Is Your Dog Your Best Friend or a Family Member?

If Yes, Then Please Join Me and Take the Pledge

< A version of this article was published in the October 2017 issue of Downeast Dog News>

Dogs were first referred to as “Man’s best friend” in 1789 by Frederick, King of Prussia. Today it is not uncommon for a person to say that they consider their dog to not only be their friend but to be a member of their family. That is how I view both my dog and cats. In spite of this apparent devotion to dogs, there are still too many people in this country that routinely use electronic shock collars to subject their dogs to shock on a regular basis, all in the name of training and containment.

When a dog receives an electric shock from a shock collar, the shock is meant to be sufficiently aversive to change the dog’s behavior. An aversive typically causes either physical or emotional pain or both. If the dog does not find the shock aversive, the shock will not stop the behavior. That is basic psychology. Rewarding a dog for a behavior causes that behavior to increase, and punishing a dog or adding an aversive, causes a behavior to decrease. Those that insist the shock does not hurt the dog and that it is merely a “stim” or “tickle” are either misleading people or do not understand the fundamentals of psychology and learning theory.

What makes the use of electric shock on animals even more distressing than the fact that we are intentionally hurting our pets, is that science has demonstrated that the use of punishment is unnecessary to train or manage a pet. In fact, we know with certainty, that the use of shock and other aversives can be extremely detrimental. The use of aversives can damage the bond we have with our pet, impair our pet’s ability to learn, and often cause fear and aggression. Considering that shock is unnecessary, its use amounts to nothing less than abuse. So I ask, why would anyone intentionally abuse their best friend or a family member?

Since its beginnings in 2012, The Pet Professional Guild (PPG) has advocated against the use of aversives in the training and management of pets. In 2015, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), an accreditation body for veterinary practices and hospitals, issued their Behavior Management Guidelines. The guidelines clearly state: “Aversive techniques include prong (pinch) or choke collars, cattle prods, alpha rolls, dominance downs, electronic shock collars, lunge whips, starving or withholding food, entrapment, and beating. None of those tools and methods should be used to either teach or alter behavior.” [Emphasis added]. The experts on our pets health, behavior, and training agree; shock should NEVER be used.

Whether the use of electric shock is intentional, due to casual disregard because “it is just a dog,” or due to ignorance, I and many others believe it is time for this inhumane treatment of our best friends and family members to stop. On September 25th the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) launched the Shock-Free Coalition ( http://www.shockfree.org ) “…an initiative that aims to build an international movement committed to eliminating shock devices once and for all in the care, training and management of pets.” This noble cause is long overdue and one that I support without hesitation. I hope that you will join me in this movement to educate and advocate for the abolishment of the use of shock devices for the management and training of our best friends and family members. Please take the first step, and join me by taking the pledge at http://www.petprofessionalguild.com/Sign-The-Pledge.

What else can you do to support the Shock-Free Coalition?

  • Dog Parents – Ask any and every pet care provider that participates in the care of your dog (animal shelters, boarding kennels, breeders, daycares, dog walkers, groomers, humane societies, pet related periodicals, pet sitters, places you buy pet food and supplies, rescues. Veterinarians, ) if they are aware of the Shock-Free Coalition and if they have taken the pledge. Encourage them to do so. If they chose not to take the pledge, ask them why. Suggest that they do some research and reconsider. You might even provide them with a copy of this column. If they are still unwilling to take the pledge, remember, you can choose who gets your pet related business. Sometimes money speaks louder than words.
  • Pet Care Professionals – Take the pledge and make your support known to your employees, customers, and clients. Tell them about the pledge and ask them to take it as well. Show your support for the Shock-Free Coalition with signs in your facility, articles in your newsletter, information on your website, and with posts on social media. I know that pet parents care about this issue and they want to know that you care too!
  • Dog Parents and Pet Care Professionals in Maine – It is my goal to place an ad in the November issue of Down East Dog News listing everyone one in the state of Maine who has taken the pledge. We need to show that those that still recommend and sell shock collars are a minority. We need to show them that we want to stop the unnecessary abuse of our pets. To make that ad happen, I need your help and some donations. Learn how to add your name to the list for the November ad and to make a donation at http://bit.ly/Shock-FreeME

