Thursday, 31 January 2013

What Time Will You Be Home Tonight Momma?

There is something inherently heartbreaking about having to leave my Bear behind, if even for an eight hour work day.  Logic tells me that he’ll be fine – that he’ll sleep for most of the day curled up on my bed while simultaneously covering my sheets and duvets in layers upon layers of his fur.  Logic tells me that he’s nibbling on his leftover from breakfast and filling his bladder with water and then taking all his toys out of their basket and scattering them all over the living room floor – which could be interpreted as fun….if you squint….and look at it sideways…
Most people (including some dog owners) don’t always acknowledge the fact that while they’re out working, networking, socializing and simply living life, their dog is at home waiting for them.  It can be a little burdensome sometimes – events and outings must be planned in advance, with a great deal of consideration given to how much time Fido can spend at home alone before serious worry sets in (which usually leads to acting out – which usually leads to damage)…And really, how long can we seriously ask our dogs to hold their bladders and still be considered humane pet owners? 

As pet-parents we need to remember that we have social circles and extended families.  We have workplaces and colleagues and whole circles of acquaintances.  When all is said and done, after all the doggy play dates and dog park friends, our pets only have us to rely on for their happiness and well-being.

Keep your tails wagging
Bear’s P4ws  

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Singing a Wednesday Song

Bear doesn't sing because he has an answer, he sings because he has a song.

Keep your tails wagging
Bear's P4ws

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

If the Tables Were Turned

There is a very interesting standard where pet care is concerned - especially in the show and breeding world...or in the world of the rich and famous.
More often then not I've found myself unable to stomach watching dog shows, mainly because I feel so very sorry for these dogs that have been broken and re-shaped to be models and athletes in a way that is against the very nature of the animal itself.  It boggles my mind when I see dogs dressed to the nines.
There's a dog in my building who has a larger shoe collection than I do - and that's saying something.  
I'm all for protective wear in dangerous or potentially hazardous environments, and I understand that by taking the dog out of the wild, we've already begun to curb various elements of it's natural instincts, but when we dye their fur to make them "fashionably appealing" or force them into various non-functional outfits (because they're "Oh so cuuute"), are we taking things too far?  
And if forcing a dog's body into "flattering" but straining postures so that it can be weighed, measured and found wanting, or breeding and inbreed a specific breed to the point where its genes have mutated and caused life-threatening defects isn't considered "too far" then what is?  
Where do we draw the line?

I've recently come across this humorous, if not somewhat cynical, article about the "Great Change: The Day Dogs Take Over and Give Back what they've Received"
"In light of all the horrible things we do to the beautiful, gorgeous, miraculous, loyal animals known as dogs, I feel I should warn you they are busy planning for the day they rule the world and humans become their pets. In fact, dogs already have a list of 10 Commandments for when this is so:

1. All humans will be forced to smell of our favourite scent – fox shit – and will be rolled in it daily, possibly at Harrods Fox Shit Spa, and possibly before receiving Harrods’ signature Fox Shit Facial

2. We will put humans to use as Guide Humans, Sniffer Humans, Guard Humans, Hearing Humans, Therapy Humans, Mountain Rescue Humans and Herding Humans – ensuring they provide dogkind with an excellent and unique service – but when we get bored of them we’ll dump them

3. Particularly tiny, cute humans will no longer be treated as human at all, and instead we will blithely dress them in tutus with matching hair-bows as if this weren't wholly diminishing and undignified for all concerned.

4. Any human who settles comfortably on a sofa will be immediately kicked off, while any human who is witnessed licking their own privates in public, with gusto, will be immediately encouraged, praised and paraded proudly round the neighbourhood.

5. Instead of allowing humans to do their own thing, we will expect them to learn tricks, “play dead”, “roll over” and “act shy”, even though it is all utterly pointless.

6. To create humans that are pleasing to our eye, or fit some arbitrary standard, we shall expect them to interbreed until they have difficulty breathing, or their brains are too big for their skulls and they must writhe in agony all day.

