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

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< 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

https://www.myperfectpetfood.com/store/assets/pdf/PROFILES_Cat_Blends.pdf

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

Nutrient Profile – Buckaroo Puppy Blend

https://www.myperfectpetfood.com/store/assets/pdf/PROFILES_Puppy_Blend.pdf

Nutrient Profiles – Personal Care Dog Blends

https://www.myperfectpetfood.com/store/assets/pdf/PROFILES_Personal_Care_Dog_Blends2019.pdf

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

 

©23FEB20, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved

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Podcast – Spaying & Neutering with Dr. Christine Calder

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< Updated 15FEB20 >

< A short link for this page – http://bit.ly/WfMw-SpayNeuter2020 >

If you are wondering if you should spay or neuter your pet, and when to do so, may find this podcast helpful.

Not so many years ago, the consensus opinion was that spaying and neutering pets early was necessary to control pet overpopulation. Evidence also suggested spaying/neutering reduced the risk of various cancers and the development of certain behavioral problems such as aggression and marking. Today, the evidence is less clear. In fact, if you ask five different pet professionals if you should spay or neuter and when to do it, you may get multiple opinions even from the same individual.

Before you decide whether to spay or neuter your pet, the best thing you can do is take the responsibility to do some research and to consider the information that is available. Your decision may depend on many factors; species, breed, your individual pet, lifestyle/situation, and even where you live. Did you know that in some countries it is illegal to spay/neuter a pet, or that, in some of those same countries animal shelters and rescues are unnecessary because they do not have homeless pets? As for the health and behavioral pros and cons of spaying and neutering they can go both ways.

For this show, which first aired on February 15th, 2020, Kate and Don invited Dr. Christine Calder, a veterinary behaviorist, who also spent fifteen years as a general practice veterinarian, to help us sort through the latest information on spaying and neutering so that you will know what to ask and consider when you discuss whether to spay your pet with their veterinarian. Our podcast page will include links to several articles you may find helpful, but be advised they do not encompass all the information on the risks and benefits of spaying and neutering your pet.

Contact Info for Dr. Calder

Facility: Midcoast Humane
Address: 190 Pleasant Street, Brunswick, ME
Phone: (207) 449-1366
Website: https://midcoasthumane.org/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Christine-Calder-DVM-DACVB-Veterinary-Behaviorist-104864721012254/

More info on Dr. Calder

From the January 2020 issue of Downeast Dog Newshttps://downeastdognews.villagesoup.com/p/what-is-a-veterinary-behaviorist/1846547

Podcast – Introducing Dr. Christine Calder, Maine’s 1st Veterinary Behavioristhttp://bit.ly/WMw-DrCalderVetBhx

For Reference

Reexamining the early spay-neuter paradigm in dogs, dvm360, 2019, Dr. Mike Petty and  Dr. Mark Goldstein, – https://www.dvm360.com/view/reexamining-early-spay-neuter-paradigm-dogs

Are There Behavior Changes When Dogs Are Spayed or Neutered?, Stanley Coren, PhD., DSc, FRSC, Canine Corner, Psychology Today – https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/canine-corner/201702/are-there-behavior-changes-when-dogs-are-spayed-or-neutered

Long-Term Health Risks and Benefits Associated with Spay/Neuter in Dogs, Laura J. Sanborn, M.S., dogs naturally blog, – https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/long-term-health-risks-benefits-spay-neuter-dogs/

Behavioral and Physical Effects of Spaying and Neutering Domestic Dogs (Canis familiaris), Summary of findings detailed in a Masters thesis submitted to and accepted by Hunter College by Parvene Farhoody in May 2010. – http://www.naiaonline.org/uploads/WhitePapers/SNBehaviorFarhoodyZink.pdf

Behavioural risks in male dogs with minimal lifetime exposure to gonadal hormones may complicate population-control benefits of desexing, McGreevy PD, Wilson B, Starling MJ, Serpell JA, 2018, PLoS ONE 13(5): e0196284, – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5931473/

Long-Term Health Effects of Neutering Dogs: Comparison of Labrador Retrievers with Golden Retrievers, Hart BL, Hart LA, Thigpen AP, Willits NH 2014, PLoS ONE 9(7): e102241. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102241 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4096726/

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://woofmeowshow.libsyn.com/ , at Don’s blog http://bit.ly/Words-Woofs-Meows and the Apple iTunes store.

