Skip Store-Bought Jerky Treats, Make Your Own Instead

Jerky pet treats are a huge hit with most dogs and cats, but for many years, I’ve encouraged pet parents to make their own because unfortunately, the ultraprocessed pet food industry and its FDA “overseers” have a poor track record when it comes to the safety of these products.

As an example, at the end of 2018, Food Safety News published a post on the tainted jerky treats from China fiasco I’ve written several articles about over the years. As the author of the post notes:

“More than 10 years after the first reports of pet and people illnesses linked to jerky treats from China, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is no closer to finding the root cause of the problem.”1

From August 2007 through the end of 2015, the number of reports of illness linked to the treats included more than 6,200 dogs, 26 cats, and three people. More than 1,140 of the dogs didn’t survive their illness.

Lowlights From a Decade-Long Investigation

According to Food Safety News, per Dr. Lee Anne Palmer of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), since 2007 the FDA has received reports of pet illness related to jerky treats from all 50 states in the U.S., most Canadian provinces, and several other countries, including Germany, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Switzerland.

Some other items of note from Palmer’s summary of the FDA’s investigation that haven’t been widely reported:

  • In late 2013 the FDA requested specific clinical data from veterinarians on cases of treat-related illness in their practices. The request prompted “an immediate, massive increase in illness reports.”
  • In 2014, the FDA’s CVM and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted the first-ever case control study for a pet illness investigation. The study involved 95 affected dogs from 31
Read more

Environmental education in a rural community shows the

On July 14, 2022, a team composed of a professor and students from the Federal University of Western Pará (UFOPA) conducted environmental education activities in the Community of Nova Betel, in Oriximiná, Pará State, Brazil. The activities were carried out at the Nova Betel Municipal Elementary School, a teaching hub in a region with several small communities, 80 km away from the town’s headquarters. According to the school teachers, approximately 200 people, including students from the 1st to the 9th grade of elementary school, as well as their families, such as mothers and fathers, participated.

Presentations were made about the amphibians and reptiles of the region and the importance of respecting and protecting these animals, as well as demystifying negative legends about them. Special focus was given to the Harlequin Toad (Atelopus hoogmoedi), a beautiful species that occurs in the region, with colors ranging from yellow to pink. After the lectures, playful and educational activities were held, such as a memory game with pictures of anurans of the region, an origami frog-shaped workshop, a board game about anurans and drawings for the children to color. The community’s participation and engagement were amazing, with a very positive feedback. Many people said they had seen the Harlequin Toad, and were happy to learn more about the species. This community was chosen to start this environmental education project because the Harlequin Toad has already been recorded in the region where it is located. In addition, the increase in deforestation in this area raises concerns about the future of these toads and other native species.

Harlequin Toads, also known as Atelopus, are considered the jewels of the Neotropics and are among the most amazing and colorful amphibians on Earth. Vibrant and diverse, they adorn the forests and watersheds of South and

Read more

Singapura – Catster

Quick Facts

  • Weight: 6 – 7 pounds | male
    4 – 5 pounds | female
  • Height: 6-8 inches

Resembling a mini-Cheetah, the Singapura sports oversized, almond-shaped eyes, a tabby “M” on the forehead, petite round-shaped face and a blunt nose. Its small stature is muscular and feels heavier than it looks.

Blessed with a low-maintenance, brown-ticked coat, the Singapura simply needs a monthly wipe down using a damp washcloth to keep its coat looking its best. It does not have an undercoat.

The coat comes only in sepia (dark brown), with ticked fur and is short, sleek and silky.

Females weigh between 4 and 6 pounds and males average between 6 and 8 pounds.


  • One of the most petite cat breeds
  • Look like tiny cheetahs
  • Active throughout their lives
  • Wash-and-wear coat
  • Highly intelligent

Ideal Human Companion

What They Are Like to Live With

Affectionately known as “Velcro cats” because of their intense desire to always be with their chosen people. They love laps as equally as they do playing interactive games. Also likes to paw faces to wake people up in the morning.

Does best in active households that include other pets to keep them company while you’re away at work.

Extremely curious, engaging and talkative. Never seem to run out of energy or slow down and will always try to insist on helping you with a project.

Definitely enjoys greeting houseguests and thrives in an active household. Keep tabs on this small cat because it can slip out of a door quickly. Always fit your cat with a collar identification tag as well as microchipped ID.

Benefits by being provided sturdy, tall cat trees to climb and survey the scene.

