Category Archives: adoption dogs

What My Dog Taught Me about Responsible Pet Ownership

By Julia Williams

In a perfect world, every pet would have a responsible owner. Our companion animals bring so much joy and love into our lives, it’s the least we can do for them in return. Why then, do so many of these wonderful creatures find themselves living with humans who are not responsible pet owners? Although intentional neglect does occur, sometimes people are just simply unaware of how to properly care for an animal. They may have jumped feet first into pet ownership without thinking about what an animal needs to be happy and healthy. It’s still sad though, because the animal pays the price regardless.

I am an animal lover to my core, and it pains me to admit that I was a less than responsible pet owner once. I didn’t do it deliberately, and at the time I didn’t even know I wasn’t being a responsible pet owner. Yet ignorance is no excuse, and although my story had a happy ending, I’m still ashamed I didn’t know better.

Growing up in the country, we had a dog, two Shetland ponies and several cats. I felt a deep kinship with all animals, but surprisingly never bonded with any of the family pets. When I was 18, I lived alone in an apartment that belonged to my Mom. I’d been volunteering for my local animal shelter for a few months when the most adorable little puppy came in. Every time I walked by this puppy’s cage, my heart melted. I wanted this puppy more than I can remember wanting anything else in my young life.

Thinking only of that desire, I adopted this puppy. I didn’t consider the consequences; I didn’t think about what it meant to be responsible for an animal who would depend on me for every single thing; I didn’t contemplate the future in any way, shape or form. Nowadays, I think shelters are stricter about who they approve for adoptions, but at the time I don’t think anyone questioned my ability to care for this poodle-mix pup.

In terms of providing PJ with proper nutrition and vet care, I was a responsible pet owner. But I didn’t have a clue how to raise my puppy to become a well-behaved and well-trained dog. In truth, I didn’t even think about it. Blissfully unaware of what responsible pet ownership really entailed, PJ and I lived quite happily together for a year.

Then one day, I decided I was tired of the simple life. I packed my minuscule belongings and my dog into my car and moved to a big city, to share an apartment with my best friend from high school. She was happy to have me as her roommate, but not so thrilled to live with my dog. It certainly didn’t help that at 19, I was more interested in going out to meet people, attending rock concerts and having fun, than I was with spending quality time with my dog. Walking PJ was a chore, and I didn’t do it nearly often enough.

PJ did what any young, energetic dog would do in her situation. While I was away all day at work, she ransacked the apartment. She got into the garbage and scattered it everywhere. She chewed holes in our clothes and shredded the sofa cushions. PJ was bored, and she destroyed anything she could get her paws on. Coming home day after day to a trashed apartment began to take its toll on me, and on my relationships with both PJ and my roommate.

At the time, I felt that the responsible thing to do was to find PJ a new home, one where she could get the attention she deserved and obviously craved. I gave PJ to this sweet old couple who had no children. I knew they would dote on her, and she’d be so happy. Still, I dearly loved PJ, and letting her go broke my heart. It brings tears to my eyes even now, as I write this. Much older and wiser now, I can’t help but wonder “what might have been,” had I only known what responsible pet ownership really meant.

The most important thing my dog PJ taught me, is that the time to learn about responsible pet ownership is long before you decide to adopt that cute puppy or kitten. Long before you bring them home, you need to educate yourself on every aspect of pet ownership and care. You also need to take an honest look at yourself and your capability to be a good pet parent. I didn’t do either of those things, and PJ paid the price.

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.

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What Should I Name My New Dog?

By Anna Lee

If you are searching for a name for a new puppy, or even an older dog that you just adopted, here are the top favorite names from the last few years, along with some pet specific names. Naming a dog is personal choice but the following lists will give you some ideas. When choosing a good name for a dog, you have to remember an easy rule, ‘two syllables only’ as it is easier for a puppy to comprehend “Annie” compared to “Mistymavenofgreenfieldsgalore.”

Let’s start with some good names for a female dog: Molly, Maggie, Daisy, Sadie, Ginger, Chloe, Bailey, Sophie, Zoe, Princess, Bella, Angel, Lady, Sasha, Abby, Roxy, Missy, Brandy, Coco, Annie, Katie, Sammy, Casey, Gracie, Rosie, Misty, Emma, Sandy and Heidi.

Good names for a male dog include: Max, Buddy, Jake, Rocky, Bailey, Buster, Cody, Charlie, Bear, Jack, Toby, Duke, Lucky, Sam, Harley, Shadow, Rusty, Murphy, Sammy, Zeus, Riley, Oscar, Winston, Casey, Tucker, Teddy, Gizmo, Samson, Oliver, Rex and Bandit.

If you have a brown dog, how about naming them Hershey, Coco, Swiss Miss or Coffee? Some good names for a black dog are Onyx, Raven, Licorice or Tar. For a yellow dog, Sunshine, Butter Cup, Honey and Goldie are all excellent names.

For a hunting dog, why not Shell, Buckshot, Buck, Trigger, Wade, Colt or Browning? A few good names for a small dog are Gizmo, Pixie, Pookie, Tiny and Teenie. If you have a large male dog, consider Brutus, Bubba, Titus, Rocky, Winston and Wolfie.

If you are a Country Western fan, the names Wrangler, George, Stetson, AJ, LeAnn, Toby and Willie are all great choices. What football fan wouldn’t like the name Colt, Bear, Titan, Saint or Jet? Perhaps you are a gardener? Why not name your dog Rose, Tulip, Clover, Daisy, Shasta or Lilly?

