DIY: Elevated Dog Bed Like Kuranda

diyelevatedbedI’ve gotten a bunch of questions about this post—it’s time to update it!  Elevated beds are great for dogs with painful joints.  And they help keep your pup comfy when its’s  hot, if the ground is damp, if there are ground dwelling bugs, etc.

The Columbus Dog Connection rescue group has a spiffy tutorial on how to make your own elevated dog bed out of PVC pipe like the beds listed in this post on how to keep your pets cool.  (Be sure to check out the Columbus Dog Connection too!)  This would make an incredible project for students, scouts, etc.!

There are plans for small or large beds.  It has great tips on sourcing your materials so you save money—like looking for outdoor fabric in the second or remainders section of your fabric store, or checking with local companies that make awnings for businesses or boats to see if they have scraps.  There are also invaluable tips to make sure you make a strong, durable bed.  Sweet!

The tutorial includes clear instructions on how to sew the cover for the bed.  And a spreadsheet for mass production if you plan to make beds to help your local shelter—they often want elevated beds to keep dogs off the cold, hard concrete floors in their facilities.

As an aside, Columbus Dog Connection looks like a remarkable group.  Besides generously sharing such a great tutorial, it looks like the group is very busy.  Check out the page on beds they’ve made for underfunded shelters—lots of volunteers and so many beds.  Someone behind the scenes is doing great work.  It takes an outstanding leader to organize so many volunteers and sponsors.  Every rescue group should be so lucky!

And now they have a video tutorial!  Columbus Dog Connection is awesome!!

Oh Please!: Sleeping With Your Pets = Black Plague?

You hear that odd noise?  That’s a bunch of nitwits doing their Chicken Little impressions by running in circles screeching that the sky is falling.  A new study authored by Bruno Chomel points out it’s possible to catch certain serious diseases from our pets if we let them sleep with us. Chomel goes so far as saying we should not let pets sleep with us.  And the media is reporting that letting your dog or cat sleep with you—COULD. KILL. YOU.  (Cue spooky music.)

It’s not that I’m disputing the facts.

  • you can catch the plague from your pets, if you sleep with a flea infested animal.
  • you can catch meningitis from your dog.  If you let him lick the wound from your hip replacement surgery or open wounds.  Or if you regularly feed it food from your own mouth.
  • you can catch Chagas.  If you sleep with a bug infested animal.
  • you can catch MRSA.  If you dog carries it and licks you a lot & you don’t wash.

But, instead of saying “Ban all pets from your beds or you’re gonna die!”, I think we should be saying, “Keep your pet healthy and you’ll be healthier too!”  I have a feeling we’re at far greater risk of getting hurt by tripping over our pets than catching the Black Plague from them.  You know?

So be sure to:

  • take your pets to the vet
  • get them vaccinated
  • treat them for fleas & ticks
  • keep your cats indoors
  • bathe your dogs
  • make sure your pets don’t have worms
  • don’t allow them access to carrion
  • keep vermin like rats & mice away from your home
  • keep raccoons away from your property (they carry round worm in their feces)
  • feed your pets quality food and make sure they get exercise so their immune systems stay strong

And use some common sense, for pete’s sake.

  • if your immune system is compromised, be very careful to avoid risks
  • keep your open wounds covered and don’t let anyone lick them—cat, dog, human
  • limit contact between pets and babies
  • wash your hands
  • don’t feed you pets food from your mouth
  • don’t snuggle with a bunch of blood sucking bugs

And don’t trip over them!

DIY: Bed Crocheted From Sweaters Strips

Before you get rid those out-of-style sweaters you’ve been holding onto, consider making them into a snuggly bed for your pet.  One way is to make a pet bed by crocheting strips of old sweaters. Pick colors that look good together—that awful 1980’s mustard yellow should probably be avoided.  Visit a thrift store if you’re short on old sweaters.  Or if you only have ones that are mustard yellow.  No really.

