Adoptable Pet Of The Day

Sebastian has had a rough go at life and his condition really hits home for me. Earlier this year Sebastian was his by a car, his owners could no afford back surgery. Since it has been too long since his accident Sebastian is no longer a candidate for surgery and will spend his life in a wheel chair. He will have accidents in the house because of this and will need a quiet home that understands how special he is and respect his very different needs.Sebastian is awaitng his furever home at the Dhana Metta Rescue Society in Vancouver, BC.

His profile can be found here

Sebastian: Dachshund, Dog; Vancouver, BC.

Moby

Well, the eagle(s) have landed! Oliver and I are relaxing after the 9 hour move across the province.

We arrived on Sunday to discover our new home came complete with a new 6 week old kitten. My mother has named him Moby and during the day, Oliver and I are busy playing babysitter.

It amazes me looking into little Moby’s eyes how complex yet fragile life can be. Every day so far, Moby has discovered or learned something new. I think about all the abandoned kittens I’ve heard of and seen and after seeing how quickly Moby recognizes me and becomes attached and dependent upon me, I can’t help but wonder how people are okay with abandoning their pets ( like the kittens found in a freezer this past summer).

I wasn’t planning on being so attached to Moby, but after his first baby meow, or as I like to say “meek”, there’s no way I can’t be. He started looking for me today, and chose to come sleep on my chest today which just shows the kind of emotions and attachments pets form to their humans. The notion that they have little to no feelings after being left alone on the street or dumped at a shelter is simply false.

Pets form memories and bonds quickly, and little Moby has reminded me of this.

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Animal Welfare Laws

Within the past month, I wrote to the Honorable Christy Clark in regards to changing and modifying legislation within BC’s animal welfare laws. After only seven days I received my first response back from her office. I was told my concerns would be shared with the Minister of Agriculture, the Attorney General and the Minister of Justice and that they would follow up with me on any legislative changes. After receiving the initial email, I thought, “Mmmhmm sure you’ll do these things…” I was skeptical because I have sent my fair share of concerns to other authoritative bodies (Mayor of Burnaby, Vancouver, Richmond, etc) and have heard ZERO from any of them.

Yesterday, a sweet surprise was awaiting my in my email inbox. A strange looking email I wasn’t sure if I should open because the subject looked to be a case file number. The email stated:

Dear Ms. Schreiber:

Thank you for your recent email, addressed to the Honourable Christy Clark, Premier, regarding back yard breeders and potential animal cruelty in British Columbia. As Assistant Deputy Minister, I am pleased to respond.

The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCAA) creates an offence for causing distress to any animal. It also establishes the British Columbia Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BCSPCA) and authorizes the BCSPCA to assist animals that are in distress. The PCAA gives the BCSPCA authority to take necessary actions to assist animals that are in distress and to investigate alleged offences involving animals and prepare those cases for consideration by provincial Crown Counsel; however, the PCAA does not authorize the Province to direct the BCSPCA in its operational activities.

On-going changes to the PCAA demonstrate the Province’s commitment to animal welfare in British Columbia. Since 2008, there have been significant improvements to the PCAA. The most notable changes include:

  •    an expanded definition of “distress” to include not only deprivation with respect to food, water, shelter, ventilation, light, space, exercise, care or veterinary treatment but also:

– keeping animals in unsanitary conditions;
-not protecting animals from exposure to excessive heat or cold;
-animals that are injured, sick, in pain or suffering; or,
-abused or neglected animals;

  •    institution of the highest penalties for animal abusers in Canada: animal abusers, if convicted, can now face up to 2 years imprisonment, a $75,000 fine and a life-time ban on owning any animal;
  •    an expanded scope of prohibitions to include abuse perpetrated by anyone, not just the animal’s owner;
  •    a requirement for veterinarians to report suspected animal abuse or neglect; and,
  •    an increase to the time in which charges can be laid for offences under the PCAA from six months to three years.

Animal welfare is an issue that touches all of us and the Province strongly supports initiatives that improve animal welfare and the good work being done by the BCSPCA.

Thank you for writing and sharing your concerns with me.

