Thursday, May 31, 2012

Canicross - Head Cross Country with Man’s Best Friend!

By Suzanne Alicie

I know that our lovely editor Julia only assigned this title to me because I’m known to want to try the things I write about. Well, surprise! I’m not giving Canicross a shot… although for an athletic person and a well behaved dog it could be a fun activity. My dog Bear has ‘ADD of the nose’ and just a normal walk around the block means me racing along behind her frantically as she runs back and forth following scents. Harness or not, I definitely won’t be trying Canicross with her!

Canicross is the sport of harnessing your dog and running or walking cross country. It’s similar to the sport of Skijoring which I’ve thoroughly explored here before. How is Canicross different, you may wonder, from simply taking a walk? Consider the actual idea of cross country walking or running – it’s a test of your endurance and stamina, strength and coordination to be able to travel long distances. Now think about heading up a large hill while you’re walking or running cross country. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a partner harnessed in front of you to give you a little bit of a pull?

Harnessing your dog for Canicross is much like harnessing him to a sled for pulling power. When you run or walk cross country with your dog you have a partner, a bit of extra strength. It also strengthens your bond with your dog to learn to work together as a team to get where you are going. Canicross does require that your dog learns to keep tension on the line while traveling at a speed that is comfortable for you. Your dog needs to be accustomed to a halter and to having some weight on the harness in order to learn the restraint and pace of Canicross.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What Makes Your Pet Unique?

By Linda Cole

What I love about Facebook is seeing friends talk about their pets. The other day, I read a post from someone laughing about her dog racing around the house chasing a fly. Since that's one of Keikei's go-to activities when she can't find anything else to do while the cats are all asleep, it made me stop and think about the things my pets have done over the years that make them unique and special.

Keikei loves to learn and will do anything for her CANIDAE Tidnips treats. She watches me like a hawk and plops her bottom down before I can get some treats out. There's a little quirk she has that makes me smile every time I see her doing it. When she sleeps, she has to have her back legs leaning up against a wall, unless she's sleeping on the couch. It's almost as if she's bracing herself and she goes through a ritual to get her feet placed just right against the wall.

Buddy was a kitty who always sat and watched me mop the dining room floor. When I was finished, he'd go to the far end of the living room, crouch down, stare at my clean floor, wiggle his behind, and then race full steam towards the dining room. He loved to slide across my freshly mopped floor and leave a ‘Buddy’ streak the entire length of the room.

My Siberian Husky Jake was usually very dignified and regal, except when he felt I needed a talking to, which was usually when I made him get out of my chair so I could sit down. Jake always planted himself right in front of me, looked me straight in the eye and gave me a series of stern woo, woo, woos (as only a Husky can do) to make it clear the chair was his and I was totally out of line by making him move.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Breed Profile: the Regal Bedlington Terrier

By Langley Cornwell

Generally speaking, terriers are known to be a rowdy, energetic type of dog. In fact, when people talk about terriers I hear the same descriptions used repeatedly: tireless, bossy, quick to bark, stubborn, dynamic, quick to chase, lively, feisty, clever, independent, persistent, intense, scrappy, etc. Although we can’t be 100% sure, it’s almost certain that our rescue pup is a blend of terrier-types. One thing we can be completely sure of, however, is that all of those words could be used to describe her.

There is one breed of terrier that doesn’t fit within common terrier generalizations: the Bedlington Terrier. Sometimes referred to as Rothbury Terriers or Rodbery Terriers, Bedlingtons are known to be calmer and less excitable than most. Moreover, these graceful, elegant dogs have a look that’s quite unusual among canines – they look like little lambs!


Bedlington Terriers are beautiful. They have a narrow, pear-shaped head with almond-shaped eyes that are small and deep set. Their strong-looking muzzle covers jaws that meet in a scissors bite. The low set ears are triangular and rounded at the tips. These dogs have an erec, almost regal posture; their straight front legs are shorter than their back legs. With a thick double coat of hard and soft hair that stands out from their skin, they look like baby lambs. Ranging in colors from blue to sandy to liver, they can also be multiple colors like blue and tan, sandy and tan, or liver and tan. They may also have tan markings on their faces, chest, legs and hindquarters.


According to the American Kennel Club, the ideal male Bedlington Terrier should be 16-17 inches (41-43cm) at the withers, and bitches should be 15-16 inches (38-41cm). The dog’s weight should be in proportion to their height, somewhere within the range of 17-23 pounds (7-10kg) for the males and the females.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Why Do Our Pets Stare at Us?

