Category Archives: canidae

How to Tell if Your Pet is Irritated with You

pets irritated penny blankenshipBy Linda Cole

When my Siberian Husky Jake wanted to express his irritation, he’d turn his head away from me as if saying, “I can’t hear a word you’re saying.” Then he’d follow up with some Woo Woo Woo’s to make it clear he was unhappy. My cat Meryl was quick to bond with me when he was a kitten. As far as he was concerned, I belonged to him, and if I hurt his feelings, he made it clear he was irritated. He sat with his back to me and ignored me for an hour or so. That was apparently how long it took for him to forgive me. Dogs and cats aren’t vindictive, but they do have ways of showing us when they are irritated.

The Cold Shoulder – This is a sure sign you have a dog or cat with hurt feelings, and it’s not hard to picture your pet sitting like an irritated human with his front legs crossed while tapping one of his back paws in disgust waiting for an apology. You can almost hear the “Don’t talk to me.” It’s a good thing dogs and cats don’t have opposable thumbs. You might get the cold shoulder, but you won’t get a door slammed in your face.

The Stiff Paw and Head Turn Rejection – I take this action as the ultimate “I am so irritated and do not want to cuddle, hand out kisses, or even look at you right now” sign. This is when an upset dog or cat holds out a stiffened leg and blocks you with a paw to keep you from getting too close when you try to be affectionate. In addition to the stiff paw, he turns his head away from you and the message is loud and clear: you have an irritated furry friend. One of my dogs, Keikei, will also give me a kick with her back leg just in case I missed the other two signs.
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Let’s Start a New Black Friday Trend!

black friday nikitaBy Julia Williams

For many people, Black Friday is all about shopping. People go a little crazy, even going so far as trampling and pummeling others, all in the name of getting a good deal on this, that or the other. Personally, I steer clear of all retail stores on Black Friday because the whole thing strikes me as madness. Yes, you can get Christmas gifts for a great price…but is it worth it? I guess it’s an individual decision.

In any event, today I am thinking not about Black Friday shopping but about a different black …all of the black cats and black dogs that are in animal shelters, waiting for someone to pick them so they can have the life and home they deserve.

black friday maja dumatHistorically, black pets have the hardest time getting adopted, for a variety of reasons. Some people believe the myth that black cats are bad luck. Others won’t adopt a black dog or cat because he’s not “colorful” enough or they don’t think a black pet has much personality because they can’t see his facial expressions as well as those with lighter colored faces.

I don’t get it. Judging a cat or a dog by the color of his fur? That’s more bizarre to me than the Black Friday shopping mayhem. I have two black cats – Mickey and Rocky – and if I had a negative bias toward black pets, I’d have missed out on being loved by two of the coolest cats I know. Their black fur is not very colorful, but their personalities? Now that’s an entirely different story!

The motto often used by shelters and rescue groups is “adopt, don’t shop!” It doesn’t have anything to do with Black Friday, but can you imagine what would happen black friday beverlyif every person who went out shopping today, went to an animal shelter instead and picked out a black pet for their family? Millions of wonderful animals would be “home” for Christmas, that’s what!

However you spend this day, I hope you stay safe and warm.

Top photo by Nikita/Flickr
Middle photo by Maja Dumat/Flickr
Bottom photo by Beverly Goodwin/Flickr

Read more articles by Julia Williams

Why We’re Thankful for Our Pets

Thanksgiving rochelleBy Julia Williams

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

In the spirit of being thankful, CANIDAE has another fun photo contest going on right now. Just share a photo of your pet and why you are thankful for them, and you might win 6 months FREE pet food! For full details see the contest page on Facebook.

A few years back, the other RPO blog writers and I shared some of the reasons why we are thankful for our four legged friends, which you can read here. I personally make a point to verbally give thanks every day for my beloved cats, who are cherished members of my family. I express my gratitude each day that these amazing, loving and delightful beings chose me, and that they are all healthy, happy and safe.

Today, on the day when we gather with family and friends to share a feast and give thanks for our blessings, I wanted to share with you what some of my pet loving friends said when I asked them to fill in the following question: “I’m thankful for my pet because…”

Jeanne: I’m thankful for my pets because they always live in the moment and are wonderful companions.

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Tips for Protecting Your Dog During Cold Winter Months

winter 4NeusBy Langley Cornwell

If you are cold, your pet is cold. It’s that simple. Yes, dogs have a fur coat and it’s true that many of the northern dog breeds seem to thrive in cold weather. However, if you’re sharing your life with any breed other than something like an Alaskan Malamute, an American Eskimo Dog, a Bernese Mountain Dog, a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, a Newfoundland, a Saint Bernard or similar, as a responsible pet owner it’s important to take extra precautions during the colder weather.

All dog breeds are vulnerable to hypothermia and frostbite. Never leave your pet outside in the cold without supervision.  As a general rule, it’s best to stay indoors as much as possible during inclement weather. Here are a few additional reminders for protecting your dog during the cold winter months.

