Monthly Archives: April 2009

The History of Dog

The ancestry of the dog can be traced back as far as sixty million years. Beginning with the Miatis, the small weasel-like creature is thought to have demonstrated the first characteristics of the animal now recognized as Canis lupus familiaris, or “dog” to you and me. It is this creature that evolved into the earliest wolf.
Every dog we have was bred over centuries to create what we now know as breeds. And guess what? The new “designer breeds” are just more attempts at breeding the perfect mutt.
And yet, all are a result of… you guessed it – the wolf.
Even the most popular purebred is actually a crossbreed. A Yorkshire terrier was crossed with an Australian terrier to produce the Silky Terrier. The Bulldog was crossed with a Mastiff to get a Bullmastiff. The Doberman is a result of a German shepherd being crossed with a German Pinscher, and later crosses with the Greyhound, Weimeraner and Black and Tan Manchester terrier further refined the breed.
So when you think about spending thousands of dollars on a “purebred dog” or a “designer breed”, take a deep breath, cleanse your mind, and walk on over to your local shelter. Chances are good, they have the “designer” type you want and no breeding is necessary….

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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Why Do Cats Spray?

Both male and female cats are capable of spraying and it is done as a form of scent communication. When cats spray they leave pheromones behind for other cats to find, and they are usually marking their territory. Cats will mark their territory more in times of stress or if they feel threatened. Marking is done by spraying a small bit of urine on a vertical surface and male cats can begin marking as soon as they reach sexual maturity, which can be as early as five months of age.
Unfortunately, what they feel is their territory can include your house, car, yard or your neighbor’s yard, even if that neighbor is several blocks away. While male cats tend to spray more than females, females are capable of spraying as well. While some believe that spaying or neutering a cat may solve the problem that is not always the case. I have a large orange cat, Marmalade that was neutered before he was an adult, and he had never sprayed anything in his life. However, when the males in the neighborhood come into our yard and leave their scent markings, he will endeavor to cover them up by spraying on top of where the other cats have gone. It would be the same as you marking your belongings with a permanent marker to let others know that they are yours.
I was recently talking to someone who mentioned that the cats in the neighborhood are frequenting his yard and marking on his property. In reaction, his cats had begun spraying in the house. This can be a common occurrence especially in the spring when males are looking to mate, though a cat can and will spray all year long. A female will sometimes spray if she is ready to mate and this lets the male cats in the neighborhood know she is available. Even a spayed female can attract the attention of an intact male just by marking her territory.
There are several reasons that your cat may be spraying. If there is a strange cat in the neighborhood, your cas may feel the need to mark his own territory. Introducing a new cat to your household can be another reason for spraying, and your cat may spray for as simple a reason as they don’t like the litter you are using in the litter box. Cats may also spray if the litter box is not clean enough for them. If your cat is spraying while in the litter box and if you have a litter box without a cover, you might consider getting one to keep the walls around the box from getting sprayed. Stress in the household like a new baby, visitors or even taking a vacation or business trip and coming home can make a cat spray as well. Other reasons for spraying could be a loss of a family cat, a student going off to school, moving household furniture or a change in your schedule if the cat is bonded to you.
You can use a black light to find the spots where the cat is urinating. Some pet shops even have them for rent. Then you want to use a cleaner that uses enzymes to clean the spot. You do not want to use ammonia to clean the area, as the active ingredient in cat urine is ammonia and that defeats the purpose. If your cat continues to spray in one area, consider putting a covered litter box there to help alleviate the situation. I have also heard that if you put vinegar on the spot after it is cleaned, that may help. The purpose of the vinegar is to replace the cat’s scent with your own, and the vinegar represents your own urine. 
I have one male, Rocket that has been spritzed so many times with our handy water bottle dissuader, that he will actually come and tell me he wants to go outside to spray. While he will still spray inside the house on occasion, it is usually in a place that is easy to clean. While I am not complacent about the situation, I have accepted it for what it is: communication pure and simple. Spraying urine is a natural function for a cat, though it may seem distasteful to us, especially if done inside the house. We all love our animals, and with understanding can come change.

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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.

