Vol. 3 #3 | September 2020
MARIO LOPEZ SAVED BY TWO FRENCHIES WELLNESS
Grain-Free Dog Food Good Or Bad?
Fun Fall Fashions
Treats For Our Feathered Friends
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5 PET SPOTLIGHT 5 10 11 12 13
Mario Lopez, Saved by Two Frenchies Football, Felines and Fun The Soprano and His “Hot Dog” Latinx Artist and Activist Loves Her Pup Sex and The City Star Maintains A Menagerie
PET FASHION 14 Socially Distanced Fall Fun for You and Fido 15 Style Meets Safety with Double Dutch Harnesses
PET WELLNESS 16 18 20 22
The C Word - What Happens When You Hear it New Pup in the Family - Ten Questions for Your Vet Kitty Hideaways - Why Cats Need to Hide Grain Free Food - Good or Bad for Your Dog?
PET LIFESTYLES 23 Basics for Beginner Aquariums 24 Toys and Treats for our Feathered Friends
PET RESCUE 26 Help for The Hunting Dogs of Spain 28 The Fantastic Finnegan Fox and His SaveaFox Friends
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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Greetings Fido, Fifi and Fans… Don’t you think it’s time for a reboot? After all we’ve been through since the Pandemic set in, I can’t imagine any of us wouldn’t welcome a fresh take on life. So with a reboot in mind, who better for our Fall cover than Mario Lopez? Remember him as A.C. Slater, the outsider jock who ruled Bayside High School, in the hit series back in the day, Saved By The Bell?
Vol. 3 #3 | September 2020 President / Publisher BILL MASON Editor in Chief Lori Zelenko
Marketing Coordinator Judith Moskowitz
Well, he’s back and Elizabeth Berkley’s got him! Peacock is about to release a reboot of this fave series so the Slater we love will return, better than ever.
Senior Editor Samuel Hinke Michael LaChance
Photography Geoff Tischman
Lopez tells us the show’s reboot Is going to push some boundaries. Look out for a series that‘s edgier than the original. But he wants to assure us, it’s not really going to the dogs! Even though if he were to recast it with canine stars, Slater would be played by Julio (Lopez’s Frenchie aka Lopez’s alter ego, determined but sweet), a tough guy (ok ,”tough” dog) with a heart of gold. Let’s welcome a bold new spin on an old favorite. The easygoing, friendly cast? Well, Lopez tells us, a Golden Retriever would capture their loving spirit.
Editors at Large Alison Minton Steve Whitney Monie Schulling Beth Stern
Videographer David Katzive
Not every pup is as pampered as Lopez’s two Frenchies, Julio and Oscar. Like the fighters they are named for, they may have to compete for attention in Lopez’s famila, but they always win. Some dogs like the beautiful Spanish Greyhounds (Galgos) we profile in this issue are not so lucky. Their fate at the end of hunting season is worse than death. By bringing attention to their case, we’re hoping to reboot awareness of an extraordinary breed, elegant and devoted, yet so brutally abused. Can we band together and reboot the way kind, caring animals are treated in every corner of the world? On the upside, sports may be vicarious this season, we’re limited to a reboot via re-runs but that doesn’t mean you can’t update your tailgate. Stadium style is always a home run with Fido! Be safe. Be strong. Be moving forward with your lives - share the essence of a reboot. And find us on Instagram,
Editor in Chief email@example.com
Want to go tweet tweet tweet to me? Skip Twitter for now go Insta.
Features Melanie Carden Crystal C. Chan Veterinary Editors Dr. Lynn Bahr DVM Linda Conte Dr. Ann Hohenaus DMV, DACVIM Adrianne Frost Dr. Brett Shorenstein VMD Sean-Patrick M. Hillman Kunwar Ishan Sharma Art Director Jean-Claude Quintyne Eric Duncan Executive Vice President of Sales LYLE SELTZER Sales Bill Mason Sr. - Director of New Business Development Brett Caldwell - Director of Integrated Sales and Marketing Director of Operations Kurt Nesheim Internet Presence Scott Cuollo Magazine Distribution The Garrido Group New York Sales Office (646) 259-2651
Editorial/Sales Fax (212) 202-4888
For subscriptions, address changes or back issues, call: (646) 259-2651 petlifestylesmagazine.com Facebook: /petlifestylesmag Twitter: @petlifestylesny Instagram: @petlifestylesmag All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material from this issue is expressly forbidden without permission of the publisher. Printed in the USA. Pet Lifestyles Magazine is published 4 times annually. © 2018 Pet Lifestyles Magazine
Editor in Chief Lori Zelenko with her dogs Bikini and Annabelle. ©Geoff Tischman www.tischmanpets.com
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Cover Photo Courtesy of Mario Lopez
MARIO LOPEZ SAVED BY TWO FRENCHIES
HOW TWO FRENCH BULLDOGS DELIGHT THE STAR OF SAVED BY THE BELL By Crystal C. Long
e was as cool then as he is now. Warm, funny, and super fit, Mario Lopez established himself as a household name in the ‘80s and ‘90s. The mullet is gone now, but the vibrant charm remains, and frankly, that mesmerizing energy is stronger than ever. Back in the day, 1989 to be precise, he rocked as A.C. Slater in the cultfavorite teen sitcom, Saved by the Bell. So how did Slater own his turf? He excelled. An army brat and a transfer student—a perpetual outsider— became the school’s star quarterback and wrestler. And yes, for five minutes, he became a chef and a ballet dancer too. As if that wasn’t enough to give him high school star power, Slater proved to be such a competent drummer he joined the gang’s band, Zack Attack. Sure he shared the small screen with now-famous names, among them Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Zach Morris), Dustin Diamond (“Screech”), Lark Voorhies (Lisa Turtle), Elizabeth Berkley (Jessie Spano), and of course, the lovely Tiffani Thiessen (Kelly Kapowski). But his charisma, well, you could say it made him—and his character—a shining star. SEPTEMBER 2020
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SAVED BY THE BELL REBOOT
Saved By The Bell nostalgically centered around a group of high school friends as they navigated life—and learned important life lessons— all shared with light-hearted comedy. Fans will no doubt remember the entertaining antics of “Screech,” the friendship between Slater and his frenemy, Zach, all the endearing aww moments—and tear-jerkers too—during Kelly and Zach’s on-again/off-again relationship. We also can’t forget about the catchy theme song. Sigh…just thinking about the iconic moments from the Bayside High crew does bring back memories, but don’t worry, new memories will soon be yours as TV has decided to revisit Bayside High. SBTB fans rejoice! That’s right, a Saved by the Bell reboot is in the works. You will see it soon (date TBD) on Peacock, NBCUniversal’s new streaming service, and it will certainly include some of your favorite Bayside High characters—with Lopez coming back to play A.C. Slater (now Bayside’s gym teacher). It wasn’t that long ago that the reboot crew, which includes Elizabeth Berkley, shot their first scene, now they are winding down a whole series of shows. Lopez recently gave fans a hint of things to come, sharing that the new SBTB will be “a fresh take” on the original …” a little edgier and happier, and a lot of fun,” he’s revealed. 6 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE
ABOUT THOSE TWO FRENCHIES
Between filming the Saved by the Bell reboot and hosting the entertainment news program Access Hollywood, not to mention juggling appearances at pet rescue events whenever he can, Lopez certainly has a full plate. When he has downtime, he relaxes with his wife Courtney (she is, he says, quite the dog whisperer), his three children: 9-year-old daughter Gia Francesca, 6-year-old son Dominic Luciano, and eight-month-old son Santino Rafael. His family also includes his two fur kids: 10-year-old French Bulldog Julio Cesar Chavez and their newest addition, French Bulldog pup, Oscar De La Hoya (yes, these are their names! Champs all!). You could say these two Frenchies saved him; they are as vital to him as his wife and kids. They ground him, adore him, are great with the growing brood, and entertain one and all. Lopez has always had a love for dogs, life without one much less two - he debates adding a third dog, but he confesses he doesn’t really need to as the neighbor’s dog, extended family you could say, rules the roost (a tiny Chihuaha called Speck) - would be unthinkable for him. He fell in love with French Bulldogs in 2010 when he became a dog dad to his “firstborn” Julio—his exceptionally content white Frenchie, now happily retired from the dog show circuit. “Being a dog dad to Julio - and now Oscar - I’ve realized that a French Bulldog is the right dog for me.” Lopez said. He took Oprah’s advice and went with Frenchies. Why? “They are adorable and fun-looking and they have the cutest ears. I love them for their small compact scale and big personalities,” he says. So we have to ask, if A.C. Slater was a dog what would he be? “A French Bulldog because A.C. Slater is a lot like me,” but he adds the rest of the Saved by The Bell cast would be best played by “Golden Retrievers because they are friendly, loyal, nice dogs.”
