Category Archives: petsweekly

The History of Dog

The ancestry of the dog can be traced back as far as sixty million years. Beginning with the Miatis, the small weasel-like creature is thought to have demonstrated the first characteristics of the animal now recognized as Canis lupus familiaris, or “dog” to you and me. It is this creature that evolved into the earliest wolf.
Every dog we have was bred over centuries to create what we now know as breeds. And guess what? The new “designer breeds” are just more attempts at breeding the perfect mutt.
And yet, all are a result of… you guessed it – the wolf.
Even the most popular purebred is actually a crossbreed. A Yorkshire terrier was crossed with an Australian terrier to produce the Silky Terrier. The Bulldog was crossed with a Mastiff to get a Bullmastiff. The Doberman is a result of a German shepherd being crossed with a German Pinscher, and later crosses with the Greyhound, Weimeraner and Black and Tan Manchester terrier further refined the breed.
So when you think about spending thousands of dollars on a “purebred dog” or a “designer breed”, take a deep breath, cleanse your mind, and walk on over to your local shelter. Chances are good, they have the “designer” type you want and no breeding is necessary….

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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Mixed Up Mutts, Designer Dog Breeds

Recently, there’s been a lot of talk about designer breeds, dogs that are “designed” or “bred” to obtain a specific result. An example might be the “Labradoodle”, a supposedly hypo-allergenic dog. You can either go online and buy one for thousands of dollars or you can take a drive down to your local shelter and find one for less than $100. 
I’m a big fan of designer breeds. In fact, I have three in my office with me right now – Roscoe is a Beagledor (essentially a 60 lb beagle), Cheiss is a Chaussie (Australian shepherd and chow), and of course Tristan is a Wolote (a very rare, coyote/wolf/shepherd). 
The cool thing about designer breeds is you get to name them yourself! 
“Designer Breeds”
I watched some people in the park the other day. A woman was watching a beautiful dog chase and successfully catch every ball his owner threw. The dog dove into the lake like a champ, refused to chase the ducks, and was in all – a perfect canine gentleman. She approached the owner, asking what breed the dog was and where she could find one of her own.
The man proudly proclaimed, “Why, he’s an Aussiedor! A rare, very expensive breed. In fact, there are only two breeders in the US that I’m aware of.” He went on to pass along the contact information for his breeder and the woman left, anxious to begin her hunt. 
And yet, he’s simply describing a dog that is a mix between an Australian Shepherd and a Labrador. I was at the shelter yesterday where I saw three of them…. Each was adoptable that day for $85, yet she’ll likely pay a breeder over $1,000 if she doesn’t do her homework. 
What’s In A Name? 
They sound lovely and exotic. And expensive. Here are just a few examples: 
Ba-Shar (Basset Hound crossed with a Shar-pei)
Brusselranian (Brussels Griffon crossed with a Pomeranian),
Corillion (Papillon crossed with a Pembroke Welsh Corgi)
Imo-Inu (American Eskimo crossed with a Shiba Inu) 
Wee-Chon (Bichon Frise crossed with a Westie) 
What kind of designer dog do you have? Leave us a comment and tell us all about it!

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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.