7. All sick, elderly or annoying humans of the kind that kick off at the sound of a postman will be informed that they are going to spend the rest of their days happily frolicking at “a farm in the country”.

8. Lady humans will be forced to breed almost continually so we can sell their babies to any old fool.

9. All humans selected to contest in shows must sit in a cage all day while we will say to anyone who happens to ask: “But he loves it.”

10. We must always remember a human is not just for Christmas, particularly as the human rescue centers don’t open until the New Year. Still, you can always just tie one to the railing, walk away, and be done with it."

It's an interesting take isn't it?  Something to think about, at the very least....

Keep your tails wagging
Bear's P4ws

Monday, 28 January 2013

IMPORTANT RECALL ALERT from the Hartz Mountain Corporation

Regarding: Hartz Chicken Chewz & Oinkies Pig Skin Twists

The Hartz Mountain Corporation has issued a voluntary recall for all of it’s Hartz ® Chicken Chews™ and Hartz ® Oinkies® Pig Skin Twists wrapped with Chicken sold in North America when it was discovered that production had been contaminate by illegal drug residue.  This recall of chicken treats comes on the heels of a mass recall of chicken jerky treats by other brands (also being imported from China) due to the same contamination issue.
In a press release the Harts Mountain Corporation has issued the following statement:

“the Hartz Mountain Corporation is voluntarily withdrawing its Hartz ® Chicken Chews™ and Hartz ® Oinkies® Pig Skin Twists wrapped with Chicken for dogs in North America because they contain trace amounts of unapproved antibiotic residue.
We are taking this action after recent Hartz testing found trace amounts of unapproved antibiotic residue in samples of Hartz® Chicken Chews™ and Oinkies® Pig Skin Twists wrapped with Chicken products. Even though two-thirds of the products we tested did not contain antibiotic residues, we would rather be overly cautious by voluntarily withdrawing these products from the market.
These antibiotics are approved for use in poultry in China and other countries, including European Union member states, but are not among those approved in the U.S. Based on the FDA’s review of the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets (NYSDAM) results, there is no evidence that raises health concerns, and these results are highly unlikely to be related to the reports of illnesses FDA has received related to jerky pet treats.
Immediately upon learning of this finding, Hartz contacted the FDA to share our test results and execute a nationwide voluntary withdrawal.  There have been no known illnesses to date associated with the consumption of these products.
“Upon learning about the nationwide voluntary withdrawal of several other brands of chicken jerky products through media reports, Hartz acted immediately to begin additional testing to determine if the same unapproved antibiotic residues were present in our products,” said Sean McNear , Sr. Director of Quality and Regulatory at Hartz Mountain.
There is no indication that the trace amounts of unapproved antibiotic residue are linked to the FDA’s ongoing investigation of chicken jerky products produced in China. The trace amounts of antibiotic residue do not pose a health or pet safety risk.
No other Hartz products are affected by this withdrawal.
If you have these products contact the Hartz Consumer Affairs team (24 hours/day 7 days/week) at 1-800-275-1414 for a product refund or go to for additional information.”

Taking the recommendation of many dog journals, I’ve been checking all my treat labels to ensure that all the treats and foods I’ve been buying for Bear have been made in either Canada or the United States.  If this means that I have to pay a little extra for a higher quality treat then so be it. 
For those who are just now learning of the chicken product recall from China, I would very strongly suggest checking your fur-baby’s food and treat labels.  As the Hartz Mountain Company said, even though 67% of the treats tested came back negative for traces of “unapproved traces of antibiotic residue” the 33% chance that your dog may be eating contaminated treats is a pretty big risk to take. 

I am taking this opportunity to add my voice (and subsequently Bear’s voice as well) to the recommendation that until it becomes 100% safe for our dogs to consume any chicken project made in China, that consumers avoid all chicken jerky type treats imported from China and instead choose US or Canada-made alternatives. We hope that through our action more brands will issue additional recalls and will continue to do so until all Chinese chicken jerky treats are removed from store shelves.

