Halo Purely for Pets Recalls Cat Food Due to Mold

Halo-LogoIn yet more pet food recall news, Halo Purely for Pets has issued a voluntary of select packages of the brand’s Spot’s Stew Wholesome Turkey Recipe Sensitive Formula for Cats kibble due to reports of mold.

The affected products are the 3- and 6-pound bags of Spot’s Stew Wholesome Turkey Recipe Sensitive Formula for Cats (UPC 745158350231 and 745158340232) with a best by date of 09/04/2016.

While some pets may not experience any adverse reactions to ingesting moldy food, others may exhibit digestive issues and should be taken to a veterinarian immediately. Fortunately, no cat illnesses or deaths have been reported thus far.

Cat parents are cautioned to cease feeding this to their pets immediately, and to take it to the place of purchase for a full refund.

If you have any further questions or concerns, you may contact Halo at Concerned (800) 426-4256 between of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST Monday through Friday. You may also visit the company website by clicking here.

Blue Buffalo Recalls Kitty Yums Due to Propylene Glycol

Blue-Buffalo-RecallThis was just announced by PR Newswire: Blue Buffalo Company, Ltd. is voluntarily recalling a limited production of Blue Kitty Yums Chicken Recipe Cat Treats that may contain low levels of propylene glycol, which is not permitted by the FDA for use in cat food.

Cats reacting to high doses of propylene glycol may exhibit signs of depression and may have a loss of coordination, muscle twitching, and excessive urination and thirst. If your cat has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

The affected product was distributed nationwide in the U.S. and Canada through pet specialty stores and e-commerce.

The product is packaged in a 2 oz., plastic stand up pouch.  Only these specific code dates of this product are involved:

  • Blue Kitty Yums Tasty Chicken Recipe, UPC: 859610007820 – Best If Used By: April 24, 2016.
  • Blue Kitty Yums Tasty Chicken Recipe, UPC: 859610007820 – Best If Used By: July 24, 2016.

No other Blue pet foods or treats are involved in this recall.

The FDA tested product in response to a single consumer complaint and found propylene glycol in one bag of our cat treats in the impacted lot. To date, we have had no other reports of incidents related to our cat treats. Out of an abundance of caution, we are voluntarily recalling all product manufactured in the same lot as the subject bag.

Consumers who have purchased the product being recalled may return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact Blue Buffalo at: (888) 667-1508 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday or by email at BlueBuffalo5883@stericycle.com.

Photo from PR Newswire

It’s National Black Cat Day

Murhy_Rug_ToyIn case you didn’t know, today is National Black Cat Day, a time to celebrate the beauty of and simultaneously help to eradicate the stigma surrounding these most misunderstood kitties.

Black cats have been wrongly vilified in numerous parts of Western society for centuries, for a variety of reasons. For one, they have long been associated with witchcraft, bad luck and even death.

In the U.S., their bad rap can be traced back to the days of the Salem Witch Hunts of the late 1600s, when it was believed that those accused of witchery could transform themselves into black cats so that they could roam the streets undetected under cover of night.

While this superstitious nonsense has long since been disproven, black pets in general and black cats in particular are still getting a bad rap. In fact, black cats are the least likely to be adopted and the most likely to be euthanized in shelters because they are still highly unpopular.

Worse yet, some very cruel people will use black cats in unspeakable rituals during the Halloween season, which you can learn more about in my article Halloween Safety Tips for Pets.

But as a mom to two black kitties, the late Omar (the love of my life) and now Murphy (pictured above), I can attest that black cats are wonderful animals. They are inclined to be uniquely beautiful, sweet, loving and amusing. Perhaps that’s because they have to try harder to gain acceptance.

So in honor of your special day, I salute black kitties everywhere. And I hope that all of you find the loving homes that you so deserve.

Photo by Alissa Wolf

Tips for Moving with Pets

Moving-With-PetsAs my loyal followers may have noticed, I haven’t posted here for a while. That’s because Murphy, Lily and I moved, and this transition was especially grueling, especially for Murphy and Lily.

While moving is very high on the stress meter for humans, pets often experience great anxiety, as well. Not only are they being uprooted from a familiar environment where they have a specific set of routines and known territory, they also have to deal with being surrounded by disarray and increased people activity while making the transition to a new home. Plus, pets can sense their owners’ stress levels, which quite often makes them feel even more anxious.

As I am a pro at moving with pets, in that I have done so on a number of occasions, I came up with the following helpful tips for other pet parents who are in the process of moving with their companion critters.

Keep Pets in a Safe Place During the Move

Many pets will get spooked with all of the activity involved with moving. There may be strange people in the form of movers in their midst. Doors will more than likely be left open for long periods of time. Thus, pets may hide or, worse, escape. With all of the frenzied activity, you may lose track of your pets’ whereabouts. So try to be mindful of them at all times.

You may want to keep smaller pets and cats in a crate or carrier while moving to and from your old and new homes. Or you might consider hiring a dog sitter to keep an eye on your pooch. If the move to your new home is relatively close to your old home, you could have the sitter accompany your dog during the process. Regardless, never leave pets unattended during a move, in order to avoid any potential tragedies.

