Six Tips to Help a Stray

Have you ever encountered a stray dog or cat as you’ve been on a stroll? It’s always tough to determine what steps to take to ensure a safe and valuable encounter. Of course the animal intrigues us, but we sometimes get nervous about the animal’s health and behavior. No need to panic, the Precise team has compiled some helpful tips to make you feel more comfortable if you ever find yourself in this scenario.

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#1 – What’s the situation?

The first step to take is to assess the situation. It is necessary to make sure you, the animal, and the people around you are safe. Safety is key in this situation. If you are in a vehicle, determine if it is safe to pull over. Once you take a good look at the animal and the environment, decide if you want to make contact, or keep your distance.

#2 – Let the Animal Approach You, or Walk Away

If the animal seems aggressive, rabid, or threatening in any way, the best option is to call the local animal control and let them know where you’ve found the animal. However, make sure not to panic and run from the scene. If you start running, it may prompt the animal to do the same.

If the animal seems calm and friendly, then let them come up to you. Find ways to coax the animal closer. Never run up to the animal as it could startle them due to their skittish, hungry, and/or thirsty state.

#3 —Stray or lost animal?

The next step is to figure out if the animal is a stray or is simply lost trying to find his or her home. Look for an ID tag. If there is one, be sure to contact the number provided so the stressed pet parent can finally find their furry friend. If you have ever lost a pet, you know how amazing it would be to receive that phone call! If there is no tag, consider how you are willing to help the animal.

#4 — Contain the Animal

This is the tough part. More than likely, this animal will be very frightened and could be hesitant to approach you. Talk with an inviting and humbling tone to make the animal feel comfortable. Attempt to corner the animal slowly with a piece of clothing, leash, or a rope. If you are lucky, you may have some type of treat or food with you to lure them.

#5 — Take to Local Shelter or Your Home

First, stop by the local shelter with the animal. The shelter could have access to a device to see if there is a tracking microchip placed in the animal. The shelter could even have heard from the animal’s parents. Talk to the shelter and see if it is better to leave the animal at their facilities (to say they even have the capacity for it) or take it home until the owner is found.

#6 — Go the Extra Mile for the Animal

Do whatever you can to make sure the animal can make it back to its home or to safety. If your pet was ever in a time of need, you would hope that the person in your shoes would do the same. Post flyers with an image and a description of the pet around local spots or even through social media. Do some research yourself and see if anyone has posted regarding this lost animal.

It is easy to become attached to such sweet, appreciative souls, so be careful not to fall too madly in love with this animal; they may already have a forever home. If you are never contacted, you may consider adopting the pet yourself (a new furry companion, yay!) or bring it somewhere safe to be adopted.

Our soft spot for furry friends leads us with the immediate ‘want’ to walk up to whatever animal we see. When it comes to strays, use these tips to have a positive and safe interaction. It is critical to know that not all strays need our help, and we must use our best judgment if the situation presents itself. If the animal does need your help, always remember what can be accomplished by the kindness of strangers!

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Great Dane Lady Approved: Switching your puppy’s food safely

The Great Dane Lady, Linda Arndt, has more than 38 years of experience as a canine nutritional consultant and breeder. In our Great Dane Lady Approved series, Linda will talk about her research and work with Precise. You can explore Linda’s website at GreatDaneLady.com

Recently, I have received many comments and questions about a previous blog post on the different approaches used for switching your dog’s food versus your puppy’s food. Many puppy owners have heard it’s better to switch food slowly to allow adjustment. However, in my experience, it’s better to switch your puppies quickly.

Large and giant breeds grow very quickly from birth to six months of age. At times, you can see a significant difference in just 24 to 36 hours, so changing foods can be tricky with these dogs. It is best not to stretch out the transition period on very young puppies (8 to 20 weeks of age) because it can throw them into developmental orthopedic disease. One such condition is hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD), a bone disease that usually affects young, rapidly growing, large breed dogs. Puppies could also experience panosteitis also known as Pano, “self limiting” bone disease characterized by wandering lameness that switches from leg to leg. A faster food transition tends to avoid these problems, but probiotics are essential to the process as well because switching foods quickly can often cause digestive upset so probiotics help prevent this problem.

Each dog food company uses different vitamin/mineral premixes, and there can be an enormous difference in the “quality” from brand to brand. This is another reason why it is important not to stretch out the transition past three meals on very young dogs. By mixing together different foods (adult & puppy) or different brands, you are sacrificing the integrity of each diet diet. This can be very problematic and cause a drastic growth spurt. Additionally, inferior minerals can tie up other quality minerals needed for development.

As long as you use a high-quality, multiple bacteria-based probiotic product combined with digestive enzymes, the transition will be very easy in the early ages, often better than with a mature dog, which may take a little longer. Probiotics that I recommend to ease the transition are ProBio Pac, BakPakPlus or 4 in 1 Probiotic from www.firstchoicenaturals.com.

Remember, Precise Pet Products are rich with nutrients and made with quality ingredients your puppy or dog needs. Each of our lines of dog food also comes in formulas specially made for specific sized puppies.

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Mailbag: What does AIB certified mean?

Each month, Marnee White, who knows Precise like the back of her hand, will answer questions we get through our customer service e-mails and phone calls.

Q: I read that Precise is AIB certified. What does this mean?

