Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Barbra Streisand says she successfully cloned her pet dog — twice

Business Insider
 John Lynch

Barbra Streisand said in a new interview with Variety that she successfully made two clones of her pet dog.

The singer said that two of her Coton de Tulear dogs were cloned from cells taken from the mouth and stomach of her 14-year-old dog Samantha, who died in 2017.

"They have different personalities," Streisand said of the two clones, Miss Scarlet and Miss Violet. "I'm waiting for them to get older so I can see if they have her [Samantha's] brown eyes and seriousness."

Monday, February 26, 2018

I am now adventuring into hosting my own radio show! It is called Pet EDU with Society Bytes Radio! I am sharing my passion for pet parents and professional pet sitters. I also want to talk about products and services that benefit both. This week's episode is for anyone interested in becoming a professional pet sitter. Tune in to some great advice as Katie Oneal talks about turning her life around when she lost her job and started her own pet sitting business!  

Listen to "PET EDU - KATE ONEAL" on Spreaker.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The 3 Best Ways to Help Homeless Animals if You Can’t Adopt Here are small ways to help the cat and dog shelters in your neighborhood.

By Michele Leavitt O, The Oprah Magazine

If your 2018 goals include giving, consider supporting some of the 6.5 million cats and dogs placed in U.S. animal shelters annually. We asked Inga Fricke, director of pet retention programs for the Humane Society of the United States, for the best ways to help four-legged friends in need.

Think beyond the chew toy. 
Animal shelters always need the basics—clean towels, catnip-stuffed mice—but they require less obvious items, too. “Hot dogs and peanut butter are regularly used for dog training,” says Fricke. “And office items are often in short supply.” Ask your local rescue about its top priorities and give generously.

Show off your skills. 
“Shelters will put your occupational expertise to great use,” says Fricke. Lawyers are able to review adoption contracts, carpenters (or even adept IKEA assemblers) can build agility equipment, and a shutterbug’s portraits of Welsh corgis and Maine coons help beautify pamphlets and promotional materials.

Post with a purr-pose. 
If you’re likes-minded, use some of your daily Instagram time to give adoptable animals more visibility. “Shelters aim to educate the public,” says Fricke. “You can make a big impact just by sharing a specific pet’s story or a rescue’s information with your social network.”


Animal Rescue: Give proper care to aging pets

BY TRACI D. HOWERTON | Special to The Advocate FEB 21, 2018 - 7:00 AM

All of my pets are older than 10. I have four dogs, and the oldest, a Shih Tzu named Bailee, will be 13 this year.

Bailee's age is starting to show. He cannot hear well, and last week, I broke down and bought him diapers. Not because he cannot hold it, but because he is becoming an old fella that just does what he wants. A week in, and the diapers are awesome, let me add.

My hound mix, Ponyboy, has to eat a prescription heart food and take medication every day because he has a murmur and enlarged heart. He is about 11 years old.

As our pets age, their health care needs change. It is a stark reminder that they are with us for such a brief amount of time, and I am doing all that I can to make their golden years happy and healthy.

By definition, any pet older than 7 can be considered a senior. However, small breeds can live upward of 20 years, so 7 is really just on the cusp of hitting middle-aged. Large and giant breed dogs generally have a much shorter life span and can be considered seniors as early as 5 years of age.

Proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle can make a huge difference in preventing age-related diseases and preserving quality of life for our pets.

Here are some tips to keeping senior pets happy and healthy:

ROUTINE VET VISITS: Although most vaccinations are given annually, it is good to see the vet for an additional check-up between those annual visits, especially as a pet reaches his golden years. Early detection is key to a successful treatment of ailments, so an extra visit is encouraged.

Preventative blood screening and urinalysisis are recommended for senior pets and should be started around age 7. Changes in kidney, liver and pancreatic function, arthritis, cataracts, heart disease and high blood pressure are more common in older pets and can be detected during regular check ups and lab work.

MONITOR BEHAVIOR: Just like humans, pets tend to become less active as they age. However, if a pet displays signs of confusion, disorientation, lethargy, loss of appetite, weight gain, weight loss or frequent potty accidents, it could be a sign of a more serious condition.

GOOD NUTRITION: Dietary needs change with age as well. As pets become less active, it is easy for them to pack on the pounds. Look for pet foods formulated especially for senior pets that are designed to meet senior nutritional needs, help manage weight and contain additional vitamins and minerals.

EXERCISE AND PLAY: Exercise helps to maintain a healthy body weight and can slow the onset of arthritis. Walking is excellent exercise for an aging pet. Mental stimulation with toys and interactive play can keep minds and bodies active.

DENTAL CARE: Dental care is just as important for pets as it is for humans. Regular dental cleanings by the vet and proper brushing at home can prevent gum disease, which can lead to more serious conditions.

SAFETY FIRST: As a pet ages, he may experience loss of sight and/or hearing. When it was a puppy, the home was puppy-proofed; now is the time to put some of those safety measures back into place. Remove potentially dangerous objects and use a gate or kennel to create a safe space for pets when no one is home.

