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10 Cats Awkwardly Standing Up Like HumansSeptember 22, 2017
Pet parents always find it amusing when their dog or cat takes on human characteristics. Like the pup that steals your pillow and isn’t even sorry about it, and the cat that slaps your face to remind you it’s time to eat dinner. It will never stop being funny to find your dog sitting like a person in your recliner, or to see your cats spooning in bed. As much as we treat our pets like humans – they’re still pets. Which is why it’s downright hysterical to catch your cat standing up like a little fluffy person on two legs.
Cats are quadripeds, which means they’re designed to get around on all four limbs. But some cats don’t like to follow the laws of nature, and they prefer to stand up or walk around like humans. For an animal that is usually so poised and graceful, it’s startling to see a cat pop onto its hind legs; its front paws dangling at its belly. We’re not sure why cants stand up like humans, but we’re really glad they do. Here are 10 hilarious photos to show you just how awkward it can be:
“Are these for me? You shouldn’t have!”
“Salmon for dinner, again?! You can’t be serious.”
“Play with me please?”
“I am sooooo close to finding out what’s on this table!”
“So. Many. Birds.”
“Now if I could only reach that latch…”
“What’s that you’ve got there? TREATS?!”
“Phewy! Take it easy on the wet food, dude!”
“One of these days I’m going to catch that bird…”
Cats do a lot of things that leave us scratching our heads. It’s certainly weird for felines to prefer standing up like humans, but it’s not uncommon. Based on the photos above, a lot of pet parents find it as amusing as we do! For an explanation behind more of your cat’s odd antics, check out our article on, “6 Strange Cat Behaviors Explained.”
If You Could Ask Your Cat Just One Question…
By Julia Williams
One of the issues we face as cat owners is not being able to converse with them in our language. Oh sure, we talk to our cats all the time and they listen intently, and sometimes they may even understand a few words here and there. The conversations with my cats are much too one sided for my liking, though. Sometimes it would just be nice to know what my cats are thinking, but they can’t tell me, at least not in a way that I can understand. When I can see they don’t feel well, I would like to be able to ask them what’s wrong and where they hurt.
Other times, being able to ask my cats something and get an answer would just come in handy or satisfy a curiosity. I would dearly love to ask Rocky, who misbehaves at least half a dozen times a day, “Why are you so darn naughty?” I’d ask Annabelle, “Do you mind that I kiss you all the time? It’s not too much, is it?” And to both of them, “WHY must you always barf on the carpet and never the linoleum?”
Unsurprisingly, I’m not the only person who would love to know what their feline friend is thinking. I asked my Facebook pals what burning question they’d ask their cat, and wanted to share them with you.
Many of the questions were about a certain behavior, which makes purrfect sense to me since cats are always doing things that we humans don’t understand. (In fact, I once wrote an entire article about that: The Bizarre Behaviors of Cats). Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to figure out something our kitty does that we find perplexing!
Zillah: “When you stop eating a certain kind of food, is that forever, or are we just taking a break?”
Angie: “Why must you dip your paw in the cat water and drink it off of there?”
Linda: “Why do you continue to eat grass if it always makes you throw up?”
Mary: “What is so interesting up my nose that you have to stick your entire nose in my nostrils?”
Jessica: “Why won’t you sit on my lap?” (She’s only cuddly in the bedroom in total darkness).
Heidi: “Why do you always win our staring contests?”
Lori: “Why do you pee on my bed?”
Marilyn: “Why do you have to knead me with your claws? It hurts!”
Sierra: “Why do you think plastic makes a good snack?”
Karen: I would ask Starla what would help her to use the litter box instead of the kitchen floor. I would ask Dare why she runs up to the others and swats them in the face sometimes.
Jennifer: For Blackie: “Why do you chase Myst and seem a little scared of Amber?” For Myst: “Do you remember your Mama cat bringing you to me?” (I got her as a little kitten when her feral Mama who I was feeding showed me her babies). For Amber: “Do you know why some food makes your tummy hurt?”
Another common theme was happiness. This also makes sense, because we adore our cats and want nothing more than to give them what they need to be content. We like to think we know what makes them happy, but it’s also possible that we don’t. What if we did things that made our cat unhappy, but we didn’t have a clue? It sure would be nice to know, right? And if there was something that they just really, really wanted from us, we’d want to know that too!
June: “Am I giving you everything you need to be happy? If not, what do you need?”
Sierra: “How can I tell when you’re in pain?” (She has pain from a leg injury)
Lynne: “Has your life with me been a happy one?” (He’s 12, been with me since he was 6 weeks old.)
Stacy: “What is your favorite treat?”(catnip, belleh rubs, sunpuddles, etc.)
