Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Recall: Pig Ears

FDA.gov

EuroCan Manufacturing is voluntarily recalling Lot Number 84 consisting of it's individually shrink-wrapped, 6-pack, 12-pack and 25-pack bags of Barnsdale Farms®, HoundsTooth® and Mac's Choice® Pig Ears because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is a 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 provider.

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.

The pig ears were distributed throughout the United States and Canada. The pig ears were packaged as individually shrink-wrapped, 6-pack, 12-pack and 25-pack bags in the Barnsdale Farms®, Barnsdale Farms®-Select, Houndstooth® and Mac's Choice® brands. The lot number being recalled is 84. No illnesses of any kind have been reported to date. Read the entire article

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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Recall: Blue Buffalo





WILTON, Conn., March 17, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Blue Buffalo Company is voluntarily recalling one production lot of BLUE Wilderness® Rocky Mountain RecipeTM Red Meat Dinner Wet Food for Adult Dogs, as the product has the potential to contain elevated levels of naturally-occurring beef thyroid hormones. Read the entire article

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Recall: Wellness Dog Food

3/17/17

WellPet has initiated a voluntary recall of a limited amount of one canned topper product due to potential elevated levels of naturally occurring beef thyroid hormone.
Recalled Product Details:

  • Wellness 95% Beef Topper for Dogs – 13.2 oz
  • Best-By Dates of 02 FEB 19, 29 AUG 19 and 30 AUG 19, located on the bottom of the can
Three best-by date codes of one recipe have the potential to contain elevated levels of naturally occurring beef thyroid hormone. Elevated levels may affect a dog’s metabolism and can be associated with anxiousness, increased thirst, increased urinary output and weight loss. However, with prolonged consumption these symptoms may increase in severity and may include vomiting, diarrhea, and rapid or difficulty breathing. Although multiple studies indicate that, for the vast majority of pets, symptoms are reversible once the pet stops eating product with elevated thyroid hormone, if your pet has consumed this product and has exhibited any of these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian. Read the entire article

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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Pet Training/Shock Collar Training

Pet Training, Management and Care: We Now Know Enough to Stop Shocking our Pets

Copyright Pet Professional Guild
Click here  to download a PDF version of this open letter 
Shocking pet dogs remains a common, if controversial, training practice worldwide. In this open letter, Pet Professional Guild (PPG) combines decades of research, the opinions of certified animal behaviorists, and the question of ethics to explain why using electric shock in the name of training and care is both ineffective and harmful. PPG concludes that shocking constitutes a form of abuse towards pets, and, given that there are highly effective, positive training alternatives, should no longer be a part of the current pet industry culture of accepted practices, tools or philosophies.

Introduction

This document will present and attempt to answer three questions PPG believes to be key for those leading, guiding and credentialing pet industry professionals:

 1.    Can professional associations and credentialing bodies work within the confines of applied animal behavior without endorsing or enabling shock collar practitioners?

2.    Can pet industry associations and credentialing bodies redefine the rules for humane hierarchies simply by applying a layer of ethics that rules out certain equipment choices deemed highly aversive and invasive?

3.    As a minimum and first step, should members of professional associations be identified by training philosophy and tools of choice, enabling pet owners to make informed and transparent choices on behalf of their pets?

Since its inception in 2012, PPG’s position has been that “the use of electronic stimulation, or ‘shock’ or ‘e-collars’ to care for, manage and train/modify the behavior of pet animals is simply not necessary.” (Note: For the purposes of this document, electronic stimulation devices include –but are not limited to — products often referred to as e-collars, training collars, shock collars, e-touch, stimulation, tingle, TENS unit collar, remote trainers, and e-prods.) In 2017, can there really still be a debate over the issue of using pain as a “method” of animal training? Decades of peer-reviewed, scientific studies show, whether discussing dogs, humans, dolphins or elephants, that electric shock as a form of training to teach or correct a behavior is ineffective at best, and physically and psychologically damaging at worst.

Renowned board certified animal behaviorist and veterinarian, Dr. Karen Overall (2005) states: “There are now terrific scientific and research data that show the harm that shock collars can do behaviorally. At the July 2005, International Veterinary Behavior Meeting, held in conjunction with the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior and American College of Veterinary Behaviorists research meetings, data were presented by E. Schalke, J. Stichnoth, and R. Jones-Baade that documented these damaging effects…There is no longer a reason for people to remain misinformed. Let me make my opinion perfectly clear: Shock is not training – in the vast majority of cases it meets the criteria for abuse.” Read the entire article

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Friday, March 3, 2017

FDA Recall Update: Evanger's/Against the Grain

Updated: March 2, 2017

On February 20, 2017, Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food notified the FDA that it planned to recall all “chunk beef” products under the Evanger’s and Against the Grain brands. On February 27, 2017, the FDA became aware that Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food was notifying its distributors and retailers of a new recall for lots of Evanger’s Braised Beef Chunks with Gravy as well as expanding the previous recall for additional lots of Evanger’s canned Hunk of Beef and Against the Grain’s Grain Free Pulled Beef with Gravy.

The 12-ounce cans of dog food being recalled have the following barcodes.

