Rescue Me: Pug Rescue of Sacramento

We at Yellow Dog Blog are huge fans of legitimate, hard-working rescue groups. After all, a Bay Area rescue saved Yellow Dog and Sundown!

But it is heartbreaking to know not all dogs are so lucky. In fact, roughly 9,000 innocent animals are put to sleep every day across the U.S. simply because there aren’t enough people willing or able to adopt. So we’ve launched a new series on YDB highlighting rescue groups in California, the Rescue Me series.

We start with Pug Rescue of Sacramento, or PROS. PROS was founded in the early 1990s when Sacramento breeder Marianne Herzberg-Stanley found many pugs in need of homes. PROS was incorporated as a non-profit in 1996 and since then, they’ve rescued thousands of pugs, taking in more than 100 dogs a year.

Pug dogs jumping up

Two pugs greet a visitor at a PROS adoption event at Pet Food Express in Benicia.

PROS President Jan Grover has been working with the organization for 12 years, including three as president. She says the pug breed is special.

“Pugs are very oriented towards people,” Grover says. “They especially enjoy being around their own breed. At pug events, it’s like meeting a long-lost cousin.”

Dedicated volunteer and Dublin resident Elena Temples got involved with PROS more than ten years ago when she took her first pug puppy to Pug Sunday at Heather Farms Park in Walnut Creek.

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Pet Health Scare; Why Skipping the Vet is a Bad Idea

Thinking about skipping a visit to the vet to save some cash? You’d better think again! New statistics show pets are getting sicker simply because their owners are skimping on basic medical care.

vet exams dog's earObesity, kidney disease, arthritis and cancer are all on the rise and the American Veterinary Medical Association says it’s because owners are not taking their pets to the vet for routine exams. We found a USA Today article detailing the pet health epidemic, so we reached out to our vet expert to find out what’s really going on.

Obesity is up 37 percent in dogs (and an astounding 90 percent in cats). Diabetes is up 32 percent and arthritis is up 38 percent. A whopping 60 percent of dogs have dental disease, which is highly preventable.

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11 Safe and Healthy Treat Options You Can Find at PETCO

With all the recent talk of contaminated jerky treats, you may be wondering which treats are safe for your dog. We at Yellow Dog Blog have got you covered! We filled our shopping cart with 11 safe and healthy treat options that are easy to find (we found all but one at PETCO). You’ll notice almost every package overtly says if the product was made and/or sourced in the United States. Please note we have not been paid for this article; all the treats selected are ones we feed Yellow Dog and Sundown, and they love ’em!

1. PureBites

pure bites freeze dried treats

Freeze-dried treats are the motherlode of treats for your dog. They are as simple as it gets; one meat ingredient with water content removed.

There are several brands on the market but most major retailers carry PureBites. They are sourced 100 percent in the U.S. and have a very high protein content, as you might imagine. PureBites are about as healthy and natural as you can get!

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FDA Moves to Regulate Pet-Food Production

The Food and Drug Administraton announced Friday it is proposing new regulations for the pet food industry. The announcement comes after thousands of pets have been sickened and hundreds have died from contaminated chicken jerky treats originating in China.

You may find it shocking this is the first time the FDA is taking steps to protect pet food from disease-causing bacteria, chemicals and other contaminants. But we at YDB have provided some sobering facts about the commercial pet food industry, and are glad to hear the FDA is now taking a stand to protect pets.

The proposed rule would create regulations for commercial food sold in stores as well as the feed given to livestock that will eventually be used in commercial food. The entire process would be regulated, from manufacturing and processing to packaging and holding of animal food. 

“Unlike safeguards already in place to protect human foods, there are currently no regulations governing the safe production of most animal foods,” Dr. Daniel McChesney, an FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine official, says. “There is no type of hazard analysis. This rule would change all that.”

The proposed rule will also hold pet foods exported to the United States to the same FDA safety standards as foods produced in the U.S. It would require facilities to have a food safety plan, analyze potential hazards and take steps to minimize those hazards. 

However, the new rule will not address the make-up of pet food; things like allergens in pet food will not be regulated, which can be an issue for many dogs, including Yellow Dog. Common allergens found in commercial dog food are beef, corn, soy, wheat and fillers such as dried beet pulp.

The proposed rule has been published in the Federal Register, with a 120-day public comment period. Three public meetings will be held on the proposed rule in College Park, Maryland, Chicago and Sacramento, California.