This one-time teen idol and California-native grew up with big dogs—a Siberian Husky named Whistle and a Golden Retriever named Prince to be exact. However, when it comes to French Bulldogs, they are the perfect breed for his growing family. Not only are they lovable, but also tough-looking, he says, like mini-Pit Bulls. Their added portability is just the icing on the (pup)cake—for the Lopez familia who are always traveling. And lots of traveling these two royal canines do: between going to work with Lopez on the set of Access Hollywood and even popping into a dog show or two, Julio’s old stomping grounds, Julio (and now Oscar) are always by the side of the Lopez family. The tradition of always naming their fur-babies after Mexican fighters while giving their human-babies Italian first names is still going strong. This quirky ritual is continued with the newest fur-baby, Oscar. “Always name the doggies after great fighters, this one after my boy Oscar, who’s a perro (dog) in real life too,” Lopez chuckles. “The kids get Italian first names and the dogs Spanish names. Keepin’ our cultures alive.” Dogs named after boxers. Looks like Saved by the Bell’s A.C. Slater and the IRL (in real life) actor have something in common. SEPTEMBER 2020
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LIFE AS A PAWRENT
Lopez and his wife are undeniably caring, responsible dog pawrents – ask Julio and Oscar. “He is the best little dog,” Lopez says of Julio. “When I got Julio, I had not had a dog since I was a kid. I can’t believe what I’ve been missing because I love Julio - and now Oscar - so much, both such good dogs. Chill and cuddle, that’s their best sport.” These pampered pooches are certainly cherished by everybody in the Lopez family. Just look at those faces! Even though the two fur-bros have distinctly different personalities and dispositions, they get along beautifully, “Oscar is so sweet. They are both so affectionate,” he says with a smile. Lopez reminisces, sharing one of his favorite memories about his “firstborn” Julio Cesar Chavez: “Julio is getting a little grumpy in his old age. He likes to relax a lot now, but we used to run together, that was a sight…seeing a Frenchie jogging, people would flip out,” he tells Pet Lifestyles magazine. Playful and sweet, Frenchies have won many a dog lovers’ hearts over the years, just like the Lopez familia. Considered an adaptive-intelligent breed, French Bulldogs like Julio and Oscar can be easily trained, if you keep it fun and positive. They also can be house-trained, perfect for when the weather outside is, well, less than pleasant. “We did a little bit of potty-training,” he shares, forgetting that these are fur kids, not human kids. When not napping after a busy day playing with the Lopez kids, Julio and Oscar, love to play ball and go swimming. Just as fitnessconscious as Lopez himself it seems, like father, like pup.
ON WITH MARIO
Life for Julio and Oscar couldn’t be better, and these pampered pooches only have Mario Lopez and his growing, dog-loving family to thank for it. As for the A.C. Slater comeback on NBCUniversal’s Peacock platform, fans don’t have long to wait now! Why not get a head start? Catch up on Mario and his mullet with episodes of the original SBTB on Peacock streaming. And if you’re looking to be saved by a precious pup too, tune into Mario’s radio show, On With Mario on iHeart radio. Every Tuesday, they spotlight a dog in need of a forever home—and spurred by his love for his two Frenchies, he’s made sure plenty of pups have found equally loving pawrents. • 8 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE
FOOTBALL, FUR, AND FUN: BALTIMORE RAVENS’ MARLON HUMPHREY AND HIS CAT SNOWFLAKE By Kunwar Ishan Sharma
hen Baltimore Ravens’ cornerback Marlon Humphrey isn’t tackling grown men on the football field, lifting weights in the gym, and studying his opponents’ weaknesses, he’s at home spending quality time with his fluffy white cat, Snowflake. This quality time includes buying his furry friend toys, having deep conversations, and even posting pictures on Snowflake’s Instagram account, which has over 6,000 followers! We spoke to Marlon Humphrey about his special relationship with Snowflake, and here’s what he had to say. KITTY LOVE “When I was in college, my little sister had a cat who had four kittens. When I came home for the summer, the kittens weren’t being taken care of, so I decided to bring them back to college with me. That was my first experience taking care of cats as an adult.” After the Baltimore Ravens drafted Marlon in 2017, he learned about an organization called the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter. Given that Marlon lived alone and wanted to provide a home for a stray animal, he decided to get a cat. “When I went into the shelter, there were three kittens left, and I think I got the last one. They named him ‘Nimbus 3.’” Conveniently, the name “Nimbus,” which is a type of cloud, inspired Marlon to name his all-white cat “Snowflake.” While Marlon and Snowflake are incredibly close now, their relationship didn’t start off on the right “paw.” When Marlon took Snowflake home from the shelter, Snowflake had peed in Marlon’s car. To make matters worse, Snowflake hid under Marlon’s TV during their first week of living together. While Marlon worried that their relationship would always be distant, they soon became extremely close. They are so close that Marlon refers to Snowflake as his “son.” When we asked what changed their dynamic, Marlon simply said, “it just takes time.”
Baltimore Ravens’ cornerback Marlon Humphrey and his cat Snowflake
MACHO MANCAT In an intense sport, driven by masculinity and toughness, Marlon has received a considerable amount of flack from teammates and fans for having a cat. He explained, “I get a lot of heat from fellas when they’re talking about dogs. Most guys around the league have dogs, and I’m just the one guy who has a cat.” He also addressed the misconceptions surrounding his cat, saying, “everyone assumes that my cat is a female, even my mom did for a long time. I mean, c’mon, he’s a big strong man.”
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Marlon believes he’s so strong that, “if someone breaks into my house, I know that Snowflake is going to be fighting right there with me.” In addition to fighting alongside his dad, Marlon expects Snowflake to root extra hard for him this upcoming NFL season. He says, “I’ve got to throw Snowflake in a Ravens jersey more this season, especially with coronavirus. We might not have many fans in the stands, so I got to make sure that Snowflake is repping for me.” If you want to see more of this amazing father/son duo, follow Snowflake on Instagram @itssnowwflake. •
THE SOPRANOS’ STEVE SCHIRRIPA AND HIS “HOT DOG” By Jéan-Claude Quintyne
ogs have a gift, many actually, but what makes them so extraordinary is how they show us, each in their own unique way, how special they are. Though we may see Steve Schirripa as a tough guy, he’s got a tender heart when it comes to his dog, Willie, the dachshund. Remember Schirripa as Bobby “Bacala” Baccalieri in the hit series, “The Sopranos”? The “sweetest” mobster on the show until Tony Soprano forced him into brutality. Now he’s thrilled to be in “Blue Bloods” as no-nonsense Detective Anthony Abetemarco, playing a guy on the right side of the law is a great change, he confesses. But the role he seems to really cherish is pup parent to Willie, a dog who’s always full of surprises. Whether it’s the way Willie plays with his box of toys or shows how laid-back he can be while just hanging out, he’s a welcome addition to the Schirripa home. When the family spends time in California, Willie loves to run from the kitchen to the backyard, grabbing snacks and getting a workout at the same time. In New York City, he rides the subway unfazed. And airplanes are his favorite way to travel. Bi-coastal and cosmopolitan, Willie just keeps moving, standing around being starstruck by his celebrity pawrent is not his M.O. “All day long!” Schirripa says in excitement, describing Willie’s energy. “My wife empties the box of toys and he plays for an hour or more.” Schirripa’s first two dogs were golden retrievers, which he had when he was growing up. Although he hadn’t discovered his love for dogs then, dogs ended up at different points in his life nonetheless. When it came to wiener dogs, he found an appreciation for them from the time he and his wife spent in Las Vegas. “They were all over the family, five at any time. They’re very funny—like clowns. They don’t know that they’re dogs.” And in that breath, Schirripa adds, taking care of a dog is not unlike taking care of a human. “If you want a kid, you better get a dog first.” His passion for weiner dogs and dogs in general taught him the value and the joy of unconditional love. Schirripa currently co-hosts “Talking Sopranos” with fellow “Sopranos” cast member Michael Imperioli. The podcast revisits the series episode by episode, offering behind-thescenes analysis of the show, discussions about breaking into the entertainment industry, some of the best places to get pizza in the city, and other gems. Willie recently made an appearance on the podcast, donning a “Talking Sopranos” t-shirt. He enjoyed his first birthday this past June in California, where he was born. Though Schirripa has seen dogs of the affectionate and passive caliber, it’s Willie’s intelligence and quickness to adapt that impresses him most. Candidly, he reveals Willie wants to be anywhere his mother is, he loves any kind of weather, and he has shown that the pandemic doesn’t bother him at all. What a trooper! “My wife has taught him: Willie, go get the baseball. And boom! He runs out and he’s got the baseball we got from Yankee Stadium.” Willie takes after his human, he knows what to do on cue. Lights! Camera! Action! This weiner dog is a star. • SEPTEMBER 2020
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LATINX ARTIST AND ACTIVIST LUCIANA FAULHABER AND HER PUP By Samuel Hinke
ow where should our story begin... How about the first time I met Luciana? I was only seven weeks old when she strolled into the pet shop with her boyfriend. I had five siblings competing with me but I put on my best puppy dog face, wagged my little tail, and followed her back and forth from behind the glass. My charm proved powerful, and after a couple hours of playtime she was mine. She gave me a new name; Spike. His name is actually Spike Lee! For whatever reason, Spike Lee immediately came to mind when I looked at him. I’m also a big Spike Lee fan so I didn’t think twice. Luciana used to cry a lot whenever I got hurt or sick. I think taking care of me was a little scary for her in the beginning, but she’s gotten the hang of it. She still cries sometimes, but I think that’s just natural to worry about the people you love. Speaking of love, I could definitely go for something fishy right about now, I absolutely love fish treats. Maybe I’ll share some with Lamb Chop. He may just be a toy, but he is my best friend.
