Monday, December 14, 2009

Thirsty Cat!

I know some cats like to drink out of the faucets, but this is hilarious!

video

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Book Ahead for the Holidays!

It's time to make holiday reservations for your furry friends! We get booked up fast at this time of year, so please call or email 4 - 5 weeks ahead to guarantee availability. 281-788-6611 or cozycritterspetsitters@comcast.net

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Choosing a Good Dry Pet Food


Have you ever wondered what exactly was in the food your pets are eating? I have. About four or five years ago, I started reading about and doing some research on pet foods. Since we are becoming more conscious of what we put in our bodies, it makes sense that we are becoming more conscious of what we are feeding our beloved pets.

For starters, lets look at what some of those ingredients (or phrases) really mean. Below are the AAFCO (The Association of American Feed Control Officials) definitions of the most commonly used phrases that describe the ingredients:

Meat (e.g. lamb, beef, chicken) - "Meat is the clean flesh derived from slaughtered mammals and is limited to that part of the striate muscle which is skeletal or that which is found in the tongue, in the diaphragm, in the heart, or in the esophagus; with or without that accompanying and overlying fat and the portions of the skin, sinew, nerve, and blood vessels..."

Poultry - "Poultry is the clean combination of flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone derived from the part or whole carcasses of poultry or a combination thereof, exclusive of feathers, heads, feet, and entrails..."

Meat Meal (e.g., lamb meal, beef meal) - "Meat Meal is the dry rendered product from mammal tissues, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices..."

Poultry Meal - "Poultry Meal is the dry rendered products derived from a combination of clean flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone derived from the parts or whole carcasses of poultry or a combination thereof, exclusive of feathers, heads, feet, and entrails..."

Meat and Bone Meal - "Meat and Bone Meal is the rendered product from mammal tissues, including bones, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents, except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices..."

Meat By-Products - "Meat By-Products is the non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals. It includes, but is not limited to, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially defatted low temperature fatty tissue, and stomachs and intestines..."

Poultry By-Products - "Poultry By-Products must consist of non-rendered clean parts of carcasses of slaughtered poultry such as heads, feet, viscera..."

Poultry By-Product Meal - "Poultry By-Product Meal consists of the ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcasses of slaughtered poultry, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, and intestines, exclusive of feathers, except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices..."

Animal By-Product Meal - "Animal By-Product Meal is the rendered product from mammal tissues, exclusive of any added hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents...This ingredient definition is intended to cover those individual rendered animal tissues products that cannot meet the criteria as set forth elsewhere in this section..."

Animal Digest - "A material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and undecomposed animal tissue. The animal tissues used shall be exclusive of hair, horns, teeth, hooves, and feathers, except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory practice and shall be suitable for animal feed."

Animal By-Product Meal - "The rendered product from animal tissues, exclusive of any added hair, hoof, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents, except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices."

Most people don't realize that terms like "meat by-products" can actually mean poultry feather meal, connective tissue (gristle), leather meal (yes, leather, like that used to make belts & shoes), fecal waste from poultry and other animals, and horse and cattle hair. Such ingredients would certainly boost the crude protein content, but provide relatively little nourishment.

Here is a list of some of the chemical preservatives used in pet foods:

Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) - A chemical preservative and antioxidant used in many foods. It can cause allergic reactions and affects liver and kidney functions. It is listed as GRAS, which means "Generally Regarded As Safe" in certain low concentrations.

Ethylenediamine - A chemical used as a solvent, urinary acidifier, and as a substance to promote color retention. It can be irritating to the skin and mucous membranes and can sensitize individuals leading to asthmatic reactions and allergic skin rashes.

Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) - A chemical preservative and antioxidant. Also listed as GRAS, BHT also can cause liver and kidney problems.

MSG (monosodium glutamate) - Functions as a flavor enhancer. In people experiencing sensitivity to MSG, headaches and a tingling in the fingers is seen.

Sodium metabisulphite - A chemical preservative which in people, has been linked to weakness, loss of consciousness, difficulty swallowing, and brain damage.

