Monthly Archives: May 2012

Canicross – Head Cross Country with Man’s Best Friend!

By Suzanne Alicie

I know that our lovely editor Julia only assigned this title to me because I’m known to want to try the things I write about. Well, surprise! I’m not giving Canicross a shot… although for an athletic person and a well behaved dog it could be a fun activity. My dog Bear has ‘ADD of the nose’ and just a normal walk around the block means me racing along behind her frantically as she runs back and forth following scents. Harness or not, I definitely won’t be trying Canicross with her!

Canicross is the sport of harnessing your dog and running or walking cross country. It’s similar to the sport of Skijoring which I’ve thoroughly explored here before. How is Canicross different, you may wonder, from simply taking a walk? Consider the actual idea of cross country walking or running – it’s a test of your endurance and stamina, strength and coordination to be able to travel long distances. Now think about heading up a large hill while you’re walking or running cross country. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a partner harnessed in front of you to give you a little bit of a pull?

Harnessing your dog for Canicross is much like harnessing him to a sled for pulling power. When you run or walk cross country with your dog you have a partner, a bit of extra strength. It also strengthens your bond with your dog to learn to work together as a team to get where you are going. Canicross does require that your dog learns to keep tension on the line while traveling at a speed that is comfortable for you. Your dog needs to be accustomed to a halter and to having some weight on the harness in order to learn the restraint and pace of Canicross.

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What Makes Your Pet Unique?

By Linda Cole

What I love about Facebook is seeing friends talk about their pets. The other day, I read a post from someone laughing about her dog racing around the house chasing a fly. Since that’s one of Keikei’s go-to activities when she can’t find anything else to do while the cats are all asleep, it made me stop and think about the things my pets have done over the years that make them unique and special.

Keikei loves to learn and will do anything for her CANIDAE Tidnips treats. She watches me like a hawk and plops her bottom down before I can get some treats out. There’s a little quirk she has that makes me smile every time I see her doing it. When she sleeps, she has to have her back legs leaning up against a wall, unless she’s sleeping on the couch. It’s almost as if she’s bracing herself and she goes through a ritual to get her feet placed just right against the wall.

Buddy was a kitty who always sat and watched me mop the dining room floor. When I was finished, he’d go to the far end of the living room, crouch down, stare at my clean floor, wiggle his behind, and then race full steam towards the dining room. He loved to slide across my freshly mopped floor and leave a ‘Buddy’ streak the entire length of the room.

My Siberian Husky Jake was usually very dignified and regal, except when he felt I needed a talking to, which was usually when I made him get out of my chair so I could sit down. Jake always planted himself right in front of me, looked me straight in the eye and gave me a series of stern woo, woo, woos (as only a Husky can do) to make it clear the chair was his and I was totally out of line by making him move.

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Breed Profile: the Regal Bedlington Terrier

By Langley Cornwell

Generally speaking, terriers are known to be a rowdy, energetic type of dog. In fact, when people talk about terriers I hear the same descriptions used repeatedly: tireless, bossy, quick to bark, stubborn, dynamic, quick to chase, lively, feisty, clever, independent, persistent, intense, scrappy, etc. Although we can’t be 100% sure, it’s almost certain that our rescue pup is a blend of terrier-types. One thing we can be completely sure of, however, is that all of those words could be used to describe her.

There is one breed of terrier that doesn’t fit within common terrier generalizations: the Bedlington Terrier. Sometimes referred to as Rothbury Terriers or Rodbery Terriers, Bedlingtons are known to be calmer and less excitable than most. Moreover, these graceful, elegant dogs have a look that’s quite unusual among canines – they look like little lambs!


Bedlington Terriers are beautiful. They have a narrow, pear-shaped head with almond-shaped eyes that are small and deep set. Their strong-looking muzzle covers jaws that meet in a scissors bite. The low set ears are triangular and rounded at the tips. These dogs have an erec, almost regal posture; their straight front legs are shorter than their back legs. With a thick double coat of hard and soft hair that stands out from their skin, they look like baby lambs. Ranging in colors from blue to sandy to liver, they can also be multiple colors like blue and tan, sandy and tan, or liver and tan. They may also have tan markings on their faces, chest, legs and hindquarters.


According to the American Kennel Club, the ideal male Bedlington Terrier should be 16-17 inches (41-43cm) at the withers, and bitches should be 15-16 inches (38-41cm). The dog’s weight should be in proportion to their height, somewhere within the range of 17-23 pounds (7-10kg) for the males and the females.

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Why Do Our Pets Stare at Us?

By Linda Cole

For most pet owners, the best way to get your dog or cat’s attention is to head for the cabinet where you keep their CANIDAE food or treats, or make yourself something to eat. No matter where they are, they can smell whatever it is you have. I’m also convinced their supersonic hearing can pick up the crinkle and crackle of a food bag from miles away. Then there are the times when you think your pet is sleeping only to see them staring when you look their way. Dogs and cats stare at us for a lot of different reasons.

