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Many pet owners remember 2007 as the terrible year they lost their pets due to contaminated pet food.  The company responsible for importing the tainted products from China (ChemNutra) just received a slap on the wrist for killing over 4,000 pets – 3 years probation and a $35,000 fine.    I am outraged and frustrated that our legal system let these people “get away with murder.”   My pets are my family and my heart goes out to the thousands of pets that suffered due to the contamination.    However, this was not the first time and will not be the last time a pet food has been recalled.  Let us all be extremely diligent in choosing the products we give our pets, whether it be food, treats, flea & tick meds or vaccines.  If we love our pets, we must continue to educate ourselves about what is best for them and not be swayed by flashy ads or smooth talk.   Click here for full article from the Kansas City Star.

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Since my husband is travelling with one of our labs this weekend, it made me think about how many other pet parents take their pets along with them when they travel.  Here are some tips and resources for travelling with your pet.   Did you know there is even a new pets-only airline?  Scroll down to the bottom for the link. 

In the United States alone, over 60 million households have one or more pets. Pet owners in 15 million of those households travel with their pet, and the majority stay in pet-friendly lodging. Fortunately, pet friendly hotels, condos and vacation home rentals do exist. If you will be traveling with your pet, here are some pet friendly tips to remember for safe and trouble-free travel.
1 – When you make your reservation, double-check that pets are allowed. An important advantage of reserving online is that you can see – in writing – whether or not pets are permitted and any restrictions. Online, you can print out your reservation receipt that includes the “pets allowed” information. Verbal reservations leave more room for misunderstanding and miscommunication. If reserving by telephone, ask the reservation person to mail you a confirmation receipt that includes the pets allowed information.
2 – Is your pet an experienced traveler? If not, you should begin getting your pet more accustomed to traveling. Begin by making your car a fun place for your pet. Get in the car with them, play with them, and give them a treat have them enjoy being there with you. Then take a short drive with them. Gradually increase the length of time and distance that you drive with them. Before making a long trip with your pet, the idea is to have them comfortable with being in the car for extended periods of time.

3 – Remember that securing your pet while traveling in the car is crucial for their safety and yours. Consider purchasing a dog safety harness for your pet to use while traveling in the car. If you have a station wagon or SUV, you can purchase a vehicle barrier that keeps your pet confined to the rear area. They are usually sold at pet stores or are available online.
…More Tips

Remember to bring an adequate supply of your pet’s food & favoriate treats – they may not be available at your destination and a sudden change could bring on an upset stomach.  We always pack Life’s Abundance dog food & treats.

Pet Airways, a pet-only airline dedicated to pet-friendly travel.  With Pet Airways, your pet will be safe and comfortable flying in the main cabin — not in cargo!

Search for pet-friendly hotels at OfficialPetHotels.com

Looking for a dog park at your destination?  Try www.dogpark.com

 

Traveling with pets and staying in pet friendly lodging can be lots of fun – after all, your pet is part of your family too. Just using common sense and planning ahead makes for an enjoyable and surprise-free vacation.

Leave a comment & tell me about your experiences travelling with your pets, or share other pet-friendly travel resources!

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The EPA is investigating some flea & tick products that may have caused some health problems in cats and dogs.   We live in the country where our dogs can pick up fleas and ticks most of the year.  To be honest, before we started using a spot-on tick product, I could pick 50 ticks off one of our dogs at one time – ugh!  I hate ticks!    So we do use Frontline on our labs and we have not had any problems with it.  However, I am always looking for more natural products that are effective.   We have tried garlic products in the past but became concerned when I read about garlic as a possible blood thinner.  Do you have a suggestion?  Please let me know!

Here is the EPA Alert:

Increased Scrutiny of Flea and Tick Control Products for Pets
Updated June 23, 2009

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is intensifying its evaluation of spot-on pesticide products for flea and tick control due to recent increases in the number of reported adverse reactions in pets treated with these products. Adverse reactions reported range from mild effects such as skin irritation to more serious effects such as seizures and, in some cases, death of the pet.

