May 2015

Pet Food Profile: May 2015

Champion Petfoods is a privately held company that makes high-protein dry dog foods with a high inclusion of meat, much of it fresh. The company calls its guiding principle “BAFRINO,” an acronym that stands for “biologically appropriate, fresh regional ingredients, never outsourced.” As of this writing, all of Champion’s dry foods are made in its own manufacturing plant in Morinville, Alberta, though the company is currently building a second dry food manufacturing plant in Auburn, Kentucky. Champion also manufactures freeze-dried foods at its own plant in Oakville, Ontario.   More...

How to Prevent or Treat Bites from Poisonous Snakes

Subscribers Only — Thousands of dogs are bitten in the U.S. each year by venomous snakes. Ninety-nine percent of the snakes that bite them are pit vipers, whose Crotalidae family includes Copperheads, Cottonmouths (Water Moccasins), and more than a dozen species of rattlesnake. The remaining one percent are Coral snakes, native to the American Southeast and Mexican border.   More...

Are You Sure It Was A Rattlesnake?

Subscribers Only — Snakes and dogs are a bad combination in any circumstances, but it’s helpful to know what venomous snakes look like, both where you live and where you might be traveling.   More...

Snake Avoidance Training for Dogs

Positive training methods focus on rewarding activities, and they’re fun for dogs and handlers. But mention rattlesnakes and many dog owners worry that positive reinforcement isn’t enough. In order to remain safe around rattlesnakes, some say, your dog may need aversion training with an electronic (shock) collar.   More...

How to Prevent a Bad Adoption

For the first time in several decades, my husband and I are actively seeking a dog to adopt. With our family pack at a long-time low of three dogs, all seniors, it’s time to add a younger set of paws, but now that neither of us works at a shelter, it’s not as easy to trip over a dog who speaks to our hearts. We now find ourselves having to actively look for one – a unique position for us, but one in which most normal, non-shelter/rescue humans are quite likely to find themselves. Having experienced in recent years an exponential increase in clients who adopted inappropriate dogs with significant problem behaviors – dogs who should never have been released by the shelter or rescue group – I know all too well how rocky the path to adoption can be these days. So, we’re taking the advice we’d give to anyone else in our situation in order to prevent a regrettable adoption.   More...

A Kelpie For The Millers

Subscribers Only — My husband and I agreed that we’d like another Australian Kelpie. Both of our two prior Kelpie girls were exceptional dogs, and we’re hoping for a repeat experience. Kelpies are rare enough that we know that haunting our local shelters for one is pretty futile. Given our sheltering background, the subject of purchasing from a breeder never came up.   More...

How to Protect Your Dog From Foxtails

Subscribers Only — It sounds like a promising pitch for a horror movie: An invader slips surreptitiously into your dog’s body, unseen and unsuspected. While your dog sniffs and snoozes and goes about her everyday life, the intruder burrows ever inward, literally pulling itself through her soft tissue and organs with sharp, needle-like spikes.   More...

What to Look for in a First Aid Kit

Subscribers Only — Every owner should have a first-aid kit for their dogs. But what should be included in that kit? If you’re looking for a definitive answer, you’ll need to pull out your crystal ball, because there’s no telling what you might need in an emergency, since there are infinite ways your dog can be injured. To be prepared for every possible scenario, you’d need a fully stocked van. It really can’t be done – and shouldn’t be done – because that’s not what “first aid” is all about.   More...

New Feature

In the May 2015 issue, you’ll find the first installment of what is planned as a regular column in WDJ: Pet Food Profile. I’ve had the privilege of touring lots of dog food manufacturing plants over the years, and have learned a lot in the process. I’d like to start sharing more information about the companies I’ve been invited to visit, and try to describe what makes each company unique from the others. Who owns these companies? How large are they, compared to their rivals? What is their mission, their identity? Where do they make their products? Where are the products sold, and how are they marketed?   More...