Some good dog names that may fit your personality or your dog’s personality would be Star, Sky, Candy, Sugar, Jazzie, Rhett, Digger, Puff, Wizard, Sparkles or Zesty.

When I was young my parents had friends who had four girls. When I got married I thought if I ever had a baby girl I would name it after one of their girls, Andrea, and call her Andy for short. Life took a different turn and I never did have any children. When I got my current dog I thought about naming her Andy. Somehow it didn’t seem right to give her that name, the name I would have given to a daughter. My husband’s first name starts with an “A”, as well as mine, so I knew I wanted an “A” name. I picked Abby, and it suits her just fine. Her full name is, “Abby move out of my way please, thank you.”

When you get a new dog I’m sure you will pick the right name for them, because there is really no wrong name! The above dog names are just some ideas to get you started. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.

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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 the Neighborhood Cats Out of Your Yard

By Stacy MantleHaving their front door “sprayed” by roaming cats is probably the number one “complaint” of neighbors. There are a number of solutions to this problem.

· Aluminum Foil: Cats do not like the way aluminum foil feels on their paws, or the sound it makes when stepped on. Placing a large piece of foil in front of, or taping against, the door is an inexpensive and simple way of stopping the problem.

· Scat Mats: There are several different types of scat mats. Some have raised points on them that won’t injure the cats, but does deter them from entering the area. These mats can be purchased from pet stores for less than $12.00. Another type of scat mat can be plugged into a nearby outlet and produces a static electricity charge that, when stepped on, will create a small static charge which keeps the cat away. These types of mats can be a bit more expensive, varying between $50-$100.

· Motion-Activated Sprays: Ssscat is a motion-activated sensor that produces a safe spray and a loud noise when activated. They have a range of 3-10 feet, and this can be adjusted for height and range.

· Doublestick tape: Place double stick tape on your doors. Sticky Paws offers a wide selection of sizes and they will not harm your doors or windows. Cats do not like the feel of the tape, and will run away.

These are highly effective methods and quite inexpensive. Often these stop-gaps are only required for a short time period. The goal is to create doubt about a cat entering the yard.

Cats resting in garden areas are probably the number two complaint. So, to keep cats out of your garden, you can try several things.

· Ornamental Pebbles/Gravel: cats do not like to walk on these, and they look nice in yards.

· Water: Keeping an area moist will deter cats from entering the garden.

· Plants: There are several plants that work well for keeping pets out of your garden and/or yard. One of these is Coleus Canina, a newly developed plant that cats (and all types of animals) hate. It releases a stench that animals cannot handle. However, it only smells to the human nose when touched! It’s a pretty plant and works in nearly all types of landscaping and climates.

You could also try using the herb, Rue. The blue leaves create a nice garden accent, and cats seem to hate the odor. Cats are not keen on the smell of citrus either, so you could try using orange or lemon peel in your yard as a deterrent. Other things that have been successful are coffee grounds, blood meal, cayenne pepper, lavender oil, lemon grass oil, citronella oil, peppermint oil and eucalyptus oil.

Keeping pets out of your yard entirely requires a little more work and a lot of patience, but here are a few options. Note that these solutions generally only need to be activated at night, when strays are most active.

· Water Bottle: Fill a clear plastic bottle halfway with water. Replace lid and set in the middle of the lawn. If you have a large lawn area, place two or three out. The theory is that cats are frightened away by light that travels through the bottle of water, giving off little “flashes.”

· Blank or Scratched CD’s: these work the same way as a water bottle by reflecting light and causing doubt in the cat when he/she enters your yard.

· Motion Activated Sprinkler: When a cat or other pet walks in front of it, they set forth a 3-second burst of water. They run about $50-100.

· UltraSonic Cat Deterrent: These systems operate on a 9-volt battery, and when a cat comes into range, it sets off an ultrasonic sound, undetectable to humans. Often they run about $60.

I hope these suggestions help! Remember that it is always best to start out with a little, and then move into the power tools. It will be much more effective in the long run.

Read more articles by Stacy Mantle

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.

Adopting Older Dogs and Cats

Older dogs and cats are often overlooked as pets when you enter into a shelter. But, the truth is, they are often the best bet when it comes to adoptions! Enjoying the company of a dog costs nothing. You don’t have to pay each time you spend time with your dog, you don’t have to drive anywhere – it is wonderful pleasure right there in your own home.
Take a look at an older dog or cat on your next trip in. Then remember that they:
  • They are already house-trained. No more mopping floors five times a day or going through frustrating crate training. 
  • They are focused. You will have their full attention when it comes to training. 
  • They are easier to settle into a pack: Often the older dogs and cats are much calmer and have an inherent sense of pack. 
  • Your dog doesn’t care that you lost your job or your savings. He loves you no matter what.
  • Dogs and cats are relatively inexpensive to feed, you can bathe your dog with a hose in the backyard, and if you adopt a mutt, you may have fewer veterinary bills.
  • If you can’t afford to travel, the “I am gone too much” excuse is no longer valid.
  • Frisbees and balls are cheap, and if you videotape them, you might just win $10k on America’s Funniest Videos.
  • Petting a dog lowers blood pressure, thus saving on medical bills.
  • Your dog or cat doesn’t need a fancy vacation to be happy- she is satisfied with a walk in the park or lying on your lap as you read a book. 
Please consider adopting an older dog or cat – so many are being turned in to the shelter due to “cost” or “lost our home and had to move into an apartment”.
We especially need adopters for the older dogs who have been in a family environment for their whole lives and find themselves scared and confused in a kennel in the shelter. These old souls are the sweetest and the best! Seniors are by far my favorites.
For more reasons on why “Seniors Rock!”, visit

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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.