Does Your Dog Have A Lot of Gas?











Perhaps you think that dealing with gassy odor is the price you pay for loving your dog – so you wear nose plugs after your dog eats, accept that your guests won’t ever stay very long, spend a lot of money on air fresheners or push your dog out the door, and try not to feel guilty that your pup spends most of its time sitting outside, looking woefully back in through the windows at you and your family.

You do not have to live this way. Passing the occasional gas is fairly normal for both humans and canines, but if it’s excessive, then it needs to be addressed and can be fixed. 

Flatulence is a result of gasses that accumulate in the digestive tract and there are a number of reasons why this may happen. Your dog may be swallowing a lot of air by gulping their food, if they eat too quickly. Then your dog either will burp or let it out the other end but usually the gas that comes out this way does not have a strong odor. There can be medical reasons. You will want to rule out intestinal parasites, such as worms. If you suspect your dog could be sick, your Vet will run tests on its stool.

However – the most common cause of a lot of gas that smells bad is your dog’s diet.  You may be feeding your dog a food that creates the conditions which make him excessively gassy.  

NutriSource pet foods are highly digestible and are known to reduce gas and loose stools – so much that they guarantee it.  If your dog has gas and loose stools due to a diet issue and it doesn’t improve after feeding our food, take the food back to the store where you bought it, and you’ll get your money back.

What is it about NutriSource pet foods that helps with gassy odor?  Their “Good 4 Life system” ensures good gut health and proper digestion of your dogs meals. The  patented, prebiotic (Bio-Mos®) simultaneously promotes good bacteria and eliminates bad bacteria, while the patented, probiotic, (Yea-Sacc®) helps maintain the proper PH balance of bacteria in the gut.  Together, these two ingredients ensure a robust gut flora to provide complete digestion and absorption of nutrients. Having your pet’s meal fully digested BEFORE it reaches the colon allows the colon to do what it was designed to do – absorb, rather than become an incubator for undissolved nutrients to ferment and create smelly gasses.  

Try a bag of NutriSource, Pure Vita or Natural Planet dog foods and see if it doesn’t take care of the problem.  Happy smelling house again! 

Here is where to find the closest store to you that sells our food.


Raising Your Paws Podcast – Episode 22.

Title  – Finding Places You Can Shop or Grab a Beer With Your Dog & Help Your Pets Handle the Move to the New House.

When you’re out with your dog, don’t you wish at times that both of you could stop in to that cool looking shop you see, or eat at that yummy looking restaurant?  There is an online resource where you can find local places that are dog friendly.  Ali Jarvis, the founder of Sidewalk Dog Media, and I talk about some of the larger chain stores that allow dogs, and Ali explains why breweries are a perfect place to take your dog.

Next, moving to a new home is exciting yet stressful for you and your pet. In this episode, hear what you can do to help make the transition smoother for your dog so that they don’t think they will be abandoned in the new strange place.

Then, make sure you do these things to ensure your cat will not be totally freaked out and hide for a week after moving into the new home.

Resources for this episode:

Website:  Sidewalk

Sidewalk Dog Blog.

Sniff out Sidewalk Dog on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Ali Jarvis, Founder, CEO of Sidewalk Dog Media.

Dr. Karen Becker Article – Moving to a New Home with Your Dog? Avoid These Mistakes.

If you like this podcast please tell your friends. Thank you!


Counting calories and Catching Yawns?

Is it possible that when your dog yawns, it may have caught it from you?

Listen to this weeks episode of the Raising Your Paws Podcast – number 21, to hear more about the phenomenon of contagious yawns.

Also, just like it is helpful for you to know how many calories you can eat in a day to maintain your weight, this is also true for your pets.

All pet foods list how many calories are in the food, usually listed by the cup. But how does one know how many calories per day to feed a dog or cat?

Hear what Dr. Aldrich, a professor at Kansas State University who teaches about Pet nutrition says about the value of knowing how many calories to feed on episode 21.

It is a complicated equation so there are Pet food calorie calculators on the web that help you figure this out. Try googling more than one to get a better estimate of what is accurate for your cat or dog.

Resources for Raising Your Paws, episode 21.

Dr. Greg Aldrich.

Title: How To Keep Your Dog at Its Ideal Weight & Improve the Odds That Your Cat Won’t Become a Picky Eater.

Guest, Dr. Greg Aldrich, PhD.  Kansas State University: Pet Food Program Website Page.


