Why Dogs and Cats Eat Grass

by VetDepot on March 19, 2014

dog eating grass 2 editedAs a loving and devoted pet owner, you probably take care in choosing nutritionally complete food and healthy pet treats. So, why do some pets feel the need to snack on grass? The answer isn’t the same for every animal.

Even if a pet’s diet is complete, cravings for certain things (like grass) can occur. If your pet is just taking a few nibbles of grass and no gastrointestinal upset is present, there is probably not much cause for concern (as long as your lawn isn’t treated with any harmful chemicals).

In other cases, pets have the behavioral drive to eat things that aren’t typically considered food. For some pets, this might be grass, but it can also be things like paper or plastic. Learn more…

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What to Do If Your Pet Is Lost

by VetDepot on March 18, 2014

lost dog sign blogFor any owner, looking for a lost pet is a terrible experience. It’s difficult to stay calm when emotions are running high, but it’s important to have a plan.

Below are some steps to take for finding a lost pet:

•Maintain Home Base: If your pet just got out, it’s crucial to search the neighborhood right away. However, leave someone at home that your pet is familiar with in case he finds his way back home on his own.

•Make Posters: Create large posters with a recent photo and a clear phone number. If possible, include a reward.

•Make Fliers: Make a bunch of fliers that also include a photo and contact information. Hand them out to your neighbors and ask to hang them in local coffee shops and other establishments. Learn more…

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Why Do Some Cats Not Like Belly Rubs?

by VetDepot on March 14, 2014

cat on back blogFor many dogs, there’s nothing better in life than a good belly rub. It’s no wonder why so many pet parents make the mistake of assuming their cat would enjoy the same experience. It’s fairly common for cats to latch on with their claws out when someone attempts to rub their belly.

So, why do cats roll over on their backs if they don’t want their tummies rubbed? Unlike their canine counterparts, rolling over isn’t a submissive behavior for cats, it’s actually a defensive posture. Wild felines roll over on their backs when they can’t flee, allowing them better use of their claws and teeth against their predators. So, don’