Jenn Pet Vet's Blog

Irish Puptato Dog Treats March 18, 2012


Muffin, enjoying her Irish Puptato Treat at Street Tails Animal Rescue.


I decided to adapt the popular Irish Potato Candy recipe into a dog treat to help celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day at Street Tails Animal Rescue (STAR).  Today was a junior volunteer day at STAR and the kids had a blast chasing down clues that would help lead them to the pot of gold that a leprechaun had hidden late last night.


Irish Puptato Dog Treats

The Street Tails Animal Rescue's Junior Volunteers following clues to find the pot of gold.

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 cup plain not fat yogurt that was strained overnight
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 1/2 cups unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour


In a medium bowl, beat the coconut oil and yogurt together until smooth. Add the vanilla and honey; beat until smooth. Using your hands if necessary, mix in the coconut. Roll into balls or potato shapes.  Mix the cinnamon and coconut flour together and roll the balls in the cinnamon flour mixture. Place onto a cookie sheet and chill to set.

Substitutions: Butter can be used instead of coconut oil, low fat cream cheese can be used instead or yogurt, any type of flour can be used instead of coconut flour.


Please consider making a donation to STAR, volunteering to help walk or foster the rescue dogs, or best of all – adopt


This is absolutely adorable Spencer! He's a 2 month old terrier mix currently residing at Street Tails Animal Rescue.

Peace, love, and plenty of tail wags~


Robo Jerry (I know he looks real, but Jerry is a really a high tech robot) March 9, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jennifer Forsyth, VMD @ 9:02 pm
Tags: , , , , ,


Just in case you’ve been wondering where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing this past week …


"Robo Jerry" - a life-like dog CPR robot


I was at the Penn Conference attending lectures on cardiology, ophthalmology, pain management, and emergency medicine.  The best part was Robo Jerry!  I had a lab this afternoon where I got to practice my life saving CPR skills on a robot named Robo Jerry.  I participated in two cardiac arrest scenarios: the first “dog” was an older German Shepherd Dog that collapsed from heart disease and the second “dog” was a one year old Pitbull that was hit by a car.  I was able to  perform CPR, inject life saving drugs, charge up the defibrillator paddles, and yell “clear.”  And all on a life-like mannequin that has a heart beat, breathes, and has a pulse.  Very cool!


You’ll be happy to know that both of my “dogs” were resuscitated successfully 🙂


peace, love, and plenty of tail wags ~


Purina® Dog Chow® – Don’t Buy It March 3, 2012

I got an excellent question today from a dear old friend.  It goes as follows:

My dog is very itchy and dry. Her skin is flaky and she loves to have her back end scratched. She is 8 yrs old and this only started over the past year. We tried switching food but that didn’t help. Any words of wisdom?


The first question I asked was “What are you currently feeding your dog?”

Dog Chow - don't buy it!

The answer was Purina® Dog Chow®.

I get this kind of question so many times that I thought it deserved it’s own post.


My first recommendation is to try a food change again.  Even if it hasn’t helped in the past, there can be several reasons for those failures.  (1) The new food wasn’t fed for a long enough time to have seen a change.  It can take up to 8 weeks to see a difference in skin and coat quality with a diet change.  (2) Simply that the the wrong food was tried.  Sometimes all grains needs to be eliminated in dogs with skin problems, or the protein source needs to be changed.  I usually recommend a fish and potato based food in these situations.  To find a good quality fish and potato based food I recommend finding your local small business pet food store and tell them that you are looking for a grain free fish based food.  You will get much better service, and support your local community, by patronizing a small business instead of a big box store.  Beyond a food change, I recommend that all dogs receive an omega-3 fatty acid supplement in the form of cod liver oil.  It’s important to use a high quality supplement like the one from Nordic Naturals.