Corinne: “What can I do to make your life better?”
Lisa: “Am I doing a good job keeping you happy?”
Carly: My cat has kidney disease, so I would ask her “What can I do to help you feel better?”
Jackie: “Do you forgive me for stepping on your tail that one time?”
There were also quite a few questions about love. It’s a bit surprising to me, because if I only got one question, I wouldn’t ask my cats if they loved me or if they knew how much I loved them. I’m certain that I already know the answer to both of those questions. I show them daily how much they mean to me, and their actions tell me that they know and that they feel the same way about me.
Anthony: Our local shelter, where our cats are from, asked a similar one in a discussion post: “If your cat could understand what you are saying for one question, what would you ask?” Many people had my same response: “Do you know how much I love you?”
Heather: My cat is getting on in years, so I would ask “You know I am going to miss you so much, right?”
Barb: “Do you love me?”
Amanda: “What do you see when you randomly stare off at a dark corner or a blank wall and then run like a maniac to another part of the house?” It’s both funny and creepy!
Renee: “Do you think we are weird for stealing your poop and putting it in bags?”
Vicky: “Are cats really from outer space?”
Sara: “When you pat my arm or my face to get my attention, would it kill you to pull your claws in?”
Tina: “Are you really a dog stuck in a cat’s body?”
People who have rescued a cat would love to know the animal’s backstory, i.e., where the cat was born and what happened to him before they adopted him. It’s not likely that a cat could tell us much about their history, but if they could, it would be really nice to know.
Diane: “Where did you grow up as a kitten before we got you?”
Arlene: “Who is your Daddy?”
Now it’s your turn! If you could ask your cat one question, what would you most want to know?
Read more articles by Julia Williams
Is My Dog Sick if His Nose is Dry?September 21, 2017
Have you ever heard that a wet nose is a sign of a healthy dog? Many thoughts about dogs and dog care have been handed down for generations, and although Grandma’s lotions and potions may work to cure some conditions, pet owners must realize that science has evolved greatly from the “olden days” when people used a dog’s nose to determine its condition. Veterinarians today will tell you a dry nose will occasionally indicate illness in a dog, but most of the time it’s nothing to worry about.
We have been taught to learn what’s “normal” for our pets. Changes in behavior, energy, or eating habits can be the first signs of illness, so people can become alarmed if they notice that their dog’s nose is very dry, very wet, or if the nose is hot or cold. Anything “different” can cause concern. Pet owners should learn a few facts about canine noses to help them recognizes cause for concern, or to be comfortable when unusual conditions are spotted regarding the nose.
Reasons for a dry nose
Dogs’ noses get wet and dry throughout the day, and most causes are nothing to worry about. Dogs perspire through their noses, so wetness will vary. A dry nose may mean your dog hasn’t been hydrating enough, so make sure he or she has a constant supply of clean water.
If your dog lies near a heater, or if the temperature rises, your dog’s nose may temporarily dry. Dogs who lie in the sun for long periods may get dry noses, and sunburn can occur (especially in dogs with pink pigmented nose leather). However, sunshine is very beneficial for dogs; just keep an eye on their noses. Use a good sunblock on your dog’s nose before sending him or her out in the sun during all seasons.
Did you know that dogs’ noses dry out during sleep or if they become dehydrated during the day or night? When dogs are awake they constantly lick their noses. When they are asleep, the flow of moisture stops for long periods and the nose can dry out. But, within a few minutes of waking the nose returns to normal. Seasonal changes to a dog’s environment can also dry out membranes—forced heat in the winter or high temperatures in the summer. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just order a week of spring or fall temperatures?
Mild irritations can cause the nose to dry, as can inhalant allergies. Plastic food or water bowls—and even some pet toys—can be irritating and cause dryness or rashes. Check with your veterinarian if you suspect allergies, or treat mild inflammation as you would treat your own chapped lips or dry nose. A little olive oil or coconut oil applied to the dog’s nose may help to keep it from further drying or cracking.
Always to the vet
If your dog has a chronic problem with allergies, or if the nose leather is cracked or scabbed, see your veterinarian. In rare cases the veterinarian can attribute the cause of a dry nose to a serious condition, such as kidney disease. But for most situations, “Is my dog sick if his nose is dry?” – well, no.
While a dry nose may not be an accurate indicator of your dog’s health, there are some other signs to look for that might point to illness. For more information, read our article “5 Signs That Your Dog May Be Sick.”
6 Tips to Get Your Dog Used to Being Groomed
By Laurie Darroch
Although regular grooming is necessary to keep your dog healthy, not all dogs enjoy being groomed. Some dogs have never even had exposure to grooming. Whether you adopt a puppy or an older dog, you may have to help her get used to the procedures and the routine of being groomed. Here are some tips to help with that.
