Monthly Archives: August 2011

Why You Should Involve Kids in Dog Training

By Linda Cole

Whether you have a puppy or an older dog, involving the entire family in the dog’s training is an important part in the dog’s education as well as the child’s. Kids like to be included in family things, and training a dog should be a family affair. Having a role in a dog’s care and training also helps children learn about being compassionate and how to act around a dog.

Socializing a dog or puppy isn’t difficult to do. What’s hard is teaching children not to roughhouse with a dog to the point where the dog or puppy becomes agitated or overly excited. That’s why kids and adults need to understand a dog’s body language to know when the dog has had enough fun for the time being. Involving children in a dog’s training helps them learn how to watch what a dog is saying. It helps them become more aware of the dog’s movements, and it’s one of the best ways to bond and learn who their dog is as an individual.

Understanding breeds compassion, and when children train a dog using positive reinforcement, they are learning a life lesson that teaches them positive techniques which help with their human relationships. They learn they don’t have to intimidate or use fear or bullying to get things they want, and they learn that giving respect to a dog returns trust to them.

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Do Pets Make the World a Better Place?

By Julia Williams

If you’ve ever shared a special bond with a pet, that question probably seems a bit silly. Of course the world is a better place because of pets, you’d say. As a lifelong animal lover, I wholeheartedly agree. However, I also know there are people who have no use for pets. Just as I can’t fathom why anyone would ever want to live without a pet, the non-pet people don’t really understand how humans can form strong bonds with animals, or why they would want to. I suppose the universe is big enough for all kinds, but just between us, I am eternally thankful that I’m a pet person. My world is absolutely a better place because of my pets, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

I am the polar opposite of the cat-hating boyfriend featured on Must Love Cats, who demanded that the bedroom be a “cat free zone.” I have very few cat free zones in my home. For sanitary reasons, I do try to make the kitchen counters and table cat free zones, but Rocky challenges that notion daily. I don’t have cat free zones because my home is their home too, and they should be allowed to live in it.

I certainly could have been – but sadly wasn’t – the person who came up with the funny saying, “If you don’t want pet hair on your clothes, stay off my furniture!” True, this policy of letting my pets sleep wherever they feel like it does present some moments of embarrassment. I’ll never forgot the day a visitor turned to leave and I discovered he was wearing what amounted to “half a cat” on the seat of his pants. It was mortifying in the moment, but I laugh about it now. I came to realize that if he was a pet person, he’d understand, and if he wasn’t…c’est la vie. I don’t much care.

“I could not imagine my life without pets” was a recurring comment in response to my article “My Best Friends All Wear Fur.” Nor could I imagine life without my cats. Well, actually I can imagine it, and it’s certainly not the life I would want for myself. I find that no matter what might be wrong with my life “in the moment,” a head-bump from my heart cat Annabelle can make it right again in an instant. I think I love her exuberant kitty head-bumps more than anything else on earth, and I simply can’t imagine life without them.

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Overview of Dog Laws

By Sara Chisnell-Voigt

Animal law as a whole has expanded by leaps and bounds over the past few decades, and as with any growth in a particular field of law comes more creation of laws. While legislatures across the nation have been busy introducing a wide array of new laws affecting dog ownership, plenty of basic dog laws already exist that all dog owners should be aware of. Although the majority of Americans consider their dogs to be family members, under the letter of the law they are considered property, and similar to other property, dog ownership can be regulated by the government. This article discusses some of the most common basic dog laws that apply to most dog owners.

At the most basic level of dog law, and found just about everywhere, are licensing requirements. Dogs must be licensed (typically by county), or owners may face fines. This gives the county a record of dogs under their jurisdiction. Typically, in order to obtain a dog license, the owner must provide proof of a rabies vaccination. Most states require that dogs be vaccinated for rabies. Some places charge a higher license fee for dogs that have not been spayed or neutered. Others offer kennel licenses for people who have over a certain number of dogs. Dog owners benefit from licensing their dogs because it provides another form of identification should they ever need to claim their dog at the animal shelter.

Now why would your dog be at the shelter? Most likely for running at large. Most states have leash and dog-at-large laws. Dogs must be on lead and under control of the owner when off the owner’s private property. Usually these laws authorize animal control to seize dogs running at large. Leash laws are in place to protect citizens from dogs running loose and to protect the dogs themselves. Some cities even have laws that require you to clean up after your dog if they defecate on public property, or you face fines.

There are exceptions to leash laws, such as dog competitions, dog parks, and hunting. States will have specific laws regarding hunting with dogs that outline where dogs may be loose for hunting, what time(s) of year, and what kind of prey they may be used for. Some states even have right to retrieve laws, where hunters have the right to go onto private property to collect a dog that has followed game across property lines.

