Monthly Archives: October 2009

Win Free Pet Food for a Year!


By Julia Williams

Every pet owner I know (including me) takes scads of photographs of their beloved animal companions. Every time we see them doing something cute, funny or heartwarming– which is pretty much every day, isn’t it? – we can’t resist snapping their picture. I enjoy showing them off to my friends and family; I even made a photo scrapbook once, dedicated to all the pets I’ve known and loved.

Well, now’s your chance to win something wonderful from one of those photographs. Your favorite pet picture could net you a year’s supply of free CANIDAE dog food or FELIDAE cat food! How cool is that? I mean, what dog or cat owner wouldn’t want to win a year’s supply of super-premium pet food? Even better, the food is all natural and good for your pet, because it contains no corn, wheat, soy, grain fractions or fillers, and it’s naturally preserved.

So what do you have to do to win a year’s supply of CANIDAE All Natural Pet Food for your dog or cat? First, become a fan of the CANDAE Facebook page. If you don’t already have a Facebook account, you’ll need to sign up for one (it’s entirely free) at www.facebook.com. Then choose your best photo of your dog or cat, and email it to facebookphotos@canidae.com. Include a brief description of your pet, their name and a little information about them, such as what you love most about them or how they came into your life.

Two Grand Prize Winners will be chosen by a panel of judges at CANIDAE Pet Foods. One winner will be selected in the Dog category, and one winner in the Cat category. Both winning contestants will receive a free one year supply of the CANIDAE or FELIDAE formula of their choice. (A year’s supply of pet food is defined as the nutritional requirement for one medium size dog or one domestic cat).

About Your Entry

Some photos and emails will be selected to appear in a special CANIDAE Pet Foods Facebook page photo album, and on the CANIDAE website. Please limit your entry to one JPEG image, no larger than 2MB; other types of images will be rejected. The judges will select the winning entries, one dog picture and one cat picture, based on which two pictures they determine to be the most visually attractive in each category.

Official Rules

No purchase necessary. Only one entry per household and email address allowed. Winners must be at least 18 years of age, a resident of the United States or Canada, and a registered fan of the CANIDAE Pet Foods Facebook Page. Contest ends November 13, 2009. Odds of winning depend on number of entries. Winner will be contacted via email and must respond within 48 hours or, at the sole discretion of CANIDAE Pet Foods, the prize will pass to the next runner up.

Contest void where prohibited by law. Selection of winner is subjective and at the sole discretion of CANIDAE Pet Foods. CANIDAE is not responsible for entries lost due to any technical difficulties including any that might occur with Facebook, the Internet, or email.

Entrants agree to receive the CANIDAE Pet Foods Newsletter and grant CANIDAE permission to publish their information and photos. To protect your privacy, last names and email addresses will not be published. Judges decisions are final. Employees of CANIDAE and its vendors are not eligible to enter.

Read more articles by Julia Williams

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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Cute Halloween Costumes for Dogs


By Anna Lee

Halloween: a day when kids of all ages love to put on costumes and parade around the neighborhood. I imagine most of you would agree that your kids love to play dress up with the dog any time of the year. I would assume that the dog at least “pretends” to enjoy it to make the kids happy! What better time of year than Halloween to dress up the family dog?

I found the perfect site for you to purchase any and every type of Halloween costume for your dog, called Terrific Pets. There are so many to pick from you will have to check the website for the full list. They offer dozens of costumes and I cannot possibly describe each one of them here, but I am providing some examples to get you thinking.

The Devil Halloween Costume may be perfect for that “little angel” of yours. It is red, of course, and even comes with “horns.” Sizes are x-small, medium and large, and it sells for $19.99. A Halloween Black Witch Hat might be just what you are looking for. If you just need a hat, this one is adorable. It even has orange pig-tails attached to the hat! All that for only $7.99; sounds like a good deal to me.