Let's keep our pets happy and healthy!

Keep your tails wagging
Bear's P4ws

Friday, 25 January 2013

Oh, by the way - “I Don’t Like Dogs”...

There’s an interesting sort of back-and-forth conflict in every known living space between animal lovers/pet owner and those surly-seeming, awkward people who just seem to hate any animal they see.  For those of us who have surrendered to the fact that our fur children are going to be playing large loving roles in our lives forever and ever and then some, it can be difficult to encounter those who just “don’t get it.”  Those who would rather cross the street, backtrack, run or even take the next elevator rather than risk a run-in with us and our pets – even when they are short leashed and VERY well behaved. 
On a personal note, as someone who lives in a condo, I've had more than my fare share of scowls and assumptions made all because of Bear.  He is very obviously NOT a small dog and for some reason, there are those who find his face intimidating and frightening.  Personally, (in my darkest little heart of hearts) I think these people are either off their rockers or blind, because when I look at Bear, all I see is love and affection shining out at me from under his wonderfully bushy eyebrows.   

Of course, we've all heard the stories:
“I was attacked by dogs”
“I’m deathly allergic” blah blah blah, but how much sympathy and understanding do we as dog owners show our fellow man when that fellow man strongly dislikes our pets for no apparent reason?

I recently stumbled across an older blog entry by  Ruth Pennebaker.  She very candidly reveals her dislike of all things canine as well as some very humorously worded reasoning behind it.

 I really don’t like dogs that much.
There.  Oh, God.  Now I've said it.  There’s nothing less American, less humane, less sympathetic than admitting you don’t particularly like Man’s Best Friend.  It marks you forever as someone who can’t appreciate unconditional love and loyalty, who didn't worship Old Yeller, who objects to having her crotch sniffed and her leg humped.
What’s the rule I always hear?  Dogs and kids can tell if someone’s a good person; they can sniff out the loser, the infidel, the secretly snide and cruel, in a nanosecond.  They’re a character test that I’m sure I’ll always fail — even though I do retain a fondness for small children who belong to other people and aren't sitting next to me in a high-priced restaurant screaming their lungs out and slinging their forks and knives in my direction.
But, dogs?  They’re fine, at a distance, when they’re not jumping up and licking me.  “Oh, don’t mind him!  He never bites!” the ever-cheerful dogowners always say when their big, snarling cur comes rushing up to me at a park.  (Oh, really?  That’s what every news article I've ever read about a marauding pit bull says.  “He never bit nobody before he took an arm-chunk outta Junior the other day.  But, hey!  Junior’s still got his other arm.”)
It all brings back memories of the summer my family and I spent in Costa Rica in 1993.  We lived with a family that had a pit bull named Mickey.  I walked around in High Alert mode, sure the dog was going to lunge at my kids and I’d be forced to make a Sophie’s Choice between them.  But Mickey continued along, peacefully enough, till a cat wandered into his territory in front of the house.  The next thing we knew, Mickey was strutting around the house with the cat’s lifeless, bloody carcass hanging from his enormous jaws.  It wasn't the kind of occasion that encouraged trust or peace of mind.
But, I know, I know.  Most dogs aren't pit bulls and they don’t kill or maim.  Big deal.  I can still do without them.  A few days ago, our new neighbor’s yappy little furballs came bounding onto our yard — onto our property, for God’s sake — barking at our cat.  I could hear our neighbor calling out to them in her similarly high-pitched voice, which never seems to do any good.  She thinks her creatures are so adorable, it never occurs to her they might get on others’ nerves.
Since I was watering the flowers in our front yard, I turned around to greet the yipping little invaders.  The blast of cold water in their faces sent them right back home.  I’m sure I’ll be punished someday for this nefarious act — by a Higher Power that cleverly disguises His leanings by spelling DOG backwards — but I didn't care.  I loved the way they hightailed it back to their side of the street.”

