Category Archives: Laurie Darroch

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.

Read More »

EmailGoogle GmailBlogger PostTwitterFacebookGoogle+PinterestShare

Positive Ways to Cope with Losing a Beloved Pet

By Laurie Darroch

As much as we love our pets, the fact is their lives are shorter than ours and at some point we all have to cope with losing them. It’s an extremely difficult thing to go through when we are so bonded with them and they are such a part of our daily lives. There are, however, some positive ways to work through the grief and loss of that beloved family member.

Foster a Dog or Cat

You may find the empty spot left in your home by the loss of a pet is too difficult, yet you’re not ready to jump into immediately adopting again. Consider fostering a pet in need until a home can be found for them. Just having another pet around to care for and interact with, without complete emotional attachment, can provide you with the companionship you miss, and you will be helping another living creature in a difficult situation.

Make a Memory Album or Journal

Try focusing on the good memories of your pet in a constructive way. You will still feel some connection, and it can help you remember what was wonderful about having that dog or cat in your life instead of dwelling on the sorrow of losing them.

Make a memory album with both photos and writing, or start a journal about your pet. You can also write stories about your pet and share them with family and friends, or start a blog. Creating a memory in physical form can keep the pet with you and let you get all of your feelings on paper to release some of the sense of loss. Don’t limit it to a photo album or scrapbook; be creative in whatever form you like or have skill at, such as painting, sculpting or carving.

Read More »

Five Ways Having a Pet Teaches a Child Responsibility

kids and pets kanonnBy Laurie Darroch

Adding a dog or cat to your family is a great way to teach your children how to be responsible for another living creature and learn to appreciate the work and dedication involved in caring for that pet. By including them in the care of the pet, children not only learn how to nurture it but they learn that loving another creature is much more than just playing with it on occasion. A pet depends on its people to provide food, shelter and full care.

When you adopt a dog or cat, kids may not always do the care work consistently, even with guidance or prodding, so be prepared and willing to do it, too. The ultimate responsibility is yours, but having a pet can be a good way to help a child learn how to care for and empathize with another living being and be responsible for something important. They will learn that their care matters to the pet.

Don’t get a pet just to teach your child responsibility. You should get a dog or cat because you want to love it, enjoy its company, care for it, and be a companion and family for each other. The responsibility lesson is just an added bonus.

Food

Feeding a pet is something concrete that all children can understand. They know what it feels like to get hungry and they understand that food is the way hunger goes away. They will understand the pet needing food. Teaching them to be responsible for feeding the family pet is one of the easier lessons in pet care for them to learn.

Dog Animated - no offerWhen a dog or cat really loves its CANIDAE pet food, and gobbles it up the moment the child fills the bowl, the child will see that what they did is important. Learning responsibility and really understanding that helping the pet matters – to the pet as well as the family – will reinforce your child’s desire to want to be involved.

Attention

Children sometimes view a pet as a plaything. They may tire of it the same way they do a toy, but learning the importance of caring for a living being teaches your child the value of that animal as a real creature, not a toy. The commitment is for the life of the pet. Even a very small child can empathize and learn to understand the importance of good pet care.

Actually helping and spending time with the pet helps them understand that responsibility includes taking time each day to pay attention and give love to their dog or cat. Children need that time and attention from their parents. Your child can learn that their pet needs the same thing and they can be a source of fulfilling that need.

Personal Care

Helping to bathe or brush a furry pet can help to reinforce a child’s own personal care skills. If the doggy or kitty needs to have these things done, and they help do it, that helps them understand that it is a need many living creatures have, including themselves.

Medical Care

Although any medical pet home treatment, (wound, injury or illness), needs to be supervised by an adult, having your child with you while that treatment is taking place helps the child understand that pet care also involves attending to the kitty or doggy when it is ill or injured. It also teaches empathy. Most kids understand what feeling sick or getting an injury feels like. Sometimes responsibility involves a not-so-pleasant situation, and kids need to learn that as well.

Around-the-Clock Responsibility

Like children, pets require around-the-clock care at one level or another. A child can learn that having a pet means caring for it even when it is inconvenient or conflicting with something else they want to do. That lesson helps them learn that prioritizing needs and wants is an important part of responsibility. Don’t be hesitant to include them in something as simple as having to let the dog out in the middle of the night in the backyard for a potty break, or have them help change the kitty litter.

