Category Archives: pets

Cheers to a Brand New Year!




“An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves” ~ Bill Vaughan





Happy New Year everyone!!

From all of us here at the CANIDAE RPO Blog, to all of you, your family and your furry friends, we wish you the very best today, and every day.

May 2013 be filled with an abundance of love and laughter, happy wagging tails, precocious kitty headbonks, and silly pet antics that make you smile.

Photos, top to bottom:
HackBitz
Crismatos
Faith Goble

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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Will My Pet Remember Me Forever?

By Julia Williams

Anyone who’s forged a deep bond with a pet has likely asked themselves that question or a similar one. We want to believe that the bond we share is so unbreakable, so life changing not just for us, but for our pets, too. We want to think that if we were ever separated, no amount of passing time could dim our pet’s memory of us. We want it to be true for them, as it certainly is for us.

We never forget our pets; no matter how many months or years go by, the love we shared is always fresh in our minds. We smile remembering all the things they did that made us laugh. Our hearts swell thinking of the endearing way they curled up to sleep in their favorite spot, or gave us that quick little lick on the tip of our nose. We could never forget the happiness they brought with them when they came into our home.

The saying “pets leave paw prints on our hearts” is oh so true, and those paw prints are forever. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it could be the same for our pets? That the gentle hands that gave them loving pats every day could imprint on their heart till the end of time, and the voice that soothed was remembered forever?

We know our pets have the mental capacity to remember us for short periods of time. There’s plenty of evidence of that – one only has to search YouTube to find hundreds of examples. Perhaps you saw the heartwarming video that went viral, of the pup running out to greet her “Daddy,” a soldier who had just returned home from Afghanistan. That dog’s excitement and joy is palpable; clearly, this pup did not forget the one they loved.

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Why Do People Want Pets?

My childhood cat, Pepper

By Julia Williams

There are so many different reasons why people want pets. Like stars in the clear night sky, you can’t count them all, can’t even begin to try. Though many reasons seem to be the same on the surface, when you delve deeper into the “why” you begin to see a million shades of gray. Why do people like any one thing and not another? Why do I, for example, love caramel and the color pink but detest sauerkraut and khaki green? Because I’m me, a wholly unique human that brings a cornucopia of life experiences with me wherever I go. The things that have been written on the slate of our soul can’t be erased, and they change the fabric of our life in ways we can’t always comprehend.

I often wonder why my sister and I developed an intense love of cats despite being raised by a mom who was apathetic about all animals. This love of cats, of wanting to have one so much that to live without would be unthinkable and not worth the trouble it would take to breathe, is certainly not hereditary. In retrospect, I think I now want – no, need – cats in my life because at a very young age one saved my life. Not literally, as though he raced in and dragged me out of a burning building. That would be quite a feat for ANY cat!

No, my childhood cat Pepper was not capable of such a thing. But he was there to pick up the pieces of a young life shattered by unspeakable tragedy. He was there to convince me that despite the horrors of reality, I could still dream. He was there to keep me tethered to life even when everything around me was turning to dust. Little by little, day by day, Pepper helped me climb out of the rubble that had become my life. I’m convinced that my beloved Pepper’s “job” was one of healer, and he was very good at it. He, as well as every wonderful cat in my life since, helped to heal my wounds in a way that no human doctor ever could.

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Responsible Pet Ownership: The Year in Review


By Julia Williams

Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of this CANIDAE-sponsored pet blog. I didn’t begin writing for the blog until April, so I’m not sure if the starting date of February 14th was intentional, but it seems fitting. Why? Well, most of us associate Valentine’s Day with love. CANIDAE All Natural Pet Foods was founded out of love for pets, and they created this blog as a way to aid those who love their pets! Further, they chose to call it Responsible Pet Ownership because those three words perfectly personify the company philosophy, and are the heart and soul of CANIDAE.