Attitude is Everything
If you’ve ever watched a child getting his first haircut, fussing because it feels weird and he’s wary of the strange tools and weird noises, you can get an idea of what a dog must feel like when first exposed to some aspects of grooming. Patience and staying calm are key tools for helping your dog get used to grooming. You will also want to keep the upper hand when teaching your dog to accept grooming. If your dog respects the fact that you are the one in control, she is less likely to resist.
All dogs respond to positive rewards, whether it’s a favorite CANIDAE dog treat or verbal praise from you, or simply a pat on the back and some loving attention. This can help during grooming procedures as well. For the more hesitant or downright resistant dog, you may have to use all of them to get the job done.
Use the correct tools for each task. With the right tools, the job will be easier, cause less discomfort or possible injury to your dog, and make it all go quicker. You may find that one tool works better than another for you.
To prevent wasting money buying every grooming gadget available, do your research to find ones that work efficiently and are comfortable for your dog. Ask your vet, other dog owners or pet store employees for recommendations. Not every tool is appropriate for every dog, no matter how good it is. For instance, a long-haired dog or a dog with an extra thick double coat that mats easily may need a different brush or comb than another dog with a different type of coat.
For trimming your dog’s nails, some dogs will sit still better for nail clippers, and some like files or power files better. Finding the best tools that work for your individual dog can make all the difference in dealing with grooming, and with the final outcome of each grooming task.
Build Up to It
If you adopt a puppy, start the grooming at an early age. If your pup understands from the beginning that grooming will be part of her routine, it will be easier to deal with in the long run.
If your dog is very resistant to a particular grooming task, you may have to patiently work up to the full job at hand. For example, if your dog hates having her nails clipped or filed, you may have to start with simply holding her feet and placing the tools close by, then a step at a time toward doing the whole task. It could take more than just one sitting before your dog becomes comfortable with the procedure.
Be consistent from grooming session to grooming session. Reinforce the behavior that makes the process less stressful or uncomfortable for both of you. Your dog has to get used to the idea that she will need grooming from time to time.
If you really can’t get your dog to behave or sit still for any particular grooming task, don’t be afraid to admit that it’s beyond your abilities. There is no shame in going to your vet or a professional groomer to get the help you need for your dog. A professional will also be tuned into any issues such as matting or pests. They may have unique ways to handle a difficult dog, and will have more experience dealing with different types of dogs. They may also be willing to offer you tips to help you deal with some grooming tasks at home on your own.
With patience, persistence, repetition and a positive association by reward, your dog can learn to get used to the idea of being cleaned, brushed, combed, trimmed, and treated for occasional issues such as pests.
If you are fortunate, you may discover that your dog actually likes being groomed from the get go, or at least adapts to it quickly. Some dogs will never be huge fans of the process though, and others may do fine with one part and not another. Just remember to keep the experience as positive as possible. Anger and impatience are not good tools to help your dog relax and get used to grooming. Over time, even a resistant dog may start to enjoy being groomed, and come to love that special one-on-one time with you.
Read more articles by Laurie Darroch
These 10 Australian Shepherd Puppies are MajesticSeptember 20, 2017
The Australian Shepherd encompasses everything we love about dogs. Soft, cuddly, affectionate, kid-friendly, smart, adaptable, and energetic, these herding dogs are pretty much the perfect pets. While all puppies are cute, baby Australian Shepherds take the word “adorable” to an entirely new level.
Made of 90 percent fur, it’s impossible not to squeal with joy when an Australian Shepherd puppy pops up on your radar. Their fluffy coats are speckled with beautiful shades of black, white, tan, and gray. Petite and spritely, these impossibly cute dogs are always in a good mood, and you can usually find them smiling from ear to ear. Australian Shepherd puppies can have rich brown or striking light blue eyes, which only adds to their allure. There’s no doubt about it; Australian Shepherds are majestic. Here are 10 photos that prove it:
“Belly rub, please!”
“My left side is definitely my best side.”
And the award for “Cutest Mixed Breed We Didn’t Know Existed” goes to… the Corgi/Australian Shepherd!
“Tell me I’m cute again.”
“Tennis ball? Yes, I’m listening.”
“Nose to the ground, that’s how I roll.”
Dog or fluffy potato? We can’t decide.
“On Wednesdays, we wear blue.”
If you’re the proud pet parent of an Australian Shepherd puppy, you know this active breed needs a ton of exercise to be happy and healthy. It’s a good idea to offer your dog a variety of activities to channel excess energy and keep his or her mind stimulated. For ideas, check out our article, “Fun Activities for High Energy Dogs.”
Can Dogs Get the Flu?