Flea and tick products can be appropriate treatments for protecting your pets and your family’s health because fleas and ticks can transmit disease. While many people use the products with no harm to their pets, EPA recommends that pet owners take precautions when using these products. People should carefully follow label directions and monitor their pets for any signs of an adverse reaction after application, particularly when using these products for the first time. Also, before use of these products on weak, aged, medicated, sick, pregnant or nursing pets, or on pets that have previously shown signs of sensitivity to pesticide products, EPA recommends that a veterinarian be consulted. Additional safety tips are available for taking care of fleas and ticks on your pet.

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I came across this article today.  There is much dispute across the country if states should pass mandatory spay/neuter legislation.  Here is a link directly to the AVMA website http://www.avma.org/onlnews/javma/may09/090515j.asp

 What is your opinion?

“A new American Veterinary Medical Association report disputes claims that pets should be spayed or neutered for population control reasons, or that spay and neuter is always healthy for pets. The report finds adverse effects from spay and neuter include increased risks of prostate cancer, bone cancer, bladder cancer, hemangiosarcoma, obesity, diabetes, aggression, ligament rupture, and complications from surgery.

After reviewing the risks and benefits associated with spay and neuter of cats and dogs, the report concludes:javma_cover

Pets should be considered individually, with the understanding that for these pets, population control is a less important concern than is health of each animal….veterinarians and owners must consider the benefits and detriments of gonadectomy for each animal… It behooves us as veterinarians dedicated to the provision of the best possible care for animals to educate clients and evaluate each animal carefully when making recommendations regarding gonadectomy.

That’s the latest word from America’s leading association of veterinarians. The best interests of the individual patient are what should determine when or whether a pet should be spayed or neutered. This is a medical decision, to be decided by a pet owner in consultation with their veterinarian. One size does not fit all, and should not be mandated by the state.

28 March, 2009 (20:26) | Spay/Neuter Health

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Many pet parents know about the dangers of pets eating chocolate, but we learned last year about the more dangerous XYLITOL, a sugar substitute found in sugar-free products like chewing gum and candy.  XYLITOL is much more dangerous to our pets – please be careful to put these products out of reach of your precious ones!

More tips here….

Keep Your Pet Safe

published: 06/07/2009
How do you know which foods and household cleaners are safe for your pets? “If you have any doubts, ask your veterinarian,” says Dr. Steven Hansen, head of the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center. Some facts may surprise you. 

RELATIVELY SAFE
Chocolate. Don’t offer it as a treat, but don’t panic if your Lab eats a bar of milk chocolate—the worst she’ll likely get is a bellyache. Caution: Chocolate is more dangerous for smaller dogs. They may need a trip to the emergency clinic.

UNSAFE Xylitol sugar substitute. You’ll likely find this ingredient in your favorite sugar-free gum, candy, or cough drops. If your pet eats Xylitol, head to the vet immediately. Make sure you put candy where pets can’t get to it.

RELATIVELY SAFE
Commercial chewies made to be ingested and pet toys are usually fine. Dr. Hansen says to buy appropriate sizes and use as recommended. Watch for wear and replace as necessary. 

UNSAFE Letting a pet chew on socks, underwear, and nylons is risky business. Materials such as elastic can cause a blockage in the digestive tract if ingested. Keep laundry in hampers, and always watch for what your dog has in his mouth. 

RELATIVELY SAFE Soap-based cleaners such as those found in Swiffer products present no risk to pets. Nor is that “blue water” toilet cleaner a problem, although Hansen recommends keeping the lid down anyway.

UNSAFE Disinfectants and strong cleaning products are dangerous. Don’t store any cleaning products under the sink. Put them away in hard-to-reach cabinets.

UNSAFE “Easter lilies are lethal to cats,” Hansen warns. “It takes very little of this plant material to cause kidney failure.”

RELATIVELY SAFE Carrots, apple slices, and even pizza crusts are generally okay in moderate amounts, although sharing “people food” is not recommended. It can contribute to behavior problems (begging) and obesity.

UNSAFE Raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts, and dough are off-limits. Because of the yeast, dough can expand inside a dog’s stomach and become a big medical problem that may need to be addressed surgically.

RELATIVELY SAFE
Silica gel and roach motels. The little gel packets put in boxes to keep products dry are harmless. And as for that roach motel, “it doesn’t have enough insecticide to be of concern,” Hansen says.

