Dogwatch of Columbus
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We just heard that Nature’s Variety has announced a voluntary recall of its Prairie Beef Meal and Barley Medley Kibble for Dogs because of an unusual odor that may develop over time.

According to the company, the product is “not contaminated in any way”, but some items aren't remaining fresh as long as they should. 

The CEO of Nature's Variety had this to say:
“We’ve found that some bags of Prairie Beef Meal & Barley Medley Kibble for Dogs have an off-odor smell. To be sure that our consumers only receive the freshest and highest quality product possible, we have decided to voluntarily recall all Prairie Beef Meal & Barley Medley Kibble for Dogs from the marketplace.”

This is the list of items being recalled:

  • UPC# 7 69949 60420 4 – Prairie Beef Meal & Barley Medley Kibble for Dogs 5 lb
  • UPC# 7 69949 60425 9 – Prairie Beef Meal & Barley Medley Kibble for Dogs 15 lb
  • UPC# 7 69949 60430 3 – Prairie Beef Meal & Barley Medley Kibble for Dogs 30 lb
  • UPC# 7 69949 60432 7 – Prairie Beef Meal & Barley Medley Kibble for Dogs 3 oz sample
  • These are the only products affected.

What should you do?

Consumers who have purchased one of the above products can obtain a full refund or they may exchange any recalled item for a different variety by either returning it in its original packaging or bringing a proof of purchase back to their retailer.

Consumers with additional questions are invited to call Nature’s Variety Consumer Relations at (888) 519-7387 or they may contact them by e-mail at

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Red, White and Boom is tonight and most of the local celebrations are tomorrow - how exciting!  Picnics, parades and fireworks are so much fun for families and children of all ages.

But what does your family dog think of all these festivities?  The answer is they are probably not as excited about it as you are.  Crowds of people and loud noises are not a favorite for most dogs, so here are a few tips to help make the Fourth of July weekend more enjoyable for your four-legged friend too:


It may be best to leave your pup at home for this one.  There is a lot of activity at parades – crowds of people, loud noises, items being thrown - it may just be too much for your dog.

If you really want to include your dog in this tradition, be sure to take the following precautions:

  • Keep your dog on a leash.  We would suggest a 4 or 6 ft non-retractable one in order to best be able to maneuver your dog through a crowd or keep him away from things he shouldn’t have.
  • Watch out for thrown candy.  Candy wrappers, chocolate and sucker sticks could be lethal to your dog.  Keep an eye out to make sure he doesn’t snag a stray piece or two.
  • Bring water and offer it often to keep him hydrated.
  • Don’t stay out too long if you’re dog doesn’t handle the heat well.
  • Definitely do not leave your dog in the car during the length of the parade.  Hot cars are extremely dangerous even for short periods of time.


As we’ve stated in other holiday related articles, the biggest danger for dogs during get togethers like these is food.  Be sure to keep the “people food” on the people plates.  This will avoid any stomach irritations for your dog, which is good in any case, but especially if fireworks are that evening.

Sparklers, at home fireworks, and other related products could also present several dangers to your pet.  For instance:

  • Anything that you light is obviously potential for burns for people and animals alike.  Be careful and be very aware of who is around you.
  • Fur could catch fire easily.  Be especially careful with your kids and the sparklers they may be having fun with.
  • Some of the firework “toys” could frighten dogs.  Especially the snapping, growing or popping ones.  Best to keep your dog inside during these demonstrations to make sure they don’t get spooked.  Do not let children (or adults for that matter) tease the family dog with any of these toys.  Even the most passive dog can be very unpredictable when frightened or hurt.


Fireworks are tough for dogs.   We all know how loud fireworks are for us, but keep in mind dogs have much more acute hearing than we do.  Even from inside the house, fireworks can be downright frightening.  A dog’s reaction to fireworks may be similar to thunderstorm anxiety.  Please see our related blog at to check out those tips.

Specific tips for an uneventful fireworks experience include:

  • No question on this one.  Leave your dog home safe in his crate or favorite room.  DO NOT leave your dog outside.
  • Play some soothing music (or your dog’s favorite) to help drown out the noise of the fireworks.
  • Be sure all doors and pet doors are locked in the unlikely event of an escape.  In a moment of panic, your dog may try and come to find you (wherever you may be) to find comfort.
  • Be sure his or her collar and tags are on in case of an escape.
  • If there are accidents when you get home, try not to be upset.  Keep in mind the reaction was due to fear and nothing else.