By Linda Cole

For most pet owners, the best way to get your dog or cat's attention is to head for the cabinet where you keep their CANIDAE food or treats, or make yourself something to eat. No matter where they are, they can smell whatever it is you have. I'm also convinced their supersonic hearing can pick up the crinkle and crackle of a food bag from miles away. Then there are the times when you think your pet is sleeping only to see them staring when you look their way. Dogs and cats stare at us for a lot of different reasons.

Pets are masters of the “stare,” especially when they want something. Making eye contact is the best way for them to get our attention. There's the sideways stare where you see the whites of their eyes. In my household, that stare says, “I'll get back to you on that.” Or “You talking to me?” There's the “Why are you yelling at me?” stare that attempts to convey how innocent they are. The sad looking “I'm sorry” stare from behind a chair or table and all you can see are the eyes and top of the head. The defiant “I don't wanna do that” and the playful “Let's have some fun” stare. Last, but not least, is the “So, you gonna eat all of that?” stare. I'm sure your pets have their own stares that are special to you.

We are always sending subtle signs that cats and dogs can read in our body language. My dogs watch me all the time, even when I think they're asleep. It's like they're always on duty, and they probably are. There's not much that gets by them. Outside noises and scents we miss can get our dogs attention. How many times have you seen the “Did you hear that?” or the “What's that smell?” inquisitive stare?

I'm always waking up to one of my cats lying nose to nose beside me or on a pillow, staring at me. There's no drifting back to sleep when your cat is gazing at you with wide, innocent looking and unwavering eyes saying, “Hey, you're awake. You might as well get up and feed me NOW.” I guess the good news is the sun is up and I managed to sleep through the 5 A.M. breakfast call. My cat Jabbers gives me love stares when he wants to have a conversation, which is all the time, and Figaro gives me an intense look just before he leaps up on my shoulder – his favorite perch.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Our 1,000th Post and a Giveaway!

By Julia Williams

CANIDAE Natural Pet Food Company started this blog in February of 2009. I’ve been a regular contributor for nearly all of that time, and I’m happy to say we’ve just reached a great blogging milestone – our 1,000th post!

In the beginning, the mission for the blog was twofold – to connect with customers as well as to help all pet lovers across the country with issues pertaining to pet care, nutrition, health, training, grooming, exercise, behavioral issues and of course, responsible pet ownership. 1,000 posts later, and this mission remains unchanged.

Over the years, I’ve watched the blog grow both in readership and depth of the knowledge imparted by all of our wonderful contributors. As Editor, I’ve worked with some amazing writers who, like me, dearly love their pets and are delighted to share their expertise and personal stories with others. CANIDAE and all of its blog contributors are passionate about pets – that’s why we do what we do here day after day, post after post.

We strive to offer a mix of articles that educate, entertain, inspire and enlighten. We want the RPO blog to be a place where every pet lover feels welcome no matter what type of four-legged friend resides in your heart and home.

I feel blessed to have formed so many friendships with other pet bloggers and animal lovers these past few years. Pet bloggers are an extraordinary group if ever there was one. The sense of community, the camaraderie, the loving support of people who adore their pets – this is something I didn’t know existed before becoming part of the RPO blog, but it’s enriched my life in ways I can’t begin to explain.

And that leads me to the giveaway I mentioned in the title of this post! As a celebration of reaching 1,000 posts, I want to give one lucky reader a ticket to the BlogPaws 2012 Pet Blogging and Social Media Conference held on June 21-23 in Salt Lake City, Utah!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

How to Help Your Dog or Cat Lose Weight

By Linda Cole

An overweight dog or cat can struggle with many of the same health concerns overweight people have to deal with. There's nothing wrong with giving your pet a few TidNips treats now and then, especially when training, but we need to understand the importance of exercise and maintaining a proper and healthy weight for our pets just as much as we do with our own weight. An obese pet is no laughing matter.

It's not as easy as you might think to help your dog or cat lose weight. Let's face it, cats spend a good deal of their time sleeping, which is normal for them. Trying to get a cat motivated to exercise will mean you need to play with her. You have to be careful, however, and not allow her to lose weight too quickly because cats can easily develop a very serious disease called Fatty Liver Disease that's hard to treat and can be life threatening. The cause is unknown, but obesity is suspected to play a role.

One out of every four dogs and cats are overweight. Here's a simple way to help you determine if your pet is too heavy. Rub your hand down along your pet's side, under the hair. If you can feel their ribs, they aren't overweight. However, if you can't feel their ribs it's time to consider a weight loss program, but only after your vet has had a chance to give them a checkup. Weight issues in dogs can be associated with Cushing's disease or hypothyroidism. A checkup is a must to make sure your pet is healthy enough for an increase in exercise and to discuss a proper feeding schedule.

