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Pet Alert!

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If Dogs Could Talk

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Pet Alert!

9/3/2010 - Recalls Hartz Naturals Real Beef Treats Because of Possible Salmonella Health Risk

8/29/2010 - P&G Recalls Small Number of Bags of Cat Food From Stores in Loveland, Colorado

8/13/2010 - Merrick Pet Care Recalls Filet Squares Texas Holdems 10oz Bag (Item # 60016) Salmonella Health Risk

7/30/2010 - P&G Expands Voluntary Limited Recall of Specialized Dry Pet Foods Due to Possible Health Risk

October 6, 2010
Volume 1, Issue 6

Hello fellow animal lover,

I know you’re a lot like me in that you don’t consider your pets as merely animals but instead as part of your family. And like your other family members, you make sure to give your pets the very best – love, care and attention - so you make sure to do your homework and make the right choices for your family. I get that! So this month I thought it would be a good idea to give you more of what you need – expert advice and information.

This month’s e-zine is all about the experts!

We’ve interviewed Dr. Stephen Blake, aka “The Pet Whisperer”, about the various flea and tick products out there on the market. Be sure to use these tips on how you as a consumer can tell what products you should avoid using on your pets. Look for more on this in the If Dogs Could Talk section.

In theGood Dog section you’ll read about the world of service dog training straight from Lynn and Terry Holzner from Leashes for Living Assistance Dog School. They’ll share with you some of the amazing things that service dogs can do and also some tips on proper etiquette for us humans when approaching a service dog while he’s on the job.

And finally, the renowned expert on raw pet food diets, Robert Mueller, will explain the benefits of feeding pumpkin to your canine (or feline) friends and why you shouldn’t let those leftover pieces of pumpkin from your Halloween jack-o-lantern go to waste! Look for more on this in the Raw Knowledge section.

"Important Dates to Remember:

  • October is Pet Nutrition Month and Adopt a Shelter Dog Month.

  • October 2: The anniversary of Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi’s birth, born Oct. 2, 1869 is a public holiday in India. Thousands of people gather at the park on the Jumna River in Delhi where Gandhi’s body was cremated in remembrance of this important political and spiritual figure.

  • October 2: Snoopy’s Birthday! The anniversary of the “Peanuts” comic strip, created by Charles Schulz, debuted on Oct. 2, 1950. Why not celebrate by watching the cartoon, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”?

  • October 7: The anniversary of “Cats” the musical premiered on Oct. 7, 1982 and is the longest-running production in Broadway history.

  • October 11: Columbus Day

  • October 31: Time to stock up on goodies for the trick or treaters for Hallowe’en, also known as All Hallow’s Eve.

Happy Halloween to you and your furry friends,

Amber Keiper

Marketing Assistant and Raw Diet Educator

BARF World Inc.

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If Dogs Could Talk

Being a Good Consumer

Can Save Your Dog's Life

Although I hate to admit it, Chewy has had the occasional bout of fleas in the past. I do the best that I can of course: I feed him a wholesome BARF diet, give him clean filtered water, and stay away from cooked treats. I buy natural pet products for my pup and make sure to read all the labels. Yet during flea and tick season it never fails that I find a flea or two on him and wonder what else I can do to keep him flea free.

So I called “The Pet Whisperer”, Dr. Stephen Blake to get his advice about this pesky pet problem. Dr. Blake says that it starts with avoidance; meaning to avoid the things that may cause your pet to become sick. Things like dirty water, less than optimal nutrition, chemicals and drugs (over-vaccinating). He stresses that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Dr. Blake points out that though a pet owner may have the best of intentions by using a good product - like the BARF diet - the pet owner will not fully realize how something as simple as a topical or oral flea and tick product could unravel all the benefits that the diet will do for that pet. 

“Back in the 70’s I didn’t see that much cancer - probably like 5% in dogs. Now, it’s like 55%. That’s huge! There’s a common denominator here. It’s not a virus, it’s not a bacteria. It’s something that we’re doing to people and animals…I’m looking at the things that are done over and over every day and those are: over-vaccinating and (use of) chemicals.  And the main chemicals that we’re putting on our animals are flea and tick product. The problem is that the main ingredient in those products is either carcinogenic and/or a neurotoxin.”

Dr. Blake recommends that the first step is to take better care of your pets – plenty of exercise, good hygiene, wholesome raw diet, filtered water, etc. You must also be an educated consumer -do your research before using those types of products on your pets. Do a web search by inputting the name of the product and the word “toxicity” and read what the side effects are.


