Monthly Archives: June 2012

How to Keep Your Pet Happy and Prevent Bad Behavior

By Linda Cole

Like humans, pets may need to find a way to release stress and pent up energy now and then. A bored pet can be destructive if left to find their own entertainment. Many a couch, window blind, pillow and lamp have fallen prey to a bored dog or cat searching for something fun to do. As responsible pet owners, it’s up to us to find ways to help keep our pet happy…and it’s also one of the best ways to help prevent bad behavior.

Think back to when you were a kid. Remember the conversation that began with “So, what do you wanna do?” followed by “I don’t know.” Periods of boredom follow us into adulthood. Instead of the child’s version of the question, adults are more creative, saying things like “I’m so bored I could kiss a bear” or some other statement that indicates a need for some excitement. Dogs and cats have their own version of that same conversation, except they act out their boredom by chewing on whatever they can find, destroying our furnishings, getting into the trash or attacking the shower curtain. Their need to get rid of pent up energy and deal with being bored is just as real as it is for us.

Pets spend a lot of time home alone, unless you’re lucky enough to be able to work from home. We can leave a pet with toys and interactive games to entertain themselves when they aren’t napping or staring out the window spying on the neighbors, but what they really want is exercise when we get home. Dogs and cats love to run and play with their owner. Even a simple game of keep away is exciting and works off excess energy. It really isn’t difficult to keep a pet happy when you give them plenty of positive attention that includes play. We really do mean everything to our pets, and they don’t ask for much in return. Playing with your pet doesn’t take up a lot of time and it can make the difference between a happy pet and one that’s bored and engaging in bad behavior.

One way to help pets left home alone deal with boredom is to leave some of their favorite CANIDAE treats stashed throughout the home. Searching for treats gives them a chance to use their hunting skills to find where you’ve hidden the goodies and helps them burn off energy.

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Father’s Day Activities and Gifts for Dog Lovers

By Tamara McRill

If your dad or husband is the type of dog lover who takes his canine companions everywhere he can, then he’s just the type of guy who would get a kick out of Father’s Day plans that include them as well.

To let Dad enjoy the day with his best friend, you need to plan activities that will make them both happy, but are still safe for his pet. Even better, most of these activities do double duty by providing gift ideas.

Here are six great activities and gift ideas to ensure your favorite guy has a wonderful Father’s Day with his favorite pet:

Fishing Buddies

Is your dad often bemoaning the issue of not being able to take his dog fishing, because he would be uncomfortable? You can put an end to that and a smile on Dad’s face by planning a pet-friendly excursion to a fishing hole that allows animals. Treat him to some new fishing gear, and his faithful sidekick to the pleasure of a family outing—and the promise of more to come.

Supplies you’ll need to make sure his pet is well taken care of during the excursion include traveling food and water dishes, a blanket to lie on and an umbrella to help shade from the sun. Include a new lead and stake for dogs that tend to wander, and a towel if you have a swimmer. Don’t forget plenty of water and CANIDAE dog food if you’ll be out past feeding time.

Pampered Pa and Paws

You know his dog enjoys a good rubdown and chances are Dad does too. Turn your living room into an impromptu spa by arranging for a masseuse to come over and work all the tension out of Dad’s muscles while you or the kids focus on his dog. Just remember to avoid chatting away, since this should be an opportunity for them to relax.

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The Most Affectionate Dog Breeds

By Linda Cole

Dogs have been selectively bred with specific characteristics and temperaments that help them perform certain jobs for us. Some breeds, however, are known to be more affectionate than others. I wrote an article recently on why dogs like to lean on us. All of my current dogs are leaners, but my Huskies never were. Priscilla, Eva the Sheltie‘s mom, wondered if there’s a difference between dog breeds and if that’s why some dogs lean on their owner more than others. It’s a good question, and I decided to do some research on the most affectionate dog breeds. Is your dog a leaner, regardless of his/her breed? It could be leaning is more of an individual preference all dog breeds do.

The Golden Retriever was developed by Lord Tweedmouth. He wanted to create a solid retriever that could stand up to the Scottish Highlands weather, terrain and game found in the countryside. In the late 1800s, the Golden Retriever was used mostly for hunting. Lord Tweedmouth used his Yellow Retriever, which was the original breed, with the now extinct Tweed Water Spaniel. The Irish Setter and Bloodhound were also used to produce today’s Golden Retriever. This devoted, patient, affectionate, easygoing, energetic and loving dog is great with kids, and friendly with other pets and people.

The Labrador Retriever originated in Newfoundland. The dog’s job was to help fishermen catch fish that escaped from fishing lines, and swim in the freezing waters to help pull in nets. English sailors brought them to England in the 1800s from Labrador. Easy to train, these dogs were crossed with setters, spaniels and some other types of retrievers. Labs have a very reliable temperament, are friendly, devoted to their family, good natured, eager to please, and great with kids.

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How to Help an Outdoor Cat Come Indoors

By Julia Williams

Until about six years ago, I had indoor/outdoor cats. As their guardian, I made this choice for them knowing there were risks involved. At the time, I weighed the pros and cons of indoor versus outdoor, and also took into consideration that my country property was as safe as any outdoor place could be. Various reasons led me to rethink my decision and begin the arduous task of trying to convince my outdoor-loving kitties that being indoors wasn’t so bad.

