By Julia Williams
First of all, let me just say that what follows is not an “official” list of things pet owners need to know. I’m not a veterinarian or animal behaviorist, but I am an animal lover and lifelong pet owner, and these are my personal suggestions. Knowledge is power, and so is awareness. Both can help us take better care of our beloved pets.
Exercise is vital to a pet’s wellbeing. A body needs to move in order to stay physically fit and mentally healthy. Regular exercise burns calories, stimulates a pet’s immune system, and increases muscle mass and cardiovascular strength. Many aggression and behavioral problems in dogs can be attributed to lack of exercise. Dogs need to run and play, which helps to burn off excess energy and keep boredom at bay. Even cats are more prone to mischief if no one takes the time to play with them. Sure, some cats can be pretty lazy and may need encouragement to chase that feather toy or mouse – but they’ll live longer and happier lives, so it’s worth the effort to engage them in play.
By Linda Cole
Breaking up a dog fight can be difficult and potentially dangerous. If your canine family includes two or more dogs, they may all get into a fight at one time or another. It’s a scary situation, especially if you’re alone and there’s no time to think about what to do in the heat of the battle. Even a dog who is quiet and docile can turn into a raging bull when pushed too far. Breaking up a dog fight is one of the hardest things you may have to do. It’s a good idea to have a plan in place; even better, learn about the body language of dogs to prevent fights before they begin. Dog behavior that might lead to a fight is clear and easy to see, if you know what to look for.
By Ruthie Bently
The Shiba Inu is an ancient breed that originated on the island of Japan and is a descendant of the primitive dogs of the ancient Japanese people. The breed can trace its roots back to the third century B.C, although it was not officially named until the 1920s. They are Japan’s number one companion dog.
The Shiba Inu is a member of the AKC’s Non-Sporting group, which is interesting when you consider they were originally used for hunting, primarily to flush birds and small game. They were also used for hunting bear and boar, due to their superior senses and ability to traverse steep hills and mountainous regions that were inaccessible to people. According to Merriam Webster’s online dictionary, Shiba means brushwood and Inu means dog. Some Shiba Inus’ coat color is the same reddish color of these trees, hence the nickname brushwood dog.
By Tamara L. Waters
Your dog loves you. Better yet, he absolutely adores you. There are many reasons why he thinks you are the best, but here are eight to start with.
Your dog loves affection from you. Whether it’s a quick scratch between the ears or a leg-thumping back or belly scratch, your dog loves you for the physical affection you give him. Keep your dog happy by bestowing plenty of affection and attention on him, and he will reward you with his adorable antics and a slimy tongue in your ear.
Those Delicious Trash Cans
You dog adores you because of the wonderfully aromatic and delicious things you keep stashed in the garbage can or trash bag, just for him! He loves that you save wonderful “treats” and make him work for them, because as we all know, the anticipation and effort to get to those trash-can treats make them even tastier.
By Suzanne Alicie
We are thrilled to share with you a wonderful and inspiring project that has been put together by a long-time member of the CANIDAE breeder program. While the Pink Ribbon Puppies website may appear to be just an adorable site with puppies on it, there is a serious and touching story behind it.
The Pink Ribbon Puppies 2011 calendar is a fundraising project for breast cancer research. It features a litter of nine beautiful lab puppies born this past September. When the co-owner of the dam of this litter was diagnosed with breast cancer, it was decided that as much as she was looking forward to the puppies and wanted to be involved, she needed to focus on her healing process and leave the whelping up to the other co-owner. So while she underwent radiation therapy for five days of each week for six weeks, her friend and “co-mommy” began her days with puppy breath as she helped get the puppies off to a great start in life.
By Julia Williams
Pets are wonderful companions, but they can be great teachers, too. If you share your home with a pet, you’re probably being taught important life lessons by them every day. Usually, we’re so busy “being human” that we don’t stop to ponder life from our pet’s perspective. We don’t think about the things we could learn from our pets, but I think we should, because animals are wise beings with many messages to impart. Here are just some of the many lessons I’ve learned from living with cats:
1. Take pleasure in the simple things. Cats don’t need fancy toys or lavish homes to be content. Give them a paper bag and a cardboard box, and all is well. We humans don’t really need the latest, greatest gizmo to be happy either, but very often we’re so caught up in the pursuit of “things” that we don’t take time to experience life’s simple pleasures.
2. Don’t hold a grudge. Forgiveness is a hard thing for humans to achieve. Most of us know that being angry and resentful harms our bodies and our spirits, yet we struggle to forgive. I marvel at my cat’s ability to forgive so quickly. Moments after being harshly scolded for spilling my coffee, Rocky comes back for a pet as though nothing happened. If every human could forgive this quickly – just imagine what the world would be like.