Watch the video above to hear more about his thoughts on this subject. You can also visit the flea and tick page on Dr. Stephen Blake’s website www.thepetwhisperer.com/Fleas.html for more natural flea and tick remedies

-Amber Keiper

mber Keiper is the Marketing Assistant and Raw Diet Educator for BARF World Inc. She and her husband have two former rescue animals that are now healthy and proud BARF brats – a terrier mix named Chewbacca (“Chewy”) and a tabby mix named Chiquita (“Chiqui”).


Amber Keiper with hier dog, Chewie.


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Terry Holzner - Tonopah, AZ

Lynn Holzner - Tonopah, AZ
Good Dog

These Dogs Can Do It All And More

“Whatever you can imagine, you can teach your dog to do.” –Terry Holzner

Dogs are marvelous creatures – they have a naturally strong connection with us humans and are able to not only help us emotionally but they can also be trained to help us physically in the form of assistance dogs (service dogs). I wanted to find out more about this practice of training canines into becoming assistance dogs for people with disabilities so I contacted the experts, Lynn and Terry Holzner with Leashes for Living Assistance Dog School in Tonopah, AZ.

Amber: What made you get involved in assistance dog training in the first place?

Lynn: The interest in the advanced training that is done with service dogs was sparked by my wife, Terri and her service dog, Heidi. She began using a wheelchair in 1999 – that year we attended an Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) conference where we were introduced to service dogs. After seeing what a service dog would be able to do to enhance a disabled person’s life and give them greater independence I was sold on the idea.

Amber: What are some of the things that Heidi does for you?

Terry: Heidi helps me get dressed, turns lights on and off, retrieves dropped items, unzips my purse to retrieve medicine or my wallet, gives money to store clerks for me and returns with the change. She helps with laundry and housecleaning, picks up her toys and puts them away – the list goes on.

Heidi loves to learn! Right now she is learning how to let the other dogs that we rescue in and out of their crates. That is one task that she volunteered to help me with herself. She kept watching me let the dogs out of their crates to go outside and then would stare at me as if to say, “Hey mom – I can help you with that.” There’s a book called “Dogs Can Sign Too” by Sean Senechal that has inspired me to start training Heidi to use AnimalSign language.

Amber: What is the optimum age that the dog should be when starting this type of training?

Lynn: In my program I prefer to start with puppies (8 weeks old). I feel that when a handler starts with a puppy there is a special bond that is developed. Heidi started training with Terri at 7 weeks old and they have gone everywhere together since. Puppies can begin learning as young as two weeks and are “little sponges” that have an incredible learning curve up to around 16 weeks old. Don’t worry; they still learn after that, it is just that during this window of learning it is amazingly much easier for the dog and handler.

Amber: What would you say is one of the most difficult aspects of your program?

Lynn: Keeping the handler motivated.  Often times the team will hit a skill/task that the dog has a hard time with.  When the handler gets frustrated, that frustration goes right down the leash to the dog (figuratively).  When the dog senses this frustration they tend to not respond to cues and often times just shut down.  One of the hardest things to do is to get a handler to recognize their frustration and end the training session.

Amber: Service dogs usually seem to be pretty laid back and easy going. Do you think they enjoy working?

Lynn: Service dogs love what they do.  I temperament test the dogs looking for traits that will give us the best odds of a dog that enjoys training and working.  Generally speaking dogs that are food motivated and/or have a desire to please their owner are easier to train.

The fact that most service dogs you see seem “laid back” is really just a ruse.  In fact service dogs are working even when they are not actually helping their handler.  Service dogs have to overcome almost every doggy instinct they have while working i.e., chasing squirrels, barking at other dogs and/or cars and going off to sniff the nearest tree or bush to see who was there earlier. 

Yet through all of this, the properly trained service dog takes it in stride and manages to ignore it all. Do they love to work?  Yes, most of the time.  Is it stressful?  Absolutely, but just like people who have jobs or recreational activities that are stressful they still enjoy it.  For a dog, being with their handler/their best buddy and getting all that love, praise and of course treats for doing a good job is worth it.

Amber: Is there anything that the general public should know about assistance dogs when they meet one?

Terry: It is important that people ask the handler for permission before petting or talking to the service dog. We have incorporated “Don’t Pet Me” symbols on the dog’s jacket to let people know not to distract the animal. For instance, if the dog is trained to watch for signs that the handler is about the have a seizure, the service dog may not notice these signs if someone is talking to them or petting them which can be dangerous. It is nice to see that people are starting to become more knowledgeable and courteous when it comes to this. Even children are now starting to ask me first if they can pet Heidi which in most cases I am fine with.