Win a free bag of the new Pure Vita dog or cat freeze dried treats.  Submit a comment about what you’d like to hear on a future episode of Raising Your Paws podcast to    We’ll randomly select 5 comments to win.

Please support this podcast by subscribing and telling your friends. To subscribe on iTunes to hear each episode, here is the link.

What to Know About Where Your Pet Food Comes From.

In this week’s episode of Raising Your Paws Podcast, Number 20, we were talking about who comes up  with the recipes for your pet’s meals.

You can hear this episode by clicking this link.

Speaking about the origins of things, “Know Your Source” is the NutriSource Pet Foods, tag line.  What does this mean exactly?

It’s you knowing:

Nelson Family

1.  Who is making the food your pet will eat  and knowing some things about them.

2.  Where the food is being made.

3.  What are the ingredients that provide the proper nutrition, health benefits and good taste for your pet.

4.  Where the ingredients are coming or sourced from.

5.  How the food is made.

Here’s the who.

It’s the Nelson family.  They are the owners of Tuffy’s Pet Foods, and the whole kit and kaboodle, the people, the pets and the plant are all up in Perham, Minnesota. That’s about three hours north of Minneapolis.

The Nelsons, manufacture all of the three brands, NutriSource, Pure Vita and Natural Planet Pet foods for dogs and cats and they own the plant. Yay for excellent quality control!

From the NutriSource Pet Food website, here is a bit of their story.

“We are three generations of families located in Perham, Minnesota producing healthy pet foods since 1964. Here is our story – we hope you will be part of our future.

Our story starts in a tree. When Darryl Nelson (our founder) was a boy, he suffered a fall from a tree that most young kids would have been sent to the doctor. Instead, he brushed himself off and kept right on playing earning him the nickname “Tuffy”. The name stuck, and in 1964, Darryl and his son Kenny started Tuffy’s Pet Foods. Now Kenny’s son Charlie is at the helm, working side by side with generations of other Perham families.

Tuffy’s Pet Foods exemplifies the heart of Perham and small towns everywhere: compassion, integrity, and a deep-rooted sense of community guide our choices. Being family owned means we can make decisions based on what’s best for our employees, our community and our ultimate customer—family pets!

When you travel through the region, we hope you will stop and learn what makes Perham, MN unique. Charlie Nelson would tell you it is the community of families, working side by side, for generations, dedicated to producing pet foods for the long term health of family pets that sets Tuffy’s Pet Foods apart.”

Here is the link to their website page about the family and their history that lets you know a little more about them.

I’ll write more in future blogs so you know some really cool things about why the pet food plant is the state-of-the-art, what makes some of the ingredients so special and the actual community outreach activities that the Nelsons are involved with and care about.


Additional Resources for the Podcast Episode Number 20.

Title:  Increase Your Dog’s Confidence with a Trick of the Leash & There May Be Bugs in Your Pet’s Food in the Future…But That’s a Good Thing. 

Source for the puppy story from Turid Rugass, dog trainer and animal behaviorist. Barking, The Sound of a Language” by Turid Rugass.

If you have any stories about your dog being fearful while on the leash, write me at

Guest, Dr. Greg Aldrich, PhD.  

Dr. Greg Aldrich.

Kansas State University  Pet Food Program Website Page.  







Here is the list of steps to take if you suspect your cat or dog, may be going into shock after an injury.

Check these two vital signs.

a. Look at your pet’s gum color. In the early stage of shock the pink part of the gums will be redder in color.  In the middle and end stages of shock the gums will be paler, whiter in color.

b. Check the capillary refill time.

Capillary refill refers to the blood flow in the cells. Normal time is about one and a half seconds – no more than two seconds.

Check this by lifting the top lip of your pet, use your thumb to lightly press on the gum above the upper canine tooth. When you press, the pink color will blanch white. Take your thumb away and count how long it takes the gum color to come back from white to pink. (or whatever the gum color is when your start this.)

The normal time is less than two seconds. In early shock, the time will be about that,  1-2 seconds. In early and late shock, the time will be longer – three – six seconds. In general, the longer the capillary refill time, the more severe the shock.

c. Plan to transport your pet to the vet. Shock is a serious medical condition.

d. If your pet is lying down:

  1. Help keep your pet from getting overly cold or hot. Place something like a blanket between your pet and the surface of the ground.

