Category Archives: allergies

The Sphynx, a Hairless Cat with a Charming Purrsonality

By Julia Williams

I vividly remember the first time I ever came face to face with a Sphynx cat. My friend and I were making the rounds at a cat show, oohing and aahing at all the beautiful kitties with their luxurious, fluffy coats brushed to perfection. We turned a corner and there they were, these peculiar hairless creatures with giant ears, wrinkled bodies and an alien-like appearance. I must admit my first thought was something like “What the heck are those things?” I saw them again recently on Animal Planet’s My Cat From Hell and had a similar reaction. I guess I’m just so used to seeing cats with fur that the Sphynx, by comparison, looks unnatural to me. However, the Sphynx reminds me of that old saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” The Sphynx may look odd to people who are used to furry felines, but many other cat lovers call the Sphynx ‘pure enchantment’ and value the breed for its affectionate nature and lively demeanor. I decided to research this interesting rare breed to find out more about it.


Though the appearance of the breed is one of hairlessness (and some truly are) many actually have a light covering of soft, peach-like fuzz. Some Sphynx also have short, fine hair on their feet, tail or outer edges of the ears. The lack of fur makes the cat’s skin warm to the touch, described as feeling like a heated chamois or a suede-covered hot water bottle. The lack of fur also creates a feeling of resistance when petting the cat.

The breed’s lack of hair is governed by a recessive gene. It takes two copies of the gene for the hairless trait to express itself, so if both parents have only one copy, the number of hairless kittens in their litters will be approximately one in four.

The breed standard states that wrinkled skin is a desirable trait, particularly around the muzzle, between the ears, and around the shoulders. The Sphynx skin can be any color found in other felines, as well as any pattern (solid, point, van, tabby, etc.). Most Sphynx have no whiskers, but of those that do, the whiskers are short and sparse.

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How to Pick the Right Pet

By Linda Cole

We all have our reasons for why we picked a certain pet to share our home with. Adopting a pet is a tremendous responsibility, and it’s essential to pick the right pet that fits your lifestyle. For some people (that’s me) any pet fits in, but it’s not the case for everyone. There are many things to consider before deciding on the right pet. If you’re thinking about adding a pet to your family, here’s a short quiz to contemplate.

1. How much space do you have?
a. I live in a small apartment with no yard.
b. A couple of acres and a modest to large house.
c. A nice little place with a decent backyard.

Space is important to consider, because not all dogs will make a good pet if they are cooped up in a small space. All dogs need exercise whether they are a high energy breed or not. If space is limited, consider which dog breed would be happy in a small space, or perhaps get a cat instead. Check for dog parks in your area, and plan on daily walks if you live in an small home and/or have a tiny yard.

2. What kind of lifestyle do you have?
a. I have a couple of young kids.
b. I live alone and love to curl up on the couch at night to read or watch TV.
c. Exploring the great outdoors is my passion.
d. I work long hours and often on the weekends.
e. I have an active night life.

Lifestyle needs to be considered because some dog breeds and young children aren’t a good mix. Not all dogs enjoy being around little kids. Think about how much time you have to devote to a pet. Leaving a dog home alone for long periods of time can cause them to develop behavior issues, and cats need attention, too. Do you have time to train a dog? Do you like to entertain on a regular basis? Do you like to go out a lot? Do you like to be active on the weekends, or are you more of a homebody?

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How Peanut Sniffing Dogs Help Kids With Allergies

By Linda Cole

We use a dog’s nose to find lost people, hidden explosives, termites, drugs and other contraband. Now we can add sniffing out life threatening allergens to the list. People with food allergies spend hours reading labels and questioning a waitress about what’s in a particular dish. For those with a peanut allergy, even a minute amount of peanuts can cause a severe, life threatening reaction. One solution to help those who suffer from peanut allergies is Allergy Alert Service Dogs – canines trained to search for and find hidden allergens in food or on everyday objects.

One of the more common food allergies is peanuts. In children, peanut allergies tripled from 1997 to 2008. A severe allergic reaction to peanuts is responsible for an estimated 100 to 150 deaths every year. Millions of kids and adults have to be vigilant about making sure they don’t come into contact with peanuts in any form, in their food or on everyday objects. They have to constantly stay on alert to what’s in food. Even if there are no peanuts in the food, traces of peanuts could have been introduced without anyone knowing about it.

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Itchy Dogs

By the Drs4pets Team

Dogs scratch. Some dogs scratch a lot. Why do dogs scratch, and when should you intervene?

Let’s first talk about why dogs do not scratch. One myth is that dogs begin to itch when something changes in their diet. This is rarely the case. First, food allergies make up the smallest percentage of allergy cases in veterinary medicine; less than 10% of dogs with allergies have an allergy to food. Allergies develop over time, typically after a dog has eaten a particular food for 2 or more years.

Dogs can be itchy because of allergies though. The most common type of allergy is flea hypersensitivity, followed by atopy or inhaled allergies. Instead of coughing and sneezing, dogs get itchy when they breathe in molds or pollens that they are allergic to. Food storage mites and dust mites are known to trigger an allergic response in pets, and are found in almost every household. They thrive in dry, warm environments, like a pet food bin.

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Choosing the Best Low-Maintenance Dog Breed

By Tamara L. Waters

It’s just a fact of nature: some pets require more work than others. If you are like me and enjoy things that are uncomplicated, you might be interested in finding a low-maintenance dog breed.

What exactly does low-maintenance mean, though? For some it can mean a dog breed that doesn’t require excessive exercise, while other definitions mean a dog breed that doesn’t need a great deal of grooming. How about a dog breed that doesn’t require a lot of cleanup? All of these factors need to be taken into account to come up with a list of low-maintenance dog breeds.

Exercise – All dogs need regular exercise and mental stimulation. There is no such thing as a dog that doesn’t need exercise, although some breeds are more high energy and require more physical exercise than others. Regular walks and playtime will keep your dog in good shape and can help curb behavior issues that stem from boredom and lack of exercise. Some dog breeds, though, are a little more satisfied with lying around and do well in small homes and yards.

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Why a Quality Pet Food Matters

By Linda Cole

The good people at CANIDAE produce premium quality pet food that helps keep our dogs, cats and horses healthy. They’ve gone through extensive research to offer pet owners reliable, natural and nutritious food choices. But this article isn’t about a company who provides pets with the best diet possible; this is about why we, as responsible pet owners, need to be aware of why our pets need the best food possible. It’s also about something many pet owners may not realize – which is, that buying a premium quality food like CANIDAE can actually be more cost effective than grocery store brands.

On the CANIDAE website you can find a Cost to Feed Calculator which figures the daily cost of feeding CANIDAE Natural Pet Foods based on your dog’s weight. Just answer a few questions about which formula and size bag you buy (or would like to try), your dog’s weight and the amount your independent pet store charges for it. Then click the “calculate” button to see how affordable premium dog food really is! For a dog weighing between 51 to 75 lbs, you can pay an average of only $0.52 to $0.78 per day.

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