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Protect Your Dog from Poisoning

Guest Post by Emily Ridgewell

Top 10 Poisonous Plants For Pets (Following A Sad Puppy Fatality)

The death of an adorable little Siberian Husky puppy recently shocked and rocked a small suburb of Sacramento. After he was found snacking on some poisonous mushrooms in the family’s yard, bad reactions from the little pup sent the family to the vet’s office and sadly things took a turn for the worse.

This small and seemingly insignificant oversight proved fatal for this particular young pooch and headlines of his tragic death saddened local area residents just before the Christmas season began to unfold last year. Although this local story didn’t get much in the way of national recognition, perhaps it should have been more widely circulated to serve as a warning to other pet owners.

Not only are animals in danger from these types of often overlooked types of toxins, children can also be at risk when it comes to the consumption of plants that are potentially poisonous if ingested. Technically, mushrooms are considered a fungus and not a part of the plant family, but we can all strive to be better educated when it comes to certain flora that could prove fatal for our four-legged friends.

A Potentially Lethal List

We mentioned poinsettias previously and most of us are already aware this holiday favorite is well-known for being poisonous. But according to the Pet Poison Hotline, they’re only “mildly toxic” to our pets, friends and family. Still, it’s a very valid reason to keep these types of beautiful plants away from our beloved pets (and children).

This stern warning is also followed by an important post from the folks over at the Pet Poison Hotline which highlights the top ten poisonous plants for pets. Here they are in alphabetical order:

1. Autumn Crocus – these Spring bloomers are renowned for causing gastric distress with pets including vomiting and diarrhea.
2. Azalea – with the same resulting symptoms including excessive salivation, pets could fall into a coma after eating this popular plant.
3. Cyclamen – For digging dogs, it’s the root of this plant (literally) that causes problems.
4. Daffodils – These popular favorites cause equally threatening conditions that can also result in cardiac arrhythmia.
5. Hyacinths – Another underground potential threat that is associated more with the bulbs rather than their flowers or leaves.
6. Kalanchoe – A succulent popular with many plant people, it’s also prone to cause diarrhea, vomiting and heart problems.
7. Lilies – The pollen in these plants has been so problematic, they’re often banned from hospitals and other health-care related facilities.
8. Oleander – This popular hedge is often seen alongside freeways in SoCal, but they can cause death in severe situations.
9. Sago Palm – Speaking of down south, the seeds of this popular palm
10. Tulips – Popular in Danish culture, but traumatic when it comes to canine consumption.

Conquering This Conundrum

Obviously the best option for protecting our pets is not having these plants in our possession in the first place. But on the other hand, for plant lovers, we can find some other harmonious solutions in order to avoid this particular problem. For example, keep these types of plants completely out of reach when it comes to your pets (for cats this could be problematic).

For canine lovers, train them to stay away from plants in general, both indoors and out. Especially when it comes to walking your dog since they’re instinctually driven to sniff out and explore other animals urine and feces that are often near foliage. It almost goes without saying the many health risks associated with this type of practice.

Along with all pet owners and animal lovers, we can be more proactive about what goes into their mouths. That’s why we strive to ensure what your pet eats is what’s best for their overall health and welfare. Please reply if you have other important tips and tricks to keep our pets at their best!





How Did the Louisville Zoo Help Two Wolves Reproduce? Through Food.

Rudy Green was 14 when he was diagnosed with a bleeding ulcer — a dooming aliment for the elderly chocolate lab.

A veterinarian said there was little to be done. But to buy the dog another week, owner Karla Haas could try feeding it nothing but fresh, unprocessed foods.

The directive made Haas think. If kibble was made for dogs, then why would a vet not recommend it for hers?

The simple question started Haas on a 10-year journey, in which she launched an all-natural dog food line and earned national attention for her work with the Louisville Zoo.

Rudy Green’s Doggy Cuisine, which first hit grocery stores in 2007, is now sold on Amazon and in approximately 450 Kroger pet food aisles across America.

It was a slow build, Haas said. But with more people looking into the foods they eat, her product has taken off with customers who want to give the same consideration to their dogs.
“You would never dream of giving your kid nothing but Cheerios for every meal, every day of his life,” Haas said. “Yet we’ve been brainwashed to think this is what dogs should eat.”
Haas never expected to get into the pet food business. She holds a degree in social work but spent the past few decades switching between careers, from modeling to sales management.

The only constant during that time was her volunteer work at dog rescues and animal shelters across several states. In Louisville, Haas rattled off a list of organizations for which she’s offered assistance, including the Shamrock Pet Foundation and Derby City Dog Rescue.

Saving dogs is Haas’s passion. And she can’t think of any better way to sustain herself while bettering the lives of pets than through her business, Rudy Green’s.

