Category Archives: Anna Lee

The Best Dog Breeds for Cat Owners

By Anna Lee

You have a cat, or maybe you have two cats. You’ve always wanted a dog to join the family but perhaps you worry that they won’t get along? Can cats and dogs live together in harmony? How hard is to introduce a dog into a house with cats? Will a dog get along with the cat right away, or ever? What is the best dog to get? Help!

Some dog breeds are literally born to adapt to any situation. Some dogs are as gentle as can be with a child, another dog, a cat or many cats. If you want a small dog or a large dog there are several breeds to pick from. Here are some suggestions, tips and helpful ideas.

The Boxer is very good with children. A Boxer can be very good with cats if socialized early on. People misjudge Boxers frequently. If they are well trained they are excellent family dogs, no matter who the family members are!

The Bichon Frise is a happy dog that gets along with other family pets, either cats or dogs. Bichons make great multi-pet dogs, and they are also excellent with children.

The American Cocker Spaniel is an adorable little dog with an easy going personality. The Cocker gets along well with other animals, including cats. I know several people that have Cockers and cats, and they all get along fine.

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever gets along well with cats that are family members, but may not be as friendly with strange cats. The Chesapeake has similar personality traits as the Labrador Retriever, which is a laid-back calm disposition and very accepting.

The Vizsla is a dog that is easy to train, but they are shy at times. They are reliable with children but may be too much for a toddler to handle. The Vizsla requires a lot of daily exercise. If you can put up with the training and exercise you will have a good dog that does well with cats they are raised with. They can’t be trusted with hamsters or rabbits though.

The Otterhound is a large size dog that is friendly, exuberant and outgoing. They are good with children, all other dogs and cats in your family. The Otterhound may, however, chase a cat that does not belong to the family. They range from 66 t0 115 pounds and require a loving hand during training.

The Labrador Retreiver will usually get along with any person, any animal – including cats. When we got our lab my husband had a 10 year old cat named Friday, who only had three legs. The day we brought Abby home she eagerly ran over to check out kitty. Friday hit poor Abby on the head 10 times in a row, just to let her know who was boss. That was the end of it; from that day on they were friends. You probably know cats don’t like to get wet, and you may know that labs drool. Abby would stand over the cat with drool or water pouring out of her mouth and onto the cat and he just stood there! After that initial meeting on day one, whatever Abby did was ok with Friday!

Some breeds may adjust better to living with a cat in the home, according to the books and research I have done and stated above. I have found that the small, high strung dogs do not match up well with cats. Sometime the larger the dog, the more gentle the personality and disposition. I do feel that if a cat and dog are raised together from day one, or at least early on, there is a very good chance that they will be lifelong buddies.

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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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The Health Benefits of Dog Ownership

By Anna Lee

We love our dogs and they love us. As responsible pet owners we do the best we can for our furry friends and they repay us in kind. We also know that laughter is the best medicine and dogs are very funny. Therefore, it makes sense that owning a dog is healthy for us! I am extremely lucky because Abby is a funny dog. She also knows how to melt my heart.

We know that pets enrich our lives. Recent scientific studies have begun to pin-point the ways that companion animals improve our minds and our bodies. Beyond walks and games of fetch, eager faces at the end of the day and many kisses, pets provide documented health benefits.

A 1993 report in the Harvard Health Letter explains that companion animals have more consistent behavior compared to our human companions and that they offer unconditional affection. The effect is lower blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety levels for pet owners. We repay our pets with love and attention. More than 60 percent of pets receive “as much attention as children,” according to the 1994 American Animal Hospital Association pet owner survey. In my house Abby receives 100% since we have no children.

Laughter has been proven to reduce stress, increase muscle flexion, lower blood pressure and boost immune function by raising T-cell levels. Laughter also releases the body’s natural painkillers, endorphins, and increases emotional well being while decreasing feelings of depression. Dogs are natural born comedians; mine is and your dog mostly like is also. Abby makes my husband I laugh on a continual basis. With recent studies suggesting that depression is more deadly than many other chronic diseases, spending some time with a canine goof-ball might be the best health insurance available. If I am in a bad mood and Abby does something typically Abby, the bad mood lifts away!