 

©15FEB20, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved

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Pets in the News No. 7

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< Updated 18JAN19 >

< A short link for this page – http://bit.ly/WfMw-PetNews7 >

In this episode of The Woof Meow Show from January 18th, 2020 Kate and Don discuss several recent articles in the news about dogs and cats. The topics they discuss include; Dogs and Love, how attending puppy classes benefits the future behavior of your adult dog, cat litter and how to make a choice that is good for you and your cat, dogs and real bones for chewing.

Links to Articles from the Show

Dogs Can’t Help Falling in Love, The New York Times, James Gorman, Nov. 22, 2019 – https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/22/science/dogs-love-evolution.html

Association between puppy classes and adulthood behavior of the dog, Journal of Veterinary Behavior, Volume 32, July-August 2019 – https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1558787817302551

The Best Way to Choose the Right Litter for Your Cat, Dr. Karen Becker, November 26, 2019 – https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2019/11/26/how-to-choose-a-litter-box.aspx

Should You Give Bones to Your Dog? Depends on Your Dog, Dr. Karen Becker, October 2, 2019 – https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2019/10/02/dog-bones-for-dental-health.aspx

Feeding Raw Meaty Bones As Part of a Raw Diet, Whole Dog Journal, April 29, 2019, – https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/food/feeding-your-dog-a-raw-diet/

You can listen to 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 Podcast app.

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/

©18JAN20, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved

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Podcast – Introducing Dr. Christine Calder, Maine’s 1st Veterinary Behaviorist

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< Updated 12FEB20 >

< A short link for this page – http://bit.ly/WMw-DrCalderVetBhx >

In this episode of The Woof Meow Show from January 11th, 2020 Kate and Don interview Dr. Christine Calder, Maine’s first and currently only veterinary behaviorist. Dr. Calder is one of only 86 veterinary behaviorists in North America so we are lucky to have her here in Maine. Behavior problems are the second biggest reason that someone takes their pet to the veterinarian other than for an annual wellness exam. Unfortunately, veterinarians get very little education on behavior while in, so having a veterinarian that also has expertise in animal behavior has the potential to greatly benefit Maine’s pets. Behavioral health is as important to the quality of life for our pets as their physical health, and behavior is often the first indicator that our pets give when they are not feeling well. If you are a pet parent, pet care professional, or general practice veterinarian, you will not want to miss this show.

We discuss why and when Dr. Calder decided she wanted to become a veterinarian, where she went to school, and what her education as a veterinarian entailed. We talk about her career as a general practice veterinarian and when and why she decided to specialize in behavior. Dr. Calder shares the rigorous process she had to complete to become accredited by the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB). Don asks Dr. Calder about the 2015 AAHA Canine and Feline Behavior Management Guidelines and the findings reported. We discuss changes that need to occur in veterinary schools and the veterinary community to improve behavioral health for our pets.

Dr. Calder discusses her practice at the Maine Veterinary Medical Center in Scarborough and explains how pet parents, trainers and behavior consultants, and general practice veterinarians can contact and work with her to treat pets behavioral disorders. Lastly, we list the most common behavioral issues in both cats and dogs.

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://woofmeowshow.libsyn.com/ , at Don’s blog http://bit.ly/Words-Woofs-Meows and the Apple podcast app.

< Click to Listen to Podcast >

Contact Info for Dr. Calder

Facility: Midcoast Humane
Address: 190 Pleasant Street, Brunswick, ME
Phone: (207) 449-1366
Website: https://midcoasthumane.org/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Christine-Calder-DVM-DACVB-Veterinary-Behaviorist-104864721012254/

More info on Dr. Calder from the January 2020 issue of Downeast Dog Newshttps://downeastdognews.villagesoup.com/p/what-is-a-veterinary-behaviorist/1846547

Recommended Resources

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

Do I Need a Dog Trainer or a “Behaviorist”?http://bit.ly/WWM-Trainer-Behaviorist

©12FEB20, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved

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Podcast – Pet Photography with Deb Bell & Holiday Pet Portraits- A 10th Anniversary Celebration

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In this episode of The Woof Meow Show from October 5th, 2019, Don and Debra Bell, from Bell’s Furry Friends Photography, talk about pet photography and the 10th anniversary of Holiday Pet Portraits at Green Acres Kennel Shop. We’ll discuss how we are marking this anniversary with some special events. Tune and learn how you can capture your pet in a photo you will treasure forever, by the Bangor Regions Best Pet Photographer, Debra Bell.

