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Archive for Pet News
From the deadly chicken jerky coming out of China to your everyday rawhide – identifying safe treats for your dog can be a matter of life and death. Most chews look innocent enough, but the truth is these chews are not only unhealthy for our dogs, they can be downright dangerous! But with some careful research and helpful tips, you can prevent treat time from becoming a terror.
Find the Source
The biggest step you can take for your dog’s treat safety is knowing the country of origin of the treats and chews you’re feeding.
As an educated pet parent, you’re already aware of the recalls and FDA investigations resulting from the Chinese chicken jerky treats, but there are other dangers to avoid when considering your dog’s treats and chews.
Chicken breast is more readily available and less expensive in China because human consumption focuses on dark meat, rather than white meat. However, the chicken sourced from China, as well as Chinese processing, use techniques and additives, like certain antibiotics, that are not allowed in the United States for safety reasons. The end result is a questionable treat that presents a risk not worth taking.
For not only your dog’s chicken jerky treats, but also his sweet potato chews, make the safer choice and only buy products sourced from the USA. They’re overseen by the FDA and must follow strict guidelines to ensure safety for your pet.
Beef and lamb chews can be sourced from several different areas.
USA chews will always be overseen by the FDA, which will mean a safe, high quality product.
Numerous chews also come from Australia and New Zealand, both countries with strict oversight, pristine environments, and high quality products. Beef chews from South America are also very safe, healthy options for your dog. High quality South American beef is a way of life for many ranchers and they are very careful to produce grass-fed, free range, 100% safe products.
Ingredient Dos and Don’ts
When it comes to ingredients in your pet’s treats and chews, a simple rule of thumb is less is more. Single ingredient treats are not only great because they’re a healthy option for your pets, but you can easily determine what’s in them, and more importantly, what’s not. If a product is made with 100% chicken, 100% sweet potato, or 100% beef, you know exactly what your dog will be eating.
Artificial colors, preservatives and flavors are also very common in pet treats. Keep your eyes peeled for any ingredients that don’t look familiar or that you can’t pronounce.
Gently dehydrated treats are easily made without these ingredients, so shop around and find options without artificial, harmful chemicals.
Finally, make sure you read the ingredient panel. A lot of companies will make healthy claims on the front of the bag, but the truth is discovered on the back. Read the ingredient panel carefully and make sure you know everything that’s in the treat.
Back to Nature
Natural ingredients are always going to be better for your dog: they’re easier to digest, they’re in line with a high quality, healthy diet, and they’re less processed than conventional treats. But with so many treats claiming to be natural, finding the truly healthy options can be difficult. There are some simple tips to help.
Look for how the product is marketed. When companies claim that their products are “100% Real,” they are grasping at straws. “Real” is not a substantiated claim and makes no difference in what’s actually in your dog’s treat. This also applies to treats that make big, bold claims on the front of the packaging. When you want to find out what a product is made with, you look at the ingredient panel, not the front of the bag.
Truly natural products can be easily identified by looking for certain phrases, like single ingredient, grass-fed, and free range. But even more important is looking at the ingredient panel: if there’s only one ingredient, then you know what your dog is eating.
It’s also helpful to keep processing in mind. If the chew or treat is bright white or some unnatural color, then it has more than likely gone through a toxic bleaching and dyeing process. If, for example, the sweet potato looks like a sweet potato, then you know that it has simply been dehydrated, which not only maintains nutritional content, but keeps dangerous chemicals out of the process.
Along with knowing what you’re giving your dog, it’s equally important to know how you give it to your dog. Although natural treats like bully sticks and sweet potato chews are 100% digestible, they can still present choking hazards and get lodged in your dog’s throat. Preventing this can be a fairly simple task.
Always be present when giving your dog a chew. You don’t have to be nose to nose, but make sure you’re in the same area as your dog and stop in occasionally to make sure everything is going smoothly. This not only gives you peace of mind that your dog is safe, but it also helps reinforce the bond between you and your dog.
Know your dog’s chewing habits. If he likes to swallow large pieces of treats, take the chew away from him when it gets down to the final bit. This will remove the choking hazard, but still give your dog a satisfying chewing experience.
