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  • Canine Ehrlichiosis - The Other Tick-Borne Disease Every Dog Owner Needs to Know About

    If you are a dog lover, you probably already know about Lyme Disease, the dangerous tick-borne illness that can afflict your dog and even affect the human members of your family. But there is another danger hiding in that tick bite, and this one is far less well known but no less serious. With climate change, the habitat for ticks is every expanding due to warming temperatures.

    That danger is Canine Ehrlichiosis, and this tick-borne illness can manifest in a number of different ways. Canine Ehrlichiosis can affect both domestic and wild dogs, and it can be transmitted by several varieties of tick, including the common brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus). In North America the primary tick carrying the disease is the Lone Star Tick (Amblyomma americanum) and American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis).

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The illness is passed from one animal to the next through the bite of an infected tick, making parasite control even more important for dog owners.

    Nearly every state in the country is home to one of the ticks capable of harboring Canine Ehrlichiosis, so prevention and parasite control is the best defense. It is also important for dog owners to be on the lookout for the warning signs of the illness, which generally start to develop within one to three weeks of the tick bite.

    Symptoms and Diagnosis for Canine Ehrlichiosis

    The acute phase of Canine Ehrlichiosis typically lasts between two and five weeks, and some of the most common symptoms include depression, eye discharge, pale mucous membranes, lethargy, fever, anemia and shortness of breath and sometimes neurological signs. Many infected dogs also exhibit other signs, like loss of appetite, bruising and stiffness and pain in the joints. It is important for dog owners whose animals exhibit any of these symptoms to contact their veterinarian as soon as possible and schedule a thorough examination.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Canine Ehrlichiosis is diagnosed based on both clinical signs and symptoms and through a special blood test designed to detect the organism that causes the disease. The blood test detects the antibodies used to fight Canine Ehrlichiosis, providing the veterinarian with a more definitive diagnosis and making treatment easier.

    Long Term Effects and Treatments

    Like Lyme Disease, Canine Ehrlichiosis can usually be successfully treated with antibiotics. The most commonly used antibiotics to treat the illness include tetracycline and doxycycline. Treatment generally lasts for a period of three to four weeks, but some owners may notice an improvement in symptoms in a matter of days.

    While more serious and advanced cases of Canine Ehrlichiosis sometimes require intensive therapy and even blood transfusions to treat anemia, the majority of cases are treatable with a simple course of antibiotics. As with any canine illness, early diagnosis is critical to preventing complications and getting the infected animal back on its paws as quickly as possible. In rare instances the disease may become chronic and does not resolve succesfully even with antibiotic treatment.

    As long-term protective immunity does not develop to ehrlichiosis, dogs can unfortunately also be reinfected. Lyme Disease may be more well known, but Canine Ehrlichiosis is also a serious danger. Dog owners who have not already implemented an effective tick control regimen should do so as soon a possible if they want to protect their pet from the many health risk posed by exposure to ticks. Fortunately, there are now a variety of effective natural tick repellents and even ultrasound tick repellents available which, along with manual inspection and removal every several days (especially if you have a short haired dog), can help avoid the use of toxic chemical based repellents. Spot on and chemical sprays have been implicated in adverse reactions and chronic health issues, and are also toxic to family members especially children.

  • Does Your Dog Have Diabetes?

    Like their human companions, dogs can develop Type I or II diabetes, a metabolic condition in which insulin is not available to remove glucose normally from the body. The damage caused by too much glucose can lead to many serious medical conditions, including cardiovascular problems, kidney impairment and problems with vision. Dogs with diabetes are also at higher risk for Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs). Treatments are available to allow your dog to live a normal life even if he or she has this serious medical condition like diabetes. Cranimals also offers home test kits so that you can screen your pet at home in under 2 minutes for dog diabetes.