We, at DogWatch of Columbus, wish you and your family a very safe and enjoyable Fourth of July week!  God Bless America!


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Need something to do tomorrow?  Bring the whole family (including the ones with four legs and fur) to Pup-a-Palooza at the Alum Creek Dog Park.  It will run from 12:00 until 5:00 and promises a silent auction, live music, rescue groups, food and NEW this year a beer garden for the two legged variety, of course.  Admission is free, however the park requests pet food donations to aid the pets of Meals on Wheels participants.

Don't forget to stop by and see us and mention this blog post and you'll get a special little something just for saying "hi".

You can find out more details at:

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Did you know that approximately 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs every year and children are the most likely victims?  May 15 through May 21 is Dog Bite Prevention Week.  We, at DogWatch of Columbus, feel it is extremely important to not only train your dog, but train your children as to the do’s and do not’s of dog safety.

We’ve compiled our 19 years of working with dogs into a few tips below that can help keep your children safe.  Check out these tips and be sure to share them with your kids.  Who knows, it might prevent one of them from being bitten some day.  Teach your children:

  1. To never approach a dog they don’t know.  Be especially wary if the dog is behind a physical fence.  Never tease a dog that is behind a fence.
  2. To always ask the owner before they pet a dog.  Teach them to then ask how the dog prefers to be petted (behind the ears, on his back, etc).
  3. To slowly put their hand in front of the dog’s nose before they pet a dog.  This way the dog can get their scent and it will help to put the dog at ease.
  4. To never put their face in the face of an unknown dog.  Bites to the face are the most heartbreaking.
  5. To never attempt to hug or pick up a dog.  On the opposite side, never attempt rough play with a dog your don’t know.
  6. To avoid eye contact with an unknown dog as in dog talk that means a challenge of authority.
  7. To always approach a dog so they can see you.  Never “surprise” a dog from behind as a scared dog is more likely to bite or nip, if only for self defense.
  8. Signs that a dog may not want to be approached.  An unapproachable dog may have his ears back, the hair on his neck may be raised, his teeth may be showing, and he may be growling or skittish.
  9. The signs of a friendly dog.  A wagging tail, tongue lolling out of his mouth, a dog “smile” if you will, eagerness to interact, and ears perked are all signs that a dog is ready to be approached, so long as permission has been granted by the owner.
  10. To never approach a dog that is off leash without an owner present. This is doubly important if the dog appears skittish, aggressive or confused.  Tell them to find an adult immediately so that the adult can call animal control.
  11. To never to run from a dog even if it is charging them.  It is far better (though harder) to stop and stand with your arms in and head down.  Avoid eye contact so that the dog does not feel threatened. The child will no longer seem like a threat to a dog if they are still and quiet and the hope is they will not attack.  If the child continues to run, the dog will pursue until the “prey” is caught.
  12. A tip from one of our customers, Bridgett Shoemaker, who is an avid runner.  While running, slow to a walk if you are approaching a dog on a run.  Dogs get nervous when someone is running towards them and should relent if the runner approaches more slowly and avoids eye contact.

Obviously, it is important to properly socialize and train your dog as well, but we feel it is just as important to teach your kids about other dogs because you never know how well other dogs have been trained.

We hope this helps educate you and your family and helps to create awareness during National Dog Bite Prevention Week.  Please call us at 614-527-3799 or contact us if you have any questions.

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Earth Day is a good reminder for us to help take care of our planet.  And as a dog owner, you have some unique opportunities to do just that.

We've listed below a few pet-friendly tips that will help lesson your carbon “paw print”, if you will.


  1. Make dog toys from used items in your house such as old towels or old t-shirts.
  2. Use cleaning solutions that are green – good for the planet and good for your pup.
  3. Plant some trees in your yard that your whole family, Fido and Mother Earth are sure to enjoy.
  4. Make a pet waste compost.  We found a fantastic You Tube video (  that gives you step-by-step instructions on how to make one.    Dog poo is very biodegradable if disposed of properly and will eventually make great dirt for your non-edible plants.
  5. Finally, you could adopt a shelter dog.
  6. Feed your dog homemade dog treats or fresh veggies from your own garden or locally grown produce.
  7. Install a DogWatch Hidden Fence...seriously!  Our collars have a battery life of 2 years (compared to the standard 3-4 months) so we're contributing far fewer batteries to the landfills.  Plus, a hidden fence consumes far fewer resources than a traditional metal or wood fence.

We’d love to hear about your Earth Day endeavors and we hope that they last all year long.  Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

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