I am one excited doggie! It is September and for the American Kennel Club (AKC) this is Responsible Dog Ownership Month. My mommy is a responsible dog owner but even she can pick up some tips from the AKC Facebook page. They are posting what they call “Acts of RDO” each day. Here’s one of them: “I recognize that my dog’s welfare is totally dependent on me and I will never overlook my responsibilities for this living being.” I think that one sentence sums up being a responsible dog owner pretty well.
There’s also a really cool Responsible Dog Ownership petition that all of you loving dog moms and dads should check out and sign! What do you think you need to do to be a responsible dog owner? The basics such as food, water, vet care and a warm place to sleep are simple, but there’s a lot more to caring for one of us than just those things.
The first thing you must know about getting a dog is that it’s not a short term thing. It takes being committed to raising and caring for us throughout our lives. It’s not always convenient to have a dog. There are places we can’t go, and there are things that we need, so not only are you committing to having a companion for several years, you are also committing to the financial needs and the care of your dog for many years as well. I know my mommy sometimes wishes she could go out for the day without worrying about me being stuck at home. Sometimes she does have to leave me for the day and she makes sure that she leaves the television on for me, and that I have plenty of CANIDAE dog food and water. My mommy even puts paper down in the basement for me in case I have to potty before she gets home. All the little things she does let me know how much she loves me and cares for me.
If you’re a dog lover, there is an organization you simply must check out. I was astounded to realize that we don’t just have Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts organizations, there’s also a Dog Scouts of America (DSA). The Boy Scout and Girl Scout motto is: “Be Prepared!” The Dog Scouts of America’s motto is:
“Our dog’s lives are much shorter than ours – let’s help them enjoy their time with us as much as we can.”
Doesn’t that tell you something wonderful about this non-profit organization that is dedicated to enriching the lives of both dog lovers and dogs?
The founder of DSA, Lonnie Olson, believes that dogs were not meant to be “furniture” or accessories, and that they enjoy learning new things and spending time with their owners. Without a way to work out all the natural energy dogs have, they may get in trouble, be destructive and even develop health problems. The DSA is meant to bring people and their dogs closer together, to teach them to communicate with one another, and to challenge them to learn and do something new and different while working together to improve their communities.
CANIDAE loves the idea that the DSA promotes responsible pet ownership. Through their many publications including free articles, brochures, a manual and newsletter as well as their website, the main theme is being a responsible pet owner and community member. Dog lovers will find many community enrichment ideas, various sporting events and activities, and training information via the DSA.
Lonnie and the DSA want people to stop thinking of dogs as being disposable and recognize the innate intelligence, comfort, companionship and responsibility that are involved with owning a dog, or rather being owned BY a dog. The DSA holds yearly scouting camps where people and dogs come together to learn interactive skills and have a great time together.
I had a cat that was so insistent with begging that she would jump up on my right side and wrap her claws around my right arm. That was the hand holding the fork. She usually came from under the table in one of her stealthy cat attacks and before I knew it, my arm was locked in combat with her claws. She was so quick that sometimes she actually stole my fork on its way to my mouth! She did learn not to beg, but it took a few boxes of bandages before I finally won the battle. It is possible to teach your pet not to beg for food. After all, we’re the ones who taught them to beg in the first place, and it’s more a matter of us breaking our bad habit.
It’s hard to look into our pet’s pleading eyes and not give them a treat from our plate. Yes, I know they like it, but it’s not good for them and it can cause health problems that can turn into life threatening conditions. Cooked bones can splinter, causing mouth and stomach lacerations. Round bones can become caught on a tooth and any bone can get lodged between the teeth or in their throat, causing them to choke. Spicy and fatty foods can cause intestinal problems and hyperactivity. Accidental poisonings from pets’ consuming the wrong foods – like raisins, chocolate, candy and walnuts – go up during the holidays, when there’s more food around and more people to beg from. Not only that, table scraps add unnecessary pounds onto pets, and it’s just as important for them to maintain a healthy body weight as it is for us. A quality pet food like CANIDAE and FELIDAE is all our four-legged friends really need for optimum health.
Pet owners often engage in friendly – and sometimes not-so-friendly – discussions on whether cats make better pets than dogs, or vice versa. While there are quite a few pet owners who love both cats and dogs equally, others are adamant in their stance that one species is better than the other. Where we stand in the great ‘cat versus dog debate’ is often a result of which pet we had growing up, or a particular experience we had with one, either positive or negative. Sometimes a preference emerges for no apparent reason; it just is, and it’s how we’ve always felt.
Over the years I’ve been a pet mom to a dozen cats. I like dogs too but have only shared my home with one, so my experience with them is more limited. However, just because my BFF’s have always been cats doesn’t automatically mean I think cats make better pets than dogs. The relationships are different, not necessarily better. Nonetheless, for the sake of the debate I’ve come up with a few reasons why one might want a cat instead of a dog. Don’t think I’m bashing dogs though, because I’m really not. Rather, this is just my attempt at humor.
The Cleanliness Factor
Dogs need to be bathed regularly and even then, many breeds have a distinct ‘eau de dog’ shortly after getting squeaky clean. Cats win this category paws down because they are remarkably self cleaning. My cats wash themselves after every FELIDAE feeding frenzy, in between mealtimes, and pretty much every waking hour. Bathing a cat is rarely necessary, which is a good thing because it’s not exactly easy to do without getting shredded.
Dogs dig! Puppies dig, middle aged dogs dig, and even old dogs dig if they’ve never been taught not to. Some dogs dig even if they know better. Trying to stop your dog from digging up your yard may just end up being a test of wills.
There are a few tips and tricks you can use that may help your case, but in reality it’s hard to break centuries of nature. Dogs smell things constantly and will often dig for the item they smell. This comes in handy if your dog is an Avalanche Rescue Dog – like the CANIDAE-sponsored Scout, who works at Colorado’s Copper Mountain Ski Resort – but if his digging place is your flowerbed or the center of your lawn you may not appreciate it quite as much.
I have a digger. My dog digs up roots and usually eats them. She’s not a puppy and she hears the word “no” quite often when she is digging. After trying all the methods below I’ve finally given up. Instead of trying to change her and make her stop digging, these days I just make sure she has an area to call her own where she can dig without messing up my flowerbeds or the lawn.
If you adopt a dog from an animal shelter, chances are they will have been housed in an outdoor kennel. You might also find yourself providing a new home for a dog whose previous owners kept him outside. But you want your dog to be an integral part of the family, which means keeping him indoors where he can interact with you on a daily basis. So, how do you get a dog who is accustomed to being able to go potty wherever he wants and who is not used to furniture and house rules, transitioned into an indoor dog?
Hopefully your outdoor dog knows some basic commands such as sit, stay, no and down. These are basic training words that all dogs should know. Even if he hasn’t been trained, you can still work with him and turn him into an indoor dog. The key thing to remember is that your dog is not a human. No matter how smart he is, he can’t know what is and is not allowed until you teach him.
Begin by bringing the dog inside on a leash several times a day. This allows you to let him explore the place while you are in control. He can sniff and check things out while you walk him through the house. When he gets near things that you don’t want him to become overly friendly with, a quick tug on the leash and saying the word NO in a firm voice will help with the indoor training. This can be used to train him away from furniture, wiring, the kids’ toys and other things he might love to chew on and is unfamiliar with.
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.