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AYLA – PackPeople’s new foster dog is waiting for the perfect home

Update: AYLA got adopted 08/12/12, YAY! 

This is AYLA, a Corgi/Shar-Pei Mix rescued from the North Central Animal shelter on Sunday 07/29/12.

I went to the shelter on Friday to take pictures of adoptable dogs — I know that the North Central Shelter doesn’t get a lot of public attention when it comes to pictures and networking the dogs. Since I live close to the facility, I made this city shelter my new project.

At the shelter, I started handing out my little treats, one after another, to these adorable dogs, small, medium, big. After walking through every single kennel, I discovered this little, super-funny looking white dog, yelping for attention. I kneeled down to see what type of dog she is… and I just saw a very funny-looking dog. She immediately pressed her body against the bars trying to lick my fingers, so I passed her some of the juicy treats I had brought with me and realized that something was wrong with her skin. I asked one of the kennel volunteers to take her out, so I could take pictures of the dog without the bars in front of her face.

Ayla with one of the workers at the North Central Animal Shelter, the day she got out.

Her name on her ID card was “Gretta.” I did not like it, and I named her AYLA. I already committed myself to this dog by giving her this new name, I knew it, but tried not believe it. She was hyper, jumping, running and trying to get out of the kennel area. I really liked this dog and she reminded me of our French Bulldog – very silly. I took a few pictures and asked questions.

I know the staff isn’t really informed about the dogs and barely know anything about them, but I liked the guy who showed me the dog, a very friendly volunteer. Her kennel card said, “Found as a stray, came in microchipped and spayed in July.” Nobody claimed her of course.

A Corgi/Shar-Pei mix? Indeed she had the shape of a Corgi, but she looked more like a Pittie/Husky mix to me. We played a little and I petted her dull fur. Half of her coat was already gone and you could see the pink skin. All itchy, dry and red. She had a serious demodex mange going on and smelled really bad.

After 20 minutes with AYLA I left the shelter with my pics and I tried to get her out of my head… NOPE, did not work. The next day I visited her again. I wanted to know if I could put a hold on her for a few days, and try to find a boarding facility before taking her home. They said they wouldn’t take holds but they would give me 24 hours before putting her down. She was on “the list,” one of the first ones who would get killed, because she is a medical case.

Ayla with one of the volunteers.

I talked to my husband and we got her out on Sunday morning before I left to go to work. With the help of my friend Ingrid, I was able to place her at Pacific Coast Dog Rescue until I could get her to the vet for an exam and start treating her skin condition. She was in our care, our responsibility and I was happy. Happy for this little silly dog, and that she made it. AYLA. We visited the vet, she got her bath and her first treatment. After the vet visit, we walked through the neighborhoods and I tried to take some more pictures of her clean fur.

After 5 days of boarding we picked her up today to ease her into her new home with her new foster family (us) and her new friends Lilly and Red. She is sitting in her crate and watching us closely. After a while of whining she relaxed and fell asleep.

Please follow Ayla’s healing process and apply for her if you think that you are the perfect match. She needs medical care for her skin condition. We are covering her medical bills right now. We started the treatment and the new family needs to continue until she completely heals.

AT HOME!

I’ll update information about her disposition and character very soon! AYLA GOT ADOPTED:) Her hair is growing back and she loves her frisbee.

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Advocacy and Activism Animal Stories Get informed and educated Pet Care Uncategorized

We had to take down our article 08/02/12 about Toni Eakes and “A wish for Animals”

Why Toni Eakes should not be involved in animal welfare – A true story about ‘A Wish for Animals’

After Toni Eakes lawyer contacted and threatened us we needed to take down the article temporarily.

I had a blog post here recommending that people not work with Toni for a variety of reasons and I got an email from her lawyer to take my post down.

Shoot me an email if you want to share your experiences or insights at info@packpeople.com or leave a comment here. ~ Thank you!

UPDATE: Please read this update post about Toni Eakes

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Animal Stories Articles Health Pet Care

‘I Want a Dog, But All That Hair?’

Guest post by Steven Frost:

A common complaint, from people who don’t own pets, when they visit a dog owner’s home is ‘Oh, I’m covered in hair. How disgusting’. Dog’s moult. It’s an inescapable truth when it comes to owning a dog. Understanding why dogs shed hair can only help the owner and the dog in the long run. Perhaps understanding will help those people who don’t own dogs, due to the hair loss problem, change their minds and make an investment in one of these extraordinary pets.

