Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Resolutions for Responsible Pet Owners

By Tamara L. Waters

Every year, folks ring in the New Year with a few resolutions – those good intentions they have for the coming year. As a responsible pet owner, you can make resolutions for the New Year and plan to make your pet's life better. Here are a few resolutions that you might want to make for the sake of your pets.

I resolve to play with my pet more often. While your dog or cat might love special treats, more than anything they probably love playing with you. Resolve to set aside time each day just to play. Whether it's a rousing game of fetch or some fun with a ball of yarn, your pet will enjoy playtime with you.

I resolve to learn from my pet. There is so much we can learn from our pets. They can teach us valuable lessons about living well and loving every part of our lives. RPO Blog Editor Julia Williams has a great article about lessons learned from cats.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

What is a Conformation Dog Show?

By Linda Cole

If you want to see a good representation of purebred dogs looking their best, a dog show is the best place to go. A conformation dog show is considered to be a beauty contest, but there's a lot more to it than that. The dogs are well trained, and each one is an ambassador representing their breed.

The recent showing of the National Dog Show on Thanksgiving and Westminster Dog Show are good examples of conformation shows. These are benched shows, which means people attending are allowed to mingle with the dogs backstage and talk to dog experts who can answer their questions. Both shows are nationally televised, but conformation dog shows take place across the country all year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

“Therapet” Henry Opens Minds and Heals Hearts

By Julia Williams

Today I would like to introduce you to Henry, an extraordinary and inspiring “celebri-cat” who was recently named the ASPCA Cat of the Year for 2010. Henry is a three-legged cat who opens people’s eyes and minds, as well as their hearts. He received this special award because of his transformational work teaching tolerance, resiliency and courage, as well as for his healing work with disabled children, wounded veterans and their families, Hurricane Katrina survivors and Haitian earthquake amputees.

Some might say that Henry’s incredible journey from unassuming stray to remarkable healer was accidental, but I really don’t think it was. I don’t necessarily believe in the saying, “everything has a purpose,” but Henry’s life story seems guided by more than chance.

The stray tabby kitten was discovered at Cathy Conheim’s California home one day, with a severe leg injury. Cathy, despite being a devoted “dog person” who actually disliked cats, not only rushed Henry to her vet, but chose amputation over euthanasia. This conscious choice to save Henry’s life and take him into her home was just the start of the amazing events yet to unfold.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pets That Have Called the White House Home

By Suzanne Alicie

Each time a new family descends upon the White House, it seems that another pet gets thrust into the spotlight. From George Washington’s menagerie of horses, hounds and a parrot to the current Portuguese Water Dog “Bo” that is owned by the Obama’s, there have been all sorts of presidential pets through the years. Some have lived up to their station and some have had a bit of “sibling rivalry” going on. The Obama family has had to learn about being responsible pet owners with their new puppy, since they haven’t owned a dog before.

The first year I was old enough to vote for the President was the first time I really became aware of presidential pets. I’m not a political person, so I had never really made an effort to learn much about our presidents or government except what I was required to learn in school. I was very surprised to see that after President Clinton’s election, their family cat “Socks” got quite a bit of press coverage. There were even tabloid reports of Socks not getting along with “Buddy,” the chocolate lab who was also part of the Clinton clan.

Monday, December 27, 2010

At What Age Should You Begin Puppy Training?

By Linda Cole

It's easy to put off starting a training program for a new pup until after he's older. An eight week old puppy may still be a "baby," but he’s already learned a lot from his mom and siblings. His education needs to continue in his new home as soon as he gets there. Therefore, the best age to begin puppy training is the minute you get him home.

Puppies adjust quickly to new surroundings. Of course, he'll have a period of missing his siblings and mom. You can carry the scent of his old life with you to his new home by taking a baby blanket or towel with you when you pick him up. Rub it on his mom and siblings and let them play on it. When you arrive home, place it where you want him to sleep so he has familiar smells around him. Helping him get through his first few nights will be your first training session.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Season's Greetings From CANIDAE!

Our warmest thoughts and best wishes to you and your families for a wonderful holiday season, and a very Happy New Year from all of us at CANIDAE Natural Pet Food Co. and the pet blogging team at the Responsible Pet Ownership blog.

Julia, Linda, Ruthie, Suzanne and Tamara

CANIDAE Customer Service and Support Team
Pictured Left to Right: Jason, Johnny, Kristine, “Hailey,” Julie, Jamie, Sarah, “Tinker,” Diane, “Breezie,” Lois and Ken

Friday, December 24, 2010

Tips on Choosing Winter Accessories for Your Dog

By Tamara L. Waters

You might be thinking it's a simple thing to choose which winter accessories your dog needs to be warm and cozy in cold weather, but there are a few things to consider.

Winter Coats and Boots

There are winter accessories that would be good choices for your dog based upon his time spent outside. When going out for a walk, the snow and salt on sidewalks, roadways and yards can hurt your pooch's paws (or at least make them very uncomfortable) so buying him some boots would be a good choice. You can choose disposable boots or reusable ones.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Earn a Dog's Trust with Positive Reinforcement

By Linda Cole

Dogs can be as difficult to figure out as humans are, but if we followed the same rule with our dogs as we do with people, we would treat them like we want to be treated. Dogs respond much better to positive reinforcement than they do to force. Training a dog with trust, respect and positive feelings is also much easier for the average dog owner. We should do no harm while interacting with our dogs. We often create unintended behavior by either not training our dogs or by not treating them with respect and understanding. Trust and respect goes two ways, and positive reinforcement will earn both. Gaining a dog's trust should be as important to us as that of another person.

