Archive for July, 2010

APPA Announces 3rd Annual National Children’s Pet Poetry Contest

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

American Pet Products Association (APPA) President, Bob Vetere announced today that beginning August 1, 2010 the organization will be accepting poems for the 3rd Annual APPA National Children’s Pet Poetry Contest through their public awareness campaign, Pets Add Life (PAL).

“Our goal with the Pets Add Life campaign is to help engage our nation’s youth in the joys and benefits of pet ownership,” Vetere said. “Last year we received a great response to the contest from students, parents, teachers, and principals alike, and we’re looking forward to another great year of creative pet poems by inspired children across the country.”

Third, fourth and fifth grade students are invited to write a unique poem about their pets, what they love about them, the joys they bring, and then post it on-line at or mail their final poem and submission form to: Pets Add Life, 45 Winter Street, Reno, NV 89503. Deadline for submissions is January 31, 2011 at 5:00pm EST.

Two students from each grade level (6 total) nationwide will win a $250 gift certificate for pet products, and a “by-line” in a nationally circulated publication. In addition, the six winning students’ classrooms will each receive a $1,000 scholarship to spend on pet related education.

To learn more about APPA’s National Children’s Pet Poetry Contest, visit

How Real Is The Threat Of Heartworms?

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

The pet owner was surprised. Her veterinarian explained her dog had tested positive for heartworm disease, but Rusty didn’t look sick. She just couldn’t believe it. When could Rusty possibly have been exposed to heartworms?

The threat is real.

All dogs are at risk for heartworms, even if they spend most of the time indoors. Why? Because one mosquito bite is enough to transmit heartworms. “Statistics indicate that in areas where heartworm is common, a very high percentage of dogs that are not on preventive medication will develop heartworm infection,” according to Stephanie Arnold, MPH, DVM, Virbac Animal Health, Research & Development.

The numbers are growing. According to the American Heartworm Society, dogs with heartworms have been reported in all U.S. states, including Alaska and Hawaii. And the numbers are rising. Veterinarians in most states reported higher numbers of heartworm positive dogs in 2004 than they did in 2001.

How do heartworms “attack” dogs?

Certain species of mosquitoes are carriers of microscopic prelarval stages of heartworms. When an infected mosquito “bites” a dog, the miniscule larvae are released through the mosquito saliva. The larvae enter through the puncture left by a mosquito, then slowly migrate through the body to the heart and lungs, here they continue to grow and reproduce. This developmental process usually takes six to seven months.

Why are they called heartworms?

Dogs are the most common hosts for heartworms, which have also been known to infect more than 30 other animal species. In dogs that are infected, adult heartworms are usually found in the right ventricle of the heart, the pulmonary trunk, or the main pulmonary arteries. It’s rare, but they’ve also been found in the right atrium, eye, skin and central nervous system.

What do they look like?

Adult heartworms are easy to identify because they look like large pieces of long, white string. Female heartworms can grow up to 12 inches long, almost twice as large as males, which have corkscrew-like tails.

How can you tell if a dog has heartworms? Heartworm disease is complex and can result from different heartworm stages. Many dogs infected with heartworms show no signs of disease. In the early stages, gradual enlargement of the heart can lead to increased fatigue and an occasional cough. Dogs in severe stages of the disease may be constantly fatigued, have a persistent cough, and difficulty breathing. At this point, recovery may be difficult, and some dogs do not survive treatment.

How do I protect my dog?

When used according to directions, monthly heartworm preventives protect against heartworm infection in virtually all dogs, and the Companion Animal Parasite Council recommends year-round prevention. Many veterinarians prescribe heartworm preventives, such as those from Virbac Animal Healththat also defend against roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms. Before prescribing heartworm medication, a veterinarian must test a dog to see if it’s already infected.

Opie and Dixie Launches New Line of Organic, Sustainable Pet Care Products

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

For four-legged family members who deserve the best, Opie & Dixie is where it’s at. And today, the creator of all-natural, eco-friendly pet products announces a new line of holistics: shampoos, scrubs, treatments and supplements that harness the power of organics to care for pets from the inside out. Created with love by a devoted dog owner and animal rescue advocate, the new line of Opie & Dixie products offers complete and all-natural care for pets — from wet nose to wagging tail.

With treatments for ears, coat and skin, as well as nutritional supplements for immune system support and optimal health, Opie & Dixie’s new holistic line is designed to offer pets the same conscientious care that owners would want for themselves. The new line includes:

• Organic Ear Wash made with spring water, peppermint, and eucalyptus.

• Oatmeal Almond Shampoo for silky coats and skin health.

• Unscented Kitty Shampoo with gentle rosemary, lavender, and rosehip extracts.

• Rosehips Dry Shampoo and Conditioning Mist for waterless washing.

• Gentle Puppy Shampoo: Soothing and mild for a puppy’s delicate coat.

• Botanical Créme Rinse and Condtioner for hydrating skin and coat.

• Healing Paw Balm for restoring, healing and hydrating paw pads.

Each product incorporates herbs, oils, and essential nutrients and was designed with the input of veterinarians and nutrition experts to promote optimum health, from shiny coats to clean ears to healthy immune systems. With naturally fragrant ingredients like rosemary, peppermint and lavender, Opie & Dixie products leave pets smelling sweet and clean without the harsh chemical fragrances that can injure delicate noses.

Born in the kitchen of Debbie Guardian, a devoted pet owner who wanted to create natural, high-quality supplements for her dogs (after whom the company is aptly named), the Opie & Dixie line of holistic treatments still follow their creator’s original rule: No product contains any ingredient that she wouldn’t use herself. With the passion, quality control, and personalized attention to all details, Opie & Dixie has grown to be much more than shampoos and supplements; a percentage of all retail sales go to a local dog rescue organization, and Debbie tirelessly maintains a blog and website offering educational information about nutrition, healthcare and other wellness issues. Continuing to share knowledge with other pet owners is essential to the identity of a brand that was born not from a business model, but out of Debbie’s love for her own furry family members.

Says Debbie, “Opie and Dixie has always been about achieving optimum health for pets; that’s what I wanted for my own dogs, and that’s where it started. From the original supplements to the new holistic line, our products are about caring for our pets and making sure that they live the healthiest, longest lives possible.”

Opie & Dixie’s new all natural line makes environmental friendliness its top priority, creating products that are organic, eco-friendly and sustainable. From the ingredients to the non-BPA packaging to product labels that are printed on recycled paper and made with a 100% wind-powered manufacturing process, the brand is dedicated every effort to care for the earth in the same way that it cares for pets.