Category Archives: treats

Why Do Dogs Chase Cats?


By Ruthie Bently

Asking why dogs chase cats is like asking the age old question “which came first, the chicken or the egg?” Basically, like many things dogs do, chasing cats is instinctual and they’re hard-wired to do it. However, you’ll find anomalies in every purebred and mixed breed dog; some will chase cats, some won’t. If you have a hunting, working or terrier breed or mix, there’s a good chance they will chase cats, because they have a stronger drive to do so. Most terriers and even some hounds were used as ratters not that many years ago. Dachshunds were used for hunting badgers and were sent into holes after the badgers to route them out.

The instinct that our domestic dogs inherited from their wolf ancestors is their prey drive. This drive was necessary in the wild so a wolf pack could survive. A mother wolf hunts to feed her pups, and the pack hunts for survival of the fittest pups in the pack, as they are the future of the pack’s longevity. The prey drive causes a lone wolf to hunt anything smaller than itself.

A dog’s prey drive is motivated by movement; it can also be motivated by smell. Racing Greyhounds are trained to chase a mechanical rabbit. Lure coursers chase a scented bait across a field. Herding dogs chase the flocks they protect, nipping at their heels to get them to move. This is all controlled at their base level by the prey drive instinct. If a dog grows up with cats, while they may chase when playing with their feline roommate, they are not as apt to actively chase cats all the time. They may also defend their joint territory against strange cats that intrude in your yard.

If you want your dog and cat to get along, the first step is introducing them. Admittedly it is easier if one or both of them are young, because they are less apt to have preconceptions of what the other species is capable of. If you’re bringing a new puppy home, a good way to introduce them is to crate your puppy and bring the cat into the room the crate is in. If your cat isn’t disturbed by the appearance of your dog, sit on the floor in front of the crate with the cat in your arms and introduce them.

If the cat is unwilling, scared or too wiggly, you can put them in their carrier and set the carrier door facing the crate door, several feet apart. You still want to be nearby watching the interaction and have treats and praise on hand for both your dog and cat. If your dog barks or the cat growls, admonish them but do not punish them; they are just reacting to a new situation. If they behave well, praise them and offer treats to both. By using this method, your dog and cat can get used to the sight of each other without being able to reach each other.

The next step is to let them interact in a room under your supervision. Make sure the room you choose has an escape route for your cat. Make sure your cat’s toenails are trimmed before the encounter, a friendly swat on the nose is one thing, but sharp claws may make your dog re-think the idea of being friends. Put a collar and leash on your dog and put them on a sit/stay in the room.

Have another family member bring the cat in and put them on the floor near the dog. If your dog is calm, praise them and offer them a treat for their good behavior. If your dog rushes the cat or tugs on the leash, tell them “no” and put them back on their sit/stay. Repeat both stages of training several times a day and for the first several months if needed. If your cat is an indoor/outdoor cat, provide sanctuaries both inside and out where they can be away from the dog, because even friends need a break at times. Make sure to feed your cat away from the dog’s reach. A dog eating their food may irritate the cat and make his acceptance of the dog harder.

You can train an adult dog that has not grown up with cats to respect them as another member of your melded pack. I know, because I’ve done it. By having patience, understanding why your dog chases cats, and using the same method of training consistently, you too can have your own peaceable kingdom at home.

Read more articles by Ruthie Bently

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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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Great Ways to Pamper Your Pet


By Julia Williams

My mother once informed me that my three cats were spoiled rotten. At first her comment irked me, but then I realized it was true. I also realized that there was absolutely nothing wrong with spoiling them! People who love their pets want to treat them in a way that makes the animal happy and enriches its life. Otherwise, what’s the point of having a pet? Besides, no amount of pampering could ever equal the amount of love and joy they add to my life.

Then too, what one person sees as pampering might seem like a necessity to another. In my frugal mother’s eyes, feeding my cats a premium food like FELIDAE® is a waste of money. However, I know that this high-quality, all natural food is worth every penny because it improves my cats’ health and extends their lives. So while she may think I “spoil” them with cat food that costs more than the cheap supermarket fare, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Besides feeding your dog or cat good food, there are countless other ways to pamper your pet. Here are just a few:

1. Give them your undivided attention by petting and grooming them, talking to them and hugging them. While some people insist that cats are too independent to want or need attention, I have to disagree. I’ve had many different feline companions over the years, and not one of them was aloof or indifferent to my doting ways. It’s true that every cat has a distinct personality, and some enjoy the attention more than others, but they all enjoy it nonetheless.

The best thing about pampering your pet with attention is that it’s free. Dogs and cats that are petted and loved on a daily basis will be happier and better behaved. A gentle brushing of their fur is something almost every pet loves. Once a week, you could give your pet a soothing body massage, too. Don’t laugh – massaging your pet increases circulation and makes their coat shine – and most dogs and cats really seem to love it!

2. Pamper your dog or cat with a nice cozy pet bed. Since they spend the better part of their day sleeping (or at the very least, relaxing in a half-awake state), providing them with a comfy bed is really not so much pampering as it is a necessity. An added bonus for you is that a bed of their own keeps the pet hair contained to one primary spot. A heated pet bed is great if you have an older, arthritic dog or cat. They’re safe to use, and the gentle heat will soothe their joints.

3. Dog sweaters and coats may seem silly and superfluous to some people, but many short-haired breeds do get chilly going outdoors in winter. For these dogs, a sweater or coat is not a fashion statement – it’s a practical way to keep them warm and dry.

4. Treats can be a great way to pamper your pet, provided you don’t overdo it. A fat pet is not a healthy pet, so give them treats only once in awhile, and make sure to factor the treat into their daily food allotment. Bits of plain cooked chicken or turkey, or freeze-dried liver, chicken and fish treats that have no additives or preservatives are the healthiest treats you can give your pet.

Homemade dog biscuits and cat treats are also healthy ways to pamper your pets, and they’re easy to make. I have two “pet recipe” books that I use, and there are some good recipes on the internet as well. If you’d rather buy your dog treats, try the SNAP-BISCUITS® made by CANIDAE®.

5. Toys are an inexpensive way to pamper your pet, and they can help them get some exercise, too. The nice thing about both dogs and cats is that they’re pretty easy to please when it comes to toys. In general, anything that keeps them safely amused instead of looking around for trouble, is a good toy to get.

The main thing to keep in mind is that pampering your pet should be all about what your pet likes, rather than what you want. And you don’t need to be able to speak “dog” or “cat” to tell the difference! Pamper your pooch or spoil your kitty with the things that make them happy, and you’ll be rewarded with a lifetime of unconditional love and joy. In my eyes, that’s a pretty darn good trade.

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.