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  • Cranimals CEO Interview With Radio Show - Pets & Their People

    Check out Cranimals CEO, WilmaPretorius Ph.D. , and her latest interview with Pets and Their People.


    Dave: We're back, and we got Dr. Wilma Pretorius of Cranimals on, and George, what do you think? Think it's going to be a good interview, right?

    George:It's going to be a great interview. Welcome in, Dr. Wilma.

    Wilma Pretorius:Thank you so much for having me on the show. I'm happy to be here.

    George:We're happy to have you. Cranimals ... Okay, I blew it. It's fine. How did you get into this business? It's a supplement, and there's a million of them out there, but how did you get into developing [00:00:30] the supplement and how do you separate yourself from the noise? I guess that's the real question.

    Wilma Pretorius: The story behind Cranimals actually starts with me founding the parent company in 2007. Cranimals is actually a retail division of that company. My parent company actually manufactures berry extracts that are used and exported worldwide. They're used in functional foods and supplements and things like that.

    It's a [00:01:00] little bit different to all the other pet supplement companies out there that actually buy their ingredients that they use in their products. We actually manufacture 80% of the ingredients that go into our products ourselves.

    I had pets when I started my company, and two of them actually died of cancer. At the time, our products were exported and used in human products. It was just a light bulb really went off for me, and at that [00:01:30] point I decided that it really would make sense to get our ingredients, which are just really very functional, they're certified organic, most of them, and to get those types of ingredients into pet products or pet supplements.

    That's really how Cranimals was born, I would say. Definitely a different story to most other pet supplement companies out there, where we really make [00:02:00] all of the ingredients, mostly, all of the ingredients that go into our product. That's how it all started.

    George: I'll admit we have pet supply stores and we sell your product, and I guess it was back a couple of years ago. A lady came in, and she had a dog, an older dog, who had cancer. Somewhere she discovered your product, and she was giving it to them. For people who don't know, it's a powdered substance, and you add it on top of their food, or I guess that's the best way to [00:02:30] get it to transfer into the animal itself.

    Anyway, she was doing testimonials inside the store, swearing up and down that it revitalized her dog from his bout with cancers and he was feeling better, he was looking better, and extended his life.

    Wilma Pretorius: Yeah, I totally believe that. The ingredients in our product ... I mean, berries, I think everybody knows that [00:03:00] berries really are superfoods. That's the basis for our product, these berry extracts. They're just ... They've been shown in multiple clinical settings to just be extremely beneficial for a host of chronic diseases, including cancer.

    I completely am a believer in these ingredients as well as really the basis for the products are nutritional medicine [00:03:30] and prevention of disease as well as treatment. Really you are what you eat. People really, I think, are starting to come back to that as well, that what you put into your body or what you put into the body of your pet really has a profound effect on their health. These products are really superfoods. They're superfood extracts. From that point of view, they're actually nutritional medicines.

    George:[00:04:00] There's no question that people are starting to learn. Even myself, I grew up in a typical city environment, an Italian heritage, and we ate a lot of meat and potatoes and pasta. It doesn't take long to develop chronic diseases and inflammation in your body. The sugars are the killer, and I think that people got to understand that.

    Wilma Pretorius: I totally agree with you, absolutely, 100%. I think there's [00:04:30] a complete trend in the pet health right now that it basically mirrors a lot of the chronic diseases that we're seeing in humans as well, and it's completely tied to diet. There's just really this focus on carbohydrates in pet diets, particularly these processed or kibble-based diets.

    It's generally really not suited to ... [00:05:00] Species-appropriate would be the correct term. It's really not a species-appropriate diet for pets. It's really an overload, as you say, of sugar, which then causes inflammation. It also leads to a host of other chronic diseases like diabetes, for example.

    It is actually also tied to things like recurrent urinary tract infections and then [00:05:30] inflammation and these things then eventually lead to cancer. Absolutely, diet is a big one for pets. Then also the environment, I think. Our products basically address all of these underlying issues, whereas I feel the drugs basically address symptoms, but nutrition and nutritional supplements really help [00:06:00] address systemic disease and correct things on a fundamental level versus just treating a symptom.