Overweight dogs and cats don’t deserve lower quality ingredients to lose weight; they simply need your help in providing them with the proper amount of high quality food. If you're already feeding your pet CANIDAE or FELIDAE, you know the benefits of providing a well balanced, natural and healthy diet. Pets that eat a premium quality food like CANIDAE or FELIDAE don't have to eat as much in order to feel full. Along with proper exercise, a high quality food can help keep your pet at their recommended weight.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Tips for Creating a Social “People Friendly” Dog

By Suzanne Alicie

While some people prefer their dogs to be protective and guard their home and family, most of us would like our family pets to be social and people friendly. It can be a hassle and even frightening to worry about what your dog may do when someone comes to visit. It’s easier to socialize younger dogs, but even older dogs with consistent training and stability can learn to be social.

The key to socializing your dog is of course to have the dog in social situations. When dealing with a puppy, it’s important to introduce them to many people and other dogs. Visit the dog park, have doggie play dates and let your dog get comfortable in crowds. If you have an older dog that isn’t socialized very well, make sure that you take precautions before you take him into a social setting. You may want to muzzle your dog so he isn’t able to bite anyone or any other dog, and introduce him socially a little bit at a time.

Talking to your dog, soothing him and easing him into social activities with people and dogs will go a long way toward calming the dog and making the social aspect easier for him to accept. If you’re nervous and anxious about all the ways that introducing your dog socially could go wrong, your dog will pick up on that too. Maintain a calm demeanor and let your dog know that it is okay.

If your dog cowers or behaves as if he’s frightened of other dogs or people, let him get used to them from a distance before approaching. Dogs are curious and once they’ve become accustomed to different smells they will want to check out the other dogs and people around them; let your dog socialize on his own terms.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Best Apps for Pet Owners

By Langley Cornwell

“There’s an app for that” is a catchy phrase. In fact, the slogan plays an important role in Apple Computer’s promotion of their iPhone. The tagline has become so popular it’s now become a part of our culture, making its way into general conversations and even into pop music.

So it stands to reason that, when it comes to being a responsible pet owner, well… there’s an app for that.

There are apps to assist you in locating dog parks, finding pet-friendly hotels and comparing dog walkers and pet sitters. There are apps for tracking your pet’s health, practicing various training methods, illustrating grooming techniques and reminding you of feeding times or medication requirements. There are even apps that help you select the most nutritious and specific foods for your pets; foods like CANIDAE and FELIDAE.

There is a website called Mashable Tech that lists the most popular apps for pet owners. There are also helpful apps listed on Yappler. I’ve tried some of these apps, but not all. Here’s a rundown of some current recommendations.

Apps to keep your pet healthy and strong

Cat Doctor: Expert veterinarian advice for your cat, right at your fingertips. Cat Doctor is organized into critical topics so it’s easy to find exactly what you’re looking for. There’s also an informative video hosted by a cat-specific veterinarian with over 30 years of experience.

Pet First Aid: An app that keeps all of your pet’s important medical records in one place. It also provides illustrations and videos of what to do in case of a medical emergency. The cool thing about this app is you can reach the information when you’re offline so if you get into trouble while hiking the back roads with your four-legged pal, you can access advice immediately.

Pet Vet Records: Here’s a way to track your pet’s health and share their medical records and files with your vet. This app is good for someone who moves frequently, because you can easily transfer your pet’s health information from one vet to another.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Why Do Dogs Circle Before Lying Down?

By Linda Cole

My first dog, Jack, was an American Eskimo. When he started to get older, I adopted an American Eskimo puppy named Kirby. My mom had an American Eskimo named Heidi. When our dogs were together and we took them outside to do their business, we always enjoyed a ritual they all engaged in. They would spread out and Jack would circle one way, Kirby circled the other way and Heidi matched one of them. They always started to circle at the same time, circled for about a minute and then stopped at the exact same time to do what they needed to do. It was like watching a choreographed dance routine. They also circled before lying down.

Circling is a common practice most dogs do at one time or another. Going around and around before doing their business is one example; however, not all dogs do this. A curious or concerned dog will circle an area to check for the scent of another dog. A dog's nose is always on guard for scents he needs to pay attention to. Few dogs can resist checking out another dog's calling card.

No one knows for sure why dogs circle, but scientists believe it's a hard wired behavior that goes back to before we domesticated dogs. In the wild, there are no doggie beds with soft cushions. Wild dogs had to make their bed wherever they could find a suitable location, and sometimes it was in grassy/weedy areas. Most likely, circling is an instinctive behavior, and a dog circles to flatten the area where he intends to bed down to make it more comfortable.