2.  Maintain an open airway so they can breathe. Do this by keeping their head tilted forward and if needed pull their tongue forward out of their mouth.

3. Elevate your pets hind end slightly if this will not cause further injury to its body.

e.  Do not give anything to your pet to eat or drink in case your pet will need surgery.


To take a Pet Tech, pet CPR and first aid class:

If you live in the Chicagoland area or will be visiting,  I, (Susan Frank) am teaching two classes in the fall.

McHenry Community College

8900 U.S. Highway 14

Crystal Lake, Illinois, 60012

  1. Knowing Your Pet’s Health – this is a mini-pet wellness workshop teaching vital signs and the snout-to-tail pet assessment.  Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018. 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
  2. Pet CPR and First Aid – this is a 6 hour class that will be taught over two evenings. Tuesday, Oct 23 and Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018. 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. both nights.

Go online or phone for more details and to register. Visit or call 815-455-8588. 

For finding a class near you in the United States and other countries, go to

Please support this podcast by subscribing and telling your friends. To subscribe on iTunes to automatically hear each episode, here is the link.





How To Take Your Pets On Vacation With You.

Do you sometimes wish you could take your pets on a vacation with you, but think it’s not possible, because pets aren’t allowed most places or feel it is too hard to figure out how it would work? 

In episode 019 of Raising Your Paws, I spoke to Amy Burkert, the founder of a remarkable company and website, Go Pet Friendly who explains just how easy pet travel can actually be.

Amy Burkert, founder of Go Pet Friendly.

On the website,, you can find the names and details about the places you can take your pets – hotels, campgrounds, restaurants, and more, across the United States and into Canada.

Free chapter give-away!!!

Amy Burkert has written a new book and because she was a guest on the show, and a really nice person, Amy is giving YOU – listeners to our podcast and readers of our blog, a free give-away – one chapter of her book.

Since, the greatest amount of our listeners happen to be from Minnesota -(this is also where the family owned company, NutriSource Pet Foods is located – hmmmmm, wonder if there is a connection……)  the chapter is about a pet friendly place to visit in Minnesota.  You don’t have live there to get the free chapter. Just follow this link. Yes, click here.


You can also pre-order the book on the same link. Pre-orders will be paw-tographed by her dogs Ty and Buster. You can see what both of them look like on her website. Cute!

Full Show Notes from the episode, 019.

Title:  How to Make Traveling with Your Pet Easy and Handling Your Dog’s Fear Barking.  

 The name of the particular commercial cat puzzle feeder mentioned during the podcast was the Stimulo.

There are many different commercial ones, I mentioned this one only because of the similar tube shapes as paper tubes.  I do not sell this product, nor work for the company that makes this product.

Website that makes pet travel easy.

Here is the link to the landing page for the free chapter from Amy Burkert’s book, The Ultimate Pet Friendly Road Trip,

You can also pre-order the book on this same link.

The book about barking, I recommend is,” Barking, The Sound of a Language” by Turid Rugass.


A Breed’s Purpose? Danes Gotta Jump, Beagles Gotta Sniff, Labs Gotta swim.

Raising Your Paws Podcast episode 018.

Listen here: How to Read Your Dog’s Tail & Knowing a Dog Breed’s Original Purpose Explains their Behavior.


Full Show Notes for This Episode.

When a dog wags its tail, it is common to assume the dog is feeling happy and friendly. There are times, this is not the case at all. Find out how to interpret a dog’s tail then hear about when a wag may mean your dog is afraid, threatened or anxious.

Next, we’ll demystify some more ingredients in pet food, and explain the difference between protein meal and by-products, what is yucca schidigera and more.

You can call Genie Beur, Director of Customer Service, at NutriSource Pet Foods and ask her questions about your pets and pet food ingredients. Her direct line:  218-346-8312.

Then, if you understand the original purpose a particular breed of dog was bred for, it can explain how that breed is likely to behave. Hear fun, need-to-know facts about a few breeds in today’s “Meet a breed” feature.

Here are the photos of the dogs I spoke about on the podcast.

Here are some Great Danes.

Some Great Danes have cropped ears.
This is a Vizla.

Resources for the episode.

Do dogs really feel guilty?  Hear Jean Donaldson, leading dog trainer, talk about if dogs can tell the difference between right and wrong when they poop on the floor in Episode 002.  Listen to this episode here. 

We’d love to hear your comments about the podcast. You can write these at the end of our blog articles.