It is commonly known that dogs weren’t always domestic animals. Most likely they evolved from the wolf, through manufactured breeding by humans. The most docile wolves would have been used to breed causing certain characteristics to be handed down the generational ladder. Using this technique the modern dog was born. This is key as we must remember that dogs evolved from a wild animal. In the wild, certain hormonal triggers in the body control the dogs’ hair loss and growth. As the seasons change the dogs body can tell whether it needs to shed some hair, in the warmer months, or grow a thick winter coat. In the contemporary world of central heating the dog’s body finds it harder to regulate its hair loss. The heating comes on; the body receives a message to release hair. The heating goes off; the body receives a message to grow more.

This is Fenna, a Cocker Spaniel. The Cocker Spaniel has fur on the main part of its body which does not grow continuously, but sheds regularly.

So in reality, by having a modern home we cause this conflict in the dog’s body. Now, I’m not suggesting that we must get rid of central heating to keep a dog, but it seems that the dog can hardly help but shed all over your brand new carpet. Another factor to hair loss can be nutritional. If a dog’s skin is dry and flaky this can be caused by a lack of oils in the diet. A simple dog supplement can easily overcome this. This writer found Yumega to be a good source for the essential omega oils that keep a dog’s coat and skin healthy. It’s easy to administer, financially reasonable and most importantly, it improves the general health of your dog.

What is your experience with dog hair?

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Advocacy and Activism Animal Stories Articles Pet Care Pet Care

Street dogs of Philippines – Help needed!

The Dog is supposed to be Man’s Best Friend, if the dog gets a good person to look after him then life is good but unfortunately this is not the case for most of the dogs in the world.

I have seen all kinds of dogs living in many different kinds of conditions. Some are so well pampered that they do not really know that they are still dogs, others are looked after very well and are a very important part of the family. Some are only useful to the owner as long as he can make money from them and some are just living on their own as nobody really wants them. All around the world, many dogs get lucky and are really treated well, they get the best food, regular medical checks and inoculations, their own bed to sleep on and even clothing to match that of the owner.

With this article, I am not saying that the Philippines is worse than anywhere else for the poor treatment of dogs as there is terrible abuse of dogs happening in the developed countries, but a major difference is that in the developed world there are strict laws to protect the unfortunate animals – while here in the Philippines there are laws, but like many laws here, they are of a very low priority to the government agencies.

As you drive around the streets of Manila or anywhere in the Philippines, you would see many dogs roaming around looking for food. Most of these dogs belong to someone but unfortunately their owners doesn’t care about them, they had been abandoned because the owner got a new pure bred dog, sometimes a dog who belong to a poor family is luckier because they are given table scraps and their family are not abandoning them, everything is still on a case-by-case basis. I also know some rich families who adopt dogs from the street, so I guess social status is not the basis of being a responsible dog owner. If dogs are not fed at home, then it’s up to the poor dog to find food for himself; he can eat dead animals, and rotten food which has been thrown away by people.

Many of these dogs get very badly treated by people who throw sticks and stones to drive the dogs away. Many small or young dogs are forced by hunger to compete with the bigger street wise type of dog who gives no mercy regardless of size so many of this kind of small dog gets open wounds which can easily get infected because nobody will take care of the injuries or treat them. Its so sad to see a dog with a skin disease which has caused all the hair to fall out and in many cases the skin goes pink. These dogs are constantly scratching and open up wounds on their skin as the itching is totally uncomfortable. Because of infection these dogs usually do not survive and their dead bodies can become food for other starving animals so the infections can be passed on to others.

In some cities, there is animal control… who will take dogs if they are roaming in the streets, and if their owners will not get them, they will be destroyed in 48 hours. There are even speculations that, the said animal control or dog pound are selling the dogs to illegal dog meat traders, though it has not been confirmed yet. Some syndicates are getting stray dogs, so that they can sell their meat. It is illegal to eat dogs in the Philippines, but just like any other law, some people can get away with it. Luckily, we have Animal Kingdom Foundation, a UK funded animal shelter, who rescue dogs from illegal dog meat traders.

