You Can Help Fight the Puppy Mill Problem

American Humane - puppy mill rescue

As American Humane reports on another dramatic puppy mill rescue—89 dogs living in a 10 x 60 foot trailer and 166 dogs living in a small house in Washington state, many of whom were severely ill—we are reminded that puppy mills are still a major problem in the U.S.

Since retail pet stores mainly source their animals from these mills, they are fueling this cruel industry. Fortunately, many states are passing legislation banning sales of dogs, cats, and rabbits unless they are from a shelter.

You can help fight puppy mills, too:

  1. Adopt, don’t shop. Visit your local shelter or connect with a rescue group to find your new best friend.
  1. Speak up about the problem with pet stores. Write letters to your local paper. Post your thoughts in social media.
  1. Help pass retail bans. See what’s going on in your own community—understand the laws and speak to your legislators about passing bans to prohibit stores from selling pets other than rescues.
  1. Support other supporters. When you donate to organizations like American Humane or Halo Pet Foundation, which supports American Humane and animals shelters across the country, you can extend your reach even further.

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Dog-Friendly Halloween Events 2018

Halloween 2018 is just around the corner, and to celebrate we’ve fetched news of a few of the most frightfully fun Fido-centric festivities taking place across the country that you and your dog…

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Prosperous Pet Business Online Conference

You may have already heard about the worldwide Prosperous Pet Business Online Conference hosted by Kristin Morrison.

What you might not have heard is that we are sponsoring this event!

And…it’s a no-cost conference and you can watch, listen and learn from wherever you are in the world.

There are so many great speakers lined up to speak including Victoria Stilwell and Ian Dunbar as well as Patti Moran plus many other top pet business experts.

We at PetsitUSA would love to have you join us and the thousands of pet business owners who are ready to make big shifts in their pet businesses by attending the (no cost!) Prosperous Pet Business Online Conference.

This conference has the capacity to shift you from feeling stuck, stressed, or confused to moving forward in your pet business and your life in an empowered and fulfilling way.

The purpose of this conference is to help you make more money in your pet sitting and dog walking business as well as have you experience more ease and freedom in running your business.

Imagine being able to tap into the minds of successful pet business experts at no cost. This online conference is equivalent to a mentor mastermind worth thousands of dollars, and it’s your gift for NO COST.

If you are ready for real change in your business and your life, we invite you and all pet business owners to join me for the upcoming conference.

Please join PetsitUSA, the many pet business speakers and thousands of pet business owners just like you at the NO COST Prosperous Pet Business Online Conference.

PetsitUSA Blog

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Is Vegan Dog Food Healthy?

Vegan dog food

This is probably the most common question concerned pet parents ask when discussing plant-based dog food. This is for good reason, of course, because no matter the motivations behind feeding a plant-based food, we all want to be certain that it will be healthy for our companions!

Let’s break it down piece by piece and explore why this question is asked as well as what the answer will be.

Don’t dogs need meat?
Domesticated dogs evolved from wolves, and both species are taxonomically classified under the Order Carnivora. While this makes them sound like meat-eating carnivores, the Order Carnivora not only includes true carnivores like the Felidae family, but also omnivores like the Canidae family, and even the Ailuropodiae family – which includes herbivorous pandas! Furthermore, domesticated dogs evolved from naturally omnivorous wolves whose co-evolution with humans resulted in an adaptation of their digestive system to a more starch-rich diet. That’s right, Fido and Spot have been eating our scraps for tens of thousands of years, and they are very well suited for it.

In animal nutrition, we really prefer to talk about nutrient requirements, as opposed to ingredient requirements. Research on the nutrient requirements of dogs extends back to the first National Research Council publication on the topic in 1953. Since that time, independent researchers, industry researchers and veterinarians have all been continuing to fine-tune our knowledge and understanding of just exactly what dogs need to be healthy and thrive. As far as we know, dogs have no requirement for meat per se, instead, they have a requirement for nutrients which may be obtained from meat, or from other sources.

So dogs need nutrients, not ingredients, but can they get all the nutrients they need from a vegan diet?
Yes. None of the essential nutrients required by dogs are found exclusively in animal tissues. Admittedly, some are found in high concentrations in animal tissues and may be more difficult to find elsewhere, but there is not a single essential nutrient for dogs which we cannot obtain from non-animal sources. The Association of American Feed Control Officials, known as AAFCO, has determined that the sufficiency of a diet to meet the nutritional requirements of dogs can be defined in two ways: the diet can be formulated to meet the industry recommendations or the diet can be tested by dogs themselves in a feeding trial. In terms of meeting nutritional requirements, any diet, regardless of ingredients, meeting either of these stipulations is recognized to be just as sufficient as any other diet meeting AAFCO’s ‘complete and balanced’ criteria. What this means, is that a plant-based diet bearing an AAFCO statement of adequacy contains all of the essential nutrients required by the species and life-stage denoted on the statement.

Furthermore, not only are plant-based diets, like Halo’s Holistic Garden of Vegan, suitable for healthy dogs, but plant-based diets have even been used extensively in veterinary practice to diagnose and/or manage common diseases, as Dr. Heinze, a board certified veterinary nutritionist, mentions in her rebuttal to a popular criticism of vegan dogs back in 2016. Animal-derived proteins are some of the most common allergens in dogs, making plant-based diets a fantastic option for diagnosing and managing dietary hypersensitivity. A handful of meat-free vegetarian diets also exist, though these contain eggs, dairy, or other animal products not directly associated with slaughter. These diets may not be as useful from a veterinary perspective, and are not typically as popular as strictly plant-based diets are, since many people choose to feed a meat-free diet to avoid the inherent cruelty to animals stemming from animal-derived products.