    George: Now, Dr. Wilma, of course, with the premium foods over the last few years, the prices have continued to rise. We got foods in our stores that are $80, $90 a bag. Of course the cheapest, I guess, is around $50 now. Again, that's in the kibble side. We also have the raw diets and the freeze-dried and the dehydrated and all the [00:06:30] newer generation.

    When somebody buys an $80 bag of dog food and to convince them that they probably should put a supplement or feed a supplement, sometimes they look at you crazy. They said, "If I wanted to do that, I would go back to feeding my dog Gaines Meal or Gaines-Burgers and Alpo, the stuff that we were used to in the '70s and '80s." It's almost hard to justify, but people got to understand that they don't get a lot of nutrition sometimes out of that kibble, no [00:07:00] matter how expensive it is.

    Wilma Pretorius: Absolutely, and it's also long-term. Our pets are living longer, but that also basically gives them the opportunity to develop chronic disease. Cancer, diabetes, all of these things are really afflicting older dogs in very high percentages. You have to weigh, "Do I want to spend more when my pet is from puppyhood, [00:07:30] do I want to spend a bit more on their diet and food and supplementation and then prevent a whole host of health problems down the line?" which then could translate into honestly thousands of dollars in veterinary bills.

    That's something to think about. It might be a bit short-sighted to think, "I'm not going to give my dog any additional supplements or any additional fresh food on top of that [00:08:00] expensive kibble," but in the long term, it really makes sense because you're going to save yourself a lot of headache. Not only in vet bills, but quality of life for your pet. I think that's something pet parents should consider.

    George: Absolutely. It's the whole package, for sure. Dr. Wilma, how many remedies does Cranimals have on the marketplace at this time?

    Wilma Pretorius: At this point we have a full core supplements, and [00:08:30] the actual supplements that we do have on the market address most of the chronic health issues that modern pets currently face. We have a clinically proven urinary tract pet supplement that's suited for both cats and dogs, and that basically addresses recurrent urinary tract infections and struvite crystals and stones which is a big health issue for both cats and dogs.

    [00:09:00] Then we also have a detoxification or spirulina-based supplement. That supplement provides benefits for diabetic pets as well as skin and coat allergies and food intolerances and kidney and liver disease. Then we have Cranimals Very Berry, which is really a superfood antioxidant supplement. That helps with chronic [00:09:30] disease such as arthritis and cancer. Then we have a puppy supplement which is specifically tailored for developing puppies, for supplying DHA omega-3 and other nutrients for developing brains and skin and coat health.

    George: Now, I saw ...

    Wilma Pretorius:Those are the core ...

    George:The core brands.

    Wilma Pretorius:Yeah.

    George:I saw you also have something for tear stains, which is a chronic issue with a lot of pets.

    Wilma Pretorius:[00:10:00] We do, actually. That is the Cranimals Detox, or the Cranimals Gold products are actually natural remedies for tear stains. Again, no antibiotics are used. A lot of other tear stain products actually rely on an antibiotic action. Our product is really effective to naturally reduce or eliminate tear stains [00:10:30] and quite a few groomers actually use and recommend our products for that.

    It basically is a natural anti-inflammatory and it helps to, as a result of reducing inflammation, clears up tear stains. It doesn't work overnight. It takes about four to six weeks to start seeing results, but then once the tear stains clear up they stay [00:11:00] put, basically.

    George: Obviously, if you don't have a tear stain issue or you're just getting a puppy, it would be helpful to start ahead of time and whatever enzymes or whatever bleeds out of their eyes, it's ... I know it's nothing worse than seeing a beautiful dog and then having all these ugly stains around his eyes.

    Wilma Pretorius: It is, absolutely. It's unsightly and lots of pet parents really struggle with that. Again, if you do have a puppy, it makes sense to start them off [00:11:30] and really give them a strong foundation in health so that once they do grow up and they reach their older senior years, that they really are ... That they have a really great quality of life. I think that's really important.