To learn more about the problems with shock collars, visit these resources:

The Unintended Consequences of Shock Collarhttp://bit.ly/ShockCollars

PPG Shock-Free Coalitionhttp://www.shockfree.org

Shock-Free Maine Information and Donation pagehttp://bit.ly/Shock-FreeME

PPG Guiding Principles – https://www.petprofessionalguild.com/PPGs-Guiding-Principles

Green Acres Kennel Shop Position Statement on Pet-Friendly, Force-Free Pet Care – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2006/02/01/no-pain-no-force-no-fear-green-acres-kennel-shop-position-statement-on-pet-friendly-force-free-pet-care/

AAHA Canine and Feline Behavior Management Guidelines – https://www.aaha.org/professional/resources/behavior_management_guidelines.aspx

________________________________________________________________________
Don Hanson is the co-owner of the Green Acres Kennel Shop ( greenacreskennel.com ) in Bangor. He is a Bach Foundation Registered Animal Practitioner (BFRAP), Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), Associate Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (ACCBC) and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). He produces and co- hosts a weekly radio show and podcast, The Woof Meow Show heard on The Pulse AM620 WZON and streamed at http://www.wzonradio.com/ every Saturday at 9 AM. A list of upcoming shows and podcasts of past shows can be found at www.woofmeowshow.com. Don also writes about pets at his blog: www.words-woofs-meows.com. He is committed to pet care and pet training that is free of pain, force, and fear. The opinions in this post are those of Don Hanson.

©1OCT17, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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URGENT! – Health Alert – Canine Cough in Southern Maine

September 10th, 2017 – We have received information that there have been several cases of Canine Cough in Southern Maine (this is not to be confused with the Canine Flu). We have currently NOT experienced any here at Green Acres at this time, but there is always the potential that this may occur.

We have contacted local veterinarians and asked them to keep us advised if they start to see canine cough in the greater Bangor area.

As you may all know, Canine Cough can come from a variety of different strains, and while we do require the vaccination, it is not full-proof, particularly against strains that may not be covered by the vaccine. That being said, vaccinated dogs typically recover more quickly. While for most dogs, Canine Cough is a relatively mild cold with an hacking cough, there is always a concern for the development of pneumonia, particularly in the young and the old.

If you are seeing any signs of a “cold” in your dog (runny eyes or nose, sneezing, coughing, lethargy, lack of appetite, fever, etc.) please do not bring your pet for daycare, boarding, grooming or training until they have seen their veterinarian and have been cleared. Also, please contact us immediately so that we are aware. As we experienced earlier this year, often dogs are contagious well before they are symptomatic so the sooner we have a heads up the better for all.

At Green Acres Kennel Shop we do require that dogs that board or daycare with us, or that are enrolled in a training class, be current on a canine cough vaccine as administered by their veterinarian, or canine cough nosodes as prescribed and provided by the veterinarian. Not all boarding and daycare facilities require canine cough preventatives.

Canine cough or kennel cough are lay terms for Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC), which is highly contagious to other dogs, much like the common cold is with people. Canine cough can be transmitted through the air from one dog to the next or by contact with contaminated objects such as a common water dish at the dog park or in front of a dog-friendly store. Like the common cold is to humans, canine cough is not typically serious, but if you see symptoms in your dog (coughing, gagging, vomiting, or general lethargy) I would recommend that you call your veterinarian.

