Thursday, September 25, 2008

Itchy and Scratchy!

Well, I don't need a calendar to tell me that fall has arrived. I have my allergies to tell me that. I get so itchy and scratchy this time of year and it sure can make me one miserable pup! Being a "low ridder" pup makes it even extra hard on me since my belly brushes against a lot of the weeds and grasses.

Anyhow, I came across this great article from Doctors Foster and Smith and thought that it would be a good idea to share it with other pups who might be suffering from allergy problems too. So check out the article below and see if maybe all of your itching and scratching being caused by allergies.


Types of Allergies That Affect Pets
There are four types of allergies that can affect your pet. Allergies caused by things your pet inhales are termed airborne allergies. Common sources are pollens, molds, and dust mites. Allergies that result from flea-bites are referred to as flea allergies or flea-bite dermatitis. Certain allergies occur from items your pet ingests, and are typically called food allergies. Contact allergies are caused by something your pet comes in direct contact with, such as carpet fibers, plastics, and other things. Contact allergies (plastics, carpet fibers, detergents) are far less common than inhalant allergy and flea allergy dermatitis in pets.

Contact Dermatitis
Less common allergies include contact dermatitis, which include allergy to carpets, cleaners, or plastic. These allergies may cause:

* Red itchy bumps or blisters on sparsely-haired areas of the skin and those exposed to the allergen such as the belly, feet, or muzzle
* Intense scratching
* Hair loss (in chronic conditions)

Food Allergies
Food allergies account for about 10% of all allergies in dogs and cats. Food allergies may show up concurrently with allergies to pollen, dust, etc. Symptoms include:

* Itching, especially face, feet, trunk, limbs and anal area
* Ear problems, often yeast-related
* Skin infections that respond to antibiotics, but then recur as soon as the antibiotic therapy ceases

Occasionally, dogs with true food allergies may have increased bowel movements and soft stool. Food allergies should not be confused with food intolerances, which are not true allergies, and generally cause diarrhea and vomiting.

Watching your pet go through the misery of allergy symptoms can be miserable in itself. If you suspect your pet has allergies, visit your veterinarian. The type of allergy and severity of the symptoms will determine how your veterinarian decides to treat them.


Well, I am off to get a bath in oatmeal and tea leaf shampoo - I'll be barking to you later!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Hundred Acres Manor!

In the mood for some fright? Want to be part of a fundraiser to help homeless animals AND children at the same time? Well, have I got the event for you. Hundred Acres Manor opens up this weekend in South Park and you can get a good fright and support a great cause all at the same time! Check out this press release from Animal Friends' event calendar.


Hundred Acres Manor: The Site for Fright
September 26 - November 1 (closed Mondays and Tuesdays), 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm (open till 11:30 pm on Fridays and Saturdays) Hundred Acres Drive on the site of what used to be Sully's Pool and Phantoms in the Park in South Park, PA 15129

Since 2003, Hundred Acres Manor in South Park been scaring people as part of a fundraiser to support Animal Friends and Homeless Children’s Education Fund. For the fifth year of this reign of terror, the region’s largest haunted attraction has many surprises in store for you:

* Massacre Mansion, the main home on the Hundred Acres Manor estate. (Check in is anytime, check out is never!)
Valleyview Hospital: A serene center of healing, hope, and torture. Dont bother with the call button, someone will be along shortly to finish you off.

* Fearscapes Factory: Is your mind prepared to handle the worst possible things you can imagine? Hold on to your soul, and embrace the darkness...

* The MAZE: The lost souls of Hundred Acres Manor roam this endless labyrinth. Dont bother asking for directions.
Click here to purchase tickets.


I'll be barking to you later!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Puppy Mills Awareness Day!

Did you know that this Saturday is a day of protest against puppy mills across the county? Check out the news story below for more information.

Activists to fight puppy mills with awareness day protests
USA Today

Puppy mill opponents are taking it to the streets this weekend.

Grassroots puppy mill protests and events are planned Saturday across the country, from Northville, Mich., where about 50 people are expected to parade through town to raise awareness and distribute information about puppy mills, to Fresno County, Calif., where volunteers will gather at Sierra Vista Mall "to publicize the atrocities of puppy mills," says organizer Joyce Brandon.