Blog Sponsor Helps Police Canine Units and Avalanche Rescue Dog

CALIFORNIA AND ARIZONA POLICE CANINE UNITS
CANIDAE Helps to Take a Bite Out of Crime
Robert Bemis, Regional Sales Manager for CANIDAE All Natural Pet Foods, was approached by the Pomona Police Department recently regarding the department’s Canine Unit. Earlier this year, the unit lost a Belgian Malinois patrol dog named Buddy to his battle with canine cancer. The department needed to replace Buddy with a new 
dog, but budget constraints and a lack of donations made it difficult.
CANIDAE has a long history of supporting both local and pet related causes including an ongoing series of fund raisers for the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation. “We were very saddened to hear of Buddy’s death from canine cancer. We’re very involved with raising funds to treat and prevent cancer in dogs so we are very sensitive to that issue. We wanted to help,” Bemis said.
“This not the first time we have worked with law enforcement,” Bemis continued. “I’m working to finalize a narcotics dog sponsorship for the Sumerton Arizona Police right now, and CANIDAE has been supporting law enforcement agencies across the country by providing food for their canine units for years.”
CANIDAE officially donated the Belgian Malinois, named Baco, to the Pomona Police Department’s Canine Unit this past March. The newest member of the Police Department’s canine unit, he is in his fourth week of training and getting ready to begin patrol duties with his handler. The 3 1/2 year old Belgian Malinois has shown he’s energetic, alert, brave and sociable with his handler, Officer Theo Joseph.
“Buddy’s death caught everyone by surprise”, said Sgt. Mike Ellis, who oversees the Police Department’s canine program. “Because the dog’s death came suddenly, no one was able to plan for a replacement,” Ellis said.
The donation from CANIDAE came at a critical time for the department, but now the Canine Unit must prepare for the retirement of another dog, Rocky, who will retire in about three months after 11 years of service.
People interested in contributing toward the purchase of Rocky’s replacement can attend the Eagles’ taco nights, which begin at 6 p.m. Mondays at the Eagles Lodge, 954 W. Mission Blvd., Pomona.
Checks can also be made out to the “Eagles K-9 Fund” and mailed in care of Sgt. Mike Ellis to the Pomona Police Department, 490 W. Mission Blvd., Pomona, CA 91766. Donations will be forwarded to the Eagles.

COPPER MOUNTAIN SKI PATROL
CANIDAE Sponsored Rescue Dog Helps Ski Patrol Team Ensure A Safe Mountain Experience
“Last week I had the opportunity to watch Cascade, a CANIDAE All Natural Pet Foods sponsored back country avalanche search dog at work. Cascade is a 3-year old Golden Retriever that is handled by Chris and Hanna Sutton of Copper Mountain Ski Patrol in the beautiful Colorado Rockies,” said Chris Milliken, Regional Sales Manager for CANIDAE.
Copper Mountain Ski Patrol in Colorado is one of the larger patrol teams in the county. The staff consists of 60 full-time patrollers, 100 volunteers who work as Slope Watch (the folks who tell you to slow down on groomers and other high-traffic runs), 20 medical volunteer professionals (doctors and nurses who donate their time on the mountain to increase Copper’s medical response force), and 15 high school students who assist in most patrol operations.
The avalanche dogs Cascade, Tucker, Tracker, Eddy, and Bridger round out the team.
Chris Milliken recently had the opportunity to watch Cascade participate in a training exercise. “It was great to see Cascade proudly sporting the CANIDAE Pet Foods patches on his vest. Cascade is a true testament to the results of feeding CANIDAE, from his great looking coat to his ability consistently perform in these high-pressure situations,” Milliken said.

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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.

Mixed Up Mutts, Designer Dog Breeds

Recently, there’s been a lot of talk about designer breeds, dogs that are “designed” or “bred” to obtain a specific result. An example might be the “Labradoodle”, a supposedly hypo-allergenic dog. You can either go online and buy one for thousands of dollars or you can take a drive down to your local shelter and find one for less than $100. 
I’m a big fan of designer breeds. In fact, I have three in my office with me right now – Roscoe is a Beagledor (essentially a 60 lb beagle), Cheiss is a Chaussie (Australian shepherd and chow), and of course Tristan is a Wolote (a very rare, coyote/wolf/shepherd). 
The cool thing about designer breeds is you get to name them yourself! 
“Designer Breeds”
I watched some people in the park the other day. A woman was watching a beautiful dog chase and successfully catch every ball his owner threw. The dog dove into the lake like a champ, refused to chase the ducks, and was in all – a perfect canine gentleman. She approached the owner, asking what breed the dog was and where she could find one of her own.
The man proudly proclaimed, “Why, he’s an Aussiedor! A rare, very expensive breed. In fact, there are only two breeders in the US that I’m aware of.” He went on to pass along the contact information for his breeder and the woman left, anxious to begin her hunt. 
And yet, he’s simply describing a dog that is a mix between an Australian Shepherd and a Labrador. I was at the shelter yesterday where I saw three of them…. Each was adoptable that day for $85, yet she’ll likely pay a breeder over $1,000 if she doesn’t do her homework. 
What’s In A Name? 
They sound lovely and exotic. And expensive. Here are just a few examples: 
Ba-Shar (Basset Hound crossed with a Shar-pei)
Brusselranian (Brussels Griffon crossed with a Pomeranian),
Corillion (Papillon crossed with a Pembroke Welsh Corgi)
Imo-Inu (American Eskimo crossed with a Shiba Inu) 
Wee-Chon (Bichon Frise crossed with a Westie) 
What kind of designer dog do you have? Leave us a comment and tell us all about it!

