I’ve long held the belief that “pet people” are a special breed. I don’t get on that well with people who don’t love animals, don’t want a pet, or have a pet but see it as “just a dog” or “just a cat.” To me, there is no such thing as “just a pet.” My animals are family. And my pets have always been there for me. They don’t place conditions on their love, and they don’t shun me when they think I haven’t lived up to their expectations.
My pets deserve my all…and they get it. I would do anything for my sweet, special furry feline friends. I know, too, that I am not the only one; not by a long shot. At least once a month, I come across a heartwarming story that perfectly illustrates the depths of a person’s love for their animal companion.
People do extraordinary things for their pets. Several years ago, I read about a man who floated in warm water with his 20 year old dog, every day for up to an hour, to ease the dog’s arthritic pain. The emotionally moving photo of him gently cradling his dog went viral; the love between dog and man was obvious. Read More »
This is not the best time of the year to be a cat. Whereas many humans and even some dogs love the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it can be a bit too much for a cat. Felines are fond of quiet and routine, two things that are typically lacking from late November to January. Mid-December is the most chaotic time of all. The house is filled with all sorts of unfamiliar decorations; people come and go, some stay for a few minutes while others might stay for hours or even days. Oh, and there’s a TREE…in the house! Say what? All the hubbub of the holidays can stress out even the most easygoing feline. Here are 5 tips to help keep your kitty as calm as possible.
Stick to the Schedule
The more you can keep things the same in your cat’s world, the less stressed they will be. It’s not always possible to maintain their regular routine during the holidays, but do the best you can. Feed them at the time they normally eat, and don’t forget to dole out the CANIDAE cat treats at bedtime or whenever you usually have “treat time.” If you normally give them a few minutes of attention (petting, playing, brushing etc.) right when you get home after work, try not to forego it even if you’re rushing around like mad to get things done.
If you are having people over for a holiday party or dinner, it’s best to shut your cat in a private space where she can feel safe. It may feel like you are locking them up in “kitty jail,” but trust me…they will have far less stress than being out and about when the house is filled with strangers. Put their food and water bowls in the room, as well as a litter box and a few toys, and they’ll be all set. They may even want to use this room as their “retreat” if all of the other holiday activity becomes too stressful. Read More »
As responsible pet owners, we want to make sure our dogs and cats are properly cared for. Sharing your home with pets means dealing with pet hair, odors and other pet related challenges. Fortunately, there are some tips that can make life easier for us.
Sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of litter boxes to help control odor. Generously sprinkle baking soda on carpets and furniture to remove odors. Work it in with a brush, let it sit overnight (if possible) then vacuum it up. It can be sprinkled on cats and dogs as a dry shampoo to freshen up their coat when bathing isn’t possible. Leave it on for 10 or 15 minutes, then rub the coat down with a towel and follow with a good brushing. Baking soda can be toxic if large amounts are ingested by a dog or cat, but small amounts are safe if your pet should lick some off his coat or feet.
Skunks don’t go looking for trouble and prefer to give us and our pets a wide berth whenever possible. Unfortunately, encounters happen and your pet may end up getting sprayed by an angry skunk. It isn’t life-threatening, but will cause a stinging sensation and can be extremely uncomfortable. Skunk spray can’t be rubbed off and is difficult to wash off. Tomato juice only masks the smell and won’t get rid of it, but there is an effective way to remove skunk smell on your dog or cat.
The putrid spray is a skunk’s primary defense and comes from large scent glands underneath the tail which contain just enough liquid for a few attacks. A skunk can accurately aim a high powered spray up to 12 feet, or release a mist for a predator to run through. It takes time for the glands to refill, so spraying is a last resort defense when skunks feel threatened.
The spray contains a sulfur compound called thiol, and humans and other animals are super sensitive to it. Skunk spray also has a chemical compound called thioacetate that slowly decomposes into thiol. This is why the spray hangs around for so long. We get the initial smell of thiol and then the lingering effect as the thioacetate breaks down. Skunk spray is hard to wash off because it’s oily and adheres to fur and clothing.
Our blog’s 6th anniversary (“blogiversary”) is coming up in one week, which naturally got me thinking about the principle of responsible pet ownership. CANIDAE chose that phrase as the name for this blog because it’s a perfect fit for the company philosophy. Responsible pet ownership is not only a fundamental value of the company founders, but every employee as well.
As such, I like to discuss it here once in awhile to serve as a gentle reminder of what the term means, what it entails and how we can all be the best, most responsible pet owners possible. We are, after all, the ones in charge of every aspect of our pet’s wellbeing. Their health and happiness is in our hands. This is always at the forefront of my mind; I want to make good decisions, because my cats’ lives depend on it…and on me.
Many people – myself included – think of their animal companions as family. We want the best for them, just as we do for the important humans in our lives. The difference is that the humans can do many things for themselves that will make a positive impact on their quality of life. Our four legged friends can only rely on us, which is why being a responsible pet owner is so important.
In a perfect world, that would mean no one would ever be allowed to adopt a pet unless they agreed to take care of it for life, not “until.” You know…until the baby comes, until they have to move, until the pet becomes too old or inconvenient. Sadly, our imperfect world is filled with people who abandon their animal companions for one reason or another.
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.
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.
When 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, firm, corporation or brand names, in this blog is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable. All opinions in this blog are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company.