COMFORT IS KEY: Senior pets sometimes suffer from arthritis or other joint problems, and this can make it more difficult for them to get around. Consider pet ramps or steps to make getting into bed or on the sofa easier.

For joint pain, orthopedic pet beds, some with heating elements, can help relieve pressure on the joints. Also physical contact is wanted more than ever in the golden years, so be sure to give him belly rubs, gentle massages and lots of brushing and petting.

Seeing our pets age and slow down is not easy, but with proper care and attention, we can help them live longer, happier lives.


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Mary Oberdier interviews SUSAN PERKINS (Society Bytes Radio)

Listen to "PET EDU - SUSAN PERKINS" on Spreaker.


Susan Perkins grew up in Bowdoin Maine. She moved to Florida about 5 years ago with her Labrador retriever and cat. Her immediate attention was to secure a good veterinarian and pet sitter to care for her kids while working and traveling. She was fortunate enough to connect with Mary at Chase N Tails and formed an immediate connection and level of trust. Having a passion for animals she was visited by numerous feral cats, some that she have fixed and added to their family and others that she has that she’s rehomed with good pet parents. Mary had to deal with the indoor pets and strays. She also had to administer medications. No matter the current need she knows Mary is skilled and treats all of her animals with care and compassion.

Monday, February 19, 2018



The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has found a euthanasia drug in several brands of dog food, leading some brands to issue a voluntary recall and causing concern among pet owners.

The FDA says that such a low level of this drug in pet food is unlikely to seriously harm pets. However, no amount of sodium pentobarbital, a common lethal drug used to put animals to sleep, is acceptable in pet food, the agency warns.

The J.M. Smucker Company, famous for Smuckers Jam, has responded to this report by issuing a voluntary recall of the tainted pet foods they sell. Pet food with the labels Gravy Train, Ol’Roy, Kibbles N’ Bits, or Skippy Premium, can be returned to the store for a full refund. The FDA asked pet stores to stop selling these brands immediately. The same goes for the dog food brand Against the Grain, which also issued a recall last week for the same concern.

The FDA is currently investigating where exactly in the supply chain the drug comes from and how it made it into food. Veterinarians usually injects animals that are too sick to save with sodium pentobarbital at a high enough dose that the animal goes into cardiac arrest and dies. There are other ways to euthanize animals, and guns and tools similar to guns are more practical for large animals.

Some pet food companies buy raw goods from rendering facilities that process animals euthanized at animal shelters. That means that some pet food is made from a variety of meats that humans wouldn’t eat, including diseased livestock and cats and dogs containing lethal doses of sodium pentobarbital. In other words, the body of a stray dog killed in a shelter may be ground up into dog food. Whether any of the recalls are related to this practice is unknown.


Thursday, February 15, 2018

4 dog food companies issue recall over salmonella fears

Zlati Meyer, USA TODAY Published 2:06 p.m. ET Feb. 14, 2018 | Updated 6:16 p.m. ET Feb. 14, 2018

The all-natural, organic food movement among humans is spreading to what people feed their pets. Think raw chicken, beef, even duck or venison. But as the AP's Lee Powell found, there is little consensus raw food as pet food is best. (Feb. 14) AP

Four pet food companies issued recalls after reports surfaced about contamination by salmonella after reports of pets dying or becoming ill.

The recalls involve a variety of products, all surfacing in the last week after six pets died or were sickened. One was a kitten, but the types of the other pets was not disclosed. Also, two children became ill, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The six animal cases were connected to consumption of Darwin’s Natural and ZooLogics pet foods, manufactured by Arrow Reliance of Tukwila, Wash., which has issued four salmonella- or listeria monocytogenes-related recalls since October 2016. The most recent was on Saturday after testing found salmonella in samples of their raw pet food.

The two reports of human illness resulted from contact with Raws for Paws Ground Turkey Pet Food. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture found salmonella while testing products made by the Minneapolis-based company.

Redbarn Pet Products of Long Beach, Calif., recalled its three-packs of seven-inch Bully Sticks dog chews after the Colorado Department of Agriculture reported that one sample collected from a store revealed salmonella.

Human symptoms of a salmonella infection are diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps, which last up to week and the majority of people recover without treatment, the FDA said. But pets don't always have symptoms, which for them include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, loss of appetite and lethargy. Plus, they can pass salmonella to people even if they are asymptomatic.

The FDA said it has a zero-tolerance policy for salmonella or other harmful bacteria in pet food.

"Raw pet food is more likely than other types of pet food to contain salmonella and listeria monocytogenes. Pet owners who choose to feed raw pet food should be aware of the risks associated with these products," the federal agency said.

Don Schaffner, a professor of food microbiology at Rutgers University, explained that salmonella can be found in the intestinal tracts of animals used to make pet food, like poultry and cattle. If the pet food isn't cooked, the bacteria can survive the manufacturing process and make it into the final products.

"Even a single cell is enough to make an animal or a human sick," he said.

Here are the details of the four recalls:

Arrow Reliance
ZooLogics Duck with Vegetable Meals for Dogs lot 41957 and ZooLogics Chicken with Vegetable Meals for Dogs lot 41567 were sold online.