The line of natural dog food offers five recipes, sold for $10.49 per box in pet aisle freezers. Each box includes four 6-ounce packets of food that can supplement a sick dog’s kibble diet.
“It’s meant to be mixed in,” said Haas, who added that owners stretch out a box by reducing portions. “Most could never afford to do just this. Frankly, I still give my dogs dry food. But I know what’s in it, and I know where it’s made.”

Within three years of launching, Haas’s work caught the attention of a Louisville Zoo employee, who recommended her to a team of co-workers tasked with improving the health of the facility’s maned wolves.

Maned wolves are a near-threatened species indigenous to South America, zookeeper Angela Johnson said. And while they fall into the wolf category, they eat nothing like other members of the canid sector.
The red-coated wolves are finicky, said Johnson, who calls them “canine toddlers.” Five-year-olds Sadie and Rocko at the Louisville Zoo are no exceptions.

The pair of maned wolves are unwilling to eat various foods and are genetically dispositioned to develop certain diseases. In their time at the zoo, Sadie and Rocko have both been underweight with low muscle mass, and Sadie has struggled with irritable bowel disease.

Because of the issues, the two wolves have not been able to reproduce, Johnson said. But after working with Haas and a nutrition specialist to develop a healing recipe for Sadie, the female wolf gained enough weight to give birth to two pups this past Valentine’s Day — a big win for the entire population.

“We talked early on and said first and foremost, we want our wolves to get better and do well and thrive,” said Johnson, who’s worked at the zoo for more than 20 years. “If that works, we want other wolves to have the same benefits.
“This diet isn’t for every single wolf. But it shows a fresh, less processed diet can do good.”

Haas said she’s now working with the nutrition specialist to develop additional recipes the wolves can eat during off-breeding seasons. And other zoos have expressed interest in purchasing the first recipe — named Sadie’s Stew.

“We have had some setbacks along the way,” Johnson said. “… But this diet does seem to keep (Sadie) on track and keeps things going pretty well for her.”
If pet owners want to improve the diets of their own dogs, Johnson recommended trying to supplement kibble with fresh foods slowly.

“It’s expensive to eat healthy and it’s expensive to feed your pets healthy, also,” Johnson said. “Something fresh is better than nothing fresh.”

Reach reporter Bailey Loosemore at 502-582-4646 or bloosemore@courier-journal.com.

What: An all-natural dog food produced in Kentucky at a USDA-certified facility. The dog food comes in five recipes, such as ground beef with brown rice, peas and corn.

Where: Find Rudy Green’s in the pet aisle freezer at Kroger, Rainbow Blossom and ValuMarket in Louisville or online at Amazon.

Cost: $11.99 per four-pack in stores or $64.95 for five boxes on Amazon

More info: Five-percent of the product’s sales are donated to various animal shelters. Learn more at rudygreens.com.

Madame Bunny’s Pop Up Booth

Madame Bunny, Fortune Smeller and Paw Reader had a pop-up booth today. Free Dog Psychic Advice available at https://www.facebook.com/RudyGreens Post a picture of your dog and any cosmic concerns. Fortune Smelling and Paw Reading available by appointment only.

Real Food for Dogs for Over 10 Years

10 years ago today, the Louisville Courier-Journal ran this article on the launch of Rudy Green’s Doggy Cuisine in a few local stores. Thanks to our loyal customers we are still growing and are in over 500 stores across the country (and online through amazon everywhere else)!
We appreciate those smart dog parents who know the difference between processes brown nuggets and REAL meat and veggies. Thank you for supporting our mission to improve the quality of pet food and pet’s lives!

Rudy Green’s Maned Wolf Diet Leads to 2 Pups!

Zoo Celebrates Birth of

Two Maned Wolf Pups


The Louisville Zoo is thrilled to announce the birth of two maned wolf pups. The two females were born February 14 to Sadie and Rocko, both five years old. Each weighed about 7 pounds at the time of their neonatal examinations.


Maned wolf gestation is similar to a domestic dog which is about two months. Sadie has nursed the pups since they were born and they should be weaned at around 4 months of age.  Both parents will also regurgitate food to the pups to assist with the transition from milk to solid foods.

The Louisville Zoo is continually seeking the very best methods in nutrition, veterinary care, and animal husbandry and consistently monitors the health of the animals. Prior to the fall/winter breeding season, zoo keepers and veterinary staff developed a plan to optimize the health of both adult wolves.  Sadie was underweight, had a poor appetite, and suboptimal stool quality.  Following a thorough medical evaluation and treatment plan, a diet change was pursued to improve food intake, body condition, and stool quality. This diet change was achieved with collaboration with the Maned Wolf Species Survival Plan (SSP) nutritionist Dr. Cheryl Morris and  Rudy Green’s Doggy CuisineTM creator and President Karla Haas. Special custom-made whole food recipes were developed by these renowned professionals in the field using human grade meats and vegetables.     The Rudy Green brand has been producing human grade, gently cooked food for dogs since 2006 and is sold in Kroger pet aisle freezers and online via amazon.