©Lola Miche ©Lola Miche
What? You still think I am just talking about myself? Fine, fine, we will talk about Luciana. “My name is Luciana Faulhaber and I am a Latinx actress, activist, and filmmaker based in L.A,” that sounds like something she’d say. She often says that she did not choose to be an actress, It was more like it chose her. She had a few odd jobs here and there for a while, but I think acting was the only thing that really made her happy. She has stuck with it too, never giving up, always striving for greater heights. One thing I really admire about her is she really works hard for others. She was raised by a single mother after all, and her mother did the best job she could to instill a sense of responsibility and independence into Luciana. I think her hard work paid off in the end. Luciana is always working hard to bring attention to underrepresented groups and create as many opportunities for them as she can. I guess she feels like it is her responsibility to use her position to help others instead of herself. You can look me up with the handle @spikesgram on Instagram. I’m doing it again you say? And now we are out of time? But I have so much more to say about myself - I mean Luciana. Ok, at least let me say one last thing. You can expect great things from Luciana Faulhaber in the future, so keep an eye out. Also follow me on Instagram, ok bye. •
12 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE
SEX AND THE CITY STAR MAINTAINS A MENAGERIE GILLES MARINI AND HIS ANIMAL FAMILY By Michael LaChance
Dalmation, a hunting dog and twenty chickens peacefully cohabitate — that’s a scene from Gilles Marini’s childhood. The Sex and the City actor’s love for animals began early, surrounded by the marvelous menagerie his parents kept. His mother, a sort of “Mother Theresa to stray animals”, he tells PET LIFESTYLES, has adopted animals off the street for as long as he can remember. Thanks to her, he and his sister were instilled with a lasting love for animals, which inspired his advocacy for animal rescue and adoption. It’s no wonder then that Marini works closely with esteemed organizations to help save and protect vulnerable animals. His first pet, at 19, was a French bulldog, a breed he loves for their loving but determined character. And, his family has continued to grow. He now shares his home with chickens, rabbits, lizards, fish, dogs, and cats. He says it’s always interesting having so many different animals living together in the same space. He often comes home to find a chicken casually strutting through the living room. Marini doesn’t keep any of his animals in cages, so animals and humans alike roam freely through the house. This is a situation that leads to amusing anecdotes. Take for example, the Persian teacup kitten, who drinks exclusively from the fish-bowl (whose occupants, a pair of goldfish, are now ten years old!). He believes animals deserve genuine freedom, rather than being “pets,” or “possessions.” As he shares from the heart, “A bird has wings, it needs to fly.” “I don’t think they really care,” he says with a laugh when we ask how the animals cope while he’s away on film and TV shoots. “There’s too much love,” he adds, explaining how the house is always bustling with people who love to spend time with the animals. “Papa,” he will often hear when he returns — not from his children, but from the talkative African grey bird perched nearby.
Penelope, the teacup Persian, was a gift for his daughter. To prepare her for life with a tiny new companion, Gilles tells us that one Mother’s Day, he decided to teach his daughter about the hard work that goes into caring for a living being. All day, he acted as though he was a child. “You’re a mother now,” he told her at the end, to her understandable confusion — drawing Penelope out from behind his back as a surprise. Recently, Mila, the French Bulldog named in honor of Michael Jackson (sadly this beloved talent passed away the day Mila joined their home), developed a spinal cord cyst that was largely inoperable due to a prior lifesaving surgery in which every disk in her body was removed. As the cyst grew, it diminished Mila’s basic bodily functions to the point where she would likely need dialysis. Luckily, while attending an event, Gilles met a man who suggested sublingual CBD to restore Mila’s health in a way that antibiotics and surgery no longer could. Within fifteen minutes of ingesting the CBD Dog Health HEAL Tincture, Mila was up and walking for the first time in months. The change was all but a miracle — though, Marini amends, “not a miracle, just the right treatment.” Quarantine has brought Marini, his family and their animal companions closer, strengthening already joyous bonds. He hopes that closer contact with animals will teach humans to be kinder, gentler and more respectful to their fellow creatures, to understand how valuable animals are, and to treat them with love and care. Firmly he believes that animals can truly help during this difficult time, and that everyone who can, should adopt a pet. “Adopt rather than buy,” he stresses. After all, Gilles Marini wants to impress upon us, rescuing or fostering an animal in need is a life-changing, enriching experience. • SEPTEMBER 2020
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SOCIALLY DISTANCED FALL FUN FOR YOU AND FIDO By Melanie Carden
ootball season is here—time to cheer (from home)! We may not be grillin’ and chillin’ before games at MetLife Stadium, but we can still don our lucky jerseys and safely celebrate in our yards, parks, or on our balconies. It’s not so ruff, says our pups. They’re more than happy to hunker down at home and cheer for their favorite player—Saquon Barkley, of course! Let’s embrace the extra gridiron TV time and sporty outings with our furry friends. We’ve curated this collection of essentials to level-up your pup’s wardrobe for autumn’s all-weather shenanigans, football, baseball and cozy Netflix nights. Check out the movie Greater for some real-life football inspiration or the old school classic Bad News Bears for a sentimental comedy as the baseball season winds down. During this home-based tailgating season, PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE is here to help you and your furry friends maximize all the extra “hut, hut, (and) hike” in your life.
Lisa Vanderrpump and her pampered pooch
Gnawsome Squeak and Light LED Football. Dog Toy. Info: chewy.com
P.L.A.Y. Pretzel Squeaky Plush Dog Toy. Info: chewy.com
Pets First MLB Dog Collar. Yankees shown here. Info: chewy.com
Pets First Yankees Jersey for Dogs or Cats. Info: chewy.com
Royal Animals Couture Red Plaid Waterproof Coat. Info: royalanimals.com
TrustyPup Bark Brew Squeaky Plush Dog Toys. Info: chewy.com
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STYLE MEETS SAFETY WITH DOUBLE DUTCH LEASHES By Charlie Connell
manda O’Connell’s lifelong love of dogs began at childhood, growing up with a Westie. She fell in love with their oversized personalities, high energy, and intelligence—and it was only a matter of time before she adopted one of her own.
©Petra Romano/Pets by Petra
Before the ink was dry on the lease for her first pet-friendly apartment, Amanda had already started the process of making Dutch part of her family. Dutch is a firecracker—often seen chasing squirrels, skateboards, and motorcycles. Keeping him safe on the streets of a bustling city became a full-time job as Amanda quickly found that none of the leashes and harnesses she bought were up to the task. “When Dutch was a puppy he was able to break off a lot of the leashes,” Amanda explains. “He would break the clip, not the leash. I went to the internet to try to find leashes with two clips that met our needs but found nothing. So, I designed my own.” Amanda got to work drawing up some ideas and her sister, Caitlin Beards, a talented costume designer, who helped to sew the earliest leashes and harnesses. Dutch, the namesake of the company, did his part too by patiently testing each prototype. The finished product is a patented, double clip leash made with high quality, stainless steel hardware, locking lobster claw clips, and a thick nylon material. “Our leashes are designed to share the pressure between the clips making the leash less likely to fail. You can attach both clips to the harness or clip one to the collar and one to the harness for a little more control. And in the event one of the clips breaks, the second clip “Keeping him safe is everything,” Amanda says. “Once I figured acts as a backup to keep your pup from getting away from you.” out the design, I thought that it was something that other Amanda quickly realized that she also needed to create a harness that people could benefit from as well.” A New Jersey native, it was could accommodate the double clip leash. “Knowing that dogs come in important to Amanda to keep production local to her home all shapes and sizes, we made our harnesses adjustable in four spots. It state and partnered with a manufacturer in Passaic, NJ — even can fit a wide range of sizes and breeds and sits along the collarbone so though that often means squeezing in early morning visits to it won’t pull directly on the dog’s neck.” She wanted it to be comfortable the factory before heading into the city for her day job. and safe so even a clever dog won’t be able to slip out.
©Petra Romano/Pets by Petra
Safety is the number one concern at Double Dutch Pets, but they also want to make sure that their products reflect unique personalities as well. “I try to find patterns that you don’t typically find in stores and ones that are a little bit more fun,” Amanda says. “One of our most popular is the comic book themed Super Dog but customers also love our black and white checkerboard design, camo prints, and fun skull patterns.” That second clip does a lot to ease the mind of a dog owner when their intrepid companion decides to make a beeline for a squirrel on the other side of a busy street, and that’s exactly why Amanda created Double Dutch Pet Products. “The thing that scares me the most is the idea of my dog being able to get away from me,” Amanda says. “We want to make products that are interesting looking with fun patterns, but at the end of the day, it’s most important that we keep our dogs a little bit safer.” For more information about Double Dutch Pets leashes, collars, and harnesses visit www.doubledutchpets.com. And don’t forget to follow them on Instagram (@doubledutchpets) to see plenty of pictures of Dutch, his friend Columbo, a blind Jack Russell their family adopted from The Eleventh Hour Rescue, and all of the latest products and designs. • SEPTEMBER 2020
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WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU HEAR THE C WORD By Sean-Patrick M. Hillman, Chairman and Co-Founder of Rock & Rawhide
e prepared as I am going to use a dirty word my fellow pet parents…cancer. Two weeks ago, we heard that dreaded “C” word, in the form of lymphoma. Our little Snickers, an 11-year-old Bull Mastiff/American Staffordshire mix, has Lymphoma B. No matter how prepared we were for what we already “knew,” instantly, our hearts sunk. Tears, anger and everything in between quickly began for my wife and me. I have woken in the middle of the night, almost every night since, wondering if it was a bad dream…fighting back the tears. My wife has done exactly the same. We both went through the sadness and anger phases…and we are now in advocacy mode. Why? Because there are so many people that do not understand just how susceptible to cancer our furrever ones are…nor do they have a real understanding as to what goes into a cancer diagnosis for treatment.