When it comes to bully sticks, make sure you size your treat to your dog accordingly. Smaller dogs can do well with any size bully stick, but the 4 inch ones will last a while and are
satisfying. For larger dogs, make sure you’re getting a 12 inch or 18 inch bully stick to prevent choking and offer them a longer chewing experience.
Chinese made chicken jerky treats for our pets have made a resurgence in the news recently; most notably the deaths linked to brands like Waggin’ Train and Milos Kitchen. And there have been a number of official complaints made to the FDA over the past six years. It’s become such an issue that Nestle and Delmote have pulled products from the shelves; much to the relief of pet lovers. These deaths have spurred everything from an FDA investigation to numerous petitions. Plus, the stories have made national news, including NBC and National Public Radio.
As an Only Natural Pet customer, you probably haven’t been directly affected by this controversy. You, like us, understand the importance of quality in your pet’s diet. That’s why we have a huge variety of pet treats Made in the USA and pet products Made in the USA, including our Only Natural Pet Chicken Jerky Strips. But for those of you looking for answers and advice, let’s take a look at the facts:
• The FDA has been aware of illness associated with chicken jerky (as well as duck and sweet potato) originating in China since 2007.
• They have received 3,000 reports of illnesses, including 3,600 dogs & 10 cats, and 580 pet deaths related to the treats.
• Cases have been reported in every state.
• Chinese chicken treats have increased 85 fold from 2003 to 2013.
So as you can see, this problem is hugely expansive. And in the face of such a huge problem, it’s hard as a pet owner to know what to do to protect your furry friends. But with sound advice, extra planning, and informed decisions, you’ll be able to give your pet delicious treats without fear.
1. Look for signs of illness: Most of the illness associated with these treats has been gastrointestinal. This includes problems like vomiting, diarrhea, and blood and mucus in stool. More serious issues have arisen however, including pancreatic and GI bleeding and even kidney failure. If any of these issues arrive, seek veterinarian help immediately.
2. Stop buying treats made in China: Unfortunately, all too often, profits outweigh safety for big corporations. Chicken jerky brands like Only Natural Pet and BIXIBI are safely and proudly made in the USA.
3. Remember, chicken jerky is just a treat: Your pet doesn’t need treats to survive, so if you are at all concerned, stop feeding them treats. A balanced diet is essential for your pet’s health, treats are just the icing on the cake.
4. Share with your friends: Make sure every pet guardian you know is aware of what’s happening. Share on social media, like Facebook, talk to them at the dog park, whatever it takes! Get the word out to everyone that these treats are dangerous.
5. Make a statement: This one is easy and powerful. As consumers, we have the power to say to these big companies that our pets are more important than profits. Shop with smaller brands that produce in the USA. Let them know you appreciate their dedication to your pet’s health and happiness.
Navigating the world of pet food can be scary when dangers like Chinese treats and salmonella recalls are popping up so often. But these threats are easily neutralized when you’re a caring, informed pet parent. Together we can stand up for the rights of our pets.
The 4th of July is almost here!
While we’re sure our pets are just as patriotic as we are, they may not share our excitement for the local fireworks displays.
Pets can find fireworks terrifying. Fortunately we have a number of remedies that actually work well!
Starting out, it’s important to introduce our natural pet stress-relieving techniques a few days or even a week before they’re needed, to give your pet ample time to become comfortable with them. If your pet is afraid of the very thing meant to relax them, you won’t see good results. Plus, it seems like every neighborhood has that “one guy” who doesn’t wait until the actual 4th of July to celebrate with fireworks! So start your chosen treatment method before the fireworks actually begin. Once your dog or cat is stressed out, it can be difficult to calm them down. It’s important to remember that your pet is not only fearful for its’ own safety, but for yours as well! If you begin to worry about whether your pet will be stressed or anxious, it will only validate the fear and add to the anxiety. It’s important to be calm during such times, as this will help your pet to relax and reduce the fear.
Flower Essences are a very effective tool for combating stress and anxiety because they function on an emotional level.