Before I end this article, I would also like my readers to know that even homeless people are capable of loving dogs, and it only proves that those who have less can give more.

Friends, I want you to meet Mang Rudy. He lives in a push cart with 16 dogs and 2 cats. For me, he is luckier than those who have big mansions, massive money on their bank account because Mang Rudy has best friends who will never abandon him no matter what.

Blog post by Kristine – http://thealphadogattitude.blogspot.com

If you want to support Indonesia’s rescue groups here are some links:

1. Animal Kingdom Foundation– it is an organization rescuing dogs that are supposed to be butchered.

Website: http://www.animalkingdomfoundation.org

2. Island Rescue Organization– it is based in Cebu and they are rescuing street dogs.

Website: http://islandrescue.org/

3. CARA – it is a no shelter facility group, who help street dogs and cats.

4. AARRC– it is located in Kalibo Aklan, founded by a Dutch National.

Website: http://animals.tukcedo.nl/

5. Philippine Animal Lover’s Society. —- It is a group of people, who work through networking using facebook to save street dogs.

Website: donation details here.

Facebook link: Philippine Animal Lovers Society

Related posts: Oscar – A Street dog of Istanbul – Romania’s Street Dogs

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Animal Stories Articles Health Pet Care Pet Care

Audrey, the Worms, and Drontal Plus

Meet Audrey, the latest canine member of our happy family. I think she’s the cutest little Pug puppy ever. Of course I may be just a wee bit prejudiced.

Before we adopted her, my wife and I agreed that this little cutie would receive nothing but the best. We went online and ordered top quality puppy food and other dog supplies well in advance of the big day when we brought her to her new “forever home”. After about a week we started to be a little concerned about Audrey’s health. Although we were feeding her the highest quality puppy food, she seemed to be losing, rather than gaining weight. She also seemed to be struggling with diarrhea more often than not.

So, we took Audrey to her first appointment with our family veterinarian, Dr. Laurel Shaw. It didn’t take long for the good doctor to diagnose Audrey’s condition: gastrointestinal parasitic worms. Yuck! We were horrified at the diagnosis! However, Dr. Shaw explained to us that we needn’t be alarmed. Parasitic infection is one of the most common problems that young puppies face. Fortunately, it is also a condition that can be easily remedied with the treatment that she prescribed – Drontal Plus deworming tablets.

Although it’s a topic that we all would rather not think about, dog owners do need to know some simple facts about intestinal parasites. Puppies are often infected with parasites even while still in their mothers’ wombs. They can also accidentally ingest the parasites after they’ve been born. The most common symptoms are weight loss and diarrhea, as we had noted in Audrey’s case. If not treated early, puppies may also develop a pot belly, pale pink gums, and become easily tired. Parasites can take weeks or even months to develop from egg and larval stages into adults. Deworming medications usually only target worms in the adult or late immature stages. Since puppies can be exposed to these parasites numerous times, deworming medication must be administered at regular intervals.

Doctor Shaw explained that this approach is known as “strategic deworming”. Under this protocol, pups are dewormed at two week intervals beginning at two weeks, continuing through twelve weeks of age. In cases where the puppy is severely infected, treatment may continue on a monthly schedule until they are six months old. She also stressed that even if the puppy has received deworming treatment prior to adoption, one must not assume that the puppy is parasite free. The strategic deworming schedule should still be maintained, based on your pup’s age.

Well, we’re happy to report that our sweet Audrey is now growing like a weed. At 12 weeks she tested negative for parasites so we were able to discontinue treatment. Her body is finally catching up to her head size and her coordination is much improved. She’s simply a beautiful, bouncing, black bundle of unconditional love.

This is Binky, a Pug Mix waiting for a forever home at the East Valley Shelter in Van Nuys, California. His ID: #A1317465. He is in danger of euthanasia.

We hope that you will find room in your heart to adopt a homeless pet and, when you do, please be sure your new pet receives a thorough veterinary check-up, right away.

