Bravo Issues Pet Food Recall Due to Salmonella

Photo from the FDA
Photo from the FDA

I just received a press release issued by the FDA regarding a voluntary recall of a number of Bravo pet foods due to Salmonella:

Bravo of Manchester, Conn. is recalling select lots of Bravo Turkey and Chicken pet foods for dogs and cats because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

The recalled product was distributed nationwide beginning on Nov. 14, 2013 to distributors, retail stores, Internet retailers and directly to consumers. The product can be identified by the batch ID code (best used by date) printed on the side of the plastic tube.

1) These products are being recalled because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

RAW FOOD DIET BRAVO! TURKEY BLEND FOR DOGS AND CATS Product Number: 31-102 Size: 2 lb. (32 OZ) plastic tubes Best used by date: 11-05-15 UPC: 829546311025 Keep Frozen

Bravo! Blends All Natural Chicken Blend diet for dogs cats Product Number: 21-102 Size: 2 lb. (32 OZ) plastic tubes Best used by date: 08-11-16 UPC: 829546211028 Keep Frozen

2) These products are being recalled out of an abundance of caution because they were manufactured in the same manufacturing facility or on the same day as products that tested positive.

Premium Turkey Formula BRAVO Balance RAW DIET Product Number: 31-405 Size: 5 lb. (80 OZ) 2.3KG plastic tubes Best used by date: 11-05-15 UPC: 829546314057 Keep Frozen

Bravo! Blends All Natural Chicken Blend diet for dogs cats Product Number: 21-105 Size: 5 lb. (80 OZ) 2.3KG plastic tubes Best used by date: 08-11-16 UPC: 829546211059 Keep Frozen

The recall was initiated after routine testing by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture revealed the presence of Salmonella in two lots of product. This batch tested negative by a third party independent laboratory prior to release for distribution to consumers.

No additional products affected by this recall. The company has received no reports of illness in either people or animals associated with these products to date.

In addition to the voluntary recall of the above products, Bravo has chosen to voluntarily withdraw the following poultry products from the marketplace to provide its customers with the certainty of safety. Those products include all sizes (2 lb., 5 lb. and 10 lb.) of Bravo Chicken Blend(s), Bravo Turkey Blend(s), Bravo Balance Chicken Balance and Bravo Balance Premium Turkey Formula frozen raw diet products with best used by dates between June 20, 2016 and September 18, 2016.

This is being done out of an abundance of caution despite no evidence of any manufacturing defect or distribution problem. None of these products are known to have tested positive for the presence of pathogens. This market withdrawal has NOT been requested by the FDA, but is being done voluntarily by Bravo.

The recalled product should not be sold or fed to pets. Pet owners who have the affected product at home should dispose of this product in a safe manner (example, a securely covered trash receptacle). Customers who have purchased the recalled pet food can return to the store where purchased and submit the Product Recall Claim Form available on the Bravo website for a full refund or store credit. For more information, visit the website or call toll free (866) 922-9222 Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EST).


You Can Now Follow Me on Catster and Dogster

dogster-catsterI am pleased to announce that I am now writing for Catster and Dogster, the award-winning sister sites for all things kitty and pooch.

My first article, about my landing in the hospital after my cat, Muprhy, bit me, ran this past week. You can check it out by clicking here.

My next piece will be about Lily’s experiences as a feline fashion model. So stay tuned for that.

The sites are always on the lookout for unique story ideas, from first-person accounts to how-to tips, humor, behavior … everything and anything that has to do with cats and dogs. So if you have any ideas, please feel free to pass them along to me.

In the meantime, stay tuned for lots more stories from yours truly.


New Cyberknife Cancer Treatment Center for Pets Opens in Pa.

Veterinary radiation oncologist Dr. Siobhan Haney, VMD performs the cutting-edge procedure at the new Veterinary Cyberknife Cancer Center in Malvern, Pa. Photo from Veterinary Cyberknife Cancer Center

This past week marked the grand opening of the Veterinary Cyberknife Cancer Center in Malvern, Pa., only one of two such treatment facilities in the U.S.

This high-tech, non-invasive procedure is an alternative to surgical treatment of both malignant and benign tumors and other cancerous diseases that, despite its name, does not involve surgical cutting. Rather, this procedure works via a robotic radiosurgery device that administers high doses of radiation to specific targets, with meticulous accuracy.

Unlike traditional radiation, which may involve up to 20 grueling treatments, individual cyberknife treatments take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes, and are administered about three to five times over a period of as many days. Side effects are reportedly minimal and short-lived.

The only other such veterinary treatment center in the country is the Animal Specialty Center in Yonkers, N.Y., which first began this practice in 2008.

For more information, please visit the websites Animal Specialty Center and Veterinary Cyberknife Cancer Center.

India to Put Stray Dogs to Work

New Delhi officials are hoping that the new program will help to alleviate the stray dogs problem. Photo from Wikimedia Commons
New Delhi officials are hoping that the new program will help to alleviate the stray dogs problem. Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Authorities in India’s capital city have come up with a great solution to the overwhelming number of stray dogs that roam the streets of New Delhi: They are going to give the pooches jobs!

Law enforcement officials have been corralling the dogs, which will be provided with food, veterinary care and training, after which they will hold positions as public security and guard dogs.

This is part of New Delhi’s new “May I Help You?” security program, which was formed to enhance public safety.

City officials also are in the process of finding homes for the pooches. Many people informally adopt the strays, feed them and put them to work as guard dogs for their homes and businesses. But this is the first such official program of its kind.

