Everyday Adventures in Havachon Heaven

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

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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FDA Pet Food/Treats Recall Site

An email recently reminded me that there are almost as many pet food recalls as there are human food recalls. That jolted me a bit because unless it’s something hugely newsworthy (like the major Blue Buffalo recall), we don’t generally hear about it.

Treats are just as vulnerable as food, which is something I didn’t realize. I found the FDA website with all the latest pet food/treat recalls, so I thought I’d share that with you here. I’ve bookmarked the site so I can check it every couple of weeks to make sure nothing in our pantry is on the list.

It also tells you what ingredients are banned (I’ve heard  you can occasionally find an old bag of food being sold somewhere with a banned ingredient), why a food was recalled, and more.

Better safe than sorry!

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How Safe Are Dog Repellents?

After writing my blog post about Christmas decorating hazards for dogs, I started thinking that maybe we should do something a little more proactive to keep Daisy away from the Christmas tree. I’d read that creating a boundary with Bitter Apple spray could help to deter her from nibbling at those toxic Fraser Fir needles.

Daisy in her new Christmas jingle collar!

So last night, while stocking up on necessities (and fun stuff!) at the pet store, we looked at some boundary sprays. They didn’t have Bitter Apple, which is supposed to be pure and not harmful to pets or humans, so we checked out some other repellents.

Forget it.

Anything that says a product should not touch an animal’s or human’s skin or eyes without severe toxic consequences is NOT for us. How can anyone guarantee that a curious puppy won’t step on that border or lie on that area before realizing they don’t like the smell? And how can we guarantee that we won’t forget exactly what places on the carpet we sprayed when we all sit around the Christmas tree to open our presents?

I read online that some dogs aren’t deterred by these dangerous chemical sprays and have licked them or laid on them – with negative consequences.

So today I looked for something more natural, since I can’t find the Bitter Apple spray around here. This article discusses several natural repellents you can make at home that will deter dogs and cats, but won’t harm them. Personally, I wouldn’t use any of these inside my home, but some may work outdoors to protect plants and gardens – as long as you keep applying them every day.

A better article at The Daily Puppy explains the risks and benefits of various dog repellents and how some can harm your carpet and furniture if used indoors. It also explains that even those commercial sprays marked “natural” might have toxic ingredients in addition to natural ones. It’s a good article and worth reading if you’re considering using one of these sprays, whether commercial or home made.

Nothing beats good training, so until our puppy is completely reliable around the Christmas tree, we’ll just have to keep a close eye on her and use the baby gate when necessary. We’ll be bringing in the tree and decorating it this weekend – let the games begin! LOL

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