Category Archives: TidNips

How to Make Your Cat Feel Special

Jet feels special!!

By Langley Cornwell

Our cat, Jet, got sick recently. This four-year-old guy is an iron-clad warrior; we’ve never seen him truly sick. Yes, we’ve rushed him to the veterinarian many times for what turned out to simply be hairballs, but this was different. We found him in a corner, hunched in a ball and foaming at the mouth. We scooped him up and rushed to the vet where they ran every test possible but couldn’t identify the cause.

Because he was heaving and miserable, the vet gave him a dose of fluids and anti-nausea medicine and then sent him home with us. Seeing our robust, fun-loving kitty uncomfortable broke our hearts. He already gets plenty of attention from me, my husband and our dog. He gets rub downs from us and full facials from the dog (she loves to lick his face and he encourages it). He enjoys laying on us when we watch TV and he sleeps with us in the bed. He has a special cat window perch in the front of the house. We talk to him and play with him a lot. In other words, he’s spoiled rotten. But, not knowing what else to do for him while he was sick, we wanted to make him feel extra special. Here are a few things we did:

Built a nest. When we got home from the vet, he hid under the bed. I know other cats that spend a lot of time under beds but this was the first time he had ever done that and it made me feel bad. So I got a large cardboard box with high sides (typical cat, he loves boxes), put a feather pillow in the bottom and put a wadded up soft blanket over the pillow. I put the box up on a chair in the quietest room in our house and waited. Within the hour Jet made his way out from under the bed and into his new nest. He loved it.  

Kept the cat warm. I prefer our home to be somewhat cool but knew our cat would be more comfortable in a warmer environment, so we set the house temperature to 74 to 75 degrees F during the day. There was no way I could sleep in an overly warm house, though, so I had to figure out what to do about the evenings. I researched those heated cat mats but decided against it and instead put a hot water bottle underneath the wadded up blanket in his cardboard box/nest in the evenings. He seemed to love it and rested comfortably.

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Introducing Your Pet and Your New Partner

By Linda Cole

When couples get to the point where it’s time to meet the parents, it can be a bit stressful if you don’t know how the folks will receive your new partner. That can be a piece of cake compared to the first meeting between your significant other and your pet!

Even with a dog or cat, that first impression is important and makes a big difference to both your pet and partner. From a pet’s point of view, there are polite and respectful greetings and rude ones. A pet can easily get freaked out if someone invades their space without asking for permission first. We don’t appreciate someone we just met moving too fast, and pets share that view. Take it slow so your pet and partner can start off on the right foot from the beginning.

Scent is one way dogs and cats explore and understand their world. Before you were serious about your partner, you were bringing their scent into your home. When you are getting ready for the first meeting between your dog and new mate, begin by introducing their smell into your home. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to bring home a T-shirt or small towel with their scent on it. Have your pet sniff the fabric and leave it lying around where they can find it. Reward your pet with their favorite CANIDAE treat and give praise. You want your pet to have an enjoyable association with the other person’s smell, and when he finally meets your boyfriend/girlfriend, he will recognize their scent in a positive way.

When your partner greets your dog for the first time, it’s best if you can do it somewhere outside the home. Meet at a quiet park, in the front yard of your home, or on a favorite hiking trail. Have your partner stand sideways and let your dog walk up and smell them. Don’t give him direct eye contact, don’t talk to him, and don’t force a meeting. Allow him space to approach the person when he’s ready. Stay relaxed and calm.

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How to Train a Cat to Do Tricks

By Julia Williams

“Train a cat? Ha ha! Very funny. That’s a joke, right?” No, it isn’t. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to train a cat to do tricks. You really can teach your cat to sit, shake, give you a high five, fetch on command and any other trick you want. But (and this is a BIG but)… it won’t be easy. Then again, if it was too easy the thrill of victory wouldn’t be half as sweet!

If you want to teach your cat to do tricks, you need a wealth of four things: patience, determination, time and cat treats. Anyone who is familiar with the independent nature of cats knows why training them requires lots of the first three things. Unlike our canine friends, cats really have no innate desire to please anyone except themselves. As for the cat treats, there’s simply no greater motivator for felines than food. Praise? Cats have no use for praise, and although most do enjoy a good brushing or petting, it’s just not enough to inspire them to do your bidding.

So before you begin to train a cat, it’s wise to stock up on some tasty cat treats. You really can’t go wrong with FELIDAE TidNips™. These soft cat treats are made with real chicken meat and supplemented with Vitamin E, an antioxidant, and Omega-3 fatty acids for a healthy skin and coat. More importantly, they are delicious! (No, I haven’t eaten any myself, but the reaction I get from my three cats at treat time is all I need to know).

If you let your cat “free feed” dry food, consider switching to two feedings a day and remove the 24-hour kibble buffet. Then you can try training your cat to do tricks before their scheduled meal time, which makes the food reward even more motivational.

Another important aspect of cat training is that you have to coax them to do what you want, such as “sit” or “shake.” When they do, say the command loudly and clearly, and immediately give them their food reward. You can also praise them lavishly and pet them, although as I said before, this is not nearly as effective as the cat treat.