Sincerely,

Melanie Stewart

Assistant Deputy Minister (Agriculture)

Needless to say I am very pleased with these changes and I hope my fellow BC animal lovers are happy with these changes. I still wish they would govern animal breeders but Rome wasn’t built in a day! Christy Clark, if you ever see this, THANK YOU and your staff for taking my concerns seriously, for following up with me, and for setting a good example for other politicians to follow. People are the voice and we need our issues addressed, and your office has done this. Next election–you have my vote:)

Awesome Surprise

So, I checked my mail box yesterday and saw a parcel from Trupanion! Curious, I opened it cautiously not know what was inside and to my surprise I saw a silver, metal insurance id tag! I thought to myself A) how handy is this! B) how thoughtful. Not only can I easily remember my insurance policy number with this, but god forbid if Oliver ever went missing and got hurt someone could A) give the vet the insurance info for payment and B) have another way to find MY contact information by calling Trupanion and stating they found my dog!

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The backside has all the info.

Adoptable Pet Of The Day

Lacy is a 3-4 month old Rat. She’s absolutely gorgeous but has had a very hard start to life. Some of Lacy’s rat friends were abandoned and her owner had been trying to give them away as like snake food on Craigslist. Little Mischief Rescue saved her and 24 hours later, Lacy had 14 babies. They are taking care of all of them and when her babies are 5 weeks old Lacy can be adopted out.

For those of you going “Eww a rat”, you should know that rats make GREAT pets for these reasons:

  • They are VERY clean
  • Extremely intelligent
  • Easy to train
  • Rarely bite
  • LOVE affection
  • They tend bond heavily with their humans

Lacy’s profile can be viewed here

Lacy: Rat, Rat; Vancouver, BC

Lacy: Rat, Rat; Vancouver, BC

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Tight Lipped

How do you know when to say something and when to keep your mouth shut? I’ve spoken on this topic before, but last night I had another “Just keep your mouth closed Kristy”. While talking about animal abuse with my mother-in-law, the topic came up about becoming poor and moving away. She said to me, “If I couldn’t have my dog anymore, or any pet, I’d just put it down that way I know it’s not being abused”. Umm…HELLO, isn’t it abusive to end a healthy life too soon!? I hoped and prayed she had never done this, but I wanted off of this topic real fast before our happy-go-lucky relationship turned sour.

What it comes down to is pet ownership has many different avenues–there are 100 + ways to decorate a cupcake (so to speak), and unfortunately in some cases the term “ownership” gets in the way when you want to intervene. Pet owners can choose how they treat their pets; what food to feed them; where animals sleep; how they are confined; how they are disciplined and so on.

Yesterday, I read a report about a dog that was found on a 30cm long chain (about the length of a large foot). It’s not illegal, but it sure is cruel.

So when should we speak up?

  • Assess the severity of the situation, do you NEED to intervene?
  • Decide who to speak with (owner, law enforcement, SPCA, government, etc)
  • Decide on alternative solutions– Someone is less likely to agree with you if your alternatives are unattainable for them. Example leaving a dog in a crate or at daycare are two alternatives for dogs left on a chain all day for confinement, but not every dog owner can afford daycare. And they may not take your concern seriously.
  • Document the situation, what you see, hear, what has been said, have officials been involved prior.

A great example would be a dog in a car during the summer. How hot is it outside? How does the dog look? Does it have water and air ventilation? How long have you noticed the dog there alone for?

Its easy to jump down someone’s throat on how their raise their pets, but there are situations that need a voice for the voiceless.

 

Product Review–Dinner Dusters

So I purchased this product directly from Dig It! Delights. I should mention that I do know the person that owns this company, however this would not affect my review of this product. It does so happen that I absolutely LOVE this product.

After switching to raw, the first meal Oliver wasn’t too interested. I anticipated this and had these beef liver dusters ready for the next meal. I sprinkled them on and he dove right into the bowl face first. I literally only need a pinch, and he’s happy. And at $4.00 for 70g bag, who wouldn’t love them?

PROS

  • easy to use
  • very little smell
  • don’t stick to your fingers
  • easy to store
  • price
  • many different food type applications (treats, meals, training)

CONS

  • They’re so delicious you need to keep them very high out of reach. Your dog WILL go looking for the bag…and succeed if kept too low to the ground.

