DOGGY TREATS CUSTOMER SERVICE

Doggy treats customer service rep offers advice in dog speak with a nanny dog accent
Doggy treats customer service rep offers advice in dog speak with a nanny dog accent

How cool is that! A doggy treats customer service hotline! I bet the staff at this call center give advice on a whole bunch of stuff. I’m so excited. I can’t wait to tell everyone. You know, Chloe the Bichon, and Harley the Golden, and all my friends at the dog park. 

But wait. Where’s that number to call? Gotta search for it online. Then, you know what I’ll do? I’ll post it on my Facebook page. Everyone will see it. Woof! 

Then it’ll go viral. Woof! Woof! 

Our guardians won’t know if they’re coming or going! Woof! Woof! Woof!

I’m so, so excited, like, I can’t stop wagging my tail! 

To Sum Up

For my human readers who have difficulty understanding dog-speak, don’t forget what I wrote last week. Never underestimate doggy smarts. They are prewired!

PUPPY LEARNS TREATS SMARTS

And guess who’s teaching him?

This puppy learns treats smarts so that the training rewards keep flowing. So, who’s giving this valuable advice? Mom, or Dad, or someone else in the home? Well, that someone is not who you might think. It’s definitely not a human. After all, the whole idea is to outsmart the most intelligent beings on this planet. The ones who spend all this $$$ on rewards so their puppies get a really good education.

Lesson to be learned — don’t ever underestimate doggy smarts. It’s in their DNA!

Puppy learns treats smarts, but not from us!
Puppy learns treats smarts, but not from us!

RAWHIDE BONES SAFETY WARNING

A dramatic illustration like this shows why pet parents must heed this rawhide bones safety warning
These basic manufacturing steps illustrate why a rawhide bones safety warning is necessary. Courtesy of Rodney Habib

Dogs love them yet a rawhide bones safety warning is absolutely necessary. Why? Because nearly all the brands you see online and on the shelves of your favorite pet supply store are constructed with hide from dubious sources and full of toxic chemicals that are used in their manufacturing process. In fact, they have to be among the worst “entertainment” items ever created for dogs.

Rawhide Isn’t Really Raw

This kind of rawhide is more like leather because it goes through many of the same processing steps that are used to make shoes, handbags and a host of other items. 

How Rawhide Dog Bones And Chews Are Manufactured

Here is what happens.

* The hides are soaked in a highly concentrated salt solution to kill any protein-destroying organisms.

* Then they are treated with either an ash-lyme solution or sodium sulphide liming to strip off any hair or fat.

* Next, more chemicals are applied to separate the different layers, since only the inner most ones are used for the chews.

* The hide is then bleached white.

* A chemical preservative is applied so the hide doesn’t spoil.

* A coloring agent is applied.

* The leather is then cut, rolled and glued into the desired shape, packaged and shipped out.

What The Experts Tell Us

“Rawhide is the most dangerous pet chew ever. More dogs have died from rawhide treats than almost any other form of dog treats or food.” 

Rodney Habib, Canadian activist and founder of Planet Paws. 

“As the rawhide is chewed and turns soft and gooey, and the knots at each end get undone, it has become a choking and intestinal obstruction hazard.”

Dr. Karen Becker, holistic veterinarian.

To help prevent choking, intestinal obstruction and death, we need more rawhide bones safety warning posters like this.
A rawhide bones safety warning like this helps prevent choking, intestinal obstruction and death.
Courtesy of Mornington Peninsula Dog Lovers

Some Scary And Very Sad Stories

Like so many others, the people mentioned here hadn’t received a rawhide bones safety warning.

Teddy almost choked on one, it had completely unraveled and was down his throat.Thank God we were home and in the same room.” Tracey Schofield

Years ago, my Jack Russell was choking on a rawhide, but luckily I was able to put my finger down his throat and got it out. I don’t know why the stores keep selling rawhides.” Celine Ostendorf

After swallowing some pieces of rawhide, mine died in surgery, so sad.” Sylvie Haustete

“One of my ‘students’ had an obstruction. When I asked when the pup would be in for its 2nd level of training, I was told that, sadly, the little one had died due to blockage in the intestines.” Wendy Roberson (dog trainer)

I had a pedigree German Shepherd that ate some rawhide and died in my jeep before I could reach the vet! There was nothing I could do. His stomach was all swollen and twisted by the obstruction.” Mercedes López-Roberson

To Sum Up

These testimonials speak for themselves. Besides, there are other ways, much safer ways, to provide enrichment for your beloved pets.

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!  