 This is an guest author entry by: Scott Cann

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Advocacy and Activism Animal Stories Articles Get informed and educated Pet Care

Animal Welfare in the Philippines – Tina’s love for animals

Tina with one of the rescued Pitbulls

From guest author: Kristine Vicencio

Kristine is an animal advocate and guardian in the Philippines. She just started a blog to raise awareness about animal welfare in the Philippines and to share her stories – and we at PackPeople believe that her idea needs to be shared and supported! Thank you for reaching out, Kristine.

Here is her first article for PackPeople: 

I never thought that maintaining a blog would be challenging. First off, I do not have a camera or a mobile phone with a camera, therefore I cannot record memorable experiences that I can blog. But then again, I remembered the main reason why I decided to blog: I blog because I want to make a difference, I blog because I believe that I have something to say. I blog because I want to.

Bipp bipp the dog with two legs and Bianca

And then, I was able to meet the epitome of animal lovers in the Philippines. Her name is Tina Alviar Agbayani. Well, I met her on Facebook, and I was inspired by her since day one. Maybe you are wondering why I consider her the epitome of animal lovers in the Philippines -Tina is not only a mother to her children, she is also a mother to her dogs, chinchilla, turtle and iguana. All her dogs are rescued from different animal shelters, and that is one thing that I love about her. She can actually buy purebred dogs, but she preferred to save lives. I can say that she is one of the kindest mothers on earth, because she is teaching her children how to treat animals with respect. I am sure that having a quadriplegic dog is not easy; some people will just abandon a dog with this condition, or worse, they may even euthanize her. But not Tina. She decided to keep Bianca and gave her a chance to live like an ordinary dog.

Tina, Bianca and Seb the other amputee dog

Tina is teaching her children the value of compassion, and she is a good example of a responsible parent. Imagine, she was able to take good care of her children, she was a mom to her dogs and to other creatures in her household, and she is even volunteering some of her time to animal shelters. Tina deserves to be in my list of “Dog People of the Month.” She is indeed an inspiration to all. Because of her, I was able to realize that dog lovers should not expect animal shelters to do all the rescues and stuff, there are times wherein we need to step up, and do things on our own. Animal Shelters will not be able to save all the stray animals, but if all dog lovers will stand as one unit to accomplish a goal, then nothing is impossible.

About Kristine: I used to be an animal shelter volunteer, however because of the nature of my job, I was forced to quit. But because I am really passionate about making a difference in the lives of animals, I decided to blog about my passion. I live in the Philippines, and in our country animals are considered as the last priority of our government.

Though we have animal shelters, they do not rescue dogs. Well there are times they do, but most of the time, they don’t. They have this maximum of 30-60 dogs per shelter. There are even times where in, if there is a dog in need and we call the animal shelter, they will not do anything. So, to help the dog, we will use Facebook to disseminate information and will ask the nearest person to the dog’s location to rescue it first, bring it to the vet, while we will contact our animal lovers group all over the world to ask for donations. As of now, we already have 10 rescues, and 4 have already been adopted.

I blog because I wanted to raise awareness regarding the proper way of becoming a dog guardian. I would also like to raise funds so that i can put up my own no kill animal shelter, it’s kinda ambitious but i believe that if a network of people who have the common goal will work together then nothing is impossible.

I have just recently learned that Mandaluyong City has put up their own Animal Shelter, and they also need all the help that they can get, if you are located near Mandaluyong, please be kind enough to visit the dogs and provide some help.

Pictures was taken from Tina Alviar Agbayani’s Facebook account :). If you have any questions regarding my blog, feel free to email me at akvicencio(at)gmail.com

LIKE Kristine’s Fan Page on Facebook here. Visit her blog ‘Everything is better with dog’s hair’ here.

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Articles Get informed and educated News Pet Care

How to use a prong collar and choke chain

I’m shocked how people use prong collars (pinch collar) and choke chains. Every day I stumble upon dog owners handling their dogs with prong collars. I talk to them and try to educate them and while some do listen, some just ignore my suggestions. Some owners are seeking for solutions without consulting professional help from a trainer. They walk into pet stores and buy the wrong size and the wrong collar that should be used solely for correction during training and not in any other way. The prong collar itself is not a cruel device to use on any dog, as long as it is used properly during training.

Choke chains used on heavy pulling dogs can cause severe damage.