    Signs of Diabetes in Dogs

     

     

     

     

     

    If you notice your dog exhibiting the following symptoms, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian to have testing done to determine if diabetes is the cause:

    • Increased water consumption -- a noticeable increase in thirst and the amount of water needed.
    • An increase in urination -- whether in the number of times the animal needs to go out or in having "accidents" in the house.
    • Constant hunger -- if the animal seems hungry all the time and needs to eat frequently.
    • Weight loss in spite of increased appetite -- diabetes can cause a change in metabolism that causes the animal to lose weight despite eating well.
    • Weakness, fatigue -- the dog may sleep more, may seem lethargic or may be less active than normal.
    • Thinning hair or dull coat -- diabetes can have this effect on the animal's coat, but it can also be caused by other illnesses.
    • Cloudiness in the eyes, cataracts -- diabetes can cause changes in the eyes and in vision.
    • Frequent vomiting -- advanced diabetes can lead to ketoacidosis as the liver begins to break down proteins and fats, which can cause vomiting.
    • Depression -- depression can result from the metabolic changes of diabetes, leaving your dog listless and uninterested in normal activities.

    How Diabetes in Dogs Is Diagnosed

    Your veterinarian will diagnose diabetes based on reported behaviors, physical examination and lab tests. Diabetes is more common in older dogs (> 8 years age), in dogs that are obese and inactive, in female animals and in certain breeds, such as Australian terriers, Keeshond's, poodles, Samoyeds, schnauzers, pugs, fox terriers and a few others as well those that have previously had hyperadrenocorticism or suffer from Cushing's disease. The incidence of diabetes in dogs has been rising since 1970, with ~0.64% of dogs affected. Dogs at lower risk for diabetes appear to be golden retrievers, boxers, American pit bull terriers and german shepherds.

    Treatment for Canine or dog Diabetes

    Fortunately, good treatment for canine diabetes is available. If the animal is very ill when first diagnosed, it may need hospitalization and care to stabilize blood sugar and determine the right treatment protocol. If the dog is not seriously ill, oral medications and a high-fibre diet can help to restore normal blood glucose levels. Many dogs require regular insulin injections, which owners can be taught to administer for their pets at home. Your vet will recommend a feeding schedule that will help to regulate blood sugar levels. Pet owners are also taught to administer regular testing that can be done at home to monitor glucose levels.

     

     

     

     

     

    Natural supplements formulated with cranberry and spirulina can support your diabetic dog or cat to decrease the risk for UTIs and support kidney and liver health. Spirulina has been shown to have a beneficial effect of in controlling blood glucose levels and a properly formulated cranberry supplement can effectively prevent UTIs.

    Although a diagnosis of diabetes is alarming, most pets can continue to live happy and active lives for many years with proper care.

  • When bacteria change - antibiotic failure and the rise of natural pet UTI treatments

    pet UTI treatments

    Now more than ever, the use of clinically tested, natural remedies, are needed to help stem an alarming rise in antibiotic resistance. The WHO (World Health Organization) concluded with their first report in 2014, from data in 114 countries, that antibiotic failure- is happening right now, all over the world. The good news is that even for the most common infections, such as urinary tract infections, there are natural pet UTI treatments available that can sharply reduce the need for antibiotics, thereby slowing down bacterial resistance.

    Why are antibiotics failing ?

    Over the last 30 years, no major new types of antibiotics have been developed (1). In the US alone, > 2 million infections and 23,000 deaths are due to antibiotic resistance each year (2). The main driver of antibiotic resistance is simply put: overuse of antibiotics driven by commercial animal farming and overprescription of antibiotics in human and veterinary medicine. Antibiotics are commonly used as a growth promoter and to prevent disease in inhumane, unsanitary and overcrowded living conditions found on commercial Confined AnimalFarming Operations (CAFO's) where chicken and cattle are raised.

    Which infections are currently most at risk for becoming untreatable ?

    The WHO has identified Urinary tract infections as one of the top diseases currently becoming harder to treat with antibiotics. But there are in fact clinically proven natural pet UTI treatments that can help preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics.

