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After the Pet Food Recalls, What Can You Feed Your Pets to Keep Them Healthy?
by Linda Chae

My pet food was on the list of pet food recalls last year and now I feel I have to question EVERY product I want to buy for my pets!
Do you ever feel as though your entire grocery list for your pets is off limits? A lot of us who had never worried about safe, clean food got a VERY rude awakening the past several months. Even when we were used to reading labels to make sure we were buying healthy food and treats, we soon learned that was no longer an assurance of safety.

So, what can you do about it?

I've received many e-mails and phone calls asking for simple lists and recipes to make for your pet. While this was a pretty normal reaction to the storm of recalls, few pet owners realized the sacrifice and time that would be required to return to making your own pet food.

Obviously, the decision to make your own pet food depends on the type of pet you own. For example, it's much easier to cook up or mix up food for a cat than for a large St. Bernard. If you are determined to go this route, there are some ingredients that you SHOULD NOT include in a diet for your cat or dog. This list comes from the ASPCA and is based on illnesses and deaths in pets, not on hearsay.

Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets

- Alcoholic beverages

- Avocado

- Chocolate (all forms)

- Coffee (all forms)

- Fatty foods

- Macadamia nuts

- Moldy or spoiled foods

- Onions, onion powder - all forms

- Raisins and grapes

- Salt

- Yeast dough

- Garlic - all forms

- Products sweetened with xylitol - artificial sweetener

Now, if you're concerned about the pet food recalls and want to try a homemade cat chow and dog chow recipe to keep your pets healthy, here's one to get you started.

This simple, healthful chow mixture is easy to make for your dogs or cats. I like this recipe because it includes meat, vegetables and rice. I prefer recipes that do not include large quantities of wheat or white flour as main ingredients because many pets can become sensitized to those ingredients.

Meat, Vegie and Rice Stew


3 pounds minced chicken meat or ground hamburger

2 1/2 cups frozen vegetable blend (no garlic or onions), minced

4 cups rice 6 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup olive oil


Place chicken, vegetables, and rice into a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Stir in water until the mixture is smooth. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

Everyday Common Sense Precautions

Now that we've dealt with the issue of feeding your pets healthy, safe food, the next most important thing for you to remember is to have a qualified veterinarian examine your pet if anything unusual occurs - whether it's from food or from other products they're exposed to during an average day. Unusual symptoms might include vomiting, lethargy, listlessness, incontinence, loose bowel, or general loss of appetite.

I like to remind pet owners that their companion animals can be affected by products they are using in their homes or cars where the animals live and ride. For example, most people don't realize that air fresheners with synthetic chemicals and fragrances settle to the floor where pets walk in the residue, clean their paws and ingest the toxins.

As a result of the indoor pollution many pets are exposed to, we are seeing an increase in the number of chronic illnesses in our pets just as we see the increase in the general human population.

Learn about toxins that can affect your pet's health, not just about the food they eat. Your pet is counting on you - be their advocate! Look for natural, organic products that are certified by an organization you trust.

About the Author:
Linda ChaƩ is President & Chief Formulator for ChaƩ Organics, Inc. and a pioneer in 'go natural' skin care for consumers. She is committed to clean, safe toxic free products for the whole family, including pets. Her organic pet waterless shampoo is an easy to use foaming shampoo that requires no water or rinsing. For more information or to order her products, visit

Dog Houses & Kennels from

Designer Dogs and Pampered Pets
by Donna Boras

What are designer dogs? The biggest trend in dogs isn't purebreds, but specially created hybrids (puggles, pookimos, Jack-a-bees). Dogs that fall under the designer category include boxers, doxies, dachshunds, beagles, poodles, and more. The list of what is considered to be a hybrid is long; however; if your pet doesn't make it on this list, it doesn't mean that he is not a designer dog. This descriptive name also refers to pampered pets and any pet can be treated like royalty.
Pampering your dog has become a very popular trend, and shows no sign of slowing down. Treating your dog as one of the family and providing a better life for your best friend is no longer a novelty or luxury but a lifestyle.

Hollywood's Influence on Dog Fashions

You have probably seen the pampered pooches many celebrities of the moment are sporting like the latest accessories. Often seen carrying their toy sized dogs at red carpet events or just out on the town for the evening. Since American life can reflect Hollywood trends, being accompanied by a dog has become a fashion statement.

Spending for Upscale Dog Products and Services

There are about 73 million pet dogs in the United States. Mans best friend is the most popular pet with 43.5% of US households owning a dog. The American Pet Manufacturers Association estimates that in 2007 pet owners spent $41 billion on their furry friends. High-end and luxury product account for a growing percentage of the total spent on posh pooches.

Sales of dietary supplements and healthcare products formulated specifically for pets have benefited as well. With more families seeing their dog as a member of the family and deserving of the attention and care this entails coupled with the increase in the number of older and overweight dogs.

This trend continues in other parts of the world such as Canada and the UK. In the UK 11% of the people said theywould re-mortgage their home to pay for a vital vet bill! There is no question we have gone to the dogs.

Designer Dog Carriers

The world of doggy fashions does cater to the small dog. Handbags for ladies to carry their beloved friends wherever they go. A dog tote bag for every occasion from casual to very elegant with designer tags attached. These carriers are not only attractive but functional in styles such as over the shoulder, purse designs and hands free front and backpacks.

Dog Beds

Chances are your four legged friend's secret obsession is a comfy bed to dream on. Dogs love to laze around on an extra cushiony and snuggly bed. There is no shortage of designs where fashion meets functionality that will cater to the style conscious canine, no matter what breed you own. Designer and fancy dog beds and furniture are abundant with seriously supportive padding and luxurious fabric choices that will complement your home decor.

"Canine couture" is the new buzz word in the doggy fashion world. Designer doggy wear for every occasion from casual to the most formal, casual parkas, active wear, backpacks, hats, hiking boots, sun visors, evening wear, faux fur coats, jewelry, fancy dog collars,leads and footwear. Your haute hound will need a walk-in closet to accommodate all these clothes and accessories.

Here is a rundown of the hot trends:

Bridal registries for high end doggy items.

Some hair care giants have launched lines of pet grooming products.

Gourmet pet treats.

Exclusive hotel chains welcome small dog and pamper them with gourmet meals, plush beds and spa style treatments.

Doggie daycare is not just a bowl of food served in a kennel. Pets are now treated to exercise and training programs.

Pet spas are replacing a simple shampoo and clip with full salon treatments, including hair conditioning, highlights, nail color and care, massage and body treatments.
In summary, the pet care industry has experienced growth every year, which happily has provided a greater variety and better quality of merchandise for your designer dogs. Browse the virtual shelves, you might just find something that your four legged friend can't live without.

About the Author:
Donna Boras is the webmaster of and a life long dog lover. For more information on designer dogs and dog beds, advice on caring for your dog and dog product reviews please visit our website.

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