Monthly Archives: July 2012

Does Your Dog Really Need Sunglasses?

By Linda Cole

It’s not difficult to find a dog wearing sunglasses these days. You can find these cool pups at the beach or just walking around town. I have to admit, they look pretty cute with their shades on. My dog Keikei seems to enjoy wearing her sunglasses. But are sunglasses something dogs need to wear to protect their eyes, or is it just a fashion statement by the dog’s owner?

I’ve never been one to let my dogs ride in a car with their head hanging out the window or in the bed of a truck. We may think dogs are tough, but their eyes can be injured just as easily as ours if a bug or debris hits them in their eye. If you’ve ever had a bug or small rock hit your arm or hand while driving down the road, you know how it feels to you. Doggie sunglasses can give dogs protection from flying debris when they are riding in a car or outside, especially on a windy day.

The glare of the sun is another consideration. The sun’s ultraviolet rays can damage a dog’s eyes, and if your pooch spends a lot of time outside, sunglasses can help give him protection from the sun. Even in the winter, the glare of the sun off of the snow can cause snow blindness in dogs and humans. You wear shades when enjoying an afternoon boating on the lake or just sitting on the beach. Sunglasses give good protection from blowing sand and small debris, and reduce sun glare off of the water. Shades help prevent their eyes from getting dry from too much wind, and help to keep sea spray out of their eyes as well.

Even hiking can pose a danger to dogs running through thick brush and encountering low hanging branches. Some chronic eye diseases and conditions, like Dry Eye or cataracts, can make being outside painful for dogs with eye problems. Pink eye can cause a dog’s eyes to be sensitive to the sun. Proper sunglasses reduce the glare of the sun and allow dogs with eye problems the opportunity to enjoy outside activities with their family.

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Are Dog Training Reality Shows Helpful or Hurtful?

By Julia Williams

Given the popularity of “reality TV” programs and the large number of pet owners in the world, it’s not really surprising that dog training reality shows exist. First there was the Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan. Then came Victoria Stillwell’s It’s Me or the Dog, aka “Supernanny for dogs.” More recently, CBS began airing episodes of Dogs in the City with Justin Silver.

I’ve watched that show, but since I just have cats it was purely for entertainment purposes rather than learning about dog training or getting tips to solve a dog behavior problem. From that perspective, it’s amusing to watch; however, I’m aware that many dog owners and dog trainers have major issues with the methods and scenarios portrayed on the show, and I think they have valid concerns.

I do believe it’s possible for a dog owner to glean some helpful information from Dogs in the City or any other dog training reality show, and in that respect these shows could be helpful. Still, they might just as easily be detrimental…to the dog as well as their family.

The main concerns I have with owners taking tips from a dog training reality show are 1) unrealistic expectations, 2) the “one size fits all” misconception and 3) unsafe training techniques. I’ll cover each of those briefly.

Unrealistic Expectations

Most people understand that reality shows are scripted just like every other TV program. Scenarios are meticulously planned, executed and edited until there is little, if any, resemblance to real life. No network would ever take the chance that “good TV” just magically happened while the cameras rolled, and dog training reality shows are no exception.

Nevertheless, some people mistakenly believe that a behavior problem presented on the show can actually be resolved as quickly and easily as they make it seem. People buy into the show’s concept that you can make a few minor adjustments and voila, your misbehaving dog becomes an angel and everyone lives happily ever after. Sadly, that’s not going to happen in real life, because good dog training takes patience, consistency, commitment, practice and time.

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Think You Know Why Cats Purr? Maybe Not!

By Linda Cole

The sound of a cat purring on your lap makes you feel like everything is right with the world. One of my cats, Figaro, loves to sit on my shoulder. Actually, he loves to drape himself over my shoulder and hang on with his claws so he won’t fall off! Of course he starts purring as soon as he’s settled, and how can you evict a contented kitty from your shoulder?

Scientists have been looking into how and why wild and domestic cats purr, and what they’ve discovered is rather interesting. If you’re a cat owner, you most likely have figured out that your cat purrs when she’s happy, scared, sick or injured. Cats purr even at the end of life which could be anxiety or a state of euphoria. A mother cat purrs while giving birth and when she’s nursing her kittens; it’s one way she bonds with her kittens and assures them she’s not far away. Kittens begin to purr at 2 days old and hum to their mom so she knows they’re alright.

When cats are stressed, purring is a way they comfort and reassure themselves that everything is OK – sort of like when we whistle or talk to ourselves as we walk down a dark street alone at night. Purrs are one way to let other cats know they are submissive and not wanting to cause trouble. Older cats use a purr to communicate that they’re friendly and want to come closer when meeting other cats.

Members of the cat family Felidae, like the Puma, Cheetah, Mountain Lion, Bobcat and Eurasian Lynx will purr, as well. However, big cats like the Lion, Tiger, Snow Leopard and Jaguar belong to a subfamily of cats called Patherinae and can’t purr. Lions can produce a sound similar to purring, but it’s not true purring.