By Langley Cornwell
Many people are not aware that canine influenza is a real thing, but it is; moreover, early detection is important when it comes to treating your dog. Like with many suspected illnesses, you have to be diligent in watching your pet for symptoms and get them to the vet as quickly as possible if you notice anything out of character. So what exactly is the canine flu, and what do you need to know about it?
Canine influenza comes in two types: H3N8, which was discovered in 2004, and H3N2, which was discovered in 2007 and has also been known to infect felines. So far, neither of these illnesses can be spread to humans, but there is a chance that the disease could mutate, so the CDC is carefully watching the situation as it develops.
H3N2 was first seen in South Korea, and was believed to be the product of an avian flu that mutated to dogs. Cases of this flu were generally confined to Asian countries until 2015, when it appeared in Chicago and the surrounding area, affecting more than 1,000 dogs.
H3N8 was suspected to have been an equine flu that was around for several decades before it mutated to include dogs.
Canine Influenza Symptoms
While your dog may not show all of these symptoms, you should look out for sneezing, coughing, runny nose, fever, loss of appetite and lethargy. If your pooch has any of these symptoms, it’s best to get him to the vet as soon as possible. If left untreated, a dog could possibly end up with pneumonia, which could very easily need hospitalization.
How It’s Transferred
Dogs can pick up the contagious respiratory disease by either being around infected dogs, or being in an area that’s contaminated. The germs are active for 24 hours after they have left the sick dog, so toys, clothes and other surfaces can easily become contaminated and then the illness is passed to other dogs.
Dogs that routinely spend time at daycare, are boarded at a facility, or regularly go to a dog park are obviously far more susceptible to catching the flu than a dog that only walks in his own neighborhood. Canines that perform in various dog shows are also susceptible to the illness due to the close confines of these events. Dogs that are at shelters or grooming salons are also more likely to be exposed to the canine flu germs from another dog.
Most dogs can recover from canine flu within a few days or sometimes weeks. If your dog has the illness, he will need to be quarantined for up to four weeks, since he will still be contagious even when symptoms have abated. Continue to feed him a healthy and easily digestible diet such as CANIDAE Grain Free PURE and provide him with plenty of clean water. Be sure to wash your dog’s toys, bowls and bedding on a regular basis to kill off the germs that might transfer to another dog.
You protect your dogs from many things when he gets his vaccinations, but at this time the canine flu vaccine is not routinely given. You can always check with your vet to see if the virus is active in your area, and get your dog vaccinated if need be. If you plan on traveling with your pet to an area where the virus is active, it’s best to either change your plans and leave your dog at home, or have him vaccinated. As with all vaccines, however, it may not entirely protect him from the germs if they have mutated.
If you have multiple dogs and one of them gets the canine flu, you should get the other dog(s) vaccinated right away and quarantine them all for the duration of the illness. Homes with cats should be very careful to keep the animals separated if at all possible, due to the ability of the illness to be passed to the feline family members.
While not every area has a problem with canine influenza, it seems to be on the increase. As such, it’s something that all dog and cat owners should be aware of. If you ever suspect that your dog has the illness, get him to a vet right away. Just like with humans, a little prevention goes a long way, so it’s smart to do your research on canine influenza and stay on top of it.
Read more articles by Langley Cornwell
5 Tips for Cat-Proofing Your CouchSeptember 19, 2017
A home should be your sanctuary, a place where you can relax and enjoy your surroundings. Your family and pets are a big part of your environment, but your belongings also contribute to the atmosphere. If your home includes furniture that can be damaged by your pets, it’s crucial to consider ways to keep it safe.
We know that cats and upholstered furniture can spell trouble. Your beautiful Persian may look glorious lounging on the chintz love seat, but his urge to claw on the cushions could ruin that perfect picture. Even the sweetest cats can quickly ruin furniture, seeing it as one big scratching post. Before you mix the two, plan for cat-proofing your couch, chairs, and footstools.
Why do cats scratch?
Scratching is a natural feline behavior, and understanding the reasons behind what causes a cat’s impulse to scratch will help you strategize how to stop it. Cats scratch for a variety of reasons. They want to claim territory and mark with scents. Scratching may also release tension, trim the nails, and provide entertainment. Some cats see sofas as giant toys, and your scent on these “toys” make them more attractive to your cats.
What to do?
1. Give your cat acceptable places to scratch. Provide an enticing scratching post or tree in an area of your house that has a lot of activity. Your cat won’t want to seek out a post that is hidden in a closet – Fluffy wants to be around you. Consider placing scratching posts in various areas of your home, such as in the living room, in the bedroom, and near your cat’s favorite sleeping spots.
