Category: Cats

Picture Parade Two Hundred and Twenty-Nine

Yet more incredible photographs.

Will simply repeat what I wrote last Sunday:

But these are not from Tanja but from Graham; an online friend back in England. When I queried about republishing them here Graham simply said that they came to him when he was just “doing the rounds”.  So, hopefully, publishing them in this place is not trampling on the photographer’s copyrights. If this does represent a copyright infringement then the particular photograph will be removed immediately – just let me know!

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You all have a very good week!

Once again, thank you Graham for sending these to me.

Picture Parade Two Hundred and Twenty-Eight

More incredible photographs.

But these are not from Tanja but from Graham; an online friend back in England. When I queried about republishing them here Graham simply said that they came to him when he was just “doing the rounds”.  So, hopefully, publishing them in this place is not trampling on the photographer’s copyrights. If this does represent a copyright infringement then the particular photograph will be removed immediately – just let me know!

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Stunning! Hopefully more of these photographs in a week’s time. Thanks Graham!

The Role of Pets in Depression and Bullying in Kids

Another great guest post from Emily Ridgewell!

Both Emily’s previous guest posts were received very well by you. There was Four-legged Gardening, published here last October 24th, and Return To The Movies that came out on the 4th of that same month.

Now Emily writes about something that is never far away from us these days, irrespective of age: depression. And the strongly positive role of pets. Great guest post but first let me re-introduce you to Emily.

Emily Ridgewell is an arts professional and a pet enthusiast from sunny LA. Emily has a creative energy and an aesthetic sense of living, where everything beautiful is worth sharing. She loves her yorkie Olivia and writes original and fun articles on ways to learn and improve your pet-best friend’s life. She finds exciting new things to explore and experience! Don’t forget to connect with her on Twitter: @ridgewell_j

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The Role of Pets in Depression and Bullying in Kids

Kids today are faced with more stress and worry than ever, and childhood depression is on the rise because of it. Recent studies have shown almost 10% of children and adolescents experience depression. One of the main sources of depression among children is being the victim of bullying. Unfortunately, bullying doesn’t discriminate and can happen to boys and girls of any ethnic, racial, religious, or socio-economic background. Lasting effects of being bullied include having low self-esteem and negative self-image, unhappiness at school and difficulty focusing, and trouble establishing healthy relationships with peers.

Interestingly enough, these side effects are found in the bullies as well as their victims. Both are more likely to experience depressive symptoms than those who have never been involved in bullying. They also are more likely to have coexisting mental health issues, such as Oppositional Defiance Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder, and Clinical Depression and Anxiety. If left unaddressed, these feeling of depression and low self-worth can lead to chronic levels of mental health issues, isolation, and even suicidal ideation.

The first line of defense for parents is arming themselves with strategies to help their children cope with feelings of depression and address them when they first appear. First and foremost, they need to recognize the signs of depression. Then they need to put their heads together and come up with a plan to help their child combat it. Use resources such as your pediatrician, teachers, and school counselors to help develop a long term plan. In the meantime, one of the most effective and immediate ways to help them at home is by getting a pet.

Pets have several benefits that help combat depression and help your child feel happier, more whole, and well connected. First of all, they offer uncomplicated, unconditional love. They don’t say hurtful things, get angry over petty misunderstandings, or hold grudges. They simply love and express joy every time they see their owners. They also offer constant companionship. Having a pet means never having to feel alone or isolated. Additionally, the act of petting a dog or cat (or any other pet, for that matter) offers physical touch and provides comfort, creating a soothing effect and releasing feel-good endorphins in the brain. In turn, this reduces stress and anxiety and helps your child feel calmer and more emotionally balanced.

Further, having a pet means your child will have an added responsibility. Contrary to what you may originally think, a new responsibility provides a distraction and offers a positive focus instead of what’s bothering him.. Plus, he’ll feel good about himself for taking care of something that needs him. He will feel capable, and this bolsters self-esteem and causes a ripple effect in all aspects of her life. It’s a win-win situation.