    I think one of the big issues also with modern pets is they tend to mirror us as humans, what our lifestyle is like. Some [00:12:00] pets are obese and so they don't get enough exercise. They may actually be a direct mirror of what your lifestyle is like. They're almost like sentinels in that respect, where they point out things that might need some attention either in your environment or in your lifestyle.

    I think a lot of chronic disease is really rooted in diet [00:12:30] and lifestyle choices. We can make a huge difference both to our own and to our pets' health if we just pay attention to those two things.

    George: I not only think you're correct, I know you're correct, because over these last several years I've tried to make some choices and some adjustments in lifestyle, and like I said, diet, but I still have a little ways to go because it's hard to break old habits. I think my dogs are in better shape than I am right now, but that's a subject for another day.

    Wilma Pretorius: [00:13:00] That's true. That's the good thing about dogs that they want to get out and they want to be active, so frequently they might actually be the driver to get us out there doing things. It's a reciprocal relationship, really.

    George: That's what they're for, yeah.

    Wilma Pretorius: We keep them fit and ... Yeah, that's absolutely what they're for.

    George: Dr. Wilma, thank you for coming on. What is the Cranimals web site?

    Wilma Pretorius: The Cranimals web site is very easy. It's basically [00:13:30] wwww.cranimals.com. We have lots of information on our blog, and then you can have a look at all the products and of course we also have testimonials on there. Yeah, your listeners, feel free to hop onto the web site and email us also if you have any questions or queries or you need some advice regarding your pet. We're always happy to help.

    George: We appreciate you coming on today and spreading some of your knowledge. It's real. It's [00:14:00] basic. It's there, and everybody knows it, but we have to be pushed towards it every once in a while. Hopefully this conversation has helped. It's helped me. I know what I'm having for lunch. It's going to be a salad today.

    Wilma Pretorius:Good stuff, yes. While you're at it you may even want to give some to your dog, if they'll eat it.

    George: Absolutely. We appreciate you coming on today, Dr. Wilma. Thank you so much.

    Click here to listen to the entire show!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Cranswers with J&F!

    Do you have a pet health question or canine concern?

    Here at Cranimals, we are focused on easing your pet health concerns with a variety of products to target specific problems. An important factor in your pet's maintenance and well-being is their ability to receive proper care, guidance and affection to become familiar with other people, pets and you. Unexpected conditions may have an adverse effect on your pet's behaviour or training, and may leave them expressing an unusual aversion to common socialization.

    To help Cranswer your pet behavioural queries we've reached out to our good friends at J&F Canine Services. Justin Wilcox is the Chief Trainer at J&F Canine Services here in British Columbia and specializes in companion dog training and behavioural correction. Having dealt with several case studies in the past, Justin is a knowledgeable and trustworthy expert who has partnered with us to help ease the concerns of the Cranimals community!

    Check out our friends J&F Canine Services!

    This weeks questions touch upon variety of questions regarding dependency, grief in dogs and erratic behaviour:

    My partner and I found an abandoned dog on the side of a highway and are raising her. The problem is, the dog is so needy that we can't take two steps without her being under our feet! She follows us everywhere in the house and outside. We will sit on the couch and she lays on our feet or puts her head in our laps. We try, in a gentle way, to lay her down by herself but she turns to us and gives us the saddest look. Trust and believe that she is not lacking in attention! It was very endearing at first, but now is becoming - I feel guilty for saying this - very annoying. What can we do?

    -Tami

    The best thing to do is to start claiming your space. If I'm taking up too much room on the couch my wife will give me a push and tells me to move over. It's basically the same idea with the dogs. Be firm, claim your space and don't feel bad about doing it. Every animal needs to learn 'personal' space.

    My 12 year old German Shepherd is two weeks into our bereavement of our 6 year old girl. How can I help them cope with grief and loss?

    -Sue

    Grief and loss is something that all animals experience. Try to keep them active with their favourite tasks such as long walks or fetch and they will be able to move forward with you every day.

