Category: People and their pets

Saturday Snooze!

This is an older post that for some reason wasn’t published until now!

Apparently dogs can teach us to sleep better!

If you can hear a note of skepticism in my voice then you are not mistaken.

For I am writing this post during the afternoon of Tuesday last. Jeannie and I were going out to dinner with neighbours in the evening and I was wondering if I could squeeze in a siesta fairly soon. Why?

Well last night [Ed. Back in 2017] (as in early on Tuesday morning), at 3am to be exact, a wet nose belonging to a German Shepherd, namely Cleo, was gently pushed into my face. Even in the dark I could sense that Cleo had an upset tummy. I quickly got up and opened our bedroom door; the one that opens onto the deck behind our house.

Five minutes later Cleo was back in the room and a few minutes more saw me back asleep.

At 4am on that same early Tuesday morning I received the second greeting of the day from a wet nose. This time it was Oliver and, yes, he too had an upset tummy. Oliver is not so self-disciplined as Cleo and I had to put on my dressing-gown and take Oliver outside via the front door.

Do you understand why I was so tired that afternoon!

But according to a recent article over on the Care2 site dogs can help us sleep.

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Your Dog Can Help You Sleep Better if You Follow These Simple Tips

By: Paula Jones   September 18, 2017

About Paula   Follow Paula at @PaulaDJWrites

We all know that dogs are the best of friends. They’re more than happy to greet you with excitement when you get home from work, and they’re thrilled to go on adventures with you, too. But dogs are more than just friends. They’re good for your health—in more ways than one.

First, good dog owners know that exercise is the name of the game. If you live on a small property or in an apartment, then it’s necessary to walk your dog regularly. And at the bare minimum, you most likely play tug-o-war inside or wrestle on the floor together. Your dog needs the exercise to stay happy and healthy—and so do you.

Second, your pup doesn’t just keep you active but she lowers your blood pressure. It’s hard to measure if you’ve never been one with blood pressure issues. But if you’re hypertensive, then maybe getting a dog isn’t such a bad idea.

Beyond keeping you active and your heart healthy, science shows that dogs help you sleep better. And sleep, as we know, is a huge part of being healthy. In a recent study of 40 healthy adults without sleeping disorders, scientists discovered that dogs aided in better sleep efficiency. That means you get more out of your sleep time with a fun-loving pet at your side.

And let’s not get this confused with sleeping with your dog in your bed. The same study indicated that people who let their pets sleep on the bed actually had worse sleep, not better. Which makes sense, right? If your pup continually crowds you out of the little space you have, you’re bound to be tirelessly stopping yourself from falling off the bed all night long. Not to mention if the dog needs to be let down for water or to use the bathroom. Your best bet for better sleep is to leave your pooch on the floor.

How to have the best night of sleep ever with your dog

As any dog owner knows, it’s not fun getting up the middle of the night to open doors, fill water bowls or take the dog out to pee. If you want to ensure that you’ll reap all the benefits of better sleep, then try these tips right before bed.

  1. Prepare your dog for bed: Welcome the dog into the room, snuggle for a bit on the bed or floor, and then place your pup on the floor in his bed.
  2. Open a door: Your pup might get restless at night, or scared. Leave a door open for the pup to roam or hide. Unless, of course, your pup can’t handle the freedom of nighttime roaming.
  3. Fill the water bowl: Be sure to always have fresh water nearby. It’s an easy and simple fix when you know your pup likes to get up for a midnight drink.
  4. Create space to borrow: Some dogs like to hide under the bed, in the closet beneath clothes or in the bathroom. The dog might be scared of thunder or lightning or simply find it cozier than out in the open. Ensure your dog’s comfort by keeping these options open.
  5. Don’t forget the dog: Bedtime is often a haze. You’re tired and just want to sleep. Before rushing off to sleep, make sure your dog hasn’t been left outside on the patio or in the backyard.
  6. Does Rocko eat dinner?: Make sure your dog eats a regularly scheduled meal in the evening.
  7. Unexpected events: There are some things you just can’t plan for, like vomiting or diarrhea. Dogs eat strange things when you’re not looking. Respond as compassionately as possible.

