Monthly Archives: July 2009

Skin Disorders in Dogs: “Ringworm”


By Anna Lee

You have probably heard of ringworm, and you most likely associate it with kids. I always did too, until recently. Contrary to what its name implies, ringworm is not caused by a worm. It’s caused by a type of microscopic fungi that live and spread on the top layer of the skin and on the hair. They prefer to live in warm, moist areas such as swimming pools and in skin folds. Athlete’s foot is a form of ringworm; between the toes is warm and moist skin where the fungus grows.

You may not know this, but it’s not uncommon for a dog to get ringworm. This fungal organism attacks the skin, then invades the hair shaft and feeds on the protein in the hair and skin. It will initially show up as dry flaky skin, broken hair and bald patches, typically on the ears and front legs. Abby had a few on her front leg, several around her neck and more down her back. According to my vet, cats do not show signs of ringworm, but they are carriers. Here is how I learned about ringworm.

Not long ago I noticed Abby had a large spot where hair was missing and it happened overnight. The skin was not raw or red, rather it was dry and was a perfect round circle. My first and immediate thought was another hot spot. I got out the container of formula that I used during the hot spot episode last summer. I kept her out of the pool, which was heartbreaking for her! After a few days the spots started to multiply. Naturally the worst of it happened over the weekend as more and more areas became hairless.

First thing Monday morning I called the vet for an appointment for that afternoon. I remained calm until we got there, assuming she just had a rather bad case of hot spots. After he examined Abby he said there were not hot spots, but ringworm. He then explained the causes, symptoms, and treatment for ringworm.

We were instructed to:
1. Cut away the hair from each area to allow air to get to the spots.
2. Bath her twice the first week with a special medicated shampoo made especially for ringworm (the vet sells the shampoo).
3. Give her one anti-fungal pill a day for 7 days. This is the same compound used for ringworm in humans.
4. Return to the vet in a week for further evaluation.

We decided to get her first bath at their facility the following morning. They shaved the spots, bathed her and dried her thoroughly; it was well worth the $15 charge.

The vet explained that when these round areas begin to heal they do so from the inside out. That causes a “ring” to form, thus the name ringworm. Two days later the rings started to form and I felt like we were making good progress. The next step was for us to give her the second bath at home.

We bathed her according to instructions: wet her down, lathered her up well, left the lather on for 10 minutes then rinsed well and repeated all steps. The next step is important: dry the dog thoroughly.

We returned to the vet in a week, and he said she was healing nicely. He also said that since ringworm is slow to get started, it is also slow to get rid of. He ordered more pills for us, a month’s worth this time. But the good news is that she could swim, as this will not hurt her or slow the healing. We were told to continue with the baths twice a week and to return in three weeks.

The vet’s assistant called us three days later to let us know that the hair sample taken previously proved it was officially ringworm. We were glad to know our vet was right with his diagnosis. Unfortunately, new rings have formed since that visit. After speaking with the vet on the phone we increased the baths to every other day. She was also put back on her allergy meds to help keep the skin calm. The original spots look like they are healing. The newest spots do not appear as severe as the original spots were when they started. We don’t have a clipper but I did manage to cut the hair away from the spots so that the air can get to them.

The vet reiterated that this is a long process and we have to be diligent. We are maintaining the bath schedule and making sure she gets her meds. Other than that her life hasn’t changed much. She is still a happy-go- lucky lab despite her outward appearance! She’s also not lost her appetite for CANIDAE® Snap-Biscuits dog treats. Our next appointment isn’t for a few weeks, and hopefully by then the worst will be behind us.

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.

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"I Knew it was Going to Work Wonders for Poor Rocco"

This special letter was sent recently to the CANIDAE Customer Support department. It’s about a very lucky dog named “Rocco.” We hope you enjoy it.
In late June, my neighbor found a small dog hiding behind a dumpster and barely alive. The first picture shows how malnourished he was. My neighbor rescued this little guy and took him to the vet. He had a very high fever, was far too thin, and was infested with ants. It didn’t look good.

I told my neighbor I would foster him until a home could be found. With two other big dogs that are a huge part of my life, and because I had just started a new business, I didn’t think I needed another dog. Shortly after bringing him home though I knew the fostering idea had gone out the window. By his second day with me I had already named him “Rocco.”
A few days after bringing him home, Rocco and I were lucky enough to have a CANIDAE employee come into my place of work. As soon as I found out she worked for CANIDAE, I told her Rocco’s story and the condition he was in. After hearing our story, she told me CANIDAE would give me free food to help bring him back to health and that they had the perfect formula to feed him.
CANIDAE sent me some of their new Grain Free Salmon formula and told me about its benefits. After hearing about all of the healthy ingredients I gladly accepted their offer. I knew it was going to work wonders for poor Rocco.

