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There have been several dog food scares over the past few years. However, this is the first time a dog food recall has caught my attention.
I was scrolling through my news feed on facebook and came across a short status update from Pawsible Marketing regarding a pet food recall. It caught my eye because the dog food under question was from the same company that produces Linus and Stetson’s food. I immediately clicked over to the article and found out the recall was for Natural Balance Sweet Potato & Chicken Dry Dog food. I breathed a sigh of relief as Linus and Stetson eat Natural Balance Potato and Duck (allergy formula) and we haven’t had any problems with their dog food.
Natural Balance Dog Food Recall
I went straight to the Natural Balance home page to get the latest update on the recall and found a letter from the President. Here’s a short excerpt from the letter.
Our 5 lb. and 28 lb. Sweet Potato & Chicken Dry Dog food, manufactured on December 17, 2009 with a “Best By” date of June 17, 2011 is being voluntarily recalled. A random sampling of this product tested positive for Salmonella by the FDA. In my mind, I asked, “How can this happen? I spent over $900,000 putting in our laboratory to test our products before we release them.” We tested samples from the production run when it was manufactured six months ago, and the results came back negative.
If you’d like read the full letter than check it out here: letter from the president.
If you read the entire letter it is reassuring that Natural Balance does do extensive testing on their food and also that they have not had a single complaint about this product.
As I mentioned before we haven’t had any problems with Natural Balance and we plan to continue feeding Linus and Stetson the Natural Balance Duck and Potato.
Did this dog food recall affect you at all? What kind of dog food does your dog eat?
It’s a tough economy out there and we’re doing our best to save a little money here and there. Lucky for us we still have our day job although we did receive a cut in pay a few months back. So that brings up the question How Can You Save Money On Your Dogs? There are a number of things you and I can both do to help save money on our dogs. Here are five areas where I try to cut my expenses:
5 Tips On How To Save Money On Your Dogs
Photo by jsmjr
- Buy your dog food in bulk. This one is a no brainer for me because I have two large dogs. However, if your dog only eats a cup of food a day you might be buying the smaller dog food bag. We buy the large 30 pound bag of Natural Balance Potato and Duck allergy formula because we suspect Stetson has dog food allergies.
- Grab your old stuffed dog toys and sew them back together or better yet start making your own dog toys. We’ve been rebuilding our stuffed ducks, rabbits, and squirrels for years. More recently I’ve been pondering the idea of making a plush toy snake (built out of a sock) or a stuffed clam made out of an old pair of blue jeans.
- Exercise, train, and give your dog plenty of attention. Make sure you do these things and you won’t have to come home to a chewed up TV remote, piece of furniture, or your favorite baseball cap. Believe me I’ve witnessed the demise of all these items.
- Are you looking for a new dog? Try dog adoption. There are so many homeless dogs out there why waste money on buying a dog which can cost up to several thousand dollars. Adopting a dog is a great thing to do and you can also save money. When we picked up Linus the adoption fee was only $37. I just checked the LA County website and the fee to adopt a dog is $50 or $30 depending on how long the dog has been at the shelter. The fee includes Microchip, rabies, and animal wellness vaccinations!
- Stop taking your dog to the groomer and take care of grooming yourself. After all grooming is a great time to bond with your dog. A groomer can cost $100 or more for one visit. Head on over to Amazon.com and purchase the necessary grooming products including a brush, shampoo, nail clippers (or Dremel), etc. A few hints on grooming:
- Make sure you thoroughly rinse all the soap out of your dogs coat. I rinse my dog’s coat once until there’s no more soap. Then I rinse him again for good measure.
- The FURminator works great at getting to your dogs undercoat. We highly recommend it for heavy shedding dogs.
- When it comes to nail clippers I don’t like the Guillotine version as much as the regular clippers. This pair has worked well for me in the past: Nail Clippers. Make sure you get the correct size for your dog.
- Lately we’ve been using a Dremel instead of nail clippers. We like the Dremel 750-02 Minimite 4.8-Volt Two-Speed Cordless Rotary Tool over the PediPaws Dremel because it has a rechargeable battery, has different speeds, and comes with several sander bands.
Those are just a few simple hints on how you can save money on your dogs. Hopefully this list helps you during this rough economy.
Do you have any hints on how to save money on your dogs? If so, please leave us your pointers in the comment section below.
I wanted to get a more descriptive title for this months edition of the Puppy In Training blog carnival. Speaking of editions this is the eleventh also known as XI!
