Monthly Archives: February 2009

How to Find a Veterinarian

Do you know how to find a reputable veterinarian for your four-legged friend? Think of it as if you are looking for a pediatrician for your human child. The same ideas apply; you are just looking for a veterinarian. A good place to start is to ask family, friends and coworkers. Do they like their vet? What kind of impression does their vet give? If you don’t have friends or family who live close by and you go shopping for a vet on your own do you know the questions to ask? Here’s some help.
Call a veterinarian in the area and make an appointment. Are they willing to see you without your pet first? If they are a good vet, they will understand. You want to meet the vet first alone to see if you get along and will be willing to trust your pet with them. Also ask them if they are willing to give you a tour of the practice.
Arrive at the vet’s about fifteen minutes before your appointment time, this will give you a chance to visit with some of the other clients in the waiting room, and see how the vet interacts with not only them but their pet as well. It also gives you a chance to look around.
How does the staff treat the patients waiting to see the vet? Are the office and staff neat and clean, or dirty and dingy? Does it smell clean or like urine and feces? Is the staff friendly and informative or standoffish and un-talkative? Are the vet’s credentials prominently displayed? Do they sell your brand of pet food? If not, do they have access to your food and are they willing to order it for you?
Questions to ask the vet:
  • Does the vet make house calls if you have a skittish animal or can’t get into the office?
  • If you’re in a rural area and have larger animals or birds, will the vet be able to take care of them too?
  • If money is an issue, will the vet work with you by allowing you to make payments on your outstanding bill?
  • Something else that is important, does the vet talk to you and explain things, or does he talk at you and expect you to follow his orders? You want a veterinarian who will work with you, not against you when dealing with your pet’s health issues. After all, your pet is still a member of the family and your veterinarian is just as important as any other doctor that a family member may see.
Ruthie Bently

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

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Doggie Daycare

If your dog is a nervous wreck when you get home from work, it might be time to look into some alternative arrangements during the day. 
Luckily we have Doggie Daycare available! 
I know you’re asking yourself, why am I paying for my dog to go to daycare? The interesting thing is that we’re asking, “Why wouldn’t you?”
The most important reason is that if you are even half as busy as we are, you know that coming home to an unexercised, hyperactive pet is not necessarily a good thing. So tell me what you prefer after a long, hard day at work and hours of fighting traffic: a Jack Russell terrier trying to take you down by hopping all over you, or a happy, tired lap-dog who wants to go to sleep as much as you do? 
If the answer is a happy, tired lap dog that wants to sleep, then doggie daycare may be the answer for you. 
A good daycare will let you know how your pet is doing each day socially, physically and emotionally. If your dog is not ready for group play, daycare can keep them exercised and mentally stimulated during their stay. Your dog will get plenty of exercise and have the opportunity to socialize with other dogs. As a result, you will have a much happier and fit pet!
The costs for doggie daycare range so dramatically, I’m not even going to bother to list it here. Much of the cost will depend on where you’re located, your drop-off and pick-up times, and the quality of the facility. 
You want to ensure that the facility is clean, that the staff is highly qualified and that they are insured as a business. The location should be clean, free of any parasites and all pets should be current on their vaccinations. Be sure they feed high-quality snacks, such as CANIDAE Lamb and Rice Snap-Bits.
Take a look in your area to find a place that does doggie daycare. Even if you only take Fido a couple of days a week, we think you’ll be impressed with the benefits a pack can bestow on your pets.
photo credit: Copyright PetsWeekly, 2008
Stacy Mantle

