to an animal in a small area, typically between the shoulder blades. Adverse reactions reported to the EPA include skin irritation in the form of welts and burns, excessive drooling, vomiting, uncontrollable shaking, loss of control of the animals legs, seizures, and in about 600 cases, death.

Cats have more reported problems than dogs, and small dogs are more frequently affected than larger breeds. Some incidents occurred when products intended for use on dogs were used on cats and some incidents occurred when products intended for larger dogs were used on small dogs. Following label directions is important. Chihuahuas, Shih Tzus, Miniature Poodles, Pomeranians, and Dachshunds were among the dog breeds most frequently affected.

The EPA is examining both product labeling and  formulation  to determine what changes should be made. More information is available from the EPA.


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