They’re remarkably simple, combining the energetic essence and effects of flowers in unique formulas. We’ve found our pets are very “tuned in” to emotional energy, and they seem receptive to these formulas. While they’re effective, they’re also very mild on the body and completely safe. Flower Essences can be applied in a number of ways: dropped directly into your pet’s mouth, rubbed on their fur, added to their drinking water or even all of those methods at once!
Some of our most popular Flower Essences listed below are now 15% OFF:
- Our Only Natural Pet Just Relax Flower Essences
- The classic Bach Rescue Remedy Flower Essences
- Pet Essences Anxiety / Fear
Homeopathic Remedies can be effective, very mild and completely safe for your pets.
Homeopathic Remedies work by combining a number of ingredients in extremely small quantities that might seem like they would add to the stress; however these formulations in turn cause the body to react against the ingredients – which can produce a calming effect. The typical daily dosage can be increased during times of stress (like during fireworks, or that wild party you have planned!).
Our most popular stress remedy, Only Natural Pet Stress & Anxiety Homeopathic Remedy requires 5-10 drops 3 times per day to treat general anxiety. During times of stress that dose can be increased to 5-10 drops every 15 min for the first hour, every 30 min for the second hour and then once again for the third hour (If your Fireworks show lasts that long, we’d appreciate an invite!). Homeopathic Remedies should ideally be dropped directly into the mouth. However, if that is difficult they can be mixed with treats, food or water as well.
We offer several other homeopathic remedies for anxiety. One may be right for your pet!
Herbal Formulas are another great option, that tends to work over a longer period of time than homeopathic remedies or flower essences.
These formulas can keep your pet relaxed for an extended time with little to no interruption of the benefits! Since the effects last a bit longer, herbal remedies are one way to reduce any sudden “spikes” of stress and create a sustained, relaxed feeling. Herbal Remedies can be mixed with food, treats, water or given directly.
Other herbal remedies you’ll find on our website (Also now 15% OFF):
- Only Natural Pet Relaxi-Herb Herbal Formula
- Only Natural Pet Chinese Herbal Blends Calm
- Find more Soothing Herbal Forumulas
We have a few other solutions for relieving stress that don’t fit into one of the above categories as well. Our Only Natural Pet Phero-Soothe is a simulated Pheromone spray that creates a feeling of safety and well-being in any environment. Our pets have a powerful sense of smell, which helps make this product effective. The Thundershirt is a unique and creative product. It gently “hugs” your pet, which creates a sense of safety and security by making them feel less vulnerable. Both of these products can be combined with just about anything as well, so they’re a versatile choice that will complement any solution!
Treating anxiety, especially a rational anxiety like a fear of loud explosions, can take some trial and error. We’ve found that combining two or more products is generally the most effective. So explore your options, find the right solution for your pet, and get ready to enjoy those 4th of July fireworks without stress for you or your pet!
All Stress and Anxiety Solutions at 15% Off
June 14 – June 26, 2013
Coupon Code: RELAX
As conscientious pet parents, you know that time outside is tick time for our pets. Unfortunately, research is showing that these blood sucking parasites are only getting worse. Multiple factors are leading to larger, hungrier, and more dangerous tick populations. Thankfully, knowing the facts, understanding the dangers of conventional treatments, and treating your pets with natural tick repellent alternatives will help support your pets during tick season and, most importantly, keep them safe!
Why are the tick populations exploding?
Various factors are contributing to an explosion in tick populations; especially populations further north. The major problems are:
- Climate change & warmer winters: With warmer winters, ticks are able to reproduce more and survive longer. Normally, long, deep freezes would help keep ticks at bay, but since long cold snaps aren’t as common, populations are thriving.
- Suburbanization, bringing together people & pets, wildlife, and ticks: Ticks are opportunistic and willing to feed on anything that crosses their path. And with humans and their pets advancing on wildlife’s terrain (and wildlife becoming more comfortable with people around), this path crossing is becoming much more common.
- Increased populations of deer: We’ve all seen deer feasting in our backyards and parks; unfortunately they have plenty of ticks feasting on them. This means ticks are finding plenty of blood to help them feed, survive, and reproduce.
- Migratory birds carrying ticks to new areas: Ticks are no strangers to air travel, and with houses butting up against plenty of migratory birds’ nests, ticks are finding it easier to find one way tickets to your backyard.
