Jerky Treats Killing Dogs, Cats – 2013 Recall for Dog Food Treats

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.

Circovirus scare: Keep facts in perspective – AVMA

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.)

Preventing obesity starts with pet owners

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.

Survey Reveals 55 Percent of Dogs, Cats Are Obese

As Americans stretch the limits of their collective elastic waistbands, their pets aren’t far behind, according to findings from the sixth annual National Pet Obesity Awareness Day Survey, released today by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP).

The survey was conducted in October and December of last year. The data from 121 veterinary clinics in 36 states covering 1,485 dogs and 450 cats, combined with 2012 American Veterinary Medical Association data revealed:

• 80 million U.S. dogs and cats are overweight or obese
• 58.3 percent of cats are overweight or obese
• 52.5 percent of dogs are overweight or obese

Extra kibble, treats and more sedentary ways has lead to more serious health concerns than sporting a few extra pounds, said veterinarians familiar with the issue.

A great way to combat pet obesity is with a treadmill. 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.

Pet Food Recall

The Kroger Co. announced Saturday that it was recalling three brands of pet food. Tests showed that select packages may have come into contact with aflatoxin, which can pose a health risk to pets.

The company advises customers: if you bought a contaminated bag of pet food, stop using it immediately and return it to where you purchased it for refund or exchange.

The affected packages of Pet Pride, Old Yeller, and Kroger Value brand pet foods were all produced at a Kroger-owned factory in Springfield, Tenn., according to Denise Osterhues, spokeswoman for the Cincinnati-based grocery store.

The recall affects customers at Kroger’s, Dillons, Gerbes, Baker’s, Food 4 Less, Jay C, Hilander, Owen’s, Pay Less and Scott’s stores in 19 states across the Midwest and South: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

If you buy Pet Pride, Old Yeller, or Kroger Value brand products, first check the sell-by date and then the UPC code. All of the recalled products have a sell-by date of either Oct. 23 or 24, 2011. Your package would read OCT 23 11 DP or OCT 24 11 DP.

If that sell by date appears on your package, “check the numbers on the packaging,” advises Gilda Rogers of Krogers. If both the date and UPC code match the recall list, “Take them back to a store.”

Kroger is recalling these products:

Pet Pride Cat Food sold in 3.5 lb. packages with UPC code 1111088128.

Pet Pride Cat Food sold in 18 lb. packages with UPC code 1111071357.

Pet Pride Tasty Blend Poultry & Seafood Cat Food sold in 3.5 lb. packages with UPC code 1111088152.

Pet Pride Tasty Blend Poultry & Seafood Cat Food sold in 18 lb. packages with UPC code 1111074580.

Pet Pride Kitten Formula Food sold in 3.5 lb. packages with UPC code 1111071903.

Old Yeller Chunk Dog Food sold in 22 lb. packages with UPC code 1111074566.

Old Yeller Chunk Dog Food sold in 50 lb. packages with UPC code 1111074563.

Kroger Value Cat Food sold in 3 lb. packages with UPC code 1111000018.

Kroger Value Chunk Dog Food sold in 15 lb. packages with UPC code 111107155.

Kroger Value Chunk Dog Food sold in 50 lb. packages with UPC code 1111000108.

If you believe your pet has been exposed to aflatoxin, and is showing symptoms of sluggishness, yellow-tinted eyes, and diarrhea, you are encouraged to seek treatment for your pet immediately.

Customers who have questions about this recall may contact Kroger toll-free at (800) 632-6900 or visit www.kroger.com/recalls.