Sugar, sorbitol, ethylene glycol, and propylene glycol - Used as preservatives and sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners may be related to diabetes, obesity, and are an empty source of calories. Propylene glycol, most commonly used in semi-moist diets, can cause anemia in cats and should also be avoided in diabetic animals. It is considered to cause the most health problems in dogs--dry itching skin, hair loss, dehydration, excessive thirst and tooth and gum problems. Ethylene glycol, also called antifreeze, can be fatal to pets in high doses.

Propyl gallate. A chemical used to retard spoilage. Suspected of causing liver damage.
Ethoxyquin - A chemical preservative also used as a rubber hardener, insecticide, and pesticide. It is permitted in pet foods at a very low concentration. This common preservative is among the compounds most suspect as causes of severe health problems in dogs including liver damage.
None of these ingredients sound like ones I want my pets to be eating!

What can you do? Read the labels! Forget about the packaging, the colors of the food, what the commercials tell you, etc. What matters is in the fine print! Ingredients are usually listed in descending order from highest concentration to lowest. The first ingredient makes up the largest amount (by weight) of the ingredients. A meat-based source of protein should be among the first two or three listed ingredients in the food.

Compare the ingredients in your pet's food with the list above. Is the food full of these ingredients? If so, you may want to consider upgrading.

Be prepared to pay more for top-quality foods. Pay for good food now, or the vet later.

Always allow your pet to be the ultimate judge of "what's best" for him or her. Just because a food works good for your neighbor's pet doesn't mean it will suit yours. Consider the following when selecting a food for your pet: Your pet's age: Is he a growing puppy/kitten? Middle-aged? A senior? Your pet's sex: Is he neutered? Is she spayed? Pets used for breeding or those who are pregnant or nursing have higher energy requirements than those who are "fixed". Your pet's condition: Pets who get a lot of exercise have different needs than those who do little or nothing. Your pet's health history: Any medical conditions that can benefit from a special diet, such as allergies, cancer, digestive difficulties, or a tendency to form kidney stones?

Don't obsess about which food is the very best. It's better for your pet to rotate between three to four good foods. To determine which ones might be the most appropriate for your pet, you will have to try a few. All pets are different; some do better on higher-protein foods, some do better on lower-protein foods. Some can't digest chicken. Some break out if they eat wheat. Try a likely a candidate for a month or two. If your pet has problems, it doesn't mean it's a "bad" food, it just disagrees with your pet. Give the food away and try another one!

If, in contrast, your pet had chronic health problems, such as infected ears, itchy paws, or runny eyes, and these symptoms cleared up, you're on the right track. A good pet food will contribute to a healthy coat, good energy level, balanced temperament and flawless health.

Here's what to look for:

Animal protein at the top of the ingredient list. Animal proteins are more palatable and are of a higher biologic value to cats and dogs than plant-sourced proteins. The animal source should be named -- chicken, beef, lamb, and so on. "Meat" and "animal protein" are examples of low-quality protein sources of dubious origin. Animal protein "meals" (i.e., "chicken meal", "beef meal", etc.) should also be named; "meat meal" could be just about anything. Whole meats do not contain enough protein to be used as the sole protein source in a dry pet food. Whole meats contain as much as 65 to 75 percent water and about 15 to 20 percent protein. When a whole meat appears high on the ingredients list, generally another source of protein is also present, in order to augment the total protein content of the finished food. It's preferable to see animal protein meals, rather than plant proteins, fill this role. An animal protein "meal" is essentially cooked and dried (rendered) muscle meat, although a certain amount of bone, skin and connective tissue is included. Animal protein meals are dried to a moisture level of only about 10 percent, and contain about 65 percent protein.

Whole vegetables, fruits, and grains. Fresh, unprocessed food ingredients contain wholesome nutrients in all their naturally complex glory, with their fragile vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants intact.

Organic ingredients;locally sourced ingredients. Both of these things are better for our planet. Organic ingredients may be especially appropriate for pets with cancer, chemical sensitivities, or other serious health problems, but holistic practitioners recommend them for all creatures.

Here's what to look out for:

Meat by-products or poultry by-products. Some non-muscle parts of food animals (i.e., the internal organs) are highly nutritious--in some cases, higher in protein and fat, as just two nutrient examples, than muscle meats. But there are many other parts of food animals that have much less nutritional value--and are worth so much less (in dollars) to the processor, that they are considerably less carefully harvested, handled, processed, and stored. Poorly handled meats (which contain fat) and fat sources can quickly become rancid. Rancid fats not only smell noxious and taste bad, they also speed the destruction of vitamins and other nutrients in a food. Worst, rancid fats are carcinogenic. In contrast, whole meats are expensive--too valuable to he handled carelessly. Not that the cost rules out poor handling and oxidation (rancidity), but it makes it less likely.

