Monthly Archives: June 2009

How to Find Pet Friendly Rental Cabins and Vacation Homes


By Anna Lee

Are you anxious to take a vacation in the mountains and stay at a beautiful, authentic log home? Perhaps you are a beach person and would love a carefree condo steps from the water? Or is a week at the lake where you can relax, read a book or do some fishing something you would like to try? You want to take the dog with you no matter which vacation home you choose. How do you find a vacation rental to suit all your needs, including being pet friendly? That’s no longer a problem, as there are thousands of pet friendly mountain rental cabins, lake cottages and vacation homes across the United States. You just need to know how to search for them.

I recently made reservations for lodging in Beaufort, SC. I found a great house with a private dock close to all the action in town. It has 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, a full kitchen, dining area and living room. But what were the words that attracted me to the ad for that home? Pet friendly!! I found it on VRBO.com (Vacation Rentals By Owner), a site I have been using for many years. It’s very easy to use, and I know you will find what you are looking for.

Start by going to VRBO.com, where the first page has a map of the United States. Click on the state you are interested in, which takes you to a map of that state with various areas noted. Example: when I clicked on South Carolina the next screen had choices such as Charleston or Beaufort. I clicked on Beaufort. Click on the area’s name and the next page will start the list of available rentals. Not all of the rentals on VRBO are pet friendly. If the unit is pet friendly, you will see a blue pet friendly symbol (dog’s paw) on the right hand side. Skim down the list and read the descriptions such as 3BR/2BA with dock, 2BR/1BA Oceanside cottage, or an A-frame on the lake with row boat included. They also give a price range of each particular rental.

When you spot one that sounds interesting, just click on it and the next page is a storehouse of information. There will be photos of the property, usually inside and outside shots, so you get a good idea of what the place will look like. That’s important information in our case. If a home has very steep steps, or a lot of steps, then it’s not right for us. There will be a complete description of the location and all the amenities. As you venture down the page you will find more photos, more pricing information and local activities. You will know if they have a washer and dryer, how many TV’s and what size beds in each bedroom. If you have questions, you can send an e-mail to the owner. I have never had to wait longer than 24 hours to get a response from an owner. There is also a ‘comment’ section so you can read what the previous guests thought about the rental.

Vacation Rentals By Owner is just what the title implies. The vacation rentals are owned by individuals who rent the property themselves, using VRBO to advertise them. They pay a fee to VRBO for the service. Most of the pet friendly property owners are pet owners themselves, and understand the need for pet friendly lodging.

In past years we rented a small cottage in Andrew, North Carolina for a 4-day stay. I found a rental cottage on Coosaw Island, SC. We liked it so much we went there two years in a row. I found a rental in Pleasure Bluff, GA where we had access to a huge double story dock and a golf cart. All of those rentals had very friendly owners who made a point to stop by and say hello and make sure we had everything we needed. The owners of the Pleasure Bluff home gave us several pounds of shrimp our first day there. It was a Sunday and the fish market was not open, and we were craving shrimp for dinner. Many of the rentals will give you a discount if you return the following year.

There are other ways to search for pet friendly rentals. All you need to do is Google “pet friendly vacation rentals in Beaufort, SC,” for example, and you will get a list of homes. However, in my years of doing this I found that VRBO is the only site I need to use for vacation planning.

When you are ready to plan your vacation get-a-way, turn to VRBO.com – it is the best and easiest way to locate a pet friendly vacation home. You have my paw print on that!

Read more articles by Anna Lee

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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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Summertime, Fleas and Seasonal Allergies: Be Prepared

Spring is turning into summer, and nipping at its heels are the nasty fleas and seasonal allergies that warm weather can bring. While feeding an all natural, holistic dog food like CANIDAE helps maintain the health of our pets from the inside, it is important that we do our part to help fight fleas and seasonal allergens from the outside. So, if you’re scratching your head wondering how to keep your pet from scratching this year, keep reading.

Pets scratch themselves because their skin is irritated. This irritation is almost always from allergies. By far, the most common two allergies dogs and cats suffer from are allergies to flea bites and allergies to particles they inhale, especially in spring and summertime.