Dogs can help you sleep better by making you feel more safe and secure. But if you don’t prepare you and your loyal friend for a good night sleep, then you’ll find yourself waking up in the middle of the night—more than once. Get the most out of your sleep by being prepared, and remember to put your dog on the ground not on the bed for the best night’s sleep possible.

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Now I’m bound to say that since that night in September, 2017 we have not had a problem with our six dogs. I can’t remember  since then one of our dogs having an upset tummy that kept us awake.

But I’m sure that there are dog owners who from time to time do have this problem and I hope you find this post useful and interesting, albeit three years late!

Friendships!

Some dogs make incredible friendships!

Having six dogs here at home we are used to many of them making extra-special relationships.

It’s often the dogs that are extremely different, and I thinking of size here, that form the closest bonds.

More of that later.

But the reason I refer to our dogs here is to endorse in spades what is covered in this article from The Dodo.

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Shelter Dog Separated From His Best Friend Won’t Stop Calling For Him

“Rocky makes him happy.”
By Lily Feinn
Published on 9/18/2020

At Miami Dade animal services, a dog named Schwabo cried for days in his kennel. He missed his family, and most importantly, his best friend Rocky.

The lonely howls pulled at the heartstrings of shelter volunteer Jani Bradford, who watched him stare out the glass divider searching for his friend.

Facebook/Jani Bradford

9-year-old Schwabo and 11-year-old Rocky had spent their lives together until their owner surrendered them due to landlord issues. Without Rocky, Schwabo seemed lost and refused to eat.

“He grew up looking up to Rocky and now, even though he’s older, Rocky is like his big brother,” Bradford said. “He’s very, very attached to Rocky.”

When Schwabo and Rocky first arrived at the shelter, Rocky was placed on the adoption floor while Shwabo, who was limping due to arthritis, was sent to the back for observation. Rocky quickly received an application, but the potential adopter never showed up, so the two dogs were reunited — and Schwabo couldn’t have been happier.

“Schwabo was a different dog from the moment he saw Rocky,” Bradford said.

FACEBOOK/JANI BRADFORD

Though the two are bonded, they couldn’t be more different. “Rocky’s older but he acts like a puppy. He loves playing with the ball, he can play all day long,” Bradford said. “Schwabo acts a little older … He’s very calm, very low maintenance.”

While Rocky likes to live a more active lifestyle, Schwabo just wants to hang out and watch his best friend play.

“Schwabo doesn’t do much — he lays in his bed and loves watching Rocky doing all his goofy stuff,” Bradford said. “Schwabo needs Rocky. He just loves being around him, watching him play all day. Rocky makes him happy.”

FACEBOOK/JANI BRADFORD

Thankfully, the two dogs will never need to worry about being separated again.

FACEBOOK/JANI BRADFORD

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All I can say is well done Jani!

This is a very beautiful story.

And to come back to our own experiences here at home, here is a picture of Oliver (LHS) and Pedi.

Pedi is wonderful at forming very close bonds with all our larger dogs. That is Brandy and Cleo as well as Oliver above.

Billy + Margot Dog Food Recall

Thank goodness for these recall notices.

Some may think that there are too many such dog food recalls but I would say thank goodness there is a system for reporting them.

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Real Pet Food Company Recalls Billy + Margot Dog Food

September 22, 2020 — Real Pet Food Company of Phoenix, Arizona, is voluntarily recalling Billy+Margot Wild Kangaroo and Superfoods Recipe because it may be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria.

What’s Being Recalled?

The following product has been recalled:

  • Billy + Margot Wild Kangaroo and Superfoods Recipe
  • Package: 4-pound bag
  • Lot code: V 07 Feb 2022

This recall does not affect any other Billy + Margot products or those sold outside of the USA.

