Category Archives: Anna Lee

Great Gifts for Pet Lovers


By Anna Lee

Gift giving is something we do all year long whether for a birthday or Christmas, a thank you gift or a get well gift. Many of the gifts we buy are given to pet lovers such as ourselves. Instead of giving that pet lover a box of candy or a bouquet of flowers, why not give them something more near and dear to their heart?

If your friend has an Akita or a Cocker, a Black Lab or a German Short Haired Pointer, why not give them a beautiful sand-cast figurine of their particular dog. Figurines last a long time and can be used on a mantel, a bookcase or as a table decoration.

The website Remmeer has a variety of unique gifts for the cat lover on your list. I found photo frames, books, DVDs, wallets, totes and a whole lot more. For example, a tri-fold faux leather wallet with a kitty appliqué on the front is only $21.96. It is very colorful, and any female cat lover would enjoy owning it. They also have garden stepping stones and even salt and pepper shakers. For dog lovers, I saw adorable wall clocks and rugs for around $30. They are brightly colored and different from other clocks and placemats I have seen.

An idea I have used in the past is to buy a Christmas stocking for the dog lover on my list. I then purchase small items such as toys, shampoo or a name ID tag to put in the stocking. If I want to spend a little more, I sometimes add a gift certificate to a pet store. You might also consider putting in a homemade certificate good for one free weekend of dog sitting, which is a gift every dog lover would appreciate.

Most retail stores sell pet related items, so it is not necessary to have Internet access to buy gifts for pet lovers. You can find dog-themed note paper and stationary at most card stores. Check the computer section where they sell supplies and you will find mouse pads with dogs or cats on them. I have seen purses featuring dogs and cats in several stores. You can buy clothing items such as sweaters, blouses, scarves and socks emblazoned with a dog or cat somewhere on the item.

A book about the person’s favorite pet is a great gift for an animal lover. Maybe a magazine subscription would be appropriate? There are sheets, pillowcases and towels with either dogs or cats. My sister-in-law gives me a “Labs Only” calendar every year – it means a lot to me because she realizes how much I love my dog. There are calendars available with virtually any animal you can think of.

All you need is a little imagination and a few dollars, and you can come up with the perfect gift for a pet lover. Whether the recipient loves dogs, cats, horses, hamsters, bunnies or pigs, there are gifts available that will fit the bill!

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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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Tips to Keep Pets Safe During the Holidays


By Anna Lee

Thanksgiving is not far off, and then Christmas followed by New Year’s Eve. As the holiday season draws closer you need to think about what food items and decorations could possibly cause serious harm to your pets. The following items are bad for your pets not only during the holidays, but every other day of the year too.

Turkey is a favorite food during the holidays. Remember, cooked bones of any type are not good for a dog or a cat due to sharp splinters. People assume turkey bones are ok because they are larger than chicken bones. N0, do not give your dog turkey bones. To err on the over-protective side, I have never given Abby any type of bone.

Chocolate can be toxic to dogs and cats. In simple terms, your pet can become very sick, and in rare cases may not pull through. Do not ever give them chocolate, not even one small chocolate chip.

Plants: Most of the plants we think of as Christmas plants are beautiful to look at but can be deadly to animals, including poinsettias, holly and mistletoe. If you want to have a beautiful poinsettia on the mantel, that is far enough out of reach for a dog, but remember how high a cat can climb.

Christmas Trees: Make sure your tree is secure and can’t be tipped over. Big dogs have big tails, and one swish could send a tree flying. You can put a nail in the wall behind the tree and use a piece of string to tie the tree. My parents always tied our live trees like that, except one year. That year the tree fell over; it missed the dog but all my mother’s antique ornaments were destroyed. Use unbreakable ornaments on the lower branches of the tree and put your precious glass ornaments higher up to be safe.

If you have a puppy, keep an eye on it around the tree. A puppy will be attracted to the blinking lights and colorful ornaments. Do not use tinsel as cats and dogs can choke on it. Do not add aspirin to the tree water if you use a real tree. Aspirin can be toxic to pets, and they might get to the water reservoir and drink the water.

Electrical Cords: We always seem to use a lot of electric cords for trees and other decorations. A lose electric cord is a play thing to a puppy or kitten, so make sure they are taped to the floor when possible. When you are not at home, leave your decorations turned off. This is a good rule whether you have pets or not.

