Brooklyn Bark Talks

Treat Your Pet for the Holidays... two easy recipes from Brooklyn Bark

Posted by Bark Master on Nov 13, 2014 3:41:00 PM

Holiday season is here.  It is here for all Barkers, human and furry. 

doxie with treatsThis is a special time and special times call for special foods.  Have you ever thought of special treats for your own kitty or pup?  Or for the pups and kitties you may be visiting over the holidays?

As a famous flour company has us sing, "Nothin' says lovin' Like somethin' from the oven."

Here are a couple of ideas from our Brooklyn Bark dog walkers.  If you have the time to make these and share there will be lots of holiday joy in the pet sector.  Truthfully, they shouldn't take more than 10 minutes to mix up and form, then 15 - 25 minutes to bake.

Barring allergies, we guarantee these will be great hits with our four footed friends, your own or the cuties you are visiting.



1 1/2 cups instant oats
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup canned plain pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 tbsp water (or as needed to make pliable dough)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 strips bacon, fried and crumbled
baking spray (or parchment paper)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper.

Mix pumpkin with baking powder, water, olive oil and bacon crumbles in a large boDog cookies on a sheetwl.  Add oats and mix in.  Dough should be dry but pliable.

Break off pieces of dough about the size of a small walnut.  Roll each dough bit between your palms to make a ball and array these balls on the prepared cookie sheet.

Flatten each dough ball with your palm.  Make an imprint with your little finger to simulate the pad of a paw.  Then stamp with the top of a pen or a pencil to make three toes. 

Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.  Cool and present.



TUNA YUMS with cheddar

12 oz tuna canned in water, well drained
1 egg
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tbsp chopped, fresh parsley
1 3/4 cups instant oats


Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper.

Treat dough with biscuit cutterPulse all ingredients but the oats in a food processor until well mixed.  Transfer to a bowl and mix in the oats.

Roll out on a flat surface to about 1/4" thick.  Cut with cookie cutters or into 1" squares.  Transfer to prepared baking sheet. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.


I think my pup can read my thoughts.  She is already waiting for me in the kitchen.


Tags: Brooklyn dog walkers, brooklyn pet sitters, pet treats, holiday treats, home made pet treats

To Feed People Food or Not to Feed People Food - That is the Question

Posted by Bark Master on Oct 17, 2014 7:55:00 PM

Many of us like sharing with our pups.  Most people food is fine. 
Remember, dogs are omnivores hungry doglike we are and enjoy variety.  But not all people food is created equal for a canine digestion.


Turkey, Ham, Prime Rib and other meats  - add to dog’s food in moderation. No cooked bones.   They can splinter and damage or impact the GI tract.  Avoid too much fat or gristle.  It can lead to pancreatitis, which is very painful and dangerous.  Avoid prepared meats that have added lots of added sodium, nitrites and preservatives.  Whenever you can, choose free-range, natural and grass-fed meats.  Better for you, your pup and the animal who provided the meat.

Green Bean Casserole -  small amounts of creamy sauce with the green beans is ok.  Avoid the onion topping.  You could, instead, add fresh raw or cooked green beans to pup’s dinner.  Most dogs love the naturally sweet taste – trim them to a manageable size for smaller dogs, of course.

Sweet Potatoes  - these are a great source of beta carotene and make a highly nutritious snack or dinner addition.  Steamed or baked sweet potatoes are high on most pup’s yum-list.  Root vegetables can be difficult to digest raw but can be pulverized in a blender or food processor.   Avoid side dishes that contain lots of maple syrup, melted marshmallows or candied nuts.

cranberriesCranberries - Many dogs enjoy cranberries but cranberry sauce and jelly can be full of sugar and other ingredients that pup doesn’t need.  Dried cranberries are a nice alternative, if they don’t have lots of added sweeteners.  Cranberries contain natural compounds that can help prevent bacteria from adhering to the bladder wall, so are excellent  for cats and dogs prone to UTIs (urinary tract infections).  

Pumpkin & SquashMost pets love them.  Making soup?   Set aside some of the gently cooked veggies for pup before adding wine, cream, onions and other less pet-friendly ingredients to the mix.  

