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Archive for January 20th, 2009

PetSmart recalls Grreat Choice biscuits

PetSmart said late Tuesday it is recalling seven types of its Grreat Choice dog biscuits because of a salmonella concern.

The pet products retailer said the affected products contain peanut paste made by Peanut Corp. of America, whose Blakely, Georgia facility is currently the focus of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration salmonella probe.

PetSmart said it is not aware of any cases of illness related to the dog biscuits, and was conducting the recall as a precautionary measure.

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Getting (a little) serious about dog poop

Every day in Seattle, where dogs outnumber children, 41,250 pounds of poop exits dogs and lands on the otherwise fair city, according to the Seattle Times.

In a year (who says newspapers don’t cover the important stuff anymore) that adds up to 15.1 million pounds, but it also leads to a lot of confrontations between neighbors, between dog owners and animal-control officers, and between dog owners and passers-by — not to mention steppers-in.

And, actually, it is important stuff.

The non-scoopers among us — and you know who you are — aren’t just contributing to an erosion in the quality of life, but to health problems as well.

When it rains, as it often does in Seattle, dog poop can run into storm drains, and then into lakes and streams and eventually Puget Sound. In Baltimore, it can take a similar route and end up in the Inner Harbor, and other, more frolic-worthy waterways.

Dave Ward, principal watershed steward for Snohomish County in Washington, notes that kids thinking they are playing in a pristine stream could actually be coming into contact with roundworms, E. coli and Giardia.

“Pet waste comes consistently to the top as one of the principal sources of contamination in urban waterways,” Ward said.

The Times story goes on to recount some of the nasty confrontations dog poop has led to in Seattle, where citations ($54 a whack) can be issued not just for failing to scoop poop, but for failure to carry proper poop-scooping equipment.

In 2007, Seattle — home to an estimated 125,000 dogs — issued 65 citations related to dog poop, from failing to scoop in parks to allowing accumulation of feces on one’s property.

(Graphic by Clyde Peterson, official ohmidog! cartoonist)

The solution to violence (unless your a salmon)

Studies are continuing to show that more omega-3 fatty acids in our diets — whether we’re human or canine — can play a role in reducing aggression.

Of course, eating more salmon isn’t going to cure all the violence in the world — and especially not for salmon, which we’d have to slaughter much more of in order to be peaceful.

But it’s something you might want to take a serious look at if your dog has aggression problems, or if (dare I say it, don’t get mad) you do.

A recent Italian study has shown that aggressive dogs are characterized by low levels of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid. Studies of humans have already indicated the same may be true in us.

In the Italian study, 18 adult male German shepherds with histories of aggression were compared to 18 male shepherds with no history of aggression.

Compared to the “normal dogs,” aggressive dogs showed lower omega 3 levels. “Altogether, our results suggest that low omega-3 fatty acids may adversely impact behavior in dogs,” the scientists said, resulting in greater propensity to aggression, and possibly hyperactivity and impulsiveness. Read more »