It’s been a challenge, and while there have been no converts per say, Rocky and Annabelle seem okay with indoor living. I still let them go outdoors some, usually when I’m in my garden or playing with them. Since they were outside at will for their first three years, I won’t deny them these moments in the sun they clearly love. But when I tell them no, they don’t appear to mind.

Mickey is a completely different story. During the harsh winter, he seems resigned to being indoors, but come spring he is desperate to be outside. He cries nonstop, paces, jumps on me, scolds me loudly, and tries to escape at every opportunity. Only someone with a heart of stone could ignore his distress and keep him indoors. I want him to be safe, but what’s the point if he’s completely miserable?

Making the Switch

There are things you can do to help an outdoor cat come indoors, which I’ll share with you here. Rocky and Belle are proof that some cats adjust and are happy indoors. However, if you have a cat like Mickey, be aware that they may never take to indoor life no matter what. An article I read said cats like Mickey would eventually give up demanding to go out if you ignored their pleas, but I disagree. I don’t believe Mickey would ever be okay being an indoor only cat. First, he’s 13 and was allowed out for 7 years. Secondly, I think it’s his nature. I’ve become convinced that some cats just have more ‘wild’ in them.

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The Pet Name Game

By Julia Williams

It’s always fun to hear how people picked the name they gave their pet. For starters, there are plenty of great stories about how a pet got their name. There are numerous tales of the inspiration behind a certain name, and just as many stories of names that fit a pet’s personality or names that just ‘clicked’ when someone saw their pet. Sometimes the name we pick means something to us or stands for something, and other times we just like the sound of it.

Regardless of how a pet got their name, I have yet to hear anyone say they picked the wrong name for their dog or cat and decided to change it later. No matter what name we decide upon, it’s seems as if we just somehow know it’s the right one, and it fits. This reminds me of a story about my own name.

When I was born, my mother named me Julia and put that on my birth certificate. However, a day or so later she changed her mind and decided to call me Julie instead. All through my childhood, I disliked my name. I felt it didn’t ‘fit’ me somehow, but didn’t know why. I wasn’t aware that the name on my birth certificate was different than the one everyone knew me by. I eventually found out, and decided I would rather go by Julia.

Once I decided to be Julia instead of Julie, my name instantly felt like it fit.  Now, you might not think one little letter would make a difference, but it did. What I realized was that my mother had known the ‘right’ name all along! Thus, I believe that when it comes to picking the right name for your pet, all you really have to do is trust your first instinct.

The great thing about naming our pets is that we can choose any name that floats our boat, no matter how oddball it might be. No one’s going to stop you. Well…that’s not entirely true. When I was 4, we had a yellow kitten I desperately wanted to name Blackie, but my family nixed that idea. In my young mind, I saw nothing wrong with the name and was very upset. Now that I’m an adult and can choose any pet name I want, I have two black cats – and neither one is named Blackie! Go figure.

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CANIDAE Helps the Environment, One Order at a Time

By Linda Cole

Protecting the environment and being good stewards of the land is a common sense thing to do. Healthy ecosystems are directly related to our good health and well being. Trees are the lungs of the world. One tree can absorb up to 48 lbs. of carbon dioxide in a year and releases enough oxygen for two people. Trees provide habitats for birds and other animals that live in the forests.

Technology is making our lives easier, and it can also help preserve our environment by reducing our need for paper. CANIDAE Pet Food Company has taken an important step to help preserve trees and provide better service to their customers by outfitting their entire sales team with iPads.

Jason Castillo, CANIDAE Controller, explains how making one small change to the way they do business can make a big difference in serving their customers. “The iPads are a sales team tool. Every sales person uses them every day as a key tool. They are used at each sales call to display valuable and up-to-the-minute data, as well as take orders. Because the retailer sees the order and then signs it, they are more accurate. Signed orders are then sent immediately via email for fulfillment.” Jason went on to say that “Customer service via our sales team has already been improved in terms of accuracy and speeding up the delivery of orders to our retailers because of the iPads.”

According to the Environmental Center at Westminster College in Utah, more than two billion trees are cut down in the United States every year for use in the paper industry. Depending on the business, paper costs can be a big part of their yearly budget. I asked Jason if he had any idea how much CANIDAE could save by switching to the iPads. “We don’t have an exact estimate on the paper savings, but with over 7,000 retailers and old order forms that were in triplicate, we expect the first year’s savings in our paper usage to be substantial.”

I’ve had jobs where I needed to finish up paperwork at the end of the day before going home. It can be tedious and time consuming, and mistakes can easily be made when you’re tired. The CANIDAE sales team has embraced the iPad, as one might expect. “Not only has the sales team responded very well, so have our retail customers and distributors. The sales team enjoys them because they can record their order and data in real time instead of taking paper notes and then transferring them later to a laptop. Because the data is input in real time, the information is more accurate and the sales team can eliminate end of the day paperwork which saves them valuable time.”

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