Archive for the ‘pet food’ Category

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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Here’s more about breeding and raising Whispering Pines Farm puppies –

10.  At 4 weeks old, the puppies are really active!  They play and wrestle with each other, biting on ears and tails.  We started weaning them from Sunny now, giving them a liquidy mash of  dry food soaked in water, then blended with a little of the canine milk replacer.  We use the same dry food that all our dogs eat – Life’s Abundance by HealthyPetNet.  It is formulated by a holistic vet, and good for ALL life stages, including puppies.  No hesitation here, they all lapped it right up!  Over the next week we will gradually decrease the liquid until they are eating slightly soaked food, then all dry.  The more food that goes in, the more there is to clean up!  So we use lots of newspaper and change their bedding twice a day.  Watch a Video:  

11.  At 5 weeks old, we start allowing visitors.  They love visiting time!  They get to play in the living room, smell new smells and bite new fingers and toes!  They weigh between 5-6 lbs now, and are growing fast!  We use only pe t& planet-safe cleaning products around the puppies – Floor Cleaner  from HealthyPetNet  (they also have an awesome biodeodorizer for pet accidents) and disinfectant with tea tree oil from Melaleuca.  We expose them to all the normal sights and sounds of a household, including banging pots & pans, the vacuum cleaner, and something new everyday.   That might be getting their toenails clipped, playing with duck wings, meeting the other dogs and cat, and going for a ride in the car.  The more they experience now, the easier the transition will be for them in their new homes.   And that’s the best gift of all – knowing these puppies will bring joy and companionship to 9 loving families!  More Video

There’s so much more, but I think that’s enough for now.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Have a Happy, Healthy and Abundant New Year!


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That’s what I’ve been doing since our lab puppies were born on 11/22/09!   And with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and all the extra activities, I haven’t had time to post here.  I’m on vacation from my J-O-B for 2 weeks, so I thought I would tell you a little bit about how we breed & raise our pups.  

1.  Selecting a Stud

First of all, choosing a stud dog is of utmost importance – it will be 1/2 the new puppies gene pool!   We breed because we love labs and want to enhance the breed.  We choose to use Deep Farm studs because they operate one of the finest breeding, training and canine health care facilities in North America. Owners Phyllis Giroux, DVM CAC and Jack Jagoda, co-founder and past president of the North American Hunting Retriever Association (NAHRA), have the absolute best all-round labs available.  Our Whispering Pines Midnight Sun SH “Sunny” was bred to Deep Run Retriever’s AM/CAN/UKC CH Poplar Forest Play It Again Sam, MH “Sam” who is a conformation Champion as well as a Master Hunter.   Since Phyllis specializes in canine reproduction, we feel confident leaving our girls with her during the breeding process.  Gestation time is 63 days.

2.   We started curtailing Sunny’s activity level a couple weeks before her due date.  She is definitely looking pregnant!    An excellent resource is The Whelping and Rearing of Puppies by Muriel P. Lee.   Nursing moms need up to 300% more nutrients than normal, so we start feeding her more in advance.

3.   Sunny took a trip to the vets the week before the puppies were due and had xrays taken so we knew approximately how many puppies to expect (sometimes they hide behind each other, so it’s not always accurate).  The vet saw 8 to 9 puppies!

4.  We start taking her temperature a few days before her due date.  When her temp drops to 99 or 98 degrees and stays down, the whelping will be soon.  My husband and I took turns sleeping on the couch and keeping an eye on her.