Winter Greens like chard and kale are a super source of vitamins and antioxidants.  Brussels cabbagesprouts and cabbage are also loaded with nutrients, but they can cause gas.  Add small amounts raw, lightly steamed or sautéed.  As with all foods, avoid lots of added salt, wine, soy-sauce or butter.

White potatoes are fine. They contain fiber and minerals.  Don’t serve pup  potato dishes that have lots of butter, cream, ranch dressing or oil.  Potatoes provide Vitamins B3 and B6, Vitamin C, Potassium, Iron, Copper and Fiber. 

Holiday Foods to Avoid

Stuffing and corn pudding should be avoided if they tend to contain onion or raisins.  


Desserts and cheeses can cause tummy upsets, especially when eaten in excess.

Relishes, pickles and sauces contain heavy spices, sugar, onion and other ingredients than can unsettle pup’s tummy.

The following foods can be toxic to dogs and cats:
chewing gum

  • onions,

  • chocolate,

  • macadamia nuts,

  • grapes,

  • raisins

  • gum or candy containing the artificial sweetener xylitol.

If share your meals with your dog or cat, make additions gradually to be certain he or she can tolerate.  Never allow your pet to gorge excessively, because this can lead to health problems such as pancreatitis and bloat.  If you do have an incident where your pet gets up on the counter or into the holiday trash and consumes a large amount of leftovers, keep a close eye on him.   If you notice any sign of bloating, vomiting or other digestive problems such as diarrhea or constipation, contact your vet immediately.

dog eating a pieTummy aches or other health issues over the holiday (or any evening, weekend or other “off time”) contact your closest emergency vet clinic.   We here in Brooklyn are blessed with three excellent facilities.  And if they are able to talk you through the issue without having to bring your pet in, they don’t even charge:

VERG North
318 Warren Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

VERG South   
                                 2220 Flatbush Avenue
                                 Brooklyn, NY 11234
                                 718 .677.6700

BluePearl Brooklyn
32 4th Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11217


Accidental poisonings are a different story.    Here minutes count.  Immediately phone ASPCA Poison Control.  (888) 426-4435. A $65 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card but consider the alternative.



Flee Flea, Please!

Posted by Bark Master on Apr 30, 2014 11:18:00 AM

FleaThey are pesky.  They are horrible. 

They bite and pup, kitty or we itch where they did.  In 40% of pups, they bite and pup has a systemic, allergic reaction which means a consult with your vet for antihistamines or, in bad cases, steroids.

Spring is here and so are @#%@#! fleas. 

They live in the grass.  They live in the carpet.  They live amidst your pup or kitty’s fur and they can jump to you.

Jump.  Yes, jump.  These tiny reddish brown to black insects are wingless.  They are about the size of the tip of a ballpoint pen and they travel from host to host in jumps.  The best way to diagnose that it’s fleas when your pet is itching is to part the fur over the area he’s scratching and actually see these nasty athletes scurry back into the safety of pup or kitty’s fur.

First step is the “ounce of prevention”.  Here are some tips from your Brooklyn dog walkers.

On the market are a number of preparations that you apply to your pet’s skin where he can’t lick it off.   The scruff of the neck and back are usually used.  Front Line and Advantix are the two biggest sellers.  The chemicals are absorbed through your pet’s skin and become systemic prevention.  They work fairly well.  But with systemic preventions there are two caveats you should know:

1)   Purchase your tick and flea repellant from your vet.  You might save a few dollars by buying online but there have been instances of intentionally mislabeled product.  A reputable vet purchases from a reputable veterinary supply house such as Henry Schein who knows where their product originates and won't take shortcuts.

2)   How safe are the chemicals – from permethrin to fiprinol  that kill the fleas?  They act on the flea’s nervous and reproductive systems.   Is there any crossover to pup, kitty and us?  The companies say “no” but they do have a vested interest in saying that, don’t they?


So read and discuss risk/reward with your vet. 


You may choose the natural ounce of prevention or even go natural for your pound of cure.   Not easy but a lot safer.

