Sunday, May 27, 2007

Pet Food Recall Waves Continue...

On March 16th, 2007, Menu Foods Inc., a company out of Ontario, Canada, was forced to issue a nationwide recall on all it's "cuts and gravy" styled foods, manufactured for most of the top brand names on our shelves. The initial echos are still reverberating, now across the globe. In a country where, for all intents and purposes, the pet food industry is allowed to regulate itself, Canadian organizations and citizens alike are angry that there has been no investigatory actions taken. This even 2 months after the recall was announced. Federal Minister of Agriculture Chuck Stahl said four weeks after the initial recall that while the Canadian Government is willing to review whether pet food should be regulated that it doesn't mean that it necessarily will or should be regulated saying that "regulation in the United States didn't prevent the recent deaths of pets from tainted food." Now this being my own opinion, and as flippant as his comment initally appears to be, he's got a point. I always find issue with people out there who automatically think that because a governmental body said they're going to "regulate" an industry, it means that said industry is now squeaky clean. My viewpoint is, for the most part, grandeous bureaucracies are often so large and cumbersome that when and if an event occurs like this recall, they are so slow to action that it's almost farcical. It's often like watching the Titanic turn on a dime. With quite a few class action law suits floating out there on the horizon, the subject of this recall becomes real quite quickly. No matter how much blame or legal action is thrown around, nothing will mend the damage already done. I am truely sorry for anyone who reads this post and has been directly or indirectly affected by this awful event. Unfortunately sometimes it takes a disaster of large proportion like this to wake us out of our day to day monotany, make us sit up and really take an active role in shaping our lives. Not just being victim of circumstance. Most recent list of recalled foods: Canadian Government Ignores Calls to Investigate Food Industry: Pet Food Recall Widens:

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Now's the time to get out and enjoy yourself!

The summer season is finally here... or mostly anyhow.
Here's some great ideas for activities with your pets so you both can enjoy the warm weather, and feel liberated after a long, hard, cold winter.
1. Visit a National Park
Typically, it's no more than a 2 hour drive for anyone to get to one of the country's most beautiful assets, our National Parks. A place where you can walk, run, bike, or just have a nice outdoor picnic, a park is a great space to reconnect with nature and enjoy each other's companionship.
2. Go to the beach
For those of you who are lucky enough to live close to a body of water, the beach is a fantastic spot to soak in some sun and let the little guy run him or herself into the ground. Because you know what I say? An well exercised pet is a well behaved pet :)
3. Go rollerskating/blading
A good way for both of you to shake off the winter rust and start getting into better shape.
4. Coordinate a backyard party
Why not invite all your neighbors and their pets over to enjoy a lovely afternoon of comradery and playfulness. What better way to reconnect with the neighborhood than to have them all over to socialize, play, eat and be merry!
5. Consider taking a pet-training course
Heaven knows that your little rascal was not the model citizen all winter indoors. Enrolling into an obedience course would be good for your master/pet relationship, and an even better way to meet other pet owners and enthusiasts.
6. Look for the "Dog Day at the Park" in your area
A lot of professional league teams usually schedule one day a season when their team is playing at home that the fans can bring their pets along with them. Usually it's the baseball leagues that do this, but it's a great idea! Just don't say those evil words... "I'll take two hot dogs...." Hahahahaha.
7. Good old game of frisbee!
Why fix it if it ain't broken? The owner/pet equivalent to a good game of catch. Always a winner in my books.
8. Go for a day at the spa
With the warmer weather coming, getting your little buddy groomed and ready for higher temperatures is sure to be on the list of things to do anyways. And while Fluffy is getting her nails done.. why not skip off and get your own manicured? Or your hair styled?

There are so many ways to enjoy the company of your pet and now's a great time to get out, enjoy the fresh air and feel alive again.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Introducing the Hottest, Newest Pet-Focused Online Newsletter - The Scoop

Hey Everyone!

We'd like to take a moment to introduce you to The Scoop;'s exciting and FREE newsletter all about the World of Pets and the people who love them!

Be on the lookout for this exciting newsletter featuring breaking news in the pet world, funny pet videos, cartoons, contests, recommendations, fun polls and other features such as "Celebrities and their Pets" (video) and "Discover Planet-Pets," an exciting feature that helps you learn more about our 3,500 page website!

When you subscribe to The Scoop, you will receive your issue via e-mail on the 15th of the month and you can unsubscribe at any time. If you have any questions, comments or story ideas for "The Scoop", please e-mail me, Brandon James at:

The Planet-Pets team is excited about serving you with the latest in fun, exciting, important and intriguing pet information and entertainment, every month - come aboard!

If you can't do it for your own sake.. then why not for your pet's sake?