Most dogs respond to us in the same manner we treat them. Affection, attention, understanding and patience are just as necessary when interacting with dogs as it is with children. We don't automatically get a child’s or dog's trust or respect just because we're bigger than they are. Both have to be earned, and positive reinforcement is the path to that goal.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Fun Indoor Activities for Your Dog

By Suzanne Alicie

Sometimes it is just too cold to be playing outside with your dog, but Fido still needs exercise and entertainment. So what do you do with your dog when you’re confined inside? Anyone who loves dogs knows that there are many ways to interact with your dog indoors, but to actually get some exercise and expend some of his canine energy may require a little more than having him lie on your cold toes to keep them warm. Well, maybe that is just me; my favorite thing about winter is a warm dog to cuddle with! For the rest of the time, here are some indoor activities you and your dog can enjoy together.

Indoor Fetch

A tennis ball or a chew toy can be used in a fun game of indoor fetch with your dog. If you don’t have a lot of room, don’t worry – you aren’t going to actually be throwing the toy. It may take a few times for your dog to understand the game, but once they catch on they’ll be just as eager to play indoors as they are outside. Call your dog and show him the tennis ball or chew toy, then either roll it across the floor or hide it behind you. Your dog will be excited to either chase it across the floor or bound around you to try to get it from you.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

K9 Nose Work – a Fun New Sport for Fido!

By Julia Williams

First there was surfing. Then there was Musical Canine Freestyle. The latest sport that really makes me wish I had a dog is K9 Nose Work. I love my cats dearly, but as anyone with kitties knows, there are limits to the fun things you can do with them. The only sport I know of for cats is Feline Agility, and my skittish kitties would not do well in that arena. But if you’re a dog owner, you really ought to look into the relatively new sport of K9 Nose Work.

What is K9 Nose Work?

All dogs have an incredible sense of smell, said to be a thousand times more sensitive than a humans. Whereas we have a mere 5 million olfactory receptors, a dog has more than 220 million, which makes them a natural for scent work.

The exciting sport of K9 Nose Work evolved from the important scent work that detection dogs and professional handlers do, e.g., searching for explosives, drugs and cadavers, tracking, and search and rescue operations. Three Southern California dog trainers started K9 Nose Work (also called fun nose work) to give everyday dog owners a chance to let their canine friends put their impressive sniffers to use while having a good time. K9 Nose Work was designed to develop a dog’s natural scenting ability by utilizing their curiosity, desire to hunt and fondness for toys, food and exercise.

Monday, December 20, 2010

What Pets Teach Us about Life

By Linda Cole

For years my family and friends have teased me about my love for animals of all kinds. They've accused me of caring more about animals than I do for most people. My pets have seen me at my worst and my best, and have always been there when I needed a friend. The bond we have with pets is unique, and we know what the benefits of owning a pet are for us and children who grow up with a pet in the home. The bond we share with a pet opens our eyes and allows us to learn from them things about ourselves and life. It's been said, “The eyes are a window into the soul” and if you take the time to really gaze into your pet's eyes, you can see more than you think and learn things about yourself. What pets teach us about life isn't found in books; it's found in simple pleasures and the basic needs for life.

Pets have no concept of wealth or power, and are content to live in the moment. If you pay attention to them, they teach us lessons every day. What happened yesterday or an hour ago is forgotten and tomorrow's possibilities are wide open. If the sun isn't shining, it's OK because dancing in the rain can be just as much fun. I've learned the simple things – the freebies of life – are what make it worthwhile. Hiking with your best canine friend by your side, or sitting by a campfire under a star-filled sky away from the noise of the world helps to put things in order. Pets teach us to enjoy the little wonders in life, and that it's worthwhile to look under a bush once in awhile.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Great Christmas Gifts for Your Favorite Feline Fan

By Tamara L. Waters

Christmas,  Christmas time is here, time for joy and time for cheer. . . chipmunks may sing about what they want for Christmas, but what do cat lovers want? Is there a song for that? Probably not, so instead, here are a few ideas for your favorite feline fancier. Give them something that appeals to their love of cats and you're sure to make them purr (sorry, bad pun).

Cat Pattern Blankets - Buy or make fleecy blankets that have a kitty pattern on them. Your kitty lovin' friend will enjoy a snuggly blanket with pictures of their favorite animal scattered all over it – great for a chilly winter evening!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Human Food that's Deadly for Pets

By Linda Cole

If you want a pet to pay attention to you, make yourself something to eat. Some pet owners don't think twice about tossing their dog or cat a bite of human food, but giving them the wrong food can be deadly for them. With Christmas and New Year's comes extra food sitting around for pets to discover when no one's watching.

As responsible pet owners, I’m sure most of you know that some human food can be extremely dangerous for your pets. However, it's always worth putting out a reminder when holiday plans and family gatherings can take our attention away from our pets. This list is by no means a complete list of human food pets shouldn't eat. Keep your pet safe by making sure they don't have access to food sitting out that's meant for company, and make sure guests don't toss your begging pet a “treat.”

Thursday, December 16, 2010

CANIDAE Special Achiever: Bryce Mann’s Gun Dogs

By Suzanne Alicie

I recently had the pleasure of conducting an interview with Bryce Mann, another of the CANIDAE Special Achievers. The Special Achievers are an elite group of pets and pet owners sponsored by CANIDAE Natural Pet Food Company.