Recalls: Merrick, United Pet Group, Feline’s Pride, PetSafe Pet Bed

Merrick Beef Filet Squares

The FDA requested the recall of Beef Filet Squares for Dogs in 10 oz. plastic bags of marked with “Lot # 10084TL7 Best By Mar 24, 2012” on the top of the bag and on a sticker on the bottom.  The FDA tested samples collected from bags bought in a store and the sample tested positive for Salmonella.  For refund, return unused portion to place of purchase.

But wait, there’s more!  Food Safety News has a pretty damning article on Merrick.  In June, the FDA sent a warning letter to Merrick criticizing their handling of the January recall which was also due to Salmonella contamination.  The FDA finds fault with Merrick, stating:

  • Your firm delayed your public communication to alert consumers who may have the recalled product in their possession until after FDA issued an FDA Health Alert on January 14, 2010.
  • Your recall communications to distributors, retailers, and consumers only included case lot coding 9323, which was different from the lot coding on some of the individual bags. Due to a labeling error, some of the affected bags were coded with the lot code 9333.
  • Your recall letter did not identify the hazard involved. Your letter to wholesale and retail consignees indicated the product was recalled because it “may not have been processed properly.” Recalls can be less effective if the recall communication does not concisely explain the reason for recall and the hazard involved.

It’s this sort of arrogant response form a company that ticks me off.  Looks like the snarky comment (by Ken Wilks who said he was a Merrick employee) on my post about the 1st recall was indeed a load of crap.

United Pet Group—Includes 56 differently named products made for multiple brands

This one is a doosy.  The recall started out for just Pro-Pet Adult Daily Vitamin Supplement tablets for dogs 100-count, UPC code 26851-01800 & expiration dates on or before “06/13”, but has been expanded—big time.  (I want to point out though, that this recall was initiated by the company after their own internal testing came up positive for Salmonella and the company itself decided to expand the recall.)

The expanded recall includes 55 more products.  I strongly encourage you to check the FDA’s list to make sure something you use isn’t affected.

Consumers who have any recalled products should contact United Pet Group or the place of purchase for further instructions. United Pet Group at 1-877-399-5226, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm EST.

Feline’s Pride Raw Food Natural Chicken Formula

Due to possible Salmonella contamination, Feline’s Pride is recalling one of their frozen products—Feline’s Pride Raw food with ground bone for cats and kittens, Natural Chicken Formula, Net Wt. 2.5 lbs., produced on June 10. It’s packaged in uncoded plastic containers and sold frozen to private customers nationwide. This recall affects only  orders placed and shipped from June 10-17.  It’s not clear from the announcement whether the Salmonella was detected through internal testing or through FDA testing.

If you have product affected by this recall, seal it on a plastic bag and dispose of it in a secure, lidded trash can.  Wash your hands thoroughly.

If you have questions or need a refund, contact the company at (716) 580-3096, Monday –Friday from 10 am – 4 pm EDT.

PetSafe Pet Bed Power Adapters

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is recalling the power adapters used with PetSafe Heated Wellness Sleepers sold at pet stores, in catalogs and online from September 2006 through April 2010, for between $70 and $110.  The recall is because when the metal connector is removed from the bed, it can cause arcing between the coil spring and the connector, posing a fire and burn hazard to consumers.  Yikes!

The recalled power adapters are identified by the markings “HON-KWANG”, “PLUG IN CLASS 2 TRANSFORMER”, “MODEL NO: K12-800” and have a spring coil covering the length of the electrical wire. Heated Wellness Sleepers with power adapters without springs are not affected by this voluntary recall.

The beds themselves have either Hunter Green/Sand, Military Blue/Sand and Khaki/Sand covers and have a jacquard PetSafe logo stitched to the center front. Additional product labels include the Radio Systems Customer Care phone number.

Consumers should stop using these products immediately and call Radio Systems Corporation’s Customer Care at 1-800-732-2677 for instructions on how to receive a free replacement power adapter with the return of the old power adapter.

You can also mail your old power adapter to the following address with your name, address, phone number, and other contact information, and they will ship a new power adapter to you:
Radio Systems Corporation
Attention: Recall
10427 Electric Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37932