Prepare the House

Because you and your companion animal will likely spend more time indoors, prepare your house. Make sure to section off any areas you don’t want your pet to go, especially areas that lead outside. Dogs may get lost easier in the winter because the ice and snow can mask recognizable scents and landmarks, thereby making it harder for your pet to find his way home. Be sure there are no open doors or windows that can let the cold in or your dog out.

If you use space heaters, keep them away from locations where happy, wagging tails can knock them over and potentially start a fire. Moreover, if you build a fire in the fireplace, make sure your pet cannot get too close to the flame. In general, do your best to pet-proof your home.

It’s also important to offer a warm place to which your dog can retreat. A cozy dog bed that’s in a warm area, preferably up off of the floor and away from drafty windows and doors is the best scenario.

winter derek purdyTake Shorter Walks

Be aware that cold weather can exacerbate certain physical limitations, especially in older and arthritic dogs. It’s a good idea to take shorter walks during the winter and try to stay away from frozen, icy patches. Some dogs may need a coat or sweater when outdoors in the winter, not to make a fashion statement but for warmth. Dogs with short hair will obviously get colder faster, but many of us don’t give the same consideration to dogs with short legs. Think about it; shorter legs mean his body is closer to the cold ground so he will get chilled more quickly.

Also remember that dogs with conditions like Cushing’s disease, heart or kidney disease, diabetes, or hormonal imbalances have a hard time regulating their body temperatures so they benefit from shorter, more frequent walks during the winter.

Give a Thorough Wipe-Down

After your walk, take the time to wipe off your dog’s paws, legs and belly when you first come inside. Many cities and counties use salt, deicers, antifreeze or some other types of toxic chemicals to help melt the snow and ice. These chemicals can irritate your pet’s feet. Furthermore, you don’t want your dog to lick his paws and ingest these substances. Likewise, it’s important to inspect your pet’s paw pads to make sure he didn’t cut himself on ice shards or broken glass.

Monitor Food and Water

Your dog should maintain a healthy weight throughout the winter. If he is less active than in the warmer months, you may have to adjust the amount of food he consumes. Make sure he has the proper amount of a nutritious, high quality dog food like CANIDAE, as well as plenty of fresh water during the winter months.

Be Responsiblewinter patti haskins

Sadly, not everyone is a responsible pet owner. If you happen to see a pet left outside during frigid weather, take action. Document the address, date, time, circumstances, type of animal and anything else you think is pertinent. If possible, take photographs or a video of the situation. Then call the authorities – a local animal control agency, the police or sheriff’s office, etc. – and report the situation.

On another day, go back to the location and see if that poor animal is still out in the cold. If so, respectfully call the agency back and make a second report. Please be the voice of those who cannot speak.

Have a happy and healthy winter!

Top photo by 4Neus/Flickr
Middle photo by Derek Purdy/Flickr
Bottom photo by Patti Haskins/Flickr

Read more articles by Langley Cornwell

Tips for Avoiding Thanksgiving Temptations for Dogs

thanksgiving jennBy Laurie Darroch

When the Thanksgiving celebrations roll around, so do the temptations for your dog. Rich human food, interesting decorations and even guests who don’t know what a dog shouldn’t have can all be a challenge to your dog’s good behavior and to their health. As a responsible pet owner, it’s important to be aware of what could be enticing to your dog.

Foods

Rich or spicy foods can make your dog ill, particularly if they are on a routine of a healthy dog food like CANIDAE, created just for their dietary needs. All the wonderful smells and bounty available during Thanksgiving celebrations can be way too tempting for your dog. The sudden onslaught of so many varied rich foods not only can upset their digestion, but be dangerous for them to consume as well.

The most obvious danger is sharp turkey bones. Keep them well out of the way of your dog. When you throw them away, make sure they are in an enclosed container and somewhere your dog can’t reach.

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Study Says Dogs Do Look Like Their Owners

lookalike dbjulesBy Linda Cole

Have you ever seen a dog that bore a striking resemblance to his human? Perhaps that dog was yours, and the human was you? A new study took a look at the belief that dogs look like their owners, and concluded it’s not a coincidence after all. Many dogs really do resemble their owners, and strangers are able to match owners with their dogs with amazing accuracy, just by looking at their face.

Sadahiko Nakajima, a psychologist from Kwansei Gakuin University in Japan, wanted to find out if people really could match dog owners with their canine friends just by looking at photographs of their faces. He wasn’t the first to conduct this kind of experiment, and his results were similar to what other researchers had discovered. Many dog owners do have a physical resemblance to their dogs.

But Nakajima didn’t stop there. He didn’t understand how complete strangers were able to match owners with their dogs with such an impressive and significant rate that was higher than mere chance. Nakajima recently decided to do another experiment to try and figure out if the resemblance was based on any particular feature on the face. He reasoned there must be something more than luck guiding the people who were looking at the photographs.

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