So dog owners remember:  even though WE love and adore our fur children to bits – know their histories; their pains and troubles and joys – know how loving and affectionate they are – the random pedestrian on the street doesn't.  And while it may be hard for us to comprehend, some people just DON’T LIKE DOGS.   They’ll go to great lengths to avoid us and our pets out on the street, in parks or even in our own  apartments, condos or housing units, and sometimes it’s hard NOT do judge them for being so overly surly and sour. 

Just remember, so long as they don’t move to harm you or your furry companion, leave them alone – not everyone has the capacity to open their hears to “big, snarling curs” and those that do are simply just a little more special. 

Keep your Tails Wagging
Bear’s P4ws

Thursday, 24 January 2013

The Importance of Walking your Dog….

Here’s an irritant. 
With the cold front finally sweeping through the city, it is becoming somewhat difficult to motivate myself to leave my comfortable, cozy nest of a home and venture out into the frigid wind.   But all I need to do is look into Bear’s eager face the second he sees me shift reluctantly in the direction of the door and I can swallow my shivers for a little while.  And honestly, once we’ve been outside for a while it really isn’t all that difficult to acclimatize yourself to the cold (for a little while at least). 
In my rather humble opinion, taking the time out of your day to walk your dog at least twice a day is one of the most important things that you, as a good pet parent, can do.  Of course, there’s the necessary shelter, food and affection – but walking provides a chance to strengthen your bond with your pet while simultaneously stimulating his senses. 
It bothers me to the point of anger when I hear my fellow dog owners blather on about how cold it is, or how hot it is, or how they’re much too busy to take their dogs out for a daily walk….and then they wonder why their dogs goes nuts on the leash when they finally do manage to take him out.  It’s incredible to me that a person would attach themselves to a dog and then not take the time to care for it properly.
 There is something to be said for play and affection, but owners – especially city owners – need to take their care a step further.  Dogs need to walk with their pet parent just as much as they need to play with them.


Daily walks provide your dog with a chance to gain positive attention from you and a chance to be with you doing something he loves. Dogs do not self-entertain. If you put your dog outside in your fenced-in yard, he will not exercise himself (unless there is another dog to play with). More likely, he will resort to boredom barking, trying to escape the yard or do some creative landscaping instead! As his pet parent, it is your job to provide your dog with enough stimulation. If he spends 10 hours a day alone in the yard or in a crate while you work, do not expect him to be a well-mannered member of the family when you come home in the evening.
A dog, as an animal, is a walker/traveler by instinct. Packs of dogs get up in the morning and walk. Simply having a large back yard or taking your dog to the dog park is not going to satisfy this instinct in your dog, not does it satisfy his need for exercise or his desire to be close to you.

Walking your dog should be one of the joys of being an owner – not a chore that makes you cringe and drag your feet. 
 Some points referenced from Seize the Leash

Keep your Tails Wagging
Bear's P4ws

Wednesday, 23 January 2013


Sometimes I wish I could appreciate snow as much as Bear does

Happy Wordless Wednesday!

Keep your Tails Wagging
Bear's P4ws

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The Dirt on Dog Groomers....

Or   “How to Choose the Groomer that‘s Right for You and Your Dog”

We've all been there – pulling a reluctant dog into a groomer’s studio – dealing with small puddles of urine left behind by a dog who simply does not want to get on the table....or watching in pity as two or three groomers are forced to hold a dog down while they brush out and trim his fur.......

Or maybe, we haven’t all been there.....but I have, and so has Bear. 

For humans, taking a bath or a warm shower is an act of relaxation – a time to wash off the dirt and the stress of the day, and an opportunity to bask in warmth.  For a dog....not so much.  For most dogs, the act of jumping into a tub for a lather and a rise, followed by a blow dry are not acts that follow the patterns of their natural instincts.  In fact, for the most part, we bathe our dogs to make OUR lives more comfortable. 
True there are some breeds that require regular bathing and trimming in order to live comfortably (or risk looking like overgrown mops), but most large dogs are perfectly content to remain un-shampooed and dog-musky for the duration of their lives.  In the wild, dogs bathe in the summer by standing around in lakes or shallow ponds.  And extra grooming is taken care of either through the use of their own tongues and teeth, or by the tongues and teeth of fellow pack mates – you would be hard-pressed to get a wolf into a bathtub.....