Welcoming Guests: When your guests arrive, make sure the dog or cat doesn’t escape without your knowledge. A little pup can easily slip out of the house when no one is watching. A cat may get scared with so much activity happening and try to make his escape.

Candles: Never put a burning candle where a dog or cat can reach it. Better yet, if you have pets or young children, you should get the artificial candles that are very popular now. They run on a battery and the flame actually flickers like a real candle. If you prefer a real candle at least put it high on the mantel out of reach.

By following a few holiday safety tips for pets, the parties and festivities will end on a high note!

Read more articles by Anna Lee

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.

Fascinating Facts About Dogs and Cats


By Anna Lee

Dogs and cats are the most common pets that people own. There are, however, other pets out there sharing life with loving families. Although a snake would not be my first choice as a pet, there are many folks who own them. A pet is what you consider a pet to be, whether it is a pig, a cow, a horse, a hamster, a frog or a lizard. If you (or your children) take care of it, feed and interact with it, then it is a pet. Following are various pet facts for your reading pleasure.

Dogs bark to give a warning or an alarm. Dogs in the wild will bark as a means to send messages to the pack. Dogs bark when they are anxious, excited or when they are bored. They also bark to attract attention from humans. However, dogs do not bark when they attack. If you want a dog that does not bark, there is such a dog. It is the Basenji dog from the Congo. Although it doesn’t bark, it makes a yodeling sound that could possibly be more annoying than barking!

If your dog bays at the moon don’t let it upset you, it is just the dog’s natural urge to call the pack together. If your dog howls when you leave it home alone, turn on the TV or radio to keep it company.

If you’ve seen a scared dog run, you know that he puts his tail between his legs. A dog’s anal glands carry “personal” scents that can identify him or her. By putting the tail between the legs it is similar to a human covering his or her face in an effort to hide it.

Dogs pant to cool their bodies; they do not sweat like a human. Dogs take anywhere from 10-30 breaths a minute and their hearts beat between 70 and 100 times a minute, much more often than a human heart beats per minute.

The average dog has 42 teeth, which is more than I have! Now I have an urge to count Abby’s teeth. She is 11-1/2 and still has not lost one of her teeth. If you brush your dog’s teeth on a regular schedule the dog will get used to it, or so they say. A dog’s mouth can exert 150-200 pounds of pressure per square inch.

Did you know that two dogs survived the sinking Titanic? Dogs are mentioned 14 times in the Bible. One in three households own at least one dog, and the Labrador Retriever is the number one dog in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

There are an estimated 5 million cats in the world. The largest cat is called a Ragdoll, with the male weighing up to 20 pounds. The domestic cat is the only feline species that can hold its tail vertical while walking. All wild cats hold their tails horizontal or tucked between their legs.

It is possible for one female cat to have up to 100 kittens in her lifetime. A cat’s normal body temperature is 101.5. Cats prefer their food to be room temperature. Do not feed dog food to your cat, but do change its water bowl at least once a day. Cats have either round, slanted or almond shaped eyes, and can see up to 120 feet away.

The biggest frog in the world is a Goliath from West Africa. It is about a foot long and can weigh as much as a house cat. That is one big frog. A frog can jump 20 times its own length, whereas a flea can jump 150 times its length.

If you want a pet that is small but multiplies fast, a hamster is the answer. A hamster can have 4 to 12 young at one time, and the word hamster is German for “storing food.”

Finally, a puppy will sleep up to 14 hours per day, which reminds me – it’s time for Abby and me to take our naps. Good night! Sleep tight!

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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.

The Best Dogs for Agility Training and Trials


By Anna Lee

I am sure you’ve seen those dogs on TV, the little lightning bolts that seem to streak across the ground and fly through the air like the wind. I enjoy watching them, and it is amazing how they can move at such speeds and be so accurate! I wish the sport of Dog Agility was on TV more often because it is fascinating.