What Caused the Recall?

The recall is a result of a routine sampling program by state officials which revealed that the finished products contained the bacteria.

The company has ceased the production and distribution of the product.

The FDA and the company will continue their investigation as to what caused the problem.

About Salmonella

Salmonella can affect animals eating the products… and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products.

While no illnesses have been reported, healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever.

Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms.

Owners exhibiting any signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare provider.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea, fever, vomiting and or abdominal pain.

Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans.

If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

What to Do?

Retailers who have received product from the affected lot code have been asked to remove this product from shelves immediately and dispose of the product with care.

If you have purchased Billy + Margot Wild Kangaroo and Superfoods Recipe in a 4 lb bag, with lot code V 07 Feb 2022 from any retail store nationally, please stop feeding the product to your dogs, dispose of this product immediately, wash your hands accordingly, and sanitize affected surfaces.

Consumers who have purchased the recalled products may call Real Pet Food between 8 am and 10 pm EST immediately for a refund or for additional information at : 1-800-467-5494.

Consumers with questions may contact the company at 800-467-5494 during the above times.

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

Or go to the FDA’s “Report a Pet Food Complaint” page.

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

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Please share this post if you are able to do so.

And please keep your dogs safe and sound!

 

Picture Parade Three Hundred and Fifty-Five

No rain and for the time much being clearer air!

I have turned to The Dodo for this week’s Picture Parade. For although it was an article, and I shall briefly refer to it, the photos were magnificent.

By Lily Feinn
Published on 8/28/2020

Agnieszka Ciszyńska loves doing photo shoots with her three Swiss shepherds. And normally, the adorable pups are down for any activity their mom throws their way.

Fenris, Björn and Walkiria have traveled the world with Ciszyńska, giving the family plenty of bonding time and beautiful backdrops for their photos.

Here are the photographs.

AGNIESZKA CISZYŃSKA

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AGNIESZKA CISZYŃSKA

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AGNIESZKA CISZYŃSKA

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AGNIESZKA CISZYŃSKA

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AGNIESZKA CISZYŃSKA

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AGNIESZKA CISZYŃSKA

These are incredibly beautiful photographs.

That last photograph is proof that Fenris, Björn and Walkiria (and I don’t know which of the lovely dogs this is) love Ciszyńska, following on from yesterday’s post.

Doggie love?

We humans love to be loved and, especially, by our dogs.

I am certain that all of the people who read Learning from Dogs on a regular basis are dog lovers and, just as important, your love for your dogs means that they in turn love you.

But unfortunately not everyone thinks of dogs in such a beautiful manner. For example, not far from here on Hugo Rd are a group of dogs, 4 or 5 I think, that I cycle past, and they live in outside kennels.

If you are an uncertain owner or a new owner you may want to understand more about your dog’s behaviour, or more accurately, whether your dog loves you. This article on The Dodo explains this very well.

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Does My Dog Love Me?

How to tell what those happy wiggles really mean ❤️️

By DANIELLE ESPOSITO
PUBLISHED ON 8/19/2020

Humans loveeee love. Which means we want the people — or animals — we love to show us they love us back.

But it’s sometimes hard for us to tell whether or not our dogs truly, deeply, madly love us — especially if you’re a new pet owner.

Who doesn’t want to feel all warm, fuzzy and loved by our pets?

To help you get that confirmation you’re looking for, The Dodo turned to Dr. Vanessa Spano, a veterinarian at Behavior Vets in New York City, to understand how dogs show their love.

“It is so important to understand your pets’ body language, as that is their way of communicating with us,” Dr. Spano said.

Here are some of the most common ways to tell that your dog, in fact, abso-freakin’-lutely loves you.