If you opt for a dog, part of the responsibilities will be walking it. This earns another point in the fight against depression for a couple of reasons. It will make your child be physically active, a well-known tool for negating depressive symptoms. It also is an excellent way to increase social interaction. People are always wanting to touch a puppy, and this leads to a natural conversation when they ask permission. Even if your child is anxious about talking to new people, dogs and pets are automatic ice breakers. Talking about their pet can easily guide the conversation with very little pressure on your child to generate small talk. If they are engaging in conversation, they are less likely to feel isolated and will benefit mentally from the interaction.

Of course, pet ownership isn’t something you should jump into lightly. Be sure to choose the right pet for your child and teach him the right way to handle and care for it. With care and supervision, your child and her pet will become fast friends in no time. While there is no quick fix for depression, owning a pet has multiple benefits which will show their impact quickly. Having an unconditional friend to love can work wonders for building confidence and self-esteem and combatting the negative effects of bullying and depression.

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Emily is spot on. Pets, especially dogs, are the epitome of loving us humans unconditionally and that connection is precious beyond words. Being able to hug or cuddle a dog, frequently as an ad-hoc impulse, is about as comforting a place that us humans, well certainly this human, can get.

Sitting in front of the television of an evening and having a cat snuggle up next to one and start purring is a very close second-best!

Great post from Emily!

No room for being wrong!

Getting to the truth of what is or is not good for our dogs.

As many will understand so very often I am acting more as a messenger than an authoritative source in this place. It is very difficult for me, almost impossible indeed, for me to verify the validity of what is posted here.

On January 11th, I published a guest post from Kathreen Miller. Her article was called Is Organic Food Really Good For Your Dog To Eat?

Yesterday, local good friend and neighbour, Jim Goodbrod, sent me an email pointing out a number of weaknesses in Kathreen’s article and giving me permission to republish what he wrote as a post on Learning from Dogs.

Jim is an experienced Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) and has frequently advised us, both professionally and informally, about our own dogs and cats. We trust him fully. Jim attends a couple of local vet clinics including Lincoln Road Veterinary Clinic in Grants Pass to where we take our pets when required.

Dr. Jim seeing a patient at Lincoln Road Vet.

Here is Jim’s update published with his kind permission and unchanged by me apart from some minor formatting amendments including italicising some phrases.

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Hey Paul …

Regarding your post of 1-11-18, a guest post by Kathreen Miller concerning canine diet, I feel the need (justified or not) to clarify a few points. She seems to be a big proponent of “organic diets” and lest your readers be misled, I think we need to define what is meant by “organic”.

The legal definition of “organic” is codified by the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) in 7 CFR 205. Pet foods and pet treats must comply with these regulations or they may not legally use the word “organic” on the label. If you read these regulations, you will find that “organic” refers only to the handling and processing of ingredients and products.

These regulations cover: ingredient sourcing, ingredient handling, manufacturing, and labeling & certification of products wanting to use the word “organic” in their labeling.

However, these rules are not considered by NOP as a means to ensure safer, healthier, or more nutritious foods. In fact, there is no regulatory distinction in the tolerable levels of pesticides, drugs, or other residues allowed in organic vs conventional products (even though lower residues may in fact be a result).

Rather, the “organic” label is viewed as a confirmation of the organic production process, and the purchaser is left to his or her own determination as to whether the costs merit the perceived benefits. The bottom line is that “organic” refers to the processing of a product, and makes no guarantees as to the quality or digestibility of ingredients, safety, nutritional value or health benefits of the product.

A savvy pet owner, in order to ensure her dog’s optimal nutritional health, would be better advised to follow guidelines outlined by WSAVA or AAHA (or other reputable source) rather than to reflexively reach for the dog food that says “organic” on the label. The “organic” label does not necessarily mean a diet is good or bad, but it has nothing to do with the nutritional adequacy of the diet and hence your dog’s health.