Looking at the title it sure is a lot to cover. Pets and Mosquitos, Homemade Dog Food, Pet Care, Socializing Your Dog, Choosing a Puppy or Dog, Pets as Wedding Atendants, and Exotic Pets. Perhaps in the future we’ll work on targeting specific topics rather than the shotgun approach. For now, on with the show!
All About Rearing Exotic Pets – Are you interested in an exotic pet. Check out the article: All About Rearing Exotic Pets for information before you make the decision to purchase that exotic pet. Speaking of exotic pets check out these miniature pet pigs called Royal Dandies.
Pets and Mosquitos – Our first article comes from the Mosquito Info blog and covers the topic of Pets and Mosquitos. The author mainly focuses on Dogs, Cats, and Horses and talks about several viruse passed by mosquitos including heartworm and west nile. We use Frontline to prevent flea and tick infestation and Heartguard or Interceptor to prevent Heartworms in our dogs.
Pets As Wedding Attendants – I’ve often considered Pets as wedding attendants. One of my friends had their dog join them at the reception. This article gives many things to consider before including your pet in your wedding. I would feel comfortable with Stetson at my wedding, but I think Linus might freak out with all the people and strange activity.
Homemade Dog Food – Now this is a subject I might investigate more in the future. Right now I feed my dogs Natural Balance kibble. By the way, the idea mentioned that dog food manufacturers have not your dogs interest at heart, but your money is sure a valid point. Check out the homemade dog food article for more information. As mentioned in the article there are hundreds probably thousands of recipes listed just by googling, but I also wanted to mention that one of the free bonuses when purchasing the Secrets to Dog Training is an e-book about Gourmet Dog Food Recipes.
Don’t Skimp on Pet’s Care – A good reminder for everyone out there. The article talks about teeth and cleaning and how they may have saved several hundred dollars by being more proactive with there Cairn Terriers teeth. Don’t Skimp on Pet’s Care is just as important as not skimping on your own health or families health (afterall the dog is part of the family). We try to brush our dogs teeth at the minimum once a week. However, it has been recommended to brush daily.
How To Properly Socialize Your Dog – This article has some great tips on how to properly socialize your dog. All three of my dogs have been socialized since they were puppies and each has their own little problems. Stetson is good in most social situations, Linus gets nervous, and Derby gets overly excited. Check out this article for some hints on socializing your dog.
Should You Get A Puppy Or An Adult Dog – This is a very interesting article and a point that often comes up when I discuss getting a new dog with potential dog owners: Should You Get A Puppy Or An Adult Dog? There are definitely pros and cons for both puppies and adults. Check out this article for more information about dogs and puppies.
I hope you enjoyed the puppy in training blog carnival XI. Thank you everyone for contributing and we’ll see you next time.
How Much Should I Feed My Puppy? is a question I’ve heard many times before, but now it’s my turn. It’s easy to follow the chart on the side of your dog food bag or follow the directions given to you by the Guide Dogs of America Training Department. However, what happens when you follow the feeding schedules and your dog appears too be too skinny or too fat.
How much to feed a puppy will definitely vary depending on many different items including the size of your puppy, breed, amount of exercise, the type of food you give, the age, and many other factors. Just like people every dog is different. I remember growing up I couldn’t put on weight for the life of me. I had friends who struggled to keep find the right balance between food and exercise and struggled to keep off the pounds.
OCGDA Meeting – GDA Kennel Manager
Yesterday we were lucky enough to get a visit from the Kennel Manager at Guide Dogs of America. She was kind enough to answer many of our questions regarding the kennels and other miscellaneous guide dog questions. One thing that she talked about was the importance of letting the kennel know exactly how much and when your puppy is eating. She also talked a little about overweight puppies and how their feeding schedules might need to be changed.
Of course an overweight puppy may be the result of overfeeding, giving too many treats, or lack of exercise.
I was busy with Derby and had one eye and one ear on him and nearly forgot to ask our group about his feeding schedule. Derby is on the skinny side and I wanted to find out if I should be feeding him more food.
Guidance From OCGDA
As I’ve always said one of the great things about being a part of the Guide Dog group is you have a resource of people who have many experiences with dogs. I always feel confident in asking any question I have to any member of the group.
I received several opinions on increasing Derby’s food intake. Everyone did agree that he looks a little thin. I’m also lucky enough that I can make a comparison to his two siblings, Dutch and Dexter. Compared to Dutch and Dexter Derby is definitely a skinny dude.