For More Information on canine cough <click here>

©2017, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved <Click for Copyright and Use Policy>

PET FOOD RECALL – BLUE Wilderness® Rocky Mountain Recipe™ Red Meat Dinner Wet Food For Adult Dogs

< UPDATE 11AUG17 >

Further research indicates that this was a duplicate of an announcement from earlier in the year. My apologies, however, when it comes to recalls of product that could may our pets ill, I will always error on the side of safety. – Don

Blue Buffalo has voluntarily recalled one lot of BLUE Wilderness® Rocky Mountain Recipe™ Red Meat Dinner Wet Food For Adult Dogs as the product has the potential to contain elevated levels of naturally- occurring beef thyroid hormones. According to the recall notice from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “Dogs ingesting high levels of beef thyroid hormones may exhibit symptoms such as increased thirst and urination, weight loss, increased heart rate and restlessness. These symptoms may resolve when the use of the impacted food is discontinued. However, with prolonged consumption these symptoms may increase in severity and may include vomiting, diarrhea, and rapid or difficulty breathing. Should these symptoms occur, contact your veterinarian immediately.”

UPC CODE: 840243101153, Best Buy Date: June 7, 2019 (found on the bottom of the can)

 

 

 

 

 

The FDA recall notice can be found at https://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm547335.htm

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog (http://www.words-woofs-meows.com)

Pet Nutrition – What Should I Feed My Pet? – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2017/06/04/pet-nutrition-what-should-i-feed-my-pet/

©9AUG17, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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How to Report Adverse Reactions to Vaccines, Drugs, Devices, Foods, and Flea and Tick Products

If your pet has an adverse reaction to a vaccine, a drug, a device, food or treat, or a flea or tick control product, you need to report that adverse reaction to your veterinarian and the appropriate government agency. By doing so, you may prevent another pet from a serious illness or death.

The following links will help you to do so. Thank you!

USDA – Vaccines – Adverse Event Reportinghttps://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/veterinary-biologics/adverse-event-reporting/ct_vb_adverse_event

FDA – How to Report Animal Drug Side Effects and Product Problemshttps://www.fda.gov/animalveterinary/safetyhealth/reportaproblem/ucm055305.htm

EPA – Flea and Tick Control Products – Pesticide Poisoning in Petshttp://npic.orst.edu/health/petpoison.html

FDA – Pet Food – How to Report Product Problems and Complaints to the FDAhttps://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm095859.htm

 

©6JUL17, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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RECALL – Loving Pets Voluntarily Recalls Limited Lot Numbers of Air-Puffed Dog Treats Because of Possible Salmonella Health Risk

Select lots of Loving Pets Barksters™, Loving Pets Puffsters™, Whole Hearted™ have been voluntarily recalled by Loving Pets of Cranbury, NJ because of the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Specific lot numbers are noted below.

Per the FDA recall notice:

 

Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.”

“Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.”

“Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.”

The lot numbers included are:

Loving Pets Barksters™

  • Item #5700 Sweet Potato and Chicken UPC 842982057005 – Lot # 021619
  • Item #5705 Brown Rice and Chicken UPC 842982057050 – Lot 021419

Loving Pets Puffsters™ Snack Chips

  • Item #5100 Apple and Chicken UPC 842982051003 – Lot 051219, 112118, 112918, 012719, 012519, 013019
  • Item #5110 Banana and Chicken UPC 842982051102 – Lot 112218, 112818, 112918, 013119
  • Item #5120 Sweet Potato and Chicken UPC 842982051201 – Lot 112818, 020119
  • Item #5130 Cranberry and Chicken UPC 842982051300 – Lot 020319, 112918, 020219

Whole Hearted™

  • Item #2570314 Chicken and Apple Puff Treats UPC 800443220696 – Lot 121418, 121918, 122318, 010419, 010619, 010519

FMIhttps://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm563210.htm

RECALL – United Pet Group Voluntary Recalls Multiple Brands of Rawhide Chew Products

Rawhide chews marketed under the names American Beefhide, Digest-eeze, Healthy Hide, and Good ‘n’ Fun have been voluntarily recalled due to possible chemical contamination with a quaternary ammonium compound mixture as a processing aid in the manufacturing of rawhide chews. The primary complaint received from consumers was that the affected product had an unpleasant odor. Diarrhea and vomiting were also reported.