For the most part, I would recommend that dog owners take the time to bathe their dogs themselves once a month, or as their dog’s breed requires. This sort of forces us to put some time aside exclusively for our dog and allows the opportunity for bonding, play, cuddles, kisses and snuggles.  However, if you as a dog owner MUST take your dog to a groomer (I do once a year to help manage Bear’s post-winter coat....not a feat I can handle on my own) there are a few things to look out for when selecting  the person or establishment that will be taking care of your dog:

#1 Training and Experience

You need to screen out the yahoo who picked up a pair of clippers and then put an ad on Craigslist, claiming to be an expert groomer. Ask how your prospective groomer got her training. She may have taken courses or learned her craft through an informal apprenticeship. Membership in a trade group such as a Dog Groomers Association  may be a good sign; most DGAs offer classes and require testing before it certifies a member. (Note, though, that the testing isn't done by an independent body such as the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers.)

#2 Clean, Calm Shop

You can compare this with how you’d evaluate a vet’s office. In the nature of things, there will be occasional mess: hair on the floor around a dog being groomed, or a super-anxious or un-house-trained animal may have eliminated. Look for frequent sweeping and prompt cleanup. No dogs lingering in soiled cages, please. Yes, there will be some barking, but I would hesitate if I heard loud music blaring from the speakers – loud, jarring noise contributes to stress in animals.
If the shop handles both cats and dogs, the species should be caged well away from each other, ideally in separate rooms. Barking dogs scare most cats; the groomer who takes that into consideration is a groomer mindful of the comfort of animals she’s responsible for.

#3 Hard-to-Handle Dogs

Ask how the groomers respond if a dog struggles, growls, or snaps. You don’t want to hear any variation on “We do have to get tough with some dogs,” or “We just show them who’s boss.” Confrontational, coercive responses have a high probability of making matters worse – both escalating aggression in the moment, and making the dog’s response to grooming and other handling worse in the long term.
You really, really, really don’t want to hear a groomer tell you that they give sedatives unless these are provided by the dog’s guardian and prescribed by a vet expressly to help the dog remain calm for grooming. By all reports, sedation by groomers is disturbingly common. It also constitutes the practice of veterinary medicine without a license: illegal, unethical, and dangerous.
Many or most groomers will use a “grooming noose” to help restrain a dog on the grooming table. This is okay, as long as dogs are never left unattended even for a moment. The loop should tighten only to a pre-set extent, so a dog who struggles isn't actually being choked.
The best responses to your question about a fractious dog will mention gentleness, giving the dog a break from the grooming session, not rushing the process, distracting the dog with treats or rewarding him with treats when he tolerates handling, and stopping if the dog is overwhelmed.

#4 The Groomer Should Have Questions for You, Too

A good groomer will want to give your dog back to you looking just as you hoped he would, so she should ask exactly what results you’re looking for. Because she also wants to make the experience as pleasant for your dog as she can, she should have lots of questions about him, too: How old is he? Has he ever been to a groomer before? Does he have any sore spots, injuries, or other painful conditions, such as arthritis? How are his hearing and sight? (A dog who can’t hear or see well may be easier to startle.) What shape are his teeth in? Is he touchy about having any of his body parts handled? Is he crate trained? (A visit to the groomer’s is much easier on dogs who are at ease resting in a crate or kennel.) Is your dog relaxed and friendly toward other dogs? (If you let the groomer know of problems in advance, she may be able to kennel him away from the other groomees, so everybody can relax.)