About Flea Allergies

Let’s look at flea allergies first, as this is the most common type of pet allergy. Keeping up with flea control is critical to protect pets from flea allergy dermatitis. Starting treatment early is the best way to keep the problem under control. Just because a diagnosis of flea allergy is made does not mean that the pet is infested with fleas yet. Flea allergies tend to be very strong, and a dog or cat can become very itchy even after being bitten by a single flea.

The pattern of itchiness is typically the back of the neck and the base of the tail for both cats and dogs. If pets have a flea infestation, they will be itchy everywhere because of the fleas themselves and the reaction to the bites. A serum test or skin test will confirm a diagnosis of flea allergy. In many climates, year round flea prevention is necessary. In areas with hard freezes that last through the winter months, prevention may be stopped and started again when the thaw begins (get advice from your veterinarian).

It is easy to control flea allergy dermatitis by using a product like a medicated shampoo, one of the popular topical treatments, a monthly oral flea control medicine or even all natural flea controls that avoid the use of chemicals which may further irritate sensitive pets. In any case, when choosing a flea control product for your pet, always start with your veterinarian’s recommendation.

About Inhaled Allergies

The other common pet allergy, inhaled allergens of many different types, will cause your pet to be very itchy and often have watery eyes or sneeze frequently. These allergies are often seasonal, but can be year round in the case, for example, of dust mites, food storage mites, and carpet fibers. Just as with humans, many inhaled allergies are seasonal, especially with molds and pollens.

Other offenders that can also be seasonal are the chemicals we use in our own yards and gardens. Even though we all read the labels to make sure the products are safe for use around our pets, some animals may be too sensitive to tolerate even small amounts of garden sprays. Seasonal allergies are best diagnosed by serum or skin tests. They can be managed with allergy shots or oral medications, just like for people with seasonal allergies. Allergy medication alone usually doesn’t eliminate all the symptoms of seasonal allergies, but it helps. Vacuuming your carpets frequently and keeping windows closed can reduce the levels of allergens in your home. Some pet owners even buy expensive air filtration systems to rid their home of allergens.

Other Allergies

Some people think of food when trying to find the cause of pet allergies. It’s actually the least likely cause, with veterinarians reporting food as the cause of skin allergies only about 5% of the time. If your vet has ruled out the likely causes of fleas or seasonal allergens, then consider that dogs can develop allergies to other insects, specific people, perfumes or soaps, cats, or even other dogs. Remember, allergies generally only occur after repeated exposure to the allergen. If your dog or cat has a new allergy, it is probably a reaction to something they have been exposed to for a long time.

Knowledge is Power

Whatever treatment you decide, it is important to know first what is causing your pet’s allergies. This will help you and your veterinarian decide how best to combat the problem and find some lasting relief for your pet.

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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.

Foods You Should Never Feed Your Dog


By Linda Cole

Most dog owners have faced a begging dog sitting at our feet as we eat a meal or snack. Even though we know our food isn’t particularly healthy for them, we still toss a choice tidbit every now and then. If you are among the many who can’t resist those begging eyes staring up at you, keep in mind there are certain foods you should never feed your dog under any circumstances. Food that is safe for us can be deadly for your pet.

Chocolate tops the list of foods you should never feed your dog. The darker it is, the more deadly for your pet. Chocolate affects your dog’s nervous system and heart, and can cause seizures and death. Depending on a dog’s size and weight and how dark the chocolate is, a small amount won’t hurt them, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Grapes and raisins contain a toxin that so far is unknown and can cause kidney failure. Just a few grapes or raisins can be deadly for your pet.

Onions and garlic, whether raw, powdered or cooked, can cause anemia by destroying red blood cells. Some people swear garlic helps control fleas, but great caution needs to be taken if you have or are now using garlic as a flea control. It’s not as toxic as onions, but can cause anemia over a prolonged period of time.

Macadamia nuts and walnuts, like grapes and raisins, are foods you should not feed your pet. They are high in phosphorous which can lead to bladder stones. They can also cause muscle tremors and even paralysis. Organic peanut butter is fine to give to your dog if they like the taste of nuts. Most dogs love peanut butter. Stick with organic, however, to avoid overloading your pet with sugar and pesticides found in regular peanut butter.

Cooked bones of any kind, especially fish bones, can splinter easily and get lodged in your pet’s throat or digestive system. Raw bones like the round stew bones that can be found at the grocery store are fine, but watch to make sure your dog doesn’t swallow one whole. Once it begins to crack or splinter, throw it away.