Another point: Kathreen seems to buy into the popular myth that plant-based ingredients (like corn) are poorly digested fillers that provide little nutritional value and can cause allergies. Corn provides a good source of carbohydrates, essential amino acids, protein, and essential fatty acids in the diets of dogs and cats. It is highly digestible and is not a common cause of allergies. It is actually a very good nutrient as an ingredient in pet food.

My last point is regarding the product “Pet Bounce” that Kathreen endorses as a treatment for arthritic pain in dogs. This product is labelled as homeopathic and as such is nothing more than a placebo.

It has been proven over and over and over again that homeopathic remedies are nothing but water and perform no better than placebos in numerous clinical trials. Reading the list of ingredients, one can see that it contains:

  • 1) Belladonna 6X
  • 2)Caulphyllum 6C
  • 3) Colchicum autumnale 200C
  • 4) Apis mellifica 30C
  • 5) Rhus toxicodendron 200C
  • 6) Ruta graveolens 6X.

Anyone familiar with homeopathic nomenclature knows that, for example, the Apis mellifica 30C designation means that this particular herb is diluted in water 1 to  or   (that’s 1 followed by 60 zeroes!).

To put it into perspective, that’s equivalent to 1 molecule of this substance in a sphere of water 90 million miles in diameter (approximately the distance of the earth to the sun). That’s a 30C dilution.

At a 200C dilution, the treating substance is diluted more than the total number of atoms in the known universe!

Regardless of any medicinal properties these herbs may have, they are so fantastically diluted that there is not one molecule present in the final solution.

I defy any reasonable person to tell me that this so-called remedy is effective to treat anything and consists of anything more than a water placebo.

My problem with this kind of snake oil is that well-meaning pet owners waste their money (~$50.00 per bottle!) on this useless product, believing all the hype and thinking that they are improving the quality of their dog’s life, meanwhile squandering the opportunity to actually help their dog with an effective and evidence-based treatment.

Kathreen seems to be a nice and well-intentioned woman, but I don’t know what qualifies her as a “pet health expert”, other than her own opinion. According to her profile (from your blog) she lives in Chicago with her daughter and dog “Buddy” and listens to music, watches TV, and travels. That’s it? Nothing more??

Again, your readers, Paul, would be well advised to visit professional veterinary nutrition websites (and there are dozens of them) for their veterinary nutritional information.
Below are a couple good places to start:
http://www.wsava.org/sites/default/files/Nutrition%20on%20the%20Internet%20dogs.pdf

http://www.wsava.org/sites/default/files/Recommendations%20on%20Selecting%20Pet%20Foods.pdf

Regards, Jim

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I know you will join me in thanking Jim for spending the time in writing this update.

Primal Dog Food Recall

This was sent to me back on the 22nd December.

December 21, 2017 — Primal Pet Foods of Fairfield, California, is voluntarily recalling specific lots of 5 of its freeze-dried poultry products because their grind size exceeds the ideal size of ground bone to be fed to dogs and cats.

What’s Recalled?

Affected products include Primal Canine and Feline Freeze-Dried Poultry Formulas.

Click here for a more readable copy of the following list of recalled products.

Company Comments

Primal has posted the following comments about this recall on its website:

  • This is a Primal production specification issue – it poses absolutely no risk to human health.
  • We have very precise requirements as to how our foods are to be produced so they preform optimally.
  • We require our meat and bones be ground down to a coarseness of 1/8″
  • Over a single production run, the wrong grind plate was used and the product was ground at 1/4″ coarseness, which is a 1/8″ variance to our specifications.
  • We became aware that food produced over a single production run did not meet our precise specifications and may not preform optimally, particularly for small dogs and cats.
  • We are not comfortable having product in the market that doesn’t meet our precise specifications and deliver optimal experience to the consumer and pet.
  • This decision is entirely voluntary and the FDA is not involved at all.