Blog – Dane’s Gotta Jump, Beagle’s Gotta Sniff, Lab’s Gotta Swim – a Breed’s Purpose.   

If you know what the reason a particular breed was bred for, then you will know some of the behaviors your dog may be likely to exhibit.

In episode 018 of the Raising Your Paws podcast, you can hear some of the reasons why Great Danes, Beagles and Labrador Retrievers do some of the annoying, I mean endearing things that they do.

Here’s a light hearted look at the Great Danes ability to jump.

Oh, alright, the Dane is not actually jumping that high on its own. It’s jumping on a trampoline. But they were bred to use their amazing jumping abilities.

Everyone knows that Labs love water – they were bred to jump in freezing water to collect game for hunters.

Watch this one. Walter, the dog, knows exactly where he’s going.



How Can CBD Oil Help So Many Different Areas of Your Dog’s Body?

In episode 17 of the Raising Your Paws podcast, I was talking about the medical benefits of CBD oil, which is made from hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant.  No, it is not medical marijuana. Listen here to the episode. 

Cannabidiol, (CBD) relieves pain, kills or slows bacterial growth, reduces blood sugar levels, reduces vomiting and nausea, reduces seizures and   inflammation, and inhibits cell growth in tumors and cancer cells to name just a few of the medical benefits. (Source: Cannabis and CBD Science for Dogs, by Dr. Caroline Colie, PH.D.

I bet you’re wondering how can one little plant do all that?

Hemp plant and CBD oil.

Before I tell you, let’s start with a crash course on the cannabis plant.

Cannabis plants produce a group of chemicals called cannabinoids, which produce mental and physical effects when consumed.

The two cannabinoids usually produced in greatest abundance are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

THC is the chemical compound that acts on the cells in the brain, that results in people getting high, (psychoactive component).


There are different varieties of the cannabis plant:  Marijuana is the name of the form of cannabis with high levels of THC.  (Psychoactive)

And hemp, commonly used to make products such as rope and fiber, is another variety of the plant that has high levels of a different chemical, cannabidiol or CBD, the non-psychoactive component.

Since the 1960’s scientists have demonstrated dozens of therapeutic applications for CBD. It does not get you or your pet high, and it is totally legal for anyone to buy – without prescriptions.

This is also a supplement that is offering numerous health benefits for people. You may have heard it talked about in the news and on television lately.

How does it work in your dog’s body (and yours)?

You have a special system in your body that all mammals, birds, reptiles and fish have that is called the endocannabinoid system (named after the plant).

It is a group of specialized receptors in the brain and the nervous system.  (Receptors are nerve endings in your body which react to changes and stimuli and make your body respond in a particular ways.) The system allows the cells in your brain and nervous system to communicate with each other and affects how almost every other system in the body works – especially the immune system.

And what is pretty remarkable is that these receptors are all over your brain and just about everywhere in your and your dog’s bodies!

Our natural, internal cannabinoids called, endocannabinoids regulate the chemicals (neurotransmitters) that carry messages from one nerve cell to another in your body, acting like a master of ceremonies, directing some to fight problems and others to restore the body to its normal state. For example, when we have an infection the endocannabinoids tell the immune system to turn up the temperature to fight it, and when the invader is destroyed, they signal it to turn back down.

Turns out that the chemicals found in the cannabis plant closely mimic the body’s internal cannabinoids and when you consume CBD it interacts with your body’s cannabinoid receptors to get the same beneficial response as your own naturally produced ones.  This is why cannabis can positively impact and affect so many parts of the body and help relieve a number of different illnesses.

When you use CBD oil, putting the correct dosage of drops under your tongue or in the mouth of your dog,  (the most effective way to ingest it,) the cannabinoids from the hemp plant fit into your body’s own cannabinoid receptor sites. What do you get? Health benefits!!

Cannabinoids are also found in other plants such as broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, flax and other vegetables but not to the extent they are in cannabis.  You’d need to eat a whole ton load of veges to get the same medical benefits. In fact, cannabis in the industrial hemp form,  is the most abundant plant source of CBD in the world and CBD is emerging as the most important cannabinoid for health.

Read more about it in the book, Cannabis and CBD Science for Dogs. Natural Supplements to Support Healthy Living and Graceful Aging.


Show Notes for Episode 017

Title: What is CBC Oil for Pets and What Does it Have to do With Marijuana & How to Get Your Puppies and Kittens to Stop Biting you.