(Not So) Fun Facts About Ticks
Sun Tzu famously said, “If you do not know your enemies… you will be imperiled in every single battle.” So before we go to war with ticks, let’s get a couple things straight:
- Ticks are small arachnids with 8 legs; making them close relatives to spiders and scorpions.
- There are 2 families of ticks found in North America, Ixodidae (hard ticks) & Argasidae (soft ticks).
- There are over 800 species of hard & soft ticks in North America.
- A female tick can lay between 300 and 3,000 eggs over the course of her life.
- Lyme Disease, probably the most famous tick borne disease, was named after the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme, Connecticut, where the disease was first identified in 1975.
Tick-Borne Diseases & Symptoms
Symptoms: The scariest part of ticks is the wide variety of diseases they carry; and since they can transmit more than one disease to the host at a time, it’s difficult to identify and treat illness after a tick bite. Check your pets regularly for ticks, and watch for any sign of illness after a bite, including:
- Coughing or Respiratory Problems
- Muscle or Joint Pain
- Altered Mental State
Major tick-borne diseases: Tick borne diseases can be separated into four major categories, including bacterial, viral, protozoan, and toxic. If you feel your pet is suffering from any tick-borne illness, take them to your veterinarian immediately.
- Lyme Disease or Borreliosis
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
- Relapsing fever
- Ehrlichiosis anaplasmosis
- Tick-borne meningoencephalitis
- Colorado tick fever
- Tick paralysis
Fighting Ticks Effectively
It’s no secret that conventional, pesticide based tick prevention for pets is dangerous, and in some cases, deadly. There’s no reason you should have to choose between possible paralysis from a tick bite and possible paralysis from tick prevention. At Only Natural Pet, we like to say no thank you to both! Here are some of our favorite, natural solutions:
- Only Natural Pet Flea & Tick Tag: Using your pet’s own bio-energy, this tag works synergistically to repel not only ticks, but pests like fleas and mosquitoes as well.
- Only Natural Pet Flea & Tick Collar: Harnessing the proven power of geraniol (an extract of geraniums) and citronella, this collar smells sweet to humans and their pets, but terrible to pests.
- CedarCide BEST YET Pest Repellent: Made with cedar oil, this spritz for dogs is most effective against fleas, but has been shown to work as a repellant for ticks as well.
- Only Natural Pet Squeeze-On Dog Flea Control: Similar to the Only Natural Pet Flea & Tick Collar, this gentle squeeze on also uses geraniol. It also includes peppermint and soothing almond oil.
- Vetri-Science Flea & Tick Repellent Wipes: Featuring gentle essential oils, these easy to apply wipes not only clean your pet, but also repel ticks, fleas and even mosquitoes!
It’s the end of the month and that can only mean one thing…Only Natural Pet Store’s Newsletter! With the warm weather upon us, we’ve decided to focus this natural newsletter on the power of natural flea control. Spring time means fleas are going to be springing into action as well, but with some sound advice from Dr. Jean and Only Natural Pet’s Fearsome 5 Flea Products, there is no infestation that you can’t defeat. So enjoy some great reading and be sure to pick up the best flea products on the market for 10% off! Just use the coupon code FEARSOME5!
Plus, enjoy our Breed Spotlight, which features a Labrador Retriever and a Siamese Cat. We’ve also featured a heartwarming story of Only Natural Pet Store customers Steve and Lori’s pet boxer. Not to mention some helpful advice from our Holistic Healthcare Library. So enjoy some good reading, some great deals and our amazing new products, all in our newest Only Natural Pet Store Newsletter!
It’s a new month at Only Natural Pet Store and that can only mean one thing… our Sale, New & Overstock Sale! Check out the best natural products for your dog and cat and help them kick off the month on the right paw! Whether you’re interested in getting Animal Essentials Calcium Supplement, Nutrisca Freeze Dried Dinner Bites, Harry Barker Bamboo Dog Bowl or the perennial favorite Only Natural Pet EasyRaw, you can find the best deals around with Only Natural Pet Store’s Sale, New & Overstock Sale. Shop now and shop often, this only lasts to the end of the month!