Generic fats or proteins. "Animal fat", for example, can be just about anything; recycled grease from restaurants, or an unwholesome mystery mix of various fats. A preferable ingredient would be "beef fat" or "chicken fat". "Animal protein" and "poultry protein" are far inferior to "beef protein" or "chicken protein".

Added sweeteners. Dogs, like people, enjoy sweet foods. (Cats are not as big on sweets.) Corn syrup, sucrose (table sugar), ammoniated glycyrrhizin, and other sweeteners are sometimes added to lower-quality foods to increase their appeal. Sweeteners effectively persuade many dogs to eat foods comprised mainly of grain fragments and contain little of the animal protein that would be healthier for them. Dietary sugar can aggravate health problems in pets, including diabetes.

Artificial preservatives, such as BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin. Natural preservatives, such as tocopherols (forms of vitamin E), vitamin C, and rosemary extract, can be used instead. Preservation is necessary to keep the fats in the food from oxidizing and turning rancid. Natural preservatives do not preserve the food as long as artificial preservatives, however, so be sure to check the "best by" date on the label and look for relatively fresh products.

Artificial colors. The color of the food makes no difference to the pet! These nutritionally useless chemicals are used in foods to make them look appealing to you! Your pets don't need a daily - lifetime - exposure to these unnecessary chemicals.

Propylene glycol. Another chemical your pets don't need a daily exposure to. This chemical is added to some "chewy" foods to keep them moist.
A good-quality, nutritious food is worth the extra money. It means a longer-living, healthier pet and less trips to the vet. It means better dental health too. It is believed that a good diet is more effective in maintaining dental health than the fact that it's a hard, dry food. Our four dogs range in age from 7 to 13 years old and I always get compliments on their teeth at their yearly check-ups. I don't brush their teeth but I do give them lots of toys, bones and treats to chew on (and they are chewers, which some dogs are not). However, I believe the good quality foods I feed them has a lot to do with it.

One of our cats was on a prescription dry food (with higher fiber) because she was always doing the "booty-scoot". I was having to have her anal glands expressed fairly frequently. After awhile on this food, I didn't notice much difference in her anal problem and she started throwing up regularly (almost every morning). I switched her to a natural, good-quality dry food which is even for sensative stomachs. Guess what? No more throwing up and the booty-scooting is few and far between! Sometimes just a simple change to a good, wholesome quality food can make a world of difference!

Resources: Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats, S. Messonnier, D.V.M., 2001
Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats, R. Pitcairn, D.V.M., PhD, 2005
The Whole Dog Journal Handbook of Dog & Puppy Care & Training, 2008

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dog Days


I like the early mornings on weekends because they are quiet and there's not much traffic out. It makes getting around to our morning visits much quicker. I was making such good time this morning, I decided to change my visits around a little and ended up going a different route than I originally planned.

There were no other cars around as I was driving down S. Braeswood, on the way to my third visit this morning when I saw a little Pomeranian in the middle of the street. He was looking around as if lost and I noticed he had a collar and tags on. Thank goodness for the tags!! I pulled over, grabbed a leash out of my pet sitter's survival bag & quickly got the dog out of the street. He was very friendly and came to me easily. He knew I was trying to help him. He had a microchip tag, a rabies tag and a Pomeranian Rescue tag, all from out of town. I called the Rescue number and a nice lady took the tag number and my information and said someone would call me back very shortly. Within a few minutes the owners called me and came to pick up their dog. They thanked me and said they had just adopted him yesterday and he got out of their gate. I was so glad he had tags and I was able to return him safely home in just a short time! I hope they dog proof their yard now.

