The biggest thing I’ve learned from having a run-in with a skunk many months ago (besides stop having run-ins with skunks, of course) is that even after about a million bathes and an entire bottle of Nature’s Miracle Skunk Odor Remover, I still had some lingering eau de Pepé le Pew. While it didn’t really bother me all that much, the humans on the other hand were less than happy. It was time to seek professional help.
Enter Salty Dog Salon Inc. operated by Jillian Jones and Deborah McClean. I already knew Jillian from the quarterly nail clipping clinics at The Loyal Biscuit. In fact, she’s the only human I let clip my nails (with only minor struggling). I don’t even let my mom do that! Anyway, after both Jillian and her mother Deb graduated from A+ Pet Grooming Academy in Grey, Maine, they started a small grooming salon out of their own home. It was only recently that they officially moved their business, Salty Dog Salon Inc. to it’s own space (which happens to be not too far from my home). The salon is bright, peaceful, and very tastefully decorated (according to my mom that is; dogs don’t know all that much about decorating). The grooming area (which we saw during Salty Dog’s holiday open house) is impeccably clean. Among their many grooming options, Salty Dog has a specialty deskunking bath which is what I was given. My mom dropped me off (much to my dismay) and did errands for an hour while Jillian and Deb worked their magic. By the time the hour was up, I was bathed, flouffed, and smelling like citrus and cinnamon with barely a hint of skunk remaining. My mom was (and still is as it has been a couple of weeks and there is only a small tiny little skunky smell left behind my right ear. Much better than it was before) impressed by not only the deskunking miracle, but also by how friendly and welcoming Salty Dog’s environment and staff are. Plus, look at just how cute and fluffy I was after my day at the salon! If you live near Rockland, Maine and are interested in visiting Salty Dog Salon Inc, you can check out their website and facebook page for contact information. And make sure you tell Jillian and Deb that I sent you!
Happy tail wags!
Christmas. While usually just thinking about this holiday and the onslaught of presents sends me into a flurry of tail wags and tapping paws. The humans say I’m selfish for only caring about what’s given to me, and while that is very, very true, I’ve decided that for this years gift guide, not only will I show you that you can spoil your dog (and maybe you) with all the presents his or her selfish heart desires, but also do some good in the process. Each company and products that I feature donate a portion or the entirety of their profits to a pet-based charity.
During this time of the year, humans start looking ahead to the future by purchasing calendars for the upcoming year. Many animal shelters and rescue organizations jump on the bandwagon and release calendars featuring shelter alumni or just shelter supporter’s pets.
The Humane Society of Knox County, a local shelter where my kitty brother Harry came from, has released their own calendar. You can purchase your own for $10 and be assured that all the money goes right back into the shelter to help the animals currently in their care.
Every dog needs a nice collar; something that’s bold and shows off their personality. Fifi Run may just fit the bill. Fifi Run makes edgy but incredibly chic collars with a little bit of an electric 80s feel. The What Would Lassie Do? Collar happens to be my personal favorite (what dog doesn’t emulate Lassie and her heroism?). And the best part? Fifi Run chooses a different dog charity each month to donate 10% of their proceeds to.
My love for Mutt Nose Best is very well known (and no, it’s not just because I’m the face of their new shampoo scent). Mutt Nose is a Maine based company that uses human grade ingredients (most locally sourced) to make some of the yummiest smelling dog shampoos, conditioners, eau de toilettes, nose balm, and ear and eye wipes. They’ve currently released a special edition holiday scent, U Puppermint Puppy that will make your pooch smell like a warm mug of peppermint hot chocolate. Each month, Mutt Nose choose one pet based charity to promote and raise funds for (you can read more about last month’s charity here).
Keeping your dog safe is a top priority for dog owners. Do it in style with another of my favorite products, a blanketID! BlanketID tags are made to help you find your dog in case they are lost not only from them wearing the tag, but also through online support, including emails to local blanketID members and local animal related businesses like hospitals, shelters, and SPCAs. Plus, if someone finds your dog, they only have to type in the code found on the back to find all of your dogs information like your phone number, address, your dog’s allergies, and more. Try fitting that on any other tag! Plus, every time a tag is registered and membership purchased, blanketID puts money into their Blanket Fund to help animals in need (you can see the animals they have helped here). Over 15% of blanketIDs profits go into their Blanket Fund.
Treats are always a doggy crowd pleaser when they are found under the Christmas tree. Some of my favorite treats (though honestly, I don’t really have any non-favorite treats) are Zuke’s Mini Naturals in peanut butter. They are soft little nibblets that are perfect for a training session or to stuff in a toy like a Busy Buddy or Kong Canine Genius. I would rather I just receive them by the handful, but mom usually makes me work for them. The human brains behind Zuke’s decided to start a fund called the Dog and Cat Cancer Fund (DCCFund) in honor of their dogs Oly and Zuke who passed away from cancer.Every year, Zuke’s donates a large percentage of their profits to the DCCFund. Last year alone they donated over $40,000. You can see some of the pets the fund has help here.