Don’t limit the help requests to older children. Even young children can begin to learn responsibility with simple tasks that they can manage or help you with. Praising their positive involvement will encourage your child to want to be more involved with the care of the pet.

Being a responsible pet owner means being a model for your children to follow to learn how to be responsible for your pet. Kids learn by example and will follow your lead. With guidance, a child can learn to be responsible for the care of a loved family dog or cat. Learning that their involvement matters in the care of your dog or cat will teach your child that responsibility is important and that they can contribute and make a difference.

Top photo by kanonn/Flickr
Bottom photo by Mary-Frances Main/Flickr

Read more articles by Laurie Darroch

Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe on Halloween

halloween safety donelleBy Laurie Darroch

Although Halloween festivities are fun for people of all ages, they are sometimes stressful and dangerous for a dog. Taking some precautions will help keep your dog safe during trick or treating and Halloween gatherings.

Candy and Goodies

No matter how well trained or well behaved your dog is, sometimes temptation can be overpowering for a dog. Given the opportunity, they might give in to the siren call of delicious smelling goodies sitting in easy reach. Eating items like chocolate or wrappings can be particularly dangerous for a dog. They won’t stop at one piece of candy either, if they get into an easily accessible bowl of sweets. A dog may try to eat as much as they can get away with before they get caught.

Keep the treats out of your dog’s reach, and don’t give them little bites of even the harmless treats. That is an open invitation for them to try and get more. Instead, make sure they’ve had a full meal of their own healthy CANIDAE dog food before the festivities begin. Your dog will be less likely to be tempted if their hunger is already sated. Keep a bag of CANIDAE dog treats handy as well, so if they are tempted by the sweets you can substitute something more appropriate for them.
Read More »

Mity, the Mighty Beagle Who Saved My Sister

Beagle Faith GBy Laurie Darroch

We traveled all over when I was growing up, which made having a dog of any size something my father was not willing to deal with, much to my disappointment. Friends’ dogs were my exposure to the world of canines. Everywhere we went, there were always people we knew who traveled and moved with their families, too. That was the norm for all of us; we were expat nomads who made each new place home. This group of people became “family” to us. A few of the adults became loved aunts and uncles. One of our closest set of family friends, the Camerons, had a Beagle dog named Mity. Later in Germany, they added another Beagle named Schroeder to the family.

Mity’s full name was Mity Mite. He was a registered miniature Beagle with championship lines. Mity was a Beagle of determined personality.  Although small, he made his presence known. He was a bit of a food hoarder, and often got into mischief trying to get food he wasn’t supposed to have.

He would steal and try to eat anything that was not nailed down, including two small pet turtles that were kept in a bowl with a miniature plastic palm tree. They disappeared one day and were found later under a couch, alive, one with a punctured shell but otherwise fine. That didn’t match the time Mity ate two whole loaves of sliced bread and swelled up like a balloon until he looked like he would pop, or the time in Paris he stole a whole pot roast off the kitchen table and hid with it behind an antique Victorian couch in their apartment living room. Little Mity had a royal appetite that fit his lineage.

Read More »

Items to Keep in a Dog Identification Kit

dog id kit michael gilBy Laurie Darroch

If your dog disappears during a natural disaster or an accident, or while you are away, it’s a good idea to have an easily accessible Dog Identification Kit. This will help you reunite with your pet if he wanders off in fear, gets lost, or is injured and found by someone else.

Your dog may be frightened and confused. In dire situations such as earthquakes or hurricanes, wandering animals might be brought to rescue sites or taken in by caring strangers until the dog’s family can be found.

Natural disasters can destroy homes and cut off regular communication, making contact with the dog’s family difficult or even impossible. Having proof of who your dog is will make it easier to alert people that you are looking for a specific animal and help you get your beloved pet back to his family again, wherever you are.

Obviously, identification tags with contact information may be important for a dog to wear, but not all owners opt to have their dogs wear these, and they can also fall off. Having an identification kit as a backup is a smart idea for a responsible pet owner who wants to make sure their dog is safe and easier to find if lost.

Read More »