How Much Should I Feed My Puppy
Derby sitting in his crate. Does he look a little thin to you? He’s definitely long. That’s Stetson’s crate he’s sitting in. He’s already the length of the crate!
Derby’s current feeding schedule is 3/4 of a cup 3 times a day. As of this morning I decided to increase his food to 1 cup in the morning, 3/4 cup in the afternoon, and 3/4 of a cup in the evening. I was thinking about increasing a little more, but Derby always seems to get a mouthful of Linus’s food a couple times a day which probably contributes an extra 1/4 cup.
We’ll see how it goes for the next week or two. If Derby is still looking on the thin side then maybe we’ll try increasing his evening meal to 1 full cup.
If you’re interested in feeding schedules for your dog check out this article: Puppy Feeding Schedules.
Stetson is starting to get a little heavy…I’d say borderline obese. Now I’m not just asking How Much Should I Feed My Puppy? but instead How much should I feed a dog?
I was adding Stetson’s profile to Dogster the other day and for those of you who know Dogster also know that when you first add a dog you usually receive several puppy pal requests. I took my time and read through each puppy pal request writing a little note and accepting each one at a time. While going through this process I cam across the profile for “In Loving Memory of Rosie”. Rosie is the little Chihuahua sitting in between the legs of the cocker spaniel in the image above.
Straight from Rosie’s Dogster page:
In our hearts we know that our pet Rosie, a 3 year old Chihuahua was poisoned from Chinese made Bestro’s Jerky Chicken Strips #77849 00006 1 We have this contaminated bag. We have three Chihuahuas and one of them died July 21. Rosie started with vomiting and dehydration (she was drinking lots of water)and then we were told she may either have an obstruction or have been poisioned. Since our dogs are inside dogs and we are with them at all times outside we thought it was an obstruction. Finally the doctor at Elwood Animal Clinic in Glendora, California. said he was almost positive it was some kind of poisoning . They were going to scope her but before that could happen she died July 21, 2007 at VCA in Fountain Valley, California.
I don’t feed my dogs Bestro’s Jerky Chicken Strips, but I do feed them another kind of chicken jerky treat.
Poisonous Doggy Treats
I know, I’m a little late on the poisoned dog food and treats from China, but this little story got me thinking: Am I giving my dogs poisonous food or treats? I feed my dogs Canidae Maintenance Formula for All Life Stages (40-lb bag) and this brand of food never showed up on any poisoned dog food lists. However, I never really considered the treats I was feeding my dogs.
Check out my article about the food I feed give my dogs and also about puppy feeding schedules.
Waggin’ Train Chicken Jerky Tenders
I give my dogs different treats depending on what I think they might like, but I’ve been feeding my dogs Waggin’ Train Chicken Jerky Tenders Dog Treats (Dog Food) – 40 oz (That’s 2.5 Pounds of Natural Chicken Fillet) regularly for the past 3 years and they love them. I haven’t had any problems with these treats and thought…”hey, they’re chicken fillets…how can I go wrong with real chicken.”
Today I started doing some research on the Waggin’ Train Chicken Jerky Tenders and found several scary stories and threads about the treats. First of all click the Waggin’ Train Chicken Jerky Tenders image which will bring you to the Amazon product page and take a look at the product reviews. Some of the review are very good, but there appears to be an equal number of reviews that claim this product poisoned their dog. This really scared me, so I decided to do a little more research.
Take a look at this Epinions forum: Found a great dog treat and it’s cheap! Don’t let the title of this article fool you. As you continue down the thread you will notice there are many unsatisfied people claiming that this product poisoned their dog. The forum thread is 21 pages long and there are many complaints stuffed in between those pages.
Are There Safe Dog Treats?
I still have about a third of my Waggin’ Train Chicken Jerky Tenders left and I’m wondering if I should try giving my dogs different treats. I know they love these treats and I haven’t had any problems with them for three years. My concern is what regulations does this company and others have to keep these products safe? Was this an isolated incident with a bad batch of Waggin Train Chicken Treats or is this a regular occurrence?
Even humans will run the risk of eating poisoned foods. Food poisoning in humans is not uncommon and I know that human food can also be recalled.
My question to you is do you know of a safe dog treat?
Puppy Feeding Schedule came up twice in the past week. The first time was at New Years when talking to a family friend who just recently got a labrador retriever. The second time I came across puppy feeding schedules was in Chapter 4 of Marley & Me.