When your earliest memory of childhood is sitting between your brother’s feet on the floor of a cotton picker while your brother hunted and being lowered to the ground to go fetch the pheasants, what do you suppose you’d want to be when you grew up? One thing is for sure: you wouldn’t want to “be” the gun dog sent to fetch the prize.

Bryce Mann’s experience “being” the hunting dog for his brother and a lifetime of hunting and being around hunting dogs has led him to his current profession. How many of us can say that we love our jobs, that our work is fun and that it is almost like playing? Bryce Mann can say all that. His profession as a trainer and handler of gun dogs is something he has been working toward since he was small.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Solutions for Pet Hair on Furniture, Carpet & Clothes

By Julia Williams

We love our pets dearly, but having their hair all over the house? Not so much. Yet, unless your chosen breed is a hairless variety, pet hair in the home is unavoidable. Upholstery, carpeting and clothing are pet hair magnets. Minutes after I vacuum, I see more tufts of fur on my carpet…mocking me.

Once, a delivery driver briefly sat on my chair, and when he turned to leave I saw that his backside was wearing half a cat. I didn’t say anything because really, what could I say? “Wait! Let me brush off your butt.” I don’t think so. Pet hair in the home is a nuisance, but there are things you can do to minimize it.

Solutions for Pet Hair on Furniture

Rubber pet grooming gloves have little “nubs” on them designed to loosen fur while you massage your pet, but they work great for removing pet hair on your furniture too! Rubber gloves with raised grippers work too – the textured surface provides traction which helps to “grab” the pet hair when you make short scraping strokes over your furniture. A dampened sponge or microfiber cloth rubbed in one direction can help to ball up the pet hair so that collecting it is easier. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Agility Training Can Correct Your Dog’s Bad Behavior

By Linda Cole

I love watching dogs and their owners running agility training competitions. The dog and owner work as a team to run through tunnels, jump over hurdles, maneuver over a seesaw and weave through poles as well as completing other obstacles. Agility training is a sport for owners who want to add a little excitement and exercise in their life, and dogs love showing what they can do. If you have a dog that needs more exercise to keep him from being bored, or you have a dog with behavior problems, you might want to consider agility training to help correct your dog's bad behavior.

Dogs are active by nature, but some need more action than others. A dog that is confined inside all day can develop inappropriate dog behavior that's destructive or annoying to the neighbors, such as constantly barking or howling. Providing exercise is the best way to help a dog burn off excess energy. A quick walk in the morning before leaving him on his own all day works well for some dogs, but dogs who love to run and jump need more exercise to ward off inappropriate dog behavior. Agility training gives a dog a chance to do what he loves to do and learn something new which keeps his mind stimulated.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Choosing the Best Low-Maintenance Dog Breed

By Tamara L. Waters

It's just a fact of nature: some pets require more work than others. If you are like me and enjoy things that are uncomplicated, you might be interested in finding a low-maintenance dog breed.

What exactly does low-maintenance mean, though? For some it can mean a dog breed that doesn't require excessive exercise, while other definitions mean a dog breed that doesn't need a great deal of grooming. How about a dog breed that doesn't require a lot of cleanup? All of these factors need to be taken into account to come up with a list of low-maintenance dog breeds.

Exercise – All dogs need regular exercise and mental stimulation. There is no such thing as a dog that doesn't need exercise, although some breeds are more high energy and require more physical exercise than others. Regular walks and playtime will keep your dog in good shape and can help curb behavior issues that stem from boredom and lack of exercise. Some dog breeds, though, are a little more satisfied with lying around and do well in small homes and yards.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Breed Profile: American Indian Dog

By Ruthie Bently

The American Indian Dog history goes back 30,000 years in both North and South America. They were used by Native American tribes for herding, tracking, corralling bison, running down deer, hunting bear and guarding, as well as pack animals for pulling the travois when a family unit migrated from place to place. Their hair was used for weaving to make garments and blankets. They also kept their owners warm on very cold nights. The breed was developed and strengthened by the breeding of dogs that were traded between tribes of all the Nations from Alaska down into south America by the Plains Indians.

The American Indian Dog is a very intelligent breed. They need a firm, steady owner who is able to be the pack leader so there are no behavior problems. They have strong instincts and need to be socialized well. American Indian Dogs are very conscious of their territory and will bond very strongly to their family members. They are able to adjust to many environments and make exceptional watchdogs of both family and the household. They are cautious and alert around strangers.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Life, As Seen Through the Eyes of a Cat

By Rocky Williams

Editor’s note: We will be featuring guest bloggers here from time to time, and since my cat Rocky used to blog regularly on another site, he volunteered to be the first. Take it away, Rocky!

Well hello there. I have been observing this thing called “life” for seven years now, and consider myself something of an expert. I probably shouldn’t be divulging my vast knowledge of the feline mind, but I have nothing better to do at the moment since I’m under House Arrest. I’d much rather be out on gopher patrol, but the Warden (a.k.a. the human who feeds me) has forbidden it.

As a cat, I naturally see things much differently than the Warden and pretty much all humans. My “rule of paw” is that cats are superior to all creatures, and this has served me well. Cats have no masters – we have “staff.” The Warden likes to pretend that she’s the one in charge, but we all know better. She is the maid, kibble dispenser and bowl washer, plain and simple. She exists to do my bidding. When I want to be petted, I am. When I want my treats, I get them…or else! Ha ha. There is no noise quite like a cat being denied his noms.