    My husband and I just went on a vacation for 1 week and left our two dogs at our house while my in-laws stayed at the house and dog-sat. When we walked through the door upon returning from our vacation, our one dog was extremely happy to see us while our other dog was apprehensive - growling, barking and backing away. When we started talking to him and approaching him, he ran upstairs and peed all over the place! It took him a while to figure out who we were, after first warming up to my husband and then myself (being coaxed with a treat). He has been fine ever since, but should it happen again what can we do to help our dog feel more at ease and familiar with us when we are away?

    -Neely

    The best way to start would be to ignore them and keep to yourself as you arrive at home. Whether your dogs are jumping all over you or completely avoiding you, only acknowledge them once they have relaxed completely. For example, if they lay down by themselves, they are calm enough to acknowledge. If you ignore the dog that is jumping he will learn that jumping does not receive attention and will therefore calm down. You can give him attention when he's in a calmer, more obedient state of mind.

    For the dog that is avoiding you, let him come to you when he is ready and under his own power. Forcing interaction with a dog only results in his learning to be more apprehensive. When he does approach you, try not to flood him with affection. Just put a leash on him and go for a walk together. This will strengthen the bond between all of you - the peeing should go away as as result.

    That wraps up this edition of Cranswers with J&F! If you have any questions for a future helping of Cranswers regarding either dog behaviour and training, or general questions about our Cranimals products with regards to pet health send your questions in to steve@cranimal.com, let us know on our Facebook page, or post them in a comment below!

    Thanks for your questions Fanimals, and again thanks to Justin for his helpful Cranswers! Be sure to check out J&F Canine Services on Facebook to connect with Justin and become a fan!

  • A Little 'Good Friday' Goes a Long Way

    We hope that you and your four-legged Cranimals have settled into the New Year! Here at Cranimals HQ we are continuing to make the maintenance, health and well-being of pets our top resolution for 2011 - and beyond. We are committed to ensuring that all pets, even those that have not yet settled into a permanent home, are having their health concerns addressed. This priority has become a solid foundation of what we believe in at Cranimals and we are continually striving to give back with 'Cranimals Good Friday'.

    Cranimals GOLD Another GOLD Good Friday!

    This sentiment was first shared with our Facebook Fanimals in Winter 2010 in the form of donations of Cranimals GOLD to non-profit organizations. These were thoughtfully nominated by enthusiastic pet owners, volunteers and all-around good samaritans. To continue this extension of gratitude to the animal welfare community in 2011, we have already donated a bounty of Cranimals GOLD to several worthy foundations and causes this January.

    National English Shepherd Rescue The National English Shepherd Rescue

    National English Shepherd Rescue (NESR) - A non-profit organization working to help place English Shepherds who need new homes. We specifically rescue English Shepherds but are always happy to work with other Rescues and Shelters to place dogs of the English Shepherd type.

    English shepherds are a breed of farm dogs that are often misidentified as border collies, Australian shepherds, Rottweiler mixes, collies, and just plain “mutts or mixes” when they end up in pounds and shelters. This even happens when relinquishers identify them, but workers have never heard of the breed. Because English Shepherds are not “show dogs”, there is a lot of variation in appearance.

    In 2009 NESR took on our largest rescue to date from an animal hoarding situation in Montana.  There were over 200 English Shepherds taken into Yellowstone county custody and kept as evidence for 8 months.   NESR then stepped in and found homes (permanent or foster) for 227 English Shepherds in 8 weeks.  This was a major accomplishment for us as we normally rescue around 40 dogs a year.

    We are a completely volunteer organization, 100% of donations go to helping the dogs we rescue.

    - Kathi Tesarz, National English Shepherd Rescue

    Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society The Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society

    Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) - The Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society strives to improve the lives of animals by rescuing and providing sanctuary to abandoned, surrendered or abused animals.

    Based in Alberta, the AARCS assist surrounding communities in achieving healthy and respectful relationships with animals, promoting responsible and compassionate guardianship and advocating on behalf of all animals. As a volunteer-run organization, the AARCS provide veterinary, behavioural and nutritional care (hopefully that a dosage of Cranimals GOLD can help with).

