Steven the Pet Man of Big Apple Pet Supply reviews Halo Spot’s Stew dry food for Cats. Steven breaks down the ingredient list and provides his thoughts on the quality of this diet and whether he considers this a good diet for your cat.

In Steven the Pet Man “The Truth About Pet Food” video series he breaks down the name brand foods you give your pet. Which ones are the best, which ones are the worst? What are the facts behind the ingredients on the label?

Watch his video review:


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Nice Dog photos

A few nice Dog images I found:

Dog on Surfboard

Image by Ed Suominen
Naturally, it was the dog that attracted my attention. (Well, maybe not just that.) Never seen a dog on a surfboard before.

Wish I’d had more of a zoom lens or more pixels. This is the best I could do with cropping, sharpening, and noise reduction.

Dog and Duck, Winchmore Hill, N21

Image by Ewan-M
Dog, meet duck. (View of pub.)

Dog at Dog Pond at Callahan State Park

Image by Barbara L. Slavin
Dog at Dog Pond at Callahan State Park on the evening of July 6, 2013. We are in the middle of a heat wave and the dog has been jumping in out out of the water.

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Redirect to an Alternate Behavior

This is brilliant. It’s also related to dog training.

This Dad has hit on a great technique for ending a frustrating situation quickly: redirecting from an unwanted behavior to another.

Redirection is another technique in the Applied Behavior Analysis toolbox. I’ve spoken about differential reinforcement before. This is also a form of differential reinforcement: DRO or Differential Reinforcement of an Other behavior. (Although we could call what Dad is doing in the video DRI too, since you can’t cry and “moo” like a cow at the same time.) As the video clearly shows, redirection/DRO can be a very effective technique.

(By the way, controlling antecedents might be another option: if playing with a certain toy often leads to a tantrum than that toy might disappear during a nap. But I digress…)

You’ve likely heard or read something similar with dogs. Redirect a puppy that is chewing on hands or furniture to a toy. Redirect a dog displaying fearful or aggressive behavior to an alternative, such as targeting or eye contact. It can work in the short term, which can be a blessing to a dog owner and it can help in the long term since the first step is alleviating an unwanted situation is preventing or curtailing it, and it can even work in the long term if the undesired behavior is not reinforced as well as the one being redirected to.

One possible pitfall here is unintentionally creating a behavior chain: the little girl might figure out that throwing a tantrum gets her Dad’s attention, similar to a puppy that figures out that chewing on a chair leg makes a bone appear. Preventing this isn’t difficult. Make sure that there is an easier way to get what they want, in the case of the little girl it might be as simple as asking for attention and for the puppy it could just be a polite “sit.”

Have you used redirection with your dog?

Redirect to an Alternate Behavior is a post written by . You can see the actual post at Dog Training in Bergen County New Jersey

Dog Spelled Forward Website and Blog

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Pet Food Recall: Pro-Pet LLC Recalls Limited Products

Pro-Pet LLC has recalled a limited number of dog and cat food products.  The recall is due to the possibility of salmonella contamination.  The recall only includes products that were made during a two day period.  The list of products is below.  You can find the original FDA report here.

Product Best By Lot Code UPC Number
40 lb Hubbard Life Happy Hound Dog Food 05 06 14 096 13 SM L2 2A 1219033878
40 lb Hubbard Life Happy Hound Dog Food 05 06 14 096 13 SM L2 1A 1219033878
18 lb Hubbard Life Cat Stars Cat Food 05 06 14 096 13 SM L2 1A 1219033873
40 lb Hubbard Life Maintenance Dog Food 05 06 14 096 13 SM L2 2A 1219033875
15 lb Joy Combo Cat Food 05 06 14 096 13 SM L2 1A 7065407721
40 lb Joy Combo Cat Food 05 06 14 096 13 SM L2 1A 7065407713
40 lb Joy Combo Cat Food 05 06 14 096 13 SM L2 2A 7065407713
20 lb QC Plus Adult Dog Food 05 07 14 097 13 SM L2 2A 2351780103
40 lb QC Plus Adult Dog Food 05 07 14 097 13 SM L2 2A 2351780104
40 lb QC Plus Adult Dog Food 05 07 14 097 13 SM L2 1A 2351780104

PetsitUSA Blog

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Fluid Icon for “mite.”

Some cool Mite images:

Fluid Icon for “mite.”

Image by sebastiankippe
Icon for using mite. with Fluid on Mac OS X. Download the real icon from one of the following locations…


Coffee broad mites

Image by Scot Nelson
Broad mite (Polyphagotarsonemus latus) feeding injury to coffee leaves.

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Evolution of the Domestic Dog Redux

I’ve written about the evolution of the domestic dog before. What makes this such a great time to be a dog science geek is that in the few years since I wrote that post there’s been a lot of new research and new thought on the topic.

This is one of those subjects that is probably never going to be completely settled, at least not without time travel — and even then we would need a lot of luck. Chances are there was more than one "domestication event" and each one had likely slightly different factors contributing to its genesis.

This infographic, from The Uncommon Dog explains domestication with a bit of a hybrid view between the "adoption" theory that was very popular until relatively recently, and the self-domestication theory that I wrote about before (and still find more believable than adoption.) It’s an interesting take on the origins of the domestic dog.

What I really enjoyed about this graphic is the additional information about how dogs may have helped us survive. For more on that and on how we evolved together, start here and here.

Here’s the graphic. Enjoy! (Click for the full size version on the orginal site.)


Evolution of the Domestic Dog Redux is a post written by . You can see the actual post at Dog Training in Bergen County New Jersey


Dog Spelled Forward Website and Blog

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Thank you Roben. This work is a fun way to walk th…

Thank you Roben. This work is a fun way to walk the planet. With or without donations, support fuels us forward.

