Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Big Doggie Sugar to....

Chef Gordan Ramsey!

According to the Daily Mail, the famous and highly acclaimed Culinary Specialist boldly vocalized one of the silent dreads of parenthood.

'My biggest nightmare would be if the kids ever came up to me and said "Dad, I'm a vegetarian"
It's scary indeed to think someone you love could be so crudely divorced from Nature.

This might be a good moment to plug a new link, on the right hand side of the page, down below the boob jobs at peta. "Health and Nutrition" is a fabulous resource for the importance of animal protein and fat for our health and well being. When you read the writings of the Drs. Eades, remember our furry friends are even more evolutionarily carnivorous than we are.

One of Ms. X's very few 'life do-overs', if we got such things, would be to rescue the pup of her childhood from his vegetarian dog food. Now he wasn't fed the crap from any errant altruism, the adults with the purchasing power were simply very afraid of the quality of the animal products in commercial kibble. No, they had not heard at that time that Soy was far more dangerous.

Animals, predators in the wild, will pick the weak and very young for their carnivorous delights. We humans on the other hand, select the strongest, fattest and most vigorous. We are repulsed by disease and dazzled by babyfaces. I wonder if this proclivity has served to advance our status in the food chain?

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Room Full of Geniuses

Are dogs getting smarter? Or are people getting dumber?

The first question, at least, was bandied about at a conference of behaviourists in Europe recently, according to an article in the Daily Mail.

Over the course of the conference the scientists revealed startling facts like "animals abide by social rules".

The Canine Science Forum in Budapest also revealed that "dog barks contain information that people can understand". Room full of geniuses there.

Dr. Takaoka from Japan went a bit further. She performed a study where the dog was shown a picture while listening to a voice recording. According to the article, "if the gender of the face did not match that of the voice, the dogs stared longer, a sign that their expectations had been violated."

Ah, so that's what is happening when I make a funny noise and my dog stares at me, and sometimes (really! I have evidence!) cocks his head to the side. I, Ms. X, his loving owner and master, have violated his expectations.

Fortunately, there are people dedicated to helping us deduce these things.

Heck, I made up a joke for the occasion.

How many behaviorists does it take to change a light bulb?

Answer: At least 20. 12 to analyze and hypothesize about the motivations for changing the bulb, one to actually change the bulb, and 7 to author a paper revealing that science has proven that sitting in a dark room will motivate someone to change a light bulb.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

What's in your dogs' food?

The government kindly allows all sorts of poisons to enter the food chain, both ours and are animals. I mean, they practically push soy down our throats, then there is high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, and oh yeah, let's not forget Carbs in general.

So when a little pentobarbital (a euthenasia drug) slips into the dog food, no biggie. From the government standpoint anyway.

Back in 2002, the FDA released a report of their 2-year study/testing finding pentobarbital (the drug used to euthanize animals) in pet food. Their findings were that many brands of pet foods –- purchased right off of store shelves -- contained the euthanizing drug pentobarbital. With that finding, the FDA began an 8-week test to see if levels of pentobarbital in pet food could be harmful to pets. The FDA testing showed that the amounts of pentobarbital in pet food would not harm pets (even though their study only tested dogs). You should know that the FDA ran their testing on 42 twelve week-old Beagles –- and again the testing was only for 8 weeks.

Should the government crack down on pentobarbital? Nah. The last thing you really want is the Feds trying to fix things. The more they "fix", the more things break. Too much of our lives, society, daily choices are already built around government "fixes", to the point where a consumer mounted protest of pentobarbital in pet food would very likely result in the perpetrators pushing for changes to disclosure laws and labeling laws. We are almost in an unbreakable circle, where everything lives and dies by government "legality" and legislation. And where government is just a giant committee responsive only to those that scream the greenest.

A society where a company can be "too big" to allow it to fail won't be deterred by a few dead dogs.

The best you can ask for furry reader, is just knowing. Then you can exercise a few, non-government regulated options.


Friday, August 15, 2008

Free Dog Training Resource

It's a constant theme here at the Dog Scoop, the biggest problem with dogdom today is the lack of free and readily available training resources for owners. Instead of neutering clinics, and chaining themselves to their own neurosis, wouldn't it be wonderful if dedicated dog lovers would throw themselves into organizing free neighborhood training classes?

Well, maybe someday.

In the meantime, Ed Frawley over at Leerburg Kennels has a ton of dog training advice on his website ( including several great ebooks. Free. If you want more, you can buy videos and stuff too.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Dangers of Soy

Furry Readers, soy is not a health food. Please keep this in mind when feeding yourselves and your dogs. After all, Ms. X wants all of you around, reading this blog, for a long, long time.

Should we worry about soya in our food?

"We discovered quite quickly," he recalls, "that soya contains toxins and plant oestrogens powerful enough to disrupt women's menstrual cycles in experiments. It also appeared damaging to the thyroid." James's lobbying eventually forced governments to investigate. In 2002, the British government's expert committee on the toxicity of food (CoT) published the results of its inquiry into the safety of plant oestrogens, mainly from soya proteins, in modern food. It concluded that in general the health benefits claimed for soya were not supported by clear evidence and judged that there could be risks from high levels of consumption for certain age groups. Yet little has happened to curb soya's growth since.

Soya increases the protein content of processed meat products. It replaces them altogether in vegetarian foods. It stops industrial breads shrinking. It makes cakes hold on to their water. It helps manufacturers mix water into oil. Hydrogenated, its oil is used to deep-fry fast food.

Soya is also in cat food and dog food.

The rumors about soy have floated for years, FINALLY they are being proven. Read the whole story.


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Dangers of Infant Swings

My furry readers, this is a very important topic. Especially if you have a new baby in the house (or know someone who does).

A recent infant mauling in Oklahoma, happened when the little one was left in one of those mechanical infant swings. The attacker was the family pet.

Dog Kills Oklahoma Baby Left Alone In Swing

Police say a puppy has attacked and killed a 2-month-old boy who was left unattended in a swing.

Officer Jason Willingham said Monday the baby was mauled by the Labrador at the boy's home and died at the scene. He says the dog will most likely be destroyed. Authorities have not yet released the infant's name.

Willingham says the baby's mother and grandmother were home, but nobody was in the room at the time. Police are unsure why the dog attacked.

I don't know what triggers a dog to attack the infants in swings. I'm sure there are as many guesses as there are behaviourists. I do know it is not an isolated incident, and people MUST BE WARNED.

I also know there is one sure way to prevent it. Never leave any dog alone with a baby. Right? Take that up to any age you like. And if you have a dog, you might want to rethink the mechanical swing.

72 Hours or Else!

Yikes! Where did July go??? Well, it was a busy month on the dog front, and I will catch up on posts about topics discovered and uncovered in July, in August.

The first one concerns an ultimatum from Denver. My gracious!! It didn't take these folks long to cop some brazen authoritarian attitudes on the heels of their pit bull-cide did it?

We can only dread what is coming next.

Pet owners get 72 hours to clean their own yards

Residents of one Denver suburb are being told by city officials they have only 72 hours to clean pet poop from their own yards or face fines of up to $999.

"That is crazy," David Van Valkenberg told the Denver Post. "Give it twice that long and maybe it might be appropriate."

Well now, with a community attitude like that, we won't have to wait long, will we?