    Escherchia coli mediated Urinary Tract infections (UTIs)- arisk for your whole family

    Escherchia coli mediated Urinary Tract infections (UTIs) tops the WHO list of most common antibiotic resistant diseases, ranging from 20-90% from North America to Asia. Acute and recurrent Escherchia coli mediated UTIs are also one of the most common pet diseases. Within-household sharing and transmission of Escherchia coli, including in households where a member has an acute UTI, is the norm, and can involve any combination of humans and pets (3). Preventing infection with these common bacterial strains is therefore important for your pets health but also that of your whole family.

    How can you help ensure the safety of your family ?

    You can reduce antibiotic use to help stem resistance and preserve antibiotic effectiveness at home and by working with your vet. How ? Switch to a natural pet UTI treatment that is clinically proven to work, such asCranimals Original UTi Supplement.

    Published in American Journal Veterinary Research (4), and featured in Veterinary Practise News (6), Integrated Veterinary Care Magazine and Mercola Healthy Pets (5), Cranimals Original is the only independently tested and clinically proven (4)pet UTI treatment made with cranberry extract that effectively prevents adhesion of Escherchia coli to surfaces of the urinary tract in pets. Alongside elimination of antibiotics for reinfections/recurrences, infection related complications (struvite stone formation, incontinence and high urinary pH) are also controlled.

    Need even more reasons to switch to Cranimals Original?

    • Clinically proven both in vitro and in vivo (4)
    • Single ingredient with no known side effects even for sensitive patients.
    • Complete traceability and quality- proprietary extract manufactured by Cranimals
    • Delivers the required therapeutic dose and phytocompounds to ensure maximum antiadhesion
    • Safe for long term use, in fact, performs better the longer it is administered.(4)
    • Offer a natural, organic, non GMO product for petpatients with added antioxidant and dental health benefits.

    Dr. Gary J. Duhr, DVM , Ramapo Valley Animal Hospital, NJ, USA, " Most commonly, I recommend Cranimals for patients with high pH levels, post urinary tract infections, and to decrease incidents of urinary crystals. I am also a fan of the antioxidant properties and the dental benefits. Overall, this product has made many of my clients very happy and I am pleased with the results!"

    Embrace the use of effective natural remedies in ensuring the health and wellness of your whole family, pets and humans included.

    References:

    1.www.who.int/drugresistance

    1. Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy. 2015. State of the World’s Antibiotics, 2015. CDDEP: Washington, D.C.
    2. JID 2008:197 (15 January) ● Johnson et al.
    3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27027843
    4. http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2016/09/14/cranberry-extract-uti-treatment.aspx#_edn3
    5. http://www.veterinarypracticenews.com/study-backs-cranberries-as-uti-fighter/
  • Urinary Tract Infections in dogs linked to diabetes and struvite stones

    UTI supplement for Diabetic pets UTI supplement for Diabetic pets

    Pet UTIs and endocrine disorders:

    Pet Diabetes is one of the fastest rising modern health issues and is associated with increased risk for Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) in both cats and dogs in part due to Glucosuria (glucose in urine). Research by a group at a Veterinary College in Virginia, suggests that UTIs are common in dogs with endocrine disorders such as hyperadrenocorticism, diabetes mellitus, or both. If your dog or cat suffers from pet diabetes oranother endocrine disorder regular screening for UTIs is highly recommended.

    Pet UTIs and struvite stones:

    Struvite crystals (triple phosphate and magnesium ammonium phosphate crystals) are commonly seen as a disease in dogs, however about 40-44% of healthy dogs have struvite crystals in their urinewithout obviousharm. However, in sufficient quantity, struvite crystals may cause bladder irritation and inflammation in the bladder lining and urethra- priming the urinary tract for infection.

    Struvite stones and Urinary Tract infections:

    Struvitecrystals become especially problematic if your dog also has a UTI. An estimated 98% of Struvite stones, capable of causing serious blockages in your dogs urinary tract, form when large amounts of struvite crystals are simultaneously present with a urinary tract infection from urease-producing bacteria, for example, Staphylococcus or Proteus. Urease, an enzyme, promotes the formation of ammonia and carbon dioxide and this in turn contributes to struvite stone formation as well as alkaline (high-pH) urine. Alkaline urine may also form when your pet has a diet high in grains and carbohydrates, common in dry commercial pet foods. Finding a way to check (pH strips) and control (diet and supplements) your dogs urine pH is therefore important.

