These gifts will make your pet loving friends happy and their fur babies healthier.
#1 Holistic Gift for Pet Lovers: FOSTER! What’s better than a puppy or a sweet cat wrapped up in your family’s arms for the holidays? You give two gifts, one to the rescue workers and one to the animal. You can find a dog or cat near you to foster or adopt on Petfinder.com, the viral home to nearly 14,000 pet adoption groups.*
#2 Holistic Gift For Pet Lovers: GIFTS THAT KEEP GIVING.
Make a donation in your friend’s name to a rescue group you support or buy from a company that donates a share of the proceeds. We do! Every time you purchase a product from Fifi And Fido, a portion of the profits go to the Dr Jane Foundation to help rescue abandoned pets. You can also add a gift to your online purchase at check out. Together, we’re making a positive difference in the world, one animal at a time.
#3 Holistic Gift for Pet Lovers: HEART-SHAPED, REVERSIBLE FLEECE BED. This darling bed can be used for a small to medium sized dog or any cat. All beds approved by Leela, the cute princess in the photo above! Larger sizes available if custom ordered. This site is sure to become one of your fave Etsy shops, it sure is one of ours! Enter discount code FIFIANDFIDO at checkout to save 15%. Offer good until December 31, 2012. Ooh Leela!
#4 Holistic Gift for Pet Lovers: BE PREPARED! Gear up for safety with a plan from the book by Joyce Rheal, animal trainer. From how to make your own pet first aid kit to preparing for emergency evacuations, this book has tips to get you ready. Amazon.com
#5 Holistic Gift for Pet Lovers: MEOW BASKET. Keep your cat happy with a gift basket of holistically formulated treats and healthy toys. Reduce hairballs and feed super foods with these goodies. $21 on sale for $12.95. FifiAndFido.com
#6 Holistic Gift for Pet Lovers: An Adorable Labordoodle* from the reputable breeders at Trinity Doodles. All you have to do is read the rave reviews on their website or Facebook to see why people trust the reliability and integrity of this breeder.
#7 Holistic Gift for Pet Lovers: BASKET OF HEALTHY DOG TREATS. Our most popular treats for dogs: Life’s Abundance Wholesome Hearts (low fat heart-shaped sensations), Gourmet Dental Treats (honey peanut butter recipe), Antioxidant Health Bars (oatmeal and apple recipe), a bag of Tasty Rewards (savory jerky treats) and a Porky Puff (pork treat). All nestled in a lovely reusable basket with a colorful ribbon and a cute holiday card that you can personalize. On sale for $17.95 LifesAbundance.com.
#8 Holistic Gift for Pet Lovers: GIFT CERTIFICATES without hidden fees or expiration dates. Fifi and Fido is a proud distributor of Life’s Abundance holistically formulated pet products. Give the gift of pet health with a gift certificate from LifesAbundance.
#9 Holistic Gift for Pet Lovers: ANTLER CHEWS. Beautiful, premium antlers or tines for any pups chewing pleasure. Montana Mountain Chews
#10 Holistic Gift for Pet Lovers: DOG BREED T-SHIRT. Pick your breed from an image by pop artist, Dean Russo.
“Healthy” to us means helping pets live not just longer, but healthier lives–in these specific ways:
- Holistic. What’s good for Mother Nature is usually good for our pets. We chose gifts from companies that use recycled or with low/no-impact packaging and natural or organic ingredients that can be shipped right to your door. And we skipped products from big-box stores or China and went for those proudly made in the U.S. by indie business owners (like us!).
- Super Foods. Antioxidants and other ingredients that protect pets from cancer and boost their immune systems.
- Sustainable. Gifts that increase meaning and connection, not just the amount of “stuff” we own. We define sustainable as something ripe with the seeds of new life.
Healthy also means avoiding top toxins:
- Contaminated, recalled food producers with lax safety or quality controls
- Preservatives, fragrances, artificial colorings
- Petroleum based products and plastics (they contain BPA and other endocrine disruptors and carcinogens)
- Phalates found in foam bedding and plastic toys.
*We do not advocate giving an animal as a surprise gift. A pet is a forever friend. All adults in a household should be aware of and support any gifts of a living animal.
Labordoodle photos courtesy of Trinity Doodles and Kristen Campbell, all rights reserved.
Guess who was on the Red Carpet last night for the premiere of the new Disney film, Frankenweenie?
1. Caveat emptor–let the buyer beware–while it may seem like a scare tactic, it is a reasonable approach for consumers to take when buying toys, treats, beds, and food for pets in a global marketplace.
Sarah Pinneo points out in a recent Huffington Post article, “Here’s [a] fact that startles consumers: all recalls are voluntary. That’s because the FDA does not actually have the power to force a recall. It has the power to inspect, and to shut down, but not to recall products. Yet many of the press releases on the FDA website say “the recall was voluntary,” leading some readers to potentially assume that the problem is not serious.”