Your dog has a relaxed, wiggly body

“When interacting with your dog, body language signs to look out for that may indicate comfort and positivity include a relaxed body (or wiggly body during times of excitement, like play or you coming home), soft, forward ears and soft, rounded eyes,” Dr. Spano said.

He wiggles his eyebrows at you

You read that right! Doggos in love are known to raise their eyebrows when they see their owner. In fact, a 2013 Japanese study used a high-speed camera to record dogs’ faces when their humans walked into the room. It found that dogs raised their eyebrows when they saw their owners, but not when strangers walked in. *happy cry*

He wants your attention

“It is also a good sign if your dog is soliciting attention from you, such as with a play bow,” Dr. Spano said.

This can also be seen when he brings you one of his favorite toys.

He leans against you

A dog will lean on humans for a few different reasons — sometimes it’s because he’s anxious or he wants you to do something — but it’s also a sign of affection. And regardless — even if your dog is leaning against you because he’s nervous — it still indicates that he thinks of you as someone who can protect him and keep him safe.

Confusing body language to look out for

According to Dr. Spano, there are some things dogs do that humans typically consider to be signs of affection, but aren’t always.

“Confusing signs include wagging tails and exposed bellies,” Dr. Spano said. “A dog wagging his tail simply means he is aroused by the situation. This can be a good thing, but not necessarily; it depends on the context of the situation.”

This means that it’s good to notice the situations that cause each of your dog’s behaviors and begin to build an understanding of your individual dog’s moods.

For example, maybe you notice your dog always wags her tail when you walk into a room — you can equate that situation with her being happy in those moments. On the other hand, maybe you’ve also noticed she wags her tail just a bit stiffer when she sees a strange dog, and it’s almost always followed by raising her hair and growling. While she is wagging her tail in both of these situations, it’s not the same kind of tail wag.

“Similarly, a dog showing his belly may be asking for belly rubs, but it can also indicate fear,” Dr. Spano said. “Dogs do have the capability of trusting and loving you, but depending on their own fears, stress level and past experiences, it may take some time.”

So in general, look for those relaxed and wiggly bodies to know how happy your dog is to see you. Other behaviors you’ll learn over time — and it’ll just help your bond grow even stronger since you’ll be the only one who can truly detect your dog’s moods and emotions.

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Yes, it certainly takes time to really get to know a dog. Although one might think that having a number of dogs in the household makes it easier, and generally that is the case, even in a largish group one can have tensions that exist between a couple of the dogs. Knowing both dogs as well as you can enables one to adjust things so that the tension no longer exists or it becomes a very rare event.

But it is rare and, luckily, loving dogs is the normal!

I will close with a photograph of dear Oliver who is one of the most loving dogs I have come across.

Oliver. Taken at home, 17th May, 2020.

Dogs can be very persuasive.

This is a lovely story courtesy of The Dodo.

It is about Mia, a dog who has ideas of her own when it comes to choosing a destination.

To be honest, I wasn’t going to post anything for today but then I saw this story on The Dodo and wondered if it could be put together fairly rapidly.

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Dog Tries To Pull Her Mom To The Beach Every Time They Go On A Walk

“She reacts this way EVERY DAY” 😂

By Caitlin Jill Anders
Published on 9/3/2020

The first time Mia went to the beach when she was around 5 months old, she fell in love. She loves swimming, digging in the sand and chasing her ball around, and it quickly became one of her favorite outings.

Mia and her mom go to the beach about once a week in the summertime — but for Mia, it’s never enough. Their house isn’t far from the beach, so whenever Mia is out on a walk and they pass the way that would take them to the beach, she immediately stops walking and stands her ground.

“She knows the way by heart,” Yoshi Lok, Mia’s mom, told The Dodo. “She also knows that if she keeps heading north, she will eventually get to the beach which is why she always stops in her tracks and pulls me when we are heading in the opposite direction of the beach!”