It you just want a hat and collar there are several to pick from. There is a pumpkin hat has a jack-o-lantern face on it and the collar is an orange ruffle. The price is $10.99. They have football t-shirts so your dog can display the colors of your favorite football team. They are a little pricey at $27.99 each. Little “girly type dresses” for the 4-legged princess in your home run about $7.50 and come in several styles and colors.

The list is endless. If you can sew it would be to your advantage to check this website for ideas. I imagine you could make some of these costumes for less than half of the cost. You could then customize the costume and really make an “original” Halloween costume for your little 4-legged Prince or Princess!

Whether you buy a costume or make one, you don’t want to make the dog uncomfortable. If you put a hat on the dog and it really doesn’t want to wear it, please don’t force the issue. You will know if your dog is pleased with the attention or not.

Be careful if you take the dog out for trick-or-treating along with the kids. The dog should be on a leash at all times. Once your little ones get all that nice sweet candy in their goodie bags, make sure the dog does not get any of it. Candy, especially chocolate, should never be given to a dog.

When Halloween is over and the costume is put away, why not give your dog a treat for being such a good sport? Of course, anytime is a good time for CANIDAE Snap-Bits™ dog treats in Original, Lamb & Rice, and CANIDAE PLATINUM® formulas. While you’re at it, why not make up a few little goodie bags with some of the Snap-Bits; if a dog or two comes trick-or-treating with the kids, you will be prepared.

Happy Halloween one and all, and watch out for ghosts, goblins and 4-legged trick-or-treaters. They will steal your heart!

Read more articles by Anna Lee

Find CANIDAE Retailers Near You!

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.

Do Wolf-Dog Hybrids Make Good Pets?


By Linda Cole

I had an opportunity to see a wolf-dog hybrid several years ago. He was a magnificent animal, taller and heavier than a wolf. His father was a pure black wolf with intense amber eyes that followed my every move. The breeder who had the wolf and a dozen or so hybrids, told me not to let them know I was scared. OK, I wasn’t afraid until she said that. It was obvious she knew her animals and what she could expect from them, but do wolf-dog hybrids make good pets?

A hybrid pup comes from two hybrid dogs, a wolf and dog, dog and hybrid or wolf and hybrid. The breeder answered all of my questions and was frank about the erratic temperament of wolf-dog hybrids. When asked if these dogs made good pets, her emphatic response was no. It takes a strong person who understands how to read a dog’s body language and understands completely what they are getting into when accepting the role of pack leader to one of these animals. Her concern was selling a hybrid to someone who was only looking for a “cool pet” to show off and had no idea how to handle an animal that is half wolf and half dog. She had buyers sign an agreement to return the dog to her if they could not handle the dog once it reached adulthood. She didn’t want the hybrid released into the wild by an irresponsible owner.

Like any animal raised by humans, wolf-dog hybrids have never been taught how to hunt and have no idea how to catch their own food. A lucky one might learn as hunger awakens his wolf instincts, but there’s no guarantee and most would likely fall to the same fate as a dog who has found himself on his own with no hunting skills. A hybrid on its own is also more dangerous than a wolf because the dog traits can work against a wolf’s natural fear of humans.

It’s important to understand that wolf-dog hybrid breeders never know which characteristic or behavior will show up in the pups. One pup could be more like a dog whereas a sibling could be more like a wolf. Either way, a hybrid dog will never score bonus points in a dog training class. They do not make good guard dogs and, like a wolf, are more likely to retreat and let you deal with a burglar on your own. If no one is at home, he would probably watch quietly from his hiding place while you were being ripped off.

It’s not impossible to train a wolf-dog hybrid, but close to it. They are quite capable of learning commands, but respond more like a cat than a dog to training. You know the attitude of a cat, “I’ll think about it and get back to you.” We are able to teach our dogs to obey us, their pack leader, because a dog’s behavior is similar to an immature wolf. Dogs rely on us for food, shelter and protection. In return, they learn our commands and show their loyalty by protecting us and their home. A mature wolf doesn’t have the luxury of playing and no one commands them. They have to be independent in order to survive.