A: The American Institute of Baking is a recognized monitoring system of food manufacturers that inspects facilities based on the standards for human food grade production. Texas Farm Products, makers of Precise, received a superior rating in June 2010. The inspection evaluated operational methods, personnel practices, maintenance for food safety, cleaning practices and pest control. This speaks volumes of the high-quality food we are producing for your pets!

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Great Dane Lady Approved: Switching food safely

The Great Dane Lady, Linda Arndt, has more than 38 years of experience as a canine nutritional consultant and breeder. In our Great Dane Lady Approved series, Linda will talk about her research and work with Precise. You can explore Linda’s website at GreatDaneLady.com.

I have a lot of people ask me how to safely change the type of food they are feeding their pets and if it is ok to use a combination of formulas. I discussed the difference for transitioning puppies versus adults in a previous blog post. To change food it is important to gradually incorporate the new formula over four days:

Day One:
First meal: 1/4 new food – 3/4 old food
Second meal 1/4 new food -3/4 old food

Day Two:
First meal: 1/3 new food – 2/3 old food
Second meal: 1/2new food – 1/2 old food

Day Three:
First Meal: 1/2 new food – 1/2 old food
Second meal: 3/4 new food – 1/4 old food

Day Four: All new food

After transitioning, be sure to throw out the old food or donate it to a shelter near you. DO NOT feed it in combination with your new kibble or diet plan. Also, do not combine formulas even if they are within the same brand name (for example: mixing adult and senior food together 50/50). Once they are established on the food for a couple of weeks it is ok to rotate flavors (for example, rotating Precise Holistic Complete Wild at Heart Duck, Turkey or Salmon, which are all the same formula).

Each formula is “designed” on a matrix system of vitamins and minerals. When you mix two-formulas you can over-do or under-do required nutrients and disrupt the delicate balance of the food. This is especially true with minerals, which are critical to the body’s nervous and skeletal systems. Problems may not occur immediately, but show eventually as a slow deterioration of the animal’s health.

Please stay with one type of food and, more importantly, stay with one brand. Precise formulas are made to supply all the necessary vitamins, minerals and nutrients your pet needs in each formula to ensure a healthy, happy pet!

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Quality Time: Shift work

Mike Compton is vice president of operations at Precise’s parent company, Texas Farm Products Company, and is responsible for the operations, quality assurance and nutritional content of our pet food. Each month on the blog, he shares how we keep our pet food safe and healthy. Read past Quality Time blog posts here.

I’m back in the New Year with our first Quality Time post of 2011. I hope you had a great holiday season!

Even during the busy stretch of holidays between Thanksgiving and the New Year, our quality assurance staff is hard at work around the clock to make sure our pet food is safe and healthy for your pets. And when I say around the clock, I mean it: As part of our efforts to be the best, we take test samples of our food during each of our three shifts at our plant in Nacogdoches, Texas.

This way, we don’t miss out on anything by only testing during the day or during the night. Here’s a picture to illustrate this, showing composite samples taken and marked by employees on the first, second and third shifts. This is just one example of the many samples that are taken during each shift.

I’ll be back next month with more information on our quality assurance practices but, in the meantime, check in on my previous posts on salmonella and our new packaging machines.

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Pet health and safety widget

At Precise, our commitment to safety and our quality assurance program ensures that your pets have healthy, safe food. We work hard to maintain our superior rating from the American Institute of Baking (AIB), an institute that assesses food safety risks and compliance. You can read more about our quality efforts in my monthly “Quality Time” blog posts here.

In order to stay on top of news about health and safety for your pet, we often visit the FDA’s Animal Vet organization, one of the top websites for pet safety news and information. Check out this widget it created for your blog or website that delivers tips and updates on pet health and safety.

To include the widget on your site, just click on the “Grab This” link in the lower right-hand corner and copy the code into your site.

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Quality Time: Salmonella Prevention

Mike Compton is vice president of operations at Precise’s parent company, Texas Farm Products Company, and is responsible for the operations, quality assurance and nutritional content of our pet food. Each month on the blog, he shares how we keep our pet food safe and healthy. Read past Quality Time blog posts here.

Here at Precise, we hold our pet food to the highest safety standards and perform routine tests to ensure its safety. One of the tests we perform regularly is Salmonella testing.

 

Salmonella is more of a danger to humans than pets. The American Veterinary Medical Association has an article called “Frequently Asked Questions about Dry Pet Foods and Salmonella. It reports 79 cases of human Salmonella infection from 2006-2008 associated with contaminated dry dog and cat food.

We take stringent measures at our plant in Nacogdoches, Texas, by doing regular tests for the bacteria using sterilized sponges with a special solution on the end. Wearing a sterilized glove, we swab a 12-inch by 12-inch area. Our very specific schedule includes:

  • Weekly swabs of key plant areas.
  • Monthly swabs of less susceptible areas.
  • Quarterly swabs of all areas of the plant, including telephones, break rooms and drains.

You can see the different swabs in the photo below:

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Superior rating from the American Institute of Baking

As you get to know us here on The Dish, you’ll find that safety and quality are two very important things to us when it comes to our pet food. So much so, in fact, that we were awarded a Superior rating for our pet food manufacturing plant from the American Institute of Baking (AIB). We were pretty proud of our accomplishment, and even took a minute to snap a photo with the Precise team:

Read below for the full release we sent out in June 2010, and also check out this recent interview Tails Magazine did with Mike Compton, our vice president of operations. We’re excited to have Mike contributing to The Dish in the future, as he is the expert on our quality measures. Look for “Quality Time with Mike” posts coming soon.

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