What to Do?

The company asks that affected products be returned to the Primal retailer from where they were originally purchased for full credit.

Those unable to return the product directly to the retailer are invited to contact Primal Customer Service at 866-566-4652 extension 2 or by email at support@primalpetfoods.com

U.S. citizens can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to http://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.

Canadians can report any health or safety incidents related to the use of this product by filling out the Consumer Product Incident Report Form.

Get Dog Food Recall Alerts by Email

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Dog Food Advisor’s emergency recall notification system.

Hope this helps!

Friendship cat and dog style

It’s stories like this that put a smile on one’s face (and heart!).

Most evenings, after we have finished supper we go into the den, as we call it, and watch a few hours of television. This room has doors to the other rooms in the house and, therefore, during the day may be closed off. Reason why that is useful is that the den is home to our three cats.

Thus, after supper the dogs and the cats get to mingle together, as this photograph of Pedi and Mitts so well illustrates.

All of which is a great introduction to a post that was recently seen over on Mother Nature Network and is republished here for all you good people.

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Dog and kitten are best friends in hiking and life

The best place to see the world is from atop your BFF’s head.

MARY JO DILONARDO   December 6, 2017.

Baloo’s favorite spot to hang out is on Henry’s head. (Photo: henrythecoloradodog/Instagram)

Henry wasn’t the first dog Cynthia Bennett and her boyfriend spotted when they went looking for a canine pal a few years ago, but he’s certainly the one that won them over.

“I had my eyes set on a golden mix puppy, but when I saw the lanky Henry sitting there I had to see him,” Bennett tells MNN. “When we got into the pen with him, he immediately climbed into my lap and went belly up. It was then I knew that we were taking him home.”

 The couple brought the pup back to their home in Colorado where they hoped he would fit into their active, outdoorsy lifestyle. Fortunately, bold Henry was all in. But not long after it became clear that Henry was also extremely stressed out. Cynthia thought maybe a kitten companion might help ease Henry’s anxiety, while also offering another adventure buddy for the family.

She spent several months looking for just the right feline friend. Most, she says, just didn’t have the right personality she wanted for an adventurous cat. Then she met a Siamese kitten mix named Baloo.

“Baloo however convinced me to bring him home in under a minute. He was super playful and curious and the biggest love bug.”

Henry and Baloo hit it off immediately and are the best of friends, Bennett says.

“They do everything together, eat, sleep, hike and have become inseparable. It took only one day of them getting used to each other and then they started immediately snuggling and playing. It happened so quickly.”

Not only are the pair adventure buddies, they also have quite a following on Instagram. One of their most popular poses is Baloo comfortably perched (and sometimes sleeping) on Henry’s head.

It’s a natural fit, Bennett says.

“Baloo feels much safer with Henry around and is constantly looking up to him. So if he is on Henry, he feels even more comfortable,” she says. “They are the best of friends, especially on hikes. Baloo follows Henry and Henry just lights up when he realizes that Baloo is coming too.”

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That photograph of Henry and Baloo is so wonderful that I will close today’s post by sharing it with you again but cropped to really focus on them both.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thanks for our dogs!

And all our other loved animals!

Saw the following on the Mother Nature Network site and knew today was the day to share it with you.

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Which Thanksgiving foods are safe for pets?

You know dogs and cats will be eyeing that holiday table.

MARY JO DILONARDO November 20, 2017

It can be hard to resist those sad, pleading faces. (Photo: Chendongshan/Shutterstock)

Thanksgiving is all about being grateful, of course, but it’s also about food — lots and lots of food. Your kitchen and dining room table will be overflowing with all sorts of tasty offerings, as tempting smells fill the air from early morning until late at night.

While entertaining your guests and seeing to your culinary responsibilities, don’t forget to keep a watchful eye on your pets. It will be hard for them to resist the food from your feast, but some items can cause problems for our furry friends.