Friday, December 10, 2010

What Does a Veterinary Behaviorist Do?

By Linda Cole

Pets find themselves in animal shelters for a number of reasons, but too often, they're surrendered because of behavioral problems their owner couldn't or wouldn't deal with. Qualified veterinarians are applying their specialized knowledge in animal behavior and working with pet owners to help them solve bad behavior so a pet and his owner can stay together. Like an applied animal behaviorist, veterinary behaviorists are helping to solve behavioral problems and keeping pets out of shelters.

Dealing with a pet that has a behavioral problem is extremely frustrating for an owner who has no idea why their pet's behavior has suddenly changed. When a once quiet dog barks insistently for no apparent reason, it can drive a loving pet owner, and their neighbors, up the wall. However, the dog does have a good reason and to him, it isn't an unnatural behavior. A cat refusing to use her litter box may have a medical problem or is upset because of a change in the home. A veterinary behaviorist can step in to help a pet owner solve the mystery of why their dog is barking or why the cat isn't using her litter box.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Stocking Stuffers for Pets

By Suzanne Alicie

The holidays are fast approaching, and you may be wondering how to make sure your pet is involved in the gift giving that your family will enjoy. A pet stocking stuffed with some of the things your pet needs or enjoys through the year is a great way to include your furry friends.

A few years ago I found a pre-filled dog stocking that was made for larger breed dogs. It included some chew toys, a good thick collar with a secure buckle, some treats, a dog brush and other grooming supplies. When I realized that all of the items were available individually for a much lower price, I decided to do my own pet stockings, but I got some great ideas from that one.

Puppy Stockings

Puppies always need things. They grow rapidly and will need larger collars, increasingly larger toys, lots of CANIDAE Snap-Bit™ treats for training, and personalized tags for their collar. Clothing and other accessories such as puppy booties can be fun for everyone. I’ve found that many of the items for a puppy belong under the tree rather than in a stocking – a doggie bed or a new crate just aren’t stocking sized.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

How Facebook Saved a Special Dog Named Nico

By Julia Williams

I love Facebook. As a writer who works from home, my days are solitary by design. Facebook allows me to instantly connect with others across the globe, which helps me to feel not quite so alone as I type away. No matter what time it is when I take my “Facebook break,” there’s always something interesting to read.

Recently, I learned about a deaf dog named Nico, and his story is so touching that I wanted to share it with you. Nico’s story is about many different things – rescue, redemption, Facebook, the kindness of strangers, and above all, why we should never “judge a book by its cover.”

Nico is a white Dogo Argentino, a rare breed from South America said to be loyal, playful, athletic, affectionate and intelligent. Not much is known about the first years of Nico’s life, but he ended up in the South Los Angeles animal shelter, which is where his heartfelt tale begins. Nico’s malnourished body was covered in fleas and riddled with sores, cuts, bruises and scars. Nico had a large tumor on his back, his teeth were chiseled and his ears appeared to have been cropped with kitchen shears. The shelter described Nico as a biter and dangerously aggressive. Who in their right mind would adopt this poor, sad mess of a dog?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Winter Activities to Keep Dogs Busy

By Linda Cole

December 21 is the official start of winter, but as far as I'm concerned, when the first snowfall covers the ground – it's winter! Even with snow on the ground, dogs can still get plenty of healthy stimulation and exercise during the winter months. If your dog is like a couple of mine, the minute the first snowflake hits the ground they head for the couch and a warm blanket to cuddle under, but once they get outside, they have as much fun as the other dogs. Winter activities for dogs can be anything you enjoy doing together.

The first thing to remember when venturing outside in the winter is safety for you and your dog. Winter activities are only fun when no one pulls a muscle, gets too cold or becomes lost. Protecting your pet with a microchip can save his life if he should become separated from you during any outdoor activity. Brush up on survival skills and always remember to pack survival gear for you and your dog when heading outside for some winter fun.

Monday, December 6, 2010

10 Christmas Gift Ideas for Dog Lovers

By Tamara L. Waters

If you have a friend who adores their canine pals, consider getting them a gift that caters to this special love. You can rest assured your friend will appreciate a present that remembers their favorite four-legged pal. Check out these ideas for perfect Christmas gifts for your favorite dog lover.

Dog Calendars

The Pink Ribbon Puppies calendar features adorable yellow lab puppies, and all proceeds go toward breast cancer research. Local book stores and online retailers offer a multitude of dog themed calendars too. Choose a wall calendar, a desk calendar, a planner or all three that feature dog photos. Whether your friend has a special dog breed that’s their favorite or they squeal over cute puppy pictures, they can stay on schedule with their favorite pet breeds. Some specialty stores even offer pet calendars that include special sections for veterinary records. This is a great option for your favorite responsible pet owner.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Why Dog Walking is Important

By Linda Cole

Dog walking is an activity that takes time and energy. After a hard day's work, it’s not always easy to pull yourself out of your chair to take the dogs for a walk, especially if they don't have good leash etiquette. However, walking your dogs on a daily basis creates a unity in your pack that helps them learn they belong together. Dog walking as a group teaches dogs they are a family and you are the one in control.

