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OPD's Dog Care Monthly, Issue #001 -- Vacationing Without Your Dog?
July 05, 2008

Issue #001, July 2008

Stay on top of the latest dog care research and trends for knowledge that will help to keep your dog healthy and happy. Each month's edition of OPD's Dog Care Monthly will include:

OPD's Dog Care MonthlyDog Care News You Can Use - including research, trends, real-life stories, veterinarian advice and any information that we know you'll want to hear to help you take better care of your dog.

OPD's Dog Care MonthlyOrganic Pet Digest Web Site Updates - important additions and updates that shouldn't be missed. We sift through all of our advice and tools and bring to your attention to the best of the best of what's new.

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In This Issue

Dog Care News You Can Use:

  • Vacationing Without Your Dog this Summer?


  • Cocoa Mulch Found to Be Lethal to Dogs


  • Don't Get Bitten in China!


Organic Pet Digest Web Site Updates:

  • Healthy Label Test Ensures Your Dog is Eating Right



Organic, Natural and Holistic Dog Care
News You Can Use

Vacationing Without Your Dog this Summer?

If you are going on a trip this summer and plan to leave your dog behind, be picky in who you choose. Many kennels require your dog to be vaccinated prior to their stay, and those vaccinations can have very negative long term effects.

If your local kennels require them, seek in-home care with family, friends or a home-based business. If you can't find them in the phone book or online, ask for a referral from your groomer, veterinarian, dog trainer or local dog store owner. Once you find a good reference, scope out the sitter before moving forward:

  • Do they separate the small dogs from the big dogs?
  • Where will your dog sleep?
  • Will they use your dog food and stick to the feeding schedule that you provide?
  • Will your dog ever be left alone? If so, for how long?
  • How many other dogs will be watched at the same time?
  • How often will they brush your dog (especially for those with longer, “mattable” hair)?
  • Will they bathe and groom your dog the day you return home?
  • If there are any health problems, will they contact your specific veterinarian?
  • If you have a longer trip planned, will they give you any days free?
  • Meet the people who will be watching your dog and visit the areas your dog will have access to. Do you feel comfortable with the set up?
We use a local pet sitter who grooms our dog every day, allows her to play with other dogs her size and even lets our dog sleep in her bed. And she only charges $30 per day – a pretty good deal considering the amount of attention our dog receives. The only drawback is that our dog doesn’t want to leave when we come to pick her up!



Cocoa Mulch Found to Be Lethal to Dogs

Summer is here and your landscaping is looking great.

Did you or your gardener use Cocoa Mulch (sold in many popular stores such as Home Depot)? If so, replace it immediately!

Dogs love the smell of cocoa mulch enough to eat it, but it can be fatal. There are no warnings on the label even though the product is known to be highly toxic to dogs.

The culprit is the ingredient Theobromine, which is used to make all chocolates (which is why chocolate is on the list of dog food ingredients to avoid).

Here’s a quote from Hershey’s:

“It is true that studies have shown that 50% of the dogs that eat Cocoa Mulch can suffer physical harm to a variety of degrees (depending on each individual dog). However, 98% of all dogs won’t eat it.”

Hmmmm…I’m not sure where that 98% stat came from. Either way, is it worth the risk to your dog or your neighbor’s dog?

Reference: Snopes.com



Don’t Get Bitten in China!

If you are planning a big trip to China in August for the summer Olympics, keep your distance from the local dogs. Dog bites were one of the most frequent reasons that travelers received medical care when returning to their home country.

Your main concern should be rabies, as China has one of the highest rates of human rabies cases in the world.

Reference: UPI.com




OPD Web Site Updates

Healthy Label Test Ensures Your Dog is Eating Right

Dog food DOES NOT have the same health standards as people food. For the most part, the governing bodies for people food have nothing to do with the dog food industry. In fact, the dog food industry is so loosely regulated that even holistic veterinarians have a tough time figuring out what to feed their own pets:

  • What does “natural” or “organic” really mean? Are there standards that dog food companies have to meet to use either of these terms?
  • How do I make sense of all of these crazy ingredients?
  • How can I be sure that the brand gets their food from good manufacturers?
  • Is there anything on the packaging that I can trust?
Our veterinarian-approved Healthy Label Test is the first ever test of its kind and will let you know just how healthy your dog food really is.

So how can you gain access? Simply by signing up for this free newsletter!
Click here to sign up. You will then receive a confirmation message with a link to register for the Healthy Label Test. Once in the test, you can:
  • Answer a short list of questions based on your actual dog food labels
  • Receive a score between 1 and 5 letting you know just how healthy your dog food of choice is and why
  • Track and sort your previous test scores to keep a tally of which foods are keepers and which to leave on the store shelves
If you’ve already registered, log in and put the tool to use. Your dog will thank you for it!




Comments? Ideas? Feedback? We'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and tell us what you think!


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