Two puppy mill awareness walks coming up in Iowa

Many people in Iowa are surprised to know that the state ranks in the top 3 in terms of the number of puppy mills.

So I was happy to get this email today stating that in the past 4 years, this number has gone from over 450 to less than 250.

There are 2 important walks on behalf of puppy mill dog this month.  The first is in Cedar Rapids on Sunday, September 15 and the second one is on Saturday Sept. 21 in Des Moines. They are both sponsored by Iowa Friends of Companion Animals.

Here is the link to read more or to register:


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Pet urine test saves lives!

I am reading more and more articles on the importance or practicing preventative medicine and establishing an early detection health care routine.

The statistics are impressive.  Between 60-75% of chronic illnesses can be reversed with just a change in diet IF caught early enough.  With the increasing costs of veterinary care, this becomes a responsible practice for all pet owners.

When Chloe started spilling glucose in her urine, almost 2 years ago, we switched her to an all canned diet and she has maintained normal values since then.  Her last blood work in July was even better than the previous one 6 months ago!

It’s so much better to prevent an illness or to be able to treat it at an early stage than to have to deal with a serious, life-threatening and costly illness.

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White House Comes out Against Dog Breed Bans

Seems like a while since there has been some good news, so it was nice to see that the White House has taken a stand against breed specific legislation.

“We don’t support breed-specific legislation – research shows that bans on certain types of dogs are largely ineffective and often a waste of public resources,” it reads. To read more:

At the very least, this will give people some added leverage in fighting the legislation in their communities.

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Early detection for pet health testimonial

It’s so much fun to receive pictures with testimonials.  Here is one that came yesterday from a long-time customer:

Annie and Ricky

“I wanted to thank you for your prompt service!
ThePetCheckup, is very important to me.  As you know, Annie, has a chronic condition and I  have to test her urine at least once a week.  It helps me work closely with my vet in monitoring her.  I am one hour away from my vet., so having ThePetCheckup,  enables me to keep close watch without constantly going to the clinic.
I also use it for maintenance once/month for my older dog, Ricky (15 1/2).
It is a good tool to have for pro-active health care.
Thanks So Much!  A. Roberson, NC
PS: The little Guy is Ricky.  The bigger one is Annie


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“Bones Would Rain from the Sky” quote

I was just reading some of the Facebook messages to John Unger on the passing of his beloved dog Schoep.  I had never seen this quote before and think it is so beautiful.  It’s always amazing to me when people can express such tender feelings in words.  It’s quite  a gift!

“There is a cycle of love and death that shapes the lives of those who choose to travel in the company of animals. It is a cycle unlike any other. To those who have never lived through its turnings or walked its rocky path, our willingness to give our hearts with full knowledge that they will be broken seems incomprehensible. Only we know how small a price we pay for what we receive; our grief, no matter how powerful it may be, is an insufficient measure of the joy we have been given.”

From “Bones Would Rain From the Sky” by Suzanne Clothier

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Practicing early detection for your pet’s health

Do you remember the TV show Emergency Vets?  I was addicted.  One of the veterinarians on the show, Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald writes some great articles on animal care.  I just read one on aging dogs called Silver Muzzles.

Because animals are living longer now, the importance of practicing early detection is even more important.  As an animal ages, the immune system can become more susceptible to a variety of  infections.

This is where ThePetCheckup comes in.  As an additional tool in your wellness program, it can help identify many potential problems with your aging animals before the problems get more serious.

Of course, it is just as important to keep up with regular veterinary checkups. But between visits, regular use of ThePetCheckup will provide you will priceless peace of mind.

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More warnings about protecting our pets from heat stroke

I tried to find some statistics on how many dogs left in cars die from heat stroke per year.  It is estimated to be several hundred each summer, but most of the deaths go unreported.

These are totally preventable deaths.  We have all heard the warnings, yet many owners still think they can just run in to a store “for a minute” and their animal will be safe.  On an 85 degree day (most of the country is well above that currently) it only takes 10 minutes for the inside car temp to reach 105.

If you see an animal in a locked car in the summer heat, call the police immediately.  If in a parking lot, notify store employees.

Dr. Marty Becker advises the following if an animal is suffering from heat stroke and needs immediate help:

  • Begin cooling procedures by soaking her body with cool water – cool, but not cold. Use a hose, wet towels or any other source of cool water that is handy. Take her temperature if possible.
  • Concentrate the cooling water on her head, neck and in the areas underneath her front and back legs. Carefully cool her tongue if possible, but don’t let water run into her throat as it could get into her lungs. Never put water in a dog’s mouth that can’t swallow on its own. Put a fan on her if possible – it will speed up the cooling process.
  • After a few minutes, re-check her temperature. If her temp is at or below 104 degrees, stop the cooling process. Further cooling could lead to blood clotting or a too-low body temperature. Get her to a veterinary clinic right away, even if she seems to be recovering.

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low or high pH readings in dog and cat urine testing

We have many customers who’s animals have recurrent bacterial infections.

Keeping a record of the pH values from the monthly home test is, of course, very valuable for them as it can show if the urine is becoming more acidic and creating a condition for crystals or stones to form.

But this is an important test result to watch for everyone as a sudden change in the result shows existing problems as well as potential future problems.

And if your dog or cat is on a special diet, it is easy to monitor how your animal is responding to the diet as times goes on.

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Urine specific gravity reading dogs and cats

The specific gravity (SG) reading measures the concentration of your dog or cat’s urine.

The range goes from 1.000 which is completely dilute (water) through 1.060 which is highly concentrated.

For cats, normal SG is considered between 1.015 and 1.060.  For dogs, the normal range is between 1.015 and 1.050.

If you test right after your dog or cat has had a large drink, the SG will be on the low end as the urine is more diluted.  If you test right after your dog has gone for a long run, the urine could be at the concentrated level.

Abnormal readings of SG can indicate some serious conditions however, such as thyroid, kidney, adrenal or diabetic conditions.

So test about the same time each day under similar conditions and record your results on the results page so you can see if there have been any changes over time.

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Home urine test kit with 8 complete tests

Our intention has always been to make the kit as affordable as possible to dog and cat owners.

When we were first developing ThePetCheckup kit, we intended to include 6 complete tests in the kit and offer refills in quantities of 6, 12, and 24.

We had  a group of business students at Yale run some focus groups and  they found that many people were unfamiliar with urine testing and thought it would be difficult to do.  It’s actually very simple and once the group did their first test, they were totally comfortable with it.

Nonetheless, we decided to include 8 complete tests in the kit and  have been able to keep it that way since then.  It’s been a challenge with the cost of everything going up, so we’re quite proud of that.


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