Things You Should Know

Due to their petite size and oversized curiosity, the

Read more

Researchers found pesticide-contaminated plants in nurseries

Milkweed plants purchased at retail nurseries across the United States were contaminated with pesticides harmful to monarch caterpillars that rely on milkweed, a study led by researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno found. Every plant sampled was contaminated, even those that were labeled friendly to wildlife.

Researchers gathered 235 milkweed leaf samples from retail nurseries across 15 states and tested them for pesticides. A total of 61 different pesticides were found, with an average of 12 per plant and as many as 28 per plant, according to the study in collaboration with the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and published Monday in the peer-reviewed science journal Biological Conservation.

Milkweed in nurseries are often purchased and planted by people hoping to support the monarch butterfly, which was recently listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ as endangered. Western monarch caterpillars depend on milkweed for food. They are specifically adapted to the plant, which is toxic to other animals, and don’t have alternative sources of food.

“In a previous study in California that primarily looked at milkweed in agriculture and urban interfaces, we had looked at a small number of plants from retail nurseries, and found that they contained pesticides,” Matt Forister, a biology professor at the University who studies insect ecology and is a coauthor of the paper, said. “So we were prepared for this much larger sample of nursery plants to again uncover contamination, but it was surprising to see the great diversity of pesticides found in these plants. In many ways, they are as contaminated or even worse than plants growing on the edges of agricultural fields. That was a surprise, at least to me.”

While researchers couldn’t fully assess the toxic load carried by these plants, 38% of the samples had residue levels that could

Read more

Not Just Dogs and Cats, This Rescue Saves Farm Animals, Too

Beth Roberts from Bristow Barnyard Animal Rescue in Bristow, Oklahoma, is saving the lives of animals in her community — but don’t let their name fool you. While they have rescued farm animals of all kinds — including steers, horses, goats, pigs, chickens, ducks, geese and rabbits — they also do rescue, rehabilitation and adoption of dogs and cats.

Nominated for a Healthy Pets Game Changer Award by Ethel S., Roberts has extensive experience working with veterinarians, helping with spay and neuter clinics, orthopedic surgery and other procedures. When she found herself back in Bristow, after spending a few years in California, she made sure she had her beloved rescued farm animals in tow — at the time, her crew consisted of a steer and a couple of mini horses.

She then reached out to the city pound to offer her services, but they weren’t interested — so Roberts decided to start a rescue of her own — and Bristow Barnyard Animal Rescue was born. “We do have over about 100 animals,” Roberts said. “Most of our farm animals are in sanctuary. They won’t leave. They’ll be here forever … Like I said, we have … all kinds of animals.”

A Lifesaving Solution in Rural Oklahoma

Bristow Barnyard Animal Rescue is the only one of its kind in the area, providing a service to not only help animals in need to today but also reduce problems with pet overpopulation later. Roberts explained:

“It’s really bad in our area. Rural Oklahoma you find dumped moms and dads and whole litters in horrible areas. And they come to you — they’re sick and need help. We got to focusing on what we could do to try to get that better, so we started running a monthly spay and neuter “train,” is what

Read more

What’s Trending in Treats for All Life Stages

Step up your cat’s nutritional game by selecting the latest in treats, supplements and foods that are packed with healthy benefits for your feline.

The payout is priceless: Your cat may sport a shiny coat, make healthy deposits in the litter box, stave off chronic conditions like diabetes or hyperthyroidism and gracefully age pain-free.

Customizing the right diet for your cat

The challenge comes in meeting your cat’s specific needs. In recent years, the pet food revolution has taken off with global sales surpassing $85 billion. That means more options for your cat and more decisions for you: Does your feline need prebiotics and probiotics? Will switching to a super-premium food pay off in healthy dividends? Should you consider supplementing your cat’s diet with CBD oil or tempt your cat for good behavior with insect protein-based treats?

Answer: It depends. Regularly check in with your veterinarian before adding any new supplement or switching to a new diet to avoid any adverse reactions.

“It’s important that your discussion with your veterinarian goes beyond food choices,” says Dr. Elizabeth Bales, a veterinarian who serves on the advisory board for the American Association of Feline Practitioner’s Cat-Friendly Practice and is the inventor of the Doc & Phoebe’s Indoor Hunting Feeder products. “Include your cat’s activity level and identify any behavior changes you notice in your cat, especially increased signs of stress.”

Every cat is unique. Each cat has different nutritional needs that change as she ages.

“Diet does influence how well cats age,” says Dr. Jean Hofve, a holistic veterinarian in Boulder, Colorado, who authored the book, What Cats Should Eat: A Holistic Veterinarian’s Guide to Your Cat’s Optimal Diet. She is also the founder of the LittleBigCat website.

“Feeding the best foods takes more effort and may be a little more expensive,”

Read more