Mia can be incredibly stubborn and has no problem engaging in a standoff with her mom. Every time, her mom pleads with her to keep walking, trying to explain that they don’t have time to go to the beach that day, but Mia always tries to wait a little bit longer. She hopes that the longer she stands there, the more likely it is that her mom will cave in and take her to the beach after all.

“She isn’t very happy when we don’t go, she does try more than once on our walks to go to the beach,” Lok said. “Sometimes I have to bribe her with treats to keep walking.”

YOSHI LOK

Even though Mia gets to go to the beach more than most dogs do, she would definitely prefer to go every day, and has made her stance on that perfectly clear.

YOSHI LOK

“She reacts this way EVERY DAY,” Lok said. “Ever since we walked to the beach three years ago (when we moved to this area in Vancouver — Kitsilano), she remembered the way and never forgot.”

YOSHI LOK

On the days when Mia finally does get to go to the beach, she’s so happy. As soon as she and her mom start walking in the direction of the beach, she gets so excited and practically runs all the way there. She swims, digs and runs as much as she possibly can until it’s time to go home — and then starts her campaign to go back to the beach all over again the next day.

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I think that Yoshi wouldn’t have quite the problem with Mia, if indeed it is seen as a problem, if Mia had a doggie companion. While a single dog is very common having two dogs doesn’t really increase the workload that much and the rewards in terms of the two dogs playing together is immeasurable.

Just my thought!

Dogs and understanding praise.

Life must go on!

I am referring to the smoke and fires in this part of the Western edge of the USA.

For a while it seemed as though evacuation was becoming closer but now, I hope, that we are nearing a change in the weather including some rain later on this week.

So time for another post.

This one about speech processing in the dog’s brain.

The article that I want to republish is in The National Geographic magazine but I do not have permission to reproduce it in full.

Luckily the video that is in the article is also available on YouTube.

So first some extracts of the article.

Dogs understand praise the same way we do. Here’s why that matters.

Dogs can’t speak, but their brains respond to spoken words, suggesting human language has deep evolutionary roots

By VIRGINIA MORELL, Published August 6th, 2020

Every dog owner knows that saying Good dog! in a happy, high-pitched voice will evoke a flurry of joyful tail wagging in their pet.

That made scientists curious: What exactly happens in your dog’s brain when it hears praise, and is it similar to the hierarchical way our own brain processes such acoustic information?

When a person gets a compliment, the more primitive, subcortical auditory regions first reacts to the intonation—the emotional force of spoken words. Next, the brain taps the more recently evolved auditory cortex to figure out the meaning of the words, which is learned.

Then later on the article goes on to say:

“It’s an important question, because dogs are a speechless species, yet they respond correctly to our words,” says Attila Andics, a neuroscientist at Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, Hungary,and co-author of both the previous study and the new one, published this week in the journal Scientific Reports. For instance, some dogs are capable of recognizing thousands of names of individual objects, and can link each name to a specific object.

When the scientists studied scans of the brains of pet dogs, they found that theirs, like ours, process the sounds of spoken words in a hierarchical manner—analyzing first the emotional component with the older region of the brain, the subcortical regions, and then the words’ meaning with the newer part, the cortex. (Read how dogs are more like us than we thought.)

It’s much longer than I have presented so I do urge you to go to the article and read it fully; it’s fascinating.

And to close this post I insert the video that is in the article.

All the best to you!

What on earth?

I guess this story is real!

I am not normally a sceptical person.

But when I read the latest article from The Dodo about a corgi that freaked out when she saw a bush made to look like a dog I did wonder. But whatever it makes a nice story.

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Corgi Freaks Out When She Sees A Bush That Looks Just Like Her

“She looked confused and concerned” 😂

Lily Feinn
Published on 8/28/2020.

Luna isn’t usually scared of other dogs — in fact, she’s kinda bossy.

“Luna, like a lot of other corgis, has a big dog attitude in a smaller package,” Matt, Luna’s dad who asked that his last name not be included, told The Dodo. “She loves policing other dogs at the dog park.”