    Research suggests that the majority of dogs affected by struvite stone formation and recurrent UTIs, are females. Because of the increasing overuse of antibiotics for treating UTIs, and resulting bacterial resistance, natural remedies that do not promote bacterial resistance, are the preferred way to prevent recurrent infections and by extension infection induced struvite stones. Dietary modifications to acidify your dogs urine can also be an additional strategy.

    Prevent UTIs and control urine pH naturally:

    One of the most effective natural remedies to prevent UTIs and control urine pH, is the small tart, red, cranberry. However in choosing a cranberry product for UTI prevention and urine acidification, keep in mind that neither cranberry juice, fresh cranberries or dried cranberries are concentrated enough, palatable and except for fresh cranberries, they are loaded with sugar. What is a good natural choice then ? Look for a food grade, organic cranberry extract, widely used by veterinarians in preventing recurrent UTIs and struvite crystals. Cranimals Original our #1 UTI supplement is clinically tested, is certified organic, 100% cranberry extract and is used in the USA, Canada, Taiwan and the UK by holistic vets.

    Complementary to the Cranimals Original UTI supplement, our diagnostic urine based test kits, can be used at home to screen for both UTIs, diabetes and kidney failure. For more info see our full lineup of UTI products.

  • “Finally my dog Brooke’s UTI was treated effectively and her past bladder infections have not returned” Interview with Jennifer Norato

    Cranimals: Jennifer welcome. You have a very special story to share and some health tips for pet owners based on your experience. Tell us what you do?Jennifer: I work here at Ramapo valley animal hospital in Oakland, NJ and I have been working here for over 10 years now. I first started during my college years as a part time job and quickly grew into a passion.
    We are a small practice that has steadily been growing through the years. We currently are in a new building and have 2 doctors that specialize in small animals, mostly dogs and cats. We are located in northern New Jersey, which is mostly suburban life but our pets do encounter a lot of wildlife.Cranimals: Tell us about your own pets and their health challenges?Jennifer: I have two dogs, a 6 year old hound mix and a 14 year old Pomeranian and 6 cats! A hazard of my occupation is that I raise abandoned kittens and many of them don’t leave my house! It has never been a challenge keeping 6 cats happy though! They all love each other and play all night long.My hound mix, Brooke, hasn’t been the healthiest though. I adopted her as an adult and fought her chronic ear and dog bladder infections from day one.My old man, Mako, has had the happiest life, but not the healthiest either. One of his legs was amputated almost 8 years ago and has suffered from multiple related health issues.Cranimals: What made you look into Cranimals and where did you find us?

    Jennifer: I first discovered Cranimals in a pet magazine, advertising the benefits of the original formula. It couldn’t have come at a better time!

    My Brooke was suffering from another dog bladder infections caused by her constant struvite crystals. Working at an animal hospital, I had every diagnostic and treatment at my disposal, but still she got infections. She had countless urine tests, blood work, cultures, x-rays, prescription foods, meds, and even ultrasounds but nothing could keep her from making struvite crystals in her bladder.

    And then I saw Cranimals! I, of course, had tried cranberry supplements before to help Brooke’s bladder, but this product immediately seemed different than the ones that failed in the past. I immediately placed an order and patiently waited for my shipment!

    Cranimals: What seemed different about Cranimals from all the other products and treatments you tried?

    Jennifer: I loved the science that is behind the claims of excellence. The Cranimals products didn’t just say it would benefit my dog’s bladder health, it explained how it would. As a pet owner, I loved that the Cranimals company detailed why this supplement was scientifically proven to work so I understood why it would work. Other products I tried didn’t seem to have any scientific backing to their claims.

    Cranimals: You mention it was painful to watch Brooke suffer – tell us about that?