Health Tips: DIY. Don’t rely on the store to investigate product safety, do it yourself. There are no laws requiring companies to test any chemicals before using them in pet products. Keep in mind that big box stores sell on the basis of price, they want to make the sale. It’s up to you to read and understand the ingredients.
Skip Big Box Stores. When possible, buy your pet products from small businesses with a long, track record of meeting high safety and quality standards. Find a family run business with a quality fanatic like Dr. Jane Bicks, someone who is passionate about setting and monitoromg systems and procedures to protect pets. If you don’t know where to find small businesses, look online, ask us, or ask friends who are into health and fitness.
- Chemicals in pet foods. Potential sources of exposure: BPA in canned pet food; by-products; preservatives BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin, mercury in seafood.
Health Tip: Use fresh food free of chemical preservatives, it will probably be more nutritious as well.
- Plastics (may cause reproductive issues and cancer). Potential sources of exposure: veterinary medicines, plastic containers and toys, shampoos, and a huge range of other consumer products containing phthalates (softeners).
Health Tip: Avoid plastic chew toys and food storage containers.
- Flame Retardants (disrupt the thyroid and brain development in young animals). Potential sources of exposure: foam furniture and bedding manufactured before 2005, contaminated air and house dust, and food contaminated with PBDEs that pollute the environment, especially seafood.
Health Tips: Replace furniture with exposed or disintegrating foam. Cover bedding where flame retardants are found. Replace all pet bedding more than five years old with natural bedding fibers.
- Teflon. Potential sources of exposure: food contaminated with PFCs leaching from dog food bag coatings, as well as house dust, and stain-proofed furniture, dog beds, and carpets.
Health Tips: Avoid nonstick pans. Overheating nonstick pans can kill pet birds and gives off chemicals that maybe bad for pets and people. Don’t get optional stain-proof treatments on bedding, furniture, carpet, and car upholstery–it is loaded with toxic perflourochemicals.
- Pesticides and Arsenic. Potential sources of exposure: parks, lawns, common areas in housing developments with grass, decking, or mulch.
Health Tips: Don’t let pets play, sleep, breathe, or even walk on lawns or grass treated with insecticides. It may cause nervous system damage. The same goes for arsenic-treated wood on decks. Seal the deck every six months and don’t let pets sleep underneath it.
3. Encourage law makers to modernize 30+ year-old public health laws. Learn about and support nonprofit organizations like Pets For The Environment.
4. Remove contaminates from water. Use filtered water for pets–either reverse osmosis or pitcher filter.
–Dana G. Mayer Copyright 2012.
Photo Credit: Girl with Heart Copyright Dreamstime http://www.dreamstime.com/free-photos
Part 1. Just this past week the CDC reported the count of salmonella poisonings rose yet again. And the FDA released findings about Chinese-made chicken jerky dog treats.
Contaminated pet shampoo, radioactive dog food bowls, dangerous levels of vitamin D and lead, salmonella poisonings–what’s a pet parent to do? The massive recalls and contaminated pet products of 2012 are enough to make consumers swear off manufactured pet products. While that’s not an option for most of us, keep reading and I’ll share what’s working for breeders and healthy pet parents.
Two people were hospitalized in Texas for salmonella poisoning, bringing the total count of human illnesses to 49. Dog and cat illnesses and deaths are not being tracked by the US government.
The FDA released five and a half years of testing results on Chinese made chicken jerky dog treats. Over 1,000 complaints were filed starting in 2007. The bottom line: the FDA cannot determine what causes problems in dogs that eat the treats. Regardless, the investigation will continue and the agency is still receiving new complaints from dog owners, said FDA spokeswoman Laura Alvey in an email to Food Safety News.
Our companion animals are sentinels for our health and the health of the planet. “They are trying their best to warn us,” reports The Environmental Working Group.
Pets are polluted with even higher levels of many of the same synthetic industrial chemicals that researchers have recently found in people, according to a recent EWG study. Scientists increasingly link this chemical contamination to a growing array of health problems across a wide range of animals—wild, domesticated and human. Anyone who’s lost a pet to cancer, the sweeping epidemic of thyroid disease, or a reaction to contaminated products knows how the role of animal sentinel becomes a devastating personal loss.
With underfunded government agencies failing to find answers and corporations failing to put our pet’s health over costs, it falls on us to be informed about the hazards and preventative measures. Read my post tomorrow with 5 strategies increase your pet’s healthspan by preventing decreasing exposure to toxic products and chemicals.
Related: Part 2 of this article, Tips For Staying Safe The Nine Most Important Words on Your Bag of Dog Food; 5 Ways to Increase Your Pet’s Life Through Nutrition
–Dana G. Mayer Copyright 2012
Statement from Diamond Pet Foods Regarding Inaccurate TV News Reports
July 13, 2012
News stories airing this week on local television newscasts in select cities across the country are incorrect. News reports have stated that May 4, 2012 recalled pet food manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods might still be on store shelves. This information is incorrect and misleading.
We assure you that all pet food brands manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods that are currently on your retailer’s shelf are safe for you to purchase, and for your pets to consume.