©Thru Ally’s Eyes Photography ThruAllysEyes@yahoo.com
We have worked with our vet, Dr. Stephanie Liff, Pure Paws Veterinary Care of Hell’s Kitchen, on a virtual daily basis to determine and maintain Snickers’ treatment regimen. We decided that we are not going to put her through chemotherapy, or any other invasive treatment based on her age, and the fact that she has an enlarged heart with a murmur. Instead, we started Snickers on a “chemo-level” dosage of prednisone, a steroid (specifically 20mg per dose twice daily). After three doses, Snickers had a horrific reaction with labored, VERY fast breathing (65 – 75 breaths per minute versus the average of 30). This is a dog that sleeps 18 – 20 hours per day…she was awake over 36 hours straight, in reaction. So we have dialed back her dosage and are slowly stepping back up to the 20mg per dose along with additional treatments including Fenbendazole, coconut and olive oil, turmeric, and fish oil. While all of this has been going on, I reached out through our Rock & Rawhide network as well as certain Facebook groups, to source stories of others who are dealing with, or have dealt with, the same situation. Here are their stories…
Pet Parent: Christina Dog: Ernie My sweet Ernie was diagnosed with bladder and prostate cancer mere months after I rescued him in 2017. I was told I likely didn’t have much time with him and though surgery might extend his life a small amount...he was not a candidate for surgery due to other illnesses. Devastated...I naturally tried every medication the specialist could prescribe, and nothing helped. I had promised him the second half of his life would be better - that it would be the BEST and I wasn’t going to break that promise. At the suggestion of my AMAZING VET Dr. Julie Jones from Veterinaire in Jersey City NJ) I decided to go the route of CBD, dog acupuncture and lots of love from mom (who also knows how to give Reiki!).
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I am happy to report that our adorable little senior Pekingese mix is still with us...and healthy! The veterinary specialists have told me they don’t know what I am doing but keep doing it. Because - In blunt terms - he should not still be here given the type of cancer he has. I am a firm believer that love has Extraordinary power - and Ernie is VERY loved by me and his daddy. After sourcing thru dozens of CBD brands I will say that I saw the most amazing change in him once we started using Blooming Culture and we’ve never looked back. They truly gave him his life back and though he still has cancer...we have somehow kept it from spreading more and improved his quality of life tenfold. To say I am grateful to them is a huge understatement.
Pet Parent: Selina Poiesz Dog: Harper Andrews, 9 Years-Old Harper was rescued as a stray from rural South Carolina. She was four years old, heartworm positive, and had at least one litter of puppies in the past. All 4 Paws Rescue in Malvern, PA rescued her from the kill-shelter in South Carolina, spayed her, and treated her heartworm. Andreas and I adopted her shortly after on July 18, 2015. Fast forward to the end of May 2019, and during a routine vet exam, our vet found a lump on Harper’s mammary gland. In June 2019, she had the mass, corresponding mammary gland and lymph node removed. The diagnosis… intermediate grade mammary carcinoma. The good news was that the mass was completely removed, and the cancer hadn’t spread to the nearby lymph node. We followed up with the veterinary oncologist who gave a 60-80% chance of the tumor regrowing, and a 20% chance of developing a new, unrelated mammary tumor. Since the tumor had been completely removed during surgery, we decided to proceed with physical check-ups every few months to check for any new lumps or bumps signaling new tumor growth.
Harper completed chemotherapy on April 21, 2020. In the beginning of June we noticed new lesions growing along her mammary chain. The cancer was spreading, and fast. The next week, before we could even begin a new oral, chemo regimen that her oncologist recommended, her health rapidly declined. She was no longer enjoying many of her favorite things and could barely move around. Andreas and I made the decision to end her suffering on June 12, 2020. As devastating as it is to lose a pet, we took comfort in knowing that we did everything we could for Harper. People thought we were crazy for taking our dog to a “doggie oncologist” and giving her chemo to try and help her. But Harper was part of our family and we wanted the best for her.
At one of these check-ups around the end of 2019, her vet found a new tumor. In January 2020, Harper again went in for surgery and came out with a new diagnosismetastatic anaplastic high-grade carcinoma. Not only did her body produce an entirely new type of mammary cancer, it was highly aggressive. It had spread to the nearby lymph node. We were devastated and turned to the veterinary oncologist again for guidance. Under her supervision Harper began five rounds of chemotherapy. A round of doxorubicin IV chemotherapy every three weeks. The goal was to give her quality of life for another six months to a year.
The moral of the story is something that Bob Barker reminded viewers at the end of every episode of “The Price is Right”, to spay and neuter our pets. Our vet felt strongly that if she was spayed in a timely manner, it would have prevented her mammary cancer. Harper was a shepherd mix and somewhere in her genes she was predisposed to cancer.
Pet Parent: Charise Brown Dog: Whitegirl My dog “Whitegirl” was diagnosed on January 16, 2020 and we decided just to do prednisone and she was gone March 2, 2020. It was an emotional roller coaster of 6 weeks. My only advice is to enjoy every moment you can and believe me you will know when it’s time.
This last story of Whitegirl brings up my final point…when is the right time to say goodbye? The most painful part of being a pet parent is knowing when to end their suffering. Remember, children and elderly can tell you what is working, what isn’t, how they are feeling, etc. Animals can only show you their emotions. For many of us pet parents, that is enough. For many more it is not. The responsibility of making this decision is emotionally draining, and not for the faint of heart. I have had to make this dreaded decision more times than I care to recount. It is the last act of love you can possibly perform to ensure that your pet does not suffer. In Snickers’ case, we will make that decision only when her quality of life is no longer recognizable. We will not allow our baby girl to suffer. THAT is being a responsible pet parent, no matter the pain it causes us to say goodbye. I hope that you are all strong and humane enough to make that decision when the time comes. I have been recommending that people visit my friends at Blue Buffalo Company’s Pet Cancer Awareness website at www.petcancerawareness. org to learn more about pet cancer, various treatments, what facilities are doing research to find a cure and more. Blue Buffalo began when Bill Bishop’s (Founder) dog, Blue, passed away from cancer. He has been quoted as saying, “Blue fought the good fight, and brought a lot of happiness to our family for many years. We think of him often, and the Blue Buffalo Company honors his memory by funding cancer research studies, raising awareness of the early warning signs, and helping pet parents with the cost of treatment. Blue would be proud.” PetCancerAwareness.org is the most robust information source I have found to date on pet cancer. If you want to follow Snickers’ progress and hear about the different treatments, both medical and holistic, that we are pushing forward with, please follow Rock & Rawhide’s page on Facebook as I will continue to do video updates on her progress. Stay pawesome my friends! For more pet cancer stories, please visit petlifestylesmagazine.com • SEPTEMBER 2020
PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 17
NEW PUP IN THE FAMILY? TOP TEN QUESTIONS FOR YOUR VET By Crystal c. Long
hhh! The excitement that comes with getting a dog: the naming, setting up its fur-ever home, lots (and lots) of pictures of your new fur-kid (whether puppy or senior), and of course, our personal favorite—shopping for toys. But among all the fever and excitement for the new furry addition to your family, there are some essential steps you need to take to guarantee your dog stays happy and healthy. Now mind you, there are lots of things to consider, like vital vaccinations and vitamins, best type of dog food, and how to help your pet learn good habits… don’t just go on the advice of friends, connect with your vet. Rescue or purebred, old or young, take charge of the essentials for establishing a good start for a long and healthy life together. PET LIFESTYLES sat down with Dr. Brett Shorenstein VMD, owner of Abingdon Square Veterinary Clinic to answer the critical questions on a new dog-parent’s mind. Trust us, your dog will thank you for being prepared. When do I take my dog for their first checkup? It’s important to establish veterinary care for your puppy as soon as possible after adoption. Puppies need vaccinations and parasite testing right away—their developing immune systems mean they can become seriously ill very quickly if exposed to disease. For adult rescues who have already been vaccinated, it’s still critical to bring them to your veterinarian as soon as possible to establish a relationship between your pet and their new vet. What vaccinations are essential for my dog - there has been an antivaxer movement, what are the hazards of not keeping up the shots? Vaccinations are your pet’s first line of defense and can also keep them from transmitting some diseases to your family. Scientific evidence proves that the widespread use of vaccines in the last century has prevented death and disease in millions of animals and humans. Even diseases that have become uncommon can still be present in the environment and if pets aren’t protected, they can initiate an outbreak. “Core” vaccines are those recommended—and in some cases, mandated by law—for most pets. Core vaccines include: • Rabies (dogs and cats) • DA2PPV – Distemper, Hepatitis, Adenovirus 2, Parvo and Parainfluenza (dogs) Depending on your lifestyle, vaccinating against leptospirosis, an organism found in the urine of mice and rats, or Lyme disease is also important. Bordetella and canine influenza (CIV) shots are a must if your pup frequents dog parks, boarding kennels, or any place where they’re socializing with other canines. With regard to the anti-vax movement, there is a risk associated with all medical procedures, but serious reactions from vaccines are rare. Given the fact that vaccinations have protected millions of animals and humans from illness and death caused by disease, the benefit far outweighs any risk. At Abingdon Square Vet, we have seen VERY FEW adverse reactions. Do you recommend home cooked or commercial dog food - are there basics to look for or avoid - some pets have gluten allergies, is gluten something to avoid in general? If you feed your pet a grain-free diet, home-cooked meals, or food with exotic and atypical ingredients, you may want to reconsider. Veterinary cardiologists, nutritionists and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have explored a possible link between those types of diets and the development of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs. DCM can result in abnormal heart rhythms, congestive heart failure and even sudden death. When it comes to feeding your pets, we recommend avoiding a grain-free, exotic protein, vegetarian or completely home-prepared diet. Instead, choose a commercial pet food made by a well-established manufacturer that contains common ingredients, including grains. 18 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE
Dr. Brett Shorenstein of Abingdon Square Vets tells us how to keep our pets safe and healthy this Holiday season.