1)   Frequent vacuuming.  Suck up those larvae, pupae and adult fleas and get them out.  You can sprinkle diatomaceous earth, baking powder or table salt (or any combination) in a known flea area to dehydrate their nasty little bodies.

2)   Bathe pup frequently.  Although some fleas will survive in air pockets, the majority will drown with a good lathering and deep rinse.

3)   Launder clothes and bedding – including pup’s bedding - frequently and use water from the hottest settings to boil them to death.

4)   Fleas like humidity.  Run your a/c to dry out the air even if you don’t need cooling.

5)   If you do have fleas, you can make an effective flea trap with a desk lamp placed over a bowl of water with dish soap.  Do this over night so the light attracts the fleas.  When they fall into the soapy water they drown.

 Dog afraid of vacuum

‘Tis spring.  ‘Tis the season.  And although fleas can be unwelcome visitors any time of year, they are exalting in the nice warm weather just as we are.


Don’t let them!                                                                                                                     _ 

Brooklyn Bark: And a Cat Shall Lead Them

Posted by Bark Master on Mar 20, 2014 5:21:00 PM

We have always considered Brooklyn Bark Dog Walking and Cat Sitting Professionals an equal opportunity company for we do bird care, bunny rabbit care as well as watch pet rats and reptiles for their owners.

So when we ran our very first Facebook contest it hardly surprised us that we had entries from cats as well as dogs and from all over the world (no, we don't cover Japan but that's where our runner up is from).

We had 64 entries and almost 5,000 votes for the pet who should win a digital portrait by our owner and Pratt grad, Rachel.

What did surprise us is that with 60 dogs and only 4 cats entered, a cat won.  What surprised Travis Gargiulous even more is that the owner who entered this cat is 8 years old.  No one in the world could have been happier with this win than Julianna.  We caught up with her with a few questions:

Brooklyn Bark:  What is your full name and how old are you?

Julianna:   Julianna Marie Gargiulo and I am 8.

BBark:   What is Travis’ full name and how old is he?

Julianna:   Travis Gargiulo and he is will be 3 in July

BBark:   Who else is in your family besides you and Travis?

Julianna:   Well, there's my mom and my dad and I have a brother named Thomas.  He's only 4.

Julianna BBark:   How did Travis become part of the Gargiulo family?  When did that happen?

Julianna:   Because I always wanted a cat.  I asked my parents if I got a gold medal in swimming can I get one.  

I finally did it.  And they promised I can get one.  So we went to Petco and picked 2 cats. Travis I picked because he was funny and kept coming to play with me.  I loved him!

BBark:   What made you decide to enter Travis in a contest run by a dog walking company? 

Julianna:   Because he is very very cute and I love him.  Cats rule!

BBark:   Why do you think a cat won?  We had 64 entries and only 4 were cats.  Is Travis a special cat?

Julianna:   Definitely.  He is special because when I am upset he always comes to comfort me and he guards me when I sleep at night and snuggles with me if I have a bad dream.

BBark:   Does Travis like to have his picture taken?

Julianna:   Oh yes.. He loves it.. He poses if I put things on him.  He is the best cat!

BBark:  Are there other animals that you like?

Julianna:   I love animals.  I love dogs and cats and rabbits and birds and hamsters.  I have a lot of friends who love animals, too, and we try to help them.

BBark:  How do youBrownies at Bide-a-Wee do that?

Julianna:  About once a month I go with my Brownie troop and we volunteer at Bide-a-Wee.  We play with the animals waiting for adoption and tell them they are loved.

BBark:  You entered Travis less than a week before the contest closed.  What made you think you could win?

My mom saw the picture and said we should enter him in your contest.  He makes everyone laugh because he is silly.  He is very cute too!  

BBark:  And here’s the BIG ONE – HOW did you pull this off?  A day before the contest ended you were in third position with about 100 votes.  How did you end up Monday night with 367 votes a day and a half later?

Julianna:  Because as soon as we put him on there we posted and posted!  My whole family wouldn't give up.  We had family and friends helping with sending Travis's picture all over!  My Mom said even England helped! My mom and cousin Lisa were up late at night getting votes. Travis is famous now.

