Tag Archives: Florida dog training

Training Gets Them off The Chain! Preaching is Not Always The Answer

I wanted to share a moving story with you all today. One of our DogSmith Franchise Owners has just completed a “Board & Train” package with a client who had a large breed dog who lived outside. The dog spent a lot of time on a chain as the owner was concerned that the dog would chase their prized livestock and hurt both the livestock and itself.  The goal was to train a cut off switch to the chasing and some a general level of obedience.

Thanks to not only a good training program but a DogSmith who was able to educate and engage an owner. Tonight the dog is sleeping inside the family home with its two legged family and in the comfort of air conditioning.

It is not always the training that matters but the way we approach, engage and educate dog owners. We cannot always stand on soap boxes and preach, this is seen as judgment and isolates dog owners from those that can help them.  We have to approach dog owners in a collaborative and empathetic manner, understanding their challenges and helping them overcome them. This is the way we can help dogs, not just for today but in the long term.

The training is not finished and this is not the end of the story, but we now have a dog owner looking at their dog in a different light, seeing it as a family member and imagining all the possibilities. These are the times when what we do is so worthwhile and so rewarding and i am reminded why I left my corporate role as a Director of Operations  to become a DogSmith.


Pentobarbital in Dog Food Never Resolved * Written By: Susan Thixton

Pentobarbital in Dog Food Never Resolved * Written By: Susan Thixton * 7-22-2010 * Categorized in: Pet Food Ingredients, Pet Food Regulations

While I understand it is challenging at best to believe the possibility that euthanized dogs and cats are rendered and become pet food and treat ingredients, the very real possibility remains. The following is further information taken from the FDA website. In 2002, the FDA published a report titled ‘Risk from Pentobarbital in Dog Food’. The report states “During the 1990s, FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) received reports from veterinarians that pentobarbital, an anesthetizing agent used for dogs and other animals, seemed to be losing its effectiveness in dogs.

Based on these reports, CVM officials decided to investigate a plausible theory that the dogs were exposed to pentobarbital through dog food, and that this exposure was making them less responsive to pentobarbital when it was used as a drug. In conjunction with this investigation, the Center wanted to determine if pet food contained rendered remains of dogs and cats.” http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/CVM/CVMFOIAElectronicReadingRoom/ucm129131.htm

I have my doubts that the CVM actually went to the extent of testing dog foods for pentobarbital simply because a few veterinarians complained that pentobarbital was losing its effectiveness.

My theory is that CVM went to this extensive testing under pressure from the pet food industry; hoping to calm consumer panic that their pets might be consuming a pet food that contains a euthanized dog or cat.

Fido having Fido for dinner was not a good publicity campaign for the booming pet food industry. A few years prior to the FDA beginning the pentobarbital testing, one of the very first stories was published about rendered dogs and cats. The article, titled What’s Cookin’? was published in the Baltimore City Paper by journalist Van Smith. (the article remains on their website should you wish to read it http://www.citypaper.com/about/vansmith.asp)

A few other shocking articles similar to What’s Cookin’? became public information shortly thereafter. So, my guess is that the pet food industry pressured the CVM to find a way to stop the horror stories from becoming common knowledge. They succeeded in quieting major media by testing dog food and announcing that FDA/CVM testing found conclusive evidence that no dog or cat DNA was found in dog food. While this announcement was true, no dog or cat DNA was clinically discovered in dog food, it is far from the whole story.

The earlier (2002) studies of pentobarbital in dog food, “did not address the central question of the source of the pentobarbital it dog food. It has been presumed that pentobarbital was present in these dog food samples because euthanized animals, such as dogs, cats, and horses, might be included with other animal-byproducts used in preparing dog food. However, this presumption was difficult to test due to the limitations of existing analytical methods. Therefore, CVM scientists developed a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based approach to identify species-specific products that might be present in dog food.” In this follow up test published in the FDA Veterinarian Newsletter January/February 2004, the FDA states the three possible sources of pentobarbital would be rendered euthanized dogs, cats, and or horses.

Their testing was searching for dog DNA, cat DNA, or horse DNA. Their findings – No dog DNA was found, No cat DNA was found, and No horse DNA was found. “The PCR results on the species of origin in the various dog food samples do not support a single point source of protein for the origin of the pentobarbital. While the results of this study narrow the search for the source of pentobarbital, it does not define the source (i.e., species) responsible for the contamination.” http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/FDAVeterinarianNewsletter/ucm093929.htm The DNA testing performed by the CVM did find bovine (cow), swine, and/or sheep DNA in dog foods, but again, their testing found no species source of pentobarbital. Cows, pigs, and sheep are rarely euthanized with pentobarbital. On one hand the FDA/CVM tells us that pentobarbital discovered in dog food would originate in euthanized dogs, cats, or horses. On the other hand, because the CVM testing found no dog, cat, or horse DNA in their testing, they made the profound statement no pets are rendered into pet food based on inconclusive testing.

To date, there is no clinical evidence to refute suspicions, hidden video, and personal accounts that euthanized dogs, cats, and possibly horses are rendered and become pet food ingredients.

To date, pet owners nor the FDA knows exactly how the lethal drug pentobarbital gets into pet food. The one thing that is certain, is that any dog food, cat food, or pet treat that contains pentobarbital would be a clear violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Strange that the FDA, the Federal organization handed the responsibility of enforcing the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, would not have immediately demanded all dog foods that tested positive for pentobarbital be recalled deemed adulterated by Federal law.

Again, ingredients at most risk to contain pentobarbital (and thus a euthanized animal) are meat and bone meal, beef and bone meal, animal fat, and animal digest. Wishing you and your pet(s) the best, Susan Thixton Truth about Pet Food Petsumer Report, Tune in to our latest contest to win one of these horse rugs, www.TruthaboutPetFood.com

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Pet Dog Owners Love “Drop-In” Dog Training Classes

The first DogSmith “Drop-In” Class stated in Jupiter Florida and the comments from all who participated are great. Pet dog owners do want to get their dogs trained and the flexibility of The DogSmith Dog Training “Drop-In” class helps them achieve that. The program was developed to support pet dog owners doing right by their dogs. We are all busy with work commitments, social events, kid’s school functions and family commitments. Many people looking for dog training program have come to accept that when the only pet dog obedience offerings are 6 or 8 week programs with no flexibility, training just cannot be done. Those that do commit to the set programs are left feeling unfulfilled as they miss classes and do not have the chance to cover all the skills or achieve their obedience goals. So if you are looking for a great pet dog obedience class with the flexibility to meet your schedule then talks to Rachel Williams, The DogSmith Palm Beach County. You can contact Rachel at www.DogSmith.com where you will find the registration page for the “Drop-In” Program. The DogSmith “Drop-In” program is available at several locations across Florida.