When we adopted Red a year ago, the adoption coordinator was holding Red with a choke chain and a prong collar. Even though I didn’t know much about then, I hated prong collars already. I had this idea in my head that a dog with a prong collar is a dog with issues. I was wrong and I learned a lot about prong collars. I didn’t want to use the collar and it took a while for me to really understand how important and how useful this training tool can be. I had to overcome my fears and misconceptions about the prong collar use.

A prong collar (also called a pinch collar) is a collar with a series of chain links with open ends turned towards the dog’s neck. When the collar is tightened it pinches the loose skin around the dog’s neck. Pressure on the dog’s neck is spread out over a larger area than with choke chains and with most buckle collars. When properly adjusted and used, it startles the dog to give a sharp correction. However, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to actually puncture the skin. Even though it looks painful, it’s actually less harmful to the dog than a slip or choke collar. A prong collar allows you discipline your dog. Some people use an additional slip or buckle collar on the dog and thread the leash through the rings of the prong and the second collar. This way, if the prong collar comes loose for any reason, they still have control of the dog with a backup collar.

Red's Prong Collar is size small. I asked the trainer why he is not using large and he said it has the same effect.

Please use your prong collar correctly: First of all, the right size is very important! The prong collar shouldn’t be too loose or too tight. Removing or adding links to the collar lets you adjust a pronk collar easily. A snug fit is mandatory. Petco and other pet stores sell prong collars with sharp edges, consider buying your prong collar from a certified trainer or online. I would always recommend ‘Sprenger’ (made in Germany). The Herm Sprenger prong collar is one of the most recognizable and popular names in obedience training tools. The ends of the prongs are rounded, not sharp to avoid cuts to your dog’s neck (Important). Red is 75 lbs and I personally use the smallest collar size in training sessions. Also the more individual prongs, the better it works (that’s what the trainer said). Dogs with a long coat or thick fur might need bigger sizes.

Sprenger Prong Collar

Secondly, position the collar correctly. The collar should sit right behind the left or right ear and under the jaw. The area high up just under the back of the jaws works because this is where the voice box, or larynx, is located on the dog. If your collar is at the shoulders of your dog, you are using it wrong. A prong collar shouldn’t be used as the only collar and taken off after daily training sessions. Attach the leash to the correct ring on the collar. When the collar lays around your dog’s neck, you will see 2 rings on top: the “dead ring” and the “live ring.” The dead ring has a heavyweight ring with a swivel device attaching it to the collar, which enables it to stand upright, away from your dog’s neck. The live ring lacks the swivel device and lays flat on top of your dog’s neck between small chain links.

I would prefer the Martingale collar instead of a Choke Chain. Always!

Remove the collar from your dog immediately if you are not going to be supervising him. The prongs can catch on objects and choke your dog. Let’s get to slip/choke/check collars (no prong collar). Choke, check chains, slip collars and backup collars shouldn’t be used as a single method on your dog. Why? I see dogs pulling heavy on choke chains and jerking their last breath out of their bodies, snapping for air and dragging their handlers through the city block after block. Once I saw a dog fainted lying on the concrete (tracheal collapse) because the owner compressed the animal’s throat. Many dogs suffer from injuries to the neck, trachea or back caused by trauma. This happens more to specifically big, heavy and powerful dogs that are controlled incorrectly by their handlers. Misusing these collars is dangerous and painful for the dogs if they pull on choke chains and this mainly happens because they haven’t been trained not to pull.

Some dogs stop pulling because it hurts other dogs and does not correct your dog’s behavior? I know that once used properly, the slip collar/prong collar is a wonderful training tool and perfectly safe for the dog. When correcting your dog with the slip collar, use short tugs or snaps to bring the dog’s attention back into focus. DO NOT use the collar to choke the dog into submission. There are no real limits on how much you can constrict your dog with a choke collar. This is what makes it dangerous. It is designed to choke your dog. Your dog should wear a collar and tags for his own safety. Use a choke chain as a back up collar along with your dog’s normal collar. If you are not training your dog, your dog shouldn’t wear a choke chain on daily walks. A very good alternative is a martingale collar.