Snake Aversion Therapy for Dogs

Spring is in the air and with this beautiful season follows the arrival of rattlesnakes. If you live in the US, you’ve probably had at least one experience with snakes, and if you live in the Southwest, you’ve probably had a few. 
If you’re out hiking with your dog and stumble across a rattler, what is the best course of action? First off, you should have your dog on a leash at all times – even while on a trailhead. This will help, but oftentimes, it won’t be enough. Snakes have a tendency to lie across the trail or out in the open where they can absorb the heat from the sun. They can be difficult to see if you’re not paying attention, so try to always pay attention. 
If you’re dog attacks or doesn’t see it in time, and is struck by the snake, try not to panic. Get out of there, and if possible, carry your dog out. Adrenaline will increase heart rate, which will increase the spread of poison. Chances are good that your dog was struck in the throat, and if that’s the case, you need to ensure he or she can breathe. The poison will cause intense swelling, which can close off your dog’s airway. Get him or her to the vet as soon as humanly possible. Do not stop and try to suck out the poison (it doesn’t work and can end up killing you). Just get to a vet. 
Of course, the best thing to do is teach your dog to avoid snakes altogether. This can be done through a series of snake aversion training by a certified trainer. 
There are many ways to train a dog to avoid snakes, but aversion therapy is one of the best I’ve seen. Yes, it uses static electricity collars. Yes, it’s difficult to watch. Yes, it will likely save your dog’s life in the long run. The good thing is that it only needs to be done once in most cases. It’s a lesson they’ll remember for the rest of their lives. 
A good trainer will teach dogs to avoid snakes using sight, sound and smell. Ensure that the trainer you use has a long line of references and positive feedback from previous clients. They will lead your dog through a “rattlesnake” course, using snakes that have been rescued from the backyards of terrified homeowners. The snakes should later be released into the wild – ensure you find a humane trainer who handles the snakes humanely. 
Depending on the dogs reaction, there are several events that can occur. These depend on the training methods used. Snake aversion therapy is one of the few training events I would ever use a collar for, because it’s that important for the dog to associate a strong reaction with seeing or hearing or smelling a snake. 
If you’re interested in taking your dog in for “snake aversion” therapy, check your local listings for a qualified, accomplished trainer who offers humane methods of training. Ensure that they treat the “volunteer snakes” well, and you’ll be in good shape. 
It might just save your dog’s life….
ASPCA Poison Control Hotline
1-888-426-4435
Note:  There is a $60 charge for this service.
The National Animal Poison Control Center (NAPPC)
1-800-548-2423
1-900-680-0000
Note: If you call the 1-900 number, the charge is $20.00 for the first five minutes, then $2.95/minute thereafter. If you use the 800 number, the charge is $30.00 per case.

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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.

What is Your Pet’s Normal Heart Rate and Temperature?

Have you ever called the veterinarian worried about your pet, only to have the good doctor ask you if your pet is running a fever? Or what if he or she has an elevated heart rate? More than likely, you didn’t have an answer to that question, or you reached down and felt your dog’s nose to see if it was “cold and wet” like all the books say it should be. Well, here is the opportunity to bone up on a little Pet Med 101. The following information will help you come up with the correct answers for your veterinarian, and help you make a better informed decision on whether your pet needs immediate medical assistance or whether you’re just overreacting.

The Averages Temperature Heart Rate
Dog (30 lbs or less) 100.5 – 102.5 100-160 bpm
Dog (30 lbs +) 100.5 – 102.5 100-160 bpm
Puppy 100.5 – 102.5 120-160 bpm
Cat 100.5 – 102.5 120-220 bpm

How to Check Your Pet’s Heart Rate
  1. Allow the animal to stand naturally, keeping pet calm by petting or talking to it. (A stressed animal’s heart rate will increase, creating a higher reading.)
  2. Place the stethoscope over the animal’s heart. If you have problems locating the heart rate, this is a simple way to find it:
    1. Ask the animal to lie on its right side.
    2. Gently bend the animals left front leg at the elbow, allowing it to touch their chest.
    3. The area where the elbow touches the chest is the place where you should place your hand or a stethoscope, as it is the best place to hear a strong heartbeat.
      1. Note: Make a mental note of this area and allow the animal to regain it’s feet and relax, as forcing it to lie down could create stress. Taking an animal’s heart rate while it is stressed will occur in an increased rate and a false reading.
  3. Count the beats that hear or feel for 15 seconds by watching a second hand on a clock or watch.
  4. Multiply the number of beats that you counted by 4.
  5. This is the BPM or Beats Per Minute.
  6. Using the chart above, you will be able to determine whether your pet’s heart rate is within normal range. If it is below or above the normal range, contact your veterinarian immediately for further instructions.

