Gather Your Pet’s Hair to Help With the Oil Spill!


Here’s a super easy thing to do to help clean up the oil spill – there is a great nonprofit organization called Matter of Trust that collects human and pet hair and old nylon stockings to make “hair booms” and hair mats that do a remarkable job of soaking up oil (right at the end of this video is a great demonstration of this). This is turning into a large-scale fiber recycling movement nationwide, and here are three easy ways for you to help.

First, contact your local human and pet salons and let them know how easy it is for them to make a difference – they just collect hair in a plastic bag lined boxes and ship it off to Matter of Trust to be made into booms.  Did you know 300,000 pounds of hair are cut every day in the US? Combine that with the amount of pet hair that is cut and you have an amazing resource.

Second, you can collect your own pet’s hair and bring it to a salon that’s participating (their website has information on how to find salons in your area). In the Portland area, you can bring your hair to Pawsitively Clean on Hawthorne – they’ve been collecting hair for Matter of Trust since 2001!

Third, donate to Matter of Trust – $61 buys a 150 foot roll of the plastic netting that goes on the outside of the nylon booms that will be used to soak up oil.

Beware of Cocoa Mulch

Picture 5I covered this a few years back, but it seems lots of people are forwarding us the warnings about cocoa mulch, and I thought it was definitely worthy of a blog post.

There is a mulch sold by garden stores that is made from cocoa bean shells.  It really does look good, has a lovely fine texture and smells fantastic, just like chocolate. The trouble is, just like chocolate, it contains both caffeine and the chemical that is toxic to dogs called theobromine. Though deaths from eating cocoa mulch are not widely reported, there have been a number of cases of dogs becoming ill from ingesting it. Symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea, hyperactivity, rapid heart rate, muscle seizures, and possibly death. The concentration of theobromine in the mulch is actually quite high, making it more dangerous than something like milk chocolate, and since it does smell so delicious, there is a risk that some dogs might eat it.  So, if you have an indiscriminate eater, try to be vigilant on walks if you see your dog really nosing around a mulched area.  If you really want to use cocoa mulch, look for a variety that states that it is theobromine free (though it still might contain caffeine, which could also be harmful to pets), or just consider some of the old favorites like tree bark.

(photo borrowed from the ASPCA website)

Toxic Levels of Vitamin D Found in Nutro Cat Food

Reprinted from Truthaboutpetfood.com:
Don Earl of Pet Food Products Safety Alliance notified (truthaboutpetfood) this evening regarding some lab test results his (tremendous) organization received today (May 4, 2010).  The lab results found toxic levels of Vitamin D; over 1,000 times recommended by the National Research Council.

“Test results are back on a sample of what is believed to be Nutro Chicken Meal and Rice cat food Lot # 09 01 10 11:03. This is from the same batch of food we tested below on the March 22, 2010 results. The pet owner’s cat nearly died after eating the food for 5 days and the symptoms appeared to be consistent with toxic levels of Vitamin D.” Click Here to read the lab results.

Don Earl reported this issue to the FDA hours after receiving the test results; no one (as of this writing) from the FDA has returned his call.
Read Pet Food Products Safety Alliance story here: http://www.pfpsa.org/news.html

ConsumerAffairs.com has over 500 consumer complaints in the last two years regarding Nutro Pet Foods.  Journalist Lisa McCormick confirmed with the FDA that Nutro Pet Food was under investigation (by the FDA) yet no recall has been issued.  http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2009/04/nutro_foia.html

How many pets have to die?  How many pets have to become ill before the FDA takes action?  The FDA itself has hundreds of reports of sick pets all linked to this pet food company…why has nothing been done to stop the deaths and illnesses?

If you or anyone you know feeds a Nutro Pet Food (dog or cat food) please be very cautious.   Please share this pet food warning with other pet owners.

Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,

Susan Thixton
Truth about Pet Food
Petsumer Report
www.TruthaboutPetFood.com

She’s at it again! 4th nest at Green Dog

There’s a new nest, high up in the planter closest to our door. This one is cute, with 2 branches sewn together in an X. Lots of spider webs on this one – the last one was lots of lichen. Eggs laid Wed and Thurs (April 21 and 22 – Happy Earth Day!!!)april10nest

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Some of Our Favorite Nutrition Resources

I wrote this up a while back for a nutrition lecture I was giving, and I thought it might be useful to post it somewhere for more people to use. These are some of our favorite resources for people to use when trying to educate themselves about their pets.
– Christine

Resources:

Watch the documentary “Pet Fooled” on Netflix! Tremendous opportunity for learning and spreading knowledge to others in your life who might not realize that what they’re feeding can hurt their beloved pets.

Excellent Link for Dog Nutrition (though cat folks can definitely glean some knowledge here too: http://www.dogaware.com/
The woman who compiles this site has encyclopedic knowledge about diet and nutrition for dogs and writes a lot of the food articles in The Whole Dog Journal.
Key links on her site that might be useful to you:
Lots of links to common health problems in dogs
http://www.dogaware.com/specific.html
including a ton of info on kidney disease and diet, specifically a lot about protein and its relationship to kidney disease: http://www.dogaware.com/kidney.html#protein

there are a lot of good articles that she wrote for Whole Dog Journal on home cooking: http://www.dogaware.com/diet/homemade.html

Sites online specifically for cats:
CatInfo.org – written by a vet, this is a comprehensive site that covers the basics of feline nutrition, with excellent discussions of common health issues such as diabetes, UTIs, and hyperthyroidism. She also has great info on Making Cat Food with good tips about transitioning a picky cat’s diet
Holisticat (includes an email list)
CatNutrition.org: feeding cats for health
How to Prepare Fresh Cat Food (technical but very complete)
The Feline Future Cat Food Company (Instincts TC) – a mix to which you add your own meat. I don’t carry it but it seems great. Good answers to peoples’ questions on this site about raw foods.
Feline Instincts – a mix to which you add your own meat. They also have a kidney diet
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