Podcast – Pets in the News No. 10

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< Updated 02MAY20 >

< A short link for this page –

https://bit.ly/WfMwPetNews-10 >

If you brought home a puppy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, you will not want to miss this show. Puppies have a critical socialization period from 3 to 16 weeks of age. How they are exposed to new things can greatly affect their behavior and quality of life. Socialization requires interaction with a wide variety of people and animals during this time frame, which is not practical or safe during a pandemic. Don and Kate will review articles and offer suggestions on what you can to provide your pandemic puppy with the best socialization possible. We also discuss keeping your adult dog mentally stimulated. We finish the show with a discussion of how our dogs signal us to do things for them. You can find links to all of the articles we discussed below.

Links to Articles from the Show

Time is of the Essence: Puppy Socialization During a Pandemic from My Fantastic Friend by Jessica Ring – https://www.myfantasticfriend.com/2020/03/19/time-is-of-the-essence-puppy-socialization-during-a-pandemic/

5 Mind-Challenging Games to Play With Your Dog – Dr. Karen Becker – https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2020/03/09/brain-stimulating-games-for-dogs.aspx

Cross-species referential signalling events in domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) from Animal Cognition (2018) 21:457-465, Worsley & O’Harahttps://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10071-018-1181-3

Contact Info for The Woof Meow Show

Address: 1653 Union St., Bangor, ME 04401
Phone: 207-945-6841, x103
Upcoming Shows: http://bit.ly/WfMwUpcomingShows
Website: www.woofmeowshow.com
Don’s Blog: http://bit.ly/Words-Woofs-Meows
Podcast Site: http://bit.ly/WfMwPodcasts
Live Stream: http://bit.ly/AM620-WZON
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WoofMeowShow/


©02MAY20, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved

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Podcast – Pets in the News No. 9

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< Updated 26APR20 >

< A short link for this page –

https://bit.ly/WfMwPetNews9 >

In this episode of The Woof Meow Show from April 25th, 2020, Kate and Don discuss several recent articles in the news about dogs and cats. The topics they discuss include;

  • COVID-19 and Your Pets
  • Pet Grooming & COVID-19
  • Puppy Socialization & Alone Training
  • Understanding A Cat’s Emotional State By Looking At Their Face
  • Why A Cat Should Not Be Declawed

You can find links to all of the articles we discussed below.

Links to Articles from the Show

COVID-19 and Your Pet – What You Need to Know – Dr. Karen Becker – https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2020/03/15/coronavirus-in-animals.aspx

COVID-19 and Pet Dogs – BARKS from the Guild – Dan Antolec – https://barksfromtheguild.com/2020/03/14/covid-19-and-pet-dogs/

Don’t Get Your Pet Groomed; Groomers Say – from the Atlantic on April 14th by Olga Khazan – https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/04/it-safe-get-your-dog-groomed-during-covid-19/609982/

Alone Training – http://bit.ly/AloneTraining

How to Help Your Dog Avoid Separation Anxiety – Dr. Karen Becker – https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2020/04/10/clingy-dog-behavior.aspx

Reading Cats’ Minds – BARKS from the Guild, Andrea Carnehttps://www.dropbox.com/s/fenmrhkr3xq2bq4/Page%2045-47%20Feline%20%28AC%29.pdf?dl=0

The Pet Professional Guild Position Statement on Cat Declawinghttps://www.petprofessionalguild.com/Statement-on-Cat-Declawing

Contact Info for The Woof Meow Show

Address: 1653 Union St., Bangor, ME 04401
Phone: 207-945-6841, x103
Upcoming Shows: http://bit.ly/WfMwUpcomingShows
Website: www.woofmeowshow.com
Don’s Blog: http://bit.ly/Words-Woofs-Meows
Podcast Site: http://bit.ly/WfMwPodcasts
Live Stream: http://bit.ly/AM620-WZON
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WoofMeowShow/

 ©26APR20, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved

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Podcast – Charlee and the Electronic Shock Containment System w-Dan Antolec

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< Updated 19APR20 >

< A short link for this page –
insert link  – https://bit.ly/Blog-Charlee_E-Fence >


Have you ever thought about using a shock collar with your dog, or do you currently use one? Do you know someone that does? Please, listen to this podcast to learn about the dangerous fallout that can occur when using electric shock to train or contain your dog.

In this episode of The Woof Meow Show from April 18th, 2020, Don Hanson talks with Dan Antolec, Co-Chair of the Shock-Free Coalition and the owner of Happy Buddha Dog Training in Brooklyn, Wisconsin. Don and Dan are both credentialed professional dog trainers and dog behavior consultants committed to pet care that is free of pain, force, and fear. They serve on the Pet Professional Guild Steering Committee and co-chair the Shock-Free Coalition.

In this podcast, we discuss Antolec’s article E-Fence Fallout, which appeared in the March 2020 issue of BARKS from the Guild, the official publication of the Pet Professional Guild. The subject of the article is a dog named Charlee. Charlee’s guardians sought Dan’s advice after installing an Electronic Shock Containment System, also called a non-visible fence, which severely and negatively affected Charlee’s behavior and quality of life.