My guest, Dr. Caroline Colie’s website.

Dr. Caroline Colie, Ph.D.


Read Dr. Coile’s blog.

Order Dr. Coile’s, book, Cannabis and CBD Science for Dogs.

Additional Books written by Dr. Coile.

Let us know what you think about the podcast. We’d love your feedback.

Please Rate and review it on iTunes  

Rate and Review on Stitcher.  (Use a tablet or desktop – can’t review on a phone.)




Watch Some Guinness World Record Breaking Dogs!

I recently took part in an event to try and set a new Guinness world record for the most people trained in pet CPR in one day. Cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR)  is that potentially life saving first aid technique where you use your hands to externally compress the heart to imitate the pumping of the heart so that it sends oxygen rich blood to the organs and brain and you breathe into the nose of the dog or cat to inflate the lungs, to mimic normal breathing by the animal.  The event was put on by Pet Tech , the  first international training center for Pet CPR and first aid.   

In Raising Your Paws episode, 016, I’ll tell you all about what we had to do to try to set a record, you’ll hear exactly what pet CPR is, how it’s done  and hear true stories of people who saved dogs lives by performing CPR on them. You can see some photos of the Pet CPR day event in the full show notes below.

If you want to take a pet first aid class,  go to Pet Tech’s website to find classes in your area and to register.  It is such a relief to know what to do if your dog or cat is injured or suddenly takes ill. I am one of the Pet Tech certified instructors and teach classes in the Chicagoland area.

What are the two most important pet first aid skills you want to know how to do? Thom Somes, co-founder of Pet Tech, tells you in episode 009 of Raising Your Paws podcast. Listen here.  

Back to Guinness world records, there are some silly and astonishing things that dogs do to win their record holding titles.

Here are some of the record breakers over the last few years.

Mochi, a Saint Bernard,  did not have to do anything – he won by just being the dog with the longest tongue.

Major upset! Jiff Pom, a Pomeranian, used to hold the title for being the fastest dog on two paws. But then Konjo, a Chihuahua mix, stole the title.

Does your dog do a lot of tricks?  You’ll be really interested in this one – it may inspire you to try to break the world record yourself.

Watch Smurf and his human show you their routine, doing the most tricks in one minute. Come 0n, you and your dog can beat that –  cant you?

If you want to try and set or break a record with your dog or cat, all the instructions for how to apply are on the Guinness World Records, website as well as a lot more videos to watch. They are a hoot! Some are funny or cute or I’ve got to say – down right weird.


Show Notes for Episode 016:

Title: Learning Pet CPR May Set a New Guinness World Record and Astonishing Facts about Your Dog’s Nose. 

 Here are some photos from the day’s event.

A group being trained in CPR. They are wearing the shirts we gave out that day.
Photo Credit. Porla & Pine. (


Here is the dog, potato.
Photo credit: Porla & Pine. (
Learning how to find a dog’s pulse.
Photo Credit: Porla & Pine.


Thom Somes beginning the relay to win a Guinness record for the most CPR compressions on a plush toy dog.
Photo Credit: Porla & Pine.
Our public lining up for the relay. Totally, people did CPR compressions for over 6 hours without stopping.
Photo Credit: Porla & Pine.


Cindy Buzas and Thom Somes, the founders of Pet Tech with their son Parker. Their dogs, Rio and Tandoori.
Photo Credit: Porla & Pine.


Find pet first aid classes at Pet Tech’s Website.

Here is Pet Tech Inc. on facebook to see the video of Pet CPR day.

 Guinness World Records Website.





Play Feline Fun Facts with me.

Be the 8th person to send me the answer to this question and you could win a free large bag of NutriSource brands (NutriSource, Pure Vita or Natural Planet) cat or dog food.

“Why does my cat bite and claw my hand when I try and pet its tummy?”

If you enjoy the podcast please support us, subscribe on your favorite podcast app. and tell all your friends. Thank you!















How to Keep Your Dog’s Immune System Healthy.

Did you know that very small amounts of a simple little mineral does a wealth of good for your dog?  It does!

Its called Selenium and it is one of the essential micro-nutrients that is necessary for proper growth, development and health for both you and your pets bodies.

Here are some of the things that selenium does.

Orchestrates normal growth.

Regulates metabolism.

Launches successful reproductive efforts.

Boosts the immune system by neutralizing free radicals. (unstable molecules that get naturally formed in the body that can leave cells open to disease.)