Meanwhile, the city will employ up to 700 trainers to work with the dogs.

According to a 2009 survey, there are more than 260,000 homeless dogs roaming the city’s streets. A law passed in 2001 prohibits the killing of stray dogs, which has resulted in a dramatic escalation of the stray population.

New Delhi Civic Chairman Jalaj Shrivastava told The Hindu newspaper, “If these dogs are going to roam the NDMC (New Delhi Municipal Corp) area, they might as well work.”

Sounds like a doggone great idea to me.

Review of Vintage Doggie Spa, ‘Paw-some’ Natural Pet Grooming Products

Vintage Doggie Spa pet grooming products are made with safe, natural ingredients.
Vintage Doggie Spa pet grooming products are made with safe, natural ingredients.

As I mentioned in my post Top Dog Grooming Products and Services, natural pet grooming products are now extremely popular. That’s because pet parents are much more educated about the importance of using eco-friendly products that are safer for their pets, and the planet.

So I am pleased to introduce the great line of Vintage Doggie Spa products.

Dog Grooming Products Developed by a Top Veterinarian

This line was developed by my good pal, Dr. Cathy Alinovi, a respected Indiana-based holistic veterinarian, featured expert on Pet Pals TV and pet book author, who also provides educational resources for pet parents via the website Healthy PAWsibilities.

She recently sent me:

  • Herbal Ear Wash
  • Citrus Shampoo
  • Lavendar Conditioning Detangler
  • Mint Refreshing Spritz
  • Herbal Healing Salve

The Finest Natural Ingredients

Vintage Doggie Spa pet grooming products contain such gentle holistic ingredients as organic aloe leaf juice, silk protein, oils of peppermint and spearmint, coconut oil, organic lavender and other natural ingredients, sans any harsh synthetic chemicals.

These products were developed by holistic veterinarian Dr. Cathy Alinovi.
These products were developed by holistic veterinarian Dr. Cathy Alinovi.

Great for Kitties, Too

Although the Vintage Doggie Spa line is primarily marketed for dogs, cats can benefit from them, as well. When Murphy was suffering from his nasty bout with rodent ulcer, I applied the Herbal Healing Salve to his sores.

This was an excellent complement to the other natural remedies I was administering to him orally, and helped to speed the healing process.

A Nice Price Point

Another great thing about the Vintage Doggie Spa products is that they are not high priced, as many natural pet grooming brands are.

The products range from $13 to $18, give or take, and a little goes a long way. They have also received universally positive reviews, so this is a line that I recommend.

For ordering and other information, you may go to the website: Vintage Doggie Spa.

Photos from Alissa Wolf and Cathy Alinovi

The Best Canned Dog and Cat Foods

Hound & Gatos and Dave's are some examples of high-quality pet foods that do not contain carrageenan.
Hound & Gatos and Dave’s are some examples of high-quality pet foods that do not contain carrageenan.

With the exception of raw feeding, which many pet food experts claim is the best dietary option for dogs and cats, high quality canned foods are the healthiest choices for our four-legged pals.

And there are more products than ever, all claiming to be the best, which can be rather confusing.

So there are certain brands and qualities pet parents should look for when choosing what’s best for their fur kids.

Among the best selections are:

  • Grain-free varieties
  • Pet foods packed in BPA-free cans
  • Foods that that are free of by-products, artificial flavors, colors and/or synthetic preservatives

The Carrageenan Controversy

In recent years, educated pet nutrition experts and pet parents have become extremely concerned about the above ingredient, and increasingly seek pet foods that do not contain this.

This is a red seaweed extract that is frequently used as a thickening agent by commercial food manufacturers. It can commonly be found in people dairy products such as ice cream and yogurt, and many pet foods. Even natural and organic products may contain this.

Although technically “natural,” studies have linked this to cancerous tumors and gastrointestinal ailments, in humans and animals. It’s also very difficult to find pet foods that do not contain carrageenan, as roughly 70 percent of them do. So be sure to read the labels when purchasing foods for your pets.

Top Canned Pet Foods

Below is a list of some of the highest quality pet foods. These companies manufacturer some, if not all of their varieties without carrageenan. Those with asterisks are brands I feed to my own pets:

  • Dave’s*
  • Fromm
  • Hound & Gatos*
  • Life’s Abundance
  • Lotus
  • Nutro Natural Choice
  • Tiki
  • Weruva*

If anyone has any  particular favorites they’d like to recommend, or know of others that do not contain carrageenan, please feel free to share that info here.

Photo by Alissa Wolf

Chic Chickens Rule the Roost at Hester Street Fair

Chicekn Fashions
Photo from Ada Nieves

My colleague and friend Ada Nieves, a top pet fashion designer, not only whips up divine duds for dogs and cats, she also creates chic couture for chickens!

Ada is mom to a critter brood that includes seven Chihuahuas, a couple of kitties and a gaggle of cluckers, that all strut their stuff in fashion shows and other pet-themed events.

As you may remember, Ada organized and designed all of the kitty couture for the big Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals feline fashion show – in which Lily was a featured model – that took place at the Algonquin Hotel on Aug. 2.

Some of her furry and feathered kids were a huge hit at the recent Hester Street Fair, a fabulous pushcart vendors’ fair that takes place on Manhattan’s Lower East Side on Saturdays and Sundays from April to October.

A special Pet Weekend took place yesterday and today, during which posh pets got to strut their stuff in conjunction with human Fashion Week.

But the feathered fashionistas pictured above were by far the most unique models of all, and thoroughly enjoyed being cocks of the cat walk.