BBark:  Wow!  You know that you will be awarded Travis's portrait at Brooklyn Bark's annual Bark-becue.  Do you plan to bring Travis?

Julianna:   I don't think Travis likes to go in the car.  Can I bring my brother, Thomas?



Tags: Brooklyn Bark Facebook contest, Brownies at Bide-a-Wee

Handsome: Happy Ending / Happy Beginning

Posted by Bark Master on Mar 8, 2014 6:31:00 PM

Rachel says goodby to HandsomeHe should be called "Midas."  Our sweet pit bull, Handsome now has a home in upstate New York with two Rottweiler "sibs", happy human parents and a large fenced in yard that abuts Harriman State Park.

Just a month ago emaciated little Handsome was brutally chained to a fence outside Ft. Greene Park here in Brooklyn, feet unable to touch the ground.  The temperature was in single digits and bystanders were frozen in fear as well as cold, afraid that if they called authorities, this woe begotten waif would be put to death for the sin of being homeless.

One of the bystanders, Cathy Fendelman, is a Barker and called Rachel, figuring she would know how to save this little guy.  Rachel had no idea but realized she had to act if his life was to be saved, and she had to act quickly considering he had been chained in the icy temperatures without any protection from the cold.

After approaching him safely, she warmed him up in her car and put the wheels in motion to save him.  She contacted our friends VERG (Veterinary Emergency Referal Group) who took him in and fixed him up (and, yes, fixed him), our staff rallied and Care Associate Alley Jenkins offered to foster him and our friend Janet Upadhye, local reporter for DNAinfo, picked up our blog and ran with it.

Brooklyn Bark's business partners including Honest Kitchen, Cloud Star and Charlee Bear stepped forward and offered gifts of product to our little rescue.

After evaluating our sweet boy, Anthony Newman of Calm Energy Dog Training added $300 worth of training sessions.

This throw away pup must have felt his luck turning. 

Handsome really must have felt his luck turning when Janet's blog was picked up by 1010WINS and CBS who contacted Rachel for an interview about Handsome looking for a home.

And suddenly the applications for adoption started rolling in.  We had applications from homes in Brooklyn, in Long Island, New Jersey and upstate New York.

Suddenly our waif had a smorgasbord of possibilities, all sounding solid.  We interviewed via email and Rachel picked two finalists for home visits.

Well, Handsome only made it as far as the first.  He fell in love with Anne and Peter and their two Rottweilers.  Dora, their female Rotti, immediately took him under her wing, err paw.  She licked him, mothered him and loved him.

Willie, who outweighs Handsome by over 100 lbs. was a little scared of this newbie at first but soon decided it's nice to have another "guy" to hang with.

Peter and Anne almost cried.  They had been looking for the perfect third dog for their family and something said to them, "This is the one" when they saw his picture on CBS.

He is the one.

They officially fostered him for a week, a week where he saw his first deer, where he learned to run up and down the steps, where he learned to open doors (Dora taught him) and learned to prance with his head held high.

Now the fostering is officially adoption.  Our sweet boy whose brutal past could have easily ended in euthanasia, has found doggie paradise.  He is loved, cared for by an adoring family and is catching up on how to be a dog - a good dog - from his Rottweiler siblings.

For our Barkers who would like to meet our doggie celebrity, he will be joining us all at our Brooklyn Bark Bark-becue in Croton Point Park on May 17. 

We can't wait to see him!


Tags: Animal Rescue, Dog adoption, Brooklyn dog winter, Handsome the pit bull

A Love Story

Posted by Bark Master on Feb 19, 2014 9:12:00 PM

There is a "package of love" waiting for someone who wants Valentines Day to be all year. 


This is the story of Handsome. 

On Friday, at dusk, Rachel was looking forward to a hot shower and calling it a weRachel and Handsomeek.  She had been slogging through the coldest, ice and snowiest, windy weather Brooklyn has seen in a long time, walking dogs to help her staff stay on schedule though the winter weather.  The temperature was in single digits and the wind bent tree limbs.

