Category Archives: petsweekly

Can You Get Swine Flu From Your Dog or Cat?


By Stacy Mantle

There are a few things to worry about getting from your pets these days, but according to the CDC, Swine flu (H1N1) is not one of them. Dogs are susceptible to the “canine influenza virus” – a specific Type A influenza virus known as the H3N8 influenza virus. This is NOT something that humans can come down with as it is a species-specific virus.

Cats Flu is a name used to identify a group of viruses, which affect the upper respiratory tract in cats. Felines are known to obtain Upper Respiratory Infections (URI’s), which is most commonly caused by the Feline Herpes Virus-1 (FHV-1), or Feline Calicivirus (FCV).

Most diseases and viruses are “species-specific,” with only a few exceptions. Visit the CDC website to see a complete list of “diseases that people and pets can transmit.”

Dr. Michael Watts says it best, “The current ‘swine’ flu outbreak is not technically a “pig virus.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has determined that the new influenza A (H1N1) strain contains genetic material from four different viruses. One is a swine influenza commonly found in North America. The others are a human influenza virus, a North American avian influenza virus, and another pig influenza more typically found in Europe and Asia.”

Bird Flu
As far as the Bird Flu goes, the CDC has this to say on the subject, “Influenza A viruses are divided into subtypes based on two proteins on the surface of the virus: the hemagglutinin (H) and the neuraminidase (N). There are 16 different hemagglutinin subtypes and 9 different neuraminidase subtypes, all of which have been found among influenza A viruses in wild birds. Wild birds are the primary natural reservoir for all subtypes of influenza A viruses and are thought to be the source of influenza A viruses in all other animals. Most influenza viruses cause asymptomatic or mild infection in birds; however, the range of symptoms in birds varies greatly depending on the strain of virus. Infection with certain avian influenza A viruses (for example, some strains of H5 and H7 viruses) can cause widespread disease and death among some species of wild and especially domestic birds such as chickens and turkeys.”

No Reason to Worry
Bottom line is that with the current outbreak of H1N1, neither your dogs or cats can get it or be carriers of the virus. Now, this is not to say that you shouldn’t ever worry. Part of the panic with the H1N1 virus is that it appears to have the ability to mutate. It still could. It probably won’t, but really you’re far more likely to get hit by a meteorite than to pick up the H1N1 virus from your pet.

Read more articles by Stacy Mantle

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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.

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Adopting Older Dogs and Cats

Older dogs and cats are often overlooked as pets when you enter into a shelter. But, the truth is, they are often the best bet when it comes to adoptions! Enjoying the company of a dog costs nothing. You don’t have to pay each time you spend time with your dog, you don’t have to drive anywhere – it is wonderful pleasure right there in your own home.
Take a look at an older dog or cat on your next trip in. Then remember that they:
  • They are already house-trained. No more mopping floors five times a day or going through frustrating crate training. 
  • They are focused. You will have their full attention when it comes to training. 
  • They are easier to settle into a pack: Often the older dogs and cats are much calmer and have an inherent sense of pack. 
  • Your dog doesn’t care that you lost your job or your savings. He loves you no matter what.
  • Dogs and cats are relatively inexpensive to feed, you can bathe your dog with a hose in the backyard, and if you adopt a mutt, you may have fewer veterinary bills.
  • If you can’t afford to travel, the “I am gone too much” excuse is no longer valid.
  • Frisbees and balls are cheap, and if you videotape them, you might just win $10k on America’s Funniest Videos.
  • Petting a dog lowers blood pressure, thus saving on medical bills.
  • Your dog or cat doesn’t need a fancy vacation to be happy- she is satisfied with a walk in the park or lying on your lap as you read a book. 
Please consider adopting an older dog or cat – so many are being turned in to the shelter due to “cost” or “lost our home and had to move into an apartment”.
We especially need adopters for the older dogs who have been in a family environment for their whole lives and find themselves scared and confused in a kennel in the shelter. These old souls are the sweetest and the best! Seniors are by far my favorites.
For more reasons on why “Seniors Rock!”, visit www.srdogs.com.

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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.

A “Coat” of Many Colors…

Tabby, Calico, Gray – okay, well gray is kind of easy, but you get the idea. What kinds of colors are available for cats? And how do you know what you have? We have the answers for you.
Interesting Fact
Tri colored cats are almost always female. About 1 in 3000 are males, but they are almost always sterile. This is due to the genetic factors required to create the color pattern. It’s no reason to avoid neutering your cat though!
Solids
Typical “solids” are just that – one solid color. There are really four basic colors, but they can vary in shades. The colors are white, blue (which is really gray), black and “red” which is the official term for “orange”.
Tabbies
Tabbies are one of the oldest, and most common, patterns. They can become complex though.
  • Striped: Striped tabbies look similar to tigers, but are often called “Mackeral Tabbies”.
  • Classic: These cats have a round color pattern, similar to a target. They are one of the most common patterns.
  • Spotted: These cats have spots that resemble a cheetah, but are more commonly found in breeds like the Ocicat and American Bobtail.
Bi-Colors
  • Tuxedo: These are the kitties with glossy black coats and white socks or white bib.
  • Other Bi-colors: There are other bi-colored cats that may include gray and white or red and white, or even brown and white colors.
  • Points:
  • “Points” are darker shades at the ears, tail, and/or feet of a cat. The Siamese is known for this type of marking. A white cat with brown “points” is known as a sealpoint.
Tri-Colors
  • Calico: These cats have separate solid color blocks. They may be “diluted” which results in a very angelic looking kitty or could be in blocks similar to a tabby, which creates a very colorful cat.
  • Tortoiseshell (aka Torties): These tri-colored cats have several shades of color that are all blended together in an intricate, muted pattern.