Another behavior dogs do prior to circling or while in the process of going around and around is to stop every now and then and scratch at the floor or carpet. A couple of my dogs really get into pawing at the carpet, and at times they act like they're trying to dig through the floor. This is another instinctive behavior used to scrape away rocks, twigs, pebbles and other debris from a resting site. Scraping or digging at the ground was also a way to even it out, making the bed more comfortable. Even dogs in the wild appreciate a comfortable place to sleep. In colder climates when dogs had to deal with snow and wind, digging down into the snow and circling to pack it down made for a warmer bed. Digging a small impression in the ground to reach cooler dirt made a cooler bed in the summer.

Friday, May 18, 2012

CANIDAE Sponsored Dog Performs on Canada’s Got Talent!

Photo by Kris Svela

By Julia Williams

It’s a given that all of the dogs and cats CANIDAE sponsors are talented; after all, they’re called Special Achievers for a reason. However, a 7-year old Pyrenean Shepherd named Rally is so good at freestyle flying disc that he (with his owner/handler Angela Ewtushik) recently got to show off his mad skills on Canada’s Got Talent, and made it to the Semi-Finals!

CANIDAE Sales Manager Caroline Pettersen said, “Although Angela and Rally didn't win a place in the finals, they won a place in the hearts of Canadians. Angela and Rally went on a journey that most of us just dream about. We are very proud of Angela for being as brave as she was and putting herself out there the way she did. With an original desire to show people how to have fun with their dog...I believe she certainly made that impact on many.”

Indeed she did. In her CGT blog, Angela wrote “Eight months ago Rally and I waited in a hallway in the Rogers Centre for our turn to showcase our talent. I never thought that hallway would lead to several appearances on national TV and a huge fan base of Rally supporters from across Canada. This hit me minutes before the show. As the cameras were taping the audience, I gasped at the number of ‘Rally’ signs and the people cheering for him, many of whom I didn’t know. I had to turn away to find a makeup person to wipe my tears!”

I caught up with Angela recently to ask her more about this fun experience.

How did your act come to be? 
I was looking for an outlet for Rally’s energy. I saw some videos of canine freestyle disc and thought it would be something fun to try!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

How Close Do Pets Bond With Each Other?

By Linda Cole

I already had a young dog when I bought my home. Jack was a fun loving American Eskimo. Shortly after moving in I adopted Puff, a fuzzy yellow kitten. Jack was just shy of his first birthday so he and Puff grew up together and became inseparable. I didn't understand how closely they had bonded until 17 years later when I lost Puff to natural causes. I found Jack lying beside him in the morning acting as if he was trying to get him to wake up. Jack and I grieved Puff's passing and Jack never really got over the loss of his friend.

Yes…pets can develop a close bond with one another.

Some people think humans are the only species with the capacity to love and bond closely with others. They argue that pets have no emotions and are therefore unable to care about each other or even their owner. However, there are plenty of documented stories about pets developing strong friendships and bonding with each other and even with wild animals.

In Japan, a farmer was shocked when his cat came home with a baby mouse in her mouth. Now that in itself isn't odd, but it's what the cat did with the mouse that is. Instead of attacking her prey, the cat befriended the mouse. They shared food, they played together, and the cat protected her little friend from dogs.

Two tabby cat siblings, Jesse and Jack, were separated when their family decided to move from their home in the southern part of Australia to a new home in the northern part of the country. Before the family could move, however, Jack disappeared. After several months the family feared the worst, and went ahead with their moving plans, taking Jesse with them. Losing Jack was hard on the entire family, including Jesse, as she and Jack had been inseparable. Shortly after moving, Jesse disappeared from her new home and the family once again grieved the loss of another pet. They were surprised to learn fifteen months later that Jesse had arrived back at her old home in the south. She had traveled 1,900 miles across the Australian Outback. In the meantime, Jack had returned home. When Jesse left her new home and headed south on her long and dangerous journey, it wasn't her old home she was seeking, it was her brother Jack. Their bond was closer with each other than it was with their human family. Jesse and Jack are now happy as can be living in their original home in the south.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Why Do Cats Make Biscuits?

By Langley Cornwell

Okay, I’ll come right out and admit it – my cat sleeps right on top of me. When I fall asleep on my back, he falls asleep on my stomach. If I roll over, he rolls with me and sleeps against my back or my front, depending on which way he flops when I roll.

My husband (relegated to the far other side of the bed) laughingly asks how it feels to have the equivalent of a watermelon balancing on me while I sleep. It’s true; our cat is a big guy. It took me a while to get used to our sleeping arrangements but he is so cuddly and loving that I persevered.

