Pet Tips 'n' Tales©

Pet Treats That Bite You Back!
 

Courtesy photo by Suzka©
Why was Susan's Sophie so ill? Were her dog's treats biting her back? Susan offers pet treat tips with results like a dip in the "puppy-fountain-of-youth!"

TALES

Many pet parents are concerned about the quality (or lack thereof) of their pets' foods/treats.

As of January 12, 2012, the FDA lists 1086 pet food recalls, prompting some pet/feed stores to post "Made in America" signs over pet food displays for pet parents' peace of mind. Return this kindness by providing them with feedback on products purchased in their establishments.

April/March Recalls:

April 2012
- Baby Bird & Baby Macaw Feeding Formula
- Diamond Pet Foods - Dry Dog Food Bags.

March 2012
- The Hartz Mountain Corporation -Wardley Advanced Nutrition Perfect Protein Tropical Flake Fish Food.
- Cargill Animal Nutrition - Nutrena NatureWise Goat Pellets.
- Western Feed
Check recalled batch numbers:

Ask feed/pet stores where their products are manufactured. Because the media is slow to pick up on this alarming situation, ask your pet stores to alert you to FDA warnings regarding. Frequent local pet stores as they contribute to our community by providing jobs, tax dollars, and support events.

"Last year," said Susan, "our Pomeranian, Sophie, began experiencing skin problems, (rashes, redness), followed by bladder infections. She was uncomfortable in her own skin! The vet felt she had a "flea problem, yet I saw no signs of fleas.

Month by month her health deteriorated. She became lethargic, confused, anxious. We wondered if this was related to her skin and bladder conditions, but eventually she became so ill that we rushed her to an emergency veterinarian clinic. All tests came back as "normal" which was confusing! Why was Sophie having so many health issues?

One day our daughter, Melissa, was visiting and she went to give Sophie a chicken jerky treat. Melissa is a label reader so before giving Sophie the treat, she read it's ingredient list, and asked me, 'Did you know these are made in China?'  The product is distributed through an American company,  I had no reason to doubt its quality or that it wasn't made in the USA.

We 'thought' we were giving our  dog healthy snacks, (dried sweet potato and chicken jerky), 'made in America', but both were made in China. Then, I read the labeling on all of Sophie's foods/treats: China, Mexico, Switzerland, Canada.....finally, I came across Greenies which proudly states it is made in the USA. (Greenies had an issue years ago, but has since resolved it by upgrading their formula to 'SAFE', so I give Sophie one each day). And why did one manufacturer add peanut hulls into their food? I read an article by Susan Brigola that 'peanut hulls are particularly susceptible to aflotoxin in addition to being heavily sprayed with pesticides!'

From that day on, Sophie became an exclusively 'Made in America', dog. Plus, I learned to make her homemade food and treats consisting of locally grown chicken tenders, with no NO no preservatives, salt, or other seasonings, and she loves it!

She receives a combination of foods including chicken, baked sweet potato, green beans, and occasionally a bit of cottage cheese, applesauce, rice. There are so many combinations and she loves them all. She empties her bowl within minutes, leaving no chance for the food to spoil.

My advice is to read labels, be tuned into your pets and observe their reaction to foods/treats offered to them. If they refuse to it, there is a reason. Our pets may not be able to speak, but they are great mimes!

Thank you for educating readers through the recent Tips 'n' Tales article about making healthy treats for our pets," said Susan. "Since I began making Sophie's food she's had no more rashes, bladder infections, discomfort. We are proud to announce that her health has improved ten-fold! Her fur is so beautiful she could win an award! The joke I tell my friends, "From my experience, I have come to the conclusion that dogs and cats are allergic to Chinese food!"


TIPS

"Sophie's water bowl is washed with hot, soapy, water every morning," said Susan, "We change her water at least three times a day. Bacteria in dirty water bowls can cause health problems. Plastic bowls are notorious for trapping bacteria within the micro-sized grooves caused by pets' teeth."

Gigi a Pet Tips 'n' Tales reader in Providence, Rhode Island emailed, "The FDA website reports that pet foods arriving from overseas are a problem. My dog, Noori, is 16 years old and we can't use him as an experimental lab subject! If anything goes wrong, he is too old to fight it. So, I began feeding him home cooked food and it has paid off! The food has given Noori a new lease on life. He is acting like a young dog again and even runs in the park! We found his favorite recipes in Dr. Pitcairn's book, Natural Health for Dogs and Cats!"
 
*DISCLAIMER
Information provided is shared from personal experience and for reference purposes only. It is not intended for use to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health condition, nor is it intended to substitute advice given by a physician, veterinarian, pharmacist, or other licensed healthcare professional. Always consult your physician/veterinarian.
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