Do you need Pet Insurance - are there brands you like better than others? At Abingdon Square Vet, we believe in pet insurance. We’ve seen it help families take better care of their animal companions and afford life-saving procedures for their pets. There are many health insurance and wellness plan options; like health insurance for people, pet policies have different deductibles, co-payments, and premiums. What is best a natural flea/tick repellant or prescription? Frankly, there is no “natural” flea/tick repellant on the market that has proven to be 100% effective. The safest and most effective preventatives are those prescribed by your veterinarian there are a variety of options however it’s best to get your vet’s advice in choosing the best preventative for your pet’s needs. Is it necessary to get my dog neutered? While it is not necessary to neuter your dog, it is highly recommended. According to the Humane Society of the United States, between 6- 8 million pets enter U.S. animal shelters every year. Only about half are adopted, meaning the rest—mostly healthy, adoptable dogs and cats—are euthanized. Neutering your pet comes with additional benefits: Your dog will likely be healthier. Altered pets have less urge to roam, which reduces the exposure to parasites and disease, and spay/neuter also reduces the risk of certain types of cancer in both dogs and cats. Should I brush my dog’s teeth? Yes, absolutely! Imagine if you never brushed your teeth or had them cleaned. Pretty scary, right? As you can guess, things would eventually start to go very, very bad inside your mouth: teeth would decay, gums would become inflamed and infected. Bacteria from those rotting teeth would eventually travel into your bloodstream and could cause other serious health problems. And we haven’t even mentioned the daily, debilitating pain. How often should I feed my puppy/adult dog? Some are picky eaters and some are non- stop eaters, how do you suggest managing this to keep their pet’s weight under control? We typically recommend feeding puppies three times per day until 16 weeks of age and then transition to twice a day feeding. It’s best to designate specific mealtimes as opposed to grazing as grazing can lead to obesity. However, some dogs prefer to graze and these are not typically the overeaters. Are treats ok and if so how often? Treats are always okay in moderation! Pets love a good snack, but many treats are high in sugars and fats. For canines, instead of cookie-style treats, give them baby carrots, celery, cucumbers, and string beans. But with any treats, moderation is key. If my dog or cat doesn’t feel well and you are closed, where should I go? Pets are not always sick at most convenient times. Tam Even our companion animals need companions. With so many more pets added to our lives during this pandemic, it’s vital to be sure they are protected in every way. Credit Tran Mau Tri Tam
If you experience a pet health emergency outside of our office hours, please contact The Animal Medical Center of NYC at (212) 838-8100 or BluePearl Pet Hospital, Downtown NYC location at 212.924.3311. •
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KITTY HIDEAWAYS – WHY CATS NEED TO HIDE! By Monie Schulling
our kitty having a safe hiding place is very pawsitive! Dr. Lynn Bahr, feline veterinarian and founder of Dezi & Roo (deziroo.com), stresses the importance of allowing cats to hide as it keeps their minds and bodies active, as she explains, “cat owners need to understand the importance of providing hiding places as a means of adding environmental enrichment into the lives of indoor cats. Hiding is fun for cats! They can hide from their cat parents, play hide and seek, and burrow away into a comfortable, dark, cozy, well- protected spot to get some good deep sleep.” • Hiding helps cats cope with noise, commotion, people, strangers, and other stressful situations. • Fearful cats almost always look for places to hide. The cat that feels backed in a corner without any choice is the cat that lashes out or bites. Hiding offers cats the opportunity to retreat rather than attack. • Sick cats prefer dark, quiet hiding places where they feel less vulnerable to threats and can take time to heal undisturbed. Cats who are not feeling well often hide in order to conserve energy or avoid pain. • Feeling safe hiding allows cats to sleep more deeply, which is good for their health.
Frisco 33-in Faux Fur Cat Tree & Condo This tower has everything your kitty needs to hide, snuggle, play, and scratch with two private condos, perches and scratching posts. Info: chewy.com
I’ve seen frantic posts in lost pet groups where owners are sure their cats somehow got out only to get an update hours later they were found…in the house! The owners organized a neighborhood search party, looked in sheds, garages, trees, searched inside and outside and found no kitty. They had even gone so far as to put the litter box outside plus smelly food. Giving up for the night, exhausted and discouraged, owners walk into their house and there was a well-rested Bootsie meowing loudly in the kitchen because they are late feeding him! Of course; Bootsie is not giving up where he was hiding for the last five hours! Before Bootsie gets lost again, be sure to set up several hiding spots for your cat.
Frisco Novelty Shark Covered Cat & Dog Bed A cozy Fin-Tasy Shark covered cat bed. Super padded hiding spot and retreat with a removable cushion so you can flatten the bed for travel. Info: chewy.com
Hide and Sneak by Dezi & Roo Hide and Sneak combines the fun of a tunnel and a crinkling cardboard catnip infused bag for a safe, relaxing and cozy hideaway. Info: deziroo.com
HUNTER AND HUNTED
Cats are hunters and survive in the wild by eating birds, rabbits and mice. Cats are also the hunted by larger animals such as coyotes, wolves, hawks and eagles. Cats instinctively want to find a safe hiding space and get up high where bigger animals cannot ascend so they can sleep their 16-22 hours day safely. Coyotes continue to hunt further into urban areas as we build in their habitats. They prey on our small companion animals in the back yards so please keep your kitties indoors for their safety. I work with several rescues helping to save strays. Just as soon as we find the mom’s hiding place for the kittens she moves them. Stray or Feral moms are very adept at hiding kittens from predators.
Even with a loving dynamic between your cats where they cuddle together in the sun or otherwise hang out in harmony, they still need their own individual space they can mark with their scent and relax. If there is a conflict or tension between your animals, it’s essential to maintain serenity by giving each cat a space they can call their own. Cats mark their scents by scratching with their paws and rubbing items with the scent glands on their face. They want soft, warm beds and they want to smell their own scent for comfort. For a more submissive cat; less stress often means being able to get up high where the more aggressive cat (or dog) cannot reach them. Hiding spaces such as a box, a cat tree with a house or a tunnel will also make them feel secure. Dezi & Roo addresses this need with The Hide and Sneak Unique Cat Toy Tunnel has a cardboard opening front and back is the perfect place to hide for a new kitty. Plus they can mark their scent on it too. And It’s big enough to put their food in making it a great multi-purpose toy.
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THE BOARDING HOUSE THE PERFECT DOG FRIENDLY GETAWAY By Pamela Smythe Woods
After months of isolation, we decided that a pre-back-to-school getaway was in order. The kids insisted we bring our dog, Scrappy. So where to go? Not too far and dog friendly for sure. We decided on The Boarding House in Cape May, New Jersey. SURF’S UP!
Kitties blossom with Square Paws imaginative cat towers which allow them to climb and hide. Info: squarepaws.com
NEW CATS OR KITTENS Per Dr. Lynn Bahr, DVM, “First impressions count!” How you introduce cats into your home and to existing pets can make or break the relationship. When you bring a new kitty home for the first time; start them off in a smaller space with a hiding spot so they are not fearful of the new environment. Fearful kitties will hiss, swipe and bite. Newly arrived kitties are in a strange place, with new people and possibly the scents of other cats and dogs. They need time to get used to you and the environment. You will have the most success in integrating a new cat to your family and existing pets if you go at their pace.