There’s one thing he does during our highly choreographed slumber, however, that I cannot get used to. There are times when he’ll wake up and start kneading on my back, and then he starts purring loud enough to wake the neighbors. This kneading or ‘making biscuits’ is a deal breaker. Once he begins, there is no way I can fall back to sleep. After a while, the kneading and purring starts to feel like water torture, especially if you’re starving for sleep.

Kneading is a common feline trait. Much like grooming after a meal or curling up in a tight ball for a nap, kneading is just one of those things that cats do. And while the act of kneading is the same—pushing their paws in and out while switching from the left to the right paw—cats knead in different ways. Some cats keep their claws retracted the whole time while other cats extend their claws on the push motion and retract them on the pull-back motion. Thankfully, my cat keeps his claws retracted the entire time so there’s no pain involved but still…could you sleep during a kneading and purring session?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

How to Teach Your Dog Tricks

By Suzanne Alicie

Dogs are highly intelligent creatures and they love to please their people. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but in fact a dog of any age can learn to do tricks; it’s just a matter of how you go about teaching them. Dogs are similar to children in that they all have different personalities and even different learning styles. Some dogs love to perform and eagerly soak up any new tricks the first few times you teach them, while some may take a little more time and effort. On the other hand, there are also dogs like my Bear – she knows exactly what is expected but seems to think she can make the humans do a few tricks of their own before she will deign to lift a paw!

Repetition is the key to teaching your dog tricks, the same as with training your dog. Essentially sitting, heeling and even walking on a leash are all tricks your dog has learned. When you want to teach them to shake, beg, dance or roll over, it’s just a matter of letting them know what you want them to do, offering them a CANIDAE TidNips treat when they do it successfully, and repeating the action over and over until your dog associates a certain word or gesture with the trick.

Keep in mind that while your dog may have certain qualities of a child it is not a person and it takes time and dedication to both train and teach your dog to do tricks. Yelling or becoming upset with your dog will not help him learn a trick. First you must teach the dog the action of the trick – yes, this means you may have to get down and roll on the floor! Then you have to work on the word or gesture to make him do the trick on command. Make sure you have plenty of treats on hand and are generous with praise.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Special Achiever Jay Harris Helps Chase Away K9 Cancer

By Linda Cole

Canine cancer is a hard topic for me to write about. It has touched my canine family several times over the years. However, it's important to shed light on the disease to help dog owners understand how early detection can make a difference in a dog's survival. Jay Harris, a CANIDAE Special Achiever, is using the sport of dock diving to promote cancer awareness and to raise money for Chase Away K9 Cancer, an organization trying to find a cure for canine cancer. If you're into dock diving, you've heard of Jay Harris and his eight year old yellow Lab, Sir Harley, who is ranked 11th in the world as a Veteran. I had a chance to speak with Jay to find out more about both of his passions.

Chase Away K9 Cancer was founded in 2006 by Cera Reusser after losing her black Lab, Chase, to cancer. Chase was full of life and excelled at dock diving with an Elite Jumper status in Big Air and NW Challenge Championship in 2005 and had a designation of AKC Master. One day, Cera found a lump under Chase's chin. It was nasal carcinoma. Chase was just shy of her seventh birthday when she died. This grassroots organization raises money for grants to fund cancer research. So far, they’ve raised over $530,000.00 and funded twelve cancer studies with more studies planned for later this year. They also aim to give support, understanding, comfort and guidance to dog owners.

Detecting canine cancer early can make a difference in the prognosis and treatment. Chase Away recommends a nose to tail body check on the 14th of each month. Start at the head and look in their ears, eyes and inside the mouth, checking for tumors. Feel and look over your dog's entire body, searching for lumps or bumps. Know where to find the dog's lymph glands and how they feel. If you notice any changes, call your vet. Weight loss should be a red flag.

Jay brings awareness to this disease through his love of dock diving and helps raise money throughout the season for canine cancer. This year, one of Jay's fundraising events, the 2012 Sir Harley Veterans Tour Chase Away K9 Cancer kicks off the season in honor of his Lab, Sir Harley, who became a Veteran Competitor in DockDogs. Donations will be accepted all year and a check will be presented to Chase Away at the World Championships at Dubuque, Iowa in November. “To date, we are over $3,000 and the jumping season is only getting started.” Money is raised for Chase Away at all regional (club) events. If you attend an event, look for a dog wearing a K9 vest walking around in the crowd and if you are able to help, please donate.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Are "Pet Moms" Really Mothers?