Her cell phone rang.

It was a client.  She was calling Rachel because there was a knot of people gathered and no one knew what to do.

"Call 911"

"No, you can't do that.  He'll be put down."

"Then call Animal Control."

"They'll euthanize him."

"Call the local precinct."


And so the conversation that Cathy Fendelman overheard went.  Cathy didn't have an answBarkMaster and Handsomeer but she called Rachel, hoping she would.


"There is a dog chained to the fence of Ft. Greene Park across from the hospital.

He's tied so tightly that his front paws can't reach the ground.  Every time an ambulance pulls out, sirens blaring, he shakes.  I don't know how long he has been here but he is shivering it is so cold."

Rachel reversed direction to check this story out and there he was, a young, black and white pit bull emaciated, scarred and scared, shivering in the cold.

Cautiously Rachel approached him and he whined and wagged and just wanted to love.  From the way he was tied with TV cable securing him there was no question he was abandoned.


Handsome getting a treatHe was abandoned, his back legs were scarred and he was very thin.

The cable that he was tied with was frozen.  What is happening inside this little fella's body in this arctic cold?

With help, Rachel carefully untied the little fella, calling on her training as a pet CPR instructor to keep herself out of harm's way.

She put him in her car, turned up the heater and carefully did a very quick health and behavior assessment.

For all he had been through, he was very sweet and totally non-aggressive.  She turned up the heater.


"How could anyone do that?  But let's look forward and help this sweet critter!" she thought.

Assured that he was safe, the little fella slowly thawed out and cautiously climbed into Rachel's lap, settling after his dreadful ordeal.

"What do I do now?" Rachel thought.

One phone call to VERG (Veterinary Emergency Referral Group) and Mossey, their Handsome gets a Kongadministrator said, "Bring him in!"

On the way to VERG Rachel fell in love with Handsome, as the VERG staff later named him.  The vets and staff at VERG did too.  He was a snuggler, a lover and a curious and eager little fella.

The vets figured he is a bit over a year old.  Other than a few minor problems that they fixed up he was in pretty good health for what he has been through.  They treated the open wounds, clipped his ingrown nails and shook their heads at how emaciated he was.

They offered to let him stay until we at BBark could get our proverbial ducks in order to find him a loving and permanent home.  Or at least a foster home.


We then brought in our favorite behaviorist, Anthony Newman of Calm Energy Dog Training.  Although he couldn't do a full assessment in the vet office his conclusions are:

Overall:  super sweet, social, friendly, loving, sensitive dog who has never known a comfortable, stable home and who will thrive and relax with lots of daily exercise, socialization, and obedience work. Seems good with other dogs; Probably good with children; might not be good with cats.

Handsome enjoys his KongSo we may have one very lucky pup here for although abandoned from an obviously difficult back-story, Handsome has a chance for a great life.

We know there is someone who will give it to him.  Our next steps are for VERG to neuter him, for him to get a good bath and then to a foster home for some human and doggie socializing.

We will be blogging and posting on Facebook about Handsome's progress as he puts on weight and learns what life can be really like.  Please follow us.


When Handsome is ready for a "furever" home we know that the Brooklyn dog community will find him the best fit ever.


Tags: Animal Rescue, Brooklyn dog walkers, Dog adoption

Avoiding the Cone of Shame - making pet's recovery easier for all

Posted by Bark Master on Jan 29, 2014 11:16:00 PM

Product review by Brooklyn Bark:

Every kitty and pup is sentenced to time in an E-collar (aka Cone of Shame) at some time, be it post neutering or other surgical procedure or to help recover from a rash or an injury.

There is an alternative. It is called the Cloud Collar and is made by Kong.

Cloud collarThis is an inflatable collar, similar to the neck pillows used by airline travelers.  Although not pleasant to wear, it is a lot less onerous than the large plastic Cones.

The Cloud Collar comes in 5 different sizes and is available through or your local pet store for about what the vet would charge for a Cone of Shame.

When pup or kitty is finished with his sentence you can deflate it for easy storage for, well, next time.