When you have more than one dog, their personalities can get in the way during playtime. One may be a ball hog and another may be shy and won't play because their personality holds them back. Another dog may be jealous and does everything in their power to interfere in your playtime with others in the pack. And trying to reward with treats can bring out food aggression issues in some dogs who don't want to share. You may be tempted to just give up because of the hassle involved with interacting with more than one dog. But since you are the leader, it's up to you to find that one activity that can bring everyone together as one, and dog walking is the best way to do that.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Great Quotes Inspired by Cats and Dogs

By Julia Williams

Our pets have inspired many witty sayings over the years. Considering the extraordinary bond many of us forge with our four-legged friends, it should come as no surprise. Pets make us laugh and they make us cry; at times they even make us shake our heads and wonder “why.” Pets are, above all else, a source of great inspiration to me and to so many others. I could fill a book with all of my favorite quotes about cats and dogs. Here are just a few of them. 

Great Cat Quotes

“A kitten is the delight of a household. All day long a comedy is played by this incomparable actor.” - French novelist Champfleury

“It is impossible to keep a straight face in the presence of one or more kittens.” - Cynthia E. Varnado

“The cat is above all things, a dramatist.” - Margaret Benson

“No amount of time can erase the memory of a good cat, and no amount of masking tape can ever totally remove his fur from your couch.” - Leo Dworken

Friday, December 3, 2010

How to Winterize Your Outdoor Doghouse

By Suzanne Alicie

The temperatures are dropping, and if your dog spends time outdoors in winter, it’s important to make sure his doghouse is properly winterized. Responsible pet owners have no problem spending an afternoon making sure their pet will have a nice warm place to spend the winter. It is advisable that if possible you prepare a space for your dog in your garage or basement, but if that is not feasible you can still make sure your dog will be warm and safe throughout the winter.

Doghouses come in all shapes and sizes; there are igloo shaped houses, large kennel type houses, and even homemade wooden doghouses. When choosing a doghouse, keep in mind that for winter you need something that will block the wind. The smaller the entrance or the longer the entrance to the dog house extends, the better for keeping your dog warm and cozy inside. It is pretty easy to affix an extension tunnel entrance to nearly every type of doghouse that doesn’t already have one. It may take your dog a few days to get used to moving through a longer space before being in his house, but he will quickly adjust and appreciate the warmth.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

How to Teach an Excited Dog to Calm Down

By Linda Cole

Some dogs can get so worked up when it's time for a walk or a romp in the backyard they nearly knock you over on the way to the door. Frenzied barking and jumping is the sign of a hyper, out-of-control dog who could become aggressive if they remain in that state of mind and meet another dog or person once outside. Calming them down before they go out is the best thing to do – but how do you teach a dog to stay calm? Read on.

An overly excited dog isn't focusing on you. If you are trying to get them outside and they are jumping, barking and running away from you, they are controlling the situation. Teach a dog to stay calm with basic commands and get him to focus on you.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Homemade Christmas Gifts for Pets

By Tamara L. Waters

Ho ho ho, it's almost Christmas! When you are decking your halls and getting your presents ready for the family, don't forget your four-legged family members. If your budget is tight or you just prefer to create cool gifts with your very own hands, making gifts for your pets can be a fun project for you and the kids. Make a few of these easy gifts to put under the tree for your pet.

Pet Pillows and Blankets

Whether you have a cat or a dog, you can bet they like to lay around on occasion. Why not make them their own pillow or blanket for snoozing and relaxing on? Fleece is a great fabric to use for either a pillow or a blanket for your pet. To make a quick, no-sew pillow, use an appropriately-sized throw pillow and cut two pieces in the same shape as the pillow but much larger (allow a six-inch border all around). Tie the corners of the fleece pieces together and you've got a quick and easy pet pillow.

To make a simple fleece blanket, sew two square pieces together or cut two-inch fringe the whole way around each piece, then use the fringe to tie the two pieces together. These pillows or blankets can be made in any size that would be best suited for your pet.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hero Dog Saves Owner, Thanks to Pongo Fund and CANIDAE

By Julia Williams

The Pongo Fund Pet Food Bank in Portland, Oregon is a non-profit charity created to help people who are unable to buy food for their pets. They opened in November 2009 with a donation of $125,000 worth of premium pet food from CANIDAE. In just one year, the Pongo Fund Pet Food Bank has distributed more than one million meals to help feed hungry dogs and cats in Oregon and southwest Washington! 

CANIDAE continues to support The Pongo Fund Pet Food Bank with large donations of its premium dog and cat foods. The charity then gives the food free of charge to anyone who expresses a genuine need. The goal is to keep families and pets together in challenging economic times, and judging by a touching letter The Pongo Fund received recently, they are succeeding in ways they couldn’t even imagine.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Train Your Dog According to Their Personality

By Linda Cole

Dogs are not created equal when it comes to training. Some learn faster than others, and some just can't seem to get what you're trying to teach. All dogs can be taught basic commands as long as you're willing to invest the time and energy to stay committed. However, dogs are individuals and like kids, they learn at their own pace. Knowing your dog's personality can help you devise a training schedule that works best for them.