I have been told that because I have no human children, I am not a Mom. I beg to differ, and my dictionary agrees with me. It mentions maternal affection and protective care; nowhere does it stipulate that this pertains exclusively to human beings. Whether we choose to act with motherly devotion to a cat, dog, horse, rabbit, hamster or human baby, the emotion is the same. Love is universal.

As a caretaker of cats, I have felt all of the emotions that other mothers feel – fear, tenderness, love, heartbreak, joy, anxiety, anger, impatience, exasperation, affection, protectiveness – the list is endless. I have an overwhelming desire to keep my cats safe and free from harm. When they are sick or injured, I fuss over them endlessly. When they are in pain, my heart aches for them. When they are happy and playful, my spirits soar too.

I'm not saying there aren't major differences between pets and human children. Of course there are. For starters, my cats never buy me a Mother’s Day gift or bring me breakfast in bed. They don’t send me a card or take me out to lunch on my birthday, and they don’t demand that I throw them a party on their own birthday. Heck, they don’t even acknowledge any of the days that humans have designated as special; to them, these days are just like all the others.

Yet when I hold my cats or pet them I never think, “If only you were human, you’d know how much I love you.” They do know. What’s more, the love I give to them is returned to me tenfold. They can’t tell me how they feel with human words, but they tell me by their countenance. They tell me by the way they lie on my chest and nuzzle me with their head when we go to bed at night. They tell me with kitty head butts and gentle licks on my nose. They tell me by the way they curl up in my arms. And I can see it in their eyes, can feel it in their purrs.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Lovable Beagle Will Steal Your Heart

By Linda Cole

I have a Beagle/Terrier mix named Alex. Since she is a mixed breed, she shows characteristics from both breeds, but it's her Beagle side that's more dominant. She has a stubborn streak a mile wide, would do a triple back flip for a TidNips treat, loves to bark just for the sheer joy of barking, and she’s very affectionate, especially when she wants something.

The Beagle is one of the most loving dogs you can bring into your family. They want to be with you wherever you are and enjoy sitting as close to you as they can get so they can cuddle. However, they are also an active dog that loves to play and run. This breed is sociable, easy to get along with and willing to do what is asked of them, if the price is right. Beagles can be stubborn, but are easily enticed with food. What gets a Beagle's attention is their CANIDAE food and treats, because eating is one of their favorite activities!

The breed dates back to the 1500's where the English elite took packs of Beagles on hunts to find rabbit, pheasant, quail and fox. Their distinctive baying directed hunters following behind a pack of dogs. They are still used today in hunting, but not as much as they once were. The Beagle's nose is second only to the Bloodhound, and some people argue their nose is more sophisticated than the Bloodhound's. The Beagle can pick up a scent on the ground and find their prey faster than any other dog breed. They are so smart they can tell the difference between scents, and remember them the next time they run across them. That ability is what makes the Beagle perfect at detecting termites and rooting out illegal fruits and vegetables people try to smuggle past customs. They are even being used to sniff out bed bugs.

Because of their smaller size, the Beagle makes an excellent search and rescue dog that can go into areas larger breeds can't get into. Law enforcement agencies have discovered this little dog has a knack for finding people who have wandered off a trail or gotten lost in remote areas. Because they are smaller, the Beagle is easier to transport to search areas and carry across rough terrain if it's necessary.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Human Pacemakers Help Extend Pets’ Lives

By Langley Cornwell

My mother recently got a pacemaker. She was experiencing shortness of breath and unusual fatigue but chalked it up to the normal aging process. When she started fainting, though, we knew we needed to get serious about seeking a solution.

The doctors determined she was suffering from arrhythmia, which means her heart was not able to pump enough blood through her body. They admitted her to the hospital and the doctors tried to treat her heart condition with medications, but nothing seemed to work. After 12 days of trying, the docs finally believed they couldn’t get her issues sorted out with meds and decided to put in the pacemaker.

Until that time, I didn’t know much about pacemakers – but when your mom is getting one, you learn a lot. The hospital staff was helpful and patient. They explained that a pacemaker is a small electrical device that’s surgically inserted in the chest or abdomen to help regulate abnormal heart rhythms. Her pacemaker not only controls her heart rhythms but also transmits back to a monitoring system where my mom’s cardiologist can see how her heart is doing at any given time. It’s fascinating, and this little device has helped my mother resume a fairly normal lifestyle.     

Cats receiving human pacemakers

So when I read an article in the Knoxville News Sentinel about how the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine is putting human pacemakers in animals, I was intrigued. Apparently, a cat named Junco was experiencing symptoms similar to my mother’s. The cat went through a series of fainting spells and her vets couldn’t figure out why. Junco’s human parent said it really scared her when Junco would meow in a weird, eerie way, her eyes would get a strange look and then she’d fall down in a cold faint. She’d stay unconscious for about 10 seconds.