If you see a typo, please let us know at info@packpeople.com. If you have a story idea that you would like to share, please drop us an email ~ Thank you.
This is a great video:

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Adoption Animal Stories Articles News Pet Care

Willow – After many years, a three legged dog found her forever home

For so many Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes, it takes a long time, to find the right home. Many never do. Some rescuers feel, that it is “warehousing” to keep the dogs in a boarding facility for a long period of time. I guess, depending on the facility and the care they get, that can be the case. Of course, we would like to see all dogs in homes and not in boarding. Willow was in boarding for many years because despite of adoption events, websites, flyers etc, she was not desirable to the public.

Even after she loss of her front leg due to cancer almost 1.5 years ago, nobody wanted her. Until Carol and her family showed up! They contacted us, describing us their needs and we suggested several dogs of ours, Willow ended up being the best fit and after a few visits and help with the David Roe, founder of Pacific Coast Dog Rescue, who is also one of the best trainers in LA, Willow was home for good! Carol and her family have officially adopted Willow with the premise, that Pacific Coast Dog Rescue will be responsible for any medical bills, should the cancer come back.

Willow finally found a forever home. Owner photo credit: contributed photo.

So far, so good, she is getting regular check ups. Please see below a letter from Willow in her forever home and some wonderful pictures. Please feel free to support the many more PCDR dogs, especially our special needs dogs such as Sparky (blind from birth and just recently had $6000 back surgery), Charlie Bear who is permanently in a wheelchair, as he can’t walk anymore and Cute Sweetie, who has had years of skin treatment with a specialist and is finally good enough to be in a foster/forever home. Please let us know, if you would like to foster/adopt one of our wonderful dogs.

Please see Willow’s letter (as provided by her mom Carol):

Dear Ingrid, I’ve been living in my forever home for three months now and I decided it was time to write to let you know how I am doing. Please share this with all my friends at PCDR. I’m very happy here. I get so much love all the time. I didn’t know it was possible to get so many kisses and cuddles and so much attention. I wish I could share some with the other dogs at PCDR. My grandpa calls me “Little Drummer Girl” – I’m always wagging my tail against something because I’m so happy. My family tells me that I bring them so much love, joy and happiness. I try to tell them that they do the same for me! My mom and my aunt call me “Baby Girl” and I love it!!!

Willow and her new family

My grandma is disabled and needs a lot of help.  I’m always watching to make sure that everyone is taking care of her properly.  I like to sit on the couch next to her or lay at her feet.  When she is at the table eating I lay down behind her.  My aunt says that I “have my grandma’s back”.  Annette comes to help take care of grandma.  She’s my friend and she gives me love and takes care of me sometimes, too. I have comfortable beds to sleep on (yes, more than one – I’m spoiled) and good food and lots of good treats to eat.  I have a lot of toys to play with.  My family tells me that I have a “killer instinct”… if my toys aren’t super tough I rip them apart in minutes.  My shark is my favorite toy.

I get to go for walks in the neighborhood, too. We don’t walk too far yet because I get tired, but I’m learning to ride in a wagon and a

Willow in her new racing car.

trailer/stroller so my mom can take me with her on longer walks. That way I’ll be able to ride when I get tired. I’m doing really well with it as you can see. I get told many times every day that I am such a good girl and that I’m so beautiful, so sweet, so special ,so silly, so smart, so wonderful and such a love – so many times that I can’t even count them. I’m very well-behaved – I don’t beg for food (well, sometimes I do!), I don’t get into things that I shouldn’t, and I never have an accident in the house. 

Willow and her shark toy. Contributed photo.

I can be a bit bossy sometimes, so my family has to remind me that I’m not behaving nicely. A girl can’t be perfect, right? Even with my very few “quirks”, my mom and my aunt think that I’m the perfect girl for them. Thank you for finding this home for me. This is where I’m supposed to be. I love everyone here and they love me, too. I have a purpose in life now – I have a family to love and watch over and a yard to protect. I don’t think there is a dog that is loved more or taken care of better than I am. I never dreamed that life could be this good and I could be this happy!

Love and Kisses,

WILLOW

Article written and provided by Ingrid Hurel (Adoption Coordinator at www.pcdogrescue.org)

If you see a typo, please let us know at info@packpeople.com. If you have a story idea that you would like to share, please drop us an email. Thank you.