Wolf-dog hybrids will never fully accept a new dog into the pack. Because of the territorial nature of wolves, a hybrid sees a new dog as a threat. It’s the dog who will suffer the consequences of an uneducated hybrid owner who attempts to socialize a new dog with the hybrid. Forget about cats or other small pets, and never leave a child alone with a wolf-dog hybrid.

Wolves are beautiful animals that have gotten a bad rap throughout history. They have been blamed for attacks made by wolf-dog hybrids who have been released or escaped into the wild. There has never been a verified recorded attack on or death of a human by a healthy wild wolf in the United States. I admire the wolf who has managed to survive despite human interference, but I would never want one as a pet.

Hopefully, those who would like to own a dog with wolf-like traits will do extensive research before bringing one into their home. They need to consider all safety issues as well as the added expense in insurance cost and potential fines from accidental bites and howling at 3 in the morning, along with other possible fines. And then there are the costs related to properly containing a hybrid and even the cost of destroyed furniture and walls if it’s not kept outside, but it’s not a good idea to keep one inside.

Wolf-dog hybrids do not make good pets for a variety of reasons. However, a responsible pet owner with expert knowledge of how to be a strong pack leader as well as an understanding of a dog’s body language and what to expect from a wolf-dog hybrid, can make owning one safe for all family members.

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.

Meet Sled Dog Racer Laura Vinnedge


By Julia Williams

As many of you already know, CANIDAE All Natural Pet Foods has a long history of supporting a wide variety of pet-related charities, organizations and events that help not only our four-legged friends, but the people who love them. One of those that CANIDAE sponsored for 2009 was Laura Vinnedge, a likable young sled dog racer in Fort St. James, Canada.

Laura, now 18, began working with sled dogs at the tender age of 6. She went for a run with a family friend, and her passion for sled dogs was born. Until recently, Laura managed Cottonwood Kennels, a small racing/recreational operation with huskies ranging from yearlings to age 9. With high school behind her, Laura’s thoughts turned to her future. She knew she wanted to attend college, but debated about taking a year off from school to work for a tour company and earn some money for her tuition.

In the end, Laura decided not to take that break from school, but to enroll in the University of Victoria this fall. With this decision came another, much more difficult one – what would she do with her beloved sled dogs? Laura knew it wasn’t fair to the dogs to keep them at her home, where no one could train them. Mushing is a very demanding sport, both physically and mentally, and when in training, Laura’s dogs run 5 days a week for 6 to 40 miles. Thus, she found herself with the sad task of finding a place where her dogs would have the opportunity to do the work they love to do.

Four of Laura’s dogs headed off to a tour business in Revelstoke, Canada; one stayed in town to lead a recreational musher’s team, one returned to his previous home, and three will “retire” and spend their time lazing in the sun and going for leisurely walks. In a letter to CANIDAE thanking them for their support, Laura said she is certain she will be returning to sled dogs in the future, because “they are such wonderful, honest, affectionate animals that it will be impossible to stay away.” But for now, she must bid farewell to the beautiful creatures she dearly loves.

“I am the coach, the trainer, the nutritionist and motivator. But my dogs are the true athletes, and that sled sure won’t be going anywhere very fast without them. Sled dogs possess boundless stores of energy, trust and enthusiasm. I am very lucky to have been able to share my life with these amazing creatures,” Laura said.

As part of their sponsorship of Cottonwood Kennels, CANIDAE supplied Laura and her dogs with their Grain Free Salmon Formula. Laura said all of her dogs love the CANIDAE food, and performed wonderfully on it. Because sled dog racing is such a high-stress, high-demand sport, the dogs need top-notch nutrition to ensure they can perform comfortably and to the best of their ability. After switching to the CANIDAE Grain Free Salmon food, Laura said her dogs had excellent weight, lustrous coats, improved endurance and heart rates, and calm demeanors. “I am confident in recommending this food to other racers as a top performance formula,” she said.