    Perhaps the most pivotal and essential component of the AARCS is in providing assured 'love and support' for the animals under their care during the search for adoptive homes.

    As a member of the Cranimals team is originally an Albertan-imal, they can attest to the importance and work that the AARCS and other organizations are doing to help with each neglected pet in their transition to becoming a treasured member of a family.

    We are continuing with donations throughout 2011, so stay tuned on our Facebook page and to the wp as we will be posting more information on current and future efforts - including recent donations to Hull's Haven Border Collie Rescue, Rolling Dog Ranch Animal Sanctuary, Greyhound Pets of Atlantic Canada and additional organizations.

    To nominate an organization for a future Good Friday donation, please leave a comment on this post below, on our Facebook wall, or e-mail info@cranimal.com.

  • 2010: The Year of 'Zen'

    Roughly 12 months ago the Cranimals family consisted of our Original, Very Berry and Gold pet supplements. Certainly a strong team of cranberry-amplified products on their own merit, but there was something missing to provide the attentive Cranimals-fueled health boost in-between and after meals. Something that could work as a satisfyingly powerful 'snack' for our four-legged friends, just in the same way that we might treat ourselves to a delightful Cranimals Very Berry-infused yoghurt treat. We wanted to go 'beyond the biscuit'; avoiding dog cookie recipes that relied on additives and incomprehensible ingredients. If you wouldn't want to eat it why would your dog?

    The biscuit that 'cran' do what common dog cookies can't

    Thus the animals here at Cranimals had a 'Eureka!' moment - why not take a different approach and create a biscuit that would be wholesome, great-tasting and functional? Ironically, we became quite excited to introduce a biscuit that would put dogs who experience over-excitement at ease. The remarkable properties that are contained within each Zendog biscuit are attributed to its array of innovative ingredients: organic pumpkin extract, flax protein powder and cold-pressed cranberry seed oil. We relied on a baked-in boost from our tried-and-true friend Cranimals Original as well, the powdered supplements is baked into each biscuit! These ingredients reach a unified cohesion that deliver 150 mg of Omega 3, Vitamins A, C and E and cranberry antioxidants. As for the 'mood-enhancing enlightenment' that calms your dog? That can be attributed to the naturally-occuring tryptophan within the pumpkin extract, helping to promote the synthesis of Zen hormones in the body.

    By March 2010 we had debuted Cranimals Zendog Calming Biscuits to you, our Fanimals, receiving an overwhelming response of approval. We've had great praise on both our reviews page and our Facebook: Dena let us know that her "Bella loved them! And her mom loved the calming effect!", while Bev shared that she "picked up a bag of Zendog Biscuits to try on my 'beasts' - they went crazy over them! And boy do they smell good, maybe I'll try one :)". With each biscuit containing only human food-grade ingredients perhaps Bev is onto an expansion idea, but for now Zendog is happy to cater to your canine's agitation and stress levels - it can be a hard life for a dog! They can be especially useful during thunderstorms - I believe Steve Cranimals might attest to his dogs taking shelter in a bathtub...

    With a sensational review by It's a Vegan Dog's Life Blog we were 'treated' to comments that had us feeling our own sense of Zen:

    I'm not too fond of most commercial vegan treats for pups. Emma won't touch them (she's our little Miss Picky Pants), they don't have the best ingredients or even have toxic ingredients like onion & nutmeg. These, however, are definitely our favorites out of all the commercial treats by far.

    Besides not containing any of the biggest allergens (wheat, corn or soy), they're organic and most of all, both of my girls absolutely love them. Since they're supposed to be a calming treat, they each get one before bed after taking care of "business outside". While I can't really say that I notice if the girls get calmer or not, I can say that they are quite enthusiastic about these treats!

    ppn editor's choice Proud to be an Editor's Choice!