Ultimatley, before you leave your dog with his groomer, make sure that he (or she) is comfortable with the environment.  The act of being groomed by a stranger is stressful enough on your pet, you want to make sure that you take all the steps necessary to minimize the impact of that stress and leave your dog feeling refreshed and happy when all is said and done.
Questions sourced from PetMD

Keep your Tails Wagging
Bear’s P4ws

Monday, 21 January 2013

Bears P4ws is now on Facebook

Bears P4ws has officially joined Facebook.

Join us and help make our Canine Community grow!!!

Keep your Tails Wagging!!
Bears P4ws

How to Train Your Dragon.....*cough*...I mean Dog....

There is this incredible pressure on dog owners when it comes to selecting an appropriate training method, or trainer, for their newest furry family member.  No one wants to live under the stigma of having a “Bad Dog” or being that owner in the park who everyone avoids because, let’s face it – Rover just isn't properly socialized – and he doesn't quite come when called either....
In the age of Cesar Milan’s “The Dog Whisperer”  or the new CBS Prime-time series “Dogs in the City” where trainers with magical dog-telepathy abilities are “curing” dogs and training people, how in the world is the common-Joe of dog owners supposed to get their pups trained without making it onto the nearest television network?

 The answer?  Training. 

The Dogington Post has recently posted an incredible resource in terms of the questions you should be asking yourself and your potential new trainer while on the hunt for the perfect mesh of leadership, discipline, dominance, affection and fun....

When selecting a professional dog trainer, pet parents should consider the following questions:

1: What is their level of experience, where did they learn how to train dogs, and what is their success rate with your specific breed of dog? A professional dog trainer is like many occupations—just because they claim to be a “professional” does not mean they know what they are doing. Get references from the trainer and visit those who have had their dog trained by this individual. 

2: ask what training methods they use. There are two basic training methods used to train a dog. One is the “positive reinforcement” method where the dog receives plenty of praise and encouragement for doing as instructed. The second method is a harsher method using shock collars as well as other less than desirable methods (in my humble opinion). Avoid a trainer who uses the second method

3: The cost. How much are you willing to spend on a professional dog trainer?  While the better trainers can be more costly, please keep in mind that the size of the price tag does not always equal the value you are receiving.   

4:  There is also the debate between private lessons and large group lessons (offered by most pet supply stores).  Keep in mind that large groups provide more distractions and can make a training session ineffective.  On the flip side, practicing training in these environments can also help you learn how to handle your pup in such distractions.  Ask yourself before you start – which would you prefer?

Keep in mind that there is no GUARANTEED method for training ALL dogs – no magical trainer or training method that will produce the perfect house dog with little to no effort on the part of the pet-parent.  Training takes work and repetition.  It takes dedication and a great deal of patience.  There will be successes that you can celebrate, but you will also need to prepare yourself for the unavoidable set-backs.  But if you and your four-legged furry friend can both buckle down and commit to a training regimen, the peace of mind and happiness you will find at the end of your training journey will be priceless

Keep you Tails Wagging
Bear’s P4ws

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Life Lessons From the Dog....

Sometimes I wish I could see life through Bear’s eyes.  To him the world is a place filled with wonder and exploration.  Everything is a chance for play and the greatest reward in the world is when I scratch along his spine with my nails, or cuddle him close to kiss his nose.
To Bear, life is uncomplicated.  Play when you can, explore everything, greet everyone you meet because they all have the potential to become great friends. 
He hates it when I leave, or take him to the vet, but he’ll forgive me the second our eyes meet.  He anticipates the pleasure that comes from my company and misses me as much as I miss him when we’re forced apart by work and the challenges brought on by the human world.
Bear doesn't care about money.  He doesn't care if my hair is brushed or my makeup is done.  He couldn't care less about the distinction between pyjamas and formal evening wear.  Bear’s only concern is the happiness he gets from the pleasure of my company. 
I know that life wasn't always easy for him – Bear had a rough puppy-hood – but since we've fallen into each other’s company I've never seen him let that hold him back.
To me, Bear is the epitome of the enjoyment found in life.  He seeks to take pleasure of everything in his surroundings and there are days when I desperately wish that I could do the same.
Sometimes I think that if we “civilized” humans were more like our dogs, there would be a whole lot less hate in the world – and a whole lot less stress.