Topics we discuss include the lack of knowledge of the “professional” installer who sold the system and the franchise’s failure to disclose potential side-effects of using a shock collar. We will reveal how the system failed to keep Charlee in her yard as advertised and made her afraid to come back into her yard and safety. Dan will describe how a malfunction by the shock collar caused Charlee to be shocked while simply relaxing calming in her own home. Lastly, we discuss how the shock and the benign sound that reveals a shock is imminent, caused Charlee to become afraid.  The painful shock soon became associated with a wide variety of sounds heard in Charlee’s environment regularly. Soon she was always anticipating another painful shock and living in constant fear. We also discuss some of the many peer-reviewed scientific articles that warn of the use of electric shock for the purpose of training, behavior change, or containment. Charlee’s story is painful, but it is a story that Charlee’s guardians and Dan wanted people to hear so that we can end the use of these abusive and dangerous tools.

If you would like to join us at the Shock-Free Coalition and help us stop the use of shock collars, please take the pledge, as an individual or business, and at no cost to you at, https://www.shockfree.org/Pledge. You can go a step further and order some Shock-Free merchandise at the coalition online store at – https://pet-professional-guild.myshopify.com/collections/all?page=3

If you wish to report that your pet has been exposed to a Shock-Collar by a Pet Professional without your explicit knowledge and approval, you may do so at https://www.shockfree.org/Shock-Collar-Use

You can hear The Woof Meow Show on Z62 Retro Radio, AM620, and WKIT HD3 at 9 AM on Saturday. If you are not near a radio, listen on your computer at http://bit.ly/AM620-WZON or your smartphone or tablet with the free WZON 620 AM app. A podcast of the show is typically posted immediately after the show. You can download this show and others at http://bit.ly/WfMwPodcasts , at Don’s blog http://bit.ly/Words-Woofs-Meows and the Apple iTunes store.

Contact Info

Business: Happy Buddha Dog Training, Brooklyn, WI
Website: https://www.happybuddhadogtraining.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/HappyBuddhaDogTraining/

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog
( http://bit.ly/Words-Woofs-Meows  )

What’s Shocking about Shock? – What Science Tells Us About the Use of Shock in Dog Training – PPG BARKS from the Guild – July 2019http://bit.ly/ShockBARK-JUL2019

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

Is Your Dog Your Best Friend or a Family Member? – WWM-OCT2017 –   http://bit.ly/BestFriendsAndShock

Shared Blog Post – The Tucson Dog – Arizona Region Shock-Free Coalitionhttp://bit.ly/Shared-TucsonDogFEB2019

About Donhttp://bit.ly/AboutDonHanson

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show
( http://bit.ly/WfMwPodcasts )

The Unintended Consequences of Shock Collarshttp://bit.ly/ShockPodcast

The Pet Professional Guild and the Shock-Free Coalition with Niki Tudgehttp://bit.ly/PodCastShockFree-NikiTudge-2017

What’s Shocking About Shock – What Science Tells Us About the Use of Shock in Dog Traininghttp://bit.ly/WfMw-WhatShock-27JUL19

Other Resources

BARKS from the Guild
( https://barksfromtheguild.com/ )

E-Fence Fallout by Daniel Antolechttps://barksfromtheguild.com/2020/04/16/e-fence-fallout

“I Will Never Use the Shock Collar Again!” by Eileen Anderson https://barksfromtheguild.com/2019/11/28/i-will-never-use-the-shock-collar-again/

The Problem with Shock by Angelica Steinkerhttps://barksfromtheguild.com/2019/12/16/the-problem-with-shock/

The Unintended Consequences of Shock by Dan Antolec – https://barksfromtheguild.com/2018/05/13/the-unintended-consequences-of-shock/

What’s Shocking about Shock? – What Science Tells Us About the Use of Shock in Dog Training by Don Hanson – https://barksfromtheguild.com/article/whats-shocking-about-shock/

The Pet Professional Guild
https://www.petprofessionalguild.com/ )

Guiding Principleshttp://bit.ly/PPG-GuidingPrinciples

The Use of Shock in Animal Training – https://www.petprofessionalguild.com/shockcollars

Pet Training, Management and Care: We Now Know Enough to Stop Shocking Our Pets – An Open Letter to Pet Industry Representatives Regarding the Use of Shock in Animal Training – http://bit.ly/2mUEj4Q

The Shock-Free Coalition
https://www.shockfree.org/ )

Take the Shock-Free Pledgehttps://www.shockfree.org/Pledge

The Shock-Free Coalition Store https://pet-professional-guild.myshopify.com/collections/all?page=3

The Shock-Free Coalition on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/shockfreecoalition/

The Shock-Free Coalition-Maine on Facebookhttp://bit.ly/ShockFreeMEFB

Report Shock Collar Abusehttps://www.shockfree.org/Shock-Collar-Use


©19APR20, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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Podcast – Babies, Toddlers, Kids & Dogs with Jennifer Shryock from Family Paws Parent Education

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< Updated 28MAR20 >

< A short link for this page
–  bit.ly/WfMw-Kids_Dogs-28MAR20 >

In this episode of The Woof Meow Show from March 28th, 2020, Kate and Don have a conversation with Jennifer Shryock about keeping children and dogs safe. We believe this podcast will be especially useful to anyone called upon to supervise the interactions between a child and a dog. This podcast is not just for people with kids and dogs. Any professional that works with parents, children, and dogs can benefit from this information.