    To top off a successful inaugural year, we garnered the Pet Product News Editor's Choice 2010 Seal of Approval, commended for being a biscuit that is "formulated to contribute essential nutrients to a dog's diet". We would like to think that it's our certified organic proprietary ingredients that is attributed to Zendog's success, but we're sure that having a cover model like Charlie Cranimals (in her most 'animated' Zen-esque pose ;)) could have something to do with it.

    Have you tried our Zendog Calming Biscuits, if so how does your dog find them? If you haven't, learn more about their revolutionary ingredients here, or purchase them at our online store by clicking on the bag below.

    Charlie looking at peace on her pumpkin
  • 'Twas the Season

    Howdy Fanimals!

    Hopefully Santa was good to you this year, perhaps leaving a bounty of shiny red Cranimals bags under the tree? The holiday season is always a great time to spend time with family and catch up with friends, especially those of the four-legged variety, sharing the spirit and appreciating the kindness of others. Whether its lingering to hold the door open for a stranger and their sweater-adorned pooch, making a charitable donation to a noble cause or just simply re-acquainting yourself with an old friend. While I found myself experiencing all three noted portrayals of seasonal spirit, it was the last one listed that was perhaps most challenging.

    11 year-old Golden Retriever Monty

    Travelling home for the holidays, I don't see my family pets as often as I wish I could. When I do, I notice a stark advancement in age, health and mannerisms from the same friends that I grew up with. I'd like to introduce you to my Golden Retriever Monty, a well-mannered dog who has had increasing heart problems related to stress levels. I've seen him grow up from an exuberant puppy to a shy adult dog who becomes scared of the simplest things, but even though he might take a while to deem someone as 'trustworthy' he is extremely friendly nonetheless.

    I'm grateful that my mom is keen and able to look after his increasing health requirements, but I'm also grateful that I have a behind-the-scenes look into how things work at Cranimals - I know that the products we make for your dogs and cats are not only meeting the highest quality for your cherished furry family members, but for ours as well. I've found that our Zendog Calming Biscuits help take an 'edge' off of his agitation levels, granting him a temporary reprieve that lets him relax (though I'm sure being spoiled with some Cranimals SPORT and Original this Christmas might also have something to do with that).

    Zendog Zendog Calming Biscuits - they do work :)

    The Cranimals SPORT supplement helps him build up muscle strength as an aging canine, who although doesn't compete in agility trials or sports still requires a bit of a boost to go about his everyday lounging and walking routine. It's easy to mix to kibble or raw food being in liquid form and doesn't interfere with his medications administered by our veterinarian as it contains simple, whole food ingredients. It's comforting to hear about how our products work for our fans, perhaps all the more comforting when I am able to experience these results firsthand.

    Great for non-sport dogs too!

    Have you had a great experience with any of our products? We'd love to hear about it and maybe even feature it on our wp. Leave a comment below and tell us about it!

    - Steve

  • It's always 'Good Friday' with Cranimals

    Here at Cranimals we have some traditions to adhere to - incorporating our signature cranberry ingredient into each of our products, building relationships with fans and generally being a berry fun group of people (with an affinity for playing with words). One tradition that is near and dear to our hearts is helping out non-profit animal organizations, which is why we started an internal program called 'Cranimals Good Friday'. This weekly event has had all of us looking forward to Fridays for all the RIGHT reasons, with donations made to NPOs throughout North America.

    Now, we are enlisting the help of you our adoring Fanimals audience! We've already made inroads with our Facebook page setting up a 'Donations' tab that allows for easy access and navigation to find out more about our past and current donation efforts, as well as voting for future Fanimal-chosen donations! We donated a box of Cranimals GOLD to Bright Eyes Dog Rescue in Saskatchewan and Webark Estates in West Virginia to kick off December, but we're not done yet! We have a selection of several different non-profit organizations that have been graciously nominated and recommended by our fans, but to help you become better acquainted with each of their efforts we will be posting 'profiles' of their causes and current missions. It's just a small snapshot of the multitude of deserving animal foundations that need help, so do leave a comment or two to help us help them as future 'Good Fridays' roll around!

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