Exposure to quaternary ammonium compounds through direct ingestion may cause the following symptoms in dogs: reduced appetite, and gastric irritation including diarrhea and vomiting. These symptoms may require treatment by a veterinarian depending on severity.

FMI – https://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm562701.htm

HEALTH ALERT – Important new from the Rabies Challenge Fund!

Important new from the Rabies Challenge Fund. Let’s hope that governments throughout the world do the right thing and accept Rabies titer results instead of requiring additional, yet unnecessary and often detrimental revaccination.

Recently updated testimony/statement of Dr. Ronald Schultz on rabies vaccination and rabies titers. “Canine studies funded by The Rabies Challenge Fund and performed in collaboration with the University of Georgia have confirmed that dogs that have a detectable rabies antibody titer are resistant to disease caused by experimental challenge with virulent rabies virus for as long as 7 years after two doses of rabies vaccine.”

FMIhttps://media.wix.com/ugd/03057b_baf85dd47501428aa6f238d71a177d91.pdf

URGENT! – Health Alert – Canine Cough in the Community

March 29th, 2017 – There is a strain of canine cough in the community. We have talked to veterinarians in the area, and they have reported seeing dogs with canine cough in dogs that have been at several kennels and daycares in the area. They have also seen dogs with canine cough that have not been at any kennel or daycare, at least recently, and as reported, these dogs have not necessarily been around other dogs. In some cases, canine cough has been seen in dogs that were current on their Bordetella vaccine, which suggests that the vaccination does not offer immunity to this particular strain of canine cough.

While the number of dogs that have shown symptoms and/or have been diagnosed is small compared to those that are symptom and disease free, we want to be sure that you are aware of the situation.

At Green Acres Kennel Shop we do require that dogs that board or daycare with us, or that are enrolled in a training class, be current on a canine cough vaccine as administered by their veterinarian, or canine cough nosodes as prescribed and provided by the veterinarian. Not all boarding and daycare facilities require canine cough preventatives.

Canine cough or kennel cough are lay terms for Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC), which is highly contagious to other dogs, much like the common cold is with people. Canine cough can be transmitted through the air from one dog to the next or by contact with contaminated objects such as a common water dish at the dog park or in front of a dog-friendly store. Like the common cold is to humans, canine cough is not typically serious, but if you see symptoms in your dog (coughing, gagging, vomiting, or general lethargy) I would recommend that you call your veterinarian.

For More Information on canine cough <click here>

©2017, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved <Click for Copyright and Use Policy>

PET FOOD RECALL- Barnsdale Farms® Pig Ears

Individually shrink-wrapped, 6-pack, 12-pack and 25-pack bags of Barnsdale Farms®, HoundsTooth® and Mac’s Choice® Pig Ears have been voluntarily recalled by EuroCan Manufacturing because the products may be contaminated with Salmonella. No illnesses have been reported. The recall effects Lot Number 84.

 

Green Acres Kennel Shop does not sell this product; however, we feel it is important to pass on information on recalls whenever possible.

The FDA recall notice can be found at https://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm547572.htm

 

PET FOOD RECALL- Wellness 95% Beef Topper for Dogs

WellPet, is recalling cans of Wellness ninety-five percent Beef Topper for dogs.  The product may contain elevated levels of naturally occurring beef thyroid hormone.

Cans in this recall have Best-By Dates of 02 FEB 19, 29AUG19, and 30AUG19, found on the bottom of the can.

Symptoms of ingesting a high level of beef thyroid hormone include increased thirst and urination, increased heart rate, restlessness and weight loss. More severe symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea and difficulty breathing. If you observe these symptoms in your dog, contact your veterinarian immediately.

The FDA recall notice can be found at https://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm547333.htm