After they left, I went on to my third visit. I wasn't there very long before I got a call from my husband who was doing his round of morning visits. A puppy was at a client's house, laying up against their garage door. (This client only has cats and we had been pet sitting since Friday.) He was emaciated, very lethargic and did not want to eat or drink anything. He appeared to be around 6 months old and very cute. (No collar, no tags.) Where did he come from? Did he wander here from somewhere near, somewhere far? Did someone just dump him off? How is it, animals just show up where ever we go? I finished up my visit, drove home to get a carrier, and then to the client's house to pick up the puppy. Poor thing could hardly move, it was so sick and weak. He was growling in the beginning because he was scared. Now he seemed to know we were trying to help him. He just laid there & looked at us with those cute brown eyes. I took him back home in the carrier and set him on the front porch with food and water until we could get back from doing the other visits we needed to do. (These things always happen when you are really busy and on the weekend!) I took him to a vet as soon as I got home. I didn't realize how sick he was. He had a high temperature and now had bloody diarrhea. He was on death's door and most likely had Parvo. The best thing we could do for this sweet little boy was to euthanize him. It was very sad. I stayed with him, petting him until he crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. At least he got some love at the end of his very short life. If only in the end, he knew someone did care about him. At least now he is not suffering any more and can run and play with all the other animals in heaven.

Today we rescued two dogs, both within an hour of each other. One had a happy ending, the other a sad ending. I can't tell you how many dogs we have found/rescued in the 7 years we've been pet sitting. I lost count. We find them a lot because we're driving or walking around all day. Usually, we are able to locate the owners within a few days, if not hours. On occasion, I've had to find a new home for one. That's because we've already kept as many as we can! (All of our eight pets were rescued or adopted from shelters.) If only we could find Roux, a client's dog who escaped out of her yard on April 2nd while we were pet sitting. (see April blog). That would really make my day!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

ATTN: Angie's List Members

Happy with our service? Want to share your experience? We are now listed as a service company (in Bellaire) on AngiesList.com! If you are a member of Angie's List, you can now make a service company report/review on us. We would love to hear from you!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Water - The Basic Nutrient

While most people don't consider water a nutrient, it is without a doubt the most important one. Our pet's body, just like our own, is made up of mostly water. Water accounts for 60 to 70 percent of an adult pet's body weight. An animal can survive after losing most of it's fat or protein, but a 10% decrease in body water can cause serious illness, a 15% loss results in death!

Body water serves several useful functions. First, water is used for body heat regulation. Second, water is used for transportation of body nutrients from the food into the cells for energy production, cellular metabolism, and making hormones. Third, water allows the body to transport waste material from the cells to the outside of the body (in the form of urine and feces). Finally, water assists in lubricating the various body surfaces such as joints, intestines and organs of the chest and abdomen.

Most people forget how important water is to a pet's diet. Too much or too little water can be fatal. While your pet's food can supply a little or a lot of your pet's daily water needs, (dry food contains up to 10% moisture and canned foods have up to 78% moisture) water is the one thing to which your pet should have unlimited access. Animals know when they're thirsty and they should have free access to clean containers of pure, healthy water.

Because tap water contains chlorine and fluoride (among other things), it's best to provide your pet with filtered water, just as it is for us. Many holistic pet owners prefer structured water -- the best water there is, for themselves and their pets. All animals love structured water and benefit from it (as do we!).

Never give animals distilled water. Distilled water is void of any minerals (which is why it is used in appliances such as steam irons, decorative water fountains and aromatherapy diffusers) and has a detoxing effect on the body. Distilled water will actually pull minerals from the body resulting in mineral deficiencies over time. Even humans are advised to only drink distilled water for short periods of time when attempting to detox the body.

Water should be increased in times of illness, when a fever is present, when the environmental temperature increases, if your pet pants excessively, or when your pet is taking certain medications (such as steroids or diuretics) that result in an increased urinary output.

We have both cats and dogs who have free access to the backyard, so I keep a couple big bowls of water on the back patio, two bowls in the kitchen and a couple more smaller bowls in locations that only the cats can get to. I also have a water fountain like the one pictured above that the cats like drinking out of. (Cats -- or dogs for that matter -- that like to drink running water out of the faucets, really like the water fountains! It aerates the water and keeps the water fresher than water that just sits in the bowl.) I use bottled or filtered water in the fountain.