The purpose of this blog is, and has always been, to provide helpful tips and advice for caring pet owners, be they dog lovers, cat fans or “pet people” who refuse to choose their favorite animal. We strive to offer a diverse mix of educational, inspiring and entertaining articles on all aspects of pet ownership and care. Although the old adage “you can’t please all of the people all of the time” may be true, we do try our best to offer something for everyone. We want our readers to keep reading, after all, because that’s why we do what we do. Without you, this blog would have no meaning.

The writers who contribute to the Responsible Pet Ownership blog may come from all walks of life, but we have two things in common: a deep love for pets and a commitment to responsible pet ownership. Another thing we share is the desire to enrich people’s lives with our words. As a writer, I can tell you that nothing moves me more than knowing someone got “something” from my words – whether it was information on how to care for their pet, a laugh or a smile, or just a few minutes of reading pleasure in an otherwise harried day.

I’ve been a longtime fan of the CANIDAE brand. Well, FELIDAE actually, which is their cat food label. My three cats have eaten FELIDAE exclusively for about five years, and I am positive that I’m giving them top-notch food. But being part of the blog team has enabled me to see what a great and giving company CANIDAE is too. In addition to promoting responsible pet ownership through proper nutrition and care, CANIDAE also supports many worthwhile pet-related organizations and “pets in need.” This includes scholarship programs for veterinary students, donating their premium-quality pet food to wonderful charities such as The Pongo Fund Pet Food Bank, holding charity raffles to raise money for canine cancer research, and so much more.

On this one-year anniversary of the Responsible Pet Ownership blog, we’d like to express our appreciation of you, our valued readers. If you’ve been reading this blog from the start, thank you! And for those who may be new to the blog, we encourage you to poke around our archives and discover what you may have missed. Moreover, we welcome your comments, so let us know if there are subjects you wish to read about, and feel free to suggest ideas for how we can make this blog better.

I am honored to be a part of the Responsible Pet Ownership blog team, and look forward to sharing my words with you in the future.

Read more articles by Julia Williams

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.

Pets Can Teach Children Valuable Life Skills


By Julia Williams

Bringing a pet into your home – and your heart – offers so many benefits. Laughter, love and joy are three wonderful things I have an abundance of, thanks in large part to my three cats. Pets provide companionship to the lonely, and they can be great teachers for children too. Encouraging children to take an active role in caring for a pet helps them learn important life skills and lessons, while also learning about responsible pet ownership. Here are eight essential skills the family pet can teach your children.

Responsibility

Giving children age-appropriate chores related to feeding, grooming, and cleaning up after the family pet helps them understand what it means to be responsible, dependable and conscientious. Taking care of a pet teaches children the importance of being reliable, since the pet is counting on them to provide what they need. At the same time, tasks like bathing, brushing and grooming can deepen the bond between pet and child.

Patience and Consistency

House-breaking a puppy or a kitten can teach children to be patient, because young animals do not learn everything they need to know overnight. Some pets are slower to learn than others and thus require more time and effort, but consistent methods are a vital element of training success. Having your child help with the pet’s house-breaking and other training helps them learn that patience and consistency will pay off in the end.

Goal Setting and Perseverance

Children can learn about the process of goal setting and achievements by being involved in training a pet, be it for house-breaking, performing tricks or obedience training. When they put in the persistent effort these things require, they’re not only rewarded with a well trained pet, but an increased sense of pride and self worth at what they have accomplished.

Leadership

As pack animals, dogs do best in a household where there is a pack hierarchy and an established leader. Although that person should ideally be an adult, you and your dog can teach your child what it means to be a good leader, one who your dog willingly and happily follows.

Communication

Having a pet in the family opens the door to a wide variety of emotions that are very important for children to discover and articulate. Pets can help children learn to express feelings of love, compassion, caring and concern. And experiencing the sadness involved in saying goodbye when a pet passes away, helps children learn to deal with loss.