Scrappy gave this hotel five stars the moment he arrived. He was promptly catered to with chilled water, so refreshing on one of the last summer days, complimentary custom-made peanut butter and bacon treats from local vendor Black Sheep Dog Treats, he wolfed these down in an instant and when he learned he could have a seat at the table too at Harry’s Ocean Bar and Grille, a dogfriendly restaurant on the Cape May beachfront, well, he was in heaven and the kids were too. Of course, being busy pet parents we forgot where we packed the doggie waste bags so we were glad they were provided by The Boarding House. After an afternoon swimming in the surf, Scrappy was a salty dog for sure so we were glad to know about nearby Muddy Paws self-service dog wash and boutique. We were glad to know dog walking services were also available upon request. No doubt about it The Boarding House team pulls out all the stops for their four-legged guests, they have welcomed more than 140 furry friends since they opened last summer.
CHANGE IN HIDING BEHAVIOR If your cat seems out of sorts and is hiding more than normal, is not eating or has a change in behavior; it is wise to enlist the help of a Veterinarian to ensure your kitty is not ill or under considerable stress. Any change in environment; a new home, new cat, new dog, new baby, new partner, neighbors with barking dogs, illness, age, and many other factors can cause a change in hiding behavior. Be aware of your kitty’s typical conduct and seek help from your Veterinarian if anything changes.
GREAT HIDEAWAY AND CLIMBING TOWERS YOUR CATS WILL LOVE!
According to Architect Mario Arbore the designer behind Squarepaws.com which sells fantastic custom, made-to-order cat towers, “When designing for cats that like to hide, it’s always important to provide for a minimum space of a 13-inch diameter circle. This gives the cat enough room to curl up in a ball. It’s also good for the cat to have two exits from that ‘cave’ space, and to allow the kitty to see out of the cave. In a multi-pet household, sometimes there can be competition for that space, especially if there are multiple cats. It’s good for them to feel they can escape if a fight breaks out. Also, having a hiding space that’s elevated is important for cats. They can retreat from a dog or cat in the home and sleep peacefully.” •
A DOG’S TOWN
Scrappy was pleased to see The Boarding House was located right across from the Lafayette Street Dog Park, he got extra exercise while the kids explored the hotel - fun and surf-inspired in blues, greens and neutral sand tones. “Cape May is one of the most walkable, dog-friendly vacation destinations in New Jersey,” said Boarding Hotel co-owner Jonathan Hirsch. After a long weekend, we promised Scrappy we’d be back soon. Pulling away, we glanced back at the soft landscape architecture that echoes the surrounding beauty of Cape May. Dog-friendly rooms can only be booked via phone: 609884-4884. For more information about Boarding House, visit boardinghousecapemay.com •
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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GRAIN-FREE DOG FOOD By Ann Hohenhaus, DMV, DACVIM (SAIM, Oncology), Animal Medical Center in NYC
hen the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began an investigation into diet-related heart disease in dogs, I suspect most dog owners were surprised to learn that a grain-free diet, one thought to be a healthy diet, may play a role in the development of heart disease in their dogs. More than two years later, no firm conclusions have been made regarding diet and heart disease. A recent review article in the Journal of Animal Science argues there is not an association between diet and canine heart disease and calls for additional studies into the issue. We asked Dr. Ann Hohenhaus, staff oncologist and internist, at the world-renowned Animal Medical Center in NYC to share important information you need to know about grain-free diets for your dog.
Dr. Philip Fox, Staff Doctor and Head of Cardiology at NYC’s Animal Medical Center www.amcny.org examines a dog.
THREE MAIN TYPES OF HEART DISEASE Veterinarians diagnose three main types of heart disease in dogs. • The most common is degeneration of the valves between the chambers of the heart, leading to congestive heart failure. • The least common form is congenital heart abnormalities. This form of heart disease might be considered a birth defect. • Sick cats prefer dark, quiet hiding places where they feel less vulnerable to threats and can take time to heal undisturbed. Cats who are not feeling well often hide in order to conserve energy or avoid pain. • The third form of canine heart disease is an abnormality of the heart muscle called dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and is the form of heart disease being investigated by the FDA.
DIAGNOSING DCM - CANINE HEART DISEASE Canine DCM is a disease of a dog’s heart muscle and results in an enlarged heart that can be seen with a chest x-ray. The enlargement is due to thinning of the heart muscle, making the pumping action of the heart ineffective, leading to a buildup of fluids in the lungs and congestive heart failure. DCM frequently is identified in certain breeds of dogs. Those that are typically more frequently affected by DCM include large and giant breed dogs, such as Great Danes, Boxers, Newfoundlands, UNDERLYING CAUSE OF DCM Irish Wolfhounds, Saint Bernards, and Doberman Pinschers. There are also two small breed dogs prone to DCM, American The underlying cause of DCM is not truly known, but in those breeds frequently affected, veterinary cardiologists suspect a genetic and English Cocker Spaniels. component. DCM cannot be cured, but medications may improve the The FDA initiated the investigation into diet-related heart dog’s condition. A diet change may help dogs eating a diet suspected disease in dogs because veterinary cardiologists identified DCM to be associated with DCM, but many of these dogs will still require in breeds not appearing on the list above. The cases that have medications. been reported to the FDA have included Golden and Labrador Retrievers, Whippets, a Shih Tzu, a Bulldog, and Miniature Because of data reported by the FDA, veterinarians continue to be concerned about heart health in dogs eating grain free diets. Better Schnauzers, as well as mixed breed dogs. data collection is clearly needed since the FDA data depended The FDA investigation included interviews of families of on owner reporting of affected dogs and was not collected using a recently diagnosed dogs They reported their dog’s diet scientific method. contained potatoes or multiple legumes such as peas, lentils, other “pulses” (seeds of legumes), and their protein, starch and ASK YOUR VET ABOUT YOUR DOG’S DIET fiber derivatives early in the ingredient list, indicating that they If you are worried about your dog’s diet, check with your veterinarian are main ingredients. High levels of legumes or potatoes appear before changing his diet. The FDA encourages dog owners and to be more common in diets labeled as “grain-free,” but it is veterinary professionals to report cases of DCM suspected of having not yet known how or if these ingredients are linked to cases a link to diet by using the electronic Safety Reporting Portal or calling of DCM. their state’s FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators. •
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FIVE BASICS FOR YOUR BEGINNER AT-HOME AQUARIUM By Matt Leighton of vivofish.com
f yo u’re l o ok ing to get started in the fishkeeping hobby, there are some basics you need to understand before you invest your time and money into this wonderful experience. You don’t want to wind up with the wrong equipment, fish species, aquarium type, or other issues from the get-go. Take some time to study these matters to fully understand before you go out and buy your first fish tank and guppies. You might discover some presuppositions may not be quite as accurate as you thought.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT FISH
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT LANDSCAPING MATERIALS
Choosing fish for your aquarium seems like a simple enough matter, but it’s actually a rather complex thing – and having the wrong species Once you’ve decided on the fish you’ll stock in your aquarium, housed together could cause some real issues. it’s important to know which landscaping materials you’ll use and gather these together before buying your first fish. First, you need to decide if you’re going to keep a freshwater or marine fish tank. Will that freshwater tank be cold water or tropical? CHOOSING PLANTS Make sure that the plants you choose for your aquarium are Each fish species has a specific set of parameters that must be met, from suitable for the species of fish you keep. This means that the pH levels to salinity, temperatures, and hardness of water. plants aren’t toxic for your species, won’t be overly harmed by nibblers like goldfish, and require similar lighting settings to Some also need more specific equipment than others. For example, some your species. species do best with CO2 injections, while others don’t. Some species do well with lots of live plants, while others do not. Some need many hiding Most plants require medium to high levels of light. Some places while others require specific types of rocks and substrate. require planted substrate types, while others are floating plants. Make sure that the general makeup of the plants matches the Some species are also extremely challenging to care for, have special overall makeup of your aquarium. dietary needs, or are prone to certain kinds of illnesses that a newbie aquarist isn’t prepared to handle easily. CHOOSING SUBSTRATE Our recommendations for a beginning aquarist include:
Gravel, sand, river rocks, bare bottoms – these are all different types of “bottoms” for your aquarium. Some fish do well with gravel, while others need sand. Some will eat gravel or sand and can have only larger pebbles or stones or empty bottoms in their aquariums.