The Cloud Collar doesn’t make kitty or pup clumsy the way the Cone does.  We’ve had our hearts go out to Cone wearers who tried to navigate their own turf only to bump into things and get stuck.  Add confusion now to their pain.

Pup or kitty can see around the collar so there isn’t the sense of claustrophobia some critters get in The Cone.

Perhaps most important, the Cloud Collar wearer can eat and drink and do so quite comfortably.  

Although sleeping in a Cloud Collar isn’t like sleeping on a proverbial cloud, it is ever so much easier than attempting to sleep while wearing the Cone.  

Reducing a pet’s post procedure stress, allowing her to eat, drink and sleep without too much difficulty will help her recovery.  

For the cost of the vet’s E-Collar you can substitute a Cloud Collar making you and pup or kitty much happier.

And you can have it available for that inevitable “next time.”


Tags: Cone of shame, cloud collar, dog post surgery, cat post surgery

Christmas Warning to Pup Owners

Posted by Bark Master on Dec 19, 2013 2:23:00 PM

Milo Waggin Train Canyon Creek

Actually, this is an any time warning, but we especially want to remind dog owners in the giving season as many of us celebrate by giving our pups extra treats.

At the risk of the wrath of the Chinese government (see below), Petco (see below) and Nestles (Canyon Creek and Waggin' Train), Del Monte (Milo's Kitchen) and other companies who buy their ingredients from China, I will stand firm:


Hey, play it safe and fill pup's Christmas stocking with anything BUT chicken jerky. There are so many other great treats on the shelves.


Four companies whose treats we love and feed our own pups are Zukes, Charlee Bear, FreshPet and Kong. We absolutely trust anything from those guys.


The FDA recently posted its website.

"FDA issued a cautionary warning regarding chicken jerky products to consumers in September 2007 and a Preliminary Animal Health Notification in December of 2008. After seeing the number of complaints received drop off during the latter part of 2009 and most of 2010, the FDA is once again seeing the number of complaints rise to the levels of concern that prompted release of our earlier warnings."

Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Calif wrote to the Chinese government asking to "consider halting production of these chicken jerky treats until the FDA can determine whether or not the products contain tainted material."


The response from China?

"From the perspective of the Chinese side, there might be something wrong with the FDA's investigation guidance."


Also on the defense is Petco, which issued a statement saying,

"Neither the FDA nor our suppliers have recommended any recalls of Chicken Jerky products."

A true statement, but not an ethical one, Petco. The FDA has issued a cautionary warning.


And Milo is also trading on the distinction between and FDA cautionary warning and a recall:

"no recalls have been issued for any chicken jerky dog treat product in the United States"


And Waggin' Train likewise:

"Our quality control group monitors the good manufacturing practices of our suppliers"


We spoil (only, please call it "training") our pups all year but now is the time many of us go a little bit good-crazy with Christmas stockings full of treats.


Great idea, but PLEASE nothing made with ingredients from China. As we blogged this past spring, the three big ones who use chicken from China are Milo's Kitchen by Del Monte, Waggin' Train and Canyon Creek from Nestles.


What happens? Do you want to know?


Chicken from China has been linked to a condition called Fanconi-like syndrome where the kidneys leak electolytes. Symptoms are loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting and the need to suddenly drink lots of water. Healthy dogs in their prime are sickened. Puppies, seniors and compromised dogs often die.


Don't chance it!


With so many great treats on the market steer clear of anything with ingredients from China.  And scrutinize the package to be certain.  This is not the kind of thing manufacturers print in bold or noticable type.


And may all your holidays be bright.

Tags: tainted chicken jerky, chicken jerky from China, dog treats safety, Chinese ingredients in dog treats, Fanconi-like syndrome, dog treat safety

Safe Holidays to You

Posted by Bark Master on Dec 17, 2013 8:51:00 PM

Have you ever noticed how much trouble pets (and kids) can get into when you are not paying attention to them?

It’s pretty amazing how they jump into action the instant your focus is elsewhere.