Jennifer Shryock is the founder of Family Paws Parent Education and is an excellent resource for helping parents manage a home with a little human and a canine. As a mother, pet parent, teacher, and Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, Jennifer knows how to help mom, dad, a child, and the dog live in harmony.

In this show, we discuss the behaviors dogs need to learn to perform reliably and the fact that training a dog takes time. Prepping the dog and your home for the arrival of the baby should begin many months ahead of time. If the dog has anxiety or fear issues, working with a veterinary behaviorist may be essential and should start even earlier than training. Jennifer discusses the importance of parents learning how to familiarize themselves with carrying an infant while interacting with the dog and recommends that be done before the child ever comes home.

You can hear The Woof Meow Show on Z62 Retro Radio, AM620, and WKIT HD3 at 9 AM on Saturday. If you are not near a radio, listen on your computer at http://bit.ly/AM620-WZON or your smartphone or tablet with the free WZON 620 AM app. A podcast of the show is typically posted immediately after the show. You can download this show and others at http://bit.ly/WfMwPodcasts , at Don’s blog http://bit.ly/Words-Woofs-Meows and the Apple iTunes store.

< Click to Listen to Podcast >

Contact Info for Jennifer

Organization: Family Paws Parent Education
Address: 141 Brannigan place. Cary, NC 27511
Phone: 919.961.1608
EMAIL: jen@familypaws.com
Website: https://www.familypaws.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/FamilyPawsParentEd/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/familypaws
Instagram: #familypawsofficial

Recommended Resources

Free Downloadable Handouts from Family Paws
Click on the title to view/download as a PDF

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

Behaviors your dog needs to know

How to Choose a Dog Trainerhttp://bit.ly/HowToChooseADogTrainer

Reward Based Training versus Aversives – http://bit.ly/RewardVSAversive

 Alone Traininghttp://bit.ly/AloneTraining

Teaching the ATTENTION or LOOK Behavior – http://bit.ly/GAKS-Attention

Teaching The Name Game – http://bit.ly/TeachingTheNameGame

What Should I Do When My Dog Does Not Let Me Take Something They Have Stolen and Snaps or Tries to Bite Me?http://bit.ly/StealGuardGrowlSnap

What Should I Do When My Dog Growls?http://bit.ly/DogGrowls

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show
( http://bit.ly/WfMwPodcasts )

Podcast – The Benefits of Training Your Dog and 2020 Classes at Green Acres Kennel Shophttp://bit.ly/WfMw-Training2020

Podcast – How to Choose A Dog Trainer (2017) – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2017/01/08/how-to-choose-a-dog-trainer/

Podcast Kids & Dogs with Colleen Pelar – part 1http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow-2007-02-11-LivingwithKidsDogs-part-1.mp3

Podcast Kids & Dogs with Colleen Pelar – part 2http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow-2007-02-18-LivingwithKids-Dogs-part2.mp3

Podcast Dogs and Babies with Jennifer Shryock from Family Paws Parent Educationhttp://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow-2013-08-17-Dogs_and_Babies_w-Jennifer_Shryock_.mp3


A Kids’ Comprehensive Guide to Speaking Dog! by Niki Tudge http://bit.ly/BkRvw-KidsGuide-Tudge

Living with Kids and Dogs…Without Losing Your Mind: A Parent’s Guide to Controlling the Chaos by Colleen Pelar http://bit.ly/BkRwv-LvngKidsDogs-Pelar

©28MAR20, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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Podcast – Pets in the News No. 8

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< Updated 14MAR20 >

< A short link for this page –
https://bit.ly/WfMwPetNews8 >

In this episode of The Woof Meow Show from March 14th, 2020, Kate and Don discuss several recent articles in the news about dogs and cats. The topics they discuss include; cats and some of the things we do that cause our feline friend’s undue stress. Directly related to that is an article that discusses the best way to pet a cat, so it is an enjoyable experience for both you and the cat. Then we divert to dogs, answering the question, why does my dog kick when I scratch him a certain place? Next, we look at seasonal allergies, an issue for both people and pets, and how climate change is likely to make the suffering from seasonal allergies worse. We address two common training questions; the puppy that doesn’t like to go for a walk and the dog that bites at his leash. Also, we discuss an article that explains why some foods make better training rewards than others. You can find links to all of the articles we discussed below.