Sedation Might Help Pets During the Move

For pets that are extremely anxious, or for very long moves, it might be a good idea to get a mild sedative from your vet, which you can administer prior to leaving. I did this with my late cats, Amanda and Daisy, when we moved halfway across the country, back in 2003. Not only did this calm them, they slept like babies during the very long car ride.

As for Murphy and Lily, we didn’t have that far to go; the move was only 60 miles away. So I simply sprayed the insides of their carriers with some Sentry Calming Spray, a pheromone product that did the trick.

For Long Moves with Pets, Book Overnight Accommodations

If you are moving to a faraway place by motor vehicle, it’s best to spend nights in accommodations along the way. There are now a great number of pet-friendly hotels, motels and inns in the U.S. Not only do they welcome animals, many provide loads of amenities for pets such as doggie parks, pet dining options, pet sitter services, grooming and more.

There are many websites geared especially toward people who travel with pets, which supply the names of places to stay , and list what they have to offer. Among these are BringFido.com and TakeYourPet.com. General travel websites such as Expedia also provide listings of pet-friendly accommodations. Just be sure to book in advance, and inquire about amenities and policies.

Take the Right Supplies

The first thing I tell people who are moving with pets is to take along a generous supply of water from their previous home. Many pets will get upset stomachs when drinking unfamiliar water. Also take along lots of washcloths or clean rags for quick cleanups, water and food bowls, and a first aid kit designed especially for pets. You can learn more about this from my article on Dogster.

If you are making a long move with cats that requires hotel stays, you should bring the following items:

A disposable litter box: You can find these in many pet stores and supermarkets. These are made from dense cardboard or thin plastic, and are already pre-filled with enough litter to last a couple of days. You just peel off the wrapper and place in a hotel bathroom. And don’t forget the scooper.

Disposable paper bowls: For your cats’ food and water. And don’t forget the food, because you may not find a store that carries your cats’ favorite brands on the road, or the stores may be closed if you arrive at your temporary destination late at night.

Water from home, or bottled water: In order to prevent upset kitty tummies due to unfamiliar hotel water.

Favorite toys and blanket: So kitties can feel secure during your stay in a strange place.

If your pets require medication, be sure to keep that in a handy place for easy access. And make note of the names and addresses of emergency vet clinics along the way, just in case your pet becomes ill or has a mishap during your travels.

Do Your New Home HomeworkHooded-Litter-Box-Pink

Procedures for your pets’ bathroom business should be first and foremost. If you are a dog parent, find out the best places to walk your pup in your new area.

This can be a bit trickier for cat parents. My last apartment was very large, and had a spacious walk-in laundry room where I conveniently kept my cats’ litter box. My new apartment is much smaller, and doesn’t have a separate laundry room or closet that can accommodate a kitty potty.

As I had to resort to keeping a littler box in my bathroom, I purchased an attractive hooded model from Petmate, and put it in the space between the toilet and vanity sink. These come in various decorator colors (I opted for pink, because it matches my bathroom decor). Voila! The litter is shielded from view, the box is pretty, and my kitties can do their business in privacy and style.

Another very important tip is to become familiar with any potential dangers that your new home may present to your pets. Make sure that there all potential escape routes, balconies, furniture and other objects are safe and secure.

If you would like to share any tips about moving with pets, you are welcome to do so in the comments section below. That said, I wish you and your pets the best of luck and happiness in your new home!

Photos by Alissa Wolf

Surf’s Up for Dogs in Petco Competition

Surf-Dog-PetcoIf you happen to be in Imperial Beach, Calif. today, you won’t want to miss the annual Surf Dog Competition, which features a bevy of pooches who love to ride the waves.

The event which is hosted by Petco Unleashed is designed to celebrate the pet/human bond will feature lots of fun activities for human and dogs. Renowned professional surfer Taylor Knox returns for the second time to be a judge.

All proceeds will be donated to the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA.

About Unleashed by Petco

Unleashed by Petco is a community oriented pet specialty retailer that focuses on natural nutrition and dog and cat supply essentials. The Unleashed by Petco brand offers more than 100 locations nationwide specializing in natural and organic pet food and treats including a large made-in-the-USA assortment.

As part of the Petco family of brands, Unleashed works with and supports the Petco Foundation, an independent nonprofit organization, which has raised more than $125 million since it was created in 1999 to help promote and improve the welfare of companion animals. In conjunction with the Petco Foundation and its partners, we host regular in-store adoption events and help find homes for thousands of animals every year.

Photo from surfersvillage.com

Dentist Who Killed Cecil the Lion Gets Slaughtered on Yelp and Social Media

Cecil-the-LionDr. Walter J. Palmer, the Minnesota dentist who admittedly killed a beloved lion named Cecil in Zimbabwe, is getting killed – in the figurative sense – in the court of public opinion.