    Jennifer: Dog Bladder infections most commonly cause symptoms of urinating frequently and in small amounts. It feels like they can’t empty their bladder so they always have the feeling that they need to urinate. But in Brooke’s case, she had struvite crystals, which physically made it painful to urinate. So much so that she would hold her urine as long as she could! She just didn’t want to urinate because she knew it was going to hurt. And that starts the vicious cycle of bacteria collecting in her bladder, creating an infection.

    Cranimals: Did she eat it with no fuss?

    Jennifer: Brooke, being a hound dog, loved the taste of the Cranimals Original. I initially mixed the Cranimals with some plain yoghurt, which she was already eating for the probiotic benefits. But as I used it more, I realized she loved the flavor no matter how I gave it to her!

    Cranimals: And Ramapo valley animal hospital now stock Cranimals?

    Jennifer: Yes, getting my colleges on board with this new product was a breeze! They saw me suffering constantly with Brooke’s bladder problems and were amazed with how quickly she felt better. After a month of being free of bladder problems, it was decided to recommend this product to all our patients with similar problems.

    Cranimals: What health tip do you have for other animal lovers?

    Jennifer: My best tip of advice is to use preventative medicine! It is always better for your pet and more affordable for you, to prevent a health problem than it is to treat one.

    I am able to prevent dog bladder infections for Brooke by giving her two teaspoons a day of Cranimals Original and have saved me thousands of dollars in vet bills, let alone the pain and discomfort that would come along with her infections.

    Cranimals: Thank you Jennifer and thank you Ramapo Valley Animal Hospital.

    Comments or new interview suggestions to madeleine@cranimal.com
  • How Cranimals began

    How Cranimals began

    The push to develop products for companion animals came from our CEO Wilma’s own dogs in Vancouver - Phoebe, who died of cancer a few years earlier and Charlie, a dog prone to anxiety. The Fraser Valley, based near Vancouver, wedged in between the Pacific Ocean and Rocky Mountains is quite possibly the best berry growing region in the World. Wilma had researched the role of nutrition in disease and behaviour and already knew these ingredients had tremendous health benefits.The CranimalsTM brand was born in 2008.

    At Cranimals we believe strongly in preventative health care and also nutritional medicine. The rise in chronic degenerative disease, including cancer, arthritis and heart disease, over the last few decades in both humans and companion animals is strongly tied to exercise, diet and environment. Most pets are now being raised on highly processed foods, and this includes kibble and dehydrated foods. It is widely accepted that the underlying cause of accelerated aging and degenerative disease is due in large part to oxidative damage and inflammation – countless studies have identified the importance of natural antioxidants (e.g. phytochemicals) and anti inflammatories (e.g. essential fatty acids) in helping to manage oxidation and inflammation. Many other modern pet illnesses including kidney & bladder stones and urinary tract infections are also on the rise. Our mission with the Cranimals line is to help pet parents deliver therapeutic levels of the key nutrients needed to manage or help prevent these problems. As they say...”prevention is better than cure”!
  • Why Cranberries work as a natural treatment preventative for pets with UTIs and struvite stones By Dr Wilma Pretorius CEO Cranimals

    CranberriesThe most common signs of a UTI in cats and dogs is straining during urination, blood in the urine, fever, lethargy, unpleasant smell to urine, incontinence and urinating in inappropriate places, particularly for cats. Among the bacteria responsible for UTIs, E. coli was found to be present in most of the cases followed by Stapylococcus spp., Streptococcus spp., Klebsiella spp. , Proteus spp. and then Pseudomonas spp.

    Usually UTIs clear up after antibiotic therapy, but sometimes they recur, either due to reinfection with the same or another bacterial species. The appropriate antibiotic to be used is identified via a urine culture. Modern medicine is, however, plagued by a rising incidence of antibacterial resistance and comes with additional costs, such as adverse effects on gut microflora increasing the risk of infection with Clostridium difficile and this in turn may lead to serious colon infections in dogs. The use of a natural plant based preventative for UTIs and struvite stones would clearly help to reduce the risk of antibacterial resistance and disturbances in gut microflora.