Exercise – In a Columbia University Study participants lost an average of fourteen pounds when they started walking the dog for just 20 minutes a day five times a week. Dog owners are more likely than non-dog owners to walk regularly and longer. Taking responsibility for someone else’s well being is more compelling than looking out for your own health. I agree with that totally. I put off going to the doctor myself, but if Abby looks a little ‘off’ I call the vet instantly for an appointment.

Socializing – When we walk our dogs in the park or around the block people are more apt to speak to us. Dog lovers will naturally start up conversations. When we socialize with others we feel good about ourselves. We were on vacation a few years back in Chattanooga and visited Rock City. This is a huge mountain with all kinds of fun and interesting things to look at and squeeze through on the climb to the top. At the summit is a fantastic view of several states. That day there were many families with kids who had no desire to look at a view.

We sat down to relax and within seconds were surrounded by kids all wanting to pet Abby. Just watching their little faces made us feel better and Abby certainly didn’t pass up one kiss or pat on the head! Finally, parents realized the kids were having a better time with our dog because they were all on vacation and they missed their dogs back home. Rock City is pet friendly – check their website for more information on a great attraction! (

Sleep – I don’t know about other dog owners, but I know feel confident at night knowing my dog is in the same room snoozing – with one ear and one eye open! Our quality of sleep has a big effect on health. Lack of sleep has been linked to some cancers, heart disease, diabetes, etc. Now if I could just get Abby to sleep later than 6 AM I would be very happy.

All of the health benefits of canine companionship are good for us. Better brain chemistry equals better sleep. More exercise makes for less depression. Better sleep eases mood problems. And wet sloppy kisses can mend a broken heart!

Dogs are good for our health! Since they provide us such a beneficial service we need to make sure we take care of them in return. What better way to take care of your best friend than to feed your pet a premium food like CANIDAE?

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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 Food and Water Bowls for Dogs

By Anna Lee

You are probably wondering what the big deal is, right? Grab an old plastic container you don’t need anymore and put some dog food or water in it. Actually, there is a little more to it than that. There are things you need to consider when choosing a food or water bowl for your dog.

You need a bowl that is easy to clean, dishwasher safe, tip and spill proof, durable, and the right size for the job. If you have a 120 pound female Mastiff you can’t put her CANIDAE dry dog food in an old butter container, because it isn’t big enough. She would probably destroy the bowl in a week! On the flip side, you don’t want to use a mixing bowl as a water bowl for a Yorkie!

You need to determine the bowl size by the dog’s size and needs. Narrow and deep feeders are ideal if you have a long-eared dog such as a Bassett Hound or Blood Hound. This design allows your dog to drink or eat without getting his ears in the water or the food. A lab needs a rather large water bowl so you won’t have to fill it quite as often during the day.

There are also automatic feeder bowls on the market. They run on battery and you set the time and amount of food or water that is dispensed. They are not recommended for puppies, but they are fine for the established dog.

At the top of the list for an appropriate bowl, heavy weight stainless steel is the best choice. Get one with a rubber bottom which will stop your dog from pushing the bowl all around the room. It is almost impossible for a dog to break a stainless steel bowl.

If you do happen to have a kitchen cabinet full of old butter containers, throw them in the trash. You don’t need them and your dog doesn’t either. Once you invest a few dollars in a quality bowl you won’t have to buy another one.

Abby is an older dog, and an item I am thinking of buying her is a set of elevated bowls. They come on a stand and there are two bowls fitted into the top. Since it is elevated the dog does not have to bend over so far to eat, which makes it more comfortable for the dog overall and supposedly aids in digestion. You can also clean around elevated bowls very easily.

Where should you feed your dog? That decision is totally up to you. Our last house had vinyl flooring in the kitchen and that is where Abby’s food and water bowls were. This house has hardwood floors in the kitchen. Water and hardwood floors are a bad combination! I keep her bowls just beyond the kitchen in the hall to the laundry room. It has vinyl flooring but I also use a rubber backed runner under the bowls to help contain some of the water spills.

