Traditionally an occasion to wear a costume and live the fantasy of being a superhero, monster or pop-culture icon, Halloween is increasingly a time to put on the dog. Or put one on the dog.
The National Retail Federation says Americans will spend $330 million on pet costumes this year. While that’s only a small part of the total $6.9 billion consumers will shell out for candy, costumes and decor, the category is popular and growing, say retailers and pet owners.
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Jerky treats are killing dogs (and some cats) and after an earlier recall, the FDA is seeking more information on dog food treats that have been sold over the last few years that may have sickened pets.
Most of the jerky treats implicated have been made in China.
Pet owners are concerned now that new numbers have been released and it has been revealed that almost 600 pets have died from illnesses linked to the dog treats.
Some of the cases have have involved “kidney failure, gastrointestinal bleeding, and a rare kidney disorder. About 60 percent of cases involved gastrointestinal illness, and about 30 percent involved kidney and urinary systems.”
What should pet owners do?
The best thing to do is to only buy treats made in the USA.
If you ignore the warnings and still feed your dogs the treats and your pet becomes sick, the government agency warns to”stop the treats immediately, consider seeing your veterinarian, and save any remaining treats and the packaging for possible testing.
Reports about possible cases of canine circovirus abound, but it’s important to keep the facts in perspective, according to American Veterinary Medical Association experts and others. “Circovirus has been found in the feces of healthy dogs,” notes veterinarian Thomas Mullaney of Michigan State University. “Also, the initial research shows that nearly 70% of dogs showing clinical signs of illness and found positive for circovirus were also infected with other viruses or bacteria known to cause disease.” According to the AVMA, circovirus is no longer under consideration as the primary cause of sickness in dogs in Ohio, and just one of those dogs tested positive for circovirus. The Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne, Ind.)
Issues relating to what we eat are in many cases similar to concerns about what our pets eat.
“There definitely is a link,” says Dr. Karyl Hurley, director of Global Scientific Affairs for Mars Petcare, who helped organize the Waltham International Nutritional Sciences Symposium.
Similarly, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, just over half the dogs in America are overweight or obese, and about 60 percent of cats. The parallels to people include a long list of medical repercussions. Just one example is the sharp increase in diabetes among dogs and cats, according to the Banfield State of Pet Health 2011 Report. Read entire story…
There are several ways we can help our pets fight obesity. 50% of pets in the U.S. are overweight, and a lot of that comes from over-treating. One dog biscuit can have up to 50 calories, so the weight can really add up fast! Selecting the right treats is just as important as selecting the right pet food, especially for pets who need to lose weight.
To give your pet the healthiest snacks, look for treats that are:
- Low in calories- less than 10% of your pet’s diet
- Not table scraps, which are often high in fat and hard to digest
- Made with natural ingredients
- Made in the U.S.A. to ensure quality
A dog treadmill can give your dog a great workout regardless of weather or environment, allowing you to maintain a consistent exercise regimen. A treadmill provides increased muscle definition, toning, improved vitality, increased life span and can help curb destructive behavior or excess energy often associated with the lack of regular exercise. Dog treadmills provide a way for you to exercise your pet even when the weather is bad or it is inconvenient to take them out for a walk.