• Easy care level fish • Fresh, cold water aquariums • Hardy species • Budget-friendly fish • Fish that don’t require large aquariums (over 35 gallons) – be Study up on your fish species before purchasing anything to verify that the different species you’re stocking can handle absolutely sure to specify and appreciate the type(s) of substrate you’re interested in • Fish that don’t require specialty equipment acquiring. • Fish species that pair well with each other
Décor items can be a fun part of your aquarium setup. These items can include things like sunken ships, driftwood logs, “caves,” overturned flowerpots, and any other number of items that add some pizazz to the aquarium landscape. Avoid using any décor items that have broken, jagged, or sharp edges. Fish fins and tails can snag on them and get cut and little fish bodies can be pierced or otherwise damaged as well. • SEPTEMBER 2020
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IT’S A BIRD’S LIFE
TOP TEN TOYS & TREATS FOR FEATHERED FRIENDS By Chris Minton
irst of all let me introduce myself, though you may know me as an actor, I have appeared on Saturday Night Live (Daniel Craig is my man! What a co-star!) and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, among other stellar productions. I must reveal that I consider myself an expert on bird toys, food, and treats. You may ask “why?” Well, not only because of my extensive, almost twenty years of experience shredding every type of toy and turning my beak up at most food, but also as a nineteen (and a half) year old cockatoo with a discerning—some might say picky—palate, and voracious— some might say destructive—appetite for toys, I’ve sampled every type of bird toy or treat on the market. I know what I like, as does my well trained human personal assistant/ momager who does all the ordering and shopping for me. To that end, the reviews that follow are topflight you could say, coming from a celebrity cockatoo, if I do say so myself. ENTERTAINING THE ENTERTAINER As a personality of note, I have a very busy lifestyle. I don’t have time to waste on products that aren’t beak-worthy. As an animal actor and model (you may know me by my stage name, Chris The Cockatoo), I need to stay fit and trim. How do I manage this feat? Certainly with an abundance of enriching toys of varying shapes, colors and materials but truly, it’s a variety of foods that nourishes my toned physique and keeps my octane energy level soaring. My momager also makes sure my natural foraging instinct is met daily. Below, in no particular order, are ten of my top picks for keeping a bird - like myself - mentally and physically healthy.
IN THE TOY CHEST Beadalicious Bar & All Corked Up Foot Toys from Birdie Box (birdieboxbirdtoys.com) Foot toys are my life. I spend most of the day playing. I favor foot toys because taking them into corners and shredding them into splinters is a riot. These toys are exceptional, love the visual appeal and texture of colorful beads and soft corks. I’m currently working on destroying two of them. FeatherSmart Large Play Links (chewy.com) True confessions, three of the four-pack here are destroyed so far. So cool to use one toy to dig or splinter my other toys. Perfection! Loving the colors and the beads on each one, great joy comes when I ultimately break the link part. Easy for me to hold in my foot, I wave them around, my trademark move.
Super Bird Creations Bagel Cascade Hanging Toy (chewy.com) What a hot combo: cardboard bagels and plastic clips. It is a thrill to strip off the colored paper on the outer edge of the bagels and then pull the cardboard apart. I am crazy for those clips. I like unhooking them, waving them around and throwing them. Admittedly, great quality and provides hours of enrichment.
Chris in the Chewy box with his FeatherSmart Play Link
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Paper Party Junior Hanging Toy by Birdie Box (birdieboxbirdtoys.com) This toy is a party in my beak! Beautifully constructed and colorful, it provides a variety of materials for me to shred including woven bamboo finger traps, cardboard squares and cupcake paper. Currently hanging on my porch swing, I play with it while I enjoy lazy days and fresh air. I also love that Birdie Box donates heavily to bird rescues. Chris playing with the Birdie Box Paper Party toy
Big Mac Hanging Toy from Birdie Box (birdieboxbirdtoys.com) Another fabulous hanging toy from Birdie Box. This one is for seriously big beaks that need to chew a lot. Made of richly colorful pine wood blocks in different thicknesses, hung on your choice of chain or natural sisal rope, this toy offers me hours of chewing.
Bonka Bird Toy Helix (chewy.com) Being a prolific shredder, this toy is a great fit: lots to shred. A chewable natural vine ladder provides easy gripping or climbing (for a smaller bird). It’s covered in bamboo finger traps in various colors to keep me busy for several hours. The finger traps make a crinkly sound when I crunch on them. For added fun, get a human to put her fingers inside then chomp away.
Super Bird Creations Paper Party (chewy.com) Doing double duty, this is a toy and a perch for me. Such fun to chew on the pretty colored rolled paper sticks, standing on them helps me reach my hanging toys. My momager hangs small toy parts and bird safe beads on the sticks every day. I find them and pull them off, such fun! When the sticks are destroyed, I munch on the wood block base until I get a new one.
The Birdie Box Cork Board IN THE PANTRY (birdieboxbirdtoys.com) Zupreem Food & Snack Blends A cork lover’s dream! I’m going to town on the corks, (zupreem.com) digging them out and chewing them up. The wood Since I was a baby, Zupreem pellets have been a fave. My vets have always said base is also chewable, of course, for a giant beak. Love they are the best! Full of vitamins and minerals to keep me healthy, not to mention this combo of hard wood and soft cork. colorful and tasty, I am crazy for FruitBlend. At first, I ate only the purple (grape shape), but now that my palate has matured, I eat all the colors, foraging for my favorites first. The pellet blends come in a variety of flavors (fruit, veggie, nut, pasta, etc.) and sizes to accommodate every bird. There are also snack blends of dried fruits, dried veggies and nuts. I’ve been a Zupreem eater for nineteen and a half years and still going strong!
Chris checking out the Birdie Box toys upon arrival
Nutri-Berries & Avi-Cakes from Lafeber are a daily addition to Chris’ diet
A smorgasbord of dietary choices from ZuPreem
Lafeber Nutri-Berries & Avi-Cakes (lafeber.com) Nutri-Berries and Avi-Cakes are complete nutrition bird foods that I have been eating since I was very young. I get several Nutri-berries every day, usually first thing in the morning while the human (aka momager) feeds the cat. I like the Classic, Tropical, Sunny Orchard and Garden Veggie flavors. All are packed with seeds and grains; foraging for safflower seeds is a joy. My favorite at the moment is the Sunny Orchard, moist, chewy, and delicious. Being a celebrity and a health-conscious one at that, I bring Nutri-Berries on set with me. Avi-Cakes, are also chewy and delish, a tasty “must” for sure. Every day I get these yummy treats as a snack, I get hungry during my afternoon playtime. The classic flavor is my favorite. I take my Avi-Cake and sit on my jungle gym and regenerate. I have no worries about safety or quality as Lafeber was founded by veterinarians and my vets recommend the products. Do follow me on TikTok or Instagram @christhecockatoo for my latest star turns and of course, insights into my fave pet toys and treats. Ciao, Ciao! xoxo Chris The Cockatoo. • SEPTEMBER 2020
PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 25
HELP FOR THE HUNTING DOGS OF SPAIN ONCE THE PRIDE OF KINGS NOW THE GALGOS ESPAÑOL ARE NEGLECTED By Michael LaChance
orn and bred to hunt hare in Spain, you can trace the rich history of the Spanish sighthound, the Galgo Español to the 16th century. Initially, as Travis Patenaude, founder of Love Hope Believe Galgo Adoption, tells us, “If anyone stole or killed a Galgo, they would be punished with death.” Now, an estimated 100,000 of these elegant and kind dogs, Spanish Greyhounds, are abandoned or killed each year. Marylou Hecht, USA Director at Galgos del Sol says, “Through the decades, Galgos became the property of lower class hunters. During hunting season, they’re kept in outhouses and fed bread and water. The Galgueros (hunters) believe starvation makes them better at hunting.” In search of a champion, Travis says they also mass breed them. None of this will surprise those familiar with Spanish hunting culture, which Petra Postma, founder of Save a Galgo Espanol (SAGE) tells us is deep-rooted. “Hunting with dogs, ferrets, birds of prey, you name it, you can find it in Spain,” she says, explaining that until about 25 years ago, awareness was limited. The word spread thanks to the internet, and snowbirds (foreigners who spent winters on Spanish coasts) who encountered abandoned Galgos. “Now, we know Spain has a horrible problem — it is no longer hidden,” she says. Spanish Greyhounds known as Galgos once prized by royalty are now abandoned by hunters in Spain. The number of these elegant, loving dogs left to die at the end of the season is staggering. ©Petra Postma
Galgos Rescue Groups are trying to save as many of these dogs as possible before they are treated without mercy by Spanish hunters. There may be protection laws but they are not enforced. ©Petra Postma
THE STORY SO FAR Hunting season in Spain runs from September to February. After it’s over, Charlotte del Rio, founder of 112 Carlota Galgos, says these dogs are neglected, malnourished, and suffer from diseases basic vaccinations could prevent. The overbreeding Travis told us about is why so many dogs are abandoned, some even before the season. Hunters try to find ‘the one’, often favor females and get more selective closer to roughterrain hunting season. From a large litter, just one or two are used. Marylou tells us that as soon as February 1, “Hunters either bring them to kill stations, throw them in drywells, wire their mouths shut so they starve to death in the country, or abandon them.” And what about animal protection laws? Like most countries in Europe, Spain does have them. However, when it comes to Galgos, these are rarely, if ever, implemented, in part, because they’re often not considered pets. And, Charlotte says you can’t always call the police as, “unless a microchip is found no action can be taken.” In any case the microchip, Petra says, is usually cut out. “Even with severe abuse, rescues are helpless because there are no witnesses,” she adds. Efforts to save them exist, but need help since, as Petra explains, “Estimates by rescues in Spain say at least 50,000 Galgos are discarded annually; the number is likely higher.” The Galgos are, sadly, the worst treated canine in several countries. However, as Charlotte puts it, “Spain is the only country in Europe which still allows hunting hares with Galgos.” With all the awareness being raised, there’s hope that this will change.
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RESCUE EFFORTS ABOUND Even though the law rarely acts in favor of the Galgos, associations like the ones we spoke to help rescue them — either directly from Galgueros, or from streets or hovels.
