Category: People and their pets

Possible dog food contamination with Salmonella bacteria

This dog food recall was issued on Monday.

The U.S. FDA has announced Smokehouse Pet Products of Sun Valley, CA, is expanding its recall of its “Beefy Munchies” and “Beefy Bites” dog treats due to contamination with Salmonella bacteria.

To learn which products are affected, please visit the following link:

FDA Expands Nationwide Beefy Munchies Dog Treats Recall

Please share the news of this alert with other pet owners.

Mike Sagman, Editor
The Dog Food Advisor

P.S. Not already on our dog food recall notification list yet? Sign up to get critical dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. There’s no cost for this service.

If one follows that link then you come to these details:

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FDA Expands Nationwide Beefy Munchies Dog Treats Recall

February 19, 2018 — The FDA has announced that Smokehouse Pet Products, Inc. of Sun Valley, CA is recalling all sizes and package types of dog treats labeled as “Beefy Munchies” because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

 

About the Recall

“Beefy Munchies” was distributed nationwide through distributors selling to various retailers.

The product comes in individual bags, resealable bags and plastic tubs.

The plastic tub will be labeled “Beefy Bites”.

All sizes and packaging types will include a UPC code, lot number, and a best used by date of stamped on the back.

The current recall is expanded to include all “Beefy Munchies”.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.

What Caused the Recall

The potential for contamination was noted after routine sampling and testing by the Colorado Department of Agriculture revealed the presence of Salmonella in two 4-oz packages of “Beefy Munchies”.

About Salmonella

Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

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.

Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

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

Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and 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?

Any consumers who have purchased “Beefy Munchies” should discontinue use of the product and may return the unused portion to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Consumers with questions may contact Smokehouse Pet Products, Inc. at 877-699-7387, Monday through Friday 7 AM to 3:30 PM PT.

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.

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I do hope that no-one out there is affected by this recall!

Please share this with any other dog lovers that you are in contact with.

 

Here’s a clutch of dog food recalls!

Seemed best to lump them all together.

Because since the beginning of February there have been four (now five as of yesterday!) dog food recalls notified to subscribed owners. Although I have copied and pasted product pictures if any of these products are relevant to you then please do follow the link to the Dog Food Recall page offering more details!

On the 9th February this was released:

Smokehouse Pet Products of Sun Valley, CA, is recalling a specific lot of its “Beefy Munchies” dog treats due to potential contamination with Salmonella bacteria.

If you go to this link you can see pictures of the product package and other details.

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Then on the same day another notification was issued:

Raws for Paws of Minneapolis, MN, is recalling specific lots of its raw frozen dog food due to possible contamination with Salmonella bacteria.

Once again, a link was offered that provided full information.

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A day later, on the 10th February, out came the third alert:

Redbarn Pet Products LLC of Long Beach, CA, is recalling a specific lot of its “Redbarn Naturals Bully Sticks” due to potential contamination with Salmonella bacteria.

Including the link to more details.

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The last alert was received on the 12th February.

Darwin’s Natural Pet Products of Tukwila, WA, is recalling specific lots of its Darwin’s ZooLogics raw frozen dog food due to possible contamination with Salmonella bacteria.

With the link to more details provided as per usual.

Wonder if there will be more alerts before the month is out! (Written on the afternoon of the 14th.)

Yes!!

The following came in yesterday afternoon:

J. M. Smucker has announced it is voluntarily withdrawing multiple dog food brands due to the presence of the drug pentobarbital.

To learn which products are affected, please visit the following link:

Smucker Withdraws Multiple Dog Food Brands

Please share the news of this alert with other pet owners.

That link contains the following brand image:

and this table:

The table is reproduced from an email sent by Walmart to its affected customers.

Please share this information as best you can.  Only by acting together can we prevent every single dog from eating something potentially harmful.

One paw in front of the other

A just delightful guest post!

Came from an online exchange.

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So today was the day for me. And I done it with the help of my wonderful dog.

I had been dreaming all night of running and depression and failing miserably.
I was woken at 6:30am by the sound of my dad coming back in after he had been for his normal morning walk around the village with our dog Riley. I was also disturbed by my boyfriend coughing and spluttering up god knows what, and I laid and tossed and turned as I thought oh my god today I’m going to go for a run, followed by don’t be so stupid of course your not you can’t even run down the stairs.

As the early morning light started to come in through the sides of my blinds, I pulled out my eye patches and fell back to a disturbed sleep until…. midday. I couldn’t believe it.

You lazy shit I thought, so much for your run, what a joke you are. Jumping out of bed at the thought of what my mother might say, I went downstairs and put the kettle on, I turned to my dog who had followed me down and said: “I’m going to take you out don’t worry.”

I couldn’t have put it off for any longer if I tried! I hoovered, steam cleaned, made tea, ate beans on toast, tidied my bedroom, anything but get ready to go for a run. Truth is I was terrified!

After not physically being able to tidy much more, I got ready, and put on my new Nike running shoes I had bought in the New Years sales. Riley stretched his tail wagging as he sensed that it was time.