Deb has been taking photos of Don, Paula, and their pets for years. In the following link, Don has shared an album of photos taken by Deb that mean the most to him. Take a look, and you will see why Deb has been voted the Bangor Region’s Best Pet Photographer year after year.

Favorite Photos of Our Pets by Deb Bellhttp://bit.ly/FavPhotosByDebBell

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://woofmeowshow.libsyn.com/ , at Don’s blog http://bit.ly/Words-Woofs-Meows and the Apple iTunes store.

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Contact Info for Green Acres Kennel Shop
and Holiday Pet Portraits

Address: 1653 Union Street, Bangor, ME 04401
Phone: 945-6841

Webpage for Event: http://bit.ly/HolidayPetPortraits

Website: https://www.greenacreskennel.com/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GreenAcresKennelShop/

Contact Info for Deb Bell and Bell’s Furry Friends Photography

Website: http://www.bffpetphotos.com/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/BellsFurryFriends/

 

©05OCT19, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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Podcast – New Product Highlights-Spring 2019-Part 2

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In this show from April 27th, 2019, Kate and Don discuss some new products available at Green Acres. The first is Koha canned dog food. Next, are several new dog treats; Off-Leash Mini Trainers, NutriSource Jerky Treats, and K9 Granola Factory Lean Beanz. The WO company and their toys, specifically the WO ball, are discussed along with WO’s mission of providing aid to Widows and Orphans around the world. Earth Animal’s new peanut butter No-Hides is introduced as are several other products.

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://woofmeowshow.libsyn.com/, at Don’s blog http://bit.ly/Words-Woofs-Meows and the Apple iTunes store.

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Contact Info

Green Acres Kennel Shop
1653 Union Street, Bangor, ME 04401

207-945-6841

Website – https://www.greenacreskennel.com/
Facebook Pagehttps://www.facebook.com/GreenAcresKennelShop/

Blog https://www.words-woofs-meows.com

 

©27APR19, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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Podcast – New Product Highlights-Spring 2019-Part 1

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In this episode of The Woof Meow Show from April 20th, 2019, Kate and Don discuss some new products available at Green Acres. They start by reviewing several products from Earth Animal for the safe and effective prevention of fleas and ticks on cats and dogs. Then they address the recent regulatory issues of CBD/Hemp-based products in Maine and introduce a new soft-chew CBD product from Treatibles. Cat lovers will be excited to hear about the new Slide & Serve pouched cat food from Weruva as well as Boxie Cat Litter. Lastly, they talk about bully sticks, a favorite chew distraction for most dogs, and our new bully stick provider.

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://woofmeowshow.libsyn.com/, at Don’s blog http://bit.ly/Words-Woofs-Meows and the Apple iTunes store.

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Contact Info

Green Acres Kennel Shop
1653 Union Street, Bangor, ME 04401

207-945-6841

Website – https://www.greenacreskennel.com/
Facebook Pagehttps://www.facebook.com/GreenAcresKennelShop/

Blog https://www.words-woofs-meows.com

 

©20APR19, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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Podcast – Using Dogs to Track Wounded Game with Lindsay Ware of United Blood Trackers

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In this episode of The Woof Meow Show from August 18th, 2018 Kate and Don have a conversation with Green Acres Dog Training Instructor Lindsay Ware about her work with her dogs Gander and Aldo and United Blood Trackers. Lindsay discusses how she has trained her dogs to help hunters recover wounded game such as bear, deer, and moose. We also talk about why this conservation work is so important. Lastly, Lindsay shares some stories about Gander and Aldo’s more exciting searches.

 

#WoofMeowShow #Tracking #LindsayWareLargeGameBloodTracking #UnitedBloodTrackers

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://www.wzonthepulse.com or your smartphone or tablet with the free WZON 620 AM app. A podcast of the show is typically posted immediately after the show and can be downloaded at www.woofmeowshow.com and the Apple iTunes store.

