Shared Blog Post – Why Are Cats So Picky? And What Can You Do About It?

< Updated 02SEP21 >

Chris from Weruva, one of our favorite cat food companies, explains why your cat can be so fussy about what they eat. It’s not about taste. It’s a little bit about the smell. What really matters most to a cat is how the food feels in its mouth and on its tongue. Chris explains in detail on this blog and YouTube video at –

Shared Blog Post – No Pain, No Force, No Fear: An Interview with Niki Tudge by Dr. Karen Becker

< Updated 23FEB20 >

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Dr. Karen Becker interviews Niki Tudge the founder of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) and discusses why and how Tudge decided to launch what is today an 8000+ member organization of pet care professionals committed to the training, husbandry, and management of pets that is Pain-Free, Force-Free, and Fear-Free as outlined in the PPG Guiding Principles. The Pet Professional Guild is an organization grounded in science, facts, and ethics committed to education. I encourage any pet care professionals to join and support the PPG and suggest that anyone with pets looking for a pet care professional start their search at the PPG’s Find A Professional page.

Tudge describes the Guiding Principles as “…how do we behave towards animals, how do we behave towards our industry, and then how do we behave towards our customers? She elaborates on the PPG’s philosophy of no pain, no force, and no fear and how PPG has defined force as “…any approach that causes physical or emotional fear with the intent of damaging” while also emphasizing that it is essential to give the dog a choice to interact in the training process, and if the dog is not enjoying the process we need to modify our approach.

Becker and Tudge discuss various PPG programs, including the PPG’s junior membership, which has three levels for children; 8 to 12, 13-17, and then an apprentice level for young adults 18 to 20 years of age.  If you have a child that is interested in dogs, I strongly encourage you to enroll them in this program, especially if they are interested in a career working with companion animals.

The interview also introduces PPG’s brand new Pet Rescue Resources Program, which is a free program targeted to shelters and resources, which will include guidelines, videos, handouts for protocols that they need to have in place to provide the best possible care for the homeless pets in their charge.

One of the best comments from the interview, “Dr. Becker: You allow your dogs to be dogs, I think is the best way to say that.”

You can view the video of this interview at

Recommended Resources

Dr. Karen Becker Interview with Niki Tudge

Transcript of Dr. Karen Becker Interview with Niki Tudge

The Pet Professional Guild

The Pet Professional Guild Guiding Principles

The Pet Professional Guild Find A Professional Page

PPG Junior Membership

Shared Blog Post – Dogs That Should Avoid Going to a Dog Park from Dr. Karen Becker

In this post from May 10th, 2019, veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker discusses dog parks and why they are not appropriate for all dog dogs. < Click to read Dr. Becker’s post >

For additional information on dog parks, you may wish to read these articles on my blog.

Before You Visit the Dog Park –

Going to the Dog Park – Is It A Good Idea for You and Your Dog?

Podcast – Podcast – Going to the Dog Park – Is It A Good Idea for You and Your Dog?

Shared Blog Post – The Controllers & The Controlled: Why I Don’t Do CGC Testing by Rain Jordan

In December of 2018 Rain Jordan, CBCC-KA, KPA CTP, a professional dog trainer published an article on her blog ( ) entitled The Controllers & The Controlled: Why I Don’t Do CGC Testing. I do not recall when I first read the post, but when I did, I was very impressed as I felt Rain brought up some excellent points for consideration. I have also had had concerns about the Canine Good Citizen test over the years as has Kate, Green Acres’ Operations Manager and my co-host on The Woof Meow Show. Kate and I recently addressed Rain’s article on the show on April 13th. You can listen to that show at this link Click to Listen to Podcast.

Rain heard our discussion on the show and informed me that her original post in December received quite a reaction and that she felt necessary to respond in a second post on January 5th of 2019. I read her response and told her I thought it was brilliant. Rain, thank you for speaking out for dogs.

You can find links to both of Rain’s post below; I encourage you to read both.

The Controllers & The Controlled: Why I Don’t Do CGC Testing

CGC Essay Addendum: For Dog Lovers & Their Dogs, Please Pay Careful Attention


Shared Blog Post – Food Transitioning versus Food Rotating: What is the Difference?

I have been rotating what I feed my pets for years, and at Green Acres Kennel Shop we have been recommending dietary rotation to clients at least since 2012 when our Operations Manager Kate wrote about her experience rotating diets in our newsletter that May ( FMI ).

On April 12th of this year, veterinarian Jean Dodds of Hemopet and NutriScan published an article on her blog on the same topic. The following are some of the key quotes from Dr. Dodds’ article.

Like humans, dogs should be eating a variety of nutritious foods, and not living on just one specific formula.”

No one dietary formula, no matter how “complete and balanced” it is, can meet all of an animal’s nutritional needs over an extended period.

“There is no one “perfect” food or perfect food combination that provides everything a human or animal needs to create optimum health over long periods.”

“Rotating protein sources not only ensures your pet will benefit from a varied amino acid and nutrient profile, it also reduces the risk he will form an intolerance to any specific animal protein source over time.”