The Louisville Zoo contacted Ms. Haas and together they began experimenting with a custom formulated diet in September 2016.  Both wolves were gradually transitioned onto it after initial testing of several recipes.  The new diet, in conjunction with recommended nutritional supplements by Dr. Morris, resulted in improvements in overall health. The Louisville Zoo is proud that this team approach has resulted in the birth of two maned wolf pups, the first for the Louisville Zoo in 10 years.

The Rudy Green’s Maned Wolf Diet is nick-named “Sadie’s Stew”and interest in alternative and more healthful diets for the maned wolves is spreading among zoos nationally.


The maned wolf is native to South America and can be found throughout Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru and Uruguay. Maned wolves are solitary. The maned wolf is an omnivore. Half of their diet is fruit supplemented with small mammals, birds and reptiles, insects, nuts, eggs and grass. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species lists the maned wolf as threatened.


Rudy Green’s Doggy Cuisine™ Expansion Contributes to Species Improved Health

Louisville, KY – A company known as a pioneer in the Human Grade Pet Food movement has expanded their offerings to include food for other animals as well.  Rudy Green, Inc., manufacturer of Rudy Green’s Doggy Cuisine™, is now producing a special diet designed to restore health and vitality to maned wolves living in zoos across the country.

About Maned Wolves

Maned wolves are a species native to the grasslands and scrub forests of central South America, and are listed as endangered by the Brazilian government and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  There are now just 72 maned wolves living in 26 zoos throughout the country.

Sadie and Rocko’s Story

The Louisville Zoo is continually seeking the very best methods in nutrition and animal care. That’s why when a concern arose over the health of a pair of young maned wolves at the Zoo, forward-thinking staff and leaders moved to a customized whole-food based, gently cooked diet by Rudy Green’s,  which not only seemed to appeal to Sadie and Rocko, it addressed their nutritional needs as well. The Louisville Zoo began using the special diet in September 2016.

According to Rudy Green creator and President Karla Haas, the recipes were developed in collaboration with zoo personnel and renowned animal nutrition professor Dr. Cheryl Morris, utilizing simple, human-grade meats and vegetables.  “We had to consider every aspect of their physical condition as well as finding ingredients that matched what they consumed in the wild, blended together in a meal they would like” Haas adds.

Immediate Success

The new diet in conjunction with recommended supplementation by Dr. Morris seemed to improve the health of Sadie and Rocko.   Zoo keepers noticed consistent stool quality, improved coat quality, weight gain and consistent maintenance of weight— all measureable indicators of good health.

About Rudy Green’s

In 2006 a business was created out of a passion for animals and success with gently cooked human grade food prepared for the founder’s  sick old dog, Rudy Green, for which the company is named.   “It’s nonsense to believe that we should be feeding any animal a highly processed, nutritionally deplete, dry nugget that doesn’t resemble, nor contain, real food as the mainstay of their diet” said Ms. Haas.  Pet lovers can find Rudy Green’s Doggy Cuisine™ for their own four legged kids in Kroger stores pet aisle freezers and online through amazon. For more info see www.rudygreens.com.


Karla Haas, President, Rudy Green, Inc.



Veterinarians issue warning about bacteria outbreak that could kill your dog

FOX 32 NEWS – Veterinarians have issued a warning about a serious bacteria outbreak that could kill your dog.

The bacteria is called “Lepto-spirosis” or “Lepto” for short. It infects dogs by burrowing into their skin. Then, it spreads throughout the dog’s body. The bacteria can also be transmitted to humans. More cases of the bacterial infection are being found in Chicago, especially in the Lake View area. Leptospirosis is spread through rats and if left unfound, can be deadly for dogs.

“While we’re all super excited about 70 degree weather, it is sort of the perfect storm for Leptospirosis exposure,” said Dr. Natalie Marks of Blum Animal Hospital. Doctor Marks says there’s been an uptick of dogs being tested for and contracting Leptospirosis – a bacterial infection spread by the urine of rodents.

“We are unfortunately, the rattiest city in the U.S. We were just given that title. So we have a very high population of rodents. We’ve had unseasonably warm and rainy weather.” Dr. Marks said.

She says that’s the perfect breeding ground for leptospirosis. It’s sprouting up all over the country and now in Chicago.

Read more