Category Archives: allergies

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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What Causes a Dog to Snore?

By Ruthie Bently

Do you live with a snorer? No, I’m not talking about the two legged variety that may live with you, but that adorable four-legged furry version. Did you know that an estimated 21% of all dogs snore? (By contrast, only 7% of our feline friends snore). Since many of us have at some time let our dogs sleep with us, we’ve had to deal with this snoring problem or banish them from our bedroom. What causes a dog to snore – and how do you stop it?

There are several reasons that might cause your dog to snore, including environmental and physical. Some dogs are born with excess tissue around their neck and throat; this tissue can interfere with a dog’s breathing under certain circumstances. If your dog is overweight, they may also be carrying extra skin and body tissue around their neck. This extra body weight can cause the upper airway to close. Congestion in a dog’s nasal passages can also cause snoring.

Congestion can be caused by allergies, a cold, pneumonia, or environmental factors like secondhand smoke or smog. Even household cleaners and air fresheners may cause allergies. Secondhand smoke is an irritant to a dog’s respiratory system and can lead to snoring problems. If your dog has or is prone to allergies, some allergens can cause the air passages to narrow, which results in snoring. Anything that causes a dog’s airway to constrict or can obstruct it can lead to snoring.

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Home Remedies for a Pet’s Itchy Skin


By Ruthie Bently

I have long been a fan of natural remedies whenever possible, not for only myself but my companion animals as well. I have become even more aware of the chemicals in my environment since I adopted Skye, a seizure dog. There are many factors that might trigger a seizure and as a responsible pet owner, I want to be very careful with anything used in and around my home.

A pet’s itchy skin can be caused by many things: bug bites and stings, fleas, ticks, infection, poison ivy, poison oak, poor nutrition, food allergies, and allergies to elements in the home. Pets can be allergic to air fresheners, carpet and floor cleaners, even the detergent used to clean their bedding. Itchy skin can manifest itself in many ways. Your pet may be constantly rubbing up against furniture inside the house or along fences outside the house. Excessive rolling in the grass may be another indication of itchy skin. Your pet may chew their paws or lick themselves frequently trying to relieve the itch. You may even see red patches of skin.

You can create your own natural remedies for your pet’s itchy skin. I have used oatmeal, plantain and baking soda, and this year I am growing chamomile. You can also use yellow dock, green tea and calendula.

Rinses can be made with plantain, yellow dock, chamomile and green tea. To make a rinse with chamomile or green tea, steep two teabags in two cups hot water and discard the teabags. Let the liquid cool, apply it to your pet and let air dry. To make a yellow dock rinse, add one tablespoon of dried yellow dock to two cups boiling water. Let it cool, discard the herb and apply the liquid. To make a plantain rinse, add two tablespoons dried plantain (or six tablespoons fresh) to two cups boiling water. Cover and let steep for 20 minutes. When cool, strain off liquid and apply. The longer you allow plantain to remain on the skin the more beneficial it is.

You can make your own oatmeal bath for your dog at home, which can be used to wash the entire dog, itchy feet or applied to dry skin for relief. For a foot bath, add colloidal oatmeal to a bath with several inches of warm water in it. Let your dog’s feet soak for between 5 to 10 minutes. Remove your dog from the bath and dry their feet. The size of your dog will determine how much colloidal oatmeal you add to a regular bath. Skye weighs 57 pounds and I would use 1 cup of colloidal oatmeal to her bath water.

To make your own colloidal oatmeal, use regular oatmeal or quick oats. Grind the oats/oatmeal until it is a fine powder, without bits or pieces. It should have the consistency of powdered sugar. I use a coffee grinder, but a blender or food processor on the high setting works. To test the colloid attributes of your oatmeal, mix a tablespoon of oats in a glass of warm water. If the oats turn the water cloudy and it feels smooth, the consistency is correct. By grinding several cups at a time you’ll have it on hand when you need it; store extra oatmeal in an airtight container in your pantry.

If your pet isn’t itching all over, a thick paste made from either baking soda or colloidal oatmeal and water is good for treating insect stings and bites, as well as poison ivy or poison oak. Apply paste to affected area and leave on for at least 10 minutes for best results. Baking soda can also be used as a soothing bath. For a bath, I would suggest adding a cup of baking soda to the bath water.

Consult your vet if the itching doesn’t go away or gets worse, as it may indicate a more serious condition. Each pet is different and while these natural remedies may not work as quickly as a man-made product, the effects are more beneficial and may be longer lasting for your pet. No one wants to see their pet in discomfort and though they can’t verbally tell us, we know when they are. By having a few simple ingredients in your pantry, you can make your own remedy for your pet’s itchy skin if you can’t get to the vet.