The beauty of Galgos is celebrated by the photography of Travis Patenaude who helps raise money for rescue efforts through his extraordinary work
Travis and his wife were part of a Greyhound adoption group for twelve years before he read about the Galgos. In October 2012, they adopted Leena from SOS Galgos in Barcelona. After learning more about Leena’s life in Spain they decided to start an adoption group called Love Hope Believe Galgo Adoption. “Since we started, we’ve transported 140 Galgos to Chicago,” Travis says. He’s also learned photography to raise awareness. For Petra, it began over twenty years ago, in her home country, the Netherlands — where strays and shelters are rare. Her family didn’t initially think shelter dogs were ideal with their 4-year-old son. But, as Petra says, “We saw articles about sighthounds in Spain that needed rescue. Within three months, we welcomed our first Galgo Español, and never looked back.” This Galgo was Isa, a wonderful companion with what Petra tells us was the sweetest disposition. “I became involved with the Dutch rescue organization for ten years, ending up as president. Then, ten years ago we moved (dogs included) to South Central Pennsylvania.” Of RECENT COMPLICATIONS course, her rescue years were far from over. It’s here that SAGE was born. While these wonderful efforts have been largely successful, the Covid19 pandemic has been a hiccup. Charlotte tells us that the plight of the Galgo was a calling she couldn’t ignore. It With several services across the world closed, led her to start 112 Carlota Galgos, where, she says, “I promised I’d work to try Charlotte says her operation is lucky to have a clinic to save and protect them. Here they come to safety, warmth, and love. Some take on-site. Many don’t have this option. years to rehabilitate from the abuse. They’re a serene breed with such a purity of forgiveness, and make incredible therapy and house pets. Once you let a Galgo Petra tells us about unexpected problems related to into your heart you’re stuck — they stay there forever! They’re the most resilient rescue, and says shelters in Spain are full. “Fundación dogs I’ve ever met.” Benjamin Mehnert (FBM), one of the shelters we work with, stretched their capacity to 600 dogs, 80% It was similarly personal for animal lover Tina Solera, founder of Galgos del Sol, of them Galgos. At SAGE too, until borders open, 18 who moved to Spain with her family in 2007. Marylou tells us, “When Tina moved Galgos due to travel to the US have to stay in Spain.” to Spain, she kept seeing these dogs on the side of the road. The police didn’t do anything, simply said don’t worry about it. She’s an athlete, with no background Petra and Charlotte both say this means there in animal rescue. Still, she couldn’t ignore their plight and began to rescue them, are currently no adoptions, no volunteers, and one by one, until there were thirteen, then rented a space to continue. Six or seven low rations. In this current climate, it’s even more years ago, she finally bought land to start a rescue centre, which now has over 200.” important to lend a hand! •
LEND A HAND Love Hope Believe Galgo Adoption: Adopt a Galgo if you can but if not, raise money, or donate martingale collars and large coats. Or, help escort dogs out of Spain. More: www.adoptagalgo.com
This soulful beauty is healthy and happy thanks to Galgos Rescue initiatives. Destined to be a family pet, days of being starved to be a better hunter are behind this Spanish Greyhound. ©Petra Postma
Save A Galgo Espanol (SAGE): Over the years, SAGE has been involved with rescue and support of Galgos. Financial donations help SAGE support Spanish shelters directly. You can adopt, foster, help them fly crates to Madrid, or fly back with a rescue — at no cost to you. More: www.sagehounds.com 112 CARLOTA GALGOS: 112 Carlota Galgos is a sanctuary run by Charlotte’s family where Galgos have all comfort and clinical needs met. They depend on donations and volunteers. More: www.112carlotagalgos.com GALGOS DEL SOL: Galgos del Sol ensures Galgos are ready for adoption. Marylou tells us that they also have educational programs. Among these, one for grade schoolers to learn about how to treat and approach Galgos. They have a robust international volunteer program and rely on volunteer help. You can also help with donations, or by raising awareness. More: www.galgodelsol.org
FACES OF RESCUE Travis uses photography to raise money through books, prints, and calendars. Pick up Faces of Rescue, which includes beautiful portraits of elegant Galgos rescued from Spain. He tells us, “Each portrait shows their loving personality, beauty, and past and is accompanied by a story about the dog from their adoptive family.” Pick it up: www.blurb.com/user/patenaudet SEPTEMBER 2020
PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 27
THE FANTASTIC FINNEGAN FOX AND HIS SAVEAFOX FRIENDS By Samuel Hinke
ho is Finnegan Fox? He’s no George Clooney, but still a very handsome boy. As the unofficial mascot of SaveAFox, Finnegan Fox has been able to generate a great deal of interest in a subject most people do not even think about. Perhaps I should start at the beginning. One day while perusing YouTube for only the finest content (i.e. adorable and funny animal videos) I came across a masterpiece titled “Dixiedo fox runs away with my phone”. One minute and twenty-three seconds was all it took for me to become enthralled by this creator. Who was she, why was this fox named Dixiedo, and how could I see more. I was not disappointed by what I found. Enter Mikayla Raines, fox enthusiast and epitome of human selflessness. But who is she really? Remember when you were a kid and wanted an exotic pet that your parents never got for you? For most of us the story ends there, but not for Mikayla Raines. When she met her very first fox at age 15 while volunteering for a wildlife rehabber, there was no going back. What started as simply a love for foxes became much more when, in 2015, she was given her first furry friend, Farrah Foxett. It was a captive born red fox pup, and captive born foxes are not legally allowed to be wild. Although not a true ‘rescue’ Mikayla dedicated her time to bottle feeding and raising this adorable creature. It would not have been right to deny the world knowledge of this little cutie, so Mikayla began sharing the story of Ms Foxett to anyone and everyone who would listen. Her social media presence eventually caught the eye of fur farmers. This was the true beginning of the SaveAFox rescue. You see, foxes who are ill, injured, too old, or, in this case, rejected by their mother as pups at these installations have nowhere to go. Knowing that she was already caring for a fox, they contacted Mikayla and asked her to take three of them. SaveAFox grew from one woman caring for a pup to a fully- fledged animal rescue with several employees, volunteers and host to fifty animals at any given time including foxes, horses, cats, chinchillas, mink, opossum, coyote, racoon, and reptiles. A rather large assortment of animals no doubt, but Mikayla makes it her mission to give her rescue friends the best lives they can have. Her large backyard in Minnesota is fenced off into several sections, appropriately referred to as “fox yards”. Each fox has enough room to run and play to their heart’s content, and most have one to several other foxes to socialize with. Certain foxes with special needs get their own fox yards too. The so-called “tripod foxes”, or foxes with a missing or damaged limb, are placed in the same yard. It takes only one video to see that these differently abled foxes are happy to be a part of Mikayla’s life, and vice versa. 28 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE
Most of these animals are wild by nature, and need only a few minutes of socialization with her before they are satisfied, running off to do their own thing. To this end, Mikayla has had to adapt her schedule to that of the animals; “I am definitely crepuscular like the Red and Arctic foxes. My normal sleep hours are typically 5am-12pm, but this also depends on the season. During pup season when I am bottle raising I have to feed the pups every 3-4 hours. The Grey foxes’ most active hours are between 4am and 6am so they will occasionally wake me.” She has even gained the ability to mimic their fox calls with near perfect accuracy. Half the time when you are watching a video you will not know if it is her or the foxes laughing. Mikayla adores all of her animals, that much is clear. Not only does she raise some of these pups quite literally by hand, but she takes the time to nurture each and every one. Each new fox gets trained 1on1 with Mikayla before they can spend time outside in the fox yard. She must teach them the word “treat” as a way to entice them back into their cages at night. Raw chicken tends to be the go to for these treats. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to an entire year before the foxes are trained enough to get daily yard time. You can change the life of a furry creature forever by one of three ways; donation, sponsorship, and/or adoption. The first is donation. Organizations like these live on donations, and caring for fifty animals at a time is certainly a costly endeavor. Habitats need constant maintenance, foxes need medical care, and do not even get me started on food. You can visit saveafox.org/donate to help out today.
Reptiles too are welcomed at SaveAFox.
If you want a more direct contribution, consider sponsorship. Sponsoring one of the animals at SaveAFox allows your money to go directly to their care and needs. As a sponsor you will have partial ownership and be consulted for future decisions about the animal’s life. Unlike donation, sponsorship is a commitment. Monthly donations are required in order to provide the best possible life for your furry new friend. Of course, if you ever find yourself unable to continue sponsorship that is ok. All help is appreciated, no matter the duration. This brings us to our final option: adoption. Now we get to a very important part of this article. For those thinking they are going to go out and adopt a fox after reading this article, I urge you to consider some things. These are wild animals by nature, through and through. They can be domesticated to some extent, but will always have that side to them. Playtime can turn into roughhousing if you are not careful, and potty training will not stop them from ‘marking their territory’ every now and again. All that being said, SaveAFox encourages adoption of all their animals if you are knowledgeable and willing to take care of them.
Finnegan Fox with Save A Fox Rescue founder Mikayla Raines.
If you get nothing else from this article at least remember that there is someone out there caring for, and sharing her love of, adorable furry foxes for all to see. • SEPTEMBER 2020
PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 29
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