Everyday Adventures in Havachon Heaven

The Good, Crazy, & Adorable Life of One Havachon Puppy

Dog Food Recall Notification Service

I don’t know about you, but I’ve gotten pretty concerned about all the dog food recalls lately. What’s up with all this salmonella getting into every kind of dog food, from dry to frozen?

A friend of mine made me aware of a great free dog food recall notification service. It’s on the website Dog Food Advisor, and they not only keep an up-to-date  listing of dog food recalls, but if you sign up, they’ll email you every time a dog food has been recalled. It’s a free service and SO helpful!

For each recall, they tell you where the recalled products are being sold, why they’re being recalled, and exactly which of the company’s products are affected.

Check out the site if you get the chance, it’s got lots of other good information too.

Before you give me that kibble, did you make sure it's safe? Hmmmmm???

Before you give me that kibble, did you make sure it’s safe? Hmmmmm???

 

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FDA Warning: Toxic Treats From China = Russian Roulette With Your Pet’s Life

We’re interrupting our usual Crazy Daisy silliness because of a new FDA warning about the dangers of pet treats imported from China. We don’t want any fellow pets or pet lovers to suffer the devastating effects of these potentially toxic “treats”.

It’s more important than ever to check the small print on that bag of treats or pet food you’re buying to make sure it wasn’t made in China. Apparently, giving your pet treats made in China is like playing Russian roulette with your pet’s life.

It doesn’t get any scarier than that, my fellow animal-lovers.

The 12/03/2011 Natural News article (you can read it in its entirety by clicking on that link) said there’s been an “uptick in adverse event reports” regarding pet treats made in China. “MSNBC reports that at least 70 dogs so far this year have been sickened or killed by chicken jerky products imported from China“. 

And those 70 are only the ones vets reported – how many more illnesses and deaths went unreported or unattributed to poisonous imported edibles?

Seriously, we have to stop this madness. Imported glass roasting pans have exploded when taken out of the oven (it happened to a friend of my mother’s), toxic toothpastes and makeup items sicken and kill people, cheap ceramic  glazes (or lack thereof) leak toxins into our drinks, and so, so much more. And now our pets are becoming victims too. But as long as we keep feeding these manufacturers’ wallets, they’ll keep mass producing toxic waste for our ingestion. Or should I say indigestion? 😉

My friend’s dog was horribly sick for a month because one of these slipped past her in a sample packet. She was just lucky her little cutie survived, but he suffered horribly with constant vomiting and diarrhea. And, of course, his human family suffered right along with him.

I’m usually a pretty easy-going sort of person who believes in the “live and let live” motto, but when manufacturers have a total disregard for the health and safety of others, it makes my blood boil and I have to take a stand. So here it is.

Don’t – buy – cheap – Chinese – imports. Your life and your pet’s life may be at risk.

I’m certainly not saying that China is the only country producing dangerous things, but they’re the ones producing an overwhelming majority of it. We have to start discouraging this wanton disregard for life and safety somewhere.

Since we can’t be sure which Chinese manufacturers use dangerous toxins in their products, we can’t take chances with any of them. Sure, there are recalls from even the most trusted manufacturers, but they’re usually unintentional and few and far between. What I’m talking about is a constant stream of deliberately cheap and dangerous goods.

Personally, I’d rather buy one item that’s more expensive if it comes from a manufacturer I have good reason to believe is safe than buy ten questionable items from any country we know exports toxins. How many more warnings do we need before we take action and protect ourselves?

And while we’re on the subject, the Natural News article also advised that we avoid any pet foods/treats with the irradiation symbol, which looks frighteningly innocent and has an earth-friendly appearance:

Radura Symbol

Natural News reports that radiation is used to blast “pathogens and viruses” out of pet foods (how and why did they get in there in the first place?!), but instead it can render pet food toxic. Several pets in Australia died from ingesting irradiated pet food; there’s a link in the article where you can read about such cases. Unfortunately, some US manufacturers use this process too, so look for the Radura Symbol and steer clear of any pet products that have it. Better safe than sorry.

My goal in writing this is NOT to point the finger of blame, but rather to help keep our beloved pets safe. If we know there’s a risk with anything, we need to pass that information along to help others so we can all make informed buying decisions. And that’s all I’m hoping to do.

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Lemon Plum, Anyone?

We interrupt our usual Daisy posts to bring you this little touch of summertime fruit….. 😉

DH is off this week, and we’re trying to get a LOT done around the house in preparation for some big renovations this summer. I won’t have time to post as much as usual, but I did want to pass along a picture of one of the most unusual plums I’ve ever had:

This is a lemon plum. I’ve never seen one before or since we got this one at a local farm market. They always have some unique fruits in season at this wonderful place, and DD and I like to try almost every new thing we find there.