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Puppy Party Palooza: Bringing Dogs and People Together

By Julia Williams

If you were a homeless puppy or an adult dog living in Northern California this summer, your chances of finding that furever home you deserved were pretty darn good, thanks to the Puppy Party Palooza.

Puppy WHAT? Puppy Party Palooza is an interactive adoption fair run by the CANIDAE-sponsored Special Achievers Team of Rocket and Ashley Hoskins, with help from the K-9 Comets, their talented team of Frisbee Dog Stars who wowed the crowd and inspired them to take home their own furry four-legged athlete.

Puppy Party Palooza takes place every year at the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton, California. This hands-on, fun-filled learning exhibit and entertainment extravaganza was designed with one thing in mind: to bring people and adoptable dogs together. And as we all know, when a homeless dog finds his family, it’s a huge win-win for both!

At Puppy Party Palooza, potential adopters could learn all they needed to know about dogs and view demonstrations on dog grooming and health care. They could check out the popular “Pup-E-Harmony” to help match their family with the perfect dog. Puppy Party Palooza also offered training tips and a space where fairgoers could play games with the dogs.

Every dog adopted at Puppy Party Palooza was sent home with a CANIDAE goodie bag that included can lids, coupons, a Frisbee, TidNips treats, armbands, and of course a free 5lb. bag of CANIDAE dog food to get them started on the right nutrition track with their new family.

Congrats to all the families who found a new four-legged friend at Puppy Party Palooza this year!

May they all live happily ever after.

Read more articles by Julia Williams

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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 Keep Your Dog Safe at Summer Cookouts

By Langley Cornwell

Summer is here and the time for cookouts has begun.  For those of us who have dogs, this can mean attempting to keep the dog safe while still enjoying your company.  As a last resort, you can keep Fido in the house but where’s the fun in that?  You want your dog to be a part of the party, so you need to know how to keep your dog safe at summer cookouts. You might be surprised by how many things out there can be a danger to your pooch but with these tips, you can keep him safe and happy while enjoying a summer cookout with friends and family.

People Food – Make sure all of your guests know that you do not want your dog to have people food.  A wholesome, quality dog food like CANIDAE has all the nutrients your dog will ever need; there’s no need to supplement with table scraps. Additionally, beware of bones such as chicken and pork bones. They can splinter and cause severe intestinal damage.  The barbeque sauce can be too spicy for a dog’s stomach too, so just keep all people food away from the pets.

The Grill – Make sure the grill is always being watched by someone so the dog does not go near it.  The smell of cooking meat can be too much of a temptation for your furry friend and they could attempt to get into the grill.  This can cause severe burns which can be torment to your dog.  It is so easy to avoid this by having a human manning the barbeque at all times or to have the dog inside when there is no one to monitor the grill.

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A Tribute to Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Dog

By Linda Cole

When you gaze into the eyes of a dog, there’s a goodness and honesty no human can match. Dogs are just so unpretentious, and walk beside us for as long as they can. Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Dog lived the last six years of her life in a wheelchair. She crossed over the Rainbow Bridge on June, 21, 2012 from Chronic Heart Disease, but this isn’t about the end – it’s about the amazing life of a little dog who never gave up. I spoke recently with Frankie’s mom, Barbara Techel, to learn more about the little Dachshund who stole the hearts of thousands of people she met. You see, Francesca was a therapy dog who used her disability and spirit to teach others, including Barb, about life and why it’s important to savor every moment we have on earth, and never give up.

Barb’s life was changed in 2006 on Easter Sunday while she and her husband, John, vacationed in Florida. Frankie had been left in a local kennel back home in Wisconsin. She had jumped up on her food container and fell. She had hurt her back and couldn’t walk. Frankie was diagnosed with Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD).

Frankie was given only a 10 to 30 percent chance of walking again after surgery. “When I got the call, I was pretty devastated. I had lost my chocolate lab nine months before to bone cancer, and when I got the call, I really thought I was going to lose Frankie. I thought she was going to die and I wasn’t going to see her again.”

After surgery, Frankie was paralyzed. “I couldn’t picture taking care of a handicapped dog. She had incontinence issues also because of the paralysis and that was something I had to learn how to take care of. But I would have done this for a lifetime. We had the most intense, incredible bond I’ve ever had with a dog. My mom helped me see I had to give Frankie a chance, I had to at least try.”

We learn lessons when we’re ready to understand them. Sometimes, it’s our dogs who teach us about ourselves and life. “We live in a town of about 900 people. For my whole life, I worried about what people thought about me and the choices I made, and I was painfully shy for a good part of my life. I remember being so scared to take Frankie out in public in her wheelchair. I was afraid people were going to judge me, that they were going to say it was cruel or mean. I remember watching Frankie, just so happy and rolling around in her little wheels, and it was like her telling me I didn’t need to worry about what others thought of me, and to stand tall and be who I am. From that day forward, my confidence grew by leaps and bounds and I don’t worry anymore about what people think of me.”

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