Do you know what is in your BEST FRIEND’S TREATS? I didn’t.

From KOZY KRITTERS  Newsletter  May 2010

Where’s the beef? Read the label on one of the popular dog treats and you’ll be asking yourself that same question. Milk-Bones and Beggin Strips are the #1 and #2 top selling treats respectively and I’d sooner have my dog stick her head in the curbside garbage on a hot day than eat that stuff.

Where’s the conscience of Del Monte and Purina when they put toxins and animal waste in our pets’ food? And they’re not the only ones. Anyone that hides behind “Natural Flavors” on their label instead of telling us exactly what those flavors are (ADI, Waggin’ Train) needs a firm kick in the caboose. Just because the FDA allows manufacturers to do it, doesn’t mean they should.

BHA, BHT, Ethoxyquin, Sodium Metabisulfite and TBHQ.

These are chemical preservatives known to cause things like: cancer, liver and kidney problems, weakness, loss of consciousness, brain damage, and life-threatening asthma. One or more of these chemicals are in the top two selling treats and numerous others. The chemicals also are used to manufacture things like rubber and petroleum products, and embalming fluid.

Treats containing at least one of these chemicals.   These chemicals are used to manufacture:
◾Milk-Bones (Del Monte)
◾Embalming Fluid

◾Beggin Strips (Purina)
◾Jet Fuels

◾Pup Peroni (Del Monte)
◾Rubber Products

◾Busy Bones (Purina)

◾Moist n Meaty (Purina)
◾Electrical Transformer Oil

◾T-Bonz (Purina)

◾Simple Essentials Treats (Hill’s Science Diet/Colgate Palmolive)
◾Petroleum Products


Ethoxyquin is so toxic that the FDA has prohibited it from human consumption except for minute quantities in certain spices (e.g. cayenne pepper). The FDA, despite the behest of veterinarians, has done nothing but suggest to pet product manufacturers they reduce its usage. Who knows if any of them have reduced it, but Purina still adds it into their Moist ‘n Meaty and Hill’s Science Diet (Colgate Palmolive) adds it to their Simple Essentials Treats as disclosed clearly on their labels. (See Sidebar about how tough it can be to spot ethoxyquin and other toxins.)

Ethoxyquin on pet food labels
Toxins in pet food

So what’s the deal with all these other chemical preservatives? Sodium Metabisulfite (the preservative in Milk-Bones) is harmful if ingested or inhaled (as in sniffed). It reacts with WATER and acids (like those in your dog’s stomach) to release toxic sulfur dioxide gas. It can cause life-threatening asthmatic reactions after ingestion as well as gastrointestinal, circulatory and central nervous system problems. The people who handle this stuff are required to wear hazmat suits and respirators. And believe it or not, there’s more written about the harmful effects and cancer-causing properties of BHA and BHT than sodium metabisulfite. BHT is actually banned in England. And BHA is thought by the National Institutes of Health to cause stomach cancer.

TBHQ (a butane derivative) can cause death from ingestion of as little as 5 grams. Ingestion of a single gram (1/28 of an ounce) causes nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, delirium, a sense of suffocation and collapse. The FDA puts strict requirements on uses of all these toxic chemical preservatives in human food, but pet foods have few if any requirements and often contain much more.

So what’s the good news? There are many better, natural solutions for preserving food. Dehydration is the first one. Take the moisture out of something and bacteria cannot grow. Ask any caveman. It’s been around that long. And, no self-respecting cowboy would go hungry when he has a piece of dried meat in his pocket. Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and rosemary and sage extracts also make good, natural solutions. The problem for Purina and Del-Monte and others is that dehydration, vitamins and herb extracts are more expensive than sodium metabisulfite, BHA, BHT, TBHQ or ethoxyquin.