Links to Articles from the Show

10 Things You Might Do That Stress Your Cat Out, Dr. Karen Becker, healthy pets, 11FEB20 – https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2020/02/11/causes-of-stress-in-cats.aspx

When Petting Your Kitty Think Like A Cat, Dr. Karen Becker, healthy pets, 28JAN20 – https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2020/01/28/places-to-pet-your-cat.aspx

Is That the Spot! Why Does My Dog Kick When I Scratch Him?, Dr. Jean Dodds, Hemopet, 2FEB20 – https://www.hemopet.org/is-that-the-spot-why-does-my-dog-kick-when-i-scratch-him-scratch-reflex/

Climate Change Can Affect Seasonal Allergies, Dr. Jean Dodds, Hemopet, 9FEB20 – https://www.hemopet.org/climate-change-can-affect-seasonal-allergies/

Puppy Doesn’t Want to Walk Outside, Karen London PhD, BARk, FEB20 – https://thebark.com/content/puppy-doesnt-want-walk-outside

The Strongest Reinforcers, Nancy Kerns, Whole Dog Journal, 26FEB20 – https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/blog/the-strongest-reinforcements/

How Can I Stop My Dog From Biting on the Leash, Karen London PhD, BARk, OCT29 – https://thebark.com/content/how-can-i-stop-my-dog-biting-leash


Contact Info for The Woof Meow Show

Address: 1653 Union St., Bangor, ME 04401
Phone: 207-945-6841, x103
Upcoming Shows: http://bit.ly/WfMwUpcomingShows
Website: www.woofmeowshow.com
Don’s Blog: http://bit.ly/Words-Woofs-Meows
Podcast Site: http://bit.ly/WfMwPodcasts
Live Stream: http://bit.ly/AM620-WZON
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WoofMeowShow/


©14MAR20, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved

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COVID-19, Working from Home, & Pets

< Updated 22MAR20 >

< A short link for this page –
https://bit.ly/GAKSCOVID-22MAR20 >

There has been a wide variety of information circulating online and in the media about COVID-19 and pets. I have reviewed material from scientific and veterinary resources, as well as the general media, and have summarized it here. Please remember that we are learning more about COVID-19 every day, and so some of what you read may change.

At the top of many people’s list of questions is can COVID-19 be transmitted from humans to pets and vice versa. There has been news reported out of Hong Kong by the mass media about the possibility of two dogs testing positive for the COVID-19 virus.  Two sources that I trust believe that there is no proven risk of direct transmission of COVID-19 between people and pets at this time.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus spreads from humans to humans. There is no research to support human to animal spread at this time. – Science Magazine AAAS, March 12, 2020 – https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/03/quarantine-cat-disinfect-dog-latest-advice-about-coronavirus-and-your-pets

Currently there is limited evidence that companion animals can be infected with SARS-Cov-2 and no evidence that pet dogs or cats can be a source of infection to other animals or to humans resulting in COVID-19. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available. – WSAVA, March 20, 2020 – https://wsava.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19_WSAVA-Advisory-Document-Mar-19-2020.pdf

Science and the WSAVA offer some excellent advice about how we interact with our pets during this pandemic.

  • If you are infected with COVID-19 or are awaiting test results, limit contact with your pets. Wash your hands, and don’t let them lick you on the face. The CDC recommends you avoid petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food with your pet.
  • It is best to quarantine your pets away from anyone infected in your home
  • Be prepared, in the event you become sick or are quarantined, or worse yet, end up in the hospital. Make sure you have enough food on hand for your pet and that you have someone lined up to care for them if you are unable to do so. Whomever you chose to care for your pet in such an eventuality, make sure they have a plan as well in case they become ill.

Is COVID-19 the same as the coronavirus that infects dogs and cats? –  Several types of coronaviruses affect different species, including humans, dogs, cats, and more. Neither the canine nor the feline coronaviruses infect humans.

Can our pets carry COVID-19 even though they are not infected? – The COVID-19 virus can survive on some surfaces for up to 24 hours in a laboratory environment. It may be possible for a pet to carry the COVID-19 virus on their body, leash, or collar. For this reason, it is recommended that no one with the virus handles your pets. A helpful article on this topic comes from Healthy Paws Pet Insurance and can be read at https://www.healthypawspetinsurance.com/blog/2020/03/03/coronavirus-in-dogs-what-to-know-about-covid-19

Can my dog and I still go for walks? – Yes, providing you maintain social distancing and maintain a 6-foot distance from others and use hand sanitizer after all interactions with others.

Help! – Because the whole family is staying home all day with the dog right now, things are getting a little crazy. – If you and your family are not used to being together 24/7, and it’s not typical for your pets(s), things may be stressful for more than one of you. Dr. Zazie Todd recommends; Stick to your routine, Let pets have safe spaces, Supervise pets and children closely (if you cannot supervise, separate), Make more time for play, keep the dog on a short leash when off property, Engage your pets and keep them busy with puzzle toys, and Do some training. ( https://www.companionanimalpsychology.com/2020/03/spending-more-time-with-your-pet-due-to.html ). One thing that Dr. Todd did not mention is ensuring some alone time for your dog. If we are required to stay home for any length of time, your dog could get used to you being there 24/7 and may need some adjustment time when everyone disappears. My article on Alone Training Can be found at http://bit.ly/AloneTraining.