The lemon plum was fabulous! It started out summer-yellow and reddened to a luscious color as it ripened over the next couple of days. It actually did have a slight lemony taste mixed with the plum flavor – we loved it! And the fact that it was shaped like a heart just made it all the more appealing. 🙂

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Daisy the Finicky Gourmet Havachon

When it comes to food, Daisy gets bored easily. Makes things a bit difficult, since new dog foods need to be introduced slowly so we can’t just switch her to something different when the winds of change hit her.

::yawn:: I'm just so darned bored with the same ol' food day and night....

Leave it to Daisy. Our previous dog ate whatever was put in front of her, but Daisy’s got quite the sophisticated palate. 😉

Daisy was enjoying a beef-based dry dog food for months, when she suddenly started turning her nose up at it. Turned out she’d decided it was too dry for her. I found this out on a whim, when I added water just to see what would happen.

She scarfed it down as if it were a fresh roast.

Now that another few months have gone by, Daisy’s Finicky Gourmet Palate has struck again. We’d put her food down and she’d just sit there, staring at us as if to say, “That again? You expect me to eat that?”

Vets always seem to say that if a dog gets finicky and refuses to eat her food, you should just leave it there for 20 minutes to half an hour and then remove it. They’ll eat their next meal because they’ll be hungry.

Not Daisy. When she goes on a hunger strike, she won’t budge. She’d rather starve to death than give in. You should see the theatrics!

So we made a trip to our local dog store to see what we could find. Wow, were we ever happy to see that they had an abundance of trial-size dog foods that they were giving away for free! The owner was very knowledgeable and helped us sort through the dozens of brands and flavors – she ended up filling a shopping bag with everything from lamb, beef, venison, pork, and bison-based foods to vegan varieties. All organic, and all quite different from each other.

Now that's MUCH better! Smells more like "people food"! 🙂

We still have 16 pounds left of a very large bag of dog food we’d purchased on sale, stupidly thinking Daisy would always like it. Hah! No way were we going to toss that much expensive food out, so I rifled through the samples we’d brought home and found one organic brand that was dehydrated – you just add water, wait 3-5 minutes, and voila! Instant dog food.

What we didn’t like was that there was no chewing necessary. Except for a few veggie slices, the stuff was like oatmeal and could be eaten easily by a toothless granpup. 😉 Daisy doesn’t do well with moist dog foods in the “aftermath” – I’m sure I don’t need to explain! BUT – it was very flavorful.  We could tell just from sniffing it that it was well seasoned – the garlic aroma was evident.

So I got the idea to mix a small bit of reconstituted food into Daisy’s regular food just until we finish the rest of this big bag. Success! She gobbled it up like it was Thanksgiving dinner!

And since we’re just putting a little bit into her food, these trial-sized bags of dehydrated food will last a long time. Now, instead of Daisy refusing to eat, she practically watches the clock – around 5:00, she starts pacing around, then comes in and stares holes in me.

So now we have a happy puppy again. One very small drawback for us, though – she actually does end up with tiny garlic breath…. 😉

Lesson learned, though – we’ll never invest in 30 pounds of dog food with this picky eater again!

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Daisy Hates Emeril!

I usually make my own broths, but I didn’t have time yesterday to whip up a vegetable broth so I could use it in a new recipe. (We love trying new foods, so I made a dish called Spicy Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew – it’s vegan, very healthful, and served over Basmati rice – and it was delicious!)

Anyway, I bought a container of Emeril’s organic vegetable broth and set it on the kitchen counter. Daisy was playing around on that side of the kitchen for a while, when about 10 minutes later, out of the clear blue, I hear the sound of panicky doggy claws racing in place, trying to make a mad escape from some Dreaded Foe.

I turned around and saw her legs racing, trying desperately to get traction on the wood floor, ears disappeared behind her head, and her eyes open so wide in horror that I thought the Devil himself was behind her. I wish I could have had a picture of that!

She finally got traction and ran into the family room. Then she came cautiously back into the kitchen, stretching her neck like a giraffe to peek around the pantry and starting a major high-pitched, angry barking campaign directed right at the Emeril package on the counter. I thought it was just another case of That Which Did Not Belong, but this was a different type of barking. And her antics were different too – a few barking steps aggressively forward, followed by a race back out of the room.

This played out over and over and over again. I finally put the package out of her sight. Later, I took it out again, which restarted the whole frenzy even though I was holding the package. I said “Nice package. See? It’s okay” over and over, to no avail. She wasn’t having any of it.

The cautious sniff...

So I put it on the floor and got the camera. One cautious sniff and she was off again. This has never happened with anything before, the only difference is the picture of Emeril on the front. Hmmmmm…..

I think Daisy hates Emeril!

I will NOT come any closer to That Thing!!

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