This photo may be blurry but this is Oliver RUNNING away with a bag of Dig It! Delights. We call this the “Snatch and Grab”

 

I give this product 5 paw prints out of 5, very satisfied.

Visit Dig It! Delights website for ordering information.

 

Breaking Down Ingredients–Do You Know What’s In Your Dog’s Food?

So, for those of you who don’t know, I’ve been simply fascinated over the last 5 days on dog food and ingredients. I thought I’d share with you 3 types of dry kibble dog food and break down some of the ingredients. First I’ll start off with a very inexpensive dog food commonly bought at Wal-Mart, or a large chain store.

Cesar—Roast Chicken (dry)

CHICKEN MEAL, BREWERS RICE, CHICKEN BY-PRODUCT MEAL, CORN, WHEAT, MEAT & BONE MEAL, ANIMAL FAT (PRESERVED WITH BHA/BHT), DRIED BEET PULP, SOYBEAN MEAL, CHICKEN, NATURAL FLAVOURS, RICE FLOUR, VEGETABLE OIL (SOURCE OF LINOLEIC ACID), POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, YEAST, WATER, GLYCERINE, SALT, VEGETABLES (DRIED SPINACH, GREEN PEAS, AND CARROTS), TAPIOCA STARCH, GELATIN, VITAMINS (dl-ALPHA TOCOHPERYOL ACETATE [SOURCE OF VITAMIN E], CHOLINE CHLORIDE, L-ASCORBYL-2-POLYPHOSPHATE [SOURCE OF VITAMIN C], VITAMIN A ACETATE, THIAMINE MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], BIOTIN, d-CALCIUM PANTOTHENATE, VITAMIN D3 SUPPLEMENT, RIBOFLAVIN SUPPLEMENT [VITAMIN B2], VITAMIN B12 SUPPLEMENT), HYDROGENATED GLUCOSE, POTASSIUM SORBATE, ZINC SULFATE, GLYCEROL MONOSTEARATE, ROAST CHICKEN FLAVOUR, CHLOROPHYLL, PHOSPHORIC ACID, IRON OXIDE, COPPER SULFATE, SORBIC ACID, TUMERIC, POTASSIUM IODIDE.

  • Glycerol Monostearate—Used in makeup as a filler for “bulk”. Thickening and emulsifying agent.
  • Phosphoric Acid—Used in soft drinks, studies show it decreases bone density. Used for cheap flavoring in dog foods.
  • Brewers Rice—Milled fragments of whole rice kernels containing little nutrients as it’d been separated from the whole kernel.
  • Choline Chloride is used in chicken feed to promote accelerated growth…
  • Copper Sulfate is used to detect anemia, used in herbicides, fungicides, and as a wood preservative.
  • Iron Oxide is used in concrete, shoe polish, lip stick, electronic parts, and in debit/credit cards.
  • Glycerine is used as a thickener, sweetener, and solvent in many foods. But it can also be found in “personal lubricants”.

Honestly, and truthfully, Cesar dog food is worse than feeding your dog garbage. PRICE: $7.98 for 1.6 KG bag

Next is a medium level dog food found at Veterinarian offices and Pet Smart.

Royal Canin—Dachshund Tekel 28

Chicken meal, brown rice, rice, oatmeal, corn gluten meal, wheat gluten meal, chicken fat, natural chicken flavour, dried beet pulp (sugar removed), salt, anchovy oil (source of EPA/DHA), powdered cellulose, potassium chloride, soya oil, calcium carbonate, fructooligosaccharides, sodium tripolyphosphate, taurine, Vitamins [DL-alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), inositol, niacin supplement, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), D-calcium pantothenate, biotin, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin A acetate, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement], choline chloride, glucosamine hydrochloride, Trace Minerals [zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite], marigold extract (Tagetes erecta L.), tea (green tea extract), L-carnitine, chondroitin sulfate, rosemary extract, preserved with natural mixed tocopherols (source of vitamin E) and citric acid.