They say  that everybody is born with the desire to change the world – even if it’s in the smallest of ways – but no one is unselfish enough to put the world’s needs in front of their own…..

From now on, I think I’ll start taking a page out of Bear’s book…..

Keep your Tails Wagging
Bear's P4ws

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

IMPORTANT!!: Purina's Beneful Dog Food may be Killing Your Dog.....

"In the human food industry, there are laws against calling something healthy when it’s not. There are regulations against deceitful packaging and outright lies to consumers.
There are no such laws and regulations in the dog food industry.
That’s right, a manufacturer can fill a bag with massive amounts of sugars, animal by-products, and fillers, label the food as healthy and nutritious, cover the bag with photos of vibrant, happy dogs surrounded by fresh meats and vegetables and sell millions of bags to unsuspecting consumers that believe they’re doing right by their dog.
Such is the case with Purina’s Beneful line of dog food. Here’s how Beneful describes their Original flavor kibble:

"Beneful® brand Dog Food Original helps keep your dog happy and healthy with a perfect balance of healthful ingredients, quality nutrition and superb taste. It’s made with wholesome grains and real beef, and accented with vitamin-rich vegetables."

he only truthful part of this statement is the superb taste. And that’s only because the manufacturer sprays the food with rendered animal fats, making it irresistible to hungry dogs.In truth, the number one ingredient in all of Beneful’s recipes is corn, a commonly-used filler that provides very little nutrition to dogs. In addition to providing little nutritional value, corn has a high glycemic index, raising your dog’s blood sugar, and is not easily digested by dogs.
The next ingredient in this so-called “healthy food” is chicken by-product meal. This is essentially the waste that’s left over after the good meat has been removed: feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs, and organs (the only nutritious part of by-product) that are “unfit for human consumption.”
Third ingredient in their food is corn gluten meal. Glutens are an inferior source of protein behind meat by-products. Using corn gluten meal in their food allows Beneful to show a higher protein content on their bag, making it appear to be a higher quality food.
It’s not until the seventh ingredient that we finally reach beef. But, since beef is 80% water, when it is cooked down, it only amounts to a small percentage of it’s pre-cooked weight, meaning it could belong much further down the list of ingredients.
As if these reasons alone aren't enough to avoid this product altogether, dog owners are now claiming that Purina’s Beneful is killing their dogs.
You’ll remember that Purina is the manufacturer of the Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch chicken jerky treats imported from China that have been investigated since 2007, only now being recalled after illegal drug residue was found in the treats.
Are they using the same Chinese factories responsible for nearly 500 dog deaths and thousands of illnesses to manufacture their foods, too?
Since October of 2012 until now, 229 complaints have been made against Beneful dog food to Consumer Affairs. Dog owners are reporting such illnesses as vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, lethargy, weight loss, and seizures after only a few meals of Beneful dog food. Other, less-frequent complaints, have reported bloat (a life-threatening condition in dogs), liver failure, kidney failure, and even death.
According to a report by The Examiner, veterinarians have reported bacterial infections, liver and kidney failure and high toxins in pets that have been brought in related to Beneful dog food illnesses.
Clearly, Purina is ignoring the complaints by consumers (just as they did for over 5 years with their chicken jerky treats) and, as of yet, there is no FDA recall or warning on these products.
It is up to us, the consumers and dog owners, to stop supporting brands that don’t put our pet’s health and well-being at the forefront of their company mission. If we collectively take a stand against brands known for poor nutrition, questionable ingredients, and deceitful packaging, they will eventually be forced to change.
How many more dogs have to suffer because of an industry that allows them to?"

Quoted directly from:

Keep your eyes on the Nutritional Information panel and the Ingredient list on your pet's food!