Here are some Thanksgiving foods that are hazards and others that are OK in moderation.

1. Turkey: Unless you’re serving a vegetarian meal, the centerpiece of the holiday meal is a turkey, and how could you let your four-legged buddy miss out? Just do so in moderation and watch what you serve, cautions the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. If you offer your pet a small bite, make sure that it’s well-cooked and has no bones. Raw or undercooked turkey can contain salmonella bacteria, which can make your pet sick. Never give your pet turkey bones.

2. Stuffing: Stuffing can be packed with ingredients like onions, garlic, raisins and grapes that can make your dog or cat sick. Anything with onions, garlic, chives, leeks or scallions should be off-limits to your pet. Onions and garlic can damage red blood cells and cause gastroenteritis. Cats and certain breeds of dogs (like the Akita and Shiba Inu) appear to be more sensitive, according to the Pet Poison Helpline. Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure.

3. Mashed potatoes: If you get to the potatoes before they’re smothered in butter, milk and salt, you’re in luck. It’s OK to offer your pet a small dollop of plain cooked spuds.

Turkey and plain sweet potatoes are OK for your dog, but only in small portions (and be sure to remove the bones from the turkey!) (Photo: Eric Isselee/Shutterstock)

4. Sweet potatoes: These orange tubers are a healthy alternative to white potatoes, as long as you get them to your pet before they’re smothered in marshmallows, butter or brown sugar. A small, plain cooked bite is OK.

5. Gravy: Skip this rich addition to your pet’s meal. If you want to liven up a doggy or kitty dinner, add a dash of low-sodium chicken broth instead.

6. Green beans: These tasty green veggies are a healthy treat year-round. They’re full of vitamins and low in calories. Just be sure to avoid any extra toppings like melted butter, garlic or fried onions.

7. Carrots: These veggies are good for your pet, served cooked or raw. They’re high in fiber and vitamins and low in calories. Plus crunching on raw carrots can be good for a dog’s teeth. Just make sure you don’t feed them to your pet if the carrots are swimming in a sugary glaze.

8. Cranberry sauce: Check what’s in your classic holiday concoction. Some recipes are high in sugar or have alcohol, neither of which is good for pets. Other recipes include grapes, raisins or currants, points out the American Kennel Club, which are toxic to animals. Feeding a small bite of plain cranberry sauce is probably OK, but your pet may not even like it. Some critters turn up their nose at the tart taste.

9. Pumpkin pie: Most pet owners know plain, canned pumpkin is a good thing to help with irregular digestion, but that doesn’t mean pumpkin pie has the same benefits. This tasty holiday mainstay has lots of sugar and spices that aren’t necessary or beneficial for your pet. Plus, the whipped cream or topping may be too rich for dogs and hard to digest for lactose-intolerant cats, says Vetstreet. If you want your BFF to get a taste of the season, offer a scoop of plain, canned pumpkin instead.

When there’s so much going on in the kitchen, counter surfers can have a field day. (Photo: Kachalkina Veronika/Shutterstock)

Some tips:

Watch where you put things. You probably have a lot more going on in the kitchen than usual. Don’t leave garbage bags unattended or food within reach, tempting counter surfers.

Beware of bread dough. If you’re making homemade bread, keep it out of your pet’s reach. When a dog or cat eats raw yeast bread dough, the unbaked dough expands in a warm, moist stomach, as the sugars are converted to carbon dioxide gas and alcohol. The result is bloat and alcohol poisoning, which can be a life-threatening emergency.

Keep an eye on alcohol. Don’t leave out cups of spiked beverages for your pet to lap up, but also remember that there’s alcohol in some other items like fruitcake. Just a small amount of alcohol (by human standards) can be toxic for pets.

Mary Jo DiLonardo writes about everything from health to parenting — and anything that helps explain why her dog does what he does.

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Well done, Mary Jo, and a Happy Thanksgiving to you and to all you dear readers.