We made every effort to pull affected product off the shelf immediately when we issued a recall on May 4. We were successful in those efforts, and new product has been on the shelves for months.
The story may also feature a pet owner from Ohio that fed his dog a product that if purchased in Ohio, was manufactured at a plant not involved in the May 4 recall. This could be misleading to pet owners.
In most games we get a few tries. But what level of risk are we willing to accept for our pets when the pet food recalls are now connected over seven years? This is not a game.
Why put your pet at risk? Recent FDA reports connect the 2005 recall to 2012. Diamond Pet Foods manufacturers food for dozens of brands, including Taste of the Wild and Kirkland. Tainted food from the SC plant in 2005 resulted in recalls of 31 brands totaling 700,000 packages shipped to 24 states and 30 countries, but not before killing dozens of dogs according to a report by the FDA. Fast forward to a recall in 2007, then 2009, 2010, and now the 10 ongoing recalls of 2012.
FDA investigators found several violations during a December 2005 inspection and sent a warning letter to Diamond. One violation mentioned was: “The inspection also revealed that the facility failed to implement appropriate controls to prevent the adulteration of the pet food, and that the plant personnel failed to follow established procedures.”
Do the comments from FDA inspectors who visited the plant in April 2012 sound familiar? “All reasonable precautions are not taken to ensure that production procedures do not contribute contamination from any source.” And: “An employee was observed touching in-line fat filter and oil with bare hands.”
Why is anyone still buying these brands? Or any stale, aged food from big box stores, for that matter?Related: 9 Reasons To Give Up Big Box Pet Food; Vet and Pet Pro Tips for Preventing Salmonella Poisoning; Do You Know the Truth About Pet Food? RECALL FATIGUE. Tired of pet food recalls and alerts? Try Life’s Abundance. This pet food has never been on a recall list in 14 years of business. It never sits on a shelf or in warehouses and trailers without climate control. It is never sold to big box stores. It ships directly to your door and is made fresh in small batches.
Recall Update (May 30, 6:30 p.m. Eastern): FDA spokeswoman Laura Alvey stated Tuesday, that Salmonella contamination found at Diamond’s Meta, Missouri plant is not from the same strain as that of the Gaston, South Carolina plant. The contamination at the Missouri plant comes from Salmonella Liverpool, while the South Carolina plant — connected to all products except those in the most recent recall expansion — has been contaminated by Salmonella Infantis.
Pets are rarely tested for Salmonella, making it impossible to estimate the number ill from the contamination. On May 29, 2012 Law.com reports a lawsuit was filed alleging an infant got Salmonella-tainted dog food making it the first case in the wake of a series of messy pet food recall expansions and corrections.
Microbiologist and eFoodAlert writer, Phyllis Entis has established that pet owners in Ireland and France have reported their dogs became sick after eating Taste of the Wild, one of the recalled brands.
On May 21, the public health arm of the Singapore government released a consumer advisory on the recall. Four of the nine affected brands are sold in Singapore.
On the day of the most recent recall expansion, the Calgary Herald in Alberta reported that two cats in a Montreal animal shelter died after eating recalled cat food. Around that same time, another human case was reported in Nova Scotia, bringing the confirmed human cases to 17: 15 in the U.S. and 2 in Canada.
“This stuff is all around the world,” Entis said. “There are a lot of countries where this product might be, but Diamond — to the best of my knowledge — has not released a list of countries.”
Update June 16, 2012 Reported human illnesses from the pet food doubles. This should make you think twice about sharing everything with Fido.
Many pet parents share everything with their dogs and cats — a long walk, a bed, even people food. But one thing you might not want to share is a nasty bug called Salmonella.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says 22 people in 13 states and Canada have become sick from Salmonella-tainted dry dog and cat food tied to multiple brands made by Diamond Pet Foods, including “Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul” and “Country Value.” Six people have been hospitalized since this pet food recall was first announced in April.
Most likely, the agency says, people are getting sick from touching infected dog food, touching an infected cat or dog, or handling pet waste.
“Salmonella germs are transmitted from animals to humans and humans to humans by the fecal oral route,” says a CDC webpage. That means the infection spreads from the stool and the mouth and in between species. And things take a while to clear up. Those germs can still be found in a pet’s stools 4 to 6 weeks after infection.
To prevent spreading food borne infection to the two-legged types in your house, wash your hands after feeding pets or giving them treats and after cleaning up after pets or handling them, advises the CDC and pet professionals. Also, keep kids under 5 away from pet food and use a mild bleach solution to clean areas that may be contaminated.
If keeping track of recent pet food scares is just too complicated, you could always make your own food for Fido or buy food that isn’t produced for big box conglomerate stores and that have no history of recalls.
In this video, veterinarian Dr. Sarah Wooten discusses the details of the never-ending pet food recall and provides you with the information you need to know about the salmonella bacteria – including symptoms of salmonella poisoning and preventative measures to help avoid the further spread of infection. Watch this important video message and pass it on to your fellow pet parents.