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

How to Decide if You Really Want a Dog

Do you know the questions to ask to make sure you really want a dog? If you are a previous owner of a dog, you probably already know because you have already been on that ride. If you grew up with dogs as I did, that isn’t necessarily a reason to get one, unless you had to help take care of a dog growing up. What most first time dog owners don’t realize is that owning a dog is a commitment for life and you should treat it that way. Unfortunately, many of the dogs that end up in shelters are there because their previous owners didn’t realize what getting a dog entails.
There are costs involved past the original purchase price of your new friend. There are bills for the vet for regular visits and emergency visits, food, toys, gates, crate and training costs. If you live in city or country there are safety issues, and there can be issues with wild animals. These are just a few of the things you might come across. If you get a puppy, they teethe and dogs don’t stop chewing, they just stop teething when they get all their teeth in.
A good place to start is by doing some research into the kind of dog breed you are interested in, whether you want a purebred or a shelter dog. How much exercise will your chosen dog need? Do they need to sleep indoors? What kind of activity level will your new dog have? How much space do you need for the dog you want? Do you live in a house or apartment? Do you have a yard or will you have to walk your new friend? Do you have the time to take care of this new addition to the family, or are you a workaholic? Do you mind if the dog gets hair on the carpet or your white sofa? Or runs across your clean floor with muddy paws? Do you mind drooling? Does your city or state have restrictions against the breed you want to get? Does your chosen breed have health or allergy issues?
Go to your local library or book store and pick up a few books. The AKC has a comprehensive breed guide for all the AKC registered breeds. Simon & Schuster also has one that goes into the temperament and housing needs of the breeds in their book. There are several good books on the market today that can tell you what you need to know while doing your research. After you answer all these questions and you can still say yes, put on your seat belt. You are in for one of the most fun rides of your life.
Ruthie Bently

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

How to Find A Great Pet Boarding Facility

If you’re planning on leaving town and have less than three pets that you can’t really take along with you – a dog resort may be right up your alley. Today we’re going to be looking at Tailwinds Pet Resort in Phoenix, Arizona to give you an idea of what we look for in a pet resort.
Comfort & Cleanliness
First and foremost, we like clean, comfortable locations that have lots of places to run. Spacious kennels for freedom of movement, and a clean facility to ensure my pet doesn’t come home with any type of parasite (our personal worst nightmare). When you do a walk-thru of the pet resort, take a close look at your surroundings.
  • Does the facility smell badly? Remember, it’s filled with animals, so keep the smell thing relative.
  • Do the animals appear clean, happy and alert? You can tell what an unhappy dog looks like.
  • Do you notice any bugs? If you see bugs, ticks or fleas on the floor or worse, on the animals, make a run for the door and don’t look back.
  • What types of cleaners are used? Try to stay with facilities that use all-natural cleaners, but understand that with a lot of animals in their care, it may not always be possible to do that.
Experience
Tailwinds Pet Resort is a relatively new boarding facility run by two women who love pets as much as we do, and they are meticulous. Between the two partners, they have nearly fifty years of experience in the industry and that comes out to a lot of quality care. Some of the questions you want to ask are:
  • What kind of experience does your resort have? It should be extensive.
  • Are they hiring minimum wage workers to care for your pet or are they paying their workers well? A well-paid employee is a happy employee.
  • How involved are the owners? They should be an active part of the business.
Safety
The safety of your pet is of utmost importance. Ensure that no escape from the resort is possible and ask what types of precautions they have built in to the facility. Identify any possible risks that you can see and ask your tour guide about them. Find out if a veterinarian is on-call for the resort and who that vet is. Discuss what the procedure is in the event of a fire or other danger. Ensure that they require documentation that your pet is current on vaccinations, because if they’re asking you, they are asking all of their clients. Most importantly, try to work only with resorts that keep staff on the premises 24-hours a day.
Feeding
The optimal situation for a pet resort is the ability to bring your own food in with your pet. TailWinds house food is organic CANIDAE, All Natural, Human Grade, Holistic Pet to all of their guests and this is a high-quality food that is recommended across the board. If you’re not bringing your own food in, ensure that your resort feeds something as high-quality as CANIDAE.
This is a brief look at what you need to look for in a pet boarding facility. Of course, cost of stay, activities for pets, interaction between pets and people, and playtime with other pets should also be addressed, but seeing as how we’re out of space on this blog, we’ll be covering that in an upcoming article.
Photo Credit: Copyright TailWinds, 2008
Stacy Mantle