You can find a variety of bowls in all sizes and shapes at your local pet store, online pet stores, Tractor Supply, and almost every discount store including WalMart and Sam’s Club. Check out for examples of stainless steel bowls and the raised dog bowl systems. They have a very large selection and you don’t have to leave the comfort of your easy chair.

You need the right size food and water bowls for your dog. You dog may not know the difference, but you will!

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.

Is a Goldfish a Pet?

By Anna Lee

There are many people who do not want the responsibility of a dog or a cat, no matter how many times their children beg for one. When you bring a dog or cat into your home it is a huge commitment. Cats are a little easier to deal with, but they still require time, energy and love. A dog takes even more time, and typically, more money. If you’re not ready to add a dog or cat to your family, maybe you can slide by with a goldfish, or perhaps a hamster?

If you lead the type of life that would not allow you to take care of a dog in the proper way, then please do not get a dog because the kids want one. No matter how much they plead and cry it is a bad idea. I think it is very sad when the family gets a puppy and the poor dog is home alone in a crate all day with little to no attention. Then the pup spends most of the evening in a crate while the family is off running errands and attending sporting events.

So if you’ve told your children that there’s no way right now a dog or cat would fit in with your lifestyle, but they keep asking, maybe it’s time for a different approach. You need to instill in them that dogs and cats have many needs. They need to be fed, they need water, they need you to play with them, they need you to make sure they are healthy and have checkups at the vet. The list goes on and on.

Now is the time to say that perhaps in a year or so the family might be in a better position to get a dog. Try to explain what their responsibilities will be when that time comes. Suggest that they work their way up to a dog in stages. If they can prove to be a responsible pet owner with a smaller animal such as a fish or hamster, then you will consider getting a dog.

Suggest that each child can pick out one or two goldfish at the local pet store. Take the kids with you for the purchase, and let them help you pick out a nice size bowl and the accessories. Then approach the large fish tanks and let them each choose the fish. The movement and color will fascinate the kids and hopefully get them interested in having a goldfish as a pet.

Make a big deal out of picking out the fish. The more you play it up the easier it will be for them to accept. Have the salesperson at the store explain to all of you how to care for the fish, and emphasize that they should not overfeed the fish, that the water needs to changed and that they need to pick out names for their fish.

Fish not your thing? Maybe a furry little hamster would do. You can buy a nice big cage and all the accessories and watch the critter run around and play for hours. Hamsters love exercise wheels and can stay inside a wheel for hours on end. You just need to make sure you (or your children) clean the cage weekly and feed it the appropriate food. Pet stores sell hamster food and all the supplies you need. Again, let the store employee give the kids the run down on what is required to take care of a hamster.

A goldfish or a hamster will probably not put an end to your child’s desire to have a dog or a cat. However, these low maintenance pets can be a stepping stone in the learning curve of responsible pet ownership.

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.

The Best Lap Dogs

By Anna Lee

When I was a little girl I wanted a dog that would sit on my lap while I watched TV or read a book. We didn’t get a small dog; we got a Chesapeake Bay Retriever instead. As an adult I wound up with an 80 pound lab that ‘thinks’ she is a lap dog. I have the room for a large dog, both inside and outside, and am a fan of large dogs. Many people, however, would prefer a small dog, and in particular a lap dog.

According to Wikipedia, “A lapdog is a dog that is small enough to be held in the arms or lay comfortably on a person’s lap. Lapdogs are not a specific breed, but a generic term for a type of dog of small size and friendly disposition.”

Following are some suggestions for the best lap dogs. If you want your pooch to curl up with you and relax, to keep you company, these dogs will do the trick.

The Pug is affectionate, loving, and has a happy disposition with a wonderful personality. They are sensitive to the tone of your voice. Pugs are very devoted dogs. You do need to let them know that you are the boss as they have a mind of their own. They weigh anywhere from 13 to 20 pounds.

The American Cocker Spaniel is a great choice and a versatile dog that fares well as a gun dog or a house dog. They do need discipline and daily exercise. They respect their master. They are a little difficult to housebreak, but they get along well with other dogs. The Cocker Spaniel can weigh anywhere from 15 to 30 pounds, which is a good weight for lap sitting!