If you don’t succeed after a few days (and you probably won’t), don’t get discouraged. Remember the old adage, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Simply keep trying. Trust me…training a cat to do tricks can be done!

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Why Do Cats Make Purrfect Pets?

By Rocky Williams

As a cat, I can’t think of anyone more qualified to extol the virtues of my kind. I do, after all, have firsthand knowledge of all the things that make me (and every kitty in the world!) the greatest pet anyone could ever want. Granted, some felines persist in making sure that old stereotype of the independent cat remains alive and well, which tarnishes their own “Purrfect Pet” medal just a bit. Even so, I still believe we win paws down when compared to other, shall we say, less purrfect pets. No need to get specific, I think you all know who I mean…woof!

Size Does Matter

One thing that makes us cats awesome pets is that we are small, which means that even if you live in a teeny tiny apartment, we’ll adapt. We don’t need a yard – we can get all the exercise we need just by shredding your couch! Throw in an ottoman and some catnip toys, and we’ll worship you for life. No wait, that’s what that “other” pet does. Cats worship only one … themselves.

Our small size also means we don’t need to eat mountains of food, which is easy on your budget and your back. You can even spring for the really good stuff – that would be FELIDAE cat food and TidNips treats, naturally– and you won’t keel over from sticker shock at the pet food store.

We’re Low Maintenance

Cats are lean, mean self cleaning machines. We take our bathing duties seriously, so don’t even think about taking over for us unless you want your arms to look like they just went through the wood chipper. Training a cat consists of showing us where you want us to sleep, so we’ll know to avoid that spot at all costs. Hey, leave your sweater on the bed and you’ll always be able to find us when you come home!

The Healing Power of Purr Therapy

The Warden says nothing gets her body back into balance quicker than a contented cat on her lap, purring away. Opinion aside, there have been actual research studies done which have shown that the health benefits of owning a purring pet are real and substantial. Supplement the purr with a little biscuit making (sans claws), and you’ll be healthier and happier than you ever could’ve imagined!

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Tips for Walking a Shy or Fearful Dog

By Langley Cornwell

Most of us have met or at least seen a shy, fearful dog at some point. Maybe a neighbor has one, perhaps you’ve seen one in a shelter, or you may be like me and share your life with one. You’ll know a dog is shy and fearful because he will look at you out of the corner of his eyes, never making full eye contact. He may act as if he wants to greet you, but stooping down to say hello elicits raised hackles and growls or barks. If he does allow you to get close enough to pat him, even if you take it slowly he will likely flinch and step out of range.

When we rescued our dog, she was painfully shy. She wouldn’t even stand up on 4 legs; she did the belly crawl with her head hung low. Still, she reached in and grabbed my heart. There were other, equally needy pups that needed a home at that time; well-mannered dogs that seemed happy even in the face of horrific conditions. I would have taken them all if possible but I had to pick one. I knew the little white dog that tried to be invisible would take a lot of work but I couldn’t imagine going home without her. And so the work began.

Our dog came to live with us when she was approximately 10-months old. Dog experts seem to agree that nervousness and fearfulness develops as young dogs mature, and that the problem often stems from improper socialization during their prime puppyhood socialization window.

Puppy Socialization Window

The American Kennel Club (AKC) website outlines critical periods in a puppy’s development, which they call “socialization windows.” Almost all of a puppy’s personality is shaped during his first year of life, and the first 12 weeks are the most important. The AKC website cites the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) when reporting that sociability outweighs fear in a puppy’s early stage, making this “the primary window of opportunity for puppies to adapt to new people, animals, and experiences.” It is during this time that a puppy first learns to enjoy the company of people, to act properly around other dogs, and to experience a range of circumstances and situations without fear.

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Pets and the Fourth of July

By Julia Williams

The 4th of July is such a fun holiday for humans, but it’s one of the most stressful days of the year for our dogs and cats. The loud noises and flashes of light from fireworks can be really frightening for them. According to Petfinder, more pets go missing on the 4th of July than any other day of the year.

Here are just a few tips to help keep your pet safe as you and your family celebrate the holiday.

* Don’t take your dog to the fireworks display. They’re noisy, crowded and can create anxiety and aggression in even the most normally easygoing canine.  

* Keep pets on their normal diet to avoid any stomach upsets. I know it’s hard to resist the adorable begging face of a dog drooling over your barbecue fare, but do it for their sake. If you want to give them a treat, some CANIDAE TidNips are a healthy choice that won’t spoil their dinner. Give your dog his treats with a loving pat on the head, and he may even forget all about that hot dog! Well, maybe not, but you won’t have to deal with the after effects of a sick dog.

* Make sure your pets stay indoors in a secure location, such as a spare bedroom. For pets that are extremely frightened of fireworks noise, playing some soothing music at a low volume might help to calm them.

* Keep windows and doors closed to prevent your pet from running away if they become frightened by the fireworks  

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