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Articles Food and Treat Recipes Health Lilly Recommends Pet Care Pet Care

Dog food review – ‘Verve’ The Honest Kitchen

I mentioned earlier in our interview with The Honest Kitchen that I was going to try out their dehydrated dog food for Lilly and Red. We ordered our first box of 10 lbs. of ‘Verve’ on March 31st. We ordered online from the  shop of the producers and food makers, The Honest Kitchen, located in San Diego, CA. With our discount coupon code we paid  $68.19 (including $10 for shipping). The ordering process was easy and the food arrived exactly 5 days later.

First of all, I have to say that the box Lucy and her team created is very nicely designed and appealing. The marketing department did a great job putting every valuable piece of information on the package to make it  very easy to understand. You get an overview of the ingredients, how to prepare the food and information on ‘how much to use”. I opened the robust box right away and found the food was packed in a bag with a zipper. It looked like my mom sent me some homemade cookies. You have the option to leave the food in the box (bag) or use your own container. I left it in the box and placed it on my kitchen counter to show everyone the beauty of the box, haha.

I opened the bag and the first thing I realized was the incredible good smell of the dog food. It smells and looks like instant soup to me. You can literally see the chopped little pieces of veggies, fruits and herbs. It’s the same experience you have after opening a bag of coffee (ahhhh, I love coffee!). Verve is made with USDA hormone-free beef and organic rye. Like all of The Honest Kitchen’s diets, it’s 100% human-grade, made in the USA, and does not contain corn, soy, rice, beet pulp or wheat. Here is the list of ingredients: dehydrated beef, organic oats, organic rye, organic flaxseed, potatoes, carrots, organic alfalfa, eggs, apples, parsley, cranberries, spinach, chicory, rosemary, tricalcium phosphate, choline chloride, zinc amino acid chelate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, potassium iodide, potassium chloride, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate.

'Verve' dehydrated food mixed with warm water.

Next step was to introduce the food to our dogs. I wanted make the transition slowly and added 1/4 of the indicated amount of the food as a topping on the regular food I’m feeding to Lilly and Red. Both were watching me very closely in the kitchen, thinking: “Hmmmm, what is she adding today? Looks like new food”. I also added my beloved and highly recommended fish oil and warm water to the food. I had some cooked potatoes left from dinner and through them in. The good smell of the dehydrated food turned into a neutral smell. I stirred a few times and waited 10 minutes (5 minutes are recommended), the dogs waited tense without hovering over me. After 10 minutes the food looked like a brown greenish mash for vegans :). My husband said: “We could sell this at Whole Foods as lentil purée”. 🙂

Easy and quick - that's how you prepare the food.

It was time to get the critical opinions of my dogs. Our French Bulldog is a little more picky than the American Staffordshire Mix but after I placed the bowls down  and I could hear them gobbling the food. It didn’t take long for them to finnish and I noticed them eating up to the last bites of each other’s bowls. The following week, I added a little more of the dehydrated food  every day and  finally replaced the dry kibbles after 2 weeks. The dogs love it!

That's Red's and Lilly's answer. They loved it!

I still have a quarter left of the all natural dehydrated food and will definitely order my next batch of “Verve” food in a few days. Try it out, it’s worth it  and here’s the coupon code: PCK12THK.  If you don’t want to buy a big box get a trial size first. If you want to learn more about the food, please read our interview with Lucy from, The Honest Kitchen. Also, have a look at what Lucy’s customers have to say about the food. They offer four completely gluten-free, grain-free diets and all their products are guaranteed 100% wheat free. Thumbs up for Lucy and her team!

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Counterfeits Pet Products – Designed to look legit

A month ago I had to take our French Bulldog Lilly to the vet, she had a serious inflammation. She recovered well and is healthy again. While at the vet in the waiting area, I heard a woman asking for Frontline’s Flea and Tick treatment who was also complaining about the treatment being overpriced. She told the vet’s assistant she could get the same product online for at least $15 cheaper. The assistant looked at her and asked: “Are you sure it’s exactly the same product?”. She assured it was 100% the same treatment for $15 less and left the vet without buying it. That’s quite a difference that would buy some extra treats for your dog, right? The assistant looked at me and said after the woman had left, “I hope it’s not a counterfeit product”. Counterfeit pet products? I never, ever thought about that.