"It's a topic that needs a lot of public-awareness-building," says Natalie Femino, a mental health counselor who is organizing a food, music and puppy mill information-sharing event at Salem (Mass.) Common, her first-ever venture into activism.

Puppy mills — large, inhumanely run breeding operations that sell puppies to some pet stores and online — have for years been in the crosshairs of animal welfare groups. Breeding stock, they say, are kept in tiny cages, fed subsistence diets and given no medical care, exercise or socialization; then the animals are killed when they no longer produce large litters. The puppies, they say, are often sick when sold, or genetic issues soon emerge.

Now the efforts of the large animal welfare groups, such as the Humane Society of the United States, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Best Friends Animal Society and others that have pushed for legislation and rescued thousands of puppy mill animals in the last year, are being joined by individuals initiating local events.

South Bend, Ind.'s annual Mutt March in St. Patrick's County Park to benefit a no-kill shelter will have a significant anti-puppy-mill component this year, says event chairwoman Linda Candler.

In Medfield, Mass., Medfield Animal Shelter volunteers are planning several hours of events, including a visit by "puppy mill survivors who have been adopted" and a dog talent show, says organizer Judy Ambrose.

The biggest event — with 600 to 1,000 participants expected — will be held in tiny Dutch Village in the middle of Lancaster County, Pa., which experts say is ground zero for puppy millers. Organizer Carol Araneo-Mayer says people are flying in from all over the country to bring awareness — for the fifth straight year — to the matter of the number of farms in the pastoral surroundings where "dogs are being treated like a commodity."

Although many in the trenches are distressed with what they see as the slow pace of real results against puppy mills, there are hopeful signs, says Stephanie Shain, director of the HSUS puppy mill campaign. "We saw two states, Virginia and Louisiana, pass landmark legislation this year by putting a cap on the number of dogs who can be kept for breeding, and saw critical federal laws enacted barring the import of puppies from foreign puppy mills."

And the hope, says ASPCA's Cori Menkin, is that through organized and grassroots events, "the desire to push for stronger laws to protect these animals will become contagious."


Check with your local ASPCA to see if there will be a protest event in your area. I'll be barking to you later!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Etsy Pets and Pet Lovers Gift Guide (Part 2)

Merlin's Bark Products has made Etsy's Pets & Pet Lovers Gift Guide for a second time! One of our items had been listed in the gift guide previously, and that item was purchased last month so we haven't had an item in the guide for awhile. Anyhow, another one of our elevated/raised cat bowl feeders has made the gift guide! This time it is one of our 3-bowl feeders. Check it out right there in the 1st row, 2nd column.

I'll be barking to you later!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Pet Food Recall!

I really hope that every pup has already heard about this very important pet food recall, but I thought since it is such a very important topic that I would post this article from WebMD Health News. Make sure you check out the FDA's web site to see if your pup's food has been recalled.

"Salmonella Risk Prompts Pet Food Recall: Possible Contamination of Mars Petcare Products Could Pose Risk to People and Pets

Sept. 15, 2008 -- Mars Petcare is recalling pet food products manufactured at its Everson, Pa., facility because of a potential salmonella contamination. In addition to being dangerous for pets, the pet food could sicken people who handle the food.

Children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable. If you think you may have been exposed, look for symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and fever.

On rare occasions, salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. The FDA urges people with these symptoms who have come into contact with the pet products to contact a health care provider.

Some animals may have similar symptoms, but others may have minimal or no symptoms. Whether or not they have signs, they could infect other animals and humans.

Many pet food brands are produced at the plant, including several varieties of Pedigree and a number of flavors of Special Kitty Gourmet. A complete list of brands is posted on the FDA web site.

Mars Petcare stopped production at the Everson facility July 29 after learning of a possible link between dry pet food produced at the plant and two isolated cases of people infected with salmonella. The company is now implementing a voluntary recall of all products produced at the facility between Feb. 18 and July 29; only the U.S. is affected."

Please make sure you pass long this recall info to other pups and their owners. I'll be barking to you later!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

EFA Birthday Celebration!

Starting September 15th Esty for Animals kicks off their 1st birthday celebration. Many EFA member shops are participating in the big celebration by accepting a coupon for 20% off any entire purchase (one whole order, excluding shipping) in their store. Check out EFA's Web site for more information on the celebration and for the 20% off coupon.