    Most struvite stones in dogs are actually infection-induced and female dogs are at the greatest risk for this. The reason for this is likely due to the anatomy of the female urethra, which is short and wide compared with that of the male. When a UTI is caused by Staphylococcus spp. (less commonly Proteus spp. And Ureaplasma) bacteria, a biochemical reaction is put into play which favors the formation of struvite stones in the pets urine/bladder even if the pet is on an acidifying diet.

    Dogs typically develop struvite stones (uroliths) in their lower urinary tracts within 2 weeks of contracting a staphylococcal urinary tract infection. There are, however, other conditions that promote crystallization of magnesium ammonium phosphate (i.e. struvite) including an alkaline urine, diet and genetic predisposition. Breeds especially affected by struvite stones include the Miniature Schnauzer, Bichon Frise, Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, and Yorkshire Terrier.  Even factors associated with inbreeding have been reported to increase the frequency of struvite uroliths in Beagles. An increased risk of struvite stones in both sexes of Cocker Spaniels, Springer Spaniels and Labrador Retrievers has also been observed. Specific diets high in fat and salt that are given to dogs to help dissolve struvite stones have their own risks. Pathogenic bacteria trapped within the stones are then constantly released and pose a threat for reinfection and a diet high in fat and salt has its own set of health risks.  Surgical removal is another option for stone removal. Sometimes stones can become bigger than half a kilo (1 lb).

    One of the most effective natural remedies for Urinary tract infections and by association, infection induced struvite stones is cranberries. Cranberries contain tannins called (pro)anthocyanidins or PACs, which are stable plant compounds exhibiting potent in vitro anti-adhesion activity against pathogenic urinary tract bacteria such as both antibiotic-sensitive and -resistant strains of Escherichia coli. While preventing bacteria from sticking to the cell lining of the urinary tract is believed to be the primary mechanism, a direct mild antimicrobial activity against other UTI causing bacteria has also been reported. Pure cranberry extract powders are the most effective way to get the multiple health benefits of cranberries into your pet. Not only is the extract effective for preventing urinary tract infections and by implication infection induced struvite stones, but the phytochemicals in the berries are heart healthy and also good for dental health. Administering cranberry extract in powder form eliminates the excessive sugar found in juices and dried cranberries, as well the powder mixed in food coats the teeth and helps to keep the your pets mouth clean in exactly the same way it keeps their urinary tract “clean”. The powder is also much more palatable to your pet than fresh cranberries and delivers a much more concentrated dose of the needed phytochemicals. Look for a cranberry extract that is not adulterated with fillers, preservatives or colorants and one that is food grade and certified organic.

    References consulted:
    1. Urinary tract infection – a European perspective. B. Gerber,  EJCAP - Vol. 17 - Issue 1 April 2007, 51-54.
    2. Canine urolithiasis: A look at over 16 000 urolith submissions to the Canadian Veterinary Urolith Centre from February 1998 to April 2003 Doreen M. Houston, Andrew E.P. Moore, Michael G. Favrin, Brent Hoff. Can Vet J Volume 45, March 2004,  225-230.

    3. Recurrent urinary tract infections in older people: the role of cranberry products
    DEEPA SUMUKADAS1,∗, PETER DAVEY2, MARION E. T. MCMURDO1
    Age and Ageing 2009; 38: 255–257 C _ The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Geriatrics Society.
    All rights doi: 10.1093/ageing/afp034 reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org
    4. Berries: emerging impact on cardiovascular health. Basu, Rhone, Lyons. Nutr Rev. 2010 March ; 68(3): 168–177. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00273.x.
    5. Potential oral health benefits of cranberry.
    Bodet CGrenier DChandad FOfek ISteinberg DWeiss EI. . Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2008 Aug;48(7):672-80.

  • My Cat is addicted to Earl Grey - What's yours up to?