If you haven’t already please take a look at my other articles on Marley & Me:
Naming Your Dog
Puppy Feeding Schedule – Marley And Me
From Marley & Me:
Following the instructions on the bag, we gave Marley three large bowls of puppy chow a day. He wolfed down every morsel in a matter of seconds. What went in came out, of course, and soon our backyard was as inviting as a minefield. We didn’t dare venture out into it without eyes sharply peeled. If Marley’s appetite was huge, his droppings were huger still, giant mounds that looked virtually unchanged from what had earlier gone in the other end. Was he even digesting this stuff.
Apparently he was. Marley was growing at a furious pace…
They may have been overfeeding Marley. Be careful how much you feed a lab. Most labs will continue eating until they are sick. A friend of mind told me his black lab got into and ate an entire bag of food in one sitting. Of course he was very ill and had to make a trip to the vet. Fortunately, the dog was okay, but as you can see Labs have a tendency to overeat.
New Years Day Puppy
My entire life I’ve gone to my Aunt’s house to celebrate New Years. She has a traditional Japanese New Years celebration with plenty of great food and people moving in and out of the house all day. While taking a break from my eating frenzy I had the chance to talk to a friend about his new 6 month old puppy. We chatted for a while about what great dogs labs are…I have Stetson my Guide Dog Puppy in Training and he recently got a purebred lab. During our conversation he brought up the fact that his dog would eat like a horse and would consume a 40 pound bag of dog food in less than 2 weeks. That sounded like a lot to me and I asked his age (6 months) and his weight (75 pounds). He was feeding his lab about twice as much as I fed my two dogs.
Stetson is 1 years old, weighs 65 pounds and eats 3 cups of food a day. Linus is 3 years old, weighs 55 pounds, and eats 2 cups of food a day. The two of them finish a 40 pound bag of food in about 1 month. New Years Day Puppy eats a 40 pound bag of food in half the time it takes my two dogs to eat the same amount of food. That means my friend must be feeding his dog about TEN CUPS OF FOOD A DAY!
Guide Dogs of America Recommend Feeding Schedule
Below was information given to me by Guide Dogs of America on how much food I should feed my puppy in training.
When you first receive your 8 week old puppy you will be feeding him/her 3/4 of a cup 3 X a day soaked (Canidae Dog Food) in hot water until it softens. Keep doing this for about one week, then taper off on time of soaking so eventually he/she will be eating dry food with a little water.
Increasing the food gradually so that at 4 months you will switch to feeding twice a day, an average of 1 1/2 cups 2 X a day
When your puppy is approximately fifteen months old, switch to feeding him/her once a day. An average of 3 cups a day (depending on the size of your puppy, if your not sure – ask us)
One of the great things about raising a guide dog puppy is I have a tremendous resource for any questions I have about my dogs. If I think Stetson is eating too much, have a training question, or a puppy raising question I can check with my group leader, our group trainer, any of the puppy raisers, or the puppy raising department at Guide Dogs of America.
Canidae Dog Food: All Life Stages
Canidae Maintenance Formula for All Life Stages (40-lb bag) is the food Guide Dogs of America feeds all of their puppies (the only exception is if a dog has an allergic reaction to this food). This makes it much easier for GDA when puppies come in for training and when they stay at the kennel. Changing a dogs diet can be upsetting to the dogs stomach and can cause diaharhea or vomiting. Believe me, I witness this first hand everytime I change Linus’s dog food or even sometimes when I give him new treats (obviously a very sensitive stomach). Here’s the feeding schedule Canidae recommends for a dog that is 75 pounds and 6 months old:
According to the chart a dog 6 months or older between 50-75 pounds should eat 2-3 cups of food a day. That’s pretty close to the amount of food Guide Dogs of America recommends, but much less than the 10 cups of food the new years day puppy is currently eating.
Problems with Overfeeding Your Dog
Here are some issues I see with overfeeding your dog:
- Obesity – your dog will become obese. This is not good because of the health problems related to obesity.
- More Poop – who wants to pick up more poop then necessary?
- Costs More Money – Obviously the more food your dog eats the more food you have to buy. Obese dogs with health problems require more medical expenses.
If you own a Labrador Retriever be careful with their feeding you don’t want an obese dog. From what I’ve observed most Labs love to eat food and many Labs are obese which leads to medical problems.
I’d love to hear what you think. Are you and experienced lab owner?
Do you have a skinny puppy? Check out this article on How Much Should I Feed My Puppy