Alright, dogs can survive on vegan diets, but can they thrive?
When people ask if plant-based diets are healthy, this is really what they are asking most of the time. Sure, dogs can live on plant-based diets, I think just about everyone can agree on that point. BUT, will they be as healthy, as full of energy, as shiny and bouncy, as a dog fed a diet containing animals products?

The answer to this really depends on two things: what diet was the dog eating before, and what plant-based diet are you looking to switch them to? When you’re looking to switch your dog’s diet, there are a handful of considerations to keep in mind. Are you changing the diet because of a health or wellness problem, such as a dry coat or fat intolerance? Or are you happy with how your dog is faring on their current diet, but would like to switch to a suitable plant-based diet? In both cases, check the nutritional information provided by both diets and make sure that the nutrients of most interest to you will be the either the same or improved in the new diet you are selecting. For healthy dogs, the customer help line, provided by the company whose diet you are looking to try, can be a valuable resource, as you can discuss your dog’s individual needs and determine which diet is best for them. For dogs with a health condition, always discuss dietary changes with your veterinarian.

I hope this has served to illustrate that complete and balanced plant-based dog food is indeed healthy. For a more in-depth discussion, I encourage interested parties to read this review of plant-based vs. animal-based diets published by a veterinarian in an open-access peer-reviewed journal:

Dr. Sarah DoddDr. Sarah Dodd is a veterinarian with a special focus on companion animal nutrition. Her studies have taken her around the world living in England, Scotland, New Zealand, Australia, the United States of America and Canada – where she currently reside with her three happy rescue dogs Peppa, Dottie and Timmy.

She graduated from veterinary school in 2016, since then she has pursued her passion in nutrition with a clinical nutrition internship and a Master’s degree at the Ontario Veterinary College. She is currently completing her nutrition residency with the European College of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition and enrolled in a PhD studying plant-based diets for pets.

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My Good Dog

I can’t believe I have such a nice dog.

anka posing

The eyes pretty much say it all.

I never thought I’d like a dog of this breed, much less consider one my best canine companion.

I think I’m always going to have at least one Deutscher Schäferhund in my home. They are that much fun to train and play with, and they are so clownish and loyal. Plus, they are great watch dogs that can easily be trained not to bark excessively, and the best ones are not vicious.

She is stable and attuned my mood. She is sensitive and eager and quite brainy.

Which is a good thing, because she is built like a body-builder, with massive muscles in her hind quarters and forelegs.

I would not want a dog like her if it was a crazed lunatic that went around randomly attacking people. She could do a lot of damage, but she’s docile and domesticated.

I have, however, seen that demure clowny coyote suddenly become all business when she thought her job was to be the protector.

Anka is what I like in a dog. I’ve always been looking for that perfect balance of drive, good sense, and intelligence in a dog, but it’s harder and harder to find in golden retrievers. It still exists, but it is something one must seek out with a great deal of rigor.

And even then, you may be turned away.

Working German shepherds are really common, and because people often don’t know what they are getting when they purchase a puppy– “I want one of them straight-backed ones” is a common idea in the public mind– they often are in need of good homes. What most people don’t get is those straighter-backed Rin Tin Tin dogs have far more drive than most people are accustomed to having in a dog, and they would be be better suited to buy an actual show-bred dog.

Living with both forms of this breed has given me a deep appreciation for each type.  I can’t say that I am as fundamentalist against the show dogs as I once was. I had to change my mind, because I was wrong.

And yes, we can have all these debates about functional conformation in this breed. We can post that image that shows the horse with the extreme rear angulation. We can show photos of Hektor Linksrhein/Horand von Grafrath all we want.

But i have changed my mind about what breeds I do like to have. One of these days, I’ll probably up my game with a Malinois or a Dutch shepherd, which are like five or six clicks more driven than a working German shepherd,  but for right now, I enjoy what I do have.

A good dog.




Natural History

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Friday Funny: Build A Bear

This is why we can’t have nice things. Until next time, Good day, and good dog! Dog Blog

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Remember Me Thursday Encourages Dog Adoption

Animal lovers around the world are uniting on September 27th, for the global movement known as Remember Me Thursday. We will light candles to shine a light on those waiting in shelters and rescues, and to remember those who have tragically lost their lives in shelters while hoping to find a home and family of […] Dog Blog

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River Wolves

Quest and Anka swimming in the Ohio River on Sunday.

anka and quest in the ohio river

river monster anka

anka river dog

river dog anka

water wolves 1

water wolves





Natural History

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Anka got her rabies vaccine and microchip today

She didn’t even flinch, but she kept her eyes on me while they did it. She also knows her sit and down commands.

This dog has nerves of steel.

anka at the vet


Natural History

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Our Visit to the #GetYourLicksonRoute66 Tour!

Barli and Tiki enjoyed a fun outing earlier this week: a visit to the Austin stop of FIDO Friendly’s Get Your Licks on Route 66 adoption tour! As you know, for the past several years…

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