    Our Cranimal, Candy Floss is an 8 year old Persian cat. Besides being a male cat, he is a diamond. A precious and multi-faceted delight. When you just look at him, skew tooth included, an involuntarily warm smile would spread from your belly all the way to your heart. Because what you'd see is one of a thousand charming moments. That alone will make your day even better.

    Whenever we arrive home, he comes jogging out of his latest camouflaged garden spot, tail draped with dry leaves, meow-hello-ing loudly before he promptly rolls over onto his back. Paws up and clutching air to reveal an Angora like invitation to tickle his fluffy purring tummy. He is the most agile creature I know. An Agility Cat Championship?  - now that would be spectacular. Like your cat, he can do a tummy- rollover on a dime and not fall off.  Now our Labrador (Candy's best friend), Nala, thinks she should do it too (pic below)!

    Cat addicted to Earl Grey

    Candy, I promise, takes his VB Cranimals with yogurt every day. Despite that he has lately begun to steal sips of my Earl Grey tea. I now just have to walk to my desk - tea in hand and he comes running. He has my routine down to a ‘tea’ - I have to put my saucer on top of my tea cup to prevent him sharing in the left overs of my Earl Grey.  Being a cat of little prediction makes Candy fit perfectly into our slightly chaotic family of 5. Just when you think - ah he has a favorite spot - it changes. For example, whenever we purchase something new - within moment the packaging or empty box momentarily discarded, belongs to Candy. His sacred throne from which he, nestled in, with coy eyes smiling, mouthing inaudible little love meows to all who pass by. Thoroughly enchanted, for days we would walk around his new temporary abode (e.g. IKEA box) and 'meow love'  back until he finally moves off and we can feel free to finally put it in the bin.  And being groomed? Agh he positively loves it. You can brush his back and legs or stand him up on hind to reach his tummy, roll him over and brush to heart’s content. If he used words to talk I know he's be saying - " Excuse me darling, you missed a spot". Nala, our Labrador, taking her queue, helps too - gently pawing Candy down and gnawing  his Persian fur into further disarray. Oh gosh we love our pets don't we? So come on, tell us about your pet’s antiquities?! Submit your stories with a photo before 15 September 2011 on our www.facebook.com/cranimals page or email me at madeleine@cranimal.com and stand to win a Pet Story Cranimal Prize.

    Greetings from Mads

    Cranimals Europe :)

  • World Agility Open UK - Cranimals Launch In Europe!

    Cranimals was thrilled to launch in Europe at the WAO Championships held in the United Kingdom this weekend (13-15 May). It was a fantastic competition and as the only Canadian vendor Cranimals gives both the organizing committee and the competitors a hearty two 'paws' up! In all, 18 countries (as well as several 'Wild Cards') were represented at the World Agility Open - attracting a varied audience that presented some traders and competitors with travel, logistical and quarantine challenges to say the least!

    We were treated to some of the most fantastic clean runs by the canine competitors and their talented handlers, a sampling of which can be viewed below.

    As a sponsor of the show, our Cranimal correspondent Madeleine (Director of Operations for Europe) was generously catered to by show organizers to help set up. A special Cranimals thanks goes out to Mark, Michelle, Stephen and Monica of Clean Run.

    Madeleine of Cranimals (left) with Monica Percival of Clean Run

    Madeleine cheerfully welcomed everyone to both the show dinner as well as the Cranimals booth that was on display (above) at the competition itself. At the dinner, Madeleine perched atop the bar counter due to microphone issues (trust a Cranimal to innovate) and proudly debuted our 'Cran-tastic' products to about 300 guests present (handlers, trainers, judges and crew members).

    Stephen helping us set up the sponsors dinner

    At the dinner we were also thrilled to finally meet up with the owner of Diva, our SPORT supplement cover star, Mr. Barrie James of the Welsh team!

    Having a 'berry' good time with Mr. Barrie James!

    At the competition, the parade of nations participating varied from smaller one-man teams (South Africa) to larger groups present from England, USA, Canada, Scotland, Ireland and Australia. However, the Cranimals trophy for "Best Team Spirit" would have to be awarded to the Welsh team lead by Barrie James. They cheered, flagged, bellowed and sang insatiable encouragement to fellow team members and had their friendly demeanour on display for all!