Dehydration, for instance, produces a treat with a lower water content (but denser nutritional profile) that hence weighs less. Dehydration also takes time and electricity – which cost money. Since treats are sold by net weight, massive commercial manufacturers want to keep the moisture content high so they can sell you the weight in water. But then they have to toss in chemical preservatives to keep the treats from spoiling.

“Natural Flavors” and Animal Digests

Here’s the scoop on natural flavors and animal digests: the FDA allows digestive tract contents to be processed into animal feed.

The FDA says:

“With respect to flavors, pet foods often contain digests, which are materials treated with heat, enzymes, and/or acids to form concentrated natural flavors. Only a small amount of a chicken digest is needed to produce a ‘Chicken Flavored Cat Food,’ even though no actual chicken is added to the food…” [emphasis added].

“Natural Flavors” and “Animal Digests” are on the labels of these popular products among others:
◾Beggin Strips (Purina)
◾Waggin-Train Jerky Tenders (made by ADI Pet in China)
◾Busy Bones (Purina)
◾T-Bonz (Purina)
◾The Goodlife Recipe (Mars, Inc.)

Meat and By-Products

Ever glance at a pet food label and see an ingredient called “meat?” Would you buy anything in the grocery store’s meat section that’s just identified as “meat” on the label? What exactly qualifies as “meat” and “by-products”?

Here’s a hint: The FDA has found pentobarbital (the euthanasia drug) in our pet’s food.

According to the FDA, “meat” for animal feed comes from:

“independent [rendering] plants that obtain animal by-product materials, including grease, blood, feathers, offal and entire animal carcasses from the following sources: butcher shops, supermarkets, restaurants, fast-food chains, poultry processors, slaughterhouses, farms, ranches, feedlots, and animal shelters.” [emphasis added]

AAFCO, the organization that works with the FDA to standardize definitions of ingredients and other things for the pet food industry, broadly defines “byproducts”. Poultry byproducts, for instance can include: “the carcass of slaughtered poultry such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines exclusive of feathers except… as might occur unavoidably…”

But it’s not the feathers – or even the addition of McDonald’s used grease – that’s most worrisome. It’s well documented that the FDA also allows 4D animals – that’s dead (as in roadkill dead), dying or diseased (as in anthrax) or disabled (as in mad-cow paralysis) as well as spoiled or contaminated meat to be used in pet food.

Recall the mad-cow epidemic in the late 1980s? It was determined that the cause of it was cattle (normally herbivores) being fed the remains of other diseased cattle (in the form of rendered down meat and byproducts). Nearly 4.4 million cattle were slaughtered in the eradication program that followed. But in October 2009, Mad Cow disease infected and killed another person showing that the disease is still lingering in the human food chain. So you would think your pet has got to be at much greater risk.

“Meat” and “By-Products” are in these popular treats:
◾Milk-Bones (Del Monte)
◾Pup-Peroni (Del Monte)
◾Busy Bones (Purina)
◾Moist n Meaty (Purina)
◾T-Bonz (Purina)
◾Beneful Snackin’ Slices (Purina)

Wheat, Corn, Soy, MSG, Refined Sugars & Artificial Sweeteners

Ever ask your vet why your seven year old dog is developing all these skin irritations and bumps? Or why she seems to have frequent bouts of intestinal upset? Here’s one good reason: she can’t digest the stuff she’s eating. Many dogs can’t digest wheat, corn and soy and some are allergic to these ingredients. Yet they’re included in food because they are cheap. Next time you pick up a 12 oz box of dog cookies for $3.99 retail consider how the manufacturer can make 12 oz of those treats for under $0.50.

MSG is included because it’s addictive, but like ethoxyquin you probably won’t find it on the label. If you see any type of “hydrolyzed” protein though, it likely contains MSG. MSG is believed to be a big culprit in the obesity epidemic in our pets (and ourselves). More than 50% of US dogs and cats are reportedly obese. MSG can more than triple insulin levels making even the most physically active animals fat.