Read more articles by Ruthie Bently

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 Help Pets with Flea Allergy Dermatitis


By Linda Cole

Responsible pet owners know how important it is to make sure their pets are treated for fleas. Unfortunately, some pets have an allergic reaction to a flea’s bite even with flea medication on them. Some reactions can be quite severe. I have a dog that has an allergic reaction to flea bites. Left untreated, a pet will whine and chew their skin raw, which isn’t good for them and can drive you and your pet crazy. My dog has flea allergy dermatitis, also called flea bite allergy.

The first and most important step in helping a pet who has an allergic reaction to fleas is to make sure they are treated with a quality flea control medication monthly. Start treatment at least one month before flea season starts and continue it until at least one month after flea season is over. Talk with your vet to determine which flea treatment would be best for your pet.

Fleas don’t actually live on our pets. Most of their life is spent lounging somewhere in the home. Some people assume that if they don’t see fleas on their pet, they don’t have a flea problem, but that’s simply not true. If you don’t find fleas on your pet at the time you inspect them, it doesn’t mean your pet or home is flea free. If it’s flea season and you have pets, a community of fleas could be hanging out in your home and yard, and using your pet as their own personal diner.

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Should We Let Dogs Hang Their Heads Out Car Windows?


By Linda Cole

Why does your dog look at you like, “Is that really necessary” when you blow in his face, yet loves hanging his head out a car window going 60 MPH down the road? But just because dogs like hanging their heads out car windows doesn’t mean we should let them do it.

I had a dog, Kirby, who loved to ride in the car and I took him with me as often as I could. I wouldn’t let him hang his head out the window when we were going down the highway, but didn’t think he could get into trouble in town. My car had high seats in the front and I made him ride in the back seat with the back windows rolled up. So, I figured he was safe. As it turned out, I was wrong. One day as I went around a corner, Kirby was excited and leaned out my open window before I knew what he was doing. Thankfully, I was going slow and slammed on the brakes in time to avoid running over him. He was fine, but needless to say, I was shaken and from that moment on, I never roll car windows down all the way when I have a dog with me in the car.

Falling out of a moving vehicle isn’t the only danger for dogs who hang their heads out car windows. A dog’s eyes can become targets for bugs, small rocks, pieces of debris on the roadway and dust. Think about what a small rock can do to your windshield if it hits just right, even at a slow speed. How many little chips does your car grill have from all the tiny rocks that have hit it? Imagine what a rock could do to your dog’s eye, not to mention what the vet bill could do for your wallet. And if your dog has allergies, the dust and pollen rushing into his face isn’t going to help his condition.

Dogs who hang their heads out car windows are also at risk for ear infections from wind blown particles or just by the wind blowing their ears. As their ears flap in the wind, blood can pool in the soft tissue of their ear flaps. The constant flapping of the ears against their head can cause the ear flaps to swell which is painful. If a dog is allowed to hang his head out the car window a lot, scar tissue will form in the soft tissue of the ears. This can damage them permanently and give the dog lifelong ear problems.

Riding in a car for a dog is exciting, with all kinds of smells rushing through an open window. Think about it like this. Imagine all of the sights and smells you’re surrounded with at the county fair. Popcorn, hot dogs, cotton candy, burgers, people laughing and having a good time, eating and going on rides. A county fair is full of new experiences and smells that stimulate us from head to toe. That’s how a dog feels riding down the road in the car. Their senses are on overdrive as they sniff out and see all sorts of things that change as the car moves down the road. But as responsible pet owners, safety should come first, and letting dogs hang their heads out car windows isn’t a good idea.

That’s not saying your dog can’t enjoy their ride in a car. The window only needs to be cracked to allow all the wonderful smells to enter the car and surround your dog. There’s nothing wrong with open windows in the car, if your dog is buckled in like the rest of the family which will keep him from falling out the window and still allow him to sniff all the enticing smells. That way he has the best of both worlds without hanging his head out the car window, and you can concentrate on driving the car.

Letting a dog ride in the bed of a truck isn’t a good idea either. The dog risks injury from falling out of the truck, has increased risk from flying debris and can burn the soft tissue on their paws by standing on the hot metal of the truck bed. Dogs have no idea what a vehicle’s speed means and if they get the urge to jump, they will. If you want to take your dog with you in your truck, please read How to Transport Dogs Safely in Pickup Trucks.

Responsible parents don’t let their children do things that could put them in danger. As responsible pet owners, we shouldn’t put our dog’s safety and health in danger by letting them hang their heads out car windows.

Read more articles by Linda Cole

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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.