By Julia Williams
The sponsor of this blog, CANIDAE Natural Pet Foods, selects one reader every three months to receive a free six month supply of their premium quality pet food. It’s yet another gesture of goodwill from a company I’ve come to know as being exceedingly generous and kind to both their two- and four-legged friends. The free pet food winner is chosen at random from every new reader who subscribed to the Responsible Pet Ownership blog via email during the past quarter, and they get to pick any formula of CANIDAE dog food or FELIDAE cat food.
The lucky winner from last quarter is Heather Cann of California, or perhaps I should I say Jasper Cann, since he is the one who will actually be enjoying the food! Jasper is an adorable 2-year-old Miniature Poodle that Heather said is “very sweet, a little spunky and always playful.” Heather’s family adopted Jasper from a local shelter in 2009 when he was about 4 months old.
They searched rescues and shelters for 2 months for a dog that was more asthma/allergy friendly before they found Jasper. “He was a small, scruffy little puppy at the time and looked more Fozzie the Bear than a poodle. But Jasper was totally fearless of our toddler Stella, so we knew he was a good fit for our family,” said Heather.
By Ruthie Bently
The Alaskan Malamute’s origins go back 2,000 to 3,000 years, and their creation is credited to the Mahlemut Inuit tribe of northern Alaska. Most experts agree that the Malamute is one of the earliest dog breeds of North America. It is debated that they owe their existence to the breeding between domesticated Arctic wolves and early dogs owned by the tribe. It has not yet been scientifically confirmed, but the Alaskan Malamute might be the nearest living relative to the “First Dog” according to Mietje Germonpré, a paleontologist at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. He feels that 30,000 year old dog remains recently found closely resemble the Alaskan Malamute due to their size.
I find it easy to believe that this breed is descended from wolves, as they do tend to howl more than they bark. I have had the chance to hear wolves howling, and the similarity is interesting. An extended family member owns a Malamute with ice blue eyes (this is a disqualification in the confirmation ring). When she looks at you, you get the impression that she is looking into your soul.
By Tamara L. Waters
Most local animal shelters are not-for-profit organizations and work on a shoestring budget while relying upon donations and volunteers to help the animals in their care. This year, why not make plans to give a helping hand to your local animal shelter with a few of these ideas.
Your local animal shelter is probably understaffed. Most often, these organizations need every willing body to keep things running and to take care of the animals that end up here. There are so many ways to volunteer your time to help out.
Are you handy with a screwdriver and good at fixing things? Your local shelter may appreciate having someone who can come in and replace and repair things in the building. How about volunteering to do some laundry? Blankets and towels that are used for the animals always need to be washed.
By Julia Williams
Around this time every year, the side effects of winter start to take their toll on my household. My three cats and I all become irritable, depressed, bored, restless, frustrated, and just plain ticked off at the world. The bitter cold and knee-deep snow make the outdoors inhospitable, so we hole up indoors. On good days we are able to stay out of mischief; on the darkest days of winter we go stir crazy, which generally results in some sort of bad behavior. What that behavior is varies with the day (and the species), but yes – just like humans, pets can and do get Cabin Fever.
While not an actual disease as the name suggests, Cabin Fever is a state of mind. It’s a claustrophobic reaction brought on by an extended stay in a confined space or a remote, isolated area. Although Cabin Fever is more prevalent in winter, it can occur any time of the year.
Normally well-behaved dogs and cats suffering from Cabin Fever may begin to pick fights with other family pets. They might stare vacantly out the window all day, chew on things they’re not supposed to, or race around the house like something possessed. So what’s a responsible pet owner to do when the weather outside is frightful? Find ways to make being indoors more enjoyable!
By Suzanne Alicie
I could begin this by saying there are many health benefits that come from owning a dog, but dog owners know that the main benefit of having a dog is being loved by him. Unconditional, adoring, slobbery, jumping, romping love is a health benefit in itself. There are also many other health benefits to being loved by a dog, and loving a dog as well.
Responsible pet owners know that having a dog means they are responsible for not only the food and shelter of their dog, but also for the many other aspects of his life. This leads to a healthy and regimented routine. There is a time for walking, a time for playing, a time for eating, and a time for resting. This is a healthy way to live your life because it keeps you from becoming too busy. You can’t become too unscheduled, because your dog is depending on you to be there at a certain time of day to provide food, attention and care.
Dogs are also a great way to enjoy getting your exercise. When you are outdoors running and playing with your canine friend, you don’t think of it as exercising. However, not only are you out getting fresh air, you are also raising your heart rate and often working your muscles. Regular physical activity is healthy for pet owners of all ages.
By Linda Cole
We are so misinformed in believing our pets are well trained by us. They actually have a unique ability to train us and in reality, we don’t realize until after training is complete, how great a job they did on us. Don’t believe me? Read on to see if you recognize any of the training tips pets use on us every day to get anything from a tasty treat to our attention. From our pet’s point of view, we are the ones who need training.
Housebreaking. One of the first things you do after getting a puppy is teach him where you want him to go. Our training begins the moment we frantically leap over an easy chair to stop the “accident,” which by then is usually already in progress, and rush the puppy outside as he/she leaves a trail out the door. Pups teach us to watch them like a hawk! Housebreaking a pup isn’t difficult, once you learn their particular little dances and looks they give you when the crucial time has come and leakage is imminent.
Cooking utensils, laundry baskets and TV remotes crash to the floor as we attempt to get to the puppy before it’s too late. People who never considered running sprints or jumping hurdles will fly over the couch or coffee table to get to their adorable puppy squatting in the middle of the living room. From a pup’s point of view, we need training because watching a lumbering human race towards him with panic etched on their face and screaming, “NOOOOO,” is scary!