NWPDC Blog

Veterinary Medicine Counterfeiting

Someone in a pet sitter forum I’m a member of just posted this article regarding the guilty plea of a CEO who was charged with “intentionally trafficking in counterfeit labels and packaging for anti-parasite products and veterinary medicines between July 2015 and December 2016.”

The EPA is aware of this and also offers some guidance here.

For those of you who use flea and tick products on your cats and dogs, please take the following precautions to ensure that the products you have are legitimate:

1) Check the lot number/expiration date on the retail carton matches the lot number on the applicator package and/or the individual applicators.

2) Determine whether the instruction leaflet is included. It provides the following information: first-aid statements, including emergency US or related Merial branch telephone numbers; precautionary statements for humans and pets; directions for use; Frontline Plus from Merial usually has an adhesive calendar sticker with instructions for use and phone number. Treatment frequency is printed behind the front panel. Visual aids and instructions are also included.

3) The pesticide is contained in an applicator package, which is child-resistant.

4) Text on the package is in English only. There should be no stickers on the package. Related country’s approval numbers and phone numbers are printed on the box.

5) Once you open the applicator package, each individual applicator has a label that includes the registrant’s name “Merial;” the product name; “CAUTION”, “Keep out of reach of children”, “For animal treatment only”; Composition of active ingredient(s) (fipronil for Frontline Top Spot products; and fipronil and (S)-methoprene for Frontline Plus products). Text is in English. Note that for Merial Frontline Plus*: Applicator itself has the lot number and expiration date printed in the front.

 

Summer Pet Safety Tips

(Photo: Poki Soaks up the Sun)

The folks at the FACE Foundation shared these helpful infographics from the Arizona Humane Society with tips for keeping pets safe in the summer heat. As we head into the steamy DC summer, I figured now is a great time to share.

To the tips listed here, I would add something I think most of us know but that unfortunately still happens too often: DON’T LEAVE YOUR PET ALONE IN THE CAR!

summer-pet-safety-1

summer-pet-safety-2

Dances with Dogs at Lafayette Rec Center

I will be hanging out with trainer Brittany Fulton of Dances with Dogs at the Lafayette Rec center on Saturday, June 2 from 10am – 12pm.

Please join us for some training tips, to learn about Brittany’s training philosophy, and for an opporunity to win a discounted training session and/or dog walk/pet sit visit. Coffee and light refreshments will be served.

Brittany Fulton proudly owns and operates Dances with Dogs, a positive reinforcement dog training business in the DC Metro Area.  She offers private sessions, day training (training in your home or at her studio office), and training walks. Brittany primarily, serves NW DC and Montgomery County. She addresses behavioral concerns including reactivity, aggression, and fear, as well as basic obedience.

Brittany has a degree in psychology with an emphasis on animal behavior. She is certified with the Academy for Dog Trainers, a highly-reputed positive reinforcement education provider.  She has been training dogs for over 6 years. Brittany has trained and worked with many respected organizations including the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. and Best Friends Animal Society.

Brittany truly enjoys approaching canine behavioral modification with compassion and science-based methods.

LafayetteMap1
Lafayette Recreation Center 5900 33rd Street NW, Quesada Street NW Washington, DC 20015

 

 

The Ant Can’t…

…get to your pet’s food if you place the food bowl into a dish or pan with some water in it (apologies if you had high hopes for something that rhymed).

Basically, build a moat across which the ants are unable to swim.

I learned about this little life hack recently from a friend who had to employ it with her own cat down in the Dominican Republic, and then I got to test it out on a pet sit assignment when I came in one day to find ants beginning to swarm the cats’ food bowls. It worked brilliantly.

With summer coming on, I figured some of you might find this helfpul, but hope that you don’t have to use it!

AntMoatArchie
We haven’t had any ant problems yet this year, and Archie is determined to keep it that way by making sure he polishes off every…last…bit.

 

Laser Pointers: A Lesson Learned

Image by Chris Winsor/Getty Images

Recently, while doing some research on whether or not it’s OK to use laser pointers when playing with dogs (not really, it turns out), I learned that many animal behavior experts are now recommending that they be used with caution when playing with cats as well.