Defends the body against infections. (supports the immune system by boosting the activity of white blood cells that fight infection and disease.)

This is one busy mineral. Since it has such important jobs to do, you’d want the kind that is best absorbed and available for your dog’s body to utilize. And that kind is organic selenium  – as opposed to the inorganic type – (called sodium selenite in many pet foods.)

In fact, talking about the amount of the selenium that gets absorbed into the body so that it can have the beneficial effects its suppose to have, (called its bioavailability) researchers have proved that organic selenium has 120-200% more bioavailability than sodium selenite. Go organic selenium!

You’ll be happy to know that we’ve got organic selenium in all of our dog food brands, including Pure Vita, Natural Planet and NutriSource pet foods!  And, we are one of the few pet food companies that uses organic selenium.

Our organic selenium is from a family owned company called Alltech and the patented, trademarked name of the selenium is called Sel-Plex®.

On the back of our bags of kibble, in the ingredients list, you will find the organic selenium listed as “selenium yeast” (the trademarked, brand name would not mean anything to a customer.)

Here is what the ingredient panel looks like.


     minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, cobalt proteinate, selenium yeast

Now don’t get your whiskers in a snitch about the word “yeast.” In the next blog article, I’ll tell you about the myths and truths about yeast and why it’s used in pet food.  There are different types of yeast out there, ones that may cause allergies in your pets v.s. the nutritional types that are highly beneficial and DON’T cause problems.  More, to come.

Here is an explanation of the name in case you want to know. It’s called selenium yeast due to the way in which it’s made. The microorganism Saccharomyces cerevisiae, better known as  brewers yeast,  is grown in a selenium-enriched medium, it absorbs the selenium, and then converts it into the form that is……TA DA, organic selenium.  Phew. Did you follow that? I bet you did. You’re smart.

Sel-Plex® is Alltech’s proprietary organic form of selenium yeast and is the first EU-approved and only FDA-reviewed form of organic selenium.

Selenium is super important for the body – a shortage of it can cause diseases but too much of it can be harmful. So the right amount is crucial and this is why the FDA regulates the supplementation of Selenium (Se) into diets. Also, why NutriSource pet foods spends the money they do, to buy this really high quality form of organic selenium from Alltech, that is approved by the FDA.

Sel-plex® ensures that the mineral status is very high while using the least amount necessary, because, the selenium is supplied in a form that can be readily absorbed, used by the cells and stored in the body’s tissues.

So, now you get it……..this added mineral really helps your pet’s health.

It does all the things selenium is suppose to do, and Sel-Plex® works hard to maintain the overall immune system.

By feeding NutriSource dog foods with this organic selenium, you are helping keep your dog’s eyes bright and tail a-wagging.

Check out our website.


Full Show notes for Raising Your Paws Podcast Episode 015.

Why a Dog’s Growls Are a Good Thing & Reasons to NOT Vaccinate for Leptospirosis.

Resource for story about growling, Barking: The Sound of a Language by Turid Rugass.

Dr. Barbara Royal, DVM, CVA, website links.

Dr. Barbara Royal, DVM, CVA.

Royal Treatment Veterinary Center.

Royal Animal Health University.

Purchase Dr. Royal’s books.

Winning the Cat Food Give-Away.

Play our feline fast facts game. Answer this question, “Why does a cat claw and bite your hand when you pet its tummy?”

Send the answer to

The 8th person to respond will win a coupon for a free large bag of any flavor of NutriSource or Pure Vita cat food to redeem at your local independent dealer that sells our food. To find the closest store to you, see our dealer directory here.

See the different flavors of NutriSource cat food here.

See the different flavors of Pure Vita Cat food here.

Worry About Bedbugs In Hotels? Dogs to the Rescue!

If you worry that there may be bedbugs in the hotels in which you stay, you will be pleased to know that there are detection dogs who are hired to ensure the rooms are bug free or sniff them out so they can be eliminated.

In this past Raising Your Paws Podcast Episode,  we talked about the dogs that detect bedbugs with Dan Hughes, Co-owner of Dogs for Defense.

As a follow up to my talk with Dan,  I asked him some additional questions I wanted to know. His answers follow.

This is a bedbug.
Photo credit: CDC/ Harvard University, Dr. Gary Alpert; Dr. Harold Harlan; Richard Pollack. Photo Credit: Piotr Naskrecki

How prevalent is it that hotels use dogs to check for bedbugs?