UNSAFE Cat litter. Many dogs like to consume the contents of the cat’s litter box, which may form a blockage that will require medical care. Put the litter box where the cat can get to it easily but the dog cannot.

UNSAFE If your cat gets in the garbage and swallows some yarn or the cord that holds a roast together, you might need to make a trip to the vet for possible surgery. Put craft projects away and get a lidded trash can to prevent these problems.

Dr. Marty Becker and Gina Spadafori are the authors of many best-selling pet-care books, including “The Ultimate Dog Lover” and “Why Do Dogs Drink Out of the Toilet?”

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http://www.parade.com/health/2009/06/pet-safety-tips.html

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It’s been sad hearing about the thousands of good people across the country losing their jobs due the economic downturn.  But it got too close to home this week.  My sister, a computer programmer with 30 years of experience, lost her job this week due to corporate “reorganization.”   She is a couple years older than me, and honestly I don’t want to even think about starting over again at my age.  But she needs to.  Sure, she got a severance package (not nearly long enough, and the feds took 75% in taxes) and will collect unemployment.  But then what?  With hundreds of thousands of people on unemployment and looking for work, will she find another job?  That’s hard to predict.

What I do know is, by coincidence or fate (?), her husband joined our Trilogy family 2 weeks ago.   He is now his own boss with his own business (McCaslandHealthShop.com), with proven products that help people and pets live healthier lives, and a great training program so that he can jump right in and get started.   Trilogy is a 10-year old, debt-free company, whose business has actually increased in 2009.  People who are real animal lovers still want the best for their companions, and know and trust Life’s Abundance pet foods and all the Trilogy products.  I wish the very best for my sister and brother-in-law in their new business, and know they have what it takes to succeed.

If you are in the same situation, I feel your pain.   If a door was closed, maybe it’s time to open another one.   Look at your old job – were you happy?  If not, look for what truly makes you happy and go for it!   Many people have said losing their job was the best thing that happened to them -it forced them to take a risk and try something new. 

If you are an animal lover like me, and like to talking to people about their pets, maybe Trilogy is the answer for you.  We have a team that’s ready to help you succeed too! 

“Happiness is not an accident. Nor is it something you wish for. Happiness is something you design…” – Jim Rohn

Quitters Never Win and Winners Never Quit !

-Janet

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Thanks to my friend Teresa at Holistic Pet Food Blog for the following article on safe pet foods.  I have to add – you get what you pay for, especially when it comes to quality pet food.   I didn’t know that until 5 years ago when I started researching pet food ingredients – wow, what an eye-opener!  I personally found HealthyPetNet to be right for my pets.  Here’s the article:

“If you really want the very best, the very safest foods for your pet, look for dog food and cat food that comes from USDA APHIS-certified plants.  These are high-end foods!

USDA APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) Registered – APHIS registry certifies that the pet food company purchases all of their meats from USDA registered suppliers who follow all USDA regulations for safe meat handling. USDA is, of course, US-sourced. It can apply to both the meat and the grains used in the pet food.

Many of these foods are only available at natural grocers or specialty pet products stores.  If you don’t have one of these stores nearby, try HealthyPetNet as they are mail order. 

Natural pet products company whose pet food is USDA APHIS certified:

Artemis

==> Fresh Mix Adult Dog Food 30 lbs for $41.99 to $51.99 = $1.40 – 1.73 per lb

Eagle Pack

==> Holistic Select Chicken Meal and Rice 16.5 lbs for $28.99 + $18.25 S&H = $2.86 per lb.

HealthyPetNet 

==> Life’s Abundance Health Food for Dogs 20 lbs for $35.25 plus $7.75 S&H = $2.14 per pound (autoship for 20% discount, reduce S&H by shipping multiple bags)

Kumpi

==> 20 lbs for $36, free S&H = $1.80

Natura Pet
==> They make Innova, Evo, Mother Nature, California Natural, Healthwise, and Karma.

Precise Pet Products

==> 30 lbs for $38.99 + 18.25 S&H = $1.91

This list is incomplete, please notify me via the comments when you find a pet food that is USDA APHIS-certified.”

-Janet

 

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