New CANIDAE Grain Free Cat Food Gets Two Paws Up!

Pure chicken canBy Rocky Williams, Feline Guest Blogger

We interrupt our regularly scheduled catnap to bring you this impawtent bulletin:  new CANIDAE foodables have arrived!

It was an exciting day here when the man in the blue shorts delivered that big package, which the Warden said was all for me. Well, technically she said I had to share the noms with the other two furry inmates, but I was busy salivating so I wasn’t really paying any attention to that part. All I heard was that I would get to be a guinea pig and taste test some new grain free Pure formulas to give you my honest opinion of them. Catzowey! Life is good.

Now, being the foodie that I am, I may not be the best feline for the job of Cat Food Taste Tester but hey… you’ll never find anyone who throws themselves into their “work” with more enthusiasm than I do. Yep. Uh huh. I do love my noms. But even foodie cats like a little variety once in awhile, and since we only eat premium quality food at this five-star establishment, we ate the same two CANIDAE formulas all the time. Not any more!

With six new grain free flavors added to the CANIDAE line-up, mealtime just became the highlight of my day. Oh wait…it already was. The point is, now my furry inmates and I will get to mix it up a little. Even better, there are some interesting meats in these new foodables that we haven’t tried before – like duck, herring, rabbit, trout and lobster.
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Can Dogs Get Tonsillitis?

tonsillitis smerikalBy Linda Cole

We don’t normally think about tonsil health in canines, but like us, dogs do have tonsils. Sometimes they become inflamed, which makes a dog feel very uncomfortable. Knowing the symptoms of tonsillitis can help you get your pet medical attention to ease his discomfort.

Two tonsils, one on each side of the mouth, are located at the back of the throat. Their primary function is to provide protection from bacteria and viruses. The tonsils are similar to lymph glands, and you normally can’t see them because when the tonsils are healthy they are hidden inside a pouch known as a crypt. Since their job is to fight infections, the tonsils can become infected. When that happens, it’s easier for us to see them because they become red, swollen, and are no longer contained in their pouch.

One of the more common ways dogs can get tonsillitis is from a buildup of tartar on the teeth due to poor dental hygiene, or a gum infection. Tonsillitis can also be caused by an irritation of the mouth or throat. Sometimes an infection from somewhere else gets into the mouth, and bacteria is able to get into the throat area. Most of the time, the cause is from bacteria normally found in the mouth that multiplies.

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What is a Spitz Dog?

Spitz PatiBy Langley Cornwell

Many years ago I rescued a dog that looked like a mix between a yellow Labrador retriever and a Samoyed. Her coat was longer than a Lab and she had a dense undercoat, especially around her neck and chest. In fact, she looked (and acted!) like she had a lovely mane.  Her ears were perky and triangular shaped and her tail was long and luscious, and curved over her back.

She was knock-down gorgeous. Out of all the dogs I’ve lived with, there’s never been another one that literally stopped traffic like this sweet pooch. Everyone we passed commented on her beauty and asked what type of dog she was. Upon learning that she came from an animal shelter, I was often told that she “had a lot of Spitz in her” or that she was a “Spitz type” dog.

At the time, I wasn’t clear on whether the term Spitz was an officially recognized dog breed, or if the designation was an umbrella term that referred to specific types of dogs. Turns out, Spitz is not an official dog breed. It’s more of an identifying term for a certain type of dog.
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Tips to Help Your Dog Stay Cool in Hot Weather

keep cool OakleyBy Laurie Darroch

Dogs do not sweat the way humans do. They sweat through the pads of their feet and cool off by inhaling and exhaling air while panting to keep internal heat down.  Because their body cooling systems are less efficient, it is important to be aware of where your dog is on very hot days and to help your dog deal with the extreme temperatures.

Exercise Times

You may be able to handle a run in the middle of the day in the blazing sun with no problem, but your dog cannot cool off as easily as you can. With limited sweat glands, high energy exercise in the hottest part of the day can be stressful and dangerous for your dog, even if they seem eager to join in the activities. Walk or run in the morning or evening instead of during the highest temperatures of the day.

If you are away from home and out in the hottest weather with your dog, be sure to bring a container of water for your dog. Allow your dog a rest period and find shaded areas to help your dog cool down.

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What is the Purpose of Dog Whiskers?

dog whiskers jamesBy Linda Cole

Like cats and other animals, dogs have whiskers that stick out from the sides of their muzzle. Technically, they aren’t whiskers – they’re called vibrissae, which comes from a Latin word “vibrio” that means to vibrate. A dog’s whiskers are actually highly tuned, multi-functional, sensitive sensory hairs they need and use every day to perform specific functions that help them move around in their world.

Dog whiskers are found on both sides of their muzzle, as well as on the forehead above the eyes, on their chin and above the upper lip. As puppies grow, the whiskers are among the first hairs to develop. Unlike the neatly arranged 12 whiskers in four rows on each side of a cat’s face, dog whiskers are more varied in their pattern depending on their breed and genetics.

Whiskers are twice as thick and coarser than regular dog hair. Their roots are set three times deeper and packed with nerves and blood vessels that make each individual whisker a super sensitive receptor to movement. Air moving it or objects brushing against it causes the whisker to vibrate and stimulates the nerves. Dog whiskers are as sensitive as our fingertips. Whiskers play an important role in helping dogs understand and move through their environment.

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Oh, the Things Cats Do to Embarrass Us!

cat embarrass chrisBy Julia Williams

I do not necessarily think cats stay up all night dreaming up ways they can embarrass us. Sometimes it seems like they do, though, given the number of awkward moments we endure thanks to our feline friends. However, since I have no actual proof, I can’t make such accusations.

Perhaps it’s coincidental that embarrassing things just seem to happen whenever there’s a cat present. Yeah, right. I just heard my cat snicker behind my back. Oh, but I think I read somewhere that surviving mortification builds character, so perhaps we should be grateful to our cats for helping us be better humans? Yes, I’m sure that’s what they intended all along. Ha!

Whether by accident – or not – every cat will at some point do that “grooming of the privates” thing in front of your guests. Since it’s usually in the middle of the living room, I have a hard time believing the cat’s indecent exposure is unplanned, no matter how nonchalant they try to look. And I’m pretty sure that aside from embarrassing us, they like showing off just how much more flexible they are than us.

Naturally, I have suffered my share of embarrassment at the paws of the cat. Anyone who has “scaredy cats” will relate to this story: whenever a stranger comes in the house, my cats make a terrified mad dash to their hiding spot in the bedroom, trampling anything or anyone in their way. Dude, chill! It’s just the furnace repairman, not the evil spawn of Satan.

When I was moving out of state, a former client came to look at my collection of large flower pots I wanted to sell. Keep in mind, we didn’t have a social relationship; I’d only interacted with her in a business setting. She asked to use my bathroom and when she emerged, she looked like she’d just witnessed something horrifying that would change her forever. “There’s some kind of dead critter in there,” she whispered. Uh oh! I look, whereupon I find half of a gopher, guts and all, in the middle of the floor.

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