The recall this week was prompted by a complaint about an adult dog with recurring diarrhea for nine months that tested positive for salmonella. The Darwin’s Natural raw pet food he'd eaten also tested positive.

According to the FDA, the manufacturer e-mailed customers about the recall, but "has so far not issued any public notification announcing this or any of the previous recalls."

As a result of an earlier product contamination, a kitten died. The salmonella strain the animal had was the same as that found in a closed package from the same lot of Darwin’s Natural cat food that the kitten had eaten.

"While dogs' and cats' digestive systems are designed to be able to process pathogens, such as salmonella, with no impact on them, at Darwin’s, we take this situation very seriously," the company said on its website. "Our No. 1 priority is providing your pet with meals that you can feel confident are healthy and safe."

The contact info on the company's website is 877-738-6325, 206-324-7387 and info@darwinspet.com.

The seven-inch Bully Stick three pack, sold at pet stores in 2.4-ounce bags, have an expiration date of 112120ABC stamped on the side and UPC 7 85184 25105 8.

Customers may return products to the stores where they were purchased for a full refund. Those with questions may e-mail the company at info@redbarninc.com or call 800-775-3849 weekdays 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

"We test every product lot before it leaves our manufacturing plant. This lot... was tested both at our Redbarn lab and by a third-party testing facility. Those tests were negative for salmonella or pathogens," said president Jeff Sutherland. "Despite not being able to replicate these test results or receiving any negative reports from customers regarding these chews, we feel the best course of action is to recall this lot code of the product and keep our customers safe."



Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Win Like Flynn: A Bichon Frise Is This Year's Top Dog At Westminster Show

Scott Neuman
February 14, 2018

A bichon frise named Flynn was the surprise pick for best in show at the 142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden in New York, taking honors as the nation's top dog.

According to The Associated Press, "Fans who had been loudly shouting for their favorites fell into stunned silence when judge Betty-Anne Stenmark announced her choice."

Flynn led the pack among 2,882 canine competitors representing 202 breeds and varieties.

In the quest for the coveted purple ribbon, Flynn was guided by expert handler Bill McFadden.

The tiny white fluff ball Flynn stands (proudly) in stark contrast to last year's winner, a noble German shepherd named Rumor. Flynn had earlier won the best in breed for non-sporting dogs.

Other best in breed winners were:

Sporting — Bean, a Sussex spaniel.
Hound — a borzoi named Lucy
Working — Ty, a giant schnauzer who also took the runner up position behind Flynn as reserve best in show.
Terrier — Winston, a Norfolk terrier.
Toy — a pug named Biggie.
Herding — Slick, a border collie.

Read the article here

Monday, February 12, 2018

Mary Oberdier Society Bytes podcast interview with Patty Giarusso, Founder and President of Lost Pet Services, Inc.

Listen to "PET EDU - PATTY GIARRUSSO" on Spreaker.

I thought you might be interested in listening to my interview with Patty. Patty and her team are amazing at reuniting lost and found pets in Manatee and Sarasota counties. If you have a pet or find one in these two counties, you will want to know what you should do. This interview will help!

Patty Giarrusso, Founder and President of Lost Pet Services, Inc. and Facebook.com/groups/LostFoundPets941, created this lost pet service in July 2013 when her two dogs, Jackson Browne and Rocko went missing. She then embarked on a mission. That mission led to the LostFoundPets941 Facebook group which is now the largest, most active lost and found group in the Manatee and Sarasota Counties area covering Sarasota, Bradenton, Palmetto, Parrish, Ellenton, Venice, Northport, Myakka and areas beyond. The group has over 16,000 members and has reunited 1000s of lost pets using social media and relationships with local animal control agencies, veterinarians, rescues and other pet businesses. In February 2017, Lost Pet Services Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit was organized to help further their mission of reuniting lost pets by offering additional services. All services offered are free to the pet community.

Patty, together with her co-Admins Tracy Ohlman, Katrina Cash and Terry Creamer, work around the clock helping people all over the community reunite with their pets. For the ones whose owners aren't found, the group works to find these animals safe, loving homes.

Pet Talk: Pets celebrate Valentine's Day everyday

COLLEGE STATION — With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, many of us can’t help but look at our pets and remember the day we fell in love with them. We are fortunate to share our lives with such caring (and cute) animals, which is why we do everything we can to keep our pets happy and healthy.

However, pets do a lot for us, too. They teach us how to love unconditionally and be a good friend. They are also there to lend a comforting paw in times of need.

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, Dr. Sarah Griffin, a lecturer at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, described some of the ways our furry friends show us love and affection.

“Cats show affection by purring, sitting in your lap, rubbing against your leg, and following you around,” Griffin said. “Sometimes, they may even gently nip or bite you.”

Cat owners may also find that their pet brings them toys; random, found objects (such as hair ties); or even a small bird or mouse. This is considered a present and is a sign that your kitty loves and cares for you.

Dogs show affection through tail wagging, licking, and playing with their owners, Griffin said. Dogs may also curl up next to you for a nap, especially after a relaxing walk. When this happens, it is common courtesy to go ahead and take a nap, too.

To read the entire article, click here