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.

Earth Day is April 22, 2009

Earth Day is upon us and CANIDAE All Natural Pet Foods is committed not only to pets, but to our environment as well. So, what’s all the ruckus about? Well, to keep it simple – Earth Day was designed to bring awareness of our world into our living room. The protection of our animals, as well as our pets, comes down to our commitment in saving our environment.
 
Did You Know?
  • The patron Saint of ecologists is St. Francis, who also happens to be the patron saint of animals.
  • Earth Day is celebrated in more than 175 countries.
  • After Christmas and Halloween, Earth Day is the largest celebrated holiday in schools.
  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to watch TV for three hours –the equivalent of a half gallon of gasoline.
  • More than 20 million Hershey’s Kisses are wrapped each day – 133 square miles of tinfoil. All that foil is recyclable.
  • The Peace Bell, made from coins donated by school-children to further peace on our planet, is rang every Earth Day at the United Nations.
  • More than 100 billion plastic bags are thrown away each year in the U.S., the equivalent of dumping 12 million barrels of oil. More than 1 million birds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die each year from them.
  • If all U.S. households installed water-efficient appliances, we would save more than 3 trillion gallons of water and more than $18 billion per year.
  • Plastic doesn’t biodegrade so it can persist for centuries. All the plastic that has ever been made on earth is still around and will exist long after we’re gone.
  • In 2007, 56 percent of the paper consumed in the U.S. was recovered for recycling — an all-time high. That’s nearly 360 pounds of paper for each man, woman, and child.
Find out where the nearest Earth Day celebration is to you and learn what you can do to help the environment that we all count on!  Visit the Earth Day website today.

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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.

Spring Flowers and Sick Animals

Spring is in the air and for many of us – it’s planting season. What type of flower garden is the best for you and your pets? 
Many flowers are toxic to our favorite felines and canines, and it is important to be informed on which plants to avoid when you have pets. 
Spring Flowers
During this time of the year, you really want to avoid common Easter plants such as lilies, chrysanthemums, crocus and tulips. These plants can cause severe abdominal pain, excessive drooling, and even death. Crocus and amaryllis are two more to avoid this year.
You’ll want to avoid Castor bean plants, which produce a toxin known as Ricin and can be life-threatening. Kalanchoe is another no-no around pets, and those beautiful Oleander trees are toxic as well. Oleander can even cause heart problems, hypothermia and death. The Sago Palm, one of my personal favorites, is also toxic to dogs and cats, causing liver failure, depression and seizures.
Indoors or Out!
Azaleas or flowers of the Rhododendron family contain grayantoxins, which can produce vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, weakness and depression of the central nervous system, so stay away from those. Cyclamen has a similar effect. Schefflera, Pothos and Brassaia actinophylla are toxic as well, so stay away from those too.
What can you grow safely around pets? 
Stay tuned for the next update and we’ll share the ten best plants for pets and families.

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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.

Planting Pet Friendly Gardens

Gardening with Pets
You might think it’s not possible to have dogs and cats, as well as a garden, whether that garden is indoors or out. But, you can have the best of both worlds if you are willing to follow some simple rules. 
Safety First: Be very cautious about soil and fertilizer. Many organic fertilizers are made out of bone meal, blood meal or fish emulsion, which can smell like dinner to a curious dog or cat. 
Minimize Mulch: If you have a dog, avoid cocoa bean mulch in the garden or keep your dog in areas of the yard where you don’t use this mulch. Safer alternatives include bark, grass clippings and fall leaves. 
Location, Location, Location: Plan your garden. Your goal is to keep pets out, keep plants in. This can be done by simply planning the layout of your garden. Plant hearty, thick perennials along the outer border so if Fido oversteps his boundaries, he’s not doing any damage. The more delicate plants should be in the center of the garden. 
Keep Kitty At Bay: Cats go wild for catnip (Nepeta catoria), which is a member of the Mint family. Catmint (Nepeta faassenii and related species) is another favorite. Fortunately, both are tough plants that seem able to withstand feline attention, so keep them in a separate area away from your garden, or on the outskirts of the garden. On that same note, avoid having any bare areas of soil around the garden. While it may look nice to humans, it is simply too tempting as a litter box to the stray passerby. 
When In Doubt, Fence It: Occasionally, it’s just easier to fence the area off. If you have a very determined feline or very nosy pup, it’s best to just fence the area off.
Following these simple rules will help alleviate your frustration, keep your pets safe, and if you’re lucky – discourage other pets from entering. If you continue to have problems, we’ll be addressing that in an upcoming issue of Responsible Pet Ownership.

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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.