2. You can experiment with various textures, such as the traditional carpet or corrugated cardboard, and test various placements and angles until you find what attracts your cat. In multi-cat households, you may need several scratching posts, as your cats may become territorial and possessive within your home.
3. It may be necessary to keep your cat out of the living room when you are not there—until you have trained him or her. If you see your cat posturing to scratch your sofa arms, gently but firmly redirect the cat to the scratching post. Reward the cat for using the appropriate item—leave CANIDAE® cat treats or catnip on the posts for an instant reward. Your voice can also help reinforce the good behavior, “What a good kitty…you’re the best, Frankie, nice kitty….” Understand that the rewards must be delivered at the time of the behavior. If you have to go get a treat and offer it after the correct scratching, the reward will be misunderstood.
4. Make the sofa unappealing. Cats don’t like citrus products; the scents are just too heavy. Use this information to protect your furniture. You can find citrus-based products at your pet supply store that can help in your efforts. Apply these to the sofa and upholstered chairs in your home in heavy amounts at first. You can also use fresh lemon juice or household cleaners and polishes with citrus, but test them on a hidden patch of the furniture before liberally spraying. You may also want to install cat pheromone plug-ins in rooms with a lot of prized furniture. This will help mellow the cats, which will inhibit scratching behaviors.
5. Other deterrents include apple cider vinegar and aluminum foil. Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water and apply with a spray bottle or dab on with a sponge. Aluminum foil placed on the arms, seats, backs and skirts of furniture can be a real turn off for cats, as can sticky substances (two sided tape strategically placed). Start by covering as much of the item as possible, and remove pieces every few days until the cat loses interest in the item.
Keep the claws
Although declawing is a tempting solution, it is considered inhumane by pet experts. The process involves removing the last bone in a cat’s toes, and many veterinarians refuse to perform this very painful procedure. Declawing traumatizes cats, can cause them to develop litter box problems (it hurts to dig), and takes away a cat’s ability to protect itself. Be sure to keep your cat’s nails trimmed, it’s really pretty easy, and consider placing covers on the nails during your training period. Your veterinarian can apply vinyl sheaths to your cat’s nails, which offer temporary protection to your furniture while you train your cat.
If you’re having trouble training your cat not to scratch your couch and other belongings, consider using a clicker along with your cat’s favorite treats to reinforce positive behavior. For more information, read our article on “Clicker Training Your Cat.”
Tips for Selecting the Best Dog Bowl
By Laurie Darroch
Picking the right food and water bowls for your dog is more than simply pulling any available container from your cupboard. There are issues to consider when making the best choice in bowls for your particular dog. Here are some tips to help you.
Pet stores have bowls of all types including plastic, stainless steel, ceramic, glass and wood.
Plastic bowls can be cheaply made, crack easily, and not hold up to usage or cleaning, In addition, a dog that is prone to chewing everything may turn a plastic bowl into a chew toy once the food is gone. Ingesting pieces of plastic can be dangerous for your dog.
Stainless steel bowls are sturdy, long lasting, easy to clean and built to last. They may get dings, but they stand up to being dropped or banged around. Stainless steel bowls are also great for donating to a local shelter because they will withstand the extreme and constant usage by a large number of dogs.
Ceramic and glass bowls offer a huge selection in style, design and color, if those issues are important to you. It’s easy to find one that will match your décor, for those who like everything to coordinate. They can chip or break though, so it’s important to keep an eye open for broken and sharp edges or loose pieces that can fall into the dog food in the bowl or onto the floor causing injury. In addition, if you choose a ceramic bowl, make sure it is safe for food or water, and is lead free and not merely meant for decoration.
Wooden bowls coordinate beautifully with natural or earthy décor, but they can wear down and splinter or get soggy and water worn with long usage.
Style and Size
All bowls are not designed for every dog. For example, long-eared breeds such as Cocker Spaniels, Basset Hounds or Bloodhounds will drag their ears in their water and food in the typical wide bowl. For these dogs a narrow, taller bowl allows them to eat while their ears stay outside the bowl.
Pick the right size bowl for your dog. For instance, a small dog does not need a huge bowl which can make it difficult to eat without stepping into the food. If you have a puppy that will grow into a large adult dog, start with a small bowl and get a bigger one as he grows.
Stands and Feeders
For dogs with mobility or function issues such as severe hip, neck, or back limitations, or a condition that makes movement difficult and painful, an elevated area or raised stand for the dog bowls may make it safer and more comfortable for him to enjoy his meal.
Self-filling bowls are a nice option if you can’t always be there to refill the food when immediately needed. They usually hold many servings. Your dog needs available water at all times during hot or cold weather, but for those canines that can’t control their eating, the full food containers make managing serving sizes difficult. For the times when you are away, they are a helpful option though. These also need to be opened and cleaned the same way you would any regular bowl, and not left to sit with stale water or food for long periods of time without cleaning.