Very prevalent, depending on geographic area and the type of guests. Many hotels will have a routine search set up monthly, weekly, etc. as a proactive approach.  If dogs are called in because bugs have already been seen, at a minimum the K9 team will search the rooms on each side and above and below.

Do you (Dogs For Defense) have many contracts with hotels?

We do not have direct contracts with hotels, we frequently work with Pest Control companies that may have the contracts.

Do most big hotel chains regularly employ bedbug detection dogs?

Most hotels are franchise owned so it is typically made on a more local level. As you can imagine an airport hotel may have a more diverse traveler than a small town mid America hotel.

Are there other companies like yours sending dogs into hotels?

What is becoming more prevalent is pest control companies bring a bedbug dog in house with their own handler. We have trained dog teams that work for pest control companies.

Can people feel reassured that most hotels are doing something to safeguard against bedbugs?

Yes, most hotels try very hard but it never hurts to take precautions as you travel. Such as keeping your luggage off the ground.

What other measures do hotels take to keep beds free of bugs?

A well trained cleaning staff will be doing a cursory visual inspection every time they change the sheets. They should be looking for small blood spots in the sheets or mattress or, of course, the bugs themselves. The bugs are similar in size and look to a common deer tick.

Much thanks to Dan Hughes for this reassuring information.

In the episode link below, you can hear Dan talk about how his dogs help rid airports of geese and his days serving in the U.S. secret service.

Full show notes for Raising Your Paws Podcast Episode Title Introducing Your New, Adopted Dog to the Family & Stories from a Dog Handling, Secret Service Agent.

Links for Dan Hughes.   You can see many more photos of Dan’s working dogs on Facebook and Instagram.

Dan Hughes and Bdak.

Dog for Defense Website
Dogs for Defense Facebook
Dogs for Defense Instagram 

Source for story about how to stop the yelling and the barking: The Other End of The Leash by Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D.  

How to find a certified animal behaviorist.

Please support this podcast by subscribing and telling your friends. To subscribe on iTunes so you can hear each episode, here is the link


Here are some additional photos of Dan’s dogs.

Bdak, a German Shepherd, is one of Dan’s current U.S. Army contracted dogs. Bdak is a male and an explosive detection dog.
Dan Hughes and K-9 Riki in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Annie is also one of Dan’s current U.S. Army contracted dogs. She is a German Shepherd and a drug dog.


Additional Resource from Raising Your Paws Podcast Episode 14.

In the above episode, I talked about how to introduce your newly adopted dog to your other dogs. Here are the basic steps written out for you.

Listen to Podcast Epsiode 14 for the complete story and also learn how to best introduce the new adopted dog to the human family.

1.  With multiple dogs at home, have your new dog meet the other dogs one at a time.

2.  Have them meet outside – not inside your house. Use your yard or a nearby park or sidewalk that is not busy with people.

3.  The space needs to be fairly open – not cramped.  If the dogs are crowded too close together, like in a doorway, gate, or small pen, this can cause tension and one or both dogs may react aggressively.

4.  Leashes on both dogs need to be held loosely, its easiest to use the long 10-12 foot leashes but if you are mindful and make sure you don’t pull the leash tight, you can use the 6 foot ones. You don’t want the dogs to feel trapped or spark any leash reactivity.  If you have a fenced in yard, best yet is to drop the leashes completely. If you’re thinking this is crazy, you’ve got to keep the leashes held tight so you can pull them back or apart quickly in case something happens, see the next caveat.

Caveat. If you are worried about step 4, because the dogs did not meet before you adopted the new cutie pie, and you know your dog has problems meeting new ones or if you’ve been told your new buddy has issues with other dogs, then you’ll probably want to get some assistance from a dog trainer or dog behaviorist and even have them attend the initial greeting. See the resources below for how to find a behaviorist in your area.

5.  Its a good idea to get the dogs moving. Do this by walking around yourself, striding away from them  and calling happily, “this way” and encourage the dogs to follow.

6.  Don’t have any toys or food around outside for the first meet and greet. You don’t want to bring out any resource guarding.  Even dropping a treat on the ground can force both of them to go for it and then you can have a fight on your hands.

7.  Speaking of resource guarding, before letting the dogs inside, make sure you’ve doggie proofed the house removing any bowls of dog food from off the floor and bones or toys laying around that could provoke possessiveness. Put them all away for now.

