Kosher Pet Foods for Passover

jewish-dogThere are a number of foods that are suitable for Jewish pets who wish to keep kosher for Passover, which begins on Friday evening and extends through April 11.

Granted, Jewish law does not dictate that critters observe rabbinic dietary restrictions during this or any other Judaic holiday or observance.

But if you want Fido and Fluffy to join in the spirit of this most joyous holiday, there are a number of pet foods that qualify as kosher. Quite simply, any pet food that does not contain grains qualifies as Passover-friendly.

mao-passover-catAmong some of my favorites are Dave’s Weruva, Fromm and Acana.

For a full list of grain-free pet foods that are suitable for dogs who wish to observe this holiday, check out the Doggington Post.

No matter what, it’s best to feed dogs and (especially) cats grain-free foods that are high in meat protein, because these are far better for their health. But Passover is a great time for Jewish dogs and kitties to incorporate this fare into their diets for year-round health and well-being.

Photos from Creative Commons

Two Sens. Ask FDA to Investigate Beneful Allegations

purina-beneful-dry-dog-food-jpgIn the wake of the ongoing consumer allegations and recent legal actions taken against Purina’s Beneful dog food, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin and Calif. Sen. Dianne Feinstein have sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, urging an investigation.

As I reported on Feb. 18, dog parent Frank Lucido filed a class action suit in California against maker Nestle Purina, alleging that two of his dogs were sickened and one died after consuming Beneful, which contains propylene glycol and mycotoxins.

In the letter, the senators asked for a clarification of a law passed in 2007 to prevent potentially harmful pet foods from being distributed to consumers.

According to a report on PetMD, the law also requires that the FDA must establish ingredient and manufacturing standards for pet food, strengthen labeling requirements, establish early warning systems for contaminated products, demand that companies report contaminated food and make key records available during investigations.

“We appreciate that the FDA has implemented an online database to inform consumers of pet food recalls,” the letter from Sen. Durbin and Feinstein says. “However, eight years later, most provisions of the pet food safety law have not been implemented and protections Congress enacted are not in place, amid allegations of contaminated Beneful dry kibble.”

Has anyone else had similar experiences after feeding their dogs Beneful? Feel free to share these in the comments section below.

Photo from PetMD

Primal Issues Cat Food Recall Due to Low Thiamine Levels

Primal-Cat-Food-RecalledPrimal Pet Foods, a leading distributor of raw pet foods, has announced a voluntary recall of a single production code batch of 3-pound bags of Feline Turkey Raw Frozen Formula, due to low thiamine levels.

The FDA discovered this after testing the product upon receiving just one consumer complaint.

Consumers and retailers are advised to check any products they may have for this info to determine if the food is affected: Primal Pet Foods Feline Turkey Raw Frozen Formula 3-pound bag (UPC# 8 50334-00414 0) with Best By date 060815 B22.

Thiamine is an essential nutrient for cats. If felines do not receive enough of this, they may develop gastrointestinal or neurological issues over time.

Consumers are cautioned to cease feeding this to their cats immediately and are asked to call the company at (866) 566-4652 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. PST if they have any questions or concerns. Or visit the website at www.primalpetfoods.com.

Photo from the FDA

Remembering Sweet Omar on His Birthday

omar_party_hat_oneToday would have been my Omar’s 7th birthday.

To those of you who aren’t familiar with me and my beloved kitty, Omar was my faithful assistant editor in charge of pet product reviews for my pet industry website for About.com, my faithful companion for five years and the kitty love of my life.

Tragically, I lost him in June 2013 to a vaccine-associated sarcoma, a deadly cancerous tumor that develops at an injection site, and is more common in domestic cats than any other companion animal.

I had been taking him to an incompetent veterinarian who pressured me into over-vaccinating him. Sadly, I wasn’t nearly as educated as I now am about pet care. As a result, he developed a myriad of health issues including seizures and IBD, which I later learned were all related to his being indiscriminately vaccinated.

He became gravely ill in January of 2013, and a series of veterinarians could not discern what was wrong with him, until a wise holistic veterinarian finally diagnosed him with VAS. This was the absolute most painful experience I have ever been through.

I have been a parent to many pets in my life, and I loved them all dearly. But Omar was very special, and to witness the suffering of this sweet, beautiful, loving animal was more than I could bear.

I pray that other pet parents may learn a lesson from this awful experience. Please, do not over vaccinate your pets. And always insist on non-adjuvant vaccines, which are far safer than the adjuvanted varieties.

I will miss and love my Omar until I draw my last breath. I hope you are at peace, wherever you are, my most precious boy.

Photo by Alissa Wolf

A Heartfelt Farewell to a Beloved Maine Police Dog

sultan-600
Tearful fellow officers salute Sultan during his final journey to a veterinarian. Photo from Yarmouth Police Department

During his illustrious career, K-9 police officer Sultan made quite a name for himself due to his keen drug detection skills, and for answering more than 1,000 calls in the line of duty.

But in recent times, the 13-year-old German shepherd’s health began to fail, and the department realized it was time to say goodbye to this four-legged hero who had faithfully served his department and fellow human officers for almost a decade.

So the department decided to give him a hero’s sendoff, by gathering two dozen police officers, firefighters and EMT personnel from around the state to salute him as he made his final journey to a local veterinarian to be euthanized on Feb. 13.

“Everyone just wanted to pet him one last time and say their farewells,” K-9 officer Shane Stephenson told People magazine. “He kind of sensed it was his final moments and just stared up at everybody with sad eyes and licked their hands.”

While working with the force, Sultan helped to nab hundreds of criminals and aided in the recovery of more than 100 pounds of narcotics. When off duty, he was known as a friendly guy who was beloved within the community.

But then old age and ill health caught up with this once robust dog. Thus, his fellow officers were on paw, standing shoulder to shoulder to salute him as he made his final journey.

May you rest in peace, Sultan. Yours was a life well lived.