Fruit with pits, like peaches or apples, are okay for your pet to eat, but the pit or seeds have cyanide in them. Do not let your pet chew on any fruit pits or seeds. Seeds from apples or cherries can lodge in your dog’s intestines and cause severe damage quickly.

Raw eggs are a great source for salmonella. They can also manifest skin problems created by an enzyme, avidin, that is present in the raw egg. This enzyme slows absorption of a B vitamin called biotin. Vitamins are essential for healthy skin and coat and help build strong muscles and aid in growth.

Other foods you should not feed your dog: tomato leaves and stems, potato leaves and stems, avocados, nutmeg, salt, persimmons, mushrooms (except for shitaki, maitake or reishi) and sugar – not even organic. Honey and molasses in small amounts are fine. Avoid raw red meat high in fat. Cut out excess fat before feeding to your pet. Raw red meat is fantastic for cats and dogs. No raw fish or chicken.

Our dogs are notorious beggars. If in doubt about a certain food, just don’t give it to them. Make sure your pet doesn’t root through the garbage can inside or out while you are away. It’s our job to know which foods we should never feed our dogs. They don’t know and will more than likely eat just about anything we offer them or nab what they can dig out of the garbage can.

If your dog does manage to eat something you know they should not have eaten, call your vet immediately. It can make the difference between a healthy pet and a seriously ill pet in a life threatening emergency.

Read more articles by Linda Cole

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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.

Grain Free Cat Food – New From CANIDAE


By Ruthie Bently

I am thrilled to be able to impart this news to my readers. CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods is introducing two new formulas to their FELIDAE® line of cat foods, and they are both grain free. FELIDAE Grain Free Cat and Kitten is made with chicken, turkey and fish meals, and fresh lamb. The other formula is FELIDAE Grain Free Salmon and the salmon is wild-caught from the Pacific Ocean.

Like the CANIDAE Grain Free ALS for dogs, both formulas are grain free and the protein comes from 80% meats and 20% fruits and vegetables. Not only that, they also include essential antioxidant vitamins and amino acid chelated minerals. The formulas contain carefully balanced Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids with a 5 to 1 ratio for optimal nutrition, and guaranteed viable micro-organisms and cranberries for urinary tract health. These formulas are a win-win for any cat that eats them.

I have been associated with the pet industry since 1976, and am very happy to be working with a company that pays attention to the needs and requests of its customers and their pets. Jason Castillo from CANIDAE recently commented on the new formulas, “Cat owners have been asking for all natural grain free diets. Since cats generally require a higher level of protein than dogs, we feel grain free makes a lot of sense for felines. So, we’re very proud to once again deliver what our customers have asked for by offering two new wholesome and nutritious high quality cat foods that are completely grain free.”

I can personally attest to the palatability of the new FELIDAE formulas. I was lucky enough to be able to try the new formulas on my own cats. When I first put my AmStaff Skye on the CANIDAE Grain Free ALS, I couldn’t keep the cats out of her dish. I had to feed Skye in her crate, so I was delighted when I got small bags of the FELIDAE Grain Free formulas to try on the cats. The cats knew that what the delivery man dropped off was for them, and I could not keep them away from the boxes containing the new food before they were even opened.

I tried to gradually introduce the new formulas one at a time by mixing them in with the regular FELIDAE Cat & Kitten that my cats were eating. They decided that they wanted the new formulas rather than what they were eating, and started picking out the new formula, even though it was mixed in with their regular food. I do not free feed my cats and they get a bowl of food in the morning and one in the evening, and the queue at the feeding dish would have been an unbelievable sight if I hadn’t known what had been the cause.

So if you get the chance the next time you are in your local independent retailer of CANIDAE, stop in and pick up a bag of the new FELIDAE Grain Free Cat & Kitten food; I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Read more articles by 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.

