Monthly Archives: February 2012

A Tribute to Annabelle, My Furry Valentine

By Julia Williams

Each of my three cats is affectionate in their own way, but there’s just something incredibly special about Annabelle. I felt a connection with her the moment I rescued the tiny bedraggled kitten from the jaws of death. These last few years, however, my bond with Belle has grown stronger than I ever could have imagined, and it’s taken me by surprise. Oh sure, plenty of people have formed close bonds with their pets and I have with all of mine, too. Yet this sweet-tempered girl with a diamond on her nose…she is different somehow.

I don’t think of Annabelle as a substitute for human affection; I don’t compare the two, for how could I? What we share is a pure love that makes me feel blessed and happy to be alive. Sure, this relationship has limitations because she is, after all, a cat. But notice I did not say “just a cat.” Belle will never be “just a cat” to me. She is my life, and I love her more than anything on earth. I would do anything for Belle, give her anything she needed to be happy and healthy.

There are many different things that make this little cat so special to me, but what I love most is that she truly wants to be close to me. Every day, Belle comes into my home office and softly mews until I pick her up. She sits on my lap like a child, one leg draped over my left shoulder and her body over my heart. I wrap both arms around her tight and rest my cheek on top of her head. I close my eyes and listen to the sweet melody of her contented purr.

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Benny Wong and His 5 Disc Dogs Win Free CANIDAE!

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 via email during the past quarter. The winner gets to pick any formula of CANIDAE dog food or FELIDAE cat food.

The most recent winner is Benny Wong from Pasadena, California. Benny is very familiar with the CANIDAE brand and has chosen to receive free dog food. “We definitely feed our dogs CANIDAE! We use both the All Life Stages and Grain Free pureELEMENTS™ formulas,” said Benny. A longtime dog lover, Benny is also an active member of a Disc Dog club and competes regularly with his crew of canine athletes. “With 5 dogs, we sure can use this free food,” said Benny.

Here’s what Benny told us about himself and his canine family:

“I have been in the disc dog community since 1991. I belong to a disc dog club called Disc Dogs in Southern California. I’ve been president off and on for 4 years, and currently I’m the clinic and competition coordinator for the club.

My first dog Sammy, a poodle-terrier mix, started my addiction on wanting more dogs. He was my wife’s lap dog that I converted into a disc dog. We adopted him in 1990 at 8 weeks and he was so perfect for us. We took him everywhere, and he took our heart at the age of 15 1/2.

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How to Stop Dogs from Stealing Toys

By Linda Cole

Dogs are naturally curious about what another canine has. If one dog has something, it must be good and may be worthy of swiping. You may not have a problem at home with your dog stealing toys, but if you’re at the dog park, stealing another dog’s ball or toy may not be a good idea. You can stop your dog from stealing toys by teaching your dog four basic commands.

A dog doesn’t know it’s not nice to steal toys or that things he picks up in his mouth could be harmful to him. Basic commands help us control our dog’s behavior more quickly so we can stop him before there’s a problem. Start with plenty of CANIDAE TidNips treats, have patience and a commitment, and always keep it fun.

Drop it: When your dog gives up what he has in his mouth, he gets something better in return. Begin where there are no distractions. Attach a leash to his collar and let it drag on the ground. Give him a favorite toy and let him play with it for a few minutes, then show him a treat and give him the command to “drop it.” Say it only once. Your dog should obey any command as soon as you give it. If he drops the toy, give him the treat and praise. Offer him the toy and say, “take it,” wait a few minutes, then give the “drop it” command. Treat immediately when he drops the toy. If he tries to wander away with the toy, step on the leash and offer him the treat. There’s nothing wrong with trying to out-wait him if necessary. He’ll get the idea as long as you stay calm and patient.

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Round Kibble is the Cat’s Meow! FELIDAE is Changing Shape.

Same Great Formulations, Same Great Taste. Just a New Round Kibble.

The meows are in! When cats were asked to choose from many different shapes of kibble, they gave two paws up to round, again and again! As a result, CANIDAE Natural Pet Food Company has decided to change the shape of FELIDAE Cat & Kitten, Chicken & Rice and FELIDAE PLATINUM® kibble for cats to a simple round circle.  Our two Grain Free FELIDAE kibble formulas – pureSEA™ and pureELEMENTS™ – already feature this round shape cats prefer most.

We want to make it very clear, however, that although the shape of FELIDAE kibble will soon be changing, all of our premium-quality formulas will remain exactly the same. Rest assured – the formulations and every quality ingredient that is currently in the kibble will still be the same in the new round-shaped kibble. The food will still provide the same high quality, natural nutrition for cats and kittens, just in an improved, new round shape that felines favor over other shapes. We believe your cats will love FELIDAE cat food even more than they already do.

Repeat testing has shown this is the shape cats love the most. Also, this new round shape results in less kibble breakage, which means fewer crumbs and less “kibble dust” at the bottom of the bag!

A scientific study was done with five different kibble shapes including an X (cross/star), a triangle, a triangle with a hole, a cylinder, and a round “O” shaped flat disc. The study determined that cats overwhelmingly prefer round kibble over any of the other shapes.