After he said that, the first thing that came to mind was the Omega 3 fish oil I add to my dog’s food and I couldn’t wait to check. While I was waiting to get Lilly’s medicines, I grabbed my phone and looked up the flea & tick product online (love technology). At home, I checked some online retailers and I realized that there are price differences in the same Flea & tick product, but never a $15 difference. I also made sure that the Omega 3 fish oil fulfilled all EPA requirements. I discovered a website warning about counterfeits pet pesticides with a link to the official website of the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States. I learned a lot on the web pages of the EPA and I want to share with all the online shoppers of pet products. (It’s not necessary to mention, not to buy products on the street.)

(The Environmental Protection Agency says:) Foreign-labeled flea and tick products are being unlawfully imported into the U.S. and packaged in retail cartons that look like legitimate EPA-registered pesticides under the trade names “Advantage” and “Frontline.” Inside the cartons are applicators that have been labeled and packaged for sale in overseas markets.

EPA is concerned because: Retail cartons may be missing directions for use Some products are not packaged in child-resistant packaging; Consumers cannot be sure the product contains the appropriate size applicator for the animal pictured or otherwise indicated on the retail carton. Some counterfeit products have stickers on the outside of the box to hide the foreign labeling. Otherwise, the only way to ensure you have legitimate product is by opening the retail carton and examining the actual product tube.

Here are the most affected and identified (by the EP) products:

• Frontline Top Spot for Cats (EPA Reg. No. 65331-2) • Frontline Top Spot for Dogs (EPA Reg. No. 65331-3) • Frontline Plus for Cats (EPA Reg. No. 65331-4) • Frontline Plus for Dogs (EPA Reg. No. 65331-5) • Advantage 10 for Dogs (EPA Reg. No. 11556-117) 2 • Advantage 20 for Dogs (EPA Reg. No. 11556-119) • Advantage 55 for Dogs (EPA Reg. No. 11556-120) • Advantage 100 for Dogs (EPA Reg. No. 11556-122) • Advantage 9 for Cats (EPA Reg. No. 11556-116) • Advantage 18 for Cats (EPA Reg. No. 11556-118)

I also found the following information and it’s very important to know about this if you use pesticides on your dog or cat. There are more environmentally friendly and harmless products/remedies to protect your pet instead of using harsh chemicals. Try new Only Natural Pet All-in-One Flea Remedies for Dogs & Cats 8 oz, herbal defense spray and others. I use the Halo Herbal Dip Flea Tick Treatment for Dogs 0.5 oz and both the dogs and I are pretty happy. Consult your veterinarian about the best way to to protect your pets from fleas and ticks and whether pesticides are even necessary.  Also read Katie’s guest article about flea & tick treatments.

For photos and step-by-step guidance to help you identify whether you have legitimate EPA-registered Advantage and Frontline products, visit EPA’s how to identify counterfeit pet products page.

Safety tips for pet owners:

  • Consult your veterinarian about the best way to to protect your pets from fleas and ticks and whether pesticides are even needed.
  • Use extra care before use on weak, aged, medicated, sick, pregnant, or nursing pets, or on pets that have previously shown signs of sensitivity to pesticide products. If you use a spot-on product or any other pesticide on your pet, carefully read and follow the product label. Use flea and tick control products only on the animal specified by the product label – for example, dog products for dogs only and cat products for cats only.
  • Follow any label prohibitions against use on weak, aged, medicated, sick, pregnant, or nursing pets, or on pets that have previously shown sensitivity to pesticide products. Apply only the amount indicated for the size of the animal being treated.
  • Do not apply to kittens or puppies unless the product label specifically allows this treatment. Pay attention to the age restrictions for puppies and kittens on the label.
  • Monitor your pet for side effects or signs of sensitivity after applying the product, particularly when using the product on your pet for the first time.
  • Do not apply spot-ons to pets known to be sensitive to pesticide products.
  • If your pet experiences an adverse reaction, immediately bathe the pet with mild soap and rinse with large amounts of water. Keep the package with the product container (such as individual applicator tubes). Also keep the package after treatment in case adverse effects occur. You will want to have the instructions at hand, as well as contact information for the manufacturer.

If you have more questions visit EPA’s website here and read more about using pesticides on your dog here.

I am human, if you see a typo, please let me know at yurda@packpeople.com. If you have a story idea that you would like to share, please drop me an email. Thank you!