Friday, February 10, 2012

Celebrating 10 Years in Business!

It is with great pride that I am able to say that Cozy Critters Pet Sitters is celebrating their 10th anniversary! It's hard to believe a whole decade has passed since I first started the business in the Spring of 2002. It has gone by so fast! We have done well over 36,000 pet sitting visits! These last ten years have been filled with many wonderful memories, lots of funny stories and a whole lot of unconditional love from all the wonderful pets we have cared for. We have learned a lot too, and continue to every day. Not to mention it's been a real pleasure to get to meet and provide a great service for so many animal loving people like ourselves! We have the greatest clients! We couldn't ask for more! A big "thank you" to all of our clients and we hope to be your pet sitters for many more years to come.

Another big "thank you" goes to MeyerLand Animal Clinic, who not only has treated our pets (and some of our clients' pets) for the past few decades but has also referred many clients to us. All the veterinarians and staff there are great! Thank you for your continued confidence in us. We really appreciate all that you do.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Dog Treat Warning

Are you feeding chicken jerky treats to your dog? If you are, be sure to check the package and see if they are made in China. If so, throw them out! It doesn't matter what brand they are. If they are made in China you are taking a big risk by feeding them to your dog. FDA officials are warning pet owners to avoid chicken jerky treats made in China.

The Federal Food and Drug Administration has logged at least 353 reports in 2011 of illnesses and some deaths tied to imported chicken jerky products, also sold as chicken tenders, chicken strips or chicken treats. The FDA's latest (updated) warning was posted on Nov. 18, 2011. This was the agency's third alert about chicken jerky treats, with previous cautions issued in 2007 and 2008. Though these alerts have been out for years, I still see clients buying them.

Dog owners and veterinarians are reporting that animals have been stricken with a range of symptoms within hours or days of eating chicken jerky, including serious problems such as kidney failure and Fanconi syndrome, a condition marked by low blood sugar. Though the illnesses appear tied to chicken jerky products manufactured in China, the source of the problem remains a mystery.

Please report every incident of pet illness or death you and/or your veterinarian believes to be related to a pet food or treat to the FDA and to your State Department of Agriculture.  For reports to the FDA, you can do this online using the Safety Reporting Portal.  For reports to your State Department of Agriculture, ask to speak to the person in charge of pet food.

2/11/12 Update: Click here for more interesting information regarding these treats. Keep up the good work, Susan Thixton! (This woman is a blessing!)

Resources for Canine Genetic Disorders

In a recent newsletter from Dr. Karen Becker, she shared some excellent resources for canine genetic disorders.These resources can come in handy for dog owners, breeders, veterinarians and others working in the field of canine healthcare. These tools provide an enormous amount of information about inherited disorders in dogs. They can also provide valuable information for prospective dog owners or breeders interested in learning how to avoid inherited diseases in their dogs, and veterinarians looking for current information on the treatment of canine genetic disorders.

The goal of the Canine Inherited Disorders Database (CIDD) is  "to reduce the incidence of inherited disorders in dogs by providing information to owners and breeders, and to facilitate the best management possible of these conditions by providing current information to veterinarians."

The Inherited Diseases in Dogs (IDID) database is provided by the University of Cambridge Veterinary School.

The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Animals (OMIA) database is hosted by the National Institutes of Health and includes all animals, not just dogs. However, dogs are the best documented of all the animals found in the OMIA database.This database is considerably trickier to navigate than the other two unless you're already familiar with it.
Hopefully, you'll find these free online tools useful when you have questions or want to learn more about the health challenges of certain dog breeds.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pet Product of the Month

Our favorite product of the month is the Kong for dogs. They are made of durable, natural rubber, have a large hole in one end and a small hole in the other. You can fill them with treats, kibble, peanut butter, carrots, a combination of these or they even have Kong stuffing that comes in a can. In the summer you can refrigerate or freeze them for a cool treat during hot summer days. The red ones are for regular chewers and  the black ones are the most durable version for the power chewers. They come in different sizes from extra small to extra, extra large for different size dogs.They also have Kong for seniors, which is purple (not pictured) and Kong for puppies (blue and pink , not pictured).  They are great for entertaining dogs for long periods of time, especially when they are home alone and bored. It's a good way to make them work for their food or treats too. Our own dogs as well as clients' dogs just love getting a Kong filled with food or treats! They like to throw them around and watch them  bounce too.

There are also other types of Kong toys that hold treats like the Kong Goodie Bone and the Kong Stuff-A-Ball, both pictured here.

Kong Stuff-A-Ball
The best thing is they are made in the U.S.A. and have been tested for toxic chemicals by and have been found to be safe!

Kong Goodie Bone