Pets are masters of the “stare,” especially when they want something. Making eye contact is the best way for them to get our attention. There’s the sideways stare where you see the whites of their eyes. In my household, that stare says, “I’ll get back to you on that.” Or “You talking to me?” There’s the “Why are you yelling at me?” stare that attempts to convey how innocent they are. The sad looking “I’m sorry” stare from behind a chair or table and all you can see are the eyes and top of the head. The defiant “I don’t wanna do that” and the playful “Let’s have some fun” stare. Last, but not least, is the “So, you gonna eat all of that?” stare. I’m sure your pets have their own stares that are special to you.

We are always sending subtle signs that cats and dogs can read in our body language. My dogs watch me all the time, even when I think they’re asleep. It’s like they’re always on duty, and they probably are. There’s not much that gets by them. Outside noises and scents we miss can get our dogs attention. How many times have you seen the “Did you hear that?” or the “What’s that smell?” inquisitive stare?

I’m always waking up to one of my cats lying nose to nose beside me or on a pillow, staring at me. There’s no drifting back to sleep when your cat is gazing at you with wide, innocent looking and unwavering eyes saying, “Hey, you’re awake. You might as well get up and feed me NOW.” I guess the good news is the sun is up and I managed to sleep through the 5 A.M. breakfast call. My cat Jabbers gives me love stares when he wants to have a conversation, which is all the time, and Figaro gives me an intense look just before he leaps up on my shoulder – his favorite perch.

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Our 1,000th Post and a Giveaway!

By Julia Williams

CANIDAE Natural Pet Food Company started this blog in February of 2009. I’ve been a regular contributor for nearly all of that time, and I’m happy to say we’ve just reached a great blogging milestone – our 1,000th post!

In the beginning, the mission for the blog was twofold – to connect with customers as well as to help all pet lovers across the country with issues pertaining to pet care, nutrition, health, training, grooming, exercise, behavioral issues and of course, responsible pet ownership. 1,000 posts later, and this mission remains unchanged.

Over the years, I’ve watched the blog grow both in readership and depth of the knowledge imparted by all of our wonderful contributors. As Editor, I’ve worked with some amazing writers who, like me, dearly love their pets and are delighted to share their expertise and personal stories with others. CANIDAE and all of its blog contributors are passionate about pets – that’s why we do what we do here day after day, post after post.

We strive to offer a mix of articles that educate, entertain, inspire and enlighten. We want the RPO blog to be a place where every pet lover feels welcome no matter what type of four-legged friend resides in your heart and home.

I feel blessed to have formed so many friendships with other pet bloggers and animal lovers these past few years. Pet bloggers are an extraordinary group if ever there was one. The sense of community, the camaraderie, the loving support of people who adore their pets – this is something I didn’t know existed before becoming part of the RPO blog, but it’s enriched my life in ways I can’t begin to explain.

And that leads me to the giveaway I mentioned in the title of this post! As a celebration of reaching 1,000 posts, I want to give one lucky reader a ticket to the BlogPaws 2012 Pet Blogging and Social Media Conference held on June 21-23 in Salt Lake City, Utah!

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How to Help Your Dog or Cat Lose Weight

By Linda Cole

An overweight dog or cat can struggle with many of the same health concerns overweight people have to deal with. There’s nothing wrong with giving your pet a few TidNips treats now and then, especially when training, but we need to understand the importance of exercise and maintaining a proper and healthy weight for our pets just as much as we do with our own weight. An obese pet is no laughing matter.

It’s not as easy as you might think to help your dog or cat lose weight. Let’s face it, cats spend a good deal of their time sleeping, which is normal for them. Trying to get a cat motivated to exercise will mean you need to play with her. You have to be careful, however, and not allow her to lose weight too quickly because cats can easily develop a very serious disease called Fatty Liver Disease that’s hard to treat and can be life threatening. The cause is unknown, but obesity is suspected to play a role.

One out of every four dogs and cats are overweight. Here’s a simple way to help you determine if your pet is too heavy. Rub your hand down along your pet’s side, under the hair. If you can feel their ribs, they aren’t overweight. However, if you can’t feel their ribs it’s time to consider a weight loss program, but only after your vet has had a chance to give them a checkup. Weight issues in dogs can be associated with Cushing’s disease or hypothyroidism. A checkup is a must to make sure your pet is healthy enough for an increase in exercise and to discuss a proper feeding schedule.

Overweight dogs and cats don’t deserve lower quality ingredients to lose weight; they simply need your help in providing them with the proper amount of high quality food. If you’re already feeding your pet CANIDAE or FELIDAE, you know the benefits of providing a well balanced, natural and healthy diet. Pets that eat a premium quality food like CANIDAE or FELIDAE don’t have to eat as much in order to feel full. Along with proper exercise, a high quality food can help keep your pet at their recommended weight.

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