No hip pooch is complete without the gift of a leash from a certain fat, red suited jolly human. One of the neatest leash companies around is Found My Animal. All the leashes are hand made is New England by professional rope makers and some are even made from recycled bottles. The bright orange Rescue Leash is not only fabulously colorful, but it’s also made to promote pet adoption (orange is the official color for animal protection awareness).As Found My Animal’s mission is to raise awareness about animal adoption, they donate a fair amount of their profits to different pet-based charities. For example, last Saturday during an event for Rational Animal, for every purchase of a Rescue Leash, Found donated $5 to Rational Animal. You can see more of their charitable work and donations here.
And finally, as a little treat to you humans with a sweet tooth, is Rescue Chocolate. Rescue Chocolate is, as their website states “the sweetest way to save a life.” 100% of the net profits from each of the vegan, kosher, and USA made sweets sold goes to a different animal rescue organization each month. The organization being helped during December is the Animal Farm Foundation. If that doesn’t tempt you into buying, than maybe the funky flavors and inventive names will. What human can turn down a mint and dark chocolate candy bar called Foster-iffic Peppermint? Now remember, these are human-only treats. No dog consumption allowed!
I hope my gift ideas have inspired you to not only gift your friends and furry family members a little something special, but also to think charitably this holiday season.
Happy tail wags!
Last night, my mom stumbled upon a very interesting documentary posted on the blog of our friends at Biscuits by Lambchop. The documentary is called Pet Food: A Dog’s Breakfast and was originally aired on CBC through Doc Zone in 2008. The large focus of Pet Food: A Dog’s Breakfast chronicles the events of the 2007 Menu Foods pet food recall and details the stories of a few humans who pets died or were affected by the recall. It also discusses en length the trickery and mislabeling of most commercial pet foods and what it is that you’re actually feeding your pet when you choose to buy pet food from grocery or big box stores. The documentary roughly 45 minutes, but worth the watch. As a warning, at the 23.29 mark, there a bit of the now infamous PETA animal food testing footage (and thankfully the only time any animal rights groups are mentioned). I’m unaware of how long this video will stay on youtube (things like this have a habit of disappearing), so watch it while you can.
This video raises many topics that I think the regular pet food consumer isn’t aware of, specifically, the falsification of ingredients labels (such as Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins explained, ingredient splitting), the fact of how overly processed kibble is, what can meet pet food standards (mmm, old work boots), and what I find to be one of the most important facts, that veterinarians are taught next to nothing about animal nutrition (think about that the next time your vet tells you should be feeding Science Diet). There are also some things that I think the video missed, mostly the opportunity to talk about what is quality commercial pet food. Thankfully reading nutritional labels was stressed, but saving a segment to highlight some foods that aren’t following the old boy’s network of most pet food companies would have been a good point to make. In fact, it seemed that the video was lumping all commercial pet foods together, when today, there are a lot of brands (many that I’ve highlighted in this blog) that are making strides in terms of quality ingredients and manufacturing. For more on this, check out this great video by Dr. Karen Becker.
I love to hear what your thoughts are on Pet Food: A Dog’s Breakfast.
Happy tail wags!
If you’ve been keeping up with my twitter and facebook pages, you’ll notice I’ve been talking a lot about chicken jerky, or more specifically, chicken jerky from China. Since 2007, after 157 dogs became ill, the FDA has been issuing alerts about humans feeding dog specific chicken jerky (also described as tenders, strips, or treats) manufactured in China to their dogs. In the 2007 cases, there was a melamine (a compound that used to make things like fire-retardant fabric and the suspected cause of the 2007 pet food recalls) contamination causing over 95 dogs to become ill. In 2008, another FDA warning regarding chicken jerky was issued, this time involving dog illness cases in Australia. This time the warning also involved dental chews made from soy, corn, and rice. The link between the two? Being manufactured in China.
On November 18th, 2011, the most recent date, a third alert was issued. Within a year, complaints of dogs becoming ill after consuming Chinese manufactured chicken jerky had risen from 54 reports of illness in 2010 to 70 (and rising). There has yet to be found an actual cause for illnesses nor any recalls of any chicken jerky, tender, strips, or treat brands. The symptoms that the reported dogs have experienced are as follows: decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea (often times bloody), increased consumption of water, and usually increased urination. Symptoms usually appear within hours to a day after feeding. These symptoms are linked to Fanconi Syndrome, a kidney disease commonly found in Basengis.