INSTAGRAM/LELUNABERRY

So it came as a surprise when the little dog freaked out when she met a larger, greener version of herself.

Luna and Matt were visiting a friend earlier this year when they spotted an adorable topiary in the neighbor’s yard. “I just thought it was hilarious ’cause I instantly thought it was a corgi-shaped hedge,” Matt said. “Maybe that’s just what my brain defaults to ’cause my dog is a corgi.”

INSTAGRAM/LELUNABERRY

Matt placed Luna in front of the hedge for a photo and it became clear she was not interested in making friends.

“I think she was afraid cause it was so large and maybe the way I reacted to it,” Matt said. “She looked confused and concerned.”

Matt was surprised to learn that his tough dog is actually a bit of a scaredy cat — when it comes to large plants, at least. “She has a pretty expressive face so it feels like I know what she’s thinking,” Matt said.

INSTAGRAM/LELUNABERRY

Matt snapped the photo of Luna and posted it to Twitter, with the caption: “Neighbors are a big fan of Luna apparently.”

People were so impressed by the likeness that the post quickly went viral. However, all the attention didn’t change Luna’s mind when it came to topiaries.

After eight years of living with Luna, Matt appreciates her now more than ever.

“She’s been great to have around,” Matt said. “The neighbors love her as well and I’m glad I can appreciate her more right now, having to stay home more often.”

But, to keep Luna happy, they haven’t walked by the bush since.

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It takes all sorts!

Yet another dog food recall!

This time the same provider; Sunshine Mills.

Here’s me admitting that yesterday’s post was a little late and, bingo, into my email inbox yesterday came another food recall.

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Sunshine Mills Recalls Multiple Dog Food Brands Due to Aflatoxin

September 2, 2020 — Sunshine Mills, Inc. is issuing a voluntary recall of multiple dog food products due to elevated levels of aflatoxin that are potentially above the acceptable limit.

Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring mold by-product from the growth of Aspergillus flavus and can be harmful to pets if consumed in significant quantities.

What’s Being Recalled?

Here are images of the products affected by this recall:

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Here are the lot codes and dates of the products affected by this news:

What Caused the Recall?

The potential for aflatoxin levels above the acceptable limit in these products was discovered by routine sampling performed by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry showing that a sample of a single 4-pound bag of one lot of the product contained elevated levels of aflatoxin.

No illnesses have been reported in association with these products to date, and no other Sunshine Mills, Inc. pet food products are affected by this announcement.

While no adverse health effects related to these products have been reported, Sunshine Mills, Inc. has chosen to issue a voluntary recall of these products as a precautionary measure in furtherance of its commitment to the safety and quality of its products.

About Aflatoxin

Pets that have consumed any of the recalled products and exhibit symptoms of illness including sluggishness or lethargy combined with a reluctance to eat, vomiting, yellowish tint to the eyes or gums, or diarrhea should be seen by a veterinarian.

The affected products were distributed in retail stores nationally.

Retailers who received the recalled lots have been contacted and asked to pull these lots from their inventory and shelves.

There are no other Family Pet, Heartland Farms, or Paws Happy Life products or other lot codes of these products affected by this precautionary recall.

This is a voluntary recall being conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

What to Do?

Consumers who have purchased the recalled products should discontinue use of the product and may return the unused portion to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Consumers may contact Sunshine Mills, Inc. Customer Service at 800-705-2111 from 7 AM to 4 PM Central Time, Monday through Friday… or by email at customer.service@sunshinemills.com for additional information.

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

Or go to the FDA’s “Report a Pet Food Complaint” page.

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

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It was very kind of Emily Blunt to leave a message in response to yesterday’s post. This is what she said.

Thank you SOO much for posting this. I work in veterinary and there are recalls like this EVERY day and nobody knows.

That makes it all worthwhile! Thanks Emily!