Beau & Sunny Obama exploreDuring holiday season our focus is often elsewhere.  To prevent a time consuming and expensive visit to the veterinary ER, we urge you to do the Ounce of Prevention routine.

Please take this list both seriously and with intelligence.  Not all pets are equally
susceptible (what can flatten a Chihuahua, a
Newfoundland may not even notice) but you don’t want to find out the hard way.

Cookies & candy - chocolate can cause agitation, vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, tremors and seizures.

Holiday decorations - Tinsel, ribbon, ornament hooks can cut up a digestive tract or cause blockage.  

Alcohol - same symptoms as humans who get extremely drunk only more pitiful.

Artificial sweeteners - Xylitol in sugarless gum and confections can cause vomiting, lethargy, loss of coordination, seizures and liver failure.

Holiday plants - Holly, mistletoe and poinsettias may cause irritation, vomiting, diarrhea andPussy cat and poinsettias heart arrhythmia.

Macadamia nuts and walnuts - these two nuts can cause severe lethargy, increases body temperature, vomiting, tremors, joint stiffness and lead to inability to walk.

Lights and candles - If your pet can reach them, they may be a fire hazard if knocked over.

Grapes, Raisins, Avocados, Onions and Garlic - Can cause lethargy, lack of appetite and vomiting.

Fatty trimming and bones - If it is not good for you to eat, it is not good for your pet either.  Fat can cause upset tummies and eventually, obesity and pancreatitis. 

You should know but not need this info:
If you are a Brooklynite and you don’t have this free magnet, contact and we will send you one.  Our gift. 

Emergency magnet 

Tags: pet safety, holiday safety tips for pets, dog safety, cat safety

Finally, FDA Proposes First Pet Food Safety Rules

Posted by Bark Master on Nov 2, 2013 8:46:00 PM

dog getting treatsWe pet parents are routinely left aghast by pet food nightmares.  The FDA is primarily concerned with the safety of the human food supply and hasn't paid a tremendous amount of attention to pet food.  As a matter of fact, to date there are NO specific pet food regulations.

Hopefully, that will soon change.  The first pet food specific regulations were proposed by the FDA last week.  With 120 days for public comment the goal is to have them in place by 2015.

According to the Dog Food Advisor there have been 20 recalls of pet food and treat so far in 2013 (there were 27 recalls in 2012).  These are divided between chemical contamination, generally melanine in chicken treats from China (NBC News) and salmonella contamination. 

The FDA has long been puzzled by the chicken jerky deaths - where they admit nearly 600 pets have died and more than 3,600 have been sickened in an ongoing, mysterious outbreak of illnesses tied to jerky treats made in China. 

The path to illness and death via salmonella contamination is much more straight forward and it is this problem that the proposed regulations address.

The proposed animal food regulations parallel those for human food established this year.  The rules would require makers of animal food sold in the United States to develop a written plan to prevent food-borne illnesses, like salmonella, and to put it into effect. Producers would need to put protective procedures into place at critical points in the production process where problems are likely to arise.

The written protocols the FDA wants to require address sterilization of the food as it is produced, giving stated temperatures and time at temperature required.  Every batch of food produced will require records that include these measurements.

The FDA also wants  to have producers review their protocols minimally every three years. 

The "bonus news" is that these regulations are to apply not only to pet food but to agricultural animal food.  Yes, the chicken, pigs and cows that we eat have to be fed cleanly too before they become part of our food chain.

All good news and a step in the right direction to contain salmonella outbreaks which have become all too common.

Now in honor of the memory of the 580 recorded pet deaths traced to chicken jerky treats let's keep the pressure on the FDA to complete the job. According to the New York Times, the agency has received more than 3,000 complaints about the jerky over five years - 3,600 dogs and 10 cats - who were sickened by treats with ingredients from China. 

We strongly urge pet owners to make comment to the FDA about the proposed regulations as well as additional regulations they should draft.  It is easy to do on their website and they will be soliciting comments on their proposed pet food regulations until the end of January 2014.

For your pets, please speak up.


Tags: pet food recall, chicken jerky from China, pet food regulations, fda animal food regulations, public comment fda regulations, melanine