In Agility events the dogs must complete an obstacle course, which is set up in a large outdoor area. The course has many components to it. Some of the aspects of the course are: the sea saw, tunnels, dog walk, pause (not paws!) table, pause box, jumps, A-frame and weave polls. The weave polls fascinate me the most. Weave polls are a series of poles stuck in the ground, in a line maybe 1 foot apart. The dog works its way through the poles weaving in and out. That is just one small segment of the agility trials, but accuracy and speed are the keys. The course is timed, and if the dog misses an aspect or goes out of bounds, time penalties are added to the score. The dog with the shortest time wins and is proclaimed the champion!

The sport of Dog Agility requires a sure footed and speedy dog with determination and a will to compete. Not all dogs are physically able to run the course due to their size, their breed characteristics and their ability to listen to and follow commands. Three breeds that rise to the top in Agility Trials are:

The Border Collie – This dog was bred to gather and control sheep. He stares down his flock with an intense eye. The Border Collie has unlimited energy and stamina. This medium size dog weighs approximately 30-45 pounds and stands approximately 18-22 inches high at the shoulder, and can live to be 15 years old. I have several friends with Border Collies and they are amazing to watch under normal circumstances.

The Shetland Sheepdog – This dog was bred to stand guard for farmers. He kept birds and hungry sheep from the gardens. They make excellent family pets and they are superstars in dog sports. They only weight about 20 pounds, are 13-16 inches at the shoulder, and can live to be 15 year old.

The Australian Shepherd – This breed originated in the western United States, not Australia, and was bred to herd livestock. This is another great family dog that is full of energy. The Australian Shepherd is 18-23 inches at the shoulder, can weigh 40-65 pounds, and live about 15 years.

If you think you might be interested in Agility Trials and want to get a puppy and start training them, there is a lot of information online regarding this sport. You can start agility training while your puppy is still young. There are many good books and videos available as well. It is important to get proper guidance so that your dog or puppy does not get injured. The website Agility Training for Dogs (www.agilitytrainingfordogs. com) has a lot of very helpful information and is a good place to start.

There are several dog breeds involved in Agility Trials other than the three breeds mentioned above. As to what type of dogs are best suited for agility training, ask yourself: Is your dog the star of the dog park? Can your dog move like a speeding bullet? Can he jump like a jackrabbit? If the answer is yes to those questions, then maybe he should be given a chance at Agility Training and Trials.

For agility training you would not choose a Great Dane or a Mastiff; they are too big and slow moving. You also would not want to use a Dachshund or Yorkie as their legs are much too short. They are lovable dogs, but not quite right for this particular sport! It is important to have your dog checked out thoroughly by your vet first, as you do not want to put undue stress on your pet.

Read, learn, research, ask questions, watch videos, and attend Agility Trials – learn as much as you can before you get involved because it requires a great deal of time and dedication. Six to nine months of solid agility training is necessary before a dog can compete. This sport requires dedication from the dog as well as the owner. If you cannot invest the time required, it may be best for you to leave the agility training and trials to others.

As for Abby, my 11-1/2 year old Lab, we will sit on the sofa and watch the Agility Trials on TV together. The fact that she can still jump on up the sofa means she is agile enough for me!

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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.

Cute Halloween Costumes for Dogs


By Anna Lee

Halloween: a day when kids of all ages love to put on costumes and parade around the neighborhood. I imagine most of you would agree that your kids love to play dress up with the dog any time of the year. I would assume that the dog at least “pretends” to enjoy it to make the kids happy! What better time of year than Halloween to dress up the family dog?

I found the perfect site for you to purchase any and every type of Halloween costume for your dog, called Terrific Pets. There are so many to pick from you will have to check the website for the full list. They offer dozens of costumes and I cannot possibly describe each one of them here, but I am providing some examples to get you thinking.

The Devil Halloween Costume may be perfect for that “little angel” of yours. It is red, of course, and even comes with “horns.” Sizes are x-small, medium and large, and it sells for $19.99. A Halloween Black Witch Hat might be just what you are looking for. If you just need a hat, this one is adorable. It even has orange pig-tails attached to the hat! All that for only $7.99; sounds like a good deal to me.

It you just want a hat and collar there are several to pick from. There is a pumpkin hat has a jack-o-lantern face on it and the collar is an orange ruffle. The price is $10.99. They have football t-shirts so your dog can display the colors of your favorite football team. They are a little pricey at $27.99 each. Little “girly type dresses” for the 4-legged princess in your home run about $7.50 and come in several styles and colors.