You can read Dr. Dodds entire post, and I encourage you to do so, at

Shared Blog Post – FDA Updates on Heart Disease in Dogs – Hemopet – Dr. Jean Dodds

On July 23rd I first updated you on a report by the FDA discussing a potential connection between grain-free pet foods and canine heart disease. Today while attending a webinar presented by Dr. Jean Dodds I learned of new information on this topic release by the FDA. This information indicates that “Based on the data collected and analyzed thus far, the agency believes that the potential association between diet and DCM in dogs is a complex scientific issue that may involve multiple factors.”

In her analysis of this new information from the FDA, Dr. Dodds notes “The framing of a possible connection between grain-free diets and DCM in dogs was premature and set off alarm bells across the veterinary and dog world communities.” I encourage you to read her complete blog article at

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog

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Podcast – Is Feeding A Grain-Free Food to Our Dogs Dangerous?, with Linda Case, MS

UPDATE! – Pet Nutrition – Grain-Free Foods and FDA Reports of Increased Heart Disease in Dogs – WDJ Blog Post – < >

UPDATE! – Pet Nutrition – Grain-Free Foods and FDA Reports of Increased Heart Disease in Dogs – < >

Grain-Free Foods and FDA Reports of Increased Heart Disease in Dogs – < >

Shared Blog Post – Midstate (PA) woman says kennel used shock collar on her dog

< Updated – 1APR19 >

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This story from WHTM ABC 27 in Harrisburg, PA dated March 27th, 2019, interviews Stephanie Hastings who left her dog Becker in the care of a boarding kennel in Pennsylvania. Becker came home from the kennel acting withdrawn and, “… he looked broken when he came back.” “She took her dog Becker to a veterinarian who concluded the injuries were related to a shock collar or shocking incident.”

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He had marks on his neck that looked like burn marks of what I initially thought were bite marks, but it turned out to be shock collar burns on his neck and he didn’t go in with them,” said Hastings.”

Hastings later learned that it is legal in Pennsylvania for a boarding kennel to use a shock collar on a dog. Stephanie Hastings is now on a mission to strengthen animal cruelty laws in Pennsylvania.

I’m sharing this report because this same thing could happen in Maine as there is nothing in Maine state law to prevent this type of abuse. When you board your dog, please verify that your kennel would NEVER use or recommend shock collars or any aversive for any reason. I suggest that you ask the same of your trainer, groomer, daycare, veterinarian and basically any pet care facility including shelters, humane societies and rescue groups.

You can also ask your pet care professional if they are a member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) and comply with the PPG Guiding Principles which explicitly prohibit the use of pain, force, or fear in the care, confinement, and training of pets. The PPG is the only USA based organization of pet care professionals that have policies in place that require compliance with their guiding principles.  When I am asked to recommend another pet care professional, the first thing I look for is one that is a member of the PPG. < Click to Find A PPG Member >

The PPG and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) both have policies in place that state aversives (alpha rolls, beating, cattle prods, choke collars, dominance downs, electronic shock collars, lunge whips prong (pinch) collars, shock collars, anything aversive) should NEVER be used with pets.

You can watch and read the report by Logan Wilson at < >

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog

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Say No To Shock! – A list of Scientific Articles, Laws and Regulations, Mass Media Articles, Blog Posts, and Articles on Websites, Podcasts, Position Statements, and Website and Social Media Pages that address the abusive use of electric shock in the training, care, management, and containment of pets. –

The Unintended Consequences of Shock Collars –

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show

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 The Woof Meow Show: The Pet Professional Guild and the Shock-Free Coalition with Niki Tudge

The Woof Meow Show: The Unintended Consequences of Shock Collars


Web Sites and Social Media Pages

The Shock-Free Coalition

The Shock-Free Coalition on Facebook –

The Shock-Free Coalition/Maine Chapter

The Shock-Free Coalition/Maine Chapter on Facebook

Shared Facebook Post – Cats, Carriers & Transport

Below you will find another great poster from our friends at Mighty Dog Graphics.

This poster also offers sound advice when taking your cat to the boarding facility, or anytime you transport your cat. Please do not assume that you will NEVER need to transport your cat anywhere. It will happen. Click on the image to download it as a poster.

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog

( )

Cat Behavior – Make Your Life Easier – Get Your Cat to Love Their Carrier

SHARED POST – Family Paws Parent Education – Being Dog Aware – ALWAYS!

This educational post from my friends at Family Paws Parent Education on their Facebook page Dog And Baby Connection illustrates the importance of ALWAYS being aware of a dogs body language and how quickly it can change as the dog get stressed as the child gets closer.

Changes in proximity are absolutely fascinating. So often, the dog is relaxed or engaged in something and comfortable with your baby hanging around nearby, but everything can change when that gap is closed. We always say “Invites decrease bites” for good reason! Inviting a dog to approach you is very different from having the child approach the dog or close that gap. Notice the changes in this dog’s body language as the little boy approaches his mom. And how common is this scenario? It happens All. The. Time. Dog hanging out with trusted adult, child approaches adult. It’s up to us as Dog Aware adults to recognize these changes in the dog and make adjustments to the situation as needed to ensure the safety and comfortability of all.”