As a responsible and caring pet owner, the choice of everything for your dog matters, including the bowls that hold his favorite CANIDAE dog food and drinking water. No matter which bowls you choose, keep them clean and maintained when you feed your dog. Choosing the right bowls can make his all-around enjoyment of the food and water he consumes a pleasurable, safe and comfortable experience.
Read more articles by Laurie Darroch
12 Times Your Cat Made it Impossible to Work From HomeSeptember 18, 2017
Whether you normally work from the comfort of your couch or you’re sick with a cold and responding to emails in bed, cats make it impossible to be productive. Take the feline that walks across your keyboard just to make her presence know. Or the cat that dips her paw in your water glass and subsequently spills it across your laptop. Of course, there will always be the kitten that insists on taking his afternoon nap on a stack of important papers.
It doesn’t help that cats are obnoxiously adorable, and receiving any sort of attention from them is incredibly distracting. What better way to procrastinate than settling into the couch for an afternoon snuggle sesh with your favorite feline pal? If you’re a cat parent that works from home, you’ll undoubtedly resonate with the following photos:
“You said five more minutes, and it’s been six. Time to call it quits, human.”
“Don’t panic, but I sent that email you had saved as a draft.”
“I’m only interested if you’re blogging about fish.”
“It’s treat time, right?”
“‘Working from home?’ I don’t see anything on your screen…”
“Stop working and the claws go away.”
“Email is hard…”
“Move? But this aluminum brick is sooooooo warm.”
“You said this was a mouse, right?”
“There will be no work today.”
“Your inbox is a little disorganized, human.”
“Wake me up in five.”
If your cat is especially needy throughout the day, she may be trying to tell you it’s time to eat. Our CANIDAE® Under the Sun® Witty Kitty recipes come in a variety of irresistible flavors, like cod & trout, turkey & duck, and single sensations like salmon or chicken. Once your feline friend has a taste our protein and nutrient-packed cat food, she’ll never forget mealtime again! Try our brand new Witty Kitty wet cat food recipes to find your pet’s favorite flavor.
Breed Profile: The Courageous and Intelligent Rottweiler
By Linda Cole
The Rottweiler was originally bred as a herding dog and likely descended from large mastiff-like drover dogs used by the Romans to guard and drive cattle. This muscular canine can be intimidating, but is hard working with a “wait and see” attitude in regards to what’s going on around him. When properly socialized and trained, a Rottweiler makes a good family pet.
One of the most ancient breeds, the exact history of the Rottweiler is unknown, but his homeland is Germany. Historical records of the ancient Romans tell of a large, strong, dependable and intelligent mastiff-type working dog used to drive cattle, provide protection and guard their owner and property. As the Roman armies moved across Europe, these impressive canines accompanied the soldiers, driving the huge cattle herds needed to feed the men. The dogs were also used to protect the camps and food supply from large predators and to help protect outposts of the Roman Empire. As Roman Legions marched through Europe, many of these dogs were left behind and bred with local dogs, producing strong and hardworking canines.
The town of Rottweiler sits along the banks of the Neckar River in southwestern Germany. It was founded by the Romans in 73 AD. Butchers and cattle owners were impressed with the working ability and protective instinct of these dogs and saw an advantage to using them. Cattle dealers used dogs with superior driving abilities to herd cattle to market, as well as protect their herds and themselves from thieves and animal predators. The intimidating demeanor of these dogs was so valued by cattle dealers that it became common practice to attach moneybags to their collars to prevent theft. They felt that fastening their money around the neck of a Rottweiler was safer than putting it in a bank. Butchers and farmers used the dogs to pull meat carts and produce to market, and to protect their property.
The breed was first called the Rottweiler Metzgerhund, which means butcher’s dog in German. Eventually, the name was changed to Rottweiler after the town where the breed was developed to have courage, speed, strength, power, herding and guarding ability, and most importantly – intelligence. This is a thinking dog with the ability to assess his environment before taking action. Even though he has an instinct to guard, you still have to train him to properly use his innate skill.
As the industrial revolution settled in across Europe during the 1800s, the Rottweiler saw a huge decline in numbers as their services were no longer needed. Moving cattle by rail was faster and safer. The usefulness of this breed was once again needed, however, with the outbreak of WWI. It was discovered that these dogs were well suited for life in the German army as military service dogs. With their new role as a guard dog, the Rottweiler saw an increase in their numbers after the war. The breed made its way to America and was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1935. Today this breed holds the number 8 spot on AKC’s most popular dog breed list.