(Update 2017): Upon learning that electricity makes water hard, I no longer use pet water fountains for this reason. Instead, I give our pets structured water -- water that is naturally soft and instantly available at the intracellular level. Since 2013, I have also been providing our animal clients with structured water while under our care -- an extra health benefit just by using our service -- not offered anywhere else! This is a unique benefit offered only by Cozy Critters Pet Sitters of Bellaire. (Learn more about this amazing water by clicking on the structured water tab on our website!) 

Cats can be picky about their water. Some like to drink out of certain things such as a coffee cup or a tall glass or the faucet. We had a cat that was very particular about her water, especially in her later years. She would meow (very loudly and non-stop) if the water was not fresh and filled to the very top of the bowl! You may want to offer your cats various types of water containers in multiple places around the house as cats are not naturally big drinkers and encouragement to drink more water is always helpful.

The best kind of bowls to use are stainless steel, glass or ceramic. (Ceramic and glass bowls can crack, so keep an eye out for that.) Plastic bowls can contain a number of carcinogenic substances and they can be chewed and scratched (which can harbor bacteria). Some pets are allergic to plastic, causing acne around the face and chin. (We had a cat that was allergic to plastic bowls.) Be sure to clean out the water bowls daily. If you do use water fountains be sure to buy extra filters and change them out regularly.

Sometimes it's the simple, basic things in life that make a big difference.

Resources

Natural Health Bible for Dogs and Cats, S. Messonnier, DVM, 2001
The Encyclopedia of Natural Pet Care, C.J. Puotinen, 1998
Water Codes - The Science of Health, Consciousness and Enlightenment, Dr. Carly Nuday, PhD., 2014
Dancing with Water, The New Science of Water, MJ Pangman, MS and Melanie Evans, 2011
The Water Puzzle and the Hexagonal Key, Dr. Mu Shik Jhon, 2004
The Hidden Messages in Water, Masaru Emoto, 2001
Your Body's Many Cries for Water, F. Batmanghelidj, M.D., 1992
Structured Water teleclasses by Clayton Nolte, Natural Action Technologies, 2013 - 2017

(Note: This article was updated on 2/20/17.)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Pet Food - Variety Is the Spice of Life

In the veterinary literature, there are many documented cases of animals with nutritional deficiencies (or excesses), and in virtually every one, the problem arose (or was discovered) because the animal was kept on one food for a long period of time.

We think of the production of pet food as a fairly scientific affair, but the truth is, all pet food manufacturers make mistakes in formulation or production that result in nutrient excesses or deficiencies. No matter how good, bad or indifferent the manufacturer's reputation may be----at one time or another they fail one or more tests for protein, calcium, magnesium, or other nutrients.

Here are some things to consider:
  • The standards by which pet food is made aren't perfect. Animal nutrition is an evolving science and we don't yet know all there is to know.
  • The exact amounts of nutrients in a given ingredient may not be known, or may be inaccurately assessed. A vitamin/mineral premix added to the food may guarantee minimum levels of each item, but if the quality control on that premix was poor the finished pet food will compound the error.
  • Also, because of the nutritional standards themselves, which specify minimums for most nutrients but not maximums, pet food makers may not test for the probability that their finished product is too high in some nutrient. Excesses of certain minerals, like zinc for example, can wreak havoc on dogs' health. Even a big difference between the stated and actual amount of something like protein or fat can cause problems for some dogs. Cats have been the victims of nutrient deficiencies more frequently. Cats on some foods for long periods of time have turned up with taurine, copper, vitamin E, and potassium deficiencies.
  • Some manufacturers develop a formula and/or recipe for making their food, and they will stick with that recipe no matter what. If that recipe results in a food that is typically at the very low or high end of acceptability for some nutrients, you can imagine that after years of eating the same food, your dog's body will eventually exhibit the effects of that chronic over- or undersupply of those nutrients.
A different pitfall of feeding a single food for years and years is the potential for your pet to develop an intolerance or allergy to one or more ingredients. Food intolerances and allergies can often cause similar symptoms, but there are significant differences between them.

A dietary intolerance is a reaction to something in the food, but this reaction does not involve an immune response. Signs of gastrointestinal disturbances (especially vomiting and diarrhea) are far more likely to be caused by food intolerance than by a food allergy. A food tolerance can develop at any time in the pet's life.