Dog training isn't high on some people's priority list. I know many dog owners who have never spent one minute training their dogs to sit, stay, walk on a leash or any other basic commands. They feel that as long as their dog will come to them most of the time when called, that's all the training they need. Animal shelters are full of untrained dogs who have been surrendered by their owners because the dog developed behavioral problems they had no idea how to correct. Lack of training to correct behavioral problems is one reason many people give up their dogs.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Animal Movies for the Holiday Season

By Suzanne Alicie

The holidays are a time when even the most diehard Scrooges are often overcome with a warm fuzzy feeling. There are classic holiday movies that have been favorites for generations, then there are newer holiday movies that are well on their way to joining the established ranks. But when it comes to animal lovers, there are some holiday movies featuring various fuzzy creatures that will always top the list. After all, there’s nothing that will warm your heart like a great family movie featuring your favorite animal. Keep in mind that this list is based upon my personal opinion and includes holiday animal movies that we love to watch at my house.

The #1 Holiday Movie with Animals

Okay, so maybe there aren’t real reindeer with shiny red noses, or even any real reindeer at all in this movie; but Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is a wonderful classic that will tug at your heartstrings as you gather to watch poor Rudolph save Christmas.

Friday, November 26, 2010

How to Teach Your Cat the High Five Trick

By Julia Williams

I’ve never been very successful at teaching my cats tricks. It’s not because training cats is impossible – I’ve seen plenty of performing cats in videos and at cat shows to know that felines definitely can learn tricks. My cat training failures stem mostly from a lack of patience and motivation. Since my cats run and hide from nearly everyone who comes to visit us, the payoff of teaching them tricks doesn’t seem worth the effort.

That is, until now. I’ve actually found a cat trick that is pretty easy to teach, most likely because it’s a fairly natural behavior. One of my cats, Rocky, is picking up the High Five trick quickly, and although we’re not at the “perform on command for your friends” stage, I’m betting it won’t be long. Of course, then I will have to find a way to keep Rocky from hiding under the bed when people come over.

If you want to teach your cat the High Five trick, keep reading for my step-by-step instructions. But before you actually start your cat training, make sure you have plenty of their favorite treats on hand. Cats are not usually motivated by praise, but most are quite motivated by food, especially if it’s something they love. So keep the cat treats handy, because you’re going to need them.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pets Provide a Feeling of Thanksgiving Every Day

By Suzanne Alicie

One of my favorite traditions of Thanksgiving is the practice of choosing something each day from November 1 through the holiday to be thankful for. This allows me to devote a few minutes each day to be appreciative of all the blessings in my life. Pet owners often get this little nudge of feeling how blessed we are all throughout the year as we interact and enjoy the pets that are part of our families. When you look back at the year, you will find that many of your most precious memories include your pets.

While you may not think of your pets when you sit down at the holiday table with family and friends, there are definitely many reasons to be thankful for your pets. Now, I am a cat lover and can think of several wonderful ways that cats make life better each and every day of the year. But I am also a dog owner, so my list of reasons to be thankful relates more to our canine friends. There are also other types of pets that enrich our lives – and whether we enjoy watching the fish swim in and out of their little castle or giggle at the hamster spinning in his little wheel, all pets provide a pleasing presence to their owners’ lives.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Simple Dog-Inspired Crafts to Make

By Tamara L. Waters

Are you a dog lover, or know someone who is “doggone crazy” about their canine friend? Whether you are looking to decorate your own home with man's best friend or you want a cute gift for someone else, homemade dog crafts are a great way to show your personality and creativity. If you have kids in the house, they will enjoy making some doggy crafts just for fun. Check out a few of these dog-inspired crafts, and get busy!

Toilet Paper Tube Doggy

Recycle an empty toilet paper tube into a simple craft little ones can make. The website has great printable templates for toilet paper tube dogs. These are simple to make and always a hit with the kids.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Eight Things Every Pet Owner Needs to Know

By Julia Williams

First of all, let me just say that what follows is not an “official” list of things pet owners need to know. I’m not a veterinarian or animal behaviorist, but I am an animal lover and lifelong pet owner, and these are my personal suggestions. Knowledge is power, and so is awareness. Both can help us take better care of our beloved pets.

Exercise is vital to a pet’s wellbeing. A body needs to move in order to stay physically fit and mentally healthy. Regular exercise burns calories, stimulates a pet’s immune system, and increases muscle mass and cardiovascular strength. Many aggression and behavioral problems in dogs can be attributed to lack of exercise. Dogs need to run and play, which helps to burn off excess energy and keep boredom at bay. Even cats are more prone to mischief if no one takes the time to play with them. Sure, some cats can be pretty lazy and may need encouragement to chase that feather toy or mouse – but they’ll live longer and happier lives, so it’s worth the effort to engage them in play.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dog Behavior: Understanding Dog Fights

By Linda Cole

Breaking up a dog fight can be difficult and potentially dangerous. If your canine family includes two or more dogs, they may all get into a fight at one time or another. It's a scary situation, especially if you're alone and there's no time to think about what to do in the heat of the battle. Even a dog who is quiet and docile can turn into a raging bull when pushed too far. Breaking up a dog fight is one of the hardest things you may have to do. It’s a good idea to have a plan in place; even better, learn about the body language of dogs to prevent fights before they begin. Dog behavior that might lead to a fight is clear and easy to see, if you know what to look for.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Breed Profile: Shiba Inu, the Brushwood Dog

By Ruthie Bently

The Shiba Inu is an ancient breed that originated on the island of Japan and is a descendant of the primitive dogs of the ancient Japanese people. The breed can trace its roots back to the third century B.C, although it was not officially named until the 1920s. They are Japan’s number one companion dog.