Like all dogs, Rottweilers are individuals and can range in personality from being fun-loving and clown-like to reserved with strangers and serious. This isn’t a breed for first time dog owners; he needs a firm yet positive, patient and gentle hand of an experienced owner.
It’s very important to make sure you are getting a Rottie from a responsible and reliable breeder who is careful in selecting his bloodlines. A properly bred Rottweiler should not display signs of shyness, anxiety, nervousness, excitable or hyperactivity. These are not characteristics of this breed. Rottweilers have a natural instinct to protect and herd, which can cause some people to see them as overly aggressive.
This is a breed that is self-confident, loving and loyal. Some prefer to hang out with just one person in the family and others are affectionate towards all family members. One dog can have a high energy level while another is happy chilling with you on the couch. Either way, a Rottweiler of good breeding should be alert and calm. A properly trained and socialized dog is a good family pet, even with children. However, he may not be as accepting of children he doesn’t know. His protective nature will have him racing to “his kids” if he thinks they are being hurt or in trouble. Make sure he’s well socialized with other pets in the home as well. Always supervise your dog around children and small pets.
Rottweilers were born to work and love having a job. They excel at weight pulling competitions, herding, obedience and many other dog sports.
Read more articles by Linda Cole
How to Choose the Right Dog ShampooSeptember 15, 2017
Many dogs resist getting in the tub, but baths are necessary for removing dirt, allergens, and dander. Some owners give weekly baths to keep up with dirt and oils that accumulate, while others seem comfortable with spacing baths months apart.
While it may be tempting to reach for your own shampoo and share it with your dog, this is not the best choice. The pH values of human skin and dog skin are different, which suggests a different shampoo is needed. As with hair products for people, dog shampoos are available in various formulas. How do you pick from all the available items? Consider your dog’s hair type, condition of the skin and hair, need for parasite control, and general health when reading those shampoo labels.
You can find shampoos and conditioners in all price ranges, but often you get what you pay for. Inexpensive shampoos can be harsh and may dry out a dog’s coat and skin. Look for products with natural ingredients like oatmeal, lemongrass, aloe vera, or chamomile, which clean and soothe.
What’s Your Type?
While long-coated dogs need gentle shampoos and conditioners to keep hair from breaking, wire-haired breeds, including many of the terrier breeds, need to keep that bristly texture. Consider your dog’s breed or mix of breeds to determine grooming needs.
Long-coated dogs, like Yorkies, Shih Tzus, Bearded Collies, Lhasa Apsos, and mixed breeds with similar coats need gentle shampoos and conditioners to keep hair from breaking, such as an organic, oatmeal-based product. Use a good conditioner to finish the job.
Smooth-coated dogs need a dog shampoo that cleans without drying out the coat. Labs, beagles, and other short haired breeds will fare best with mild, organic shampoos. These coats are pretty tolerant of any shampoo, but in order to achieve that beautiful shine, stick to shampoos and conditioners that won’t irritate the hair and skin. Oatmeal and rosewater products are a good choice.
Double-coated dogs can present a bit of a challenge. Breeds like Chows, Keeshonds, Pomeranians, and Huskies have a thick, soft undercoat that is topped with long guard hairs. Use a mild shampoo in good quantity to penetrate through to the skin and give the hair a healthy shine.
Wire-coated dogs need some special attention to keep the coat looking grand. While show dogs are hand stripped, pets can be clipped to achieve that broken-coat look. Airedales, Irish Wolfhounds, Schnauzers, Wire Fox Terriers, Wire-Coated Dachshunds, and other terrier breeds are best bathed with a product made especially for them.
Curly coats on dogs like the Poodle, Bichon Frise, and some sporting breeds have soft curls that lie close to the body, so it’s important to keep that hair clean. Try a shampoo made with oatmeal, shea butter, and aloe vera.
Hairless dogs also have special needs. Because the skin is unprotected in most areas of the body, shampoos must contain skin conditioners to prevent dryness. Dogs like the Chinese Crested, Peruvian Inca Orchid, and Mexican Hairless (Xolo) are best bathed in soothing oatmeal shampoos, followed by a skin conditioner. These dogs also need to wear sunblock whenever they go outdoors.
Medicated shampoos are most often prescribed by a veterinarian to treat a skin condition. Often related to parasites or infections, the shampoos can help relieve itching and scratching associated with bites, rashes, and irritations. Itchy skin can be treated with medications, such as hydrocortisone, and a veterinarian should be consulted if symptoms persist. Antiseptic shampoos are right for dogs with scratches, and hydrocortisone products are effective on itchy skin.
You can find prescription and over-the-counter hypoallergenic shampoos to treat allergies or sensitive skin. These are made with natural ingredients free of fragrances and dyes that can trigger rashes in some dogs. You can also find shampoos formulated to clear dandruff in dogs with dry skin, which will help people with allergies tolerate the dog’s presence and keep your home happy.