The next twenty or so minutes were the most emotional, and longest, twenty minutes of my life I have ever experienced. I put my new running band on with my phone and beats headphones, and a Spotify playlist that played the most god awful dubstep but I didn’t care. I downloaded the couch to 5k app as I have not really ran in years and pressed start and off me and Riley headed around the village.

The walking was fine, then the lady popped up in her American accent start to run, and so I did.  I started to develop a stitch in my stomach, pain in my chest and the most overwhelming urge to cry. I battled constant thoughts in my head that I could do it … blah! blah! blah!, but Riley was with me. We done it together.

Slow down and start to walk” the voice spoke. I was glad someone knew what I was doing as I didn’t have a clue. I suddenly became awfully aware of the cars going past and thoughts of people looking at me and what they might think: she doesn’t look great; she looks like she is struggling; she must be mad. So with my fave down unable to break a smile or lift my frown I carried on with lead in hand and my faithful dog by my side. I spoke to him, praised him at how well he was doing but I can’t bring to praise myself not yet.

The dubstep tracks blasting in my ears the lyrics started on this train with no destination. And I thought this is how depression and anxiety have made me feel, I have been on a slow and steady train down to rock bottom and I can’t seem to get back up, but I feel today was a start. A little positive I suppose that I can add to my negative.

As it started to snow I thought wow I really am mad, I can’t even run these twenty mins , let a lone a 5k, 10k or yet alone this bloody great north run.

Freezing cold and following my dog in front I made it home and put the kettle straight on and slumped down waiting to make my cup of tea.
For the first time in a long time, I think I see a little light, a little tiny speck of light at the end of my long dark tunnel!

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I asked Catherine for permission to republish this because I was very moved when I read it over at her place. It seemed to say to me that this very honest and open account of what Catherine was experiencing might resonate somewhere out there with you dear readers.

Thank you, Catherine!

More importantly, thank you, Riley. Dogs do so much for us. Even saving our souls!

Our very noisy world

Especially for our dogs at times.

First of all, I owe a number of people who have sent me guest posts a big apology. I have been very lax in publishing them in this place. Frankly, I don’t know where the time goes and on top of that I seem to get so easily distracted by stuff!

Then I go and publish a wonderful guest post that has come in after some of the other great posts that have been sent to me.

As is the case with this very interesting guest essay sent to me by Jenny Nolan.

Trust you will forgive me!

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How to Introduce Your Dog to Noisy and Crowded Environments

by Jenny Nolan.

Over the course of their lifetime, dogs whether they ultimately like it or not will have to experience busy and potentially noisy environments they may not always feel comfortable in.

Just like us, our pets sometimes have to brave situations or scenarios they would prefer to avoid but when it comes to introducing your dog to busy and noisy surroundings you can do so in such a way that can help even the most anxious of pets.

Although in day to day life it is straightforward enough to keep your dog in environments they feel settled within, sometimes this isn’t always the case and you need to take your dog with you when visiting public places that can be crowded and sometimes overbearing. Some common examples include visits to your groomers and even the vets. These environments also have the added disadvantage of potentially unnerving your dog’s in other ways particularly if they are uncomfortable being handled by strangers.

Introducing your dog to crowded and loud environments covers two key aspects of teaching your dog about the world around them.

These two areas of your dog’s development are known as socialization, which is concerned with how they learn to interact with other animals and humans they come into contact with and habituation, how they learn about new environments and ultimately how they behave in certain situations.

Lack of development in these two main areas can lead to behavioral difficulties stemming from a number of issues, perhaps because your pet is threatened by other dogs or feels anxious around large crowds. Fear of loud noises can also lead to your dog developing phobias, which is why proper training needs to be carried out particularly when introducing your pet to new places and new people.

As a dog owner, you want to do all you can to prevent your pet from worrying too much and hopefully aiming to raise a friendly and sociable pooch should be the goal for all of us. Luckily there are a number of ways to ensure your pet is comfortable in new surroundings and ideally, you should begin training while your dog is still a puppy.

The reason for this is because from the age of 6 – 12 weeks your puppy will be extremely receptive to socialization and habituation, meaning you can put a lot of the groundwork in at this time and reap the rewards later. However even if your pet is older than this you don’t have to worry, you can still train them in the same way.

To do this you should make the process as natural as possible to ensure you raise a well-rounded pet. One way to do this is to look to introduce your dog to as many different situations as possible, by doing so you will help them to feel comfortable whatever their surroundings may be.

Although this may all sound straightforward there are a number of points to bear in mind to ensure you introduce your pet to new environments in the correct way. Below we have broken down three main tips you can follow, using our experience of coming in contact with literally hundreds of dogs a week, some nervous, some boisterous, who when confronted with new surroundings, loud noises, and left without their owners all react in very different ways.

We hope these tips cover two main areas of raising a dog: training, and grooming. Both of these can seem daunting to new pet owners but it is important to take both aspects of dog parenting one step at a time. To help with this there are a number of great dog training books out there while sometimes it is important to remember not only what we can teach them but also what we can learn from our dogs.

So without further ado here are three key tips when familiarizing your dog with new and potentially busy surroundings:

Don’t rush or apply pressure – this should be the basis for all dog training so is worth repeating here. It is important you don’t rush your pet into any experience they aren’t comfortable with.