Proper Veterinarian Care – Lady Bird

First and foremost I would like to thank those of you who offered your prayers and best wishes for Lady Bird. I thought I should share with you how she is doing.
I can’t stress enough the importance of working with a highly qualified veterinarian who cares about your pet almost as much as you do. If it weren’t for VCA All-Care Animal Referral Center in Fountain Valley, California, I can’t say what the outcome would have been. Even though it’s an hour drive each way, they have highly qualified specialists on staff as well as a state of the art facility that made it all well worth it.
Lady Bird spent 48 hours in intensive care and in an oxygen tank. She was on intensive medications to remove the fluid buildup around her heart and lungs. It was touch and go the whole time but the caring staff never gave up and offered her the proper treatment she needed. All-Care allows visits even after hours so I went down to visit her. As I was waiting to go in the back room I heard Lady Bird’s little familiar bark, I think she knew I was there. The nice vet tech brought me in the back to where Lady was in the recovery room. Lady lit up when she saw me and was wagging her tail. The vet tech laid out a mat on the floor so I could sit down and spend some quality time with Lady. She was aware but very weak and fragile. I spent over an hour just being with her as I knew it could possibly be the last time. The hardest thing was to say goodbye and leave her behind. I laid awake all night fearing the dreaded call that she had passed, thank God it never came.
I called first thing in the morning and they informed me that she had made it through the night and if everything went well she could come home that night. What a feeling of relief! I was able to go down that night and get her. They gave her the following medications that I am to give her twice per day: Spironolactone, Pimobendin, Enalapril, Furosemide, Clavamox, and Maxiguard oral gel. It was quite challenging in the beginning due to the fact her appetite was off due to all she had been through. She was very weak for a week or so and then started to show signs of improvement. She has been back to the vet twice to monitor her blood work to make sure her kidneys can handle the medications. She just got back and the vet was amazed at her progress. She couldn’t believe how well Lady looked and how good she is doing. Lady is back going to work with me every day and sharing sleeping duties on the staff’s laps. She is energetic, happy and doing well! I spend as much time with her as I can and cherish every moment I have with her.
by Scott Whipple – CANIDAE Pet Foods

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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.

What to Pack for a Road Trip with Your Dog


By Anna Lee

You made your reservations at a pet friendly lodging. You feel confident that the room you reserved will be comfortable and safe for you and your pet. Before you close the trunk and hit the road, you should make sure you have everything you need for yourself and your dog. I won’t be so bold as to tell you what you need for yourself, but I do have some suggestions for things to pack for your dog!

* Food – This would include dry or canned dog food, whatever you normally use. If you plan to be gone a week, make sure to take a week’s worth of food. You do not want to run out of your favorite brand like CANIDAE®, and not be able to locate it in a strange town.

* Treats – If your dog is accustomed to getting treats at certain times of the day or for certain actions, make sure you continue that practice on vacation. Dogs are creatures of habit.

* Leash – Most places have leash laws. Don’t let your dog out of the vehicle until the leash is firmly attached. A few seconds of safety can save your dog’s life.

* Medications – Again, whatever meds your dog is taking, make sure to pack a sufficient supply for the trip. I purchased one of those 7 day pill containers for myself and realized that it would be perfect for the dog’s pills. For her pills I bought the large size container. Make sure to buy a different color container so you don’t get the two mixed up!

* Water and bowl – I always have a bowl and a container of water in the car. Having those with me means I don’t have to hunt around for a water supply at a rest area or gas station.

* Bedding – Take your dog’s bed, blanket or whatever it is he normally sleeps on. It will give him a secure feeling while in the vehicle as well as at your destination. If your dog rides on the backseat, then put the bedding there. If your pooch travels behind the back seat in an SUV, put it here for him. My dog always rides behind the back seat in our SUV where she is safe.

* If your dog normally sleeps in a crate and you have a portable one, be sure to take it.

* Proof of Rabies vaccination – This is the one most important document to have in case something untoward happens. Also make sure your dog’s rabies tag is attached to his collar.

* Micro Chip – If your dog has a micro chip make sure he is wearing the tag. I had Abby micro chipped several years ago since we travel a lot.

* Flea and Tick protection – I recommend putting flea and tick protection on prior to leaving for a trip. I usually apply it two days before the trip.

Note: If I plan to be gone for 7 days I usually take enough food and medications for two extra days. You never know when an emergency weather situation may extend a trip, or I may decide to stay another day or two.

Taking your dog on a road trip or vacation can be a rewarding experience for all involved. Dogs are creatures of habit and routine, so make sure to keep the feeding times the same. Try to take the dog for a walk as close as you can to its normal time. Feel free to use this list as a guide and modify it to your dog’s particular needs. Save and happy travels!

Read more articles by Anna Lee

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.