Monthly Archives: August 2011

How to Tell your Pet is Sick!

Unfortunately our loveable pups or cats face times where they are under the weather.  As owners we can help them by understanding some quick illness signs and symptoms.

  • Vomiting or Diarrhea
  • Lack of Appetite

  • Decreased Activity
  • Urinating more or less Frequently
  • Coughing
  • Hair Loss or Itchy Skin
  • Stiffness, Lameness, or Difficulty with Rising

For more detailed information on these symptoms please visit this link!



Why does our dog bark so much?!

Our cute cuddly little pup is so loveable, but at times they will bark and bark and bark!  We can all relate to that.  Barking is one type of vocal communication that dogs use, and it can mean different things depending on the situation. Here are some reasons why dogs bark:

  • Territorial/Protective: When a person or an animal comes into an area your dog considers his territory, which often triggers excessive barking. As the threat gets closer, the barking often gets louder. Your dog will look alert and even aggressive during this type of barking.
  • Alarm/Fear: Some dogs bark at any noise or object that catches their attention or startles them. This can happen anywhere, not just in their home territory.
  • Boredom/Loneliness: Dogs are pack animals. Dogs left alone for long periods, whether in the house or in the yard, can become bored or sad and often will bark because they are unhappy.
  • Greeting/Play: Dogs often bark when greeting people or other animals. It’s usually a happy bark, accompanied with tail wags and sometimes jumping.
  • Attention Seeking: Dogs often bark when they want something, such as going outside, playing, or getting a treat.
  • Separation Anxiety/Compulsive Barking: Dogs with separation anxiety often bark excessively when left alone. They also usually exhibit other symptoms as well, such as pacing, destructiveness, depression, and inappropriate elimination. Compulsive barkers seem to bark just to hear the sound of their voices. They also often make repetitive movements as well, such as running in circles or along a fence.


Frightened Pups in a Stormy Night!

Even the toughest dogs get scared during a big storm.  We love our pups so much that it is hard to watch them get so scared.  If not handled properly a dog can actually endanger themselves while being so scared.  Here are some tips on how to handle your dog during a storm:

  • Do not console or pet your dog while they are panicked

This can actually make things worse!
Try distracting them with their favorite toys or treats

  • Give the dog a safe place where they can go in a storm

Like an open crate, the basement, a bathroom or even the bath tub!

  • Consider a snug garment

Something like a tight fitted shirt or sweater!

  • Block out the sound of the storm

Play a CD really loud or turn your TV up to block out the noise

  • Visit the vet if the scared behavior gets worse!





How to Handle your Cat’s Aggression

Cats are loveable, relaxing, adoring animals; however they do have a different side to their calm nature.  Cats will fight one another and us for many reasons, emotional and physical. Territorial, inter-male, and maternal aggression are a few of the most common. And, of course, sometimes it’s just overly rambunctious play. While solutions depend on the cause, here are some to consider:

  • Talk with your vet. Cats can become aggressive due to serious illness, so it’s vital to rule out a physical cause for a cat’s aggression.
  • Encourage appropriate play. When cats are aggressive toward a person, it’s usually because they’re frightened or they’re playing. To prevent a cat from playing rough, never use your hands or feet as playthings. Offer many toys and spend time playing with them with your cat. You might also consider adopting another cat as a playmate or providing a more stimulating environment, such as an outdoor enclosure.
  • Consider spaying and neutering. Intact males are more prone to aggressive behavior, and one intact cat can affect the behavior of others. So be sure all felines in a household are spayed or neutered.
  • Ease competition among cats. If you have more than one cat, you can prevent competition by providing multiple food and water bowls, and at least two litter boxes in different parts of the house.
  • Provide pheromones and perches. Encourage the cats in a multi-cat household to spread out by providing hiding spots and perches throughout the house. You can also buy artificial pheromones that mimic a natural cat odor (undetectable by humans); these can help cats stay calm.
  • Use short-term medication. Prescribed by your vet, these can help while you’re dealing with cat aggression. Never use over-the-counter medications — especially those meant for humans — unless recommended by your vet. Some drugs that are safe for humans can be fatal to cats.
  • Restrain, but don’t punish. Don’t hit your cat for being aggressive, as it will only spur more aggression, as well as fear. But don’t let cat aggression go unchecked, either. To stop a cat fight in progress, make a loud noise, squirt the cats with water, or throw something soft at them. Don’t try to pull apart two fighting cats.

Solving aggression problems between cats takes time. Enlisting the help of a family vet, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist (ACVB), or a certified applied animal behaviorist (CAAB) can make it easier.


Taking care of your Senior Pet

Our pets are beloved family members; they become a part of our lives and everything we do.  As time moves on our pets age very fast.  Therefore, it is important to understand how to care for our aging animals.  Here are a few tips on taking care of a senior pet:

  • Diet: As cats and dogs get older, their kidney and liver function slows down, affecting some of the ability to metabolize protein and other nutrients. A regular checkup at the vet can tell you what changes to make in your pet’s diet as their digestive system ages to keep him healthy.
  • Activity: Older dogs and cats will slow down a bit; they may not walk as far or romp as much. Check with your vet about a lower carbohydrate or lower fat diet to keep weight within a healthy range.
  • Environment: Just like people, some older pets can develop arthritis and other mobility problems. Try moving beds, food dishes and litter boxes to the same level of the house to minimize stair climbing. You can also get pet-sized ramps and stairs to help them get onto beds or into cars.