  • Corn Gluten Meal—used to bind food together, zero nutritional value, but not known to be harmful.
  • Wheat Gluten—A by-product of human food processing, no nutritional value, used to bind kibble together
  • Unless stated, chicken fat can be obtained from any source, so there is no control over quality or contamination–dead, diseased, disabled, or dying prior to slaughter can all be included.
  • Beet Pulp is used to artificially harden stools, but it is also a very gentle, beneficial source of fiber that is not only generally very well tolerated, but also has specific properties that make it suitable as a source of nutrition for the beneficial bacteria that reside in the intestinal tract.
  • Salt is a necessary mineral, however just like humans, dogs can intake too much sodium and should be used in moderation.
  • Anchovy oil contains essential fatty acids
  • Powdered Cellulose is inexpensive and is usually just dried wood. It is cleaned, processed into a fine powder and used to add bulk and consistency. Note: wood is not usually recommended in a canine diet 😛
  • Potassium Chloride is used in fertilizer and in lethal injections…. That’s all I’m saying on that.
  • Soya Oil is used to increase protein content and add bulk.  Soy beans contain toxins and have been known to cause bloat and silicate stones in dogs. It is also linked to seizures in cats and dogs.
  • Calcium Carbonate is used in chalk, as a paint extender, a filler in pharmaceuticals, or in antacids.
  • Fructooligosaccharides are used to stop diarrhea in humans and to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in intestines.
  • Sodium Tripolyphosphate is used in food preservatives, flame retardants,  leather tanning, and antifreeze.

Some okay ingredients but overall, more garbage. PRICE: $17.99 for 2.2 Lbs

Now for a higher quality food, found at boutiques, or more holistically inclined pet food stores like Bosley’s, Tisol, etc.

Acana—Pacifica

Boneless salmon, salmon meal, herring meal, whitefish meal*, green peas, red lentils, whole potato, boneless herring, boneless flounder, herring oil, field beans, canola oil, sun-cured alfalfa, pea fibre, natural fish flavour, whole apples, whole pears, sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut squash, parsnips, carrots, spinach greens, cranberries, blueberries, kelp, chicory root, juniper berries, angelica root, marigold flowers, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, lavender, rosemary

* ACANA’s whitefish meal contains wild-caught flounder, halibut and Alaskan cod.

Although canola oil is not the BEST oil, its still “good”. As you can see, pretty well everything listed is natural, and actual food, and absolutely no additives, or preservatives. The price is usually around $30.00 for a medium sized bag (16 lbs or so).

It’s blatantly obvious that it’s more expensive for companies to make good dog food, which is why many use crap as fillers and additives (plus they may also not care) and they know that most people prefer to spend less. If people can’t read what’s on the label they may assume its some funky vitamin or something healthy. Plus any food below $10/bag is going to entice those pet owners who are on a budget, but absolutely love their pets. Doesn’t make them bad people or bad pet owners. There are many reasons why people feed certain foods whether it be price range, availability, or ingredients. The best thing to do to get our pets functioning at their best is to tell other people what you learn about ingredients, products, and services while being non-judgmental, and supportive. No one wants to hear they are not doing their best for their pets. We must educate and help each other along the way.

 

 

 

Raw Food Update

So it has been 6 meals since I started Oliver on raw food. Some may think I’m crazy but we have already started seeing benefits from the change. My spouse came up and said to me yesterday,”I think Oliver’s coat is silkier already”. Without him knowing, I had also already said this to my mother.
Although I suppose it is possible we’re both wrong.

One other thing we’ve noticed is the size and hardness of his poop has changed. They are smaller and firmer. Not that he had extremely large or runny ones to begin with, but hey, it’s something! Large breed mothers of furkids would appreciate this benefit A LOT.

Probably the single most exciting thing I’ve noticed since we made the switch has been seeing Oliver wag his tail in excitement to eat–This has NEVER happened. He has always hated eating his dog food and only ever did it to appease his grumbling stomach. there is a glint in his eye when I go into the refrigerator which, quite honestly, I enjoy seeing.

I really need to say thank you to my friends who supported me and helped me in making the decision to switch, and who gave me an abundance of “raw wisdom”. I’d also like to thank Red Dog Blue Kat for making such an easy to use, fresh product, that makes feeding picky dogs less of a headache!

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