True food allergies----immediate immune responses triggered by exposure to a certain food----are thought to be fairly rare. Food allergy usually causes skin reactions, such as papules, rashes, and ear infections. (What actually happens is the inflammation sets up the scene, and then bacteria and yeast that are normally present cause secondary infections.) Keep in mind, however, most skin reactions are due to inhalant allergies; only a small portion turn out to be caused by food. It usually takes months to years of exposure to a food to develop a food allergy, and food allergies are usually caused by proteins. (Proteins are found in animal products and also to some degree in cereal grains.)

Another good reason to periodically change foods is to prevent finicky eating. Many pet food makers use palatability enhancers, and pets fed a single food can sometimes become "addicted" to one particular flavor.

For all these reasons it's a good idea to change foods occasionally----as often as every three to four months. There is some evidence in people that avoiding a particular "problem food" for four months may resolve the issue and the body will again tolerate it. Also, that's a short enough period that allergies are unlikely to develop.

Although feeding a mixture of commercial foods is not recommended, it's good to vary the pet's diet by switching brands and varieties including the source of protein (i.e. from chicken to lamb or turkey, etc.).

When you get ready to change from one food to another, be sure to plan ahead. A sudden switch could cause tummy upset. For most dogs and cats, a four-day or eight-day changeover works best. Younger pets usually adjust quickly; older pets may take longer. For the first day (or two), feed 75 percent of his/her old food mixed with 25 percent of the new food. After a couple of days, feed 50/50, then 25 percent of the old food and 75 percent new food, and then finally all new food.

For the first two weeks on a new food, monitor your pet's appetite, stool quality, and energy level. Watch for any unusual symptoms----itchiness, runny eyes, diarrhea----that could indicate the food is not right for him. Eventually, you'll be able to settle on three or four different foods which you can rotate.

Variety is the spice of life...so change your pet's food occasionally. Feeding the same kind, year after year, can cause health problems. Not to mention it gets boring to your pet. Would you like to eat the same thing for every meal, day after day, month after month, year after year? If it was up to them, they wouldn't!

Resource: Handbook of Dog & Puppy Care and Training by The Whole Dog Journal, 2008

Update: (Here's a perfect example!) On May 21, 2009, Nutro Products recalled some of it's dry cat foods due to excessive levels of zinc and under-supplemented potassium. This was caused by a production errror. Read more about it at The U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Proper Storage of Dry Foods


Proper storage of dry pet foods is important. No matter what type of preservative is used in your pet's food, it can quickly turn rancid if exposed to oxygen and hot temperatures. Pet food is supposed to be stored "in a cool, dry place." (That's not the garage.) Pet food bags were designed to prevent anything from either entering into or exiting from the food.

Many people keep their pet food in plastic containers. Keeping the food in the wrong type of plastic (non-food-grade) can actually speed the decay of the food. Some plastics can actually absorb much of the vitamin C out of the food; it leaches out & gets sucked into the plastic material. This effects shelf life as it causes the fat to oxidize and accelerates spoilage. If you keep your pet food in a food-grade plastic container, be sure to wash it out and dry it thoroughly before putting new food in. If you dump new, fresh food on top of remnants of old, rancid food, those remnants of oxidizing old food can spread the oxidation of the new food.

Using metal containers (such as trash cans) to store pet food doesn't necessarily cause spoilage, but they can effect the taste of the food.

The best way to store your dry pet food is to keep it in it's original bag, in a cool, dry place. If insects are a concern, keep the bag of food inside an airtight plastic or metal container.

Another good reason to keep the pet food in it's original bag is so you have the expiration date and the product code in case you ever need it. If your pet ever becomes sick and you suspect the food, you will need the codes when reporting it to the manufacturer. Considering the recent pet food recalls, I'd say that's a very good idea!
Resource: Handbook of Dog & Puppy Care & Training by The Whole Dog Journal, 2008

Monday, April 13, 2009

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Help! Lost Dog! Keep an Eye Out!



On Thursday night , April 2nd, Roux dug out of her backyard and escaped! She disappeared from MeyerLand (77096) near W. Bellfort/Runnymeade/Rice Ave. area. She is 12 years old, about 70 pounds, mostly black with grey. She was wearing a collar with her name and phone number printed on it. We are really worried about her and want her back home where she belongs. If you see her, please call me immediately!