Brewery Gives Workers Paid Time Off to Bond with Pups

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Scotland-based craft brewery BrewDog gives employees with new dogs a week of paid “paw-ternity leave.” (Photo from Brew Dog)

BrewDog, a pooch-friendly craft brewery based in Scotland and Ohio, has taken the concept of maternity leave to a new level, by giving employees who adopt a puppy or rescue dog a week of paid “paw-ternity leave,” so that they can bond with their new pets.

“It’s not easy trying to juggle work and settle a new dog into your life, and many members of our crew have four-legged friends at home,” James Watt, BrewDog co-founder, told WalesOnline. “So we wanted to take the stress out of the situation and let our teams take the time they need to welcome their new puppy or dog into their family.”

Pups are also allowed to accompany their human parents to work at the brewery, which was founded in 2007 and now employs 1,000 people around the world. Watt and co-founder Martin Dickie often bring their pooches Simcoe and Dr. Gonzo to the office.

The program is believed to be the first of its kind. I think it’s a doggone great idea!

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German Shepherd is Top Dog at 2017 Westminster Show

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Rumor is only one of two German shepherds to win Best in Show at Westminster. (Photo from Milwaukee Sentinel Journal)

For only the second time in its 141 year history, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show awarded Best in Show honors to a German shepherd last night at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

This was the 104th career win for the pulchritudinous 5-year-old pooch named Rumor, who hails from Wisconsin. Rumor, who was named after the Adele song “Rumor Has It,” is co-owned by Pamela McElheney and Kent Boyles of Edgerton at Kenlyn Kennels.

Clearly the crowd favorite, Rumor was hailed by show judge Thomas Bradley III as, “Just magnificent.”

The first and only other shepherd to win the Best in Show title was Manhattan, who took home the trophy back in 1987. Rumor came in second at last year’s show, then briefly went into retirement before coming back for one last show. She beat out Norwegian elkhound, a Pekingese, a miniature poodle, an a boxer, a Norwich terrier and an Irish setter named Adrian, who came in second.

Rumor’s handlers revealed that this will be her last competition. Once she settles into retirement, she will focus on raising a family.

Blue Buffalo, PetSmart, Wellness Issue Pet Food Recalls

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Photos from Wikimedia Commons

Three major pet food retailers have just issued voluntary recalls of certain lots and/or varieties of popular foods for varying reasons. The brands include:

Blue Buffalo

Blue Buffalo has recalled 12.5 oz. cans of Homestyle Recipe Healthy Weight, Chicken Dinner with Garden Vegetables dog food from a single production run, due to possible aluminum contamination. The UPC is 8-40243-10017-0, with a best by date of Aug. 3, 2019.

For more details, click here.

PetSmart

PetSmart has recalled select cans of Grreat Choice Adult Dog Food with Chicken & Rice due to metal contamination affecting production lot 1759338, with the UPC Code 7-3725726116-7. The affected products have the best by date of 8/5/19 on the bottoms of the cans.

The food was sold at PetSmart stores and through online retailers PetSmart.com, PetFoodDirect.com and Pet360.com on Oct. 10, 2016 and Feb. 7, 2017. The company claims that the recall doesn’t include other Grreat Choice products.

Fore more details, click here.

Wellness

Wellness is recalling a number of varieties of 12.5 ounce canned cat food after foreign objects were discovered in non-Wellpet products produced in the same facility.

The varieties and best by dates are:

  • Wellness Canned Cat 12.5 oz. Chicken and Herring – 08/04/2019
  • Wellness Canned Cat 12.5 oz . Chicken – 08/03/2019 and 08/04/2019
  • Wellness Canned Cat 12.5 oz. Chicken and Lobster – 08/04/2019
  • Wellness Canned Cat 12.5 oz. Turkey and Salmon – 08/05/2019
  • Wellness Canned Cat 12.5 oz. Turkey – 08/04/2019 and 08/05/2019
  • Wellness Canned Cat 12.5 oz. Beef and Chicken – 08/05/2019
  • Wellness Canned Cat 12.5 oz. Beef and Salmon – 08/05/2019

For more details, click here.

USDA Sparks Outrage by Removing Animal Inspection Reports from Online Database

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Due to the recent scrubbing of public information from the USDA website, the public can no longer view reports about puppy mills and other facilities that may be abusing animals. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

On Feb. 3, the United States Department of Agriculture caused a furor among animal lovers when the agency removed from its website a searchable public database containing inspection reports about animal-related facilities.

As a result, the public can no longer obtain information about potentially unscrupulous breeders, who may be abusing animals. This also enables pet stores that sell puppy and kitten mill pets to remain under the public radar, and to sell these pets with impunity.

According to the ASPCA, the information included reports about approximately 1,000 facilities regulated by the Animal Welfare Act, which also pertains to zoos and research labs, in addition to commercial pet breeding operations. A petition being circulated by the ASPCA states: “A searchable database of inspection reports for commercial dog breeders was purged, as well as information documenting enforcement actions taken against them.”

The USDA states in an announcement on its website that these measures were taken out of “an abundance of caution” in response to ongoing litigation against the agency by unknown parties, in deference to the Privacy Act. Those who wish to obtain information about animal facilities must now submit Freedom of Information Act requests, which may or may not be granted.