Stay well!

©22MAR20, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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Recommended Resources on Kids & Dogs

< Updated 28MAR20 >

< A short link for this page – http://bit.ly/GAKS_Kids_DogsResources >

Dogs and children can become wonderful companions. However, do not assume for one second that a dog and a child will automatically enjoy one another and live together harmoniously every moment of their lives. Parents need to teach both child and dog how to interact with one another appropriately.

Most children have multiple caregivers; parents, grandparents, older children, other family members, babysitters, and more. Therefore, ALL caregivers must be knowledgeable about dogs and infants, toddlers, children, and young adults and how to manage their interactions.

Below I have listed resources I believe you will find useful in working with your children and dog. These are my favorites resources on the subject.


A Kids’ Comprehensive Guide to Speaking Dog! By Niki Tudge – If your family includes children and a dog, if you have children that spend time with friends and family members that have a dog, or if you have a dog that spends any time around children, you, your children, and your dog will benefit from this book. This is not a book you hand to your child, but it is a book you need to read with them. You can read our full review by clicking this link http://bit.ly/BkRvw-KidsGuide-Tudge

The Doggone Safe websitehttps://doggonesafe.com/

Living with Kids and Dogs…Without Losing Your Mind: A Parent’s Guide to Controlling the Chaos by Colleen Pelar – This book provides a realistic, down to earth discussion about how to successfully manage the probable mayhem that accompanies a home with dogs and kids. You can read our full review by clicking this link http://bit.ly/BkRwv-LvngKidsDogs-Pelar

Colleen’s website – https://www.livingwithkidsanddogs.com/

Family Paws Parent Education

( https://www.familypaws.com/ )

Working to increase safety and reduce stress in homes with young children and family dogs.

Free Downloadable Handouts from Family Paws
Click on the title to view/download as a PDF

Pet Professional Guild Junior Membership

( https://www.petprofessionalguild.com/Junior-Members )

Is your child actively participating in the care and training of the family pets? If so, I encourage you to consider enrolling them in the Pet Professional Guilds (PPG) Junior Membership Program. The program helps children learn and understand about pet care and training and will be especially beneficial to those contemplating working with pets as a volunteer or as a career. There are three levels to the program; Basic (for ages 8 to 12), Advanced (for ages 13 to 17), and Apprentice (for ages 18-20).

The PPG Junior Membership program allows participants to earn preliminary credentials in force-free pet care. Junior Members receive a membership badge and certificate and a free e-book –A Kid’s Comprehensive Guide to Speaking Dog. They will also be invited to participate in the Annual Training Deed Challenge. All Junior Members also have access to the Provisional Junior Accreditation Program for their age group, as administered by the Pet Professional Accreditation Board (PPAB). Junior Members who successfully complete the accreditation process and receive an accreditation card will receive a 50% discount on the Green Acres Kennel Shop training class of their choice.

The Pet Professional Guild (PPG) is a membership organization representing pet industry professionals who are committed to results-based, science-based, force-free training, and pet care. Members include veterinarians, veterinary technicians, behavior consultants, dog trainers, dog walkers, pet care technicians, pet sitters, and groomers. PPG represents training and behavior professionals across many species. All members of the Green Acres Kennel Shop staff are members of the PPG.

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

What Is Dog Traininghttp://bit.ly/WhatIsDogTraining

How to Choose a Dog Trainerhttp://bit.ly/HowToChooseADogTrainer

A Recommended Reading and Listening List for Pet Care Professionalshttp://bit.ly/ForPetCarePros

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show
( http://woofmeowshow.libsyn.com/ )


Podcast – The Woof Meow Show – Babies, Toddlers, Kids & Dogs with Jennifer Shryock from Family Paws Parent Education, aired 28MAR20 – < bit.ly/WfMw-Kids_Dogs-28MAR20 >

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

< Updated 23FEB20 >

< A short link for this page – http://bit.ly/BeckerTudgeFEB20 >

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 https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2020/02/23/no-fear-training-for-dogs.aspx

Recommended Resources

Dr. Karen Becker Interview with Niki Tudgehttps://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2020/02/23/no-fear-training-for-dogs.aspx

Transcript of Dr. Karen Becker Interview with Niki Tudgehttps://mercola.fileburst.com/PDF/HealthyPets/Interview-NikiTudge-ThePetProfessionalGuild.pdf

The Pet Professional Guildhttps://www.petprofessionalguild.com/

The Pet Professional Guild Guiding Principleshttps://www.petprofessionalguild.com/PPGs-Guiding-Principles

The Pet Professional Guild Find A Professional Pagehttps://www.petprofessionalguild.com/Zip-Code-Search

PPG Junior Membership https://www.petprofessionalguild.com/Junior-Members

Podcast – Introducing My Perfect Pet, Gently-Cooked, Fresh Food for Pets, with owner Karen Neola

< Click to Listen to Podcast >

< Updated 23FEB20 >

< A short link for this page – http://bit.ly/WfMw-MyPerfectPet-FEB20  >

If you are looking for healthy options when feeding your dog or cat, we think you will find this podcast very informative.