About a week later I could tell Rocco was looking and feeling better. The second picture shows how he had already started to gain some weight back!
The people at CANIDAE were a huge part of nurturing Rocco back to being the playful lovable dog he was meant to be. I’ve been feeding him the Grain Free Salmon formula, which he can’t get enough of, for almost a month now. In the first week and half he went from 9 to 14 pounds and he is just about back to the weight the vet says he should be. I am so happy!

The third picture was taken a few days ago. See how great he looks! His energy level has increased, making him the perfect playmate for my Retriever and other Boxer. Rocco and I want to thank that people at CANIDAE for all they have done. They truly care about the well being of your animal and I can’t thank them enough for helping to save my Rocco.
from Peggy M., Norco, CA
We’ve created a special page on our website so we can share stories of Rocco’s continued progress. Rocco’s page at canidae.com.

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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.

Should You Adopt a Puppy or an Adult Dog?


By Ruthie Bently

You have decided to get a dog and a question comes up: which is better, a puppy or an adult dog? To find the answer, you should ask yourself some questions. What is your lifestyle like? What kind of sports and hobby activities do you like to participate in? Do you have the time to train a puppy? Remember that puppies require housebreaking, teething, vet visits, training and socializing. Would you rather have a companion that is grown up, theoretically better behaved, and possibly calmer?

Both puppies and adult dogs will need to be exercised every day; you need to make time in your schedule for at least 15 minutes of daily exercise along with at least two potty breaks for an adult dog and about six for a puppy.

Usually a puppy will have a higher activity level than an adult dog, but you will find certain breeds of dogs can have a high energy level even as adults (i.e., terriers, herding or working dogs). Adult dogs are usually easier to settle into a daily routine. As puppies grow their needs change, and they will be teething, which an adult dog is usually through with by the age of one. Though an adult dog is done teething, they are never done chewing, so you will have to purchase chewing toys to help keep them occupied when you aren’t able to play with them.

A puppy is a pliable being that you can train, so they learn the rules and regulations of your house as they grow. An adult dog may have habits you might need to change: for example counter surfing or tipping over the garbage container. You should realize that even a puppy can develop bad habits. If you have other pets in the household, either a puppy or adult dog can be integrated with a little patience and love. Nimber slept with one of the cats he lived with, and Skye had to learn to live with cats, chickens and geese, which she had never had any contact with. I have had two litters of kittens born on my bed, right under Skye’s nose, and their mothers consider Skye a 59-pound babysitter.

I have raised two puppies and had two adult dogs in my life. I adopted Katie as a puppy and she was not socialized enough, so she didn’t like any dog other than an American Staffordshire Terrier. Nimber was also raised as a puppy, and he was a phenomenal dog who bonded to me like glue. He loved everyone and later in life when he had to spend time at the vet’s during my work day, they would take him out and play with him because he was so friendly.

Smokey Bear was an adult when I adopted him and he was so laid back, I could sit him on my lap on his back and rub his tummy. He had no issues with people or other dogs and loved everybody; he even had a cat of his own, Munchkin, who would follow him around on the property and sleep on top of him when she needed a nap. Skye is my other adult dog adoptee, and she is constantly thinking up new games and things to get into because she is so smart, so I am constantly on my toes to try and outthink her.

Whichever you choose, puppy or adult dog, do your research and homework. This way you can seamlessly add a new canine companion to your household. Don’t forget to check your local shelter – there are many wonderful dogs waiting for homes there!

Read more articles by Ruthie Bently

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 Keep Pets Safe When You Move


By Julia Williams

Moving is one of the most stressful things we humans have to endure. Whether it’s just across town or thousands of miles, moving is no picnic. Oh sure, it can be exciting and fun after the move, when you’re finally settled into your new home. But the actual move, with all the packing, hauling and unpacking? Ugh.

When you add pets into the mix, moving can get downright chaotic. Just like humans, pets get stressed out from the process of moving too. However, there are some things you can do to lessen the tension for all involved, and keep your pets safe during this traumatic time.

Before the Move

Planning ahead is the most important thing you can do to help make this transition go as smoothly as possible. As soon as you know that a move is coming, start making arrangements for your belongings and your pets – and write everything down so you don’t forget something important. If possible, pack up your things a little at a time so your pet’s routine can be kept as normal as possible until moving day arrives.