For more tips on bathing your dog, read our article on “7 Bath Time Mistakes Dog Owners Make.”
Does Your Kitty Have “Adventure Cat” in His Blood?
By Julia Williams
Even though I am a cat person through and through, sometimes I do think about what it would be like to have a dog. Mostly, these thoughts come after reading about some dog and his owner embarking on a fun adventure together. It’s always been my belief that just about every dog is cool with gadding about in the great outdoors, whereas it takes a special kind of kitty to enjoy this. Like, a “one in a million” kind of special kitty. Well, my belief has just been blown out of the water.
It turns out there are quite a few kitties in this world who have what it takes to be an “adventure cat.” Not every cat, mind you, but certainly way more than one in a million. How do I know this? I stumbled upon a website that was all about legions of courageous cats who boldly go places I thought only a handful of felines would – including hiking, biking, camping, canoeing, sailing, kayaking and just exploring the great outdoors.
Kayaking cats; let that sink in. Cats that not only willingly go out on the water in the middle of a lake, but by all accounts seem to really enjoy it. Yep, adventure cats are a thing! And not just a “let’s do this for internet fame” kind of adventure cat, but the real deal.
The Adventure Cats website has really flipped my script on everything I thought I knew about feline behavior. Like I said, I knew of a few seemingly fearless felines who enjoyed being outdoors and even some who did typical dog-like things with their owner such as hiking. One of those is a cat named Rosie who was “adopted” by a husky dog as a wee kitten; she became part of the pack and literally goes everywhere the dogs and her people do. Rosie’s a totally cool cat and her story is amazing. But I never thought there were more than a handful of cats that were suited for an “adventure” kind of life. I was wrong!
The Adventure Cats website features all kinds of awesome cats who seem right at home in the great outdoors. I spent days exploring this site, not only to learn the basics of what being an Adventure Cat entails, but reading all the exciting tales of felines living their nine lives to the fullest. And I have to admit, I’m a little jealous. I’m quite certain neither of my two feline friends have adventure cat in their blood. Far from it. I have the “hide under the bed when anyone comes over” kind of cats. As such, I wouldn’t make them do things I know they wouldn’t like. But a girl can dream, right?
Adventuring isn’t for every kitty, that’s for sure. However, what if you think your feline friend has the right purrsonality to be an Adventure Cat? How do you start? What activities do you choose? You can’t just grab your fearless furball and head outdoors – there are things to learn before you go, because you need to make sure that any adventure is safe and fun for your cat. Here are some things to keep in mind
ID Your Cat
Make sure your cat has a collar with an ID tag. Going on adventures with your cat is not without risk. Sometimes things happen, and if your cat were to get lost in an unfamiliar area, a collar with contact information increases the odds that you’ll be reunited quickly. Having your cat microchipped is also a good idea; if the collar comes off, your cat still has ID.
Leash Train Your Cat
For safety reasons, your cat should be comfortable wearing a harness and leash before you decide to head out in search of adventure. Trust me, your fun will come to a halt if your cat gets spooked by something and darts off into the woods. If you aren’t sure how to go about this vital step, I covered the basics in my article, Tips for Leash Training Your Cat.
Learn as much as you can before you go…because when it comes to your cat’s safety while out and about, there is no such thing as being “too prepared.” The Adventure Cats website has lots of informative articles, such as 7 Tips for Urban Adventures for Cats, A Guide to Boating with Cats, and Prepare Your Cat for a Life of Travel. They also offer advice for beginning adventure cats, including what to expect and what gear to pack to keep your cat safe. They even have a store where you can purchase essential things like leashes, harnesses, water bottles and collapsible cups.
Even the most outgoing feline is going to have some trepidation in a new location or when doing something they’ve never done. Get them used to the adventure cat lifestyle by going on short trips close to home at first. You’ll be able to see pretty quickly if your cat is cut out for all the excitement, and if not, you won’t be miles from home.
Know Your Cat
Your cat can’t tell you when he’s tired or thirsty, or has had enough adventure for one day. It’s up to you to read his body language so you’ll know when he needs a break. Learning to understand your cat will come with time and experience. The better you know your cat, the more you can be sure that going on adventures with you is really his thing.
As I mentioned, not every feline is cut out to be an adventure cat. It’s important to respect your cat’s wishes and not force him to do things he really doesn’t want to do. If your cat lets you know that he’s really more of a “curl up on the couch” kind of kitty, his decision should be honored. But if your kitty takes to adventuring like a duck takes to water, consider yourself lucky. Get on out there to have some fun with your best feline friend!
Read more articles by Julia Williams