So where does that leave me and my fellow dogs who have a severe craving for chicken? The FDA strongly urges cutting back on how much chicken based treats you give your dog, going so far as to remind everyone that “chicken jerky products should not be substituted for a balanced diet and are intended to be fed occasionally in small quantities” (there is some speculation, though not confirmed, that regular consumption of chicken jerky is the cause). My suggestion, and one that should carry into not only the chicken jerky, but also in every facet of your dog’s diet, stop buying treats made in China. It has become clear, especially after the pet food recalls of 2007, that pet food and treats coming out of China are bad news. It is wiser, then, to purchase treats and food (especially chicken jerky treats) from companies who only manufacture in either the United States or Canada (or if you’re not a North American reader, from your home country). My chicken jerky of choice? TriPom Chews. Not only do they use 100% USDA Grade A, restaurant quality whole chicken and turkey breast, but they are also made in my home state of Maine.
If you’re going to be purchasing chicken jerky for your dog, make sure to really read the label. If it says “Made in China,” skip it! Look for a treat that is “Made in the USA” (and make sure it says “made” and not just “packaged.” That’s a tricky way some treat companies try to fool consumers). And, if you’re dog has eaten chicken jerky and is experiencing the symptoms I mentioned above, call your veterinarian.
Happy tail wags.
P.S. There has also been a misinformed rumor spreading around the internet (mostly on facebook) about a Blue Buffalo recall in connection to the chicken jerky alerts. As I stated earlier, as the FDA is still investigating everything, there have been no recalls of any products. In fact, none of Blue Buffalo’s products are made in China, it’s all made and sourced in the US. Blue Buffalo has released a statement regarding the rumors that you can read here.
Last year on Thanksgiving, I wrote a post about everything I was thankful for. It was quite fun and something I really want to repeat this year, so here goes!
This year I, Prudence, one of the most adorable and spunky Yorkshire Terrier/Poodle crosses in existence, am thankful for…
My GG and Gramp who are sharing their home with nanny, aunty, mom, Harry, Gracie, and myself (and who don’t chastise me too badly when I have an accident on the floor).
Marie and her pug Jenny for being my beach partners this summer, but most importantly Jenny for not minding when I got the zoomies and accidentally ran her over.
Crockpots because the yummiest for-Prudence-only stews are made in them.
Every single human affiliated with my favorite store, The Loyal Biscuit. You will never understand store loyalty until you’re able to walk into a store where every human working there calls you by name and showers you in all sorts of delicious animal parts.
The random humans on the street who greet me by name (especially when my mom doesn’t know who they are). It means the Prudence fan club is growing!
And, of course, I am most thankful to all of my friends of the human and animal persuasion whom I love with all my puppy heart. In fact, I truly love all of you more than a Genius Mike toy stuffed with Greek yogurt, chicken pieces, peanut butter, and a Texas Taffy. All of your comments, tweets, emails, and facebook messages make me wiggle from nose to stubby tail. Thank you!
I hope everyone has a safe and belly-filling Thanksgiving.
Happy tail wags!
Thanksgiving, a day of human satiation and enough drool-worthy food to cause any dog to wish they could walk on only two legs and own opposable thumbs. Tomorrow my humans will sit down at the barely used dining room table to tuck in whilst I’m stuck under the table hoping one of them slips me something yummy. Many of my fellow blogs and animal-centric sites are all a buzz with the feast foods one shouldn’t be sharing with their pooches, but what about those dog-friendly dishes? Thanksgiving is full of them! Let’s take a look:
- Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes are a great spud for your dog to nosh on. Of course, we’re talking sweet potatoes free of butter, spices, and those little white marshmallows. When you’re busily cooking away for your feast, throw a sweet potato in the oven to set aside for your pup.
- Turkey: Yes! Turkey! The main event! Feel free to slip your dog some skin-free (skin is too fatty and hard for your dog’s digestive system to break down), seasoning-free, light turkey meat. And while it is important to skip cooked bones, a raw bone is totally fine. If you can’t get a raw turkey bone, maybe find a marrow bone or raw oxtail. Not only will your pup love to gnaw on it, it will also keep them busy and not begging at the table.
-Pumpkin: Like sweet potato, pumpkin is a great snack for your dog. Also like sweet potato, make sure it’s plain pumpkin (i.e. no pumpkin pie filling).
-Vegetables: Think cooked (or raw) carrots, green beans, and peas. While not my favorite, there are dogs that go bananas for some cooked, plain veggies.
-Butternut squash: One of my favorites! Remember, no butter, seasoning, etc.
-Potatoes: Some dogs are allergic to this spud, but if yours isn’t, feel free to share some butterless, seasoningless (seeing a pattern yet?) potatoes.
See, your dog can partake in the fun and festivities of Thanksgiving too! Just remember, skip the fat and the extras and keep it simple and plain for the four-legged crowd.
Happy tail wags!