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

How to Find a Reputable Breeder

Do you know how to find a reputable breeder for that new pet you’ve been promising yourself? The most important thing I can tell you is to do your research. I did research for someone a while back who was looking for an English Bulldog puppy. As they wanted a purebred puppy, I started out at the American Kennel Club’s website. They have an online classified list of breeders of AKC registerable dogs. They also have listings of the breed clubs, breed rescue groups and a local club breeder referral. You can also check out the CANIDAE site for links to breeders.
The online classifieds on the AKC site allow you to see the breeder’s profile, which will provide you with information on AKC dog registration applications, whether or not the breeder is a member of a parent or specialty club, health screens for the parents, whether or not they provide a written bill of sale, if they will take the puppy back and under what conditions they will do so. It also tells you whether or not the breeder will provide you (the buyer) information for being a responsible dog owner, a health guarantee, if they tattoo or microchip the puppy, if they are enrolled in the AKC Companion Animal Recovery program, what AKC events her dogs participate in and how long they have been breeding.
Stay away from puppies coming from a puppy mill as they are often not treated well and can have many health issues. For more information on what puppy mills are and why you shouldn’t support them, see stoppuppymills.org.
Questions to ask the breeder:
  • Are both of the parents on the premises and can you see them?
  • How old does your pet have to be to take home?
  • If you pick out a pet when they are too young to be taken home, can you come back for visits?
  • If you are buying a show quality pet, who will show them?
  • If you are buying a pet quality pet, do they need to be spayed or neutered and when?
  • If something arises in the future and you can’t keep the pet, will the breeder take them back?
  • Does your new pet come with a health guarantee?
  • Have the parents been certified healthy for issues the breed might have?
  • Have the puppies already had some of their shots?
  • What kind of food do they feed and how often?
  • I’m happy to say that I found several reputable breeders, and even found one that was close to where they lived, so they could go and pick out their own puppy. Not only that, the puppy I found is a happy and healthy dog today, with a warm and loving family.
Ruthie Bently

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

Pet Sitting: What You Need to Know

Heading out of town for a weeklong retreat? If you have pets, you know it’s not that easy to just leave town. This week, we’ll be exploring a few options for you and your pets. That is, if you’re not planning to take them along. (If you’re planning on your pet accompanying you, then check out our posts on vacations for you and your pets from last week.)
The first option you have is letting Fido and Fluffy stay in the comfort of their own home where they know the routine and are comfortable.  If you have more than two or three pets, this is probably the best scenario for you. A pet sitter offers more than just caring for your pets.  They will pick up your paper, keep a daily log so you know what happened each day and what they did while there, care for fish and other small pets, pick up your mail each day, and be available for a consult while you’re out of town. They should be equipped (and empowered) to handle any emergencies that come up and most importantly; they will be trustworthy and reliable. Here are a few steps to doing that when finding and using a pet sitter.
Focus on Experience
When you’re searching out a pet sitter, it’s important to use personal recommendations before you bring anyone inside of your home. Chances are good that someone you know has used a pet sitter. If they liked them and trusted them, give them the first shot.  If you don’t have friends with pets, start with the big businesses. Visit Pet Sitters International  (PSI) on your first stop. This organization has a ton of resources for the pet owners of the world and all of their members are licensed, bonded and trusted.
Big is Not Necessarily Better
You may want to give a smaller company a try. Often the large companies can be caught up in the paperwork and the sitter is working as a self-employed person anyway. The one advantage that larger companies can offer is backup, but that’s only if the sitter actually calls for it. Many experienced pet sitters go out on their own in the realization they can often make more money that way.  These are the sitters you want to keep around. Find one you like and use them whenever you leave.
Meet Your Sitter Before Leaving
Just because you like the new sitter doesn’t mean your pet will. Be sure that the sitter comes to your home for a consult. Have them meet your pets, show them where things are, and identify the best way to approach an animal. Pets change when you leave and they will not react to a stranger when they are alone with them the same way they will when you’re in the house. Leave the sitter alone with them for a few minutes. See how the sitter and your pet react upon your return. That will tell you a lot about your new sitter!
Before You Leave:
  • Ensure that your pets’ food is well-stocked
  • Leave a detailed schedule of what is expected. (Free PDF file from PetsWeekly)
  • Sign a Veterinary Care Release form and leave with sitter.
  • Leave a contact list in the event of emergency.
photo credit: Copyright PetsWeekly, 2005
Stacy Mantle

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.