Animal Health Foundation Blog

Archive for the ‘Healthy Pets’ Category

Stages of Canine Cognitive Dysfunction

Tuesday, September 10th, 2019

From www.dogdementia.com

Don’t Shave Dogs in Summer

Tuesday, September 10th, 2019

Which Dog Is Relaxed?

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019

Coconut oil: The “good” saturated fat

Thursday, July 25th, 2019

Coconut oil: The “good” saturated fat

Your Cat In Human Years

Monday, April 22nd, 2019

How To Camp With Your Dog

Monday, April 15th, 2019

How To Camp With Your Dog

 

 

Not Sure How Much to Feed Your Puppy?

Monday, April 15th, 2019

Puppies are playful and fluffy and goofy — and a whole lot of work. How do you even begin thinking about training your new dog on a leash, much less teaching them how they can tell you (without words) when they need to go to the bathroom? It can feel like an overwhelming prospect, of course, which is why sometimes it’s easy to let the stuff like food — how much is too much and how much is too little — get away from you.
But establishing some good food habits with your puppy and knowing how much they need to eat in order to grow into a beautiful, full-grown dog, is important. Your puppy is a bundle of energy, which means that it burns through a lot of energy (calories) in a day. But it can be hard for you to judge how that translates, which is why the best, first thing you can do is establish a schedule. What else do you need to know? This graphic explains it.

Not Sure How Much You Should Feed Your Puppy? We’re Here to Help

Seven Class Action Lawsuits against Hill’s Pet Nutrition

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

From:  THE TRUTH ABOUT PET FOOD

Read original article here: https://truthaboutpetfood.com/seven-class-action-lawsuits-against-hills-pet-nutrition/

Hill’s Pet Nutrition is facing a slew of consumer lawsuits linked to their January 2019 excess Vitamin D recalls.

Filed on February 26, 2019 in the Central District of California, pet owners versus Hill’s Pet Nutrition; a class action lawsuit. The lawsuit states they bring this suit against Hill’s for (bold added):

their negligent, reckless, and/or intentional practice of misrepresenting, failing to test for, and failing to fully disclose the presence of toxic levels of Vitamin D in their Contaminated Dog Foods (defined below) and for selling Contaminated Dog Foods that are adulterated and do not conform to the labels, packaging, advertising, and statements throughout the United States.”

This particular lawsuit asks that Hill’s Pet Nutrition be required to test “all ingredients and final products for such substances” (such as excess Vitamin D) and asks for pet owner financial relief in the same amount Hill’s offered veterinariansin a previous announcement; “offer Plaintiff and the proposed class $500 vouchers for each can of Contaminated Food as they have offered veterinarians and (iv) restoring monies to the members of the proposed Class.”

This lawsuit quotes several claims from the Hill’s website including these two (that the recall proved are not accurate claims):

(g) “We conduct final safety checks daily on every Hill’s pet food
product to help ensure the safety of your pet’s food.”
(h) “Additionally, all finished products are physically inspected and
tested for key nutrients prior to release to help ensure your pet gets a consistent product bag to bag.”

The lawsuit also includes a quote from the FDA alert on the many excess Vitamin D recalls; (bold added for emphasis) “Vitamin D, when consumed at very high levels, can lead to serious health issues in dogs including renal dysfunction.”

Represented (among others) in this lawsuit is the owner of “Taki, a chihuahua mix” who consumed the toxic Hill’s dog food starting in November of 2018. Taki died of renal failure in February 2019.

To read the full lawsuit, Click Here.

To contact this law firm, Click Here.

In another of the seven lawsuits filed against Hill’s – Stella, a dachshund rescue from Florida – consumed just six cans of Hill’s i/d dog food. On January 26, 2019 she was in total kidney failure and had to be euthanized.

Another lawsuit appears to say that Hill’s had a Vitamin D problem much earlier and in their dry dog foods (similar to the excess Vitamin D recalls of other brands previous to Hill’s recall); (bold added) “As a result of online consumer complaints, Hill’s thus knew or should have known of the elevated vitamin D levels in the Specialty Dog Foods by at least February of 2018.”

In the lawsuit quoted above, Duncan – a seizure alert trained service dog – died on January 12, 2019. Taco died on January 24, 2019. Lily died on November 27, 2019.

All of the above heart breaking pet deaths are just a tiny glimpse into the destruction this toxic pet food caused.