    The English team marches through the opening ceremony

    We were most delighted to meet many furry customers - Micka, Molly, Riot, Sizzle, Tiata and Maizy to name a few - and it was a privilege to meet some of the agility gurus including the celebrated Linda Mecklenburg, author of "Developing Handling Skills". Linda and her champion canine Wonder came along to the Cranimals stand - the latter snacking on some cranberries while Linda was kind enough to share some of her knowledge, ideas and past experience with the show.

    Linda Mecklenburg Linda & Wonder stop by the Cranimals booth

    By Sunday, the last day of competition, we had had many interesting discussions, noted queries from dog handlers and vets and amusing anecdotes from owners - our favourite by far being 'Will these work on my husband?'! We had a great time with all and ended the show with a Cranimals contest that awarded José Manual Davila from the Venezuelan team with a Cranimals gift hamper to take home.

    Congratulations to our new Fanimal José of Team Venezuela!

    To everyone we met and traded with at WAO, let's keep in touch! Here's to a clean run for the rest of 2011 and see you next time in Belgium for WAO 2012!

    A special thanks to our crew Ingrid & Celeste!

    -Madeleine (madeleine@cranimal.com)

  • What makes a 'Good Friday' Even Greater

    By now I'm sure our Fanimals are aware of our 'Good Friday' contributions that donate a case of Cranimals GOLD (48 bags) to nominated non-profit organizations. We've had a plethora of suggestions submitted about what these great causes mean to our Cranimals community, and in return we've sent out donations in the hope that we can provide some assistance to the remarkable volunteers that are at the heart of these animal rescue foundations.

    Image courtesy of Sally Hull - sally@hullshaven.org

    The best part of each and every 'Good Friday' is when we receive feedback, results and heartwarming stories from the recipients of our donations. Sally Hull is the founder of Hull's Haven Border Collie Rescue, a foundation that does specialize in the rescue and rehabilitation of Border Collies, with ongoing efforts in puppy mill rescue of all breeds in the United States.

    Based in Winnipeg, Canada, Hull's Haven is a truly universal organization that is working to spread their assistance and loving care to as many animals as they can reach. Felix is a foster dog under their care who proved to be an ideal recipient of some Cranimals GOLD. Living with an inoperable health condition that restricts him to a low protein diet, Felix is a puppy whose growth and development is difficult to encourage.

    A shy Felix digging for some GOLD

    With a boost of DHA Omega 3's from GOLD we are happy to provide even the smallest bit of help to Felix in the hopes that he will be able to live comfortably under the care of Hull's Haven volunteers, and hopefully will eventually develop into a full-grown dog.

    While some of our recipients are focused on a specific breed of dog, or perhaps limited to caring for cats, we aim to target a diverse variety of organizations - just as our Cranimals GOLD targets an encompassing array of pet health problems. Perhaps best known for being a recommended supplement for developing puppies and cats of all ages, Cranimals GOLD contains vegetarian DHA Omega 3 - an anti-inflammatory substance important for neurological, skin, brain, eye and heart health.

    Combined with our signature cranberry extract to maintain optimum kidney and urinary tract health, while also battling bacteria that may affect dental hygiene, Cranimals GOLD is a remarkable supplement that does cater towards those animals that are in developmental stages, but can also be used for animals that experience the onset of health conditions that may impair sight and mental acuity.

    So far this year we have reached out to over a dozen non-profits as suggested by our Fanimals in both the United States and Canada, including Bright Eyes Dog Rescue in Saskatchewan,Ratbone Rescues in Florida, Greyhound Pets of Atlantic Canada based in Nova Scotia andRolling Dog Ranch Animal Sanctuary in New Hampshire.

    We are just getting started with our donations and would love to hear more thoughtful suggestions from you, our Fanimals, as we continue well into 2011 and beyond. To share a non-profit animal organization that holds meaning to you, please make your way over to our Facebook page and leave us a post or comment.

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