In this episode of The Woof Meow Show from February 22nd, 2020, Kate and Don interview Karen Neola, the founder, and president of My Perfect Pet.

If you are a regular listener to The Woof Meow Show you know that Don and Kate believe that what we feed our pets is important to both their physical and mental wellbeing. Both of them choose to eat fresh, wholesome food as much as possible and choose to feed their pets the same way. In this week’s podcast, we interview Karen Neola, the founder, and owner of My Perfect Pet, and a kindred spirit in our approach to pet nutrition.

For the last thirteen years, My Perfect Pet has been making and selling food for cats and dogs using fresh ingredients sourced from local suppliers who exclusively sell human-grade food, the same companies that supply restaurants and high-end grocers. The food is gently-cooked, frozen, and packaged in a ready-to-eat format for cats and dogs.

You can learn more about Karen and My Perfect Pet in this podcast and in our show notes below.

Learn what Green Acres Kennel Shop likes about My Perfect Pet at – http://bit.ly/WhyWeLikeMyPerfectPet

Below you will find a summary of Karen’s answers to our questions.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your pets.

My Perfect Pet has given me the opportunity to combine my career and love for animals.  I’ve been an animal lover my whole life, my parents named me “Karen’s Reject Animal Farm” when I was 7 because I was always bringing home strays and begging them to let me take care of them.  Dogs, cats, rabbits, turtles, even the chickens we hatched at school. At present, I only have one dog, Sweetheart, adopted from Lab Rescuers – named Sweetheart only because I started calling her that while I was trying out other names and the only time she responded seemed to be when I called her Sweetheart.

Why did you decide to get into the pet food business?

After working at Hewlett-Packard for 25 years as an R&D program manager, I had a bucket list a mile long when I left.  However, on Jan 3rd, 2007 I lost my lab Hunter to contaminated pet food that was subsequently recalled. I was devastated.  And angry. I felt betrayed by companies who had knowingly put toxic substances into food to increase their profits. I vowed never again to buy commercial pet food and started making my own, using only fresh, whole, natural and safe ingredients – the same quality I trusted for myself.  I immersed myself in research on dog and cat nutrition and worked with nutritionists, veterinarians, universities and health care experts to create the perfect blend of all-natural high-quality ingredients that provide maximum nutrition for dogs and cats with the least processing and highest safety.  I did not start with any intent to build a business, it just kept growing.

The My Perfect Pet Story – check out the video here – https://www.myperfectpetfood.com/process

Tell us about My Perfect Pet:

I started making my own food in January 2007 – with no idea that my decision to make dog food with cooked meats and raw vegetables would 13 years later become the fastest-growing category of pet food.  I wondered for 12 years why no one else was doing this, finally this year we’re starting to see everyone jumping into this category. We are located in Poway, CA near San Diego, and have a second facility under construction in Sulphur Springs, TX (90 miles NE of Dallas)

My Perfect Pet is in a relatively new category of pet foods, gently-cooked from fresh whole food.  Why did you make that choice over kibble, canned, frozen, or freeze-dried?

I wanted my pet’s food to be as fresh and natural as possible, fresh whole foods with minimal processing and no preservatives.  My decision to go fresh and natural basically ruled out other options. I didn’t want to do raw as I was vegan at the time and didn’t want raw meat in my refrigerator next to my food.  My dogs were therapy dogs and while their registrar had no restriction on pet diets, many hospitals and health centers ask that we not feed raw diets before a visit out of concern what might be transmitted to a person with a weakened immune system.  So I decided to use the same food standard that I used for myself, following FDA food safety guidelines which meant cooking meats to minimum temperatures. It was I believe, the best of both worlds – all the benefits of raw with the safety and convenience of food that had been gently-cooked.

Canning requires heating to temperatures far above FDA minimums, which eliminates fresh foods.

The extrusion process used to make dog kibble requires the highest temperatures used in the pet food industry and requires that all ingredients be in powder or pellet form, which is about as unnatural as it gets compared to fresh whole foods.  In addition to cooking at high temperatures, kibble is also cooked under high pressure which is detrimental to many of the ingredients. That is why synthetic amino acids and vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients needed to be added to kibble after the cooking process.

Freeze-drying also involves far more processing than gently-cooking and is expensive.

Pet parents intrinsically understand the benefits of eating fresh whole food because that’s what they hear from human healthcare professionals. It is not a leap to understand that fresh food is also better for their pets.

Some of the reaction to the Grain-Free & DCM “crisis” has been for some in the veterinary community to tell clients not to feed a food unless the company making it has an accredited veterinary nutritionist on staff.  Do you think that is important and who formulated the My Perfect Pet diets?

I believe that companies with deep pockets that employ their own staff of nutritionists are the ones telling vets and clients to demand this. I find it amazing that companies with veterinary nutritionists on their payroll saying what they are told to say have more credibility than companies like My Perfect Pet who consults with a number of independent, objective, unbiased, and accredited nutritionists without any potential conflict of interest.