The list is endless. If you can sew it would be to your advantage to check this website for ideas. I imagine you could make some of these costumes for less than half of the cost. You could then customize the costume and really make an “original” Halloween costume for your little 4-legged Prince or Princess!

Whether you buy a costume or make one, you don’t want to make the dog uncomfortable. If you put a hat on the dog and it really doesn’t want to wear it, please don’t force the issue. You will know if your dog is pleased with the attention or not.

Be careful if you take the dog out for trick-or-treating along with the kids. The dog should be on a leash at all times. Once your little ones get all that nice sweet candy in their goodie bags, make sure the dog does not get any of it. Candy, especially chocolate, should never be given to a dog.

When Halloween is over and the costume is put away, why not give your dog a treat for being such a good sport? Of course, anytime is a good time for CANIDAE Snap-Bits™ dog treats in Original, Lamb & Rice, and CANIDAE PLATINUM® formulas. While you’re at it, why not make up a few little goodie bags with some of the Snap-Bits; if a dog or two comes trick-or-treating with the kids, you will be prepared.

Happy Halloween one and all, and watch out for ghosts, goblins and 4-legged trick-or-treaters. They will steal your heart!

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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.

Why Your Dog Needs a Proper Bed


By Anna Lee

“To sleep, per chance to dream…” From Shakespeare’s Hamlet

We all enjoy our sleep, or we should anyway. Have you tossed and turned, night after night, and tried everything possible to fall asleep? When you finally did sleep it only lasted a few hours? I think many of us know that feeling. After buying a new pillow, or drinking a glass of warm milk before bed, you finally came to the conclusion it was your mattress causing you such restlessness. The proper bed, meaning the mattress, is very important to a good night’s sleep for humans.

Just as you need a proper mattress, your dog needs a proper bed. Gone are the days when people throw an old Army blanket on the floor in the corner for Fido. In Abby’s long life she has had a few beds. Her “beginner bed” as I called it, was oval shaped with high sides almost all the way around – and of course it was puppy pink. It had a fleece bottom which was supposed to make her feel safe and warm. I guess it worked because she slept in it until she outgrew it, which wasn’t long!

From there we moved to a large rectangular shaped dog bed that was about 4 inches thick and had cedar savings inside a separate cover. That way we were able to take the cover off and wash it and not have to get the cedar wet. I bought it online from Drs. Foster and Smith. They had, and still have, a very large selection of dog beds. That particular bed came with two covers so I could put a fresh one on while the other was being washed.

When Abby outgrew that dog bed, we moved to a larger rectangular shaped bed which fit her fine, and thankfully she stopped growing at that point! The problem we had was that her bed was up against a set of French doors in our bedroom. When she rolled over and would start to run in her sleep, her nails would “tap tap tap” on the glass doors. We had a small bedroom, and that was really the only spot for it. Abby is a people dog and her bed has to be in the bedroom. We tried putting it in the living room but she wouldn’t use it out there.

So to make the nights a little quieter we got a large rectangular dog bed with a bolster on the back and one side. With the high back to the window, there is no more tapping. She also likes to put her head on something when she sleeps so the bolster is perfect. This bed is about 6 inches thick and is a firm bed. It makes it a little easier for her to move on it, since she isn’t quite as sure footed as she used to be.

There are so many different types and styles of dog beds available online that you won’t find at most pet shops or at the discount stores. They are a higher quality than the discount store type. Some of these beds are rather expensive, but the one we currently have is on year three and still holding up fine. The cover is just starting to show a little wear so it won’t be long before Abby gets a new dog bed. You can buy almost any color to match or coordinate with your décor.

There are beds available with warmers built in, beds specifically made for use outside, fold up travel beds, nesting beds, memory foam beds and many more. There are at least 80 items including pillows and throws in the dog bed category of Drs. Foster and Smith. In order to pick the best bed for your dog, you just have to understand your particular dog’s sleep needs as well as physical requirements.

The type of bed you buy your dog is just as important as where you place that bed. If your dog is like Abby, the bed has to be in the bedroom. When we were on vacation recently we had her dog bed in the living room. When it was bedtime she was very confused, and paced back and forth until we put her bed in our bedroom. Although she was squished into the corner, she was happy because she was with us.

Read more articles by Anna Lee

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.