The Shiba Inu is a member of the AKC’s Non-Sporting group, which is interesting when you consider they were originally used for hunting, primarily to flush birds and small game. They were also used for hunting bear and boar, due to their superior senses and ability to traverse steep hills and mountainous regions that were inaccessible to people. According to Merriam Webster’s online dictionary, Shiba means brushwood and Inu means dog. Some Shiba Inus’ coat color is the same reddish color of these trees, hence the nickname brushwood dog.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Humor: Eight Reasons Your Dog Adores You

By Tamara L. Waters

Your dog loves you. Better yet, he absolutely adores you. There are many reasons why he thinks you are the best, but here are eight to start with.

Your Affection

Your dog loves affection from you. Whether it's a quick scratch between the ears or a leg-thumping back or belly scratch, your dog loves you for the physical affection you give him. Keep your dog happy by bestowing plenty of affection and attention on him, and he will reward you with his adorable antics and a slimy tongue in your ear.

Those Delicious Trash Cans

You dog adores you because of the wonderfully aromatic and delicious things you keep stashed in the garbage can or trash bag, just for him! He loves that you save wonderful “treats” and make him work for them, because as we all know, the anticipation and effort to get to those trash-can treats make them even tastier.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Think Pink All Year Long with a Pink Ribbon Puppies Calendar

By Suzanne Alicie

We are thrilled to share with you a wonderful and inspiring project that has been put together by a long-time member of the CANIDAE breeder program. While the Pink Ribbon Puppies website may appear to be just an adorable site with puppies on it, there is a serious and touching story behind it.

The Pink Ribbon Puppies 2011 calendar is a fundraising project for breast cancer research. It features a litter of nine beautiful lab puppies born this past September. When the co-owner of the dam of this litter was diagnosed with breast cancer, it was decided that as much as she was looking forward to the puppies and wanted to be involved, she needed to focus on her healing process and leave the whelping up to the other co-owner. So while she underwent radiation therapy for five days of each week for six weeks, her friend and “co-mommy” began her days with puppy breath as she helped get the puppies off to a great start in life.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lessons I’ve learned from My Cats

By Julia Williams

Pets are wonderful companions, but they can be great teachers, too. If you share your home with a pet, you’re probably being taught important life lessons by them every day. Usually, we’re so busy “being human” that we don’t stop to ponder life from our pet’s perspective. We don’t think about the things we could learn from our pets, but I think we should, because animals are wise beings with many messages to impart. Here are just some of the many lessons I’ve learned from living with cats:

1. Take pleasure in the simple things. Cats don’t need fancy toys or lavish homes to be content. Give them a paper bag and a cardboard box, and all is well. We humans don’t really need the latest, greatest gizmo to be happy either, but very often we’re so caught up in the pursuit of “things” that we don’t take time to experience life’s simple pleasures.

2. Don’t hold a grudge. Forgiveness is a hard thing for humans to achieve. Most of us know that being angry and resentful harms our bodies and our spirits, yet we struggle to forgive. I marvel at my cat’s ability to forgive so quickly. Moments after being harshly scolded for spilling my coffee, Rocky comes back for a pet as though nothing happened. If every human could forgive this quickly – just imagine what the world would be like. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Why a Quality Pet Food Matters

By Linda Cole

The good people at CANIDAE produce premium quality pet food that helps keep our dogs, cats and horses healthy. They've gone through extensive research to offer pet owners reliable, natural and nutritious food choices. But this article isn't about a company who provides pets with the best diet possible; this is about why we, as responsible pet owners, need to be aware of why our pets need the best food possible. It’s also about something many pet owners may not realize – which is, that buying a premium quality food like CANIDAE can actually be more cost effective than grocery store brands.

On the CANIDAE website you can find a Cost to Feed Calculator which figures the daily cost of feeding CANIDAE Natural Pet Foods based on your dog’s weight. Just answer a few questions about which formula and size bag you buy (or would like to try), your dog’s weight and the amount your independent pet store charges for it. Then click the “calculate” button to see how affordable premium dog food really is! For a dog weighing between 51 to 75 lbs, you can pay an average of only $0.52 to $0.78 per day.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Operation Blankets of Love

By Julia Williams

I first heard about the wonderful non-profit charity called Operation Blankets of Love (OBOL) while watching an episode of Pit Boss on Animal Planet. I’ve since learned a little more about them and wanted to share with you what they do. Why? Because Operation Blankets of Love is a lifesaver (literally) for shelter animals in need, and they have inspired me to help too.

Imagine being a shelter dog and having to lie on the hard, cold cement floors, or a shelter cat stuck in a steel cage with nothing soft to lie upon. It’s an uncomfortable existence to say the least, and one no creature should ever have to endure. Yet many of our nation’s homeless animals do have to endure it, because shelters go through thousands of blankets and towels every month, and rely on donations to replenish their supply.

This is where Operation Blankets of Love comes in – since their inception in January of 2008, they have collected and distributed more than 200,000 blankets, comforters, towels and other soft bedding to Southern California homeless pets in shelters, rescue groups, sanctuaries, and foster groups. OBOL is a great help to cash-strapped shelters to be sure, but let me tell you how they save lives too.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thanksgiving Hazards for Household Pets

By Suzanne Alicie

Thanksgiving is coming up soon. We all know what that means – indulging in all kinds of traditional foods and desserts, visiting with family, and enjoying the blessings of all we have. As enjoyable as Thanksgiving is for humans, the holiday offers many dangers for our household pets. As a responsible pet owner, there are things you should watch out for with dogs and cats in the house on Thanksgiving.