Voluntary Recalls After Deadly Jerky Warning

Three companies are voluntarily pulling jerky treats from the shelves after the Food and Drug Administration warned of tainted jerky treats coming mainly out of China. Nestle Purina, Canyon’s Creek and Milo’s Kitchen have all issued voluntary recalls of their chicken jerky products, seen below.

recalled treats

Check your pantry for these treats and any others made in China. The treats are packaged as chicken tenders or strips made with chicken, duck, sweet potato or dried fruit, or any combination thereof. The vast majority of pets sickened and killed have eaten chicken jerky treats made in China.

Nearly 600 dogs and cats have died and roughly 3600 have been sickened since 2007, and the FDA still does not know why the treats are making animals sick. Salmonella, antibiotics, metals and pesticides have all been ruled out.

The best way to keep your pet safe is to eliminate jerky treats from his diet. If you think your pet has eaten tainted treats, see your vet immediately. The FDA released fact sheet with other tips to keep your pets safe.

FDA Warns of Deadly Jerky Treats

Hundreds of dogs have died and thousands more have been sickened after eating jerky treats made in China. Now the Food and Drug Administration is issuing an alert warning dog owners about the potential hazard of these jerky treats, which are packaged as jerky tenders or strips made with chicken, duck, sweet potato, or dried fruit, or any combination thereof.

Pet owners and vets have reported illnesses and deaths to the FDA since 2007, with roughly 580 deaths from approximately 3600 illnesses, including cats. The FDA has conducted more than 1200 tests for things like Salmonella, metals, pesticides and antibiotics, but still does not know exactly what about the jerky treats is making pets sick.

“This is one of the most elusive and mysterious outbreaks we’ve encountered,” Bernadette Dunham, director of the FDA’a Center for Veterinary Medicine, said in a statement.

Symptoms include vomitting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, decreased activity, and increased water intake. About 60 percent of the cases involved gastrointestinal illness and 30 pecent involved kidney and urinary systems. The symptoms can appear within hours of eating the treats. If you think your dog has eaten tainted treats, be sure to see your vet immediately. The FDA notes that although 580 dogs have died, many more have recovered.

The easiest way to keep your dog safe is to eliminate jerky treats from their diet. You can also check the packaging to make sure the treats were not made in China, where most of the tainted jerky treats have come from. The FDA has compiled a fact sheet for dog owners with additional tips on how to keep your dog safe.

New Study Shows Dogs Think Like Humans

Every dog owner does it. We look at those big, brown puppy eyes staring up at us and we think, “my dog loves me!” But are dogs capable of such emotions?

do dogs think

Just what are dogs thinking? A new study shows dogs respond like humans to certain pleasures.

What dogs think and feel has been an age-old debate. But now there’s more concrete proof a dog’s brain responds to certain pleasures the same way a human brain does, like food and smells.

The New York Times published a study by a neuroscientist who was able to use an MRI to scan the brains of several dogs. It details interesting responses in brain activity and what those responses mean. A very cool read!

When Dogs Need to Wear Shoes

Yellow Dog is a special creature. He’s got attitude and personality. He’s also got some twisted little feet. It’s probably a result of his mixed breed; we guess he’s a Dachshund-Jack Russell-Beagle mix.

“Yellow has chondrodystrophic legs, which just means the cartilage model his bones are made from didn’t form quite right,” Dr. Brandy Vickers of Avenues Pet Hospital says. “It’s normal for several breeds, including dachshunds and bassett hounds.”

Check out how his paws roll over:

dog bow legs

dachshund crooked legs

When Yellow walks, his nails grind directly on the pavement with every step. We never have to cut his front nails and in fact, we need to protect them and allow them to grow, otherwise he hits the quick when he walks.

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The Vaccines Your Dog Really Needs

Every year, you visit the vet and get a round of shots for your dog, along with an expensive bill. We all want to protect our pets, so we comply with whatever our vet or clinic recommends. But there is some debate over which vaccines are necessary and how often they should be given.

yellow dog getting shots

Yellow Dog is being a brave boy while he gets his rabies and bordetella shots.

Yellow Dog and Sundown were recently due for their shots, so we at YDB decided to get the low-down on vaccines. We consulted our vet expert, Dr. Brandy Vickers of Avenues Pet Hospital in San Francisco, to find out what’s best for each individual pet owner.

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Dog Walkers Behaving Badly

Dog walkers are great. They help our pooches get a much needed break when we’re off at work. But what about those who walk ten, 12 or even 16 dogs at a time? Can they properly care for that many dogs at once?

San Francisco recently implemented some new standards for dog walkers; as of July 1, 2013, a dog walker must have a permit when walking 4 to 8 dogs, may not walk more than 8 dogs at a time, and must clean up after all dogs in their care.

But apparently, not every dog walker got the memo. Our KRON 4 News colleague Stanley Roberts went to Golden Gate Park to find dog walkers in violation of the new rules in his most recent People Behaving Badly segment.