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Behavior

  • Like dogs, cats use their tails to signal their moods. A confident, contented cat will hold her tail high in the air as she moves about. If the top third twitches as she nears you, she totally adores you!
  • Any time your cat’s personality or behavior abruptly changes, it’s a sign that something may be amiss physically. It’s always a good idea to contact your veterinarian right away.
  • Having accidents outside of the litter box is the number-one behavior problem in cats. However, it could be your cat’s way of telling you something is physically wrong. Don’t wait to contact your veterinarian. You won’t want your kitty establishing a bad habit.
  • Dogs experience anxiety just like humans. Loud noises or changes in routine can cause stress for our pets. Signs to look for include hyper-vigilance, shaking or hiding and yawning. Anxiety can escalate; it’s best to consult your vet.
  • National Dog Bite Prevention Week is in May. Millions of people, most of them children, are bitten by dogs each year. The majority of these, if not all, are preventable.
  • Even the cuddliest, fuzziest, sweetest dog can bite if provoked. Most people are bitten by their own dog or one that they know.
  • Socialization and education are keys to dog bite prevention. Make certain your dog is socialized as a young puppy so it is comfortable around people and other animals.
  • Children must be taught NOT to approach strange dogs or pet dogs through fences. NEVER leave a baby or child alone with a dog.
  • Is your kitty bored? Cats can be entertained for hours by simply leaving out an empty box or paper bag (no plastic!) for them to explore, climb into and bat with their paws.
  • If your cat has an extreme fear of his/her carrier, it can help to buy a different type of carrier (soft-sided vs hard plastic).
  • Puppies need structure, consistency and lots of positive reinforcement. But most of all, they need your time. Every minute you spend training, socializing and preventing problems will save you time and frustration down the road.
  • Behavior changes may signal pain. This includes cats who no longer enjoy being petted, dogs who become aggressive, or pets who stop jumping on the bed or climbing stairs.
  • Cats need to be in stimulating and comfortable surroundings. Be sure to provide plenty of toys, hiding spots, scratching posts and elevated resting areas in your home.
  • Like children, puppies need structure and rules: praise when they do right, corrections when they make mistakes and a safe place to retreat, such as a crate.
  • Signals of dominance in dogs include erect and forward ears, elevated tail, eye contact and leaning forward.
  • Direct prolonged eye contact with dogs is very confrontational. In canine body language, it suggests you would like to interact – and not necessarily in a good way.
  • Nipping, scratching, litter box issues, leash pulling, meowing at night, urinating on the floor, chewing shoes. Sound familiar? Some common behavior issues are due to underlying medical problems and these illnesses may be tough to recognize. Get help from your vet.
  • Cats should have places they are allowed to stretch and care for their claws. Providing a long and sturdy scratching post in a vertical, horizontal or angled position is a good way to keep your cat happy…and your sofa, too!
  • Play with, touch and pet your cat’s or dog’s feet frequently. The more accustomed they are to having their paws touched, the more accepting they’ll be of nail trimming.
  • Common reasons a kitty might stop grooming itself are pain or illness. Pain from dental disease and arthritis can keep a cat from his or her normal grooming routine. Contact your vet if you notice any changes in your cat’s grooming habits.
  • Dogs build up a certain amount of energy every day that needs to be expended. If it doesn’t happen through walking, it will often result in bad, destructive behavior or separation anxiety.
  • The prime socialization period for a puppy is between 8-16 weeks of age. This is the time when exposure to other animals, people, noises and experiences will shape the dog he or she becomes.