Merlin's Bark Products will not be participating in the big coupon birthday celebration, but I definitely be doing some serious shopping in some of the participating stores!

I'll be barking to you later!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Big Pup Elevated Dog Bowl Feeder!

Got an extra-large pup in your life? Does your big baby eat from their bowl by laying on the floor? If so, it sounds like your big boy (or girl) needs an elevated dog bowl that is made just for them. That is why Merlin's Bark Products has its own line of elevated dog bowl feeders specially designed for the extra large pups. Measuring 18 inches high, our feeders are a must have for those Clifford, Marmaduke, Howard Huge sized pups.

Not only is an elevated dog bowl holder easier for your pup to eat out of, but it is also easier on the digestive system. By using a raised/elevated feeder, which is designed to provide food and water at the correct height, you can help prevent and alleviate any problems your pup might have digesting food and water.

Veterinarians actually recommend raised bowl feeders for dogs and cats since they help alleviate problems the pets might have with arthritis, neck and back problems, and also with digestion problems like megaesophagus and other conditions that make swallowing painful and difficult. Since elevated feeders are sit up higher, everything goes down the throat a little easier.

Elevated bowls also help keep pets eating areas cleaner. They help keep the food and water in the bowls and not dripping all over the floor. They also prevent pups from moving their dishes all over the floor and having little mishaps with their bowls by overturning them.

Make sure you checkout Merlin's Bark Products line of elevated dog bowl feeders specially designed for those extra large pups in your life.

I'll be barking to you later!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sewickley Show Report!

Many thanks to everyone who stopped by Merlin's Bark Products booth yesterday at the 18th Annual Sewickley Harvest Festival. Being the busy CEO that I am, I couldn't get away from the office to attend the show myself, but I did send two of my favorite employees to run the show for me. I was there in spirit though! Anyhow, my employees reported back to me that the show was fantastic, the crowd was wonderful, and most importantly - the weather held up for the entire day! Not only was it a record setting day in sales for Merlin's Bark Products, but we also received a ton of positive feedback from festival goers on our elevated dog bowls (and also the cat bowls) product line. My little bunny butt is all in a twitter over the show and I can't wait for us to attend the show next year!

Check out these pictures from the show:

I'll be barking to you later!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sewickley Harvest Festival

I just wanted to remind everyone that Merlin's Bark Products will be exhibiting at the 18th Annual Sewickley Harvest Festival this Saturday. Make sure you drop by our booth and see us!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Pittsburgh Pups - Last Splash of Summer!

This Saturday is Animals Friends' Last Splash of Summer event at Sandcastle Waterpark in Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, I wont be able to attend this year since Merlin's Bark Products will be exhibiting at the 18th Annual Sewickley Harvest Festival that same day.

Here's the information on the puppy Sandcastle event that I got off of Animal Friends' Web site:


Animal Friends' Last Splash of Summer
Saturday, September 6 from 10:00 am - Noon | Sandcastle Water Park

Call now so you don’t miss Animal Friends’ fourth annual Last Splash event—the ultimate canine pool party! Each year before the pools are drained for the summer, Sandcastle Water Park throws open its gates and, for one day only, opens the wave pool to dogs for Animal Friends’ Last Splash of Summer event. Whether your dog fancies a string bikini or prefers to skinny dip, this is a highly-anticipated and fun event for pooches and their people. Hot dogs will find cool relief splashing around in the pool and feasting on chicken-flavored snow cones. Enjoy fun games, raffles, auctions, a canine bathing suit contest! Space is limited, and this event always sells out in advance. Admission is $20 per dog (humans are free) and all proceeds benefit Animal Friends. Call 412.847.7035 to register. Dogs must be non-aggressive, over four months of age, current on shots and wearing an identification tag. Owners must accompany their dogs at all times and keep dogs leashed while outside of the pool. The swimming fun is exclusively for the canine crowd; humans are permitted in the pool only up to their knees. Animal Friends strongly recommends that all canine guests be spayed or neutered. If your dog is “in heat,” please leave her at home.


If you are unable to take your pup to the Sandcastle event this year, why don't you swing on by the Sewickley Harvest Festival and stop by our booth. I'll be barking to you later!