Recalled: Hartz Naturals Real Beef Treats

Hartz Mountain Corporation has recalled one specific lot (around 74,000 bags) of their Real Beef Treats product due to possible salmonella contamination. If you’ve purchased these treats, check the packaging for the following information:

lot code BZ0969101E, UPC number 32700-11519

Hartz says they aren’t aware of any dog or person who has been sickened by their treats and that this is a voluntary recall. The treats were imported from a Brazilian supplier and passed Hartz’s own tests, but failed subsequent random tests conducted by the FDA.

If you have treats affected by this recall, call Hartz at 1-800-275-1414  for information on how to obtain reimbursement for purchased product.

Read the full press release issued by Hartz.

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Health: Dogs are good for our own

Something many of us already knew has made USA Today headlines this morning:

Having a dog DOES improve your health

Janice Lloyd cites different studies that indicate dogs are good for our mental and physical health in several key ways:

– Dogs encourage exercise and physical activity even among children. One Australian study found a 50% decrease in childhood obesity linked to having a pooch in the family

– Dogs create community. I definitely felt that I became a member of an entirely new community when Lucky, the first Big Black Mutt, joined our home. People said “hello” a lot more often and every walk had several people stopping to inquire about his breed. Lisa Wood, another Aussie researcher, found that “pet owners scored higher in gaining trust, making connections and helping out neighbors than non-pet owners”

– they help us heal. Janice cites Patricia McConnell, an animal behaviorist, as claiming the more a dog looks at an owner, the higher the owner’s level of oxytocin, a hormone aiding relaxation

– they teach us about unconditional love. Ayup. We know this!

So give your pooch a scratch and tell them “thanks” for all they do for you everyday just by being there!

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Review: Organix Oraganic Dog Cookies

Castor & Pollux claim on their packaging that they “make stuff pets love.” Now, Rye, the Lab X of sorts loves anything he can eat in one gulp, so he’s not the best litmus test. Lucky, on the other hand, prefers action to food and will happily leave a treat for a ball. What say the Big Black Mutts on this organic, wheat and corn free snack?

I picked up Organix Organic Chicken Flavored dog cookies on a whim and the local non-chain grocer. Not because they’re organic, to me that’s a silly marketing buzzword that won’t ride off into the sunset soon enough. And not because they are “Made in the USA,” though that is important to me. But really, honestly, because they were there.

The cookies are 8 calories a piece and are shaped like cartoon turkey drumsticks. And lemme tell you, the Big Black Mutts cannot get enough of these. Though they’re not for human consumption, they have a great chickeny smell to my discerning nose. The Big Black Mutts go nuts over them.

In fact, this is what all-i-care-about-is-the-ball-Lucky says to Rye when the Organix come out:

He doesn’t really mean it and fully intends to share. I think.

Organic is important to some pet owners and C&P go into detail on their packaging and on their website why their products are organic. I care more about treats my dogs will love and hopefully supporting local (non-chain pet stores and grocers) and small enterprises whenever possible. For me, Organix dog cookies are a win and Lucky & Rye give it the Big Black Mutts Blue Ribbon Seal of Approval:

Blue Ribbon

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This should be an award winning photo essay

What’s that about letting sleeping dogs lie?

The Pioneer Woman has some of the best photography of just, well, plain life. Scroll down fast and it’s like a flip book animation.

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Are you ready for a dog in your life?

Shilo Urban over at Diva Village wrote an eight point check list to consider if you’re thinking of adding a dog to your family. It covers all the basics–do you have the time & engery? The money? Landlord’s permission? Have you thoroughly researched the breed you’re interested it?

It’s a good list and it’s great to see it appear on a consumer/lifestyle website, a place where most readers are thinking about shoe fashion, eye shadow colors or whether or not their man is cheating.  Educational forays into non-pet related websites and magazines are critical to getting the genpop more savvy about their pet choices.

The one topic that is sorely missing from this list is KNOW YOUR BREEDER. It’s not just a matter of researching energy levels and temperaments of breeds. Consumers need to be aware of breed-specific health issues and they need to know how to choose an honest, high quality breeder.

A high quality breeder will:

  • turn you away despite a fistful of cash if you, your family or your home are not right for their breed or breed lines
  • breed only dogs that are OUTSTANDING representations of their breed and have accomplished something, anything–even canine good citizen status
  • fully disclose known health issues with their breed and will explain how those problems have been avoided in their lines with genetic test results on-hand as applicable
  • have very few litters per year, which may mean waiting months for the right puppy to come along
  • have had the puppies to the vet (not a low cost shot clinic) for an evaluation, shots, deworming and microhipping
  • have a spay/neuter contract for their pet-quality pups
  • not hesitate in the least to let you meet and interact with the parents and siblings of your pup. Their home/kennel and dogs should be open and available to you. If you can’t meet the dam, can’t see where the puppies have been living or can’t figure out just how many dogs they breed a year, run, don’t walk, away

If people kept all that in mind when buying living, breathing critters, there would be fewer puppy mills, fewer dogs dropped off at shelters and a lot more happy families and happy dogs in the world.

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