As a cat parent, I can imagine how excruciating those 10 seconds would be. Once the vet suspected Junco was experiencing heart problems, the cat was referred to a board-certified veterinary cardiologist at the UT College of Veterinary Medicine. The cardiologist found Junco to be a perfect candidate to receive a pacemaker, and the surgery was performed.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Dog Friendly Vacation Spots

By Suzanne Alicie

Summer is fast approaching. We all like to take family vacations, but when it comes to our furry friends the choices may seem limited. If you feel that a family vacation should include your canine family as well, you’re likely searching for dog friendly vacation spots. Luckily, there are plenty of these to choose from, and they make great vacations for the entire family! While you could board your dog or skip vacation because it seems like a hassle to plan a vacay with your dog, once you check out the possibilities you’ll see that it’s not so difficult to find dog friendly vacation activities.  Yes, there is some preparation and specific packing to do… but wouldn’t you rather have your dog on vacation with you? For some of us it’s not a question; it’s not a family vacation without the whole family – dogs included!

The Great Outdoors

If your dog is happy on a leash, there are many state and national parks across the country that allow and even welcome dogs. You can go hiking, swimming, kayaking and more with your four legged family member. Camping eliminates the need to worry about finding a pet friendly hotel too! Note: Some parks have pet limits, so be sure to check the rules before you plan your vacation.

Festivals and Events

You may be surprised at just how many dog friendly events and festivals are held across the country. From the Bark in the Park events to the Dog Bowl and pet expos, you’ll find many instances where dogs and humans alike can gather and have a great time! Check online and in the cities you’d like to visit to find out when dog friendly festivals and events will be held so that you can plan your vacation to include them. These events are lots of fun, and you might even snag some goodies for your pooch, like CANIDAE TidNips treats!

Monday, May 7, 2012

How Sensory Overload Stresses Out Pets

By Linda Cole

Let's face it. Today's world is a noisy place for us and our pets. Unfortunately, the sensory input our pets experience on a day-to-day basis can be causing them stress. All of the noises, smells and sights we encounter are usually taken in stride by us, but can be a bit much for our furry friends.

A cat's sense of smell is fourteen times stronger than ours, and a dog surpasses our sense of smell by 1,000 to 10,000 times, depending on the dog's breed. When it comes to hearing, dogs can hear sounds at around 80 feet while our ears only hear effectively at 20 feet. Dogs can pinpoint direction in just six-hundredths of a second and calculate the distance of sounds much better than we can.

Dogs and cats hear more frequencies, with cats capable of hearing high frequency sounds dogs can't hear. A cat's hearing is so precise they can hear a mouse three feet away and knows where it's at just by sound. Felines hear sounds about five times farther away than we can. In short, pets are more aware of all of the sounds around them and their nose also keeps them well informed. It's no wonder they can hear you opening that bag of CANIDAE treats!

Too Much Noise

We don't think about the everyday sounds we encounter. We're so used to hearing them that we don't notice how noisy the world is until we shut everything down for the night. If our pets had their way, they would ask us to tone it down a couple of notches. We tune out a lot of noise, but pets can't do that.

Most homes have at least one TV on when someone is home. Radios, stereos, videos on the computer, video games and cellphone ringtones all produce noise pollution inside the home. The dishwasher, washing machine, dryer and microwave seem innocent enough to us, but it's what we can't hear that can be annoying to pets. To them, the lower the volume, the easier it is on their sensitive ears. Pets are listening to outside sounds as well. That's a lot of noise for them to contend with. If your pet gets up and leaves the room, it could be because they need to find a quiet place where they can relax and unwind.

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Sphynx, a Hairless Cat with a Charming Purrsonality

By Julia Williams

I vividly remember the first time I ever came face to face with a Sphynx cat. My friend and I were making the rounds at a cat show, oohing and aahing at all the beautiful kitties with their luxurious, fluffy coats brushed to perfection. We turned a corner and there they were, these peculiar hairless creatures with giant ears, wrinkled bodies and an alien-like appearance. I must admit my first thought was something like “What the heck are those things?” I saw them again recently on Animal Planet’s My Cat From Hell and had a similar reaction. I guess I’m just so used to seeing cats with fur that the Sphynx, by comparison, looks unnatural to me. However, the Sphynx reminds me of that old saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” The Sphynx may look odd to people who are used to furry felines, but many other cat lovers call the Sphynx ‘pure enchantment’ and value the breed for its affectionate nature and lively demeanor. I decided to research this interesting rare breed to find out more about it.