All cats (and some dogs) will need to be safely confined in a sturdy pet carrier on the day of your move, so buy one beforehand if you don’t already have one. If you have multiple cats, you may need a carrier for each of them. I assumed my two cats, a brother and sister who got along great in my home, would be fine sharing a pet carrier. When I tried to take them to the vet in one carrier, I found out just how wrong I was! Luckily I discovered this before my cross-country move, and thus had separate pet carriers on hand for each of my three cats.

Purchase a new pet ID tag as soon as you know your new address. If you don’t know your new phone number yet, put your cell phone number on it instead. If your pet is micro-chipped, get the information changed before you move.

If you’re traveling by car and will need lodging along the way, plan ahead to be sure there is a pet-friendly hotel or motel room waiting for you. You can find pet-friendly lodging online at a site such as Petswelcome.com, but should also confirm it with your motel directly when you make your reservation.

If your pet doesn’t travel well by car, consult your vet about medication that might help. My friends gave their cat a veterinary-prescribed sedative during and after their move. Although it’s not something I personally would do, your vet can advise you if it’s something you are considering. Your vet can also inform you of any vaccinations or health certificates your pet may need before the move.

Air travel with pets is a little more difficult. Not all airlines accept pets, either in the cabin or cargo hold; those that do have their own pet transportation policies. Contact your airline directly when making travel plans for your pets. Also, the Air Transport Association has comprehensive information online that is a must-read for anyone traveling by air with pets.

During the Move

On moving day, your front door will be open a lot, and people will be constantly coming and going. The safest and least stressful place for your pet during all of this chaos is somewhere off-site. Consider having your pet stay with a trusted friend, the vet or a kennel. They won’t be underfoot, and they won’t get lost outdoors should they slip out unnoticed. Not having them there on moving day is one less thing for you to worry about as well.

If taking your pet off-site is not an option, it’s imperative to confine them to a safe place, such as the bathroom. Place a DO NOT ENTER sign on the door, and be sure friends and movers know that the room is off-limits.

Make your car trip safe for both people and pets. Cats should never be allowed to ride loose in the car – that is just an accident waiting to happen. Cats should always be transported in a sturdy and well-ventilated pet carrier. If your dog will be riding in your car, consider getting them a harness that secures them to the seat. Never let your dog ride loose in the open bed of a pickup truck. Put them in a sturdy crate that’s securely tied down, or on a properly installed cross tether.

After the Move

Take with you (rather than pack in a box) everything your pet will need in your new home: food, water, leash, medications, pet bed, litter box, dishes, and health records. Also, carry a recent photo of your pet in your wallet, in case your pet becomes lost.

You’ll want to get a recommendation from someone you trust for a new veterinarian; in the meantime, know the location of the closest vet and after-hours animal hospital in case of an emergency.

When you get to your new home, it’s best to put your pet in a quiet room with the door closed until everything’s been moved inside. Besides the chaos of moving, your pet now has the stress of being in a strange new place with no familiar smells. Cats especially need to be safely confined indoors for several weeks (more is better), to ensure that they don’t become lost or injured outdoors.

I hope these tips will help keep your four-legged friend safe and sound on your next move.

Read more articles by Julia Williams

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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.

Which Dog Toys are the Best?


By Linda Cole

Pet toys dangle from prominent displays in pet stores, supermarkets and drugstores in every city. There are balls of different sizes and colors; some that light up when they bounce, and some that are florescent and glow in the dark. There are stuffed chew toys to delight and entertain even persistent and aggressive chewers, and tough rubber “treat” toys to keep your dog from becoming bored and attacking the couch while you are away. With the multitude of different types and sizes of dog toys available today, how do you choose the best ones for your pet? Trial and error, mostly.

My first dog was a polite American Eskimo named Jack. He never got on the furniture or bed and turned his nose up at every toy I gave him. He wanted to wrestle and didn’t have time for some stupid toy. He would fetch a ball if he was in the mood, but that game only lasted for a couple of throws.

Thinking he would like some pals to play with while I was at work, I made a decision to adopt Bear and Mindy, a brother and sister Irish Setter/Collie/Great Dane mix. I quickly discovered they loved playing with dog toys. As it turned out, their favorite toy was the throw pillows on my couch. I came home from work shortly after they came to live with us, and walked into pillow stuffing covering the living room floor with the pillow carcasses buried in the middle of the mess. Jack wandered out of the kitchen and gave me a disgusted look. Bear and Mindy scampered out of the bedroom, through the pillow debris with smiling faces and eager eyes. All I could do was laugh as a vision of pillow stuffing flying through the air filled my head. It became obvious I needed some dog toys, and I needed them now.