Kindness

Although kindness is not exactly what I would call a “life skill,” I’m including it because, of all the things pets can teach children, I think it might be the most important. Children who are taught to be kind to animals grow up to become compassionate adults who treat both humans and animals with kindness and respect throughout their lifetime. That, in my opinion, is a priceless lesson to learn.

So you see, pets can teach children a great many skills that will help them grow up to become well-adjusted members of our society. When you add in the pure delight pets can bring to a child, it seems unthinkable to let them grow up in a house without one.

Read more articles by Julia Williams

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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.

How to Get Rid of Ear Mites


By Linda Cole

Ear mites are microscopic, white crab-like critters that invade a cat or dog’s ear canal. Their diet consists of ear wax and debris in your pet’s ears. You can see ear mites with the naked eye, but you have to look closely. Where do ear mites come from, and how do you get rid of them?

Ear mites are highly contagious and can easily infect other pets in a home. More common in cats than dogs, this parasite lives inside the ear, but it can also live on other parts of the body of an infected pet. Outside cats who have contact with other cats and animals have a greater risk of being infected with ear mites, but inside cats are also at risk. The cat is a perfect host and will pass the mites on to other pets in the home.

Humans can also become a host and transmit the mites if we touch an infected animal and then touch our pets. A dog’s scratchy ears are usually from another source of infection, since they are rarely infected with ear mites. Some pets will scratch infected ears until they bleed. Skin diseases can also develop from untreated ear mite infections.

It’s important to know what an infestation of ear mites looks like in your pet’s ear because too many times a pet is treated for ear mites when the actual problem is a yeast or bacterial infection.

Symptoms to watch for include:

Head shaking or scratching around the ears
Inflammation of the ear
Sores located around the pet’s ears caused by scratching
Debris in their ears that resembles coffee grounds
An unpleasant odor

An ear mite infestation can stimulate ear wax production in the infected cat or dog. So you could see a dark waxy discharge coming from your pet’s ear. Left untreated, ear mites can cause permanent hearing loss, so it’s important to have your vet examine your pet to find the exact cause of their head shaking and scratching if you notice any symptoms. If you suspect or just want to check to see if your pet has ear mites, scratch the base of his ears which would be in the area of the ear canal. If he responds by immediately scratching his ear, that’s a sign that the tiny parasites are most likely present.

Your vet can detect ear mites quickly by looking inside the cat or dog’s ear with an instrument (an otoscope). They can also be seen under any magnifying glass or with the naked eye by closely examining debris pulled out of your pet’s ear on a Q-tip. If any of the parasites are found in one pet, all other pets in the home will also need to be treated to prevent re-infecting the one you just treated.

Treatments to kill ear mites work well, but it can take several tries if the first treatment doesn’t take into account the life cycle of ear mites. They go from egg to larvae, 2 stages of nymphs and finally adult mites in about 21 days. Treatments need to go through the complete life cycle of the mites to successfully eliminate them. The good news is advances in ear mite medications have been successful in reducing the time needed to get rid of an infestation.

Tresaderm has been a favorite of vets for years and works well, but newer medications are showing good results in as little as 2 to 4 treatments. Invermectin is an anti-parasitic medication that’s injected into the pet. However, not all dogs can tolerate the medication. The injections are a good solution to use on pets who refuse to allow anyone to mess with their ears. Cat owners who have tried to clean out or put ear drops in their cat’s ears will appreciate the convenience of an injection. Two different topical flea medications have been approved for use in eliminating ear mites: Revolution® for both cats and dogs, and Advantage Multi® for cats only.

It’s possible for humans to be affected by ear mites, but not likely. Some people have reported skin rashes when their pet was infected with mites, but it is rare and most pet owners don’t need to worry about becoming infected.

It’s best to take your pet to the vet for a professional evaluation just in case your pet has something other than ear mites. Yeast or other bacterial infections will not be cleared up using ear mite medications, and you are only wasting your time and money treating the wrong infection.

Read more articles by Linda Cole

Find CANIDAE Retailers Near You!

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.