The ASPCA has called out the USDA, further stating in the petition: “Your tax dollars paid for these inspections, and there’s no reason this documentation should be hidden — unless the USDA is protecting cruel industries that genuinely have something to hide.”

In addition to the SPCA, change.org is also circulating a petition in protest of this. I beseech my readers to sign these and any other related petitions. I sure as heck did!

Evanger’s Recalls Hunk of Beef Due to Barbiturate

hunk-of-beefEvanger’s Dog & Cat Food Company, Inc. has announced a voluntary recall of five lots of its Hunk of Beef canned dog food due to the presence of pentobarbital, a short-acting barbiturate.

After one pet illness was reported, the Wheeling, Illinois-based company, which was founded in 1935, decided to recall the five lots out of “an abundance of caution,” as reported in an announcement on the company’s website.

The announcement goes on to state: “We feel that we have been let down by our supplier, and in reference to the possible presence of pentobarbital, we have let down our customers.”

Pentobarbital can enter the pet food supply via the inclusion of rendered meats from animals that have been euthanized. Although the company has not named the supplier, Evanger’s said they have terminated their relationship with that company, with which they had been doing business for 40 years.

To learn more about the affected products and to view the FDA’s press release about this, click here.

Home Remedies for Pet Constipation

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When Murphy suffered from a recent bought of constipation, a little bit of MiraLax did the trick. (Photo by Alissa Wolf)

Like humans, dogs and cats may experience occasional irregularity, as my Murphy recently did. While constipation can be a symptom of serious health issues such as hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, megacolon, intestinal parasites or ingestion of a foreign object — all of which should be ruled out by a veterinarian — the periodic inability to poop could just be a passing anomaly.

In Murphy’s case, I do everything right. I primarily feed him grain-free wet food, which is important for keeping cats hydrated, and provide him with fresh filtered water at all times, which he drinks liberally. But he does suffer from fur balls, which can lead to constipation in cats.

Signs of Constipation in Pets

For dog parents, the signs are easy to detect; your dog attempts to poop when you walk him, but cannot, and may develop gas, bloating and exhibit signs of pain. As for cats, this may be a little harder to detect, especially if you have more than one kitty. I became aware of Murphy’s issue when I noticed that he would make frequent trips to the litter box, but would not defecate. Plus, he would cry when he attempted to poop. So I tried some home remedies that worked.

OTC Laxatives that are Safe for Pets

Believe it or not, such over-the-counter people laxatives as MiraLax and Metamucil can do wonders for relieving the occasional bout of constipation in both dogs and cats. Even veterinarians, both traditional and holistic vets, approve of this.

However, administering the proper dosage is very important. As a guideline, I added ⅛ of a teaspoon to Murphy’s wet food once daily for four days. The dosages for pets vary by species and weight, so consult with your veterinarian to determine the proper amount to give your pet.

Natural Remedies to Help Cure and Prevent Pet Poop Issues

There are a number of natural foods and at-home products you can also use to keep your pets regular:

Coconut Oil: As I mentioned in my viral article on the subject, this miracle food has a variety of health benefits; relief of constipation is among them. Once again, proper dosage is important, as too much can cause tummy aches and diarrhea. It’s also important to start with a lower dose for three or four days, then increase this to the maximum amount.

For cats, puppies and small breed dogs, start with ¼ teaspoon placed in wet food once daily, then increase to ½ teaspoon. For larger dog breeds, you can start with 1 teaspoon per day, then gradually increase to 2 teaspoons. Just be sure to use cold-pressed 100 percent extra-virgin organic coconut oil.

Pumpkin: Another super food that is jam-packed with fiber, vitamins such as A and E, anti-oxidants and moisture, pureed canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling!) has the dual benefit of relieving both constipation and diarrhea in dogs and cats.

Once again, administering the proper amount is important and will vary based on your pet’s size and species. Cats and small dogs might do well with one or two teaspoons per day (placed in canned food), while large dogs such as Great Danes and mastiffs might require as much as ½ cup.

Water Helps to Keep Pets Pooping Properly

Regardless of the remedy you choose, remember that hydration is the foundation for keeping your pets healthy and happy. Ensure that they have a supply of fresh, pure H2O at all times. If you are away from home for long periods of time during the day, you might consider a pet fountain or water tower.

It’s also a great idea to primarily feed your pets wet as opposed to dry foods/kibble, because this will further aid in keeping them properly hydrated.

Smucker Recalls Canned Cat Foods

cat-food-recallThe J.M. Smucker Company of Orville, Ohio, has issued a voluntary recall of certain varieties of 9Lives, Special Kitty and Ever Pet canned cat foods due to the detection of low levels of thiamine (vitamin B1).

A quality control team discovered the issue during a routine review of production records at the manufacturing plant. The lots were distributed to retailers between Dec. 20, 2016 and Jan. 3, 2017.

Cats who consume foods that are deficient in this essential vitamin over a period of a few weeks may develop decreased appetite, vomiting, weight loss and neurological issues such as seizures.

So far, no sick kitties have been reported. But if your cat does display any of these symptoms, you are advised to take them to the vet immediately. If detected and treated early, these issues are curable.

You can view a full list of the recalled products by clicking here.

The FDA states that pet parents who have cans of food from the affected lots should stop feeding this to their cats immediately. If you have any further questions, you can call the J.M. Smucker Company at (80) 828-9980 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, or contact them via email at consumer.relations@jmsmucker.com.