Amber: Why did you decide to feed your service dogs BARF Diet?

Lynn: I wanted to be able to offer a great quality food with all the nutrition we felt were essential for working dogs to my students at an affordable price.  With the expense of training a dog, sometimes people will try to defray cost by feeding what they consider a better price food.  I teach the students how to read dog food labels and get a true understanding of what they are feeding their dogs. They learn that a food is not truly a better value if it has bad ingredients or if you have to feed a ton of it to get the nutrients needed.  We teach them to look at serving size as well as ingredients. 

I have them read the book “Living Enzymes by Robert Mueller” to get a true understanding of feeding raw.

We broadened our food sales to include all students and the public and started offering the advantage of delivering the food to their door.  Due to gas prices we have to charge a fee but we try to keep everything at a minimum.  It is all about the dogs.

Amber: How can people find out more about L4L and your dog training services?

Lynn: Please visit our website at www.leashesforliving.com or write me at Lynn@leashesforliving.com. You can also call us directly at 623-393-8481.

My school offers Service Dog classes that exceed the minimum standards of Assistance Dog International (ADI) and I also offer classes in AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy & CGC, Reactive dog, multi-level obedience and manners, introduction to agility, therapy dog and behavior modification as a course or as a one day workshop.  Group and Private Classes are also available depending on the clients’ needs.

I am a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), an American Kennel Club (AKC) S.T.A.R. Puppy and Canine Good Citizen (CGC) course trainer & test evaluator and a provider member of International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP). 

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Raw Knowledge

Tummy Ache? Reach For Pumpkin,

Not Pepto


With Halloween right around the corner you’ve no doubt seen the stores stocking up on pumpkins for the festivities. Pumpkins are plentiful this time of year so it seems like an appropriate opportunity to talk about this delicious and nutritious diet ingredient for our canine and feline companions.

Pumpkin has been described as a mystery food for dogs as it is very unusual to find an ingredient that is able to control symptoms of diarrhea as well as constipation.

You can effectively relieve your pet’s digestive upset in a matter of a few hours by simply adding a puree of canned pumpkin to your dog’s regular food. The pumpkin puree is a good source of fiber and it has a high water content that will help with both constipation as well as bouts of diarrhea. The water in the pumpkin will hydrate the intestine which is needed to relieve the constipation and the high fiber content will absorb the excess water that is generated from the loose stool of an agitated colon.

It is recommended to use the 100% natural canned pumpkin variety for the best results, NOT the sweetened pumpkin pie filling that you use to make delicious pumpkin pies.

Dosage requirements mainly depend on the dog’s size. A good rule of thumb is two teaspoons daily for a small breed dogs (under 15 lbs.), a couple of tablespoons for dogs 15-35 lbs., and for large/giant breed dogs you can give up to 5 tablespoons of pureed pumpkin per day.

There are some nutritional advantages of feeding pumpkin as well. Pumpkin is packed with nutrition boasting large amounts of Vitamin A, Potassium and Iron. The health advantages of feeding your pets pumpkin include:

  • A resistance to infection
  • Improved night vision
  • Anti-cancer benefits
  • Improved blood pressure
  • Added support in the production of healthy red blood cells.

This year, instead of letting that leftover pumpkin go to waste, use it to help “trick” your pet’s digestive system into proper working order. This will “treat” your dog or cat using natural remedies instead of conventional treatments. Your pets will thank you for it!

-Robert Mueller

Robert Mueller, BSc, Pharm. is a registered pharmacist and has been formulating raw diets for more than thirty years. Recognized as one of the early pioneers in promoting raw foods to pets, Rob's history of developing and promoting raw meat diets has exposed him to dogs, cats, and zoo carnivores worldwide. He is also the author of the book Living Enzymes: The World's Best Kept Pet Food Secret. Rob and his wife love to travel with their dog, Ubi - a sheltie/beagle mix.

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Bark Out Loud

Dog Thefts in the United States

Tripled Since 2008.

A study by the American Kennel Club shows that nation wide dog thefts have gone from 71 in 2008 to 211 thefts in 2010.

Authorities believe that most of the theives believe that they can hold the pilfered pooches for ransom or sell them to high end breeders. Pure breeds are at the most risk.

Suddenly the leash of your pup goes from restraint to security system.

Click HERE for the full story and video

Wags of Wisdom

"I love a dog. He does nothing for political reasons." - Will Rogers

"Did you ever walk into a room and forget why you walked in? I think that is how dogs spend their lives" - Sue Murphy

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