I also wanted to take a moment to review the ingredients in Purina® Dog Chow®:

Whole grain corn, poultry by-product meal, corn gluten meal, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), meat and bone meal, brewers rice, soybean meal, whole grain wheat, egg and chicken flavor, animal digest, calcium phosphate, salt, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, L-Lysine monohydrochloride, choline chloride, added color (Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Red 40, Blue 2), zinc sulfate, Vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, niacin, Vitamin A supplement, copper sulfate, calcium pantothenate, garlic oil, pyridoxine hydrochloride, Vitamin B-12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, Vitamin D-3 supplement, riboflavin supplement, calcium iodate, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), folic acid, biotin, sodium selenite.


What I highlighted in red are all grains.  The first thing to look for in a food is to make sure that meat is your first ingredient – which it isn’t here.  I always recommend avoiding corn, wheat, and soy in dogs that have skin and coat problems.  This food contains all three of those grains.  I also recommend feeding only whole grains and this food has corn gluten meal and brewer’s rice.  Another thing to know about brewer’s rice is that it is only sold to make pet food and dairy feed – it is not a human grade quality ingredient.


Now onto what I highlighted in green: poultry by-product meal.  This is the nasty left over stuff from chicken carcasses and it isn’t fit for human consumption.  So you might be asking yourself “Why would they use by-products in my dog’s food?”  That’s a great question that’s easily answered – it’s cheap.


Animal digest (highlighted in orange) is just plain nasty stuff.  Animal Digest is a boiled concoction made from unspecified parts of unspecified animals. Digest can be sprayed on lower-quality foods lacking good-tasting ingredients to give the food some desirability and palatability. The animals used for this broth can be obtained from any source, so there is no control over quality or contamination. Ingredients can come from restaurant and supermarket refuse, the dead, diseased, disabled, or dying (“4 D”) animals raised for human food, other farm animals, rodents, pets euthanized at shelters, and so on.


Never feed anything that contains a generic animal product like “meat meal” or “animal fat” (the things I highlighted in blue).  You always want to know what kind of animal that a meat or oil comes from – like chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, etc … .  Food companies don’t always disclose what kind of animal is in your dog food because they want to use whatever the cheapest thing on the market is that week.  That’s unacceptable in my book – I want to know exactly what is in my pet’s food!


As far as artificial food colorings (highlighted in purple) – they just don’t need them!  Artificial food colorings can create or at least contribute to a whole host of problems including allergies, behavior problems, arthritis, cancer, immune problems etc … .  Many times colorings are added to give pet owners a false sense of feeding something healthy; something that looks rich and meaty.


I hope this information helps.  And I’m so glad that I got this question today – like I said it’s a good one.  I’m always happy to help educate when it comes to nutrition.


~peace, love, and plenty of tail wags


Thursday mornings at Sterling Veterinary Associates March 1, 2012

Filed under: Businesses — Jennifer Forsyth, VMD @ 9:27 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Look for the cool design on the side of the hospital.

The retro waiting room seats are one of my favorite things - plus I think they make for an interesting photograph.

This morning I worked at Sterling Veterinary Associates in Stratford, New Jersey.  I have been working at Sterling Veterinary Associates as either a part-time or relief veterinarian since 2003 and I am now planning on being there Thursday mornings on a regular basis.

Sterling Veterinary Associates is a full-service veterinary medical facility.  The professional and courteous staff at Sterling Veterinary Associates seeks to provide the best possible medical care, surgical care and dental care for their highly-valued patients.

They are committed to promoting responsible pet ownership, preventative health care and health-related educational opportunities for their clients. Sterling Veterinary Associates strives to offer excellence in veterinary care to Stratford, NJ and surrounding areas.

Here is all of their information should you wish to schedule an appointment to see me on Thursday mornings.

312 N. White Horse Pike

Stratford, NJ 08084

phone: (856) 784-0303

fax: (856) 784-8384

large dog scale (400 pound/180 kg max - now that would be a LARGE dog).

Sterling Veterinary Associates has all of the high tech equipment that you'd expect.


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