To read other lawsuits filed against Hill’s Pet Nutrition (regarding the excess Vitamin D):

Click Here.

Click Here.

Click Here.

Click Here.

Click Here.

Click Here.

The price a pet food manufacturer pays for NOT properly testing ingredients: 7 class action lawsuits.

The price a pet owner pays for a reckless manufacturer that doesn’t properly test ingredients: painful illness and death of their pet.

Nothing has changed since the 2007 pet food recall. In 2007, Hill’s issued 3 recalls for melamine contaminated pet food. No pet food manufacturer in 2007 bothered to test or validate the quality of vegetable protein ingredients (such as wheat gluten) in advance of using those ingredients in their pet foods. Those ingredients were later found to be contaminated with melamine – responsible for killing thousands of dogs and cats. Fast forward 12 years, AGAIN – Hill’s did not test ingredients or validate ingredient quality.

How many pet’s have to die until each and every pet food manufacturer tests and validates the quality of ingredients?


Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,

Susan Thixton
Pet Food Safety Advocate
Author Buyer Beware, Co-Author Dinner PAWsible
TruthaboutPetFood.com
Association for Truth in Pet Food

Become a member of our pet food consumer Association.Association for Truth in Pet Food is a a stakeholder organization representing the voice of pet food consumers at AAFCO and with FDA. Your membership helps representatives attend meetings and voice consumer concerns with regulatory authorities. Click Here to learn more.

What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
Is your dog or cat eating risk ingredients?  Chinese imports? Petsumer Report tells the ‘rest of the story’ on over 5,000 cat foods, dog foods, and pet treats. 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee. Click Here to preview Petsumer Report. www.PetsumerReport.com

The 2019 List
Susan’s List of trusted pet foods. Click Here to learn more.

Cooking pet food made easy, Dinner PAWsible

Find Healthy Pet Foods in Your Area Click Here

More Pet Insurance Policies Are Being Sold. But Are They Worth the Cost?

Monday, January 7th, 2019
FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES, JANUARY 4, 2019

YOUR MONEY ADVISER

The New York Times

By Ann Carrns Jan. 4, 2019

Americans are increasingly treating their pets as members of the family, feeding them gourmet food, paying for day care and throwing them birthday parties. Family sleepwear sets sold on PajamaGram.com even include matching jammies for the dog.

So it’s not surprising that an increasing number of “pet parents,” as they are known in the pet care industry, are seeking sophisticated medical treatments for their animals.

Enter pet health insurance, marketed as a way to help defray rising veterinary expenses and avoid “economic euthanasia” — the necessity of putting a pet down because the owner can’t afford treatment. More than two million pets in the United States and Canada (most of them in the United States) were insured at the end of 2017, up about 17 percent from the year before, according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association.

But consumer advocates say that pet owners should make sure they understand how the policies work before buying them.

More than two-thirds of households in the United States own a pet, according to the American Pet Products Association. Americans spent about $70 billion on pets in 2017, including purchases of animals, food, veterinary care, medicines and other services.

“People are much more inclined to think of their animals like children, and treat them accordingly,” said James Serpell, a professor of ethics and animal welfare at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine.

J. Robert Hunter, director of insurance with the Consumer Federation of America, said pet owners should bring a healthy skepticism when shopping for pet insurance. Purchase of the product is “often motivated by a combination of love and fear,” he said. “So the buyer may be particularly vulnerable.”

Details vary by insurer and policy, but premiums for pet insurance typically depend on factors like the cost of veterinary care where you live and the age and breed of the pet. The average annual premium for “accident and illness” coverage was $516 per pet in 2017, while the average claim paid was $278, according to the pet health insurance association.

Jeff Blyskal, a senior writer with Consumers’ Checkbook, a nonprofit group that rates services in major urban markets, said pet owners should compare policies with a critical eye. When years of payments are taken into account, he said, buying insurance could end up being more expensive for some pet owners than going without it, if their animal doesn’t require much care.

Pet policies typically don’t cover pre-existing conditions, Mr. Blyskal said, so premiums are generally lower when your pet is young and healthy. Even if you start early, though, you may end up paying more over time, he said, because some policies raise premiums as pets get older. This can increase costs substantially, he said, and cause owners to drop their policies as the animals get older — just when they are more likely to need the coverage. Industrywide, the average pet policy is maintained for three years or less, according to an insurer regulatory filing in 2016 in Washington State.