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Contact Info

Lindsay’s Profile at United Blood Trackers – < Click to View >

United Blood Trackers Website – < Click to View >

Lindsay Ware, Large Game Blood Tracking on Facebook – < Click to View >

 

©23AUG18, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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Selecting A Pet Care Provider – Yes! A Trend Towards Kinder and Gentler Professional Pet Care – A Veterinary Perspective – Part 3

This article first appeared in the July 2015 edition of the Downeast Dog News.

<You can listen to a companion podcast to this article, first broadcast on The Woof Meow Show on the Voice of Maine on June 27, 2015, by clicking here>

When this series started back in April, the intent was to alert pet owners that not all pet care services are pet-friendly and to emphasize the importance of making sure a pet has the most positive experience possible when it is boarding, day-caring, being groomed, training or while at the veterinarian. All of these animal care services can be done with a pet friendly approach; our pets deserve that. In this column I’ll be focusing on visits to the veterinarian and how many in the veterinary community are working to make those visits fear-free.

Few people look forward to visiting the doctor or the dentist so we should not be surprised when our pets get anxious at the veterinarian. A healthcare usage study by Bayer Veterinary indicated that 37% of dog owners and 58% of cat owners said their pets hate going to the vet1. Going to the vet can be a frightening experience and fear is a powerful emotion. According to Dr. Marty Becker, “Fear is the worst thing a social species can experience and it causes permanent damage to the brain.” As a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, I work with many dog owners and their dogs, often on fear related issues. It is a basic survival mechanism that allows fear to be locked into a memory in an instant and that trauma can be remembered for a lifetime. While these fears may be overcome, it can often take weeks, months, and even years of work to do so.

Unfortunately, if we as pet owners and the pet care professionals handling our animals don’t recognize the signs and detrimental effects of stress and fear in our dogs and cats we cannot help them. In her blog The Science Dog, Linda P. Case recently wrote about fear and two research studies2 that examined how well owners and pet care professionals recognized and responded to signs of stress and fear in dogs. The first study indicated that over 90% of the people that participated could tell when a dog was happy; however, only 70% of dog professionals and 60% of dog owners could identify the fearful dogs. [bold emphasis mine]. That means a significant number of pet professionals and dog owners cannot tell when their dog is stressed or afraid. Clearly there needs to be more education in this arena.

The late Dr. Sophia Yin, a veterinarian and animal behaviorist, made it her mission to educate other veterinarians, pet professionals and pet owners on how people can better understand and interact with pets so as to reduce stress for all concerned. Her seminars, DVDs, and book on low stress handling of pets have helped pet professionals make their practices “pet-friendly.” When professionals can identify fear and stress, and know how to respond accordingly, they can make efforts to minimize or eliminate it so that pets actually enjoy visiting and being handled. At the same time, the skills learned help staff become more competent in animal handling, resulting in improved safety for all parties and reduced costs. Pet professionals, pet owners and pets are all benefiting tremendously from these practices3.

Many other veterinarians are also addressing this issue.  Dr. Marty Becker is a veterinarian who is actively educating his colleagues on the importance of fear-free veterinary visits. In January, Dr. Becker presented on this topic at the North American Veterinary Community conference1, one of the largest continuing education events for veterinarians in the world. He talked about the Hippocratic Oath taken by veterinarians which emphasizes “First do no harm” and to “Cure sometimes. Treat often. Comfort always” [bold emphasis mine]. He discussed how the intense focus on medicine has caused veterinarians to sometimes neglect the parts about doing no harm. Dr. Becker continually underscores the value of making sure a patient is comfortable.

The trend toward fear-free veterinary visits is rapidly growing. A Google search of the words “fear free veterinary visits” yields about 819,000 results. The website DVM360, a website for the veterinary community, lists 19 articles on the fear-free philosophy from April 1st through June 5th alone.

With this trend, the move towards “Fear-Free” veterinary care is alive and well in Maine. Kate and I recently invited Dr. David Cloutier, from the Veazie Veterinary Clinic4, to join us on The Woof Meow Show to discuss his clinic’s approach to fear-free veterinary care. Dr. Cloutier is clearly very passionate about this topic. He explained how it’s not only the best approach for the vet, the vet’s staff, the pet owner and the pet, but is also personally very rewarding.