The numbers listed below are the second half of the barcode, which can be found on the back of the product label:

Evanger’s Hunk of Beef: 20109
Evanger’s Braised Beef: 20107
Against the Grain Pulled Beef: 80001

The products have expiration dates of December 2019-January 2021.  Read the entire article

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Saturday, February 25, 2017

"Dominance" Training Deprives Dogs of Positive Experiences

CompanionAnimalPsychology.com

Approaches to dog training based on dominance rely on the idea that you have to be the ‘alpha’ or pack leader. Unfortunately, this type of dog training is not just out-of-date and potentially risky, but modern approaches to dog training are also a lot more fun – for you and the dog.

What is dominance in dog training?

We sometimes hear the phrase ‘my dog is being dominant.’ ‘Your dog is being dominant’ can even be an insult because it implies you are not confident enough.

What people mean by ‘dominant’ can be anything from your dog walking through a door in front of you, to jumping on you, or relaxing on the sofa, growling at you or winning a game of tug. For that reason alone, it’s not a very helpful description.

Let’s unpack these examples for a moment, because using a framework of dominance is taking away the person’s choice about things. It’s perfectly fine for your dog to walk in front of you, and it’s up to you if they jump on you to greet you or are allowed on the sofa (some people like it, some people don’t – of course strangers probably don’t like to be jumped on).

If your dog growls at you, it’s important not to punish them because this is their way of telling you they are uncomfortable; instead you should stop what you are doing and reconsider how you can fix it so you and your dog are both happy. A dominance-based approach would potentially put you in danger of getting bitten.

As for tug… dogs who win at tug are more involved in the game (suggesting they enjoy it more) and show more playful attention-seeking afterwards, such as nuzzling and pawing at their owner (Rooney & Bradshaw 2002). Games of tug can be fun for you and the dog, and are a useful way to entertain your dog at times when walks are limited. Arbitrarily saying people should not play tug or should not let the dog win is doing a disservice to both dogs and people.

Problems with dominance in dog training

When people apply dominance to dog training, it usually results in them using aversive methods, such as alpha rolls, because they think they have to make their dog submit. This can cause a range of issues.

Here are just a few examples:

  • There is a risk of an aggressive response with the use of confrontational methods (Herron, Shofer & Reisner, 2009). 31% of people who did an alpha roll, 39% who forced the dog to let go of something from their mouth, and 43% of people who hit or kicked the dog reported an aggressive response. 
  • If people use aversive training techniques, their dogs are 2.9 times more likely to be aggressive to a family member and 2.2 times more likely to be aggressive to a stranger outside the home than if the dog had been trained using reward-based methods (Casey et al 2014). 
  • Greater frequency of punishment is associated with an increased prevalence of aggression and excitability (Arhant et al 2010) 
  • Dogs trained to sit and walk on leash using leash jerks or tugs and pushing the dog into a sit position showed more signs of stress (mouth-licking, yawning, and lowered body posture) than those taught with reward-based techniques. They also gazed less at their owner, suggesting the human-canine relationship is not as good (Deldalle and Gaunet, 2014).
Read the entire article

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Memory Wins When Dogs Sleep

EEG study suggests sleep enhances learning 
A Harvard Medical School professor recently rocked the Internet: “Since dogs are generally extremely attached to their human owners, it’s likely your dog is dreaming of your face, your smell and of pleasing or annoying you,” psychologist Deirdre Barrett told People magazine.
And then hearts everywhere exploded.

Barrett’s sleep research focuses on humans, while an interest in evolutionary psychology helps her consider the sleep of non-human mammals. Both have similar sleep cycles, she notes, which could suggest parallels in sleep quality or experience.

But an open access study in Scientific Reports out yesterday moves away from extrapolation and toward hard data. Researchers in Hungary have devised a way to non-invasively peer into the sleeping dog’s brain to explore the content and function of their sleep.

Sleep in dogs is good for a number of things, including, but not limited to cuteness, cuteness, and more cuteness. But you’ve also probably heard that sleep is good for memory. Before a big test we’re often told, “Get a good night’s rest,” which is actually shorthand for—give memory consolidation a chance. “Memory consolidation” is the process where your brain pulls together pieces of information and packages them into memories that can be used in the future.

Memory is also important for dogs. Working dogs need to learn—and retain—a wide variety of job-specific skills, and companion dogs often learn basic skills to successfully live alongside humans. When a dog learns something new, can sleep help the dog perform those skills better? Should training sessions incorporate naptime?

Anna Kis of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and colleagues—including members of the well-known Family Dog Project—set out to explore the relationship between sleep and memory in companion dogs. Their study involved two experiments: the first gave dogs a learning task and then peered into their sleep via non-invasive electroencephalogram (EEG)—a test that detects brain electrical activity using small electrodes attached to the scalp. The second experiment explored whether different type of post-learning activities (such as sleep) affect memory consolidation, both in the short- and long-term. All experiments were performed with consenting companion dogs and their helpful owners.

First up, the sleep study, also known as polysomnography if you want to be fancy about it. Fifteen companion dogs participated in both a learning and a non-learning condition. The experimenters taught the dogs the commands for “sit” and “lie down” in a foreign language (English). As you’d expect, no learning took place in the non-learning condition—dogs simply practiced the “sit” and “lie down” commands that they already knew in Hungarian. Nothing new. Old hat. (Most dogs don’t wear hats. Old collar?) Read the entire article

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