May 31

Did you miss these? Animal-dog-tiger-cubrelated stories that caught our interest:

We’re happy jump start your summer reading. (And, if you find yourself tripping over Fluffy & Fido, as in the article above, contact us.  We’d love to help!)

© 2009 Critter Consulting

May 26

In our 4/27/09 post, we warned to stop feedingnutro-cat-lg Nutro to your pets.  Now, a very important update in Nutro news…. and what’s up with Greenies?

  • Nutro recalled 2 dry cat foods due to improper zinc & potassium content that sickened many cats.   (Seven flavors of Nutro Natural Choice Complete Care & Nutro Max are affected.)  As of today, the FDA is calling their investigation “high priority”.  This wasn’t always the case:  Christie Keith of nicely summarizes the FDA’s role in delaying this recall.  It seems like Nutro hasn’t been a healthy choice for pets since Mars Pet Care bought the company in 2007.  Read about the company’s previous health scares.
  • Greenie concerns:  Also by Nutro – this popular chew treat will now only be sold thru vets & specialty shops.  The company wants their product questions & recommendations to be handled by more knowledgeable retailers.  We cannot recommend Greenies because they have caused GI obstructions in pets.  And, we believe this new step in Nutro’s marketing will boost sales more than ensure Greenie safety.  Why risk it?  Check our resource page for alternative toy, treat & chewy ideas for your pet.

It’s not all grim news. We laughed @ this hamster perfectly illustrating the “eat this, not that” concept.  And, if pet food recalls have you down, chin up!  We’re dishing into a new favorite cookbook, “Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook” from the Bubba Rose Biscuit Company.  And Arden Moore shares her recipe for Marvelous Mutt Meatballs from her book, “Real Food for Dogs“.  Yumm – healthy treats for Fido!

Information provided on this site is not a substitute for veterinary care. See your vet before you begin a complementary health care or exercise plan. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration/Center for Veterinary Medicine, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

© 2009 Critter Consulting

May 19

After a weekend plagued by computer problems, it occurred to us that many pet toys actually last longer than a laptop!  This weekedog-with-jolly-ballnd, enjoy some playtime with your pet and some well-made, road-tested toys.  We recommend:

  • Visit our toy lists.  Is Rover a real problem solver or a super chewer?  We listed dog toys according to durability & degree of difficulty.  The puzzle toys (food- dispensing toys) & long-lasting chews are especially helpful in resolving Pup’s boredom & stressed-based behavior problems.  Our favorite cat toys provide environmental enrichment and interactive play that appeals to a cat, not just a human.  This really helps curb Kitty play aggression, like early morning ankle ambushes!
  • Beat the heat with cooling tips & toys! See our post from last summer.  (We love the Kool Dogz Ice Treat Maker!)
  • Feeling creative? Make your own.  Your pets don’t care if a toy is store-bought or hand-made.  Just keep it safe and, as always, observe Fido & Fluffy with a new toy.  If they quickly chew up or swallow bits of a toy, remove it.  No small pieces that can be swallowed.  (If the whole toy fits in your pet’s mouth, it’s too small!)  Here are some inspiring videos:    Keep it simple (water jug) -or- let the engineer in the family rig this one up.   As you know, pets are great @ showing us what found-objects make great toys, too.  (Examples:  a yoga ball and a staircase.)  Think big and have fun!
  • A word of caution:  Avoid play with laser toys, as in this video.  In healthy, constructive play, a cat or dog stalk, chase & grab a toy – as they would prey.  (Much play is an expression of your pet’s prey drive.)  Chasing a beam of light makes life easy for the human on the couch, but it’s frustrating & unsatisfying for a pet.   And it can lead to unhealthy, almost compulsive, light-chasing.  (We’ve seen dogs who can’t stop chasing beams of light from crystals hanging in windows, for example.)
  • And – for the ultimate catch game: Did you see the story on the banker & the ducks?  Enjoy!

As always, contact us for more help training your pet.  Have a great holiday!

© 2009 CritterConsulting

May 7

Enjoy the sunshine this weekend!  Here are some quick ideas for making the most of Mom’s Day:moms-day

  • Most moms can relate to Michelle Obama.  The kids begged for a puppy & promised with all their hearts that they’d help out with the day-to-day doggy chores.  Currently, Mom Michelle finds herself picking up the slack with Bo.  (Read more.)  So pitch in & help Mom with the pets – everyday!  Pet care is a big responsibility.  Make it a fun family project.  (Contact us for ideas on getting the family involved with Fido & Fluffy’s training & care.)
  • Check out our Father’s Day post from last year for great ideas for Mom.
  • Chocolate & flowers for Mom? Pet proof!  Chocolate; sugar-free candy (xylitol); & candy wrappers are dangerous for pets.  Lilies are toxic to cats.  (Read our Easter post for more details.  Check for a list of toxic plants.)
  • Give Mom a gift that gives back.  Check the ASPCA’s or HSUS’ online gift shops.  Or give locally – donate to your local shelter in Mom’s name.

Enjoy a major dose of cuteness with Mom:  Watch the “Smile” video and the uber-cute pics of pets & kids sleeping.  Have a great weekend!

© 2009 Critter Consulting