On our show with Dr. Cloutier we talked about dogs and cats and the fact that creating a fear-free visit for a cat is every bit as important as a fear-free exam for a dog however, because of a cats highly developed flight or fight instincts, doing so takes even more effort. Dr. Cloutier worries that if a cat owner has a bad experience taking their cat to the veterinarian that they may never go back to any veterinarian. This can result in very negative consequence for that cat’s health which is why making every visit a good one is so essential.

Some of the things that Dr. Cloutier and his team at Veazie Veterinary are doing to make a pet’s visit fear-free include staff training on behavior, stress, and canine and feline body language, having separate waiting areas for dogs and cats, being patient and allowing pets time to settle, minimizing restraint as well as the number of people in the room with the animal during an exam and treatment, using high-value treats to reward calm behavior and to desensitize a pet to any perceived threats, using pheromones like Feliway with cats to help calm them, and teaching clients what they can do at home to help prepare their pets for a visit to the vet.

It is essential for all pet care professionals to be following a pet friendly, fear-free philosophy if we are going to do well by your pets. If one of us causes a pet to have a fearful experience, due to the way the brain processes and remembers fear, that animal may now fear all of us.

Lastly, we talked with Dr. Cloutier about the role of the pet owner in reducing stress. That role starts with learning about your pet and signs of stress and discomfort.  Next it requires you to be an advocate for your pet and all of the people that participate in your pet’s care. You not only need to make sure that pet professionals that care for your pet follow a pet friendly philosophy, but you also want to make sure that family members and friends that care for your pet also follow your philosophy. Your pet cannot speak for themselves so please ask questions and speak on their behalf. They’ll be glad you did.

Next month’s article will be focused on specific things you can do at home to help prepare your pet for a visit to your veterinarian, a boarding kennel, the groomer, or a training class.

References

1 Creating Fear Free® Veterinary Visits Puts Pets Back Into Practices -DrMartyBecker.com, Presentation at NAVC – http://www.drmartybecker.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Creating-Fear-Free-Veteirnary-Visits-NAVC-15-FINAL.pdf

2 Fear Itself, The Science Dog, June 9, 2015, by Linda P. Case – https://thesciencedog.wordpress.com/2015/06/09/fear-itself/

3 http://drsophiayin.com/

4 http://www.veazievet.com/

 

Other Links of Interest

Signs of anxiety and fear in dogs from Dr. Marty Becker – http://dvm360.com/sites/default/files/images/pdfs-for-alfresco-articles/Signs_of_anxiety_fear.pdf

Links to the first two part of this series can be found below.

Selecting A Pet Care Provider – Yes! A Trend Towards Kinder and Gentler Professional Pet Care – Green Acres Kennel Shop’s “Pet Friendly” Philosophy – Part 1 – <Click Here>

Selecting A Pet Care Provider – Yes! A Trend Towards Kinder and Gentler Professional Pet Care – The PPG – Part 2 – <Click Here>

 

______________________________________________________________________________
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.

©2015, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved <Click for Copyright and Use Policy>

PODCAST – Ick! A Tick! –with Dr. Dave Cloutier from Veazie Veterinary Clinic

IF YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT TICKS – DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW.

13JUN15-Ick A Tick 400x400Every year Kate and Don always talk with Dr. Cloutier about fleas, worms and ticks. This year we’re talking all about ticks because it’s such a hot topic with our clients at Green Acres. Dr. Cloutier discusses; ticks and when we’re most likely to see them, micro environments/habitats where ticks often thrive (some places are much worse than others), how ticks get on us and our pets, how to control tick habitat in our yards, how to keep our dogs away from ticks when hiking, how to check your pet for ticks, how to safely remove ticks, what products should we use to help keep ticks away and which should we avoid, how do we balance effectiveness with safety, how do we choose a product when we have both dogs and cats in our home (some products for dogs are fatal for cats!), and the importance of talking to your vet about any flea and tick products you use with your pet.

Ick! A Tick! –with Dr. Dave Cloutier from Veazie Veterinary Clinic <Click to Listen>

This show first aired on The Woof Meow Show on The Voice of Maine on Saturday June 13th on 103.9FM, 101.3FM and 1450AM. It and other shows are available for download at the Apple iTunes store, at our podcast host; http://woofmeowshow.libsyn.com and at our website www.woofmeowshow.com.

©2015, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved <Click for Copyright and Use Policy>