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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 Save Money on Cat Toys

Kittens are naturally more rambunctious than adults, but all cats love to play. Even “senior” cats enjoy playing with their favorite toy in-between naptime. Consequently, cat toys are an important element of good feline care. Cat toys do more than just entertain your kitty, though; they also give your cat an outlet for excess energy, provide needed exercise (especially important for indoor cats), and can be a fun way to bond with your cat. However, this doesn’t mean you need to spend a fortune on toys for cats. 
Since how to save money is on just about every person’s mind nowadays, I wanted to share some economical ways to keep your kitty entertained. There are basically three ways to spend less on toys for cats. The first one is seasonal: shop the after-Christmas clearance sales at your local pet stores. Most carry an inventory of holiday gifts for pets, such as stockings filled with cat toys or individual items that have a holiday theme. Last year I came home with a huge bag of cat toys that were 75% off, and I paid less than $10 for all of it. 
My three felines probably have enough cat toys to last a lifetime now. If not, my second idea for how to save money on cat toys involves buying inexpensive items that cats love to play with. My favorite of these is ping pong balls, which have an unpredictably wild bounce that cats find irresistible. If you buy them in bulk, they can cost as little as 25 cents each, and also won’t get stepped on later. Straws are another feline favorite in my house. I found this out after I caught my cat Rocky stealing them right out of my drink! He loves to flip the straw up in the air and try to catch it. 
If your cat enjoys catnip (some do, some don’t), you can buy some fabric and catnip to make homemade catnip toys. Little pillow-shaped catnip toys are what I usually make, because they’re incredibly easy to assemble. Just cut out two squares of fabric (about 3”), sew three sides closed, fill it with catnip and sew the fourth side shut. If you don’t like to sew, you can also fill a child’s sock with catnip, tie a knot in it and voila! Instant homemade cat toy.
My third idea for how to save money on cat toys (and my personal favorite) involves using readily available materials found in your home. Once you understand what makes a good cat toy – things that roll, bounce, simulate “prey” or make noise – the potential for free homemade cat toys is practically limitless. Crumple a piece of paper into a ball and throw it across the room for your cat to chase. My sister’s cat will even bring it back, over and over. None of my cats will fetch the paper ball, but they will run after it and bat it around for a bit. 
A piece of string or twine is the ultimate cheap cat toy. My cats will chase a string around the house for hours, and they’ll jump up for it if I dangle the string several feet from the floor. I also like to tie one of their furry mice to the end and drag it around so they can chase after it. It’s very important, though, to always put the string away when you’re done playing, because your cat might swallow it and become ill. 
Paper sacks are another classic cat toy that doesn’t cost a penny, and I’ve never met a kitty that didn’t like to get into them and rustle around. If you have 35mm film canisters, you can fill them with anything that rattles, such as pebbles, pasta or beans. Just make sure the lid is on tight before giving it to your kitty. Boxes are another great free cat toy. You can even construct a kitty playhouse by fastening several large boxes together. Cut out holes for your cat to walk through and stick their paws through, and place the box upside down on the floor. 
Empty toilet paper tubes make excellent toys for cats. I have a similar tube that is thicker, sturdier, and about half the length. I can’t remember where it came from initially, but I saved it because I knew my cats would enjoy playing with it, and they do. Before you throw anything away, you should always ask yourself if the item might somehow become a cat toy. There’s a very good chance that it can, and your kitty will have just as much fun playing with his homemade cat toy as he will with a store-bought one. That’s the beauty of cats – they’re easy to please, at least when it comes to their toys!

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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.