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Feeding Frenzy at the Katnip Lounge

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. The winner is chosen at random from every new reader who subscribed to the blog via email during the past quarter. The winner gets to pick any formula of CANIDAE dog food or FELIDAE cat food.

The lucky winner from last quarter is Tricia C. of Henderson, Nevada. Tricia and her husband Scott have a lot of cats – 13 to be exact! As you can imagine, feeding that many hungry felines is no small feat (they go through about 26 pounds of kibble and 275 6-ounce cans every month!), so Tricia was super excited to find out she’d won some free cat food. She spoke with CANIDAE Customer Service to determine which of the five cat formulas would be the best choice for her “Kat Pack” and decided upon the FELIDAE Cat and Kitten formula. I’m positive her kitties will love this great food, because my cats have eaten it for many years, and they all give it two paws up!

Tricia writes a very entertaining daily blog called the Katnip Lounge, which is subtitled “A Baker’s Dozen of Fabulous Cats.” With so many cats on hand (on paw?) there is never a shortage of good material for her blog. Tricia’s Kat Pack includes six girls and seven boys: KonaKitty, The Baby, Grayce, Sweet Pea, May Ling, Salem, Johnny, Felix, Rupert, Scouty, CC, Maui and Sylvester. Oh, and then there is Henry, an outdoor feral kitty they also feed.

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Dog Scouts of America: Dogs are Not Furniture!

By Suzanne Alicie

If you’re a dog lover, there is an organization you simply must check out. I was astounded to realize that we don’t just have Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts organizations, there’s also a Dog Scouts of America (DSA). The Boy Scout and Girl Scout motto is: “Be Prepared!” The Dog Scouts of America’s motto is:

“Our dog’s lives are much shorter than ours – let’s help them enjoy their time with us as much as we can.”

Doesn’t that tell you something wonderful about this non-profit organization that is dedicated to enriching the lives of both dog lovers and dogs?

The founder of DSA, Lonnie Olson, believes that dogs were not meant to be “furniture” or accessories, and that they enjoy learning new things and spending time with their owners. Without a way to work out all the natural energy dogs have, they may get in trouble, be destructive and even develop health problems. The DSA is meant to bring people and their dogs closer together, to teach them to communicate with one another, and to challenge them to learn and do something new and different while working together to improve their communities.

CANIDAE loves the idea that the DSA promotes responsible pet ownership. Through their many publications including free articles, brochures, a manual and newsletter as well as their website, the main theme is being a responsible pet owner and community member. Dog lovers will find many community enrichment ideas, various sporting events and activities, and training information via the DSA.

Lonnie and the DSA want people to stop thinking of dogs as being disposable and recognize the innate intelligence, comfort, companionship and responsibility that are involved with owning a dog, or rather being owned BY a dog. The DSA holds yearly scouting camps where people and dogs come together to learn interactive skills and have a great time together.

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Can You Love Your Pet Too Much?

By Linda Cole

Pets give us unconditional love from the moment we form a bond with them, or for some pets, from the moment they enter our home. In return, we shower our pets with toys, good food, great treats like CANIDAE TidNips™, and all the love they deserve. But is there such a thing as giving your pet too much love?

Suzanne Alicie wrote a fun article recently on “The World’s Most Expensive Dog Accessories,” and it made me giggle. I looked at one of my dogs sleeping peacefully on an old blanket that has seen better days. It reminded me of when two of my dogs were puppies. They had a disagreement one night over who would get the blanket – the poor blanket was caught in the middle and ended up with a few holes in the middle. Once they finally settled their disagreement, they laid down together on their prize, each one sure they had won the argument. The dogs don’t care if it’s a ratty old blanket or an expensive throw; as long as it’s where I am, everything is right in their world. I love who my pets are as individuals. I love how they want to be with me all the time, and if that’s loving them too much – then I’m guilty.

My pets aren’t children in fur, but they are my furry kids. I worry about them when they’re home alone, I want to keep them safe during a storm and if one gets sick, I fret over them until they’re better. If it’s chilly, I throw down the tattered blanket because it has comfortable smells on it they love. I enjoy working from home so I can be here to make sure they’re alright. When one of the cats wants to spend some time chatting about nothing, I’ll stop what I’m doing to listen to them. I like knowing my dogs can roam freely in their dog pen and don’t have to be tied up when they’re outside, and they all know basic commands and what I expect from them. They aren’t perfect, and I don’t want them to be perfect. I’m not, and they still love me!

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