  In my neck of the woods we've decided to silently boycott any food or treat that is being released under the PURINA brand.  It's not much, but it's a small something.....and maybe if enough of us stop buying their products, we may be able to convince PURINA to re-adjust their food content or take Beneful off the shelves.  
It's probably a naive thought, but it's worth the attempt.  

Stay Healthy and Keep your Tails Wagging

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The Recipe for Trust and Affection.....

Not all dogs come “pre-wired” for affection, and while most may  gladly sit or stay for a tasty treat or praise from their people, some may choose to ignore or even purposely defy their pet parent. Like humans, dogs are individuals with unique personalities. Even breeds well known for their lovable natures and extreme obedience skills, such as the golden retriever, have a few rebels in the family -- free thinkers who believe they know better than you about where and when to sit. Still, there are steps you can take to earn the best from your pooch, regardless of his personality.
  1.       Prove you're reliable by feeding him on time, taking him out when he needs a potty break and following a predictable work and home schedule. If you feed him at 4 p.m. one day and 8 p.m. the next or spend little time at home most days, he won't trust you to meet his basic needs.
  2.       Earn his trust by using your hands for petting, praise and redirection -- not punishment. Calling your dog to you and then punishing him for a mistake, such as using your best shoes as a chew toy, confuses and frightens him. Like an infant who hasn't learned the language yet, he has no idea what you're angry about, even if you pick up the shoe and show it to him.
  3.       Establish yourself as a calm leader. Yelling at him or stomping around in a huff when he misbehaves may help relieve your frustration, but it will do little to build his trust in you. He'll focus on the lesson rather than on finding a place to cower while you rant if you correct and redirect him firmly but gently, such as saying “ouch” and stopping play time if he nips you.
  4.       Build on his natural doggy affection by playing with him frequently. Even the older doggies will chase a rolled tennis ball across the living room or sniff out a treat hidden in plain sight. Engaging in petting fests whenever possible reinforces his desire for human interaction. 
* Referenced from The Daily Puppy

Keep your tails Wagging

Monday, 14 January 2013

Life in the quasi-city with a BIG dog….

Here’s a pet-peeve of mine.  The general public (as a rule) has gotten a little stupid when it comes to large dogs.  It has become so commonplace to see little pooches riding around in purses and bark-attacking pedestrians, trees, squirrels and anything else that so much as twitches, but take a big dog for a walk down the street of my city-town and suddenly people are crossing the street to avoid you, yelling profanities at you dog, and all but diving in front of cars in order to avoid your apparently “dangerous animal.” I’ve watched parents sweep their children up and out of Bear’s sightlines, as if he were a lion on the prowl, and one man went so far as to wave his cane at us…….
It seems as though in this world of miniature-micro-everything, the bigger the dog, the more the public assumes that it is dangerous.  In Toronto (and most of North America) there is a ban on Pit-Bulls.  At one time, German Sheppards were considered “highly dangerous” and at some point so were the Rottweilers.  When Bear first fell into my lap and stole my heart, I was ecstatic…my insurance company, not so much.  Turns out  that having a dog identified as a Rottweiler would increase the amount of insurance I paid on my house……(Bear isn’t a Rottweiler, but still).  You never hear any kill orders declared for those small teacup dogs that ride in designer purses into malls, stores, restaurants and most other places where the bigger dogs are “strictly prohibited.”

I suppose that in the end it all comes down to education.  Somewhere along the line we stopped teaching our children how to behave around animals.  We’ve replaced knowledge with fear and that stuff breads like wildfire.  

 Somewhere, somehow we, as dog owners, need to start changing the standard…..I’ve been scheduling days where I take Bear to work with me (I work in a school sort of environment) so that the children and their parents can be exposed to a larger dog.  They learn to interact with him, how to approach him and how to read some basic doggy body language…and Bear adores the attention.

 It’s not the whole of the general public, but I suppose it’s a start….

Keep your Tails Wagging