The Toy Poodle is said to be the breed that is the easiest to train. They like to be with people and are perky and lively. Toy Poodles love to run around outside, but once inside they are very calm. They weigh about 6-9 pounds. They need frequent baths, and they need to be clipped every 6 weeks. All that cuteness requires more grooming!

The Whippet looks similar to the Greyhound and is slender but hardy. This breed is intelligent, lively, affectionate, sweet, and docile. This devoted companion is quiet and calm in the home and willing to sit with you. Whippes should never be roughly trained, for they are extremely sensitive both physically and mentally. They are good with children, odor free and extremely clean dogs. At 25-40 pounds, the Whippet is a little bigger than the other lap dogs.

The Lhasa Apso is another adorable little lap dog who is very affectionate with its owners. They have excellent hearing and make wonderful guard dogs for their size! Lhasa Apsos are generally suspicious of strangers and not very well suited to kids, and tend to fight with other dogs. They weigh about 13-15 pounds.

If you are more of a non-exercise type person who enjoys relaxing, then get yourself a cute little lap-lover, curl up while reading a book or watching TV, and while away the time!

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.

Pet Friendly Businesses and Fun Destinations

By Anna Lee

Thinking of going to the beach? Taking a day trip or mini vacation? If you’re wondering what to do with your dog, you will be pleased to know there are many businesses, parks, restaurants, and beaches that welcome your four-legged friend. More and more locations are jumping on the bandwagon too. I guess dog and cat lovers are finally making their wants and needs known, and businesses are listening. Thank you!

Fort De Soto Park in Pinellas County, Florida

A vacation at the beach sounds good to me. Being able to find a place to let my dog Abby run free would make it that much better. Fort De Soto Park is one of six ‘Paw Playgrounds’ in Pinellas County that are dog friendly. Fort De Soto is a 2 acre fenced park that has 200 yards of soft white sand for your dog to run and play on. Pack yourself a picnic lunch and bring along some CANIDAE Snap-Biscuit® treats for the dog, and enjoy a fun day at the beach! What could be better than that? For more information, including maps and a virtual tour of the dog park check out their website.

Nashville, TN

Traveling to Nashville soon and taking the family dog with you? You won’t be alone. Nashville is going to the dogs, and they don’t have to be country music fans – but it helps! Nashville has a fantastic dog friendly park system, with three dog parks that are open from dawn to dusk. Check out the Nashville Dog Parks by logging onto their website. The site offers lots of information on hours of operation and what they expect from their visitors.

There are also several Nashville restaurants that allow pets to dine with their owners at outside tables. You must realize that Fido can only join you at the outdoor tables, no dogs allowed inside the restaurants. Check out: 12 South Tap Room, Jackson’s Bar and Bistro and Calypso Café at this website.

Don’t hold back on a hotel – book the Lowe’s Vanderbilt Hotel which is not only dog and cat friendly, but offers doggie and kitty room service, plus gifts for your pet! They also have pet sitting and pet walking services available. It is quite an impressive hotel, and the fact that it’s pet friendly is even more impressive to me. Check out their website and decide if you and your pet would like to vacation in the lap of luxury. Photos of the hotel and information on their other amenities can be found here.

Lowe’s also has a pet friendly hotel at their Cornado Bay, CA location where your dog can learn to surf. A night’s lodging and surfing lessons is expensive. At $449 a night they won’t be seeing Abby and me any time in the future!

America’s Favorite Past Time – Baseball

Did you know you can take your dog to the ball field with you, on a specific pet friendly day that is! This event started in 1996 when the White Sox offered the fist “Dog Day” and was an instant success. Some of the festivities include parades, various competitions, vendors with products and services, and many of these events are fundraisers for animal related organizations. The thrill of the day is being able to have you dog sit with you in a special dog section and watch the game! Just a few examples: the Atlanta Braves have “Bark in the Park,” the St. Louis Cardinals have “Pooches in the Ballpark” and the San Francisco Giants have “Dog Days of Summer.” Check with your baseball team’s particular website to find out more about these special dog days.

Vacations no longer mean leaving the dog or cat at home. Doors are opening and it makes me smile to think I could take Abby to a great beach in Florida and a fantastic park in Nashville, or enjoy a ballgame together. What a life!

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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.