There are international standards for nutrient profiles, some far more stringent than the AAFCO standards in the USA. These standards have been developed over the years by thousands of animal nutritionists and have been proven by testing.  I put far more credibility into consistent results from wide international sources than an employee on a single company’s payroll.

My Perfect Pet does not recommend nutrient profiles that deviate from recognized standards.  We do not use ‘exotic’ ingredients in our blends. The ingredients we use have been used in pet food for decades, we just have consciously chosen to use a higher quality version of those ingredients.  We do not claim to have more company expertise in determining nutritional needs for animals than recognized experts in those fields.

My Perfect Pet has been a preferred supplier to a major zoological park, supplying carnivore diets to a number of animals including polar bears, cheetahs, and a lot of other carnivores.  Cheetahs can be extremely finicky and liked both raw and cooked versions of diets we produced. The zoo did not ask us to become experts on the nutritional needs of all those animals, but just to asked us to formulate diets that met the nutritional needs and profiles that their animal nutritionists provided. We do the same for our pet foods.

We base all our formulas on known and established standards and use only ingredients that have been proven to be easily digested by the intended species and that offer the best bioavailability and absorption of nutrients.  If it’s not absorbed it is just waste and unnecessary processing.

While some of the big pet food companies make a big deal about feeding trials they do not disclose the relatively low standards for a feeding trial and the conditions in which the subjects of the feeding trial are kept. For the record, My Perfect Pet will never cage an animal for feeding trials.  Some of the companies making these claims have done what I consider unspeakable testing on animals. We will continue to rely on published results and decades of proven results.

Tell us about the ingredients you use in My Perfect Pet? 

We source our ingredients locally whenever possible.  All the ingredients are sourced within the USA with the exception of lamb from New Zealand and Australia, and coconut oil from the Philippines.

We buy only from suppliers who exclusively sell human-grade food, mostly the same companies that supply restaurants and high-end grocers.  We never purchase ingredients from any company selling feed grade ingredients or foods not intended for human consumption.

The ingredients we use in our products are better than what many people can buy in supermarkets.  One of our company perks is that employees can purchase our ingredients at cost for home use – they often go together to buy cases of chicken or beef or some of our produce.  Our fresh locally grown produce is the best – I can hardly stand to buy vegetables at the market after eating the ones at My Perfect Pet. If you visit My Perfect Pet I’ll make lunch from whatever we are making that day, you’ll be amazed! In fact, it is not uncommon for employees to make themselves lunch from the same ingredients we are using to produce pet food on that day.

I’ve stopped taking multi-vitamins since starting My Perfect Pet.  I realized many of my supplements were originating in China, if I’m not willing to give them to my pets why would I take them?  I decided throwing a bunch of fresh vegetables and fruit, along with a little dried kelp and calcium supplement into my blender was just as healthy and a lot tastier.

How many formulas do you have for dogs and cats?

We currently have ten blends for dogs and three blends for cats.

What drove you to develop those specific formulas?

The original blends were the Boomer’s Chicken & Rice and the Buckaroo Puppy formulas which is basically the puppy version of the Boomer’s.  When I started My Perfect Pet I had one older dog and one puppy – the puppy’s name was Boomer but I called him my little Buckaroo, so that’s how I got those names, Boomer’s for the adult blend and Buckaroo for puppies.

We recognized that pets with beef, chicken or grain allergies needed different ingredients and developed foods that were appropriate for them.  Then we addressed other pets with special dietary needs, and the My Perfect Pet line keeps growing. We produce a number of specialty blends not currently released for retail distribution.

Do the My Perfect Pet blends meet AAFCO’s requirements for all-life stages?

Buckaroos blend is for puppies and all of our other dog blends are for adult dogs. We do have one all-life stages cat blend, Toby’s Turkey Carnivore because the profiles for cats and kittens are so close.

Because we use real food with nutrient profiles certified by USDA, we can publish complete nutrient profiles which means pet parents don’t have to wonder how much is really in a blend when the label states “minimum crude” – our profiles are actuals.

Nutrient Profiles – Cat Blends


Nutrient Profiles – Standard Dog Blends https://www.myperfectpetfood.com/store/assets/pdf/PROFILES_Std_Adult_Dog.pdf

Nutrient Profile – Buckaroo Puppy Blend


Nutrient Profiles – Personal Care Dog Blends


All of our blends meet all AAFCO nutrient profiles except for two:  Low Phosphorus Lamb for dogs and Low Phosphorus Chicken for cats. These are intentionally lower in Phosphorus which is commonly recommended for dogs or cats with compromised kidney function.  Because we use only muscle meats as the protein source, we can keep the protein at recommended levels while lowering the phosphorus levels.

How have you evaluated the food to make sure all formulas meet the required nutrition requirements?

We have all profiles tested prior to release to confirm that they meet the nutrient profiles published on the label, and we have 13 years of proven results.