Though the appearance of the breed is one of hairlessness (and some truly are) many actually have a light covering of soft, peach-like fuzz. Some Sphynx also have short, fine hair on their feet, tail or outer edges of the ears. The lack of fur makes the cat’s skin warm to the touch, described as feeling like a heated chamois or a suede-covered hot water bottle. The lack of fur also creates a feeling of resistance when petting the cat.

The breed’s lack of hair is governed by a recessive gene. It takes two copies of the gene for the hairless trait to express itself, so if both parents have only one copy, the number of hairless kittens in their litters will be approximately one in four.

The breed standard states that wrinkled skin is a desirable trait, particularly around the muzzle, between the ears, and around the shoulders. The Sphynx skin can be any color found in other felines, as well as any pattern (solid, point, van, tabby, etc.). Most Sphynx have no whiskers, but of those that do, the whiskers are short and sparse.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pet Sitter Wins Six Months of Free CANIDAE Dog Food

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 lucky winner gets to pick any formula of CANIDAE dog food or FELIDAE cat food.

The most recent winner is Toni G. of Orange, California. Toni is already a CANIDAE fan – she’s been feeding it to her rescue dog Roxy for a few years, and now she’ll get to chow down on a free six-month supply of the food she loves! Toni chose to receive the CANIDAE Chicken & Rice formula.

Here’s what Toni said about herself and her four-legged family members:

“We have one dog and two cats in our family. Our rescue dog, Roxy, is a sweet Aussie-Border Collie mix and she is 6 years old. Roxy has been eating CANIDAE for a few years now and loves it! She gets both dry and canned. I find it keeps her in great health and her coat shiny and thick.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Are You Prepared if Your Pet Gets Lost?

By Linda Cole

No matter how careful you are as a pet owner, sometimes the unexpected happens. I've had my share of frantic moments racing around the house searching for a pet I feared had gotten outside and was lost. And I have also had those fears come true. Finding a lost pet can be difficult, but if you're prepared before it happens, you won't have to waste valuable time searching for what you need before you can start looking for them.

The first thing to remember is, don't panic. There's a good chance your pet will be found by someone else or wander back home on their own. However, you don't want lose valuable searching time by sitting back and waiting to see if your cat or dog can find their way home. One of the best tools you have is knowing your pet's personality. That makes a big difference in where to start your search, especially for a lost cat.

The more people friendly your cat is, the better chance they have of being found by someone else and taken to a shelter or local vet clinic. A friendly or curious personality, though, can also cause them to wander farther from home than a more fearful cat. The scared/timid feline is more likely to hole up in a place where she feels safe and that's where she will stay until hunger, thirst or another animal scares her away from the area. She may even ignore your calls and could be hiding somewhere in your yard or anywhere within a block of home.

Dogs can be gone in a flash, especially if they see a rabbit or something else that gets their prey drive in high gear, and they can cover a lot of ground in a short period of time. Both cats and dogs have traveled very long distances, at times, to find their way home after becoming lost, but there’s no guarantee yours can do the same.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What is Exercise Induced Collapse?

By Langley Cornwell

My one-time canine companion was a black Labrador. She was the sweetest, most willing-to-please pet I’ve probably ever had. This good gal would look at me for assurance or confirmation before doing almost anything; we were completely bonded and inseparable for 17 years.

This dog had an incredibly high energy level and was excellent at the job she was bred to do, which was interesting because I rescued her from a horrible situation when she was just a few weeks old. It took drastic medical help and a great deal of veterinarian attention to nurse her back to health, but with love, care and good nutrition like CANIDAE, she grew up to be an awesome dog. I say all this to let you know that she was never officially trained on how to retrieve. I certainly never trained her to do it and she had no previous owners. Still, her desire to please me made her so easy to work with. She was a champion.

At the time, I hadn’t heard of Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC) but I did know that Labrador Retrievers (and quite a few other breeds) were tireless when they were playing fetch or seriously retrieving, and they didn’t have a good monitoring system that alerted them when it was time to slow down. Since we live in the very hot and humid south, I had to be especially careful with my Lab during the summer. The newspapers and local pet bloggers did an excellent job issuing warnings to dog owners about the dangers of the extreme heat. Still, I heard too many stories about dogs collapsing and/or suffering from a heat stroke.

Since that time, a friend of mine has adopted a Golden Retriever. The shelter where she got her pet said the dog was an ‘owner surrender.’ Apparently, the dog had a good pedigree and was field trial trained but tested positive for Exercise Induced Collapse. She dug into the condition and wanted me to research it too.

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