The following items are hazards that could cause you to end up spending the holiday evening at the vet’s office or the emergency pet hospital instead of watching the football game with your family.

1. Many Thanksgiving foods are bad for your pets. The main foods to make sure your pets don’t eat are turkey and turkey bones. Turkey contains L-Tryptophan which is known to induce sleeping. Because of the size of your pets’ body this can lead to listlessness and lethargy. The real danger is in the turkey bones, which can cause intestinal obstructions, punctures, tears and internal bleeding. Turkey bones, like most other poultry bones, splinter and have jagged edges. For more information, read Foods You Should Never Feed Your Dog.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

How to Curb Your Dog's On-Leash Aggression

By Linda Cole

Going for a walk with your dog is a great activity you can enjoy together. It’s a chance to get some exercise, fresh air and quality time to bond. But it’s not much fun if your dog turns into a snarling, excited dog who drags you down the street as he races towards everyone and every dog he sees. Some dogs become so excited that their eagerness turns into aggression towards you and everything else within their reach. On-leash aggression is a serious dog behavior issue that needs to be corrected as soon as possible.

I have a 10 month old Border Collie who can't wait to get outside for a walk or to play in the dog pen. She's fine once we get her outside – it's the transition that creates an aggressive behavior with the other dogs and sometimes with us. Putting on her leash only adds to her aggression.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cute Cat Crafts to Make

By Tamara L. Waters

Meow! Cats inspire more than just cartoons and humor, they can inspire crafts too. If you are a cat fan or know someone who is, try out a few homemade projects to decorate your home or give as gifts. If you have kids, they will also enjoy these kitty cat crafts on a rainy day or to bust some boredom.

Printable Cat Crafts for Kids

For young children, printable paper crafts are fun and easy to do. Whether you are looking for templates to create toilet paper tube kitties, cross stitch patterns or other simple cat crafts, this website has lots of them. This is my favorite go-to site for simple crafts for the kids.

Kitty Treat Jar

Save a plastic peanut butter jar with lid to create a cute kitty treat container. Wash the jar out thoroughly. Use felt to cut out cat eyes, nose, mouth and ears. Glue them onto the jar to create a cat face. Be sure you don't glue anything in such a way as to obstruct the lid. Store your kitty treats in the jar.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Five Good Reasons to Adopt a Senior Pet

By Julia Williams

I think it’s great that the ASPCA and celebrate November as Adopt-a-Senior-Pet Month. So many older animals languish in shelters because potential adopters are typically more interested in a younger pet. I completely understand the allure of those cute kittens and puppies, but I still feel sad for all those older dogs and cats that would make wonderful family pets if given the chance.

Many people erroneously assume that the adult dogs and cats in shelters are there because of problem behavior or some other fault. The truth is, the majority of adult pets in shelters are not “bad” – they were given up by people who can’t care for them anymore or simply don’t want to, for various reasons. Unfortunately, if they are already “senior” age, their chances of being adopted are slim. What you may not realize, however, is that older pets can be a better choice than puppies and kittens, for many reasons.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Breaking Your Dog’s Bad Habits

By Suzanne Alicie

Dogs are supposed to be “Man’s Best Friend” but without proper training and consistency they can develop some bad habits. Each dog is different and may have a variety of bad habits which can make your life pretty stressful.

I am in awe of pet owners who always have mannerly, well behaved dogs. My dog is generally well behaved, but at times I have difficulty controlling her when we get ready to go outside. She jumps and barks and whines because she is so excited. I know why she does it, and it is my fault. I made the mistake of riling her up in the past just to watch her do this because I thought it was funny. Now she thinks that is what is expected when I say “Let’s go outside.” We are working to change this bad habit that I inadvertently taught her. Each dog has their own personality and that is reflected in both the behavior of the dog and the success of training methods. Some dogs require a different approach, but many dogs respond to basic consistent training.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What are Earthdog Tests?

By Ruthie Bently

The most cited definition of an earth dog is “a dog that will dig in the earth, or enter holes of foxes, etc.” Earth dogs were originally used for hunting food for the table or vermin, and were bred to track badger, otter, weasels and other quarry to their den. At an Earthdog Test or Den Trial, a dog is competing against themselves and their own natural ability to hunt when confronted by an underground hunting location.

Earthdog is a newer sport based on an old practice. There are several dog breeds that have been used for many years for this purpose. It is now a recognized competition by the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) and the American Working Terrier Association (AWTA). Called both “Earthdog Tests” and “Earthdog Den Trials,” their purpose is the same – to test your dog’s natural instinct and trained ability to work and hunt a quarry after they have “gone to ground.”

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

RPO Blog’s Newest Winner of Free Pet Food!

By Julia Williams

The sponsor of this blog, CANIDAE Natural Pet Foods, selects one reader every three months to receive a free six month supply of their premium quality pet food. The winner is chosen at random from every new reader who subscribed via email during the past quarter. The winner gets to pick any formula of CANIDAE dog food or FELIDAE cat food. I think this wonderful contest is a lovely gesture of good-will.

The lucky winner from last quarter is Marie Anne St. Jean of Frankfort, Ohio. Marie Anne has chosen to receive free CANIDAE All Life Stages formula for her two dogs: Jethro, a Jack Russell Terrier, and Molly, a Golden Retriever/German Shepherd/Saint Bernard mix. Marie Anne recently told me a little bit about herself and her special four-legged companions, so I want to share it with you.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...