See what the ingredients in the My Perfect Pet Formulas look like.

Cat Formulas

Dog Formulas

How is your food distributed?

We have distribution to independent retailers in 26 states, and we serve those areas without retailers online. Unfortunately, we have to charge for overnight shipping for food purchased online since it’s a frozen food, so we’re working to get local retail distribution set up for the entire U.S.  Our website has a store locator where pet parents can put in their zip code and find the closest store, and if you’re outside of our distribution area then you can order it online until we get distribution in your area. We are glad to say that pet parents in the greater Bangor region can get My Perfect Pet at the Green Acres Kennel Shop.

We’re excited that you believe in sampling. In the short time, we’ve had My Perfect Pet at Green Acres, providing a sample has been instrumental in getting people interested in and willing to try it My Perfect Pet with their pets.  How have you seen cats and dogs respond to My Perfect Pet?

We’ve been accused of putting crack in the food!  That’s why we believe in sampling – the first one is free, then when you see how much your pet loves it you have to buy it!  Who doesn’t love watching their pet go crazy happy over their meal!

People have asked us what we put in the food that seems to resolve a number of health issues – from itching and scratching to fur balls, to tearing/staining, sensitive stomachs, etc.  I tell them we don’t do a thing except use the freshest highest quality ingredients and prepare it in the best way to ensure easy digestion. We don’t make any guarantees or claims, we just encourage pet owners to try it and see for yourself.

I encourage every pet owner to do their research.  Don’t take anyone’s word for it in the pet food industry, there are companies out there making claims that I think should be criminal.  Don’t even take my word for it, do your homework, look at the ingredients list, know what every ingredient is, where it comes from, how it’s processed, the company’s history and reputation, etc.

Describe what the food will look like when a client opens the bag and prepared to feed their pet.

The standard dog food packaging is a pouch containing 7 individually wrapped food bars for easy portion control, thawing, and serving.  They are stored frozen to avoid preservatives. The average feeding amount is 1 food bar for every 20 lbs of the adult dog’s ideal weight, more or less depending on age, exercise, metabolism, etc.  The food bars can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. We commend thawing before serving so your dog doesn’t try to swallow frozen chunks whole.

We also have plastic-free packaging for dogs, 30 individual food bars in a compostable carton, all made with 100% recycled materials – except for the food bars.

Cat food pouches have 10 individually wrapped food bars, with recommended feeding 1 food bar per day for every 10 lbs of the cats’ ideal weight.

While it would be ideal if everyone could feed My Perfect Pet at every meal, due to the nature of the quality of ingredients used it is more expensive than kibble. Will a pet still benefit form My Perfect Pet if it is only fed periodically?

We recognize that not every budget supports feeding exclusively My Perfect Pet and it can easily be mixed with other food – just remember to decrease the other food by whatever amount you are feeding My Perfect Pet.

Any fresh is better than no fresh!  Ours is the perfect topper that not only adds delicious taste but also the benefits of fresh whole food and balanced nutrition.

If someone tries My Perfect Pet and they or their pets don’t like is, what is your refund policy?

When in doubt we encourage your customers to try a sample before purchasing the entire bag – it’s not a feeding trial but 1/2 bar is a generous taste test. We have never had a quality issue so there should never be a return due to a quality concern provided customers keep it properly frozen or refrigerated. We get very few returns, but we do stand behind our products and of the proper documentation is completed we will honor the occasional return.

My Perfect Pet is not alone in the gently-cooked category.  What sets you apart from your competitors?

My Perfect Pet was the first company to introduce gently-cooked pet food and has been doing so for thirteen years.   We have the longest history and a perfect track record.

Our quality is unparalleled.  Most companies claiming human-grade ingredients use a contract manufacturer, and we have seen many recalls where the companies point to their manufacturers or suppliers or whoever. I decided early on I wanted absolute quality control over every step of the operation. We source the ingredients ourselves and manufacture it in our facility.  We are building a second new facility to expand while keeping the same absolute quality control.

I have spoken to enough suppliers and enough others in the industry to be confident in saying My Perfect Pet has the highest quality ingredients in any pet food. Fresh quality ingredients cost more but I will never compromise pet health over profit.  I don’t answer to investors or private equity, only to my commitment to the integrity of our company and our products.

What are the four most important things you would like our listeners to remember about My Perfect Pet?

  1. Quality of ingredients, Quality of Processing, Quality of Nutrition – It doesn’t get better than PERFECT! Go for quality, don’t take any chances with your pet’s health.
  2. Convenient portion control packaging for pets of all sizes from small dogs and cats to large breeds. Our food stores and thaws easily.
  3. The taste! We win every picky eater contest! The real meat gets them every time.
  4. The variety of blends we offer, from complete and balanced diets to fresh whole food alternatives to many of the prescription diets or veterinary blends.


Contact Info for My Perfect Pet

Address: 11870 Community Road Suite 200, Poway, CA 92064
Phone: 858-486-6500
Website: www.myperfectpet.com
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/MyPerfectPet/
Instagram: www.instagram/myperfectpet


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