8.  When it is time to go inside the house – take your new pup in first. Then bring in the resident dog(s). This helps prevent your dog from becoming territorial – copping a negative attitude like “Wait, the newbie is coming into MY house”?

Is Your Cat a Finicky Eater?

Do you have a cat who is very fussy about food?

Are  you getting a new kitten and want to prevent this from happening? 

In Raising Your Paws podcast, Episode 13, (segment two) I talked about a common method of feeding cats that can contribute to the finicky eater syndrome.

Listen here and learn the MOST important rule to follow for feeding your cat.        

Getting into more detail about picky eaters, you may be surprised to read that there are things we  unknowingly do, that contributes to your cat rejecting food.  

Serving cold canned leftovers from the refrigerator. 

Domestic cats, like just wild cats, are designed to eat live prey – which means food that is warm. They are not scavengers like dogs who will eat anything on the ground they find – hot, cold, wet, dry, rancid, moldy, for a dog – its whatever globs they think are edible.

Because felines are not like this, they may commonly turn down food that is cold.  That means if you have canned cat food leftovers, your cat may refuse to eat it. Warm it up a bit. This also releases the aroma of the food which makes it smell more appetizing. Room temperature canned food is preferable.

Only feeding one flavor and type of food all the time.

If you have a new kitten, start right away and get them used to eating a variety of foods.  Feed different proteins and flavors, both wet and dry cat foods from a few different high quality food manufacturers.  Vary the proteins you serve by the meal or the day.  You’d get bored eating only one meat every single meal. Don’t do that to your cat.   

You may have already tried to get your adult cat to eat different brands, but she won’t. This can be frustrating – I know. My sister’s cat Amber prefers to eat one lower quality brand of dry food, turning down canned cat food, and better quality kibble. No matter what it is, Amber won’t eat healthier food on any consistent basis. She doesn’t even like human food that many other cats would beg, steal, murder or mortgage your home to get. She won’t eat tidbits of chicken, or turkey, or filet mignon. My sister tried these in an attempt to see if Amber would eat anything else. It took a number of years, but fortunately, she will now deign to dine on an occasional meal of wet food and, (this was a pleasant surprise) she’ll eat a bowl of our brand of Pure Vita grain free cat food now and then. 

I’ve heard from our pet food store dealers, that Pure Vita works for picky eaters but as there is no pickier cat I know than Amber, I was really glad when my sister told me Amber will eat this one other kibble.   

Amber is an extreme case. However, it is in a cat’s nature to be more particular about what they eat. They learn from their biological mothers (or you if you got your kitty very young) what is considered acceptable to eat. This means some cats will lock into eating the one specific food or the limited amount of foods that was first introduced to them.

 This is most likely what happened with Amber – the one unnamed particular brand of kibble was the food that she was started on as a kitten,  and for her, it was initially the only food she perceived as being okay to eat. My sister adopted her at about one year old and this eating habit was already formed.

A cat’s preference or rejection of a food can depend upon not only its taste, but also the smell, size, texture and even shape of a kibble.  So keep trying. 

As much as possible vary their diet and start doing this as soon as you can. You CAN switch your cat onto new foods –yes, it’s going to be a slow process and the transition needs to be very gradual to avoid digestive upset and rejection of the food by your cat.

Listen to How to switch pet foods in segment 3 of  Raising Your Paws Podcast episode 4. 

Very Important Caution to Know!  With a cat you CAN’T play the game of standoff – putting out a food they don’t like and won’t eat – and not giving them anything else – figuring they’ll finally give in and eat it when they get hungry enough. A cat who refuses to eat for more than two days, can develop serious health issues. It’s called hepatic lipidosis. Your cat’s liver cannot deal with severe calorie restriction so if a number of meals are skipped in a row, fat gets deposited into the liver which causes liver failure. At anytime, if your cat stops eating for more than two days you need to take it to the vet.     


Full Show Notes for Episode 13. Title:  Why Dogs Rip their Plush Toys Apart & The Most Important Feeding Rule for Your Cat.     

How to adopt that specific pet you are looking for:

My guest, Jean Donaldson’s website.  

Jean Donaldson

Jean Donaldson’s book: The Culture Clash, A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding the Relationship between Humans and Domestic Dogs.

Source for story about the Primary Feeding Rule: The Natural Cat by Anitra Frazier with Norma Eckroate.

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