My dogs like tug-of-war type toys and “treat” toys that bounce erratically when they toss them in the air. Not only do they get the fun of cleaning out the peanut butter treat on the inside, they can attack the odd shaped rubber toy afterwards. Balls are always a favorite as are Frisbees, but some dogs do have to be taught how to play with these.

A collection of brightly colored stuffed dog toys have come and gone over the years. Most of them were ignored and I finally gave up buying the cute little squeaker toys. My dogs are a lively group and the ones not ignored were quickly destroyed as they dismantled the poor thing to find that annoying little squeaker hidden inside.

Dogs are a bit like kids when it comes to toys – sometimes it’s the packaging that’s the most fun! An empty plastic pop bottle can give dogs hours of enjoyment. Just make sure to remove the cap, the ring around the top and the label before letting your dog play with an empty bottle. However, if your dog wants to eat it, don’t let them play with a bottle.

Some dogs love playing with dog toys and balls and haul them around like security blankets, while others scoff at the notion of playing fetch. One reaction I’ve gotten is a look that says, “You threw it, you go get it.”

Chew bones and tough rubber toys serve a need that allows your dog a way to satisfy his need to chew without destroying the couch or table leg. Dog toys also give your pet a way to entertain themselves or find comfort when home alone. Finding the right toy may take some time, but it’s worth the effort if it can save even one couch pillow from going to that great pillow factory in the sky.

Read more articles by Linda Cole

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.

The Best Dogs for Less Active Families


By Anna Lee

If you and your family are not very active, but you want to get a dog, you need a breed that will work well with your particular lifestyle. If your family is more laid back and easygoing, you probably shouldn’t get a high energy dog that needs a lot of exercise, such as a Springer Spaniel, Golden Retriever or German Shepherd.

Perhaps you have a physical limitation when it comes to taking a walk. You would still like to walk your dog, so what kind of dog would be best? Do you prefer to sit inside on the weekends and cozy up on the sofa with a good book? You want a dog that would not mind being right there on the sofa with you. You can have some popcorn while your dog enjoys some CANIDAE® treats!

In cases such as those what is not needed is a dog breed that requires action, like a Border Collie, or the aforementioned Springer Spaniel. One thing I noticed in doing research is that most of the dogs requiring less exercise are the small breeds. Although some breeds require a less-than-normal amount of exercise, they still require some exercise. A daily walk and some play time will keep them happy. The politically correct term for this group of dogs is “lower exercise demand dogs.” Here are some of my picks for this category.

Bichon Frise: the Bichon is happy to be with you and stay by your side. They do not require a yard but do need a daily walk and a little play inside. The Bichon is a gentle dog that is easy to train. The Bichon loves everyone, from children to adults. At 7 to 12 pounds, this breed is the perfect size to sit on your lap for hours!

English Bulldog: His appearance makes us fearful of him, but he is one of the gentlest dogs and is excellent with children. The Bulldog will get along fine with other family dogs, but have been known to be a little scrappy with unfamiliar dogs. They tend to snore quite loudly but if your spouse’s snoring doesn’t bother you, the bulldogs won’t either! They are physically inactive and great for someone who wants company in the house instead of company running a marathon. Weight averages 51 pounds for females and 55 pounds for males.

Dachshund: these little guys are clowns, and I have personal knowledge of that. A few years back we entered our lab in a dog contest sponsored by the Mandrel Theater in Pigeon Forge, TN. The first year Abby won first prize. The category? The Loudest! She out-barked several other large dogs. The second year we ran into some heavy competition and she lost to a Dachshund. It was a little embarrassing for poor Abby! The new champion had been trained to put on quite a show which included the loudest and shrillest bark I’ve ever heard. Dachshunds prefer families with older children and they require at least a daily walk. If you have a fenced yard they enjoying running free. The standard size hits about 11 pounds top weight.

Pekingese are small dogs that are very affectionate with their owners. They will try to dominate you. Therefore, you must show them that you are the boss. A daily walk is all the exercise they require. The smallest variety is 6 pounds for a ‘sleeve’ Pekingese. Average weight for the regular Pekingese is 10 pounds.

Toy Poodles are happy-go-lucky dogs, although they have a tendency to bark too much. They will play and run outdoors, but are happy to return back to the comforts of home! If you have a fenced yard you can let them play until they tire out. The Toy Poodle hits 9 pounds top weight.

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.