Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

Treats? Think again.

I don’t claim to ever be a food expert – but have always respected those who are.

This week, Mark from Doggie Steps Dog Training came by to meet my ROCCO the Rockstar. He saw the Bil-Jac Liver Treats for Dogs that I was using for Rocco’s potty reward (he goes potty outside all the time!) and did a “tisk tisk” shaking his finger at me.

I was like, “WHAT??? He (Rocco) likes them!”
“Danielle,” he said, “these cause cancer. Check out this BHA thing…and he points to the ingredients.”
“Huh?” I said.
Concerned mother instinct kicked in and I started my research.

Are you hearing what she is saying?

One google search of BHA resulted in all I needed to know. These “treats” just got a one way ticket to the trash can. I posted on our Bella’s House & Pet Sitting Facebook Fan Page and Sabine added to my discussion. What I found out from her site has been so valuable and I wanted to encourage you all to take a serious look at what is in your pets food and treats. When they are being fed the same thing, day in, and day out… well – I hope you catch my drift.

For instance…. According to here is what I was feeding Rocco with these treats:

Chicken Byproduct Meal
AAFCO: Consists of the dry, ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, and intestines — exclusive of feathers except in such amounts as might occur unavoidably in good processing practices.

Chicken byproducts are much less expensive and less digestible than the chicken muscle meat.The ingredients of each batch can vary drastically in ingredients (heads, feet, bones etc.) as well as quality, thus the nutritional value is also not consistent. Don’t forget that byproducts consist of any parts of the animal OTHER than meat. If there is any use for any part of the animal that brings more profit than selling it as “byproduct”, rest assured it will appear in such a product rather than in the “byproduct” dumpster.

Phosphoric Acid
A clear colorless liquid, H3PO4, used in fertilizers, detergents, food flavoring, and pharmaceuticals. A harmless but unnecessary ingredient, used in inexpensive, poor quality dog food as flavoring, emulsifier and discoloration inhibitor. Used for example as a flavoring for Coca Cola.

Propylene Glycol
A colorless viscous hygroscopic liquid, CH3CHOHCH2OH, used in antifreeze solutions, in hydraulic fluids, and as a solvent. Used as humectant in semi-moist kibble to keep it from drying out. May be toxic if consumed in large amounts, and should definitely not be an ingredient in a food an animal will eat daily for weeks, months or even years of its life. In countries of the European Union, propylene glycol is not cleared as a general-purpose food grade product or direct food additive.

Butylated Hydroxysanisole – a white, waxy phenolic antioxidant, C11H16O2, used to preserve fats and oils, especially in foods. Banned from human use in many countries but still permitted in the US. Possible human carcinogen, apparently carcinogenic in animal experiments. The oxidative characteristics and/or metabolites of BHA and BHT may contribute to carcinogenicity or tumorigenicity.

Still think this is a TREAT? Think again. I bought this at PetSmart.  I think I will be going back to FETCH Doggie Store later this week. I am grateful to have such wonderful friends and resources in my life to help make sure that my FUR CHILD stays happy and healthy.

Curious to know if you are feeding your pets any ingredients that are on the AVOID list as seen on the Dog Food Project? Check it out here.

Pet Food Nutritionist – Sabine, The Dog Food Project
Dog Trainer – Mark, Doggie Steps Dog Training
Pet Food Store – Dawn, Fetch Doggie Store and Kitty too

This information has been provided to you from Bella Vasta, the Pack Leader for Bella’s House and Pet Sitting in Scottsdale AZ. For more information please call 480.330.4552 or go to

Bath Tips for your Scottsdale Pet

Recently, I was trying to get Rocco, my puppy, to enjoy his bath. I ended up getting a bath by the time we were done because he was wiggling around so much.  So, I posted out to our loyal facebook fan page ( for tips and suggestions. With their suggestions and a little research, I came up with this nifty list:

  1. Gather all your supplies together before you start the process. Having the shampoo, treats, and towels close by will only help you in the long run .
  2. Smear peanut butter on the side of the tub that they can lick. Then they will associate bath time with peanut butter time!
  3. Feed them treats while they are in there so they know they are being rewarded.
  4. Do not leave the faucet running. Your pup may think that he will have to fight to stay a float eventually or might be turned off to the loud noise. Instead, grab a plastic cup and fill the tub up a few inches so that it is less of a noisy moment.
  5. Wash his face with a washcloth. Pouring water on your dog could frighten him. Also, their ears shouldn’t get wet, and should be carefully cleaned and DRIED out.
  6. Pet Shampoo is a must. Human Shampoo is a lot different and serves different purposes. The PH Balance is different, pets skin is more sensitive, and there are different ingredients. (

Lets hear your tips!  What is bath time like at your house? Do you take your pet to the groomers? Do you take them to a dog washing store where you do it yourself?  Tell us your tips and tricks!

This information has been provided to you from Bella Vasta, the Pack Leader for Bella’s House and Pet Sitting in Scottsdale AZ. For more information please call 480.330.4552 or go to

4th of July Safety Tips for your Scottsdale Pet!

July 5th is known as the most busiest day at valley shelters because so many pets freak out and escape from their homes sue to the July 4th festivities.  If you will be leaving your pet at home during the 4th of July – try doing these tips to ensure they have a safe and stress free night.

1 – Secure all GATES, DOORS, and LOCKS. You do not want anything blowing or pushing open, giving your fur kid an easy way out.

2- If you are leaving the home, leave a TV or radio on loud in efforts to drown out the noises that may be going on outside.

3- Make sure your pets IDs are on or they are micro chipped. If your pet escapes, often times it is your only hoe of finding them.

4 – Be sure to close all doggy doors.

5- Leave them in a secure area with lots of chew toys and dog proof the area. Sometimes when stressed, pets will chew. If your baseboards are attacked – we have a handyman we can recommend J

6 – Do not give your pets any leftover bones. Cooked bones are the worst for your pets and could split in their intestines and cause internal bleeding. Please also be aware of guest feeding your pets.

7 – Do not take your pets to firework displays and keep them far away from those who might be lighting them off.

8 – Do not leave alcoholic drinks where pets can reach them. It could be fatal. Instead think about Bowser Beer! (

9- Be careful if you want to “decorate” your pet. The glow sticks could be toxic if they chew them and if they are not used to bandana’s, they can get caught on things.

10 – If your pet gets scared easily, try Rescue Remedy or consider staying home with them.

If you follow these tips your pet should have just as an enjoyable 4th of July as you have.

This information has been provided to you from Bella Vasta, the Pack Leader for Bella’s House and Pet Sitting in Scottsdale AZ. For more information please call 480.330.4552 or go to

Socially Acceptable

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Networked Blogs
Content Protected Using Blog Protector By: PcDrome.