As pet groomers, this also applies to a situation we see most often. Although it isn’t anyone’s fault we often encounter owners bringing their pet in to be groomed who just aren’t used to new environments and are visibly nervous.

The last thing this dog wants is to be left with a complete stranger which is why we often suggest for dogs we are grooming for the first time to be brought in quickly before they are scheduled in to be groomed to meet us and get used to the saloon. On this trip they are not left alone, instead stay with their owner for five minutes or so in a new environment and then head home again. By not rushing you can be sure your pet is completely comfortable in new surroundings.

Repetition – Now although in some ways this point may contradict what we have explained above we still think it is vitally important. By reintroducing your pet to experiences and environments they are not overly keen on you avoid phobias and deep-rooted fears by showing your pet they have nothing to be afraid of.

Take our example from earlier with the nervous dog left with us at the saloon to be groomed for the first time. Now upon arrival to pick their pet up the owner may become unnerved themselves at just how anxious their pet has become while they weren’t there. An overprotective owner may jump to the conclusion that their dog just doesn’t like being groomed by others or visit places they aren’t familiar with.

This could lead them to begin home grooming their dog and only letting them interact with other humans and dogs at home. This would actually be a step back in the dog’s development and it is advisable to continue to expose your pet to situations they aren’t so comfortable with slowly, in the case of crowds this can be from afar at first and then edging closer as your pet relaxes.

Encourage others to interact with your pet – Once you have eased your dog into becoming comfortable in crowds with distractions and unfamiliar sounds at every turn it is also important to encourage others to interact with your dog if they’re happy to do so. This continues the socialization phase of your dog’s development and can further help ease any fears they may have of the unknown and strangers in particular.

This can be even more beneficial if you have a nervous or anxious dog. When this is the case, others may be hesitant to pet or say hello to your furry friend. As already mentioned, if people avoid your dog, for this reason, this may perpetuate the problem in your dog’s mind, leading to deep-rooted fears and phobias.

This is a fairly easy step to follow and you can start slowly by introducing your dog to one stranger every time you take them for a walk. By doing so your pet will come into contact with tens and eventually hundreds of unfamiliar faces and begin to ease the worries they may once have had. Obviously, some passers-by may not be pet lovers like you and I but if they are also walking their own dog it is fairly common they will be happy to chat and say hello.

As the above step outlined if you repeat this process so your dog meets many new people one by one they will be far more comfortable in crowded environments that may have once unnerved them.

So there you have a real quick roundup of what we hope are three super easy tips to follow in order to ease your dog into unfamiliar social situations. The three tips complement each other well so can be combined to be even more effective than if they are used exclusively on their own.

We hope by following them your dog will become a far more sociable and calm animal and in no time you won’t have to encourage others to interact with your pet as they will be making the first move to say hello themselves.

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Wasn’t that valuable advice!

I will try and focus over the coming days of presenting more guest posts from other authors.

Nutrition for dogs

Good food matters just as much for our dogs!

In yesterday’s post I mentioned that Justina had sent me a couple of links in response to me wondering if there was good nutritional advice for dogs as well as there clearly was for us!

Here are those two articles that Justina sent me links to.

Namely, the first being an article that is on Dr. Patrick Mahaney’s website.

Specifically:  Feeding Your Pet from the Perspective of Chinese Medicine

That article opens thus:

This article originally appeared as Using Warming, Cooling, or Neutral Food Energy to Promote Your Pet’s Health and Nutrition on PetFoodDirect.com

Since the onset of my veterinary career, I’ve had a strong interest in how the foods our pets consume contribute to an overall state of wellness or illness. Learning how to apply this interest to my patients took many years of post-veterinary school practice, continuing education, and an ongoing belief in the inherent nutritional benefits of whole foods.

During veterinary school, students’ brains are heavily saturated with a variety of academic information. As graduation date nears, a general sense of insecurity develops about making the appropriate professional choices to best serve our patients. As a result, common sense notions about the value of looking more discerningly at the ingredients formulating a pet’s diet are often overlooked.

You may read the full article here.

The second one is on the DogVills site.

Again, specifically about the role of Chinese Medicine as part of dog food therapy.

Chinese Medicine Meets Dog Food Therapy: What You Need to Know

You may have heard of Chinese medicine for people, but did you know that it can also be used for dogs? In fact, Chinese medicine has an entire approach to dog food therapy that is quite intriguing. Let’s talk a bit about it so you can decide if it’s right for your dog.

Chinese medicine is often referenced when anyone talks about holistic approaches to healthcare. It seems that it has a treatment for almost everything, and often those treatments work. Something I learned recently is that traditional Chinese medicine extends to dogs, and many people use hot, cold, and neutral foods to help their dogs feel better.

I am going to explore getting permission to republish both articles in full.

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!

Picture Parade Two Hundred and Twenty-Seven

Guess what!

More taken from here. Spoiling us all for today there are nine of Tanja’s incredible photographs!

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You do realise good people that at some point I will come to the end of Tanja’s fabulous photographs! But worry about that when it happens!

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.