Dog Food Recall; Dogswell Treats Unsafe

A number of Dogswell and Catswell duck and chicken jerky treats are being voluntarily recalled by the manufacturer for trace amounts of an antibiotic not approved in the United States. The treats were manufactured in China and include Breathies, Happy Heart and Happy Hips, among others. The potentially contaminated treats have a “Best Before” date of January 28, 2015. Any packages marked with earlier dates are also at risk of containing the antibiotic residue.

The products include chicken and duck breast jerky with the following names: Breathies, Happy Heart, Happy Hips, Mellow Mut, Shape Up, Veggie Life, Vitality, and Vitakitty.

Check your doggy (and kitty) cupboards!

How to Speak Dog; Communication is Key

Have you ever been at a dog park and seen two dogs get in a fight? Or heard of a dog that viciously attacked another dog “out of nowhere?” In reality, it’s never out of nowhere. These dogs show signs of fear and/or aggression, signs that often go undetected or get overlooked.

Dogs obviously do not speak English but they do have their own communication clues that you as a pet parent are responsible for learning. This will prevent so many problems and may save your pet’s life.


Happy and confident dogs keep their tails and heads high.

“Knowing when your dog is fearful or agitated or even in pain are all important things to learn,” behavioral therapist and expert dog trainer Beverly Ulbrich says. “You want to teach your dog to be relaxed and comfortable so they don’t do harm to themselves or others when they are not feeling well, emotionally or physically.”

Let’s go over some signs you should look out for; if you see your dog exhibiting these behaviors, you should address it immediately.

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Dental Disease Part II: A Teeth-Cleaning Experience

We chronicled the warning signs and dangers of dental disease in the first part of this series on oral health. Now it’s time to explore a teeth-cleaning procedure done right. It’s very important to ask the right questions and make sure your dog is taken care of during his teeth cleaning, as he will be put under general anesthesia and may need to have teeth removed. More on that to come. First, let’s walk through the teeth-cleaning procedure.

Step one: Anesthesia

sundownanesthesiaSundown has his IV in place and is ready for his injection of propofol to induce anesthesia. A vet should perform a check on your dog before inducing anesthesia to make sure he’s healthy enough for it. Blood work may need to be done. Sundown checked out fine; he is young and quite healthy so he was green-lighted for this procedure. You should ask what precautions your vet takes against anesthetic complications.

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Dental Disease Part I: How to Protect Your Dog’s Teeth


Sundown has a red line between the tooth and the gum as well as layers of brown tartar build-up, classic signs of stage-one gingivitis.

Dental disease in dogs is unfortunately quite common. In fact, a vast majority (upwards of 85 percent) of dogs will develop dental disease in their lifetime, and most by the time they are three-years-old.

We have been aware of this sobering fact since Yellow Dog was a wee-one of five months. We constantly check Yellow’s teeth and offer bully sticks often to keep his teeth healthy. This vigilance has worked for Yellow but sometimes genetics play a role; this has been the case for Yellow’s brother, Sundown, who currently has stage-one gingivitis, which is characterized by tartar build-up on the upper-rear teeth and minor inflammation at the gum line.

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Sundown’s Trip to the Dentist


Sundown’s tartar build-up is apparent on his upper-rear teeth and the red line between the gum and the tooth is indicative of gingivits

A Yellow has been busy tending to his brother Sundown, who just this past Friday went in for a teeth cleaning and diagnosis of the underlying bone structure. We’ve learned a lot about dental disease and how it is unfortunately common in most dogs before the age of three. We are working on a two-part series to help you learn more about your dog’s oral health and what to do if your dog does develop dental disease. We will bring you the series in the coming days!

Stay Yellow!

SF Dog Connect Announces Dog Meetup; Get Free Training Tips

San Francisco dog owners have an opportunity to get free training tips from expert dog trainer Beverly Ulbrich at Glen Park Canyon. Just sign up to join the group and you’ll meet other dog owners as well as Beverly, who will be giving behavior tips free of charge. Residents from other parts of the Bay Area are also welcome! Yellow might even make an appearance; he might be out of town that weekend but we will keep you updated!

San Francisco Dogs at Risk of Poisoning

San Francisco Police have found nearly 100 poisoned meatballs since July 3 spread throughout six city neighborhoods. The meatballs have been found in Twin Peaks, Diamond Heights, Lower Heights, Cole Valley, Hayes Valley and Bernal Heights. One dog, a dachshund, has died already after eating a meatball on the corner of Crestline Drive and Burnett Avenue.

The meatballs are laced with rat poison. Police speculate the person responsible is either afraid of dogs or tired of barking and seeing poop.

Keep an eye out and make sure your dog is fully trained with the “off!” command to prevent him from eating one of these horrible meatballs. Expert dog trainer Beverly Ulbrich can show you the ropes if your dog doesn’t know this command well enough to prevent him from this danger.

Test Your Dog Nutrition Knowledge


Scholarly Sundown

I came across this interesting quiz testing how much you know about what you’re feeding your dog. This quiz does include cat questions, something Yellow isn’t as familiar with.

A Yellow scored 7 out of 10 because of those cat questions! He got all the dog questions right!

Try it out!

Itching, Licking and Scratching: It’s Dog-Allergy Season

It’s that time of year when dogs start licking, scratching, and scooting. It’s allergy season!

Symptoms of dog allergies include redness or rashes on the skin and paws.

Symptoms of dog allergies include redness or rashes on the skin and paws.

Yes, dogs can have allergies, too! In fact, the canine allergy season often coincides with human allergy seasons. And it’s not just grass and tree pollens, dogs can be allergic to anything; wool, cats, mites, insects—you name it!

There are four main categories of allergy:  atopy, flea, food, and contact. You can distinguish atopy, or environmental allergies, from other types of allergies because they are seasonal; allergy symptoms often come and go but symptoms with other forms of allergy are constant.

Dr. Brandy Vickers of Avenues Pet Hospital in San Francisco details some of the symptoms of dogs with atopy, or allergy to airborne pollens:

  • Itchy skin without lesions
  • Licking of feet or front legs
  • Chewing or licking flanks (sides) and belly
  • Face rubbing
  • Scooting
  • Red skin
  • Recurring skin and/or ear infections
  • Loss of fur

“Symptoms usually start between nine months and three years of age and are seasonal,” Dr. Vickers add. “As these pets get older, their itchy season becomes longer until they are itchy year-round.”

It’s important to note licking is not normal behavior for a dog.

“Dogs lick to clean themselves only in the sense that if something is on their paw, they lick to get it off,” behavioral therapist and trainer Beverly Ulbrich says. “They will also lick if they are aggravated or itchy from allergies, and they lick as a nervous habit.”

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The “Bat Dog” Dies of Cancer

Chase the bat dog

Photo by mtstradling on Flickr

CBS Sports reports a 13-year-old Golden Retriever who served as a “bat dog” for a minor-league baseball team has died of blood cancer just three days after his retirement.

“Chase That Golden Thunder” retrieved bats from home plate for the Yankees’ Double-A affiliate and trotted around the field with a basket full of water for umpires.

Chase’s son Derby takes over as the team’s new bat-retrieving dog.

Check out this video tribute to Chase!