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Removing Head Lice and Eggs

A quick guide to removing head lice and eggs with the innovative Licetec Opticomb. The Opticomb is a chemical free head lice treatment that eliminates both h…

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Pet Insurance 101: What to Look for in a Provider

An article from Petplan:

Pet insurance is designed to safeguard you against a major financial loss if your pet ever has an accident or becomes ill. It’s a sound investment for your furry family, but it is important to fully understand the product before you buy.

To get the best value from a pet insurance policy, pick a comprehensive plan that includes both accident and illness coverage. The point of pet insurance is to protect you against the unexpected; having to guess whether your pet is more likely to suffer an accident or an illness is a recipe for disaster.

Make sure all hereditary diseases are covered as standard in the policy; you should not have to purchase additional coverage for things like hip dysplasia or congenital heart disease. If there are options for add-ons and riders, buyer beware. While picking coverage a la carte can sometimes mean a nominally lower premium, the risk that you could be left vulnerable to big bills just isn’t worth it.

Avoid insurance providers who reimburse based on a benefit schedule; you could find yourself maxing out per-illness and per-incident caps pretty quickly – especially if your pet’s condition becomes chronic. These caps also do not take into account the complications that can (and often do) arise during treatment, and they don’t take into consideration the many complementary therapies that can be used in tandem with traditional modalities to treat a pet’s condition holistically (like acupuncture or hydrotherapy). Pick a provider that offers flat-rate reimbursement of your actual vet fees, and you’ll be free to follow whatever treatment plan your vet recommends without worrying about cost.

One of the biggest issues pet parents need to understand when buying insurance is pre-existing conditions. Though they feel like part of the family, pets are legally considered property, and pet health insurance is really property and casualty insurance. This means that much like your homeowner’s or car insurance can’t pay for losses that happened before you took out a policy, pet insurance – no matter who your provider – cannot pay claims related to illnesses or injuries that occurred before you bought the policy (or during the policy waiting periods).

Pets with pre-existing conditions are still insurable, it simply means that the insurance cannot pay claims related to those conditions. So if you have a dog who already suffers from allergies when you sign up, your insurance cannot reimburse you for allergy treatments. But when he needs emergency surgery after snacking on socks, or tears his CCL chasing the neighbor’s cat, or develops cancer – that’s when your policy will pay.

When it comes to pre-existing conditions, a good insurance provider will make a distinction between curable and incurable conditions when making exclusions. A chronic pre-existing condition like diabetes cannot be covered, but things like respiratory infections, urinary tract infections or vomiting can usually be covered after an exclusionary period. In other words, provided your pet’s medical history shows no further incidences after the initial episode, coverage for the condition may be restored after a period of time with no relapse.

If you’ve been back and forth to the vet with your pet in the past, find out which conditions are considered curable by a particular company, and when in doubt, request an underwriting review. Be sure to read and understand the Terms and Conditions of any policy you are considering purchasing. This document clearly lays out what is and is not covered, explains any waiting or exclusionary periods, and defines your responsibilities as a pet parent to keep the policy in good standing.

Finally, consider each prospective pet insurance company as a whole. Does the provider earn high marks on independent review sites like Do they go beyond just collecting premiums and actually give you practical information for keeping your pet healthy? Visit a provider’s website, Facebook page, twitter feed, Pinterest account and anything else you can find to get a sense of the company culture. Chances are if they are a company of pet people, and they share useful pet health information to help you take the best care of your pet, they’re going to be a good partner in your pet’s health when you need them most.

When purchasing pet insurance, seek out a provider that offers comprehensive standard plans, flat-rate reimbursement and whose reputation inspires confidence in their customer service, and you’ll be well on your way to keeping your pet happy and healthy for life.

PetsitUSA Blog

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Skiier Gus Kenworthy Finds Real Puppy Love with Sochi’s Strays

It’s too early to tell what kind of awards Olympic athlete Gus Kenworthy will take home for his slopestyle skiing, but it is clear that he’s already scored triple gold in the hearts of dog lovers.

When the news hit that part of Russia’s preparations for the Winter Olympics included hiring an exterminator to kill more than 2,000 stray dogs on the streets of Sochi, it was one more embarrassment in a long string of embarrassments. Between anti-LGBT laws, incomplete and poorly constructed facilities, terrorist threats, and killing dogs, the Olympic Games have not made Russia look good.


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Collage from Gus Kenworthy’s Facebook Page.

And yet, in the wake of the story about the exterminations of dogs, there have been some genuinely heartwarming stories. Russian citizens have put their own butts on the line to rescue stray dogs. And now, we have Kenworthy, a skiier from Colorado who's come across several strays and fallen in love with them. Yesterday, Kenworthy wrote about the pups on his Facebook page:

Spent all afternoon playing with a gang of stray puppies here in Sochi! Looking into finding a way to bring them home with me but also don't want to take them away from their mama because she was being super cute and protective over them. I bought them some food and I'll go visit them again tomorrow.

Since then, Kenworthy has said via Twitter that he has made vaccination appointments for the pups and found kennels for them. "Doing all I can to bring them home w/ me!" he Tweeted today.

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We hope the dogs are more than eight weeks old; that's the minimum age for an adoption, and even then, the process is complex, as Michael Leaverton wrote here on Dogster a couple of days ago. If nothing else, it helps a potential adopter to be in Sochi, which is a big deal-killer for most of us. However, for Americans such as Kenworthy who do happen to be in the area, and want to rescue stray dogs in Sochi, the Humane Society International has published a guide on how to do it.

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Good luck to Gus Kenworthy from us at Dogster -- with the skiiing as well as the pups.

Read More on the Sochi situation:

The Scoop | The Scoop

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