Best of luck to you in your studies, Laura – and in your future sled dog racing endeavors too!

Read more articles by Julia Williams

Find CANIDAE Retailers Near You!

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.

Caring for Newborn Puppies and Their Mom


By Julia Williams

If your dog is pregnant and you’re wondering how to care for the puppies once they’re born, the good news is that most likely, all you’ll need to do is keep a watchful eye on the momma dog. Most canine mothers have a strong maternal instinct and can do a great job of caring for their newborn puppies by themselves. They will know how to keep their newborn puppies warm and well fed, and how to help them with waste elimination and hygiene. However, if the mother dog rejects her pups or cannot product enough milk for them, or you are caring for an orphan, then the puppies will need your help in order to survive and thrive.

Healthy newborn puppies look vibrant and strong, and their gums are pink. A puppy’s eyes should open approximately 10 to 14 days after birth. A newborn puppy’s body weight may double or even triple during the first few weeks, and gaining 10 to 15% of their birth weight daily is considered healthy. The puppies should nurse with enthusiasm, and they often twitch while asleep.

Be sure to consult your veterinarian immediately if you have any concerns about a pup’s health. Treating a sick puppy early can mean the difference between life and death. Warning signs include failure to nurse, constant crying, weakness, difficulty breathing, poor weight gain, temperature drop, diarrhea, vomiting, listlessness, sneezing, coughing, and nasal discharge.

It’s also important to monitor hydration in newborn puppies. To do this, gently pinch the skin on the back of the neck into a “tent.” If a puppy is properly hydrated, the skin will go back into place immediately. If the pinched skin stays creased, the puppy is dehydrated and will need to be treated immediately.

Newborn puppies cannot regulate their own body temperature, so guard against chilling by keeping the pups indoors, off cold floors, and in a warm, draft-free room. The puppies get their best heat from the mom dog, but if you have orphans your room temperature should be on the warm side for the first month. Indirect heat from warm water bottles or heat lamps may also be used. After 4 weeks, supplemental heat shouldn’t be needed.

During the first week, a puppy’s normal temperature is between 95-98°F. The pup’s temperature increases gradually each day until four weeks of age, when it should be close to the normal temperature for an adult dog (100.5 to 102.5°F).

A large pet carrier lined with soft towels makes a nice bed for newborn puppies and their Mom. For orphans and pups with no litter mates, you might want to place a stuffed animal inside the carrier, to keep them company and provide some heat.

A mother dog’s milk provides everything newborn puppies need nutritionally during their first four weeks of life. Nursing also provides newborn puppies with antibodies to help prevent infections. If you’re caring for an orphaned pup, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian on the proper way to bottle-feed them. Your vet can also give you a recommendation on which commercial canine milk replacer to use.

In their first few weeks of life, puppies need to nurse (or be bottle fed) about every two hours. As they grow, the time between feedings gradually increases. At approximately four weeks of age, puppies can start to transition from nursing to eating solid food. Usually, weaning will be completed by approximately 6 to 8 weeks of age.

Because newborn puppies do not spontaneously eliminate waste on their own for the first month, the mother dog stimulates them through licking. If the mom is ill or absent, you’ll need to help them with this. It may not be one of the most pleasant tasks of caring for a newborn puppy, but it is vital to their health. Using a warm, moist washcloth or piece of gauze, gently massage the puppy’s genital/anal area before and after their feedings. If you’re unsure about the proper technique, please consult with your vet.

As tempting as it is to hold and hug your adorable newborn puppies, it is best for them if you don’t do it more than a few times a day. And when you do, it should be for a very short time (a minute or two at most). Children should never be allowed to handle the puppies without adult supervision, and you should also take care not to upset the mom dog when handling them.