The FDA says: “hydrolyzed proteins, used by the food industry to enhance flavor, are simply proteins that have been chemically broken apart into amino acids. The chemical breakdown of proteins may result in the formation of free glutamate that joins with free sodium to form MSG. In this case, the presence of MSG does not need to be disclosed on labeling.”

Refined sugars are added to pet food because dogs can taste sweetness. Yet sugar can cause obesity, dental problems and possibly diabetes. Artificial sweeteners are no good for dogs either and some are known toxins. The FDA still allows cancer-causing saccharine to be sold to humans and genetically modified ingredients to be undisclosed on labels. So chances are they’re not looking out for your pet.

Admittedly, artificial sweeteners and sugars can be hard to identify on a label when there’s a laundry list of six syllable words. But this can be our “‘Aha!’ moment.” If we don’t recognize it, should it really be ingested?

Here are a couple to remember: glycerin (aka glycerol) is a sugar substitute and filler, hydrogenated starch hydrolysate is an artificial sweetener with similar chemistry to Xylitol – and that one is known to be toxic to pets.

Wheat is in countless dog treats from the toxic ones to the junk-food treats. Here are a few of the popular treats that contain wheat and/or at least one of the other unhealthy ingredients in this category.
◾Milk-Bones (Del Monte)
◾Pup-Peroni (Del Monte)
◾Beggin Strips (Purina)
◾Waggin Train Jerky Tenders (ADI in China)
◾Busy Bones (Purina)
◾Moist n Meaty (Purina)
◾T-Bonz (Purina)
◾Beneful Snackin’ Slices (Purina)
◾The Goodlife Recipe (Mars, Inc.)
◾Old Mother Hubbard

The Cancerous 5 Food Colorings, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Nitrite, Copper Sulfate and the Kitchen Sink

The list of additives from food coloring to artificial flavors and other preservatives is long. But why does there need to be food coloring in the treats we give our dogs.? Has a dog ever turn his nose up at a treat because it got a low score for plating and presentation?

Let’s do our dogs a favor; when we see red dye # this and yellow dye # that, let’s put the box back. It likely contains a ton of other toxins. The Cancerous Five Food Colorings, Titanium dioxide, copper sulfate, calcium proprionate, sodium bisulfite, propylene glycol, and zinc sulfate are just some of those hunks of junk. They can cause anything from gastrointestinal and skin disorders, to tumors, central nervous system problems, and kidney and genetic disorders. And that’s just in the stuff humans and rats have reported. Who knows what our dogs feel.

Yellow #6, Blue #1 and #2, Red #3 and Green #3 are linked with cancer in animal testing. These are in Milk-Bones, Beggin Strips, Beneful Snackin Slices, and T-Bonz.

Titanium dioxide is a widely used white food coloring that’s also used for paints and plastics. Some prefer titanium in golf clubs not food. In food, it’s suspected of causing genetic disorders and lung tumors; in the clubs it simply causes humility.

Copper sulfate is an herbicide, fungicide and pesticide that’s also a known toxin no longer included in children’s chemistry sets because of health risks.

Calcium proprionate is a mold inhibitor. How did we get to be more worried about the mold than the chemicals?

Zinc sulfate will take the moss off your roof and kill the grass in your yard.

Sodium nitrite is linked with cancer and its in Beggin Strips and Pup-Peroni. Sodium nitrate is easily converted to cancer-causing compounds (called NOCs) and both sodium nitrite and nitrate have been linked with gastric cancer, esophageal cancer, and colorectal cancer.

Sodium bisulfite (synthetic vitamin K also called menadione) is associated with liver toxicity, anemia, eczema, skin irritations, allergic conditions, and more and has been banned from food and supplements in Europe, and by the FDA in over the counter supplements.

And lastly, propylene glycol makes a darn good antifreeze and airplane de-icer, but any vet will tell you in the right amount it will kill your pet. It’s use is being reduced in human foods because large doses in animals have been reported to cause central nervous system depression and kidney changes.