The recent research, coupled with the success of this shape in our Grain Free line for cats, led to the decision to change our other three formulas – Cat & Kitten, Chicken & Rice and FELIDAE PLATINUM® – to the round shape as well. Now all five FELIDAE kibble formulas will feature the new, round shape that cats prefer most!

The new round kibble shape will soon begin rolling out to all of our independent retailers across North America. You should begin to see the new FELIDAE kibble in bags featuring the sticker “Cats Prefer Round” on them in the coming months. Depending on an individual store’s stock and turnover, not everyone will have the new round kibble available for purchase at the same time as the product begins to transition into store inventories.

Again, everything you (and your cats!) already love about our premium-quality FELIDAE kibble will remain the same – only the shape is changing for our Cat & Kitten, Chicken & Rice and FELIDAE PLATINUM® formulas. When you have an opportunity to try the new, round FELIDAE kibble, we’d love to know what your cats think of it. Please feel free to leave us a comment below.

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 Bond with Your New Puppy or Kitten

By Langley Cornwell

The bond you have with your puppy or kitten begins the moment they come home with you, and continues to grow throughout their lifetime. Ways to strengthen this bond include affection, training, grooming, playing, exercising and participating in a variety of activities with your new puppy or kitten. What you do in the early stages of your union sets the proper foundation for a solid, lasting connection; a connection that will benefit both of you in more ways than you can imagine.

Bonding with a new puppy

The first week or ten days of a puppy’s life consists of nursing, sleeping and not much else. During that time, the puppy’s mother is his source for everything. If he gets separated from his mother, she finds him and leads or carries him back to the litter. If he gets hungry, she feeds him. If he cries, she comforts him. The bond between a puppy and his mother is the first and most important relationship of his little life.   

Once the pup’s eyes and ears open, he begins to notice things beyond just his mother. As the puppy ages and is able to fend for himself, his relationship with his mother becomes less dependent—more like a friendship. When the pup is between three and six weeks old, he begins to develop relationships with his littermates and learns basic social skills from their interactions.

According to noted veterinary behaviorist Dr. Nicholas Dodman, a puppy’s distrust of unfamiliar people starts developing at around eight to ten weeks of life. At this time, it’s essential that the puppy is introduced to others.

At about eight weeks of age, most puppies are available for adoption, and that’s when a puppy’s new human enters the picture. Early separation anxiety is almost unavoidable at the beginning of the relationship, because the puppy misses his mom and littermates. It’s at this time that you must become ‘everything’ to your new puppy—so if he whimpers or whines, you tend to him.

If you’ve ever heard or read that you’re supposed to let your puppy cry through the night, ignore that advice. That’s incorrect. You are now substituting for the puppy’s mother, and mama dog doesn’t ignore her babies. By meeting the puppy’s demands you will keep him on the right track for appropriate social development. Additionally, the puppy will gradually re-attach to you, his new provider. This is when your connection begins to really take shape.       

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Behavior Problems: Is it the Cat or the Owner?

By Julia Williams

The second season of Animal Planet’s My Cat From Hell began a few weeks ago. Naturally, I’ve been watching. Even though I don’t have a “difficult” cat, I still like this show because it’s spreading some very important messages to pet owners – namely, that problem behaviors can be corrected, that there are reasons behind every cat’s demeanor and actions, and that even the meanest cat can become loving, happy, playful, friendly and well-adjusted. All it takes to turn a misbehaving cat into a model feline citizen are some very simple changes – but not from the cat, from the owner!

My Cat From Hell features Cat Behaviorist Jackson Galaxy, who shows desperate owners how to save their relationships with each other and their cat. Just by making a few changes in their own behavior and/or their living space, the cat owners can create harmony out of chaos, and keep the cat out of the shelter and in the family where it belongs. Jackson proves to the owners (and the viewers) that these cats are not mean, they’re just misunderstood.

To the casual observer, the name of this show implies that devilish behavior problems are the fault of a “hellish cat.” If you watch the show, however, you quickly learn that Jackson believes most bad behaviors stem from things the owners are either doing, or not doing. I wholeheartedly agree. It is true there are instances where the cat’s behavior is not a direct correlation to the owner’s behavior and/or the living environment, but this is usually a reaction to trauma or a negative association from its past. No cat is “bad to the bone” or incapable of rehabilitation. All it takes is a little knowledge and insight.

All creatures have needs, and cats are no exception. If their needs aren’t being met, they’ll let you know one way or another. It’s foolish to think you can just bring a cat into any living environment without considering what it needs to be happy, and expect life to be hunky dory. Responsible pet owners understand that the onus falls on them to provide the right living space and stimuli in order to have a happy cat. That may mean providing vertical spaces for a cat that likes to be up high, providing enough exercise and play sessions for a high-energy breed, giving a timid cat a safe place to retreat from the pesky family dog, or teaching the cat how to redirect its hunting instinct from your ankle to an interactive toy that mimics a bird. Each cat is different, and thus, each solution to problem behavior will be, too.

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