Speaking of the mom dog, it’s a good idea to have her examined by your vet within 24 hours after giving birth, to ensure that everything went well. Remember too, a nursing mom’s nutritional needs are greater than normal when feeding a litter of puppies. Be sure to keep plenty of fresh water nearby, and provide a high quality dog food such as CANIDAE, divided into three daily feedings. Your vet may also recommend a dietary supplement to assist with milk production.

This article is intended only as general guidance on caring for newborn puppies. It’s very important to consult your veterinarian with specific questions and any concerns you may have about your newborn pups and/or their mom.

Read more articles by Julia Williams

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 Give Your Dog a Massage


By Ruthie Bently

Have you ever gotten a massage? My grandmother Ruth used to go every week for one, and until I decided to treat myself to one, I didn’t realize the benefits of getting a massage. I was relaxed and calm, and none of my muscles hurt; in fact I was so relaxed I felt like a walking bowl of Jell-O. It made me feel like I could take on the world. Now, massage has been added to the list of alternative therapies we can have done for our dogs, and you can even give your dog a massage at home.

Massage goes back to the Greeks and Hippocrates who studied the benefits of regular massage on the well-being of humans. So it only follows what we humans have known for centuries, that if massage is good for us, it should be good for our dogs as well.

Before you begin shaking your head and wondering which planet I came from, consider the benefits. Some of the benefits from massaging your dog are enhancing or increasing the bond you have with them, while providing a comforting touch. It can help calm a nervous dog, increase their flexibility and circulation, and give them a general sense of well being. It can relieve stress, and make your dog feel more secure. Massage can lead to better muscle strength, lessening of pain and muscle tension. It can even improve your dog’s behavior and self-esteem.

When massage is used for younger dogs and puppies it helps with socialization, and increases their trust level. You can even use a mouth massage to ease your puppy’s teething problems. When you massage your older dog you can find illness sooner, as your fingers may find something your eyes have missed. For example, flaking or scabs can be a sign of parasites, swelling can also be a sign of parasites, cancer and even heart disease. By massaging your dog’s back, you may even find back problems or issues due to weight gain. Not only that, massage helps slow the aging process. Massaging a geriatric dog can reduce pain associated with arthritis and other illness, stimulate their circulatory system and help them maintain their mobility.

The massage that a certified massage therapist provides is different than what you can do at home, but this doesn’t mean that massaging your dog at home is any less important. The nice thing is that you can do it yourself and it doesn’t cost you a thing. There are two basic massage techniques you can perform at home – passive touch and effleurage.

Passive touch is done without pressure and involves holding your hand on only muscle groups. You hold your hand on the thigh and hip or on your dog’s shoulder, side or head without pressure for a few moments. It can be done any time whether you are relaxing, out for your daily walk or even while you are watching TV.

Effleurage is used to help warm your dog’s body tissues and involves a long, gentle stroke. You want to use an extremely light touch. You keep one hand on your dog all the time, while you use the other hand to move down your dog’s body. Start with your dog’s face and move your hand down their head, body, outside of their legs and finally their tail. First you want to move your hands in the direction that your dog’s hair grows. Then just as gently, stroke your dog up the inside of their legs, in the opposite direction of the way their hair grows. Try not to pull your dog’s hair while doing this. There are two other varieties of effleurage; centripetal is done toward the heart in a circular motion, and the other is done hand-over-hand with one hand beginning a stroke as your other hand is ending a stroke.

Before beginning to massage your dog, you should have them in a place that is both quiet and comfortable for them. It can be done on the couch, bed, the floor or even a table. Make sure the area is clean, has plenty of padding and that a fresh dish of water is available for your dog. You want your dog to be relaxed, so if your dog is not interested don’t force them to participate. Don’t massage your dog if they have a fever, and if your dog has any kind of lump, an open wound or an infection (like a hot spot) you should never massage that area.

When I have a few extra minutes I massage Skye, and have found that it does help to keep her calm and more relaxed. I think if you try this on your own dog, you will notice a difference as well. Why not give it a try? I think you will be pleasantly surprised!

Special thanks to Donna’s dog “Lily” for posing for our picture.

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.