Monthly Archives: October 2011

5 Celebrity Pet Lovers

By Langley Cornwell

Pets love you no matter who you are or what you do for a living. In fact, one of the beautiful things about animals is their loyalty and devotion. It’s always fun to read about celebrities and their pets, and how they interact with one another.

It’s not so different from how I interact with my pets – aside from the lavish meals, fancy beds and matching clothes. Sure, our pets get good nutrition from CANIDAE Natural Pet Food and they have comfortable beds. And even though we’re not big on matching clothes, I’m pretty sure my dog thinks I’m a celebrity, too. 

Adam Sandler

As you might expect, Adam Sandler made an unconventional choice for the best man at his 2003 wedding: Meatball, his English bulldog. Meatball dressed the part, sporting an appropriate tuxedo and yarmulke. Sadly, Meatball is no longer with the Sandlers; at age four he died of a heart attack. They still have fun with their other English bulldog, Matzoball, who is alive and well, and enjoying the good life.

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Symptoms, Causes and Treatment for a Pet with a Fever

By Linda Cole

It’s not always easy to determine if a pet has a fever or not. The general way many pet owners decide if their dog or cat is running a temperature is by feeling their nose. If it’s wet and cool, that’s a good sign the pet is healthy, but if it’s dry and hot that could mean the pet has a fever. However, there are better signs of fever in pets. Pet parents can tell right away when a pet isn’t feeling well, especially when they pass up their favorite CANIDAE or FELIDAE meal. We can also tell if they’re warm by touching them. If your pet is running a fever, you need to know for sure, otherwise you may miss the reason for their fever. The best way to know for certain is to actually take their temperature using a rectal thermometer.

Symptoms and Causes of Fever in Dogs and Cats

The first thing to remember is that our pet’s body temperature is higher than ours. We have a normal body temperature at 97.6 up to 99.6. A dog’s normal body temperature is 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. The normal temperature for cats is 100.4 to 102.5 degrees. Indications of a fever include loss of appetite, lack of energy, depression, shivering, a runny nose, coughing, dehydration, lack of grooming or vomiting.

An infection or inflammation can produce a fever in pets. Anytime their body temperature is over 103 degrees Fahrenheit is cause for concern. A temperature of 106 degrees or higher can damage a pet’s internal organs and can be fatal. High fever in cats isn’t as harmful for them as it is for dogs, but it’s always best to get a high fever down as quickly as possible. If you can’t bring it down on your own within a day or two, a trip to the vet is recommended for specialized care and to determine why they have a fever.

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How to Choose a Healthy Pet Treat

By Julia Williams

When I give my kitties their nightly snack of TidNips treats, I feel like the best Cat Mom in the world. It’s not because they love these treats (well, of course they do!) or that they all prance around the kitchen doing the feline version of Dancing with the Stars (it’s quite the lavish production!). It’s not because their exuberant meows and purrs let me know they think these things are the best invention since catnip. It’s because I know I’m giving them a treat that not only tastes good to them and makes them unabashedly happy, but they’re healthy for them too. June Cleaver would approve of TidNips, I’m sure of it!

As we all know, our pets –though most are highly intelligent creatures capable of doing amazing things – can’t as yet read nutrition labels. I wouldn’t put it past them to learn how to do that one day, but right now their only criteria for food and treats is that they taste good. Smart humans that we are, we know there are lots of things that taste good but aren’t necessarily good for us. Sure, sometimes we eat them anyway simply because we like the taste. And while I suppose you could do that with pet treats too, there is no reason to – because good, healthy treats exist, and your pet will love them just as much as any treat that has icky ingredients they shouldn’t be eating.

If a responsible pet owner goes to the trouble of feeding a high quality food because they want their four-legged friend to be in good health, why wouldn’t their standards be just as high for their pet’s treats? One reason is that while many pet owners will take the time to carefully research a particular brand of pet food before deciding to buy it, they don’t always do the same thing for treats. Pet treats are sometimes viewed as the potato chip or candy equivalent, i.e. a “treat” so it doesn’t have to be healthy. Personally, I view treats as an important part of a healthy diet, and I wouldn’t buy my cats “junk” treats even if they meowed for them by name.

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October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

By Linda Cole

Adopt a Shelter Dog Month is a nationwide campaign sponsored by the ASPCA to promote and encourage people to visit their local animal shelter if they are considering adopting a dog. October is the month designated for shelter dogs, and June is the purrfect month for cats. Every month of the year is a great time to adopt a shelter pet, but since it’s October, dogs are in the spotlight for this month.