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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.

Agility Abilities

Have you ever thought that agility training might just be your dog’s thing? How do you tell if your dog has what it takes to succeed in agility competitions? The answer probably lies in your understanding of the dog. Those who are very athletic, eager to please and who have a wonderful relationship with you are the best candidates. 
History of Agility 
Agility training began in England not long ago and was fashioned after horse show jumping. After making its UK debut at Crufts in 1978, agility became the fastest growing dog sport. Not only is it popular among caretakers, its also very popular among spectators, the action is fast and it is always entertaining whether the dog does as the handler asks or not. It’s fun for everyone. 
Does My Dog Have What It Takes?
The only way to find out if your dog has got what it takes to do agility is to try it out. Find a good agility club in your area where experienced instructors can teach you what you need to know. This will help you avoid injury to your pup. You will want to learn new tricks in a controlled environment that facilitates good training practice on agility equipment that meets safety criteria.
Pursuing the Sport
Once you establish that you and your dog love the sport, it’s worth it to purchase an agility course, or join a club who has the equipment available. You can find some inexpensive equipment online at Amazon, Ebay or even Craigslist, but if you are purchasing used equipment through these sources, ensure that you use a light solution of bleach and water to thoroughly clean the equipment prior to use. 
Purchasing Agility Equipment
There are many different types of agility equipment available. If you’re just starting out in the sport, you will want to stay on the conservative side of purchases. A complete agility course can be very pricey, so wait and see if it’s something you and your dog really want to pursue. 
Once you’re convinced that this is the sport for you, go ahead and purchase the basic pieces of equipment. These include a bar jump, a tire jump and a tunnel. 
Agility can be a very entertaining sport that’s exactly what your dog needs to release excess energy. It can create a strong bond between both you and your dog, not to mention, it’s great exercise for both of you. 
Additional Resources: 

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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.

Do Pets Dream?

You’re quietly watching a scary movie late one night. It’s not too terribly scary because you have your faithful canine companion curled up on the sofa next to you, snoring contentedly. Suddenly, at the very spot in the movie that the “evil clown” attacks, your dog twitches and then falls off the couch. Popcorn flying, you’re convinced that the clown really is in the next room, but you’re too afraid to look because your pup is growling softly at, well, nothing….

If this has ever happened to you, I’m betting you know as well as I do that dogs dream. The fact is, this is true.
Dogs experience sleep patterns that are very similar to our own. The process begins when your dog walks around in a circle three times (we’ll get to that little phenomenon later), settles into a heap of fur, curls into a ball and tucks his nose under his tail.
So far, very similar to the way that we fall asleep. Of course, we probably don’t turn around three times, or tuck our noses under tails (I hope), but the rest of it fairly close.
Like us, our dogs will enter into rapid eye movement (REM) after a few minutes. This is known as the “active stage of sleep”. His eyes will roll under his closed lids (much as our own do when we enter REM), and he may bark or whine (just as my husband does). His legs will probably jerk a little, and all in all, the brain activity that would be seen if you were to hook him up to a monitor is similar to that seen during the dreaming sleep of humans.
In humans, there are five stages of sleep. The “Dreaming” stage occurs in the fifth stage, or REM stage of sleep. This is the most active state of sleep for pets and people, where kicking and running comes into play.
So, the short answer to this question is that yes, dogs do dream.
Incidentally, dogs spend between 10% and 12% of their lives sleeping. Unless you’re one of my dogs, then you’ll spend closer to 75-80% of your life asleep. And no, I never medicate my pets! They are just really, really tired….
And in case you need further proof of the dreaming capacity of dogs, take a gander at this “sleep walking dog” video. Then be very grateful that you don’t have to worry about this with your pet. If you do live with a dog like this, you might want to rethink watching those horror movies.

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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.