5.  Sunny started nesting on 11/21, and was busy all morning on the 22nd, circling her whelping box and ripping up newspapers.  Finally, she had her first puppy at 5 pm.  It was large, about 1 lb, (a yellow male). This was Sunny’s first litter, and she had quite a tough time with him , so Bill and I and our nephew Jesse helped with the birth.  Sunny was very surprised when she saw the pup for the first time and I wish I had a camera ready to take a picture of the expression on her face!  A couple of sniffs was all it took for her to realize this was her pup, and she started nursing him right away.  We named the puppy Jesse after our nephew.   Sunny had 6 puppies from 5 pm to about 10 pm, then seemed to say, that’s it, I’m done!  But we knew there were at least 2 more pups waiting to be born.   So a few phone calls with the vet and more waiting, we took a trip to the vet’s at midnight.  He administered a shot of Oxytocin to stimulate her contractions, and the last 3 puppies were born within a 1/2 hour.  Whew!   Back home by 1 a.m., put mom and all the puppies back in the whelping box, and were glad to see them all nursing contently! 

6.  We weigh the puppies twice a day in the beginning to be sure they are all gaining weight.  All the puppies were between 14-16 oz at birth, all good weights, so we did not need to give any of them milk supplements.  We have in the past, and we use an excellent milk replacer made from actual canine milk (most milk replacer is from cow’s milk), from Nature’s Farmacy.  The first 2 weeks of life are critical, because the puppies are so fragile.  They can easily be injured or chilled.  They cannot regulate their own body heat, so we make sure the room temperature is about 80 degrees.  Again, we took turns on the couch so we were close enough to hear if a puppy was in distress.  Sunny took care of the feeding & cleaning up! 

7.  Between Days 3-16, we perform exercises called “Early Neurological Stimulation”.  These exercises were developed by the U.S. military canine program, and have been shown to improve the adult dog’s adaptability, performance, health and intelligence.  It only takes about 1 minute per puppy and they get used to be handled and held in different positions.  Many studies have shown that there are 3 important stages in a puppy’s development: neurological stimulation, socialization, and enrichment.  We make it a point to do everything possible so the puppies get all 3 of these important stages.

8.  At Day 14, all the puppies’ eyes and ears were open.  They begin exploring their world (limited by the 4’x4′ whelping box), but mostly still just eat and sleep.

9.  At 3 weeks old, the puppies are getting too big for the whelping box – they are climbing out & escaping!  We removed the box and set up 2 exercise pens in the middle of the kitchen to give them plenty of room to explore and play.  And a crate at one end to sleep in.  They’re teeth are starting to come in – ouch!  Watch a video of the pups here:

To Be Continued

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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:


==> 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.


==> 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)


==> 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.”



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Would You Like To Get Your Pet Food For Free & Earn Extra Income?

You are invited to attend a special conference call to learn how you can get your pet food for free and earn extra income!

Don’t let a bad economy get you down!
The pet business is BOOMING! People will spend anything on their pets and only want the very best for them.

Find out how YOU can be a part of the booming pet industry!

The Purr-Fect Business For Pet Lovers And Pet Professionals!

•Trainers •Groomers •Breeders •Kennels •Pet Sitters •Dog Walkers •Veterinarians •Daycare Operators •Shelter Workers and olunteers •Animal Rescue Operators •Emergency Service Professionals (K-9 and rescue units)

Date: Monday, March 30, 2009
Time: 8:00 PM EST
Phone Number: 616-347-8200 Passcode 800479#
Contact:  Janet Makarick        304-788-1810


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Hello & Welcome to my blog.  My friend Amelia suggested this, and I’ve been reading so much about wordpress.com on twitter, I decided to take the plunge.  I want to share information about pets, dog training tips, nutrition, and whatever else I come across.   Your suggestions and comments are appreciated.

I came across this article yesterday The World’s Ten Smartest Dogs by PetMD.  I can’t say I agree with labrador retrievers listed as #7, but I may be just a little prejudiced.  Labs are the best breed for me (yes, I know, not for everyone).  My labs love me unconditionally, are constantly by my side when I’m home, comfort me when I need it, act silly and funny other times, but do their “job” (hunting) when my husband takes them into the field.  Although I came late to being owned by a lab, just 15 years ago, I know I could never live without them now.  I’ve had my share of sorrow too.   I’ve lost some of my best friends over the years and the only thing that keeps me going is knowing I have other pups to care for.  They are my best buddies!  

How about you?  Are you owned by a dog?  Tell me about it

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