BEST PET FOOD/WATER BOWLS

Feeding bowls made from stainless steel, the preferred material for dogs
Metal food and water bowls on a stand for a rather long-legged dog

Choose the best pet eating/drinking bowls for your cats and dogs
Cat enjoys drinking and feeding out of metal bowls raised off the ground

Have you ever wondered what the best pet food/water bowls are made of? Did you know that there are important differences? If not, just read on to find out how your choices can benefit the dogs and cats in your life.

Plastic Pet Feeding Bowls

This may come as a surprise but plastic is certainly not the best. Some pets are allergic to it and anything made from that material can cause a health episode. 

However, allergic or not, plastic is likely to break down over time causing harmful chemicals—Bisphenal A (BPA) and Phthalates— to seep into the food or water in a plastic bowl. Some researchers have even found traces of lead.

GETTING PERSONAL 

Not too long ago I cared for a family of four cats. One of the trio of white ones suffered from skin allergies caused by anything made from plastic. Yes, anything. Plastic bags, plastic containers, you name it. The cat’s guardians had to make sure it never ever came into contact with items like these. 

When the family was away, kitty care was my responsibility and to keep the felines out of harm’s way. I always made sure to keep my work tote bag zipped shut. When I brought in the newspaper, I removed the plastic lining and immediately threw it away into the lidded bin. Then there were times I might need something stored in a plastic container that was kept in a closet. I had to make sure I never left it out on the kitchen counter unattended, or forgot to put it back in its place after use.

Glass Pet Feeding Bowls

This material is stable and can be sterilized but there is always the possibility of breakage. If you do choose glass, avoid products made in developing countries that often contain lead.

Ceramic Pet Feeding Bowls

Generally this is a reliable material. Just make sure the label says “lead-free.” The reason being that the colors used in glazed items produced in some countries could contain lead and cadmium which are toxic.

Stainless Steel – The Best Pet Eating/Drinking Bowls

This is definitely the preferred material of choice since it doesn’t react to foods and liquids. It is strong, and can be sterilized. Nevertheless, if the bowls were to become severely scratched or damaged, metals could seep out over a long period of time.

To Sum Up

As you can see, it really does matter what you serve food and water in. Most importantly, check out the country of origin and almost certainly stay away from plastic. Despite this, you still have a number of good options available. Choose the best pet food/water bowls for your companion animals. Not just any bowls. And, finally, be the best pet parent possible.

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!  

PET FOOD QUANTITY CONTROL

When you don’t follow pet food quantity control, obesity becomes a serious health issue. Photo credit: Karen Arnold
When you don’t follow pet food quantity control, obesity becomes a serious health issue. Photo credit: Karen Arnold

Let’s face it. Pets are very food motivated. They just don’t know when to stop eating, which is why pet food quantity control is so important.

Dogs and cats, but especially dogs, will eat as much as they can because they think it could very well be their last meal, ever. Or they might believe it’s the only food they’ll get in quite some time. 

Of course, centuries ago, this used to be the case when dogs and cats lived in the wild and were forced to hunt. However, today that has all changed. It’s we, the pet parents, who decide the when, what and how much for them and, unfortunately, often times, we get it all wrong.

The How And When Of Pet Mealtimes

When our companion animals have constant access to food and the ability to eat any quantity at any time, problems are usually inevitable. If we don’t feed pets measured meals, they will certainly over-eat. As a result, they become overweight or, worse, obese. And, just like humans, I think we are all very much aware of the health hazards that poses.

But, back to the how and when. I recommend two options, however, this is the preferred one that most pet guardians can manage.

  • Serve the food in person, twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening.
  • Wait for between 10 and 15 minutes. 
  • After waiting, pick up the bowl if the food has not been finished.

How Much Means Controlled Portions

The first part of pet food quantity control is knowing the appropriate amount you should serve your dog or cat at each meal. If you’re not sure, please don’t guess. That would definitely not be helpful. Instead, consult your veterinarian. An animal health expert will advise you what that amount should be based on the weight, age, health, and physical activity of your pet.

Now you’re ready to prepare Fido’s and Fluffy’s meal. Just follow your vet’s instructions and use a measuring cup and/or measuring spoon.

To Sum Up

Remember one thing. Don’t kid yourself into thinking you’re being kind when you give your pet more to eat than it should. Trying to make it happy, or you to feel less guilty, is not kindness. Rather, it is the contrary. Allowing your furry family member to become overweight or obese is just wrong. It triggers all sorts of health issues, for example, diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. In the long run, your pet will love you more for it.

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!