These popular treats contain these toxins:
◾Milk-Bones (Del Monte)
◾Beggin Strips (Purina)
◾Pup-Peroni (Del Monte)
◾T-Bonz (Purina)
◾Beneful Snackin’ Slices (Purina)
◾Moist n’ Meaty (Purina)
◾Busy Bone (Purina)

Wolves in captivity live 20 years. Their descendants – our dogs – live only a handful. Cancer is the #1 killer of our dogs; 50% of them die from it by some estimates. The toxins in their food are arguably a big contributing factor.

Our pets have a flaccid tongue; they can’t tell us that the Milk-Bones give them headaches or the Beggin Strips make their skin itch. They just know they’re hungry or they’ve done something good and this is their reward. Wag tail. Show belly. Give kisses.

So let’s make that reward something that they enjoy and that’s good for them. Today is the first day of the rest of your dog’s life. Remember, treat healthy and treat often. But if you can only do one of those things, then treat healthy. Your dog will make up the difference by living longer.

foster imagefoster flyer-compressed

Today We Say Goodbye to Dexter The Great. The Last Battle

If it should be that I grow frail and weak1240168_336210033180899_404334746_n

And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then will you do what must be done, …
For this — the last battle — can’t be won.
You will be sad I understand,
But don’t let grief then stay your hand,
For on this day, more than the rest,
Your love and friendship must stand the test.
We have had so many happy years,
You wouldn’t want me to suffer so.
When the time comes, please, let me go.
Take me to where to my needs they’ll tend,
Only, stay with me till the end
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.
I know in time you will agree
It is a kindness you do to me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I have been saved.
Don’t grieve that it must be you
Who has to decide this thing to do;
We’ve been so close — we two — these years,
Don’t let your heart hold any tears.
— Unknown

D.I.N.O is pleased to offer 6 weeks of Pet Secure Insurance with their adoptions.  DNA kits to adopters, Discounted Training through CAT,  earth options dog food,  grooming ($30) and boarding is also available for purchase.

DINO Rescue is pleased to offer boarding for $20 per day. Preference will be given first to our adopters, but we will happily accommodate others if space allows.

Please contact us for further information on our boarding! Thank you from the DINO Rescue team!

DNA My Dog Canine Genetic Testing

DNALogoYour dog’s unique DNA – Only $10

DNA My Dog’s simple cheek swab DNA test lets you learn every breed in your dog and gain insight into the unique genetic background of your dog including the history of their breed, personality traits, exercise levels, and so much more!

Every dog has its own unique DNA. DNA My Dog provides you with a kit and very simple instructions for swabbing the cheeks of your dog and collecting your dog’s DNA samples. The test is easy, painless and takes under a minute.

Impawsible – Possible


Urban Freedom Calgary***For dog & human friendly dogs only***  Class limited to 6 dogs!!!

Pre-requisite: None except dog must be human & dog friendly

Class Description: Are you embarrassed by your dog’s behaviours and bad manners? Does he run in the opposite direction when you call him?  Does he pull you down the street on your walks, leaving you in puddles of spilt lattes?  Does she struggle to find focus in the urban environment amidst the myriad of distractions.  If you answered “yes” to any (or all) of these questions then Urban Freedom is for you.  Transform your dog into an ideal urban citizen, this fun and educational program

Number of Classes: Urban Freedom Calgary consists of 14 Classes over the course of 7 weeks at 14 unique outdoor locations in Calgary (each class is 1 hour)

Tuition:  Regular:  $289 + GST   DINO Rescue:  $231.20 + GST (Save 20%)

Feisty Fido***For dogs with fears, aggression, reactivity and/or anxiety ***  Class limited to 5 dogs!!!