The expenses tied to pet health coverage usually include not only a regular premium but also other out-of-pocket costs, like a deductible — an amount that you must pay before insurance begins paying. Insurance may cover less than 100 percent of costs after the deductible, so you’ll still have to pay for part of the treatment. Some policies may cap payments, so ask if there’s a limit.

Rob Jackson, chief executive of Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, said insurance could protect against budget-busting events costing thousands of dollars. (Healthy Paws said a pet’s age affects premiums at initial enrollment, and also as the pet ages.) The Healthy Paws website cites examples like Fridgey the Bengal cat, who had a $4,600 hip replacement, and Lupa the German shepherd, who needed $52,000 in treatment for tetanus exposure.

One way to pay lower premiums, and possibly get broader coverage, is to buy pet insurance through your employer. Eleven percent of employers in the United States offer pet health insurance benefits, according to a 2018 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, up from 6 percent in 2014. Typically, companies offer pet insurance as a “voluntary” benefit. It’s uncommon for employers to contribute to the cost of premiums, as they do with human health insurance. But insurers may give employees a break on premiums, or offer better coverage, because their marketing costs are lower.

Employees at Ollie, a specialty dog food company, receive a 15 percent discount on premiums from the insurer Healthy Paws, said Gabby Slome, a co-founder of Ollie. (Ollie also offers workers benefits like “pawternity” leave when they take a new dog home.)

“We had a strong belief that pets are a part of one’s family,” she said.

Scott Liles, president and chief pet insurance officer with Nationwide, said half of Fortune 500 companies offer their employees pet insurance from his company. Nationwide’s employer-based plans now underwrite by species — canines vs. felines — but not by age or breed, Mr. Liles said. That means, he said, you won’t pay a higher premium if your pet is older, or if its breed is prone to certain illnesses, unlike policies sold in the open market.

Here are some questions and answers about pet health insurance:

Do some animals cost more to insure than others?

Cats are generally less expensive to insure than dogs. The average accident and illness premium in 2017 was about $45 a month for dogs and $28 a month for cats, according to the pet health insurance association. Because some purebred animals are prone to certain health problems, some insurers may charge higher premiums for them.

What if I can’t afford pet insurance?

Local animal shelters may offer basic services, like rabies vaccinations or spaying and neutering operations, at a discounted rate. The Humane Society of the United States lists groups that can help owners who can’t afford medical care for their pets.

Another option is to put money away each month — perhaps the amount of the premium you would pay — into a dedicated savings account so you will have some funds available for pet care if you need it.

What if I’m unhappy with my pet insurance policy?

Insurance products are generally regulated by state governments, so you may want to contact your state insurance commissioner about your concern. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners offers information about pet insurance and links to regulatorsin each state.

Correction: 

An earlier version of this article, using information supplied by Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, misstated how a pet’s age affects premiums for the company’s policies. The pet’s age affects the premium at the time of enrollment and as the pet gets older, not just at enrollment.

Hospice Care For Dogs

Saturday, January 5th, 2019

From iheartdogs.org

Animal Health Foundation Board Member, Dr. Alice Villalobos, is quoted in this article!

Hospice Care For Dogs: Is It The Right Choice For You & Your Pooch?

Hospice care for dogs is a relatively new concept. Sadly, the word hospice often carries a negative stigma. It reminds us of lonely, sterile rooms and the fear of impending death. In reality, hospice care can be a wonderful gift for terminally ill people and pets. Rather than focusing on invasive medical procedures, hospice provides physical and emotional comfort to end-of-life patients and their families.

hospice care for dogs

What is hospice care for dogs?

Hospice care is based on the philosophy that people and pets deserve to die with dignity. When a dog is suffering from a serious illness and a cure is not possible, hospice care provides a temporary alternative to euthanasia. The goal is to make their remaining days comfortable with pain medications, dietary strategies and human interaction.

Dr. Alice Villalobos is a world-renowned veterinary oncologist. She coined the term “pawspice,” which she describes as supportive care in evaluating and managing quality of life in the time leading up to a pet’s death.

“In-home ‘pawspice’ care is a wonderful next step,” Dr. Villalobos says. “It should be introduced as an interval between the thought and the final act of euthanasia, if the owner really feels that their pet still has a quality of life.”

Hospice care for dogs also allows families to come to terms with the impending loss of a beloved friend. In keeping a terminal pet comfortable, the human family members have time to come to terms with the situation. Hospice allows them to plan special moments with their dog, take family photos, and seek emotional and spiritual support.