You know what? I've never been a huge anti-smoking lunatic. I'm more of the kind of guy that realizes that there's not much you can do if someone has made the decision that they wish to kill themselves. Yes, I understand that there is a pleasure element to smoking, and I don't want to get too far off topic but if you can take away all the emotions and crap, that is exactly what smoking is. It's not good for you, so therefore it's bad for you and if you knowingly do it, regardless of that fact, well.. then you are killing yourself faster than Father Time does everyday. Gosh.. that sounds terrible...
Being originally from Toronto, Ontario, I experienced the "hoop-la" surrounding a government mandated smoking ban in most public places. Personally, I don't like when government gets so involved that private establishments can't decide whether or not they want to have smoking in their businesses, and then consumers can't decide for themselves if they wish to support either business, both smoking and non-smoking, with their dollars. I guess I'm an idealistic capitalist. I've been reading about the upcoming smoking ban in the UK, and been suffering from some serious flashbacks. Both Canada and Britain are essentially socialistic democracies, and unfortunately one of the main characteristics I find of country's who live by those principles is that everyone loves to tell others what to do. And my usual M.O. (motis operandi) is to not play that game, take my ball and go to the next sandbox :)
HOWEVER! I was surprised to find that there's a new angle being thrown around to play on everyone's heart strings and while this guy does believe in making sure your pet has the best life possible, I think it's a bit of a stretch.
Organizations such as the Bolton Primary Care Trust are urging smokers to quit for their pet's sake, now that the ban has forced them back into their homes to smoke more frequently. It wasn't good enough to ban them from public places, now they are trying to bribe them with this new reason to quit.
Personally, I think if someone's going to honestly quit, they'll do it for their own sakes. It's a selfish decision to start smoking, and it's an even more selfish decision to quit. You don't need to play on their love for their pets. It's just ridiculous.
I really can't see there being much more smoking done at home now that the ban will be enforced as of July 2007 than there was previously. Do you?

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Saturday, May 5, 2007

You think something just snapped?...

I'm going to warn you about this post. I sometimes tend to have a bit of a twisted sense of humor, and more often than not, I like making light of what really is a bad or tragic situation. I guess I've always used humor as my little tool to diffuse the awful emotion inside of situations... but I digress...
I read this article yesterday about what is believed to be a roving pack of 3 dogs in Dallas that are single paw-dedly eliminating their most hated household rival, the feline, in almost a mercenary style. As described in the article in The Dallas Morning News, they believe these dogs are " a black Labrador mix and two German shepherd mixes." What's tragic is the fact that it's believed that these three dogs have killed over 20 some odd cats in East Dallas to date. And as I said, I have a weird sense of humor, so when I read it, I got images of these violent dogs are dressed up like Dog the Bounty Hunter, with armor, sunglasses, tattoos and REALLY bad hair cuts. And they're all sitting around a table, playing poker (because that's not cliche), talking trash about how Fluffy down the street came a marked their territory again today. And how Muffin left a coughed up furball on their doorstep that morning. Then suddenly, they snap and decide that if the Law won't act, they're going to take matter into their own hands. I know, I know, I know.... I'm terrible. Blame it on TV.
What is really the terrible thing is what was described by a resident of this neighbourhood where these dogs have been active, "What creeps me out the most is that my neighbor said that they were hunting in a pack," she said. "We've got a lot of babies and young children in the neighborhood. What if these animals went after one of them?" Now that's not funny at all.
And suddenly, I conjure up this ingrain childhood image of Bob Barker on the Price is Right, saying "Remember, have your pets spayed or neutered..."
Gosh, I've got a lot of junk stored upstairs. If I only could use my power for good... hmmmmm.... I wonder if needs a resident super hero as well?

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Thursday, May 3, 2007

It's a dog's life?... It sure is!

It's funny that I've always known this, and I'm not particularly sure of why or from where. But I've always known this mantra of "people are willing to spend more on their pets than they do on themselves." And it's true, isn't it?!
Not meaning to toot my own horn or anything, but not only am I the official "blogmeister" and editor of "The Scoop", our fantastic newsletter (shameless self promotion - enter here), but I'm also involved with our advertising division. Because we want to have a high standard of quality of services offered here on our site to better serve you, our insanely devoted, loyal, and most cherished readers, I've sorted through a lot of different businesses to find the ones we think are worth your while. And I've noticed something once again. People will spend a fortune on their pets! Check this out!
You want to buy a Swarovski pearl or crystal collar for your pet? No problem! For a mere $50, your cat will look as hot as Paris Hilton walking down a red carpet. Want your pet to enjoy a "Furcedes" bed, "A Furrari" pillow bed, or (and this is my favourite) a "Sniffany & Co" doggie bed? SURE! Just pony up $129.95, and your pet is pimped out, blinged out, and relaxing with the best that this world can offer. Not to mention, spa treatments, hairstyling, and massage! The world is literally your pets oyster. I've even heard of pet owners arranging "doggie dates" for their pets to meet in leash-free areas all around the city. I mean how is Rex supposed to keep up with all his girlfriends if he didn't have you as his personal social coordinator?! Hahahahahaha.. I just can't help but laugh.
But all these things said, isn't that what pets are for? Don't we get them so we can spoil them to death? Because let's face it, even if we spoil them their whole lives, they're never going to grow up and expect a pony for their 16th birthday, a new car when they get their license to drive, or help out with a down payment on school or a house...
It's definitely a dog's life...

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Wednesday, May 2, 2007

This is far from over...

Does anyone else feel the same way as I do?
When you look at the news and see how this food recall becomes more and more in depth, and how widespread an issue it really is, there's a feeling in your gut that it is FAR from over. As the details are revealed about the careless practice of using gluten and rice protein concentrates in pet foods to boost the protein content, I can't help but wonder. And if you are foolish to think that it is only used in pet foods, you're sadly mistaken.
I have absolutely no doubt that using these types of empty protein % "boosters" in human foods does occur, and although they may not be as detrimental to our health, they don't exactly do us any favours either.
I have been eating a much more organic, holistic diet for the past year and a half. I even worked with a naturopath just a year ago to redesign my diet and get rid of my allergies successfully. I've definitely felt the benefits of it personally.
This is far from over and I know that this recall isn't going away any time soon....

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