Pre-requisite:  None

Class Description: Does your dog make embarrassing displays at the end of her leash? Does she lunge, bark, snarl and growl at dogs, strangers, skateboards, cars, bikes or even snowmen? If you dread leaving your house with Fido for fear of what, or whom, you may run into then this class is for you. In this 6 week class dedicated to Feisty Fidos, you will learn everything you need to know to manage and permanently modify these undesirable behaviors so that you can leave your house with confidence – looking forward to whatever “challenges” are lurking around the next corner.

Number of Classes:  6 Classes (First Class is Human only orientation)

Tuition:  Regular:  $289 + GST   DINO Rescue:  $231.20 + GST (Save 20%)

Recipe of the Month

Mighty Muffin Muttloaves

Makes: 6 servingsl_RU197260

Prep: 5 mins

Bake: 40 mins


  • 1 pound lean chopped beef
  • 1 cup thawed frozen peas and carrots
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 2 eggs


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees . Generously grease 1 jumbo six-cup muffin tin. In a large bowl, using your hands, mix all of the ingredients thoroughly.
  2. Fill each muffin cup with the meat mixture and bake until well browned, about 40 minutes. (You can wrap and refrigerate the cooked muttloaves for up to 3 days or freeze them for up to 2 months.)

Dog Nutrition Cont’d


 An excellent source of protein and can be a lifesaver for dogs with meat allergies.  Although some raw diet enthusiasts recommend sushi and even the occasional whole raw fish, there are parasites that can be extremely harmful (notoriously one in salmon) that cooking quickly destroys.  Just remember the tiny bones.  They can do a number on a dog’s mouth and digestive tract.

8 Foods You Should Never Give Your Pets  Cont’d

4.  Xylitol

An artificial sweetener.  Found in toothpaste, gum, candy, mints or mouthwash. This artificial sweetener is harmful to dogs because it causes a sudden release of insulin in the body  that leads to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar. Xylitol can also cause liver damage in dogs.  The dog may vomit within 30 minutes after eating, be lethargic (tired), and/or be uncoordinated.  Some signs of toxicity can also be delayed for hours or even a few days.  Xylitol toxicity in dogs can be fatal if untreated.


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 Pets of the Month

pets of the month_08_25_2013


Recall Alert:  Iverhart Chewable Heartworm Prevention

Virbac Animal Health has issued an expanded recall of certain lots of Iverhart Plus Flavored Chewables for heartworm prevention.

This recall is an expansion of a recall issued last April due to low levels of Ivermectin, leaving dogs in the upper third of each weight range unprotected against heartworm infection.

According to PetMD, the following items are part of the expanded recall:safe_image

The following lot numbers of Iverhart Plus Flavored Chewables are included in the expanded recall:

Small (up to 25lbs) 120092: Small (up to 25lbs) 120397: Small (up to 25lbs) 120398: Small (up to 25lbs) 120798: Small (up to 25lbs)

Medium (26-50lbs) 120090: Medium (26-50lbs) 120301: Medium (26-50lbs) 120378: Medium (26-50lbs) 120450: Medium (26-50lbs) 121282: Medium (26-50lbs)

Large (51-100lbs) 120091: Large (51-100lbs) 120127:Large (51-100lbs) 120195: Large (51-100lbs) 120207: Large (51-100lbs) 120256: Large (51-100lbs) 120289: Large(51-100lbs) 120300: Large (51-100lbs) 120305: Large (51-100lbs) 120306: Large (51-100lbs) 120377: Large (51-100lbs) 120379: Large (51-100lbs) 120434: Large (51-100lbs) 120440: Large (51-100lbs) 120464: Large (51-100lbs) 120651: Large (51-100lbs) 120658: Large (51-100lbs) 120678: Large (51-100lbs) 120831: Large (51-100lbs) 121110: Large (51-100lbs) 121150: Large (51-100lbs) 121283: Large (51-100lbs) 121386: Large (51-100lbs)

No illness or adverse reactions have been reported as a result of this recall.

For questions or concerns about the Iverhart Plus recall, please contact Virbac Technical Services at 1-800-338-3659 ext. 3052.