Throughout the month of October, many shelters waive or have reduced adoption fees to encourage people to adopt a shelter dog. If you’ve been thinking about adding a new puppy or adult dog to your family, now is the time to get out there and start your search for the perfect shelter pet. Even if your shelter isn’t offering reduced adoption fees, please don’t let that stop you from adopting. There’s a very good reason why shelters have an adoption fee and don’t give a pet to anyone who walks through their door. They want to make sure the person adopting a pet is willing to make a commitment to the pet, and paying an adoption fee shows that a potential pet owner is serious about this promise.

Giving a pet away is never a good idea for shelters or anyone who is trying to find their pet a new home. There are people who look for free dogs from “free to good home” ads or shelters and they are not adopting the dog as a family pet. Adoption fees, whether by a shelter or a family re-homing their pet, are more likely to find real dog lovers looking for a pet rather than selling the dog for a profit to someone else. Adoption fees help offset shelter expenses, although most fees don’t come close to what it actually costs to feed and provide medical care for the pet.

Every pet deserves a home with a family who loves them. Millions of dogs and cats are surrendered to shelters every year for of a variety of reasons. Some reasons are valid, but many dogs end up in shelters because of behavioral issues that could have been corrected if their owner had only taken the time to seek out help for them. Too many pets are turned into shelters because their owner didn’t understand the importance of picking a pet that would fit into their lifestyle. Pets are sometimes surrendered because they got old or developed an illness their owner couldn’t or wouldn’t pay for. There are things to consider before adopting a pet, and every potential pet owner needs to think carefully about their lifestyle and their ability to make a lifetime commitment to a pet. Adopting a pet should never be a spur of the moment decision.

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The Accidental Invention of “Kitty Litter”

By Julia Williams

Kitty litter is essential for anyone with an indoor cat. But other than deciding what kind to buy and cleaning the litter box regularly, most cat owners probably don’t give it a lot of thought. I’m not like most people, though (a fact I’m well aware of and wouldn’t change if I could!) so I recently decided to find out how this useful invention came about. I was surprised to discover that the first product marketed as “Kitty Litter” was an accidental invention.

Moreover, this invention dramatically changed the nature of the relationship many people had with their cats. How so? Before the original clay litter, people who wanted to keep their cats indoors had some pretty inadequate options for litter box filler. They used sand, sawdust, wood shavings, shredded newspapers or even plain ol’ dirt. Now, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how all of those options could be considered a giant FAIL in terms of performance, odor and cleanliness.

When an entrepreneurial man named Edward Lowe began marketing oil-absorbing clay as Kitty Litter in 1947, more people began opening their homes and hearts to felines. Although there have been vast improvements in kitty litter in the last few decades, this original clay litter was a huge step up from the options people had at the time. Hence, a better litter box filler meant that it was more convenient – and less messy and odorous – to keep a cat indoors.

The Accidental Invention

After serving in the Navy, 27-year old Ed Lowe returned to Cassopolis, Michigan and began working for his father’s company. The Lowe’s sold ice and coal to the residents of Michigan; they also sold sawdust to neighboring industries, and had recently begun offering oil-absorbent kiln-dried clay as a fireproof alternative to sawdust for sopping up grease spills.

Ed was approached by a neighbor named Mrs. Draper, who wanted some sawdust for her litter box. On a whim, Ed suggested she try a bag of the kiln-dried clay he happened to have in his car. The mineral was highly absorbent after all, and Ed thought it might work just as well for the cat box as it did for the factories. It turns out that Ed’s hunch was correct. Mrs. Draper raved about the clay and wanted to buy more. Because she was so enthusiastic about using the clay in her litter box, Ed wondered if other cat owners might like it too.

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Feeding Pets of the Homeless

By Langley Cornwell

Have you heard of them? How about Pets of the Homeless? This outstanding national nonprofit organization—known by both names—is a volunteer-based group intent on providing pet food and veterinary care to the homeless, transitional and less fortunate on a local level.

It all started when animal lover Genevieve Frederick noticed a homeless man with a dog. She wondered what the man fed the dog and whether it was nutritious. She wondered how the animal stayed healthy and what the man would do if the dog needed medical attention. After her initial research, Frederick decided to act on her findings. She turned her simple questions into a national organization with over 290 collection sites in the United States, several in Canada and one in Australia. Since 2008, Pets of the Homeless has collected over 76 tons of pet food and provided more than 2,500 animals with vaccinations and medical care.

While the number is a moving target, the Pets of the Homeless website reports that approximately 3.5 million Americans are homeless. Of that 3.5 million, between five and ten percent have pets. That’s a lot of hungry dogs and cats! Moreover, studies show that many homeless people are in a transitional stage and are without a place to live for only a short period of time. Finding temporary housing or a rent subsidy is difficult for those with pets.

Pets of the Homeless wants to help underprivileged people keep their pets with them, well-fed and cared for. They believe in the healing power of companion animals and of the strength of the human/animal bond. Another important consideration is that they want to keep homeless people’s pets out of overcrowded animal shelters.

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