Basically, the red dot stimulates our pets’ hunting drive, but the inability to ever be able to “catch” the prey can result in frustration, leading to obsessive-compulsive behaviors.

The following article has some tips for how to safely incorporate a laser pointer into your cat’s play routine (summary below link):

https://www.petful.com/behaviors/why-do-cats-like-laser-pointers-so-much/

Guidelines for Laser Pointer Playtime

  • Please don’t let the laser pointer become your cat’s only toy. You need a range of toys, such as wand toys, that your cat can paw at and capture.
  • During playtime, have on hand some stuffed cat toys that your cat can easily grab or paw. You might even put a little food in some of the toys for kitty to retrieve as a reward.
  • Once in a while, let the red dot of the laser land on one of these other toys and watch your kitty “capture” it. Be sure she has a firm hold on the toy before you take the light away.
  • Never shine the light directly into your cat’s eyes. You can cause serious damage to your pet’s eyes by doing this!

 

We Have a Winner!

Although no one who played our trivia name game in April guessed correctly as to which name is most common among the pets of Northwest Pets DC, I really wanted to give away a t-shirt, so I put the names of all those who played into a hat and drew from that pool. And the winner is….. (drumroll):

Leslie Scott!

Leslie, along with the majority of folks who played, guessed that Chloe was the most common name.

In fact, the correct answer to the trivia question is Ziggy. I have three kitty clients who all go by this name. Interestingly, there is no duplication of names among the rest of my furry clientele at this point!

The Ziggys

 

And because so many people answered with her name, here she is – the one and only – Chloe:

Chloe1

The MuttMix Project

I stumbled across this interesting project via the FACE Foundation’s blog, and invite my readers to participate if they’re interested (or to at least just read about it, even if they don’t want to take the survey/quiz).

From the “About the MuttMix Project” page of the International Association of Animal Behavioral Consultants:

“The idea of breeds and pet dogs are intimately connected…”

“What does this mean for mixed breed dogs? Since these breed categories are so strongly ingrained in our notion of “dog,” naturally our brain tries to put any new dog we meet into one or more of these categories…”

“We take individual characteristics that match our notion of breeds and use those traits to build a box to mentally house our mutt. And, since we have notions about breeds and behavior, we now also have a mental box of behavior we expect from this dog, all based on appearance.”

“Are we actually any good at this? First of all, can we do a good job of judging the mix of breeds in a mutt by looking at them? Second, do our preconceived notions about behavior and physical traits hold true?

This experiment aims to answer the first question. Using genetic markers, and a panel of known pure-bred dogs, we can confidently determine the ancestral mix of breeds represented in an individual dog. All of the images you will be asked to judge in this experiment are of dogs that have been tested, so we know what mix of breeds they represent.

Now, we need your help in finding out how well people are able to guess these breed mixes based on appearance.”

Click here to take the survey

MixedMutt

 

Trivia Time: A Name Game

According to Babycenter.com, the most popular baby names in the United States so far in 2018 are Emma and Liam.

Can you guess which pet name is most popular among Northwest Pets DC’s clientele?

Below is a list of names of all the pets I’ve had the privilege to care for since the inception of NWPDC in late summer 2017. One of these names belongs to three of my pet patrons. Guess correctly and be entered in a drawing to win a Northwest Pets DC t-shirt!

One guess per person.
Drawing will be held on May 1.
You can reply in several ways:  in the comment section of this blog; by emailing northwestpetsdc@gmail.com; in the comment section after any post mentioning this contest on Northwest Pet’s DC’s Facbook page; or via private message on the Facebook page.

And without further ado, here are the names from which to choose:

Aida Grace Oskar
Annie Gracie Otto
Antonio Growley Pal
Atlas Harley Pax
Belle Isabel Pepper
Billie Josie Peshak
Birala Juju Plata
Bitty Keo Poki
Boots Kira Poppy
Brooks Langston Potato
Buster Lilac Promise
Buttercup Linus Regals
Celementine Little Bit Ringo
Chloe Louisa Rocky
Claude Lucia Sandra
Claudia Lucky Skookumchuk
Ellie Lucy Snowshoe
Emmett Mango Tommy
Fergus Matty Tubman
Frankie Midnight Tupelo
Fryja Milo Violet
George Nigel Wallace
Gizmo Oliver Ziggy