Ever since the news broke that Palmer and a hunting companion lured the popular animal from a wildlife park for the purpose of killing him for use as a trophy, for which he reportedly paid $55,000, the dentist’s Yelp page has been bombarded with furious posts and one-star reviews.

Meanwhile, animal lovers seeking justice for this senseless killing launched a Facebook group called RIP Cecil the Lion – Let’s Tell the Dentist He is a Coward. Plus, Care2 Petitions has posted a petition online demanding that Palmer be suspended from practicing dentistry.

Cecil, who was 13, was well loved by tourists, and had been wearing a GPS tracker for research purposes. Palmer and his companion reportedly removed the tracker after seriously injuring Cecil with a bow and arrow, and then stalked him for 40 hours before ultimately killing him.

Palmer has admitted to killing Cecil, but claims that tour guides misled him into believing that the hunt was legal.

Huh?! He lured a lion that was wearing a GPS collar out of a wildlife preserve, and thought the hunt was legal?!

This is not the first time Palmer has pulled a stunt like this. In 2008, he was convicted of poaching after killing a black bear in Wisconsin, 40 miles from a legal hunting zone. He was sentenced to one year’s probation and fined $3,000.

In other developments, news sources report that Palmer’s dental practice was closed today. And I noticed that his practice’s website has gone dark.

As a seasoned journalist, I try to avoid getting emotional about the news. But in this case, I have made an exception.

I hope you will join me in seeking justice for Cecil by signing the above petition and making your voice heard on social media. Let’s all honor Cecil by helping to prevent something like this from ever happening again.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons


Nature’s Variety Recalls Instinct Raw Chicken Formula Due to Salmonella

Natures-Variety-RecallIn yet more pet food recall news, Nature’s Variety has just announced that the company has issued a voluntary recall of Instinct Raw Chicken Formula due to possible Salmonella contamination.

The potentially affected products are limited to the Instinct Raw Chicken Formula frozen diets packaged in 4-, 6- and 7-pound bags with a Best By date of April 27, 2016.

Pet parents are advised to cease feeding this to their pets and to return any unused portions to the place of purchase for a full refund.

If you have any further questions, you may call the company at (888) 519-7387 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. central time seven days a week during the recall. Or you may e-mail cservice@naturesvariety.com.

To view the FDA’s press release regarding this recall, please click here.

Bravo Recalls Chicken Pet Foods Due to Salmonella

Bravo-Pet-Foods-RecallLeading raw pet food maker Bravo Pet Foods of Manchester, Conn., has issued a voluntary of select chicken products for dogs and cats due to the potential for Salmonella contamination.

The discovery was made during routine testing by the New York State Department of Agriculture.

The following product tested positive for Salmonella:

Bravo Blend Chicken diet for dogs and cats – Chub; Item # 21-102; Size 2 Lb./#2. oz.; Best By Date 12-05-16; UPC: 829546211028.

Meanwhile, the company is also recalling certain lots of three other chicken products that did not test positive for Salmonella, out of an abundance of caution:

  • Bravo Balance Chicken Dinner for Dogs – Patties
  • Bravo Balance Chicken Dinner for Dogs – Chub
  • Bravo Blend Chicken Diet for dogs and cats – Patties

For more details, you may refer to the Bravo website by clicking here. You may also contact the company at (866) 922-9222, or e-mail them at info@bravopetfoods.com.

Spanish Town Grants Cats and Dogs the Same Rights as People

Cats-Dogs-Human-Rights-SpainThanks to a landmark declaration that’s the first of its kind in Spain, kitties and pooches that live in Trigueros de Valle will now have the same rights as humans.

The people in the tiny town located in the north of Spain with a population of 300 love animals so much that they decided to pass the decree as a way to protect cats and dogs, in similar ways to child protection laws.

The ordinance officially decrees that all abandoned pets will be cared for by the town, and that animal abusers will be harshly dealt with.

Animal welfare group Recaste 1 issued the following open statement: “Today, we are closer as species and we are now more human thanks to the sensitivity and intelligence shown by the people of Trigueros del Valle. This is a great day for humans and non-human citizens alike.”

This is further evidence that animals are regarded as beloved companions throughout the world. And rightfully so for the many ways that they enrich our lives, and deserve to be loved and protected.

Photo from the Telegraph

Natural Dog Company Recalls Tremenda Sticks Due to Salmonella

Tremenda-sticks-dog-treats-recallThe Natural Dog Company of Windsor Colo., has announced a voluntary recall of select Tremenda Sticks pet chews due to the potential for Salmonella contamination.

The affected products are 12-ounce bags of 12″ sticks. The UPC code for the recalled products is 851265004957.

The Colorado Department of Agriculture made the discovery after testing a sample from one of the packages. Production of the sticks has been suspended while the FDA conducts an investigation into the possible cause of the contamination.

The sticks were distributed through retails store in the following states:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Utah
  • Washington State

Consumers are advised to cease giving the chews to their pets and return any unused portions to the place of purchase for a full refund. If you have any further questions, you may contact the company at (888) 424-4602, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. MDT.