Category Archives: Laurie Darroch

How to Help a Dog Deal with Pain

By Laurie Darroch

When a dog is experiencing pain, whether from an obvious illness or injury, or something you can’t see or figure out, they will let you know in a number of possible ways. Because they cannot talk and explain what is going on, you are left to puzzle it out and determine how to help relieve their pain, whatever its source.

You may notice altered behavior such as withdrawal, refusal to play or even eat, or the opposite – excessive clinginess and following you everywhere in the house. You may see your dog crying or whimpering. You may notice that they are moving differently or favoring the part of the body with the injury or pain. It’s always a good idea take your dog to the vet to make sure it is nothing serious and something for which they need specific medication or professional treatment.

Here are some tips for helping your dog deal with their pain.

Comfort

Comforting your dog helps to soothe pain levels and reduce the anxiety and stress caused by pain that isn’t understood. You dog reacts to your stress as well. If they are in pain, try to stay calm. Your dog will sense your mood and react accordingly. If you are calmer handling your dog’s pain, they will feel more secure and at ease. Your dog trusts you.

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10 Ways to Donate to Your Local Animal Shelter

By Laurie Darroch

During the season of giving, we often think about what we can do for others. When you are preparing your holiday gift list, why not include something for the homeless pets at your local animal shelter? Here are a few ideas on what to donate.

Money

Money is the number one need for a shelter. The costs for upkeep, care and supplies are great and never ending. The advantage to giving cash is that the shelter can buy precisely what they need when they need it, or use it to pay the bills that come with running a shelter.

Food and Treats

Shelters need plenty of food to keep all their animal residents fed. A high quality pet food such as CANIDAE is ideal, because it provides all the nutrients these stressed pets need to heal and maintain their good health.

Don’t forget that all those dogs and cats will enjoy the CANIDAE treats that you love to give your pet as well. Their behavior may need modification, and treats make a nice reward during training.

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Five Famous Cartoon Dogs

scooby jaredBy Laurie Darroch

Dogs have wended their way into the creative world of television and print cartoons over the decades. Their anthropomorphized personalities give them a connection with the human viewers while still maintaining their canine features. Although there are many, these chosen five have stood the test of time over cartoon history and become beloved dog icons. Their simple humor appeals to children and adults alike.

Scooby-Doo

Scooby-Doo was originally created for Hanna-Barbera productions for a show called Scooby-Doo, Where Are you! in 1969. The television show, written by Ken Spears and Joe Ruby, ran on CBS from 1969 until 1976. It went to ABC from there and ran from 1976 until 1986. It even had a spinoff show that ran for three years called A Pup Named Scooby-Doo. The big, clumsy, lovable cartoon dog managed to stick around through various shows and made his way into movie form in Scooby-Doo in 2002 and Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed in 2004.

Cartoons take a while to become the characters we grow to know and love. Starting with a concept, they go through changes until the show goes live for the first time. After an uproar from parent watch groups concerned with the violence of Saturday morning cartoons, the challenge was put out to create cartoons that were child friendly. One of the creations was Scooby-Doo, who was originally going to be a sheepdog named Too Much. The teenaged human characters were based on characters in the television comedy show, The Many Lives of Dobie Gillis. Scooby-Doo’s name was inspired by a line in the Frank Sinatra song, Strangers in the Night.

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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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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.

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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

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