Boxer, Breed Profile

I grew up with Boxers, though one at a time. When I was a little girl, my dad who was in the Air Force was stationed in Texas. We had a brindle colored boxer whose name was Duchess (Dutchie) then; and there are pictures of Mom, Dad, Dutchie and I playing on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico. According to my mom, Dutchie and I were pretty much inseparable. She slept on my bed every night; she even chose to have her puppies on my bed. While I didn’t realize it at the time, it was an honor for me that Duchess felt safe enough to have them in full view of the world and not somewhere hidden away in a closet where she could keep them safer. I was only between one and two years old when she had them, so maybe she felt it was easier to keep watch on all her charges if they were in one place, as she counted me as one as well.
The Boxer is a breed that was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1904 and is a member of the Working group. It can trace its bloodlines back to a Mastiff type dog called the Molossus. The Boxer we know today was developed during the nineteenth century in Germany. The Boxer’s popularity has been steady but has grown in the last few years and the Boxer is now the sixth most popular dog breed according to the AKC. The Boxer has been used in the past as a guard, a courier during war time, a cart dog, a companion and hunter of large game. Today the Boxer is used as a police dog, for search and rescue, in military work, for performing tricks, in Schutzhund and competitive obedience trials. The Boxer needs to be exercised daily, though they can live in an apartment, as long as this requirement is met. 
The adult Boxer should weigh between 53-70 pounds (24-29kg) with the bitches being the lighter, and size range for males should be between 22 to 25 inches and bitches should be between 21 to 24 inches at the withers. Their life span is usually between 11 and 14 years. They can to be troubled by hip dysplasia and epilepsy. Cardiomyopathy and other heart problems have also been reported. They can also suffer from allergies. They have a short coat that is easy to care for, and we used to use a bristled palm brush or a rubber mitt for the best results when brushing ours. A daily brushing is good during the shedding season, but they don’t need too many baths unless they get dirty. Fewer baths and frequent brushing will help keep the natural oils in the dog’s coat.
According to the breed standard of the AKC the temperament and character of the Boxer is as follows: “Instinctively a hearing guard dog, his bearing is alert, dignified and self-assured. In the show ring his behavior should exhibit constrained animation. With family and friends, his temperament is fundamentally playful, yet patient and stoical with children. Deliberate and wary with strangers, he will exhibit curiosity, but, most importantly, fearless courage if threatened. However, he responds promptly to friendly overtures honestly rendered. His intelligence, loyal affection, and tractability to discipline make him a highly desirable companion.”
In my opinion a boxer is a great family dog. I grew up with three different boxers; Duchess the first, Jayne, and Duchess the second. Both of the Duchess’ were raised from puppies and were easy to train, Jayne on the other hand was gotten as an adult, and was too much for my parents to handle. So training for this breed should be a must. My parents ended up giving Jayne back to the breeder with the promise of a puppy to come. That puppy was Duchess the second, and she was another of my playmates.
Boxers love their humans and are especially wonderful around children and both of the Duchess’ were no exception. Dutchie the first saved us from an inmate of a mental hospital about 20 miles to the north of us. He had walked away from the facility and no one saw him leave. We were inside the house playing and my mom was home, so there was no “real” danger, but Dutchie didn’t know that.
While my mom was calling the police, Dutchie put herself between us and the door the man was standing outside, and raised a “Holy ruckus”, as my mother described it later.
Dutchie (the second) used to try and “save” us when we went swimming in the pool in the backyard. We would swim underwater and she would race around the pool barking for us to come back up, before throwing herself in to grab one of us by the hair and try to drag us out of the pool. She taught herself to jump off the diving board after seeing us do it, and she would dive to the bottom of the shallow end after a ball if we tossed it for her. She even taught herself to climb out the vertical ladder in the deep end of the pool, instead of swimming back to the shallow end where she could exit via the steps.
I have wonderful memories about the special Boxers in my life and can heartily recommend them to anyone with the time and love to give them. They are great playmates and babysitters that never let us out of their sight. They never tired of playing with us when we wanted to play and didn’t have a human playmate. The most important thing that they helped teach me was unconditional love, and for that I am truly grateful.
Leashes and Leads, at 6214 Fourteenth Street NW in Byron, Minnesota is hosting a Meet & Greet on April 18, 2009 from 11:00pm Central Time to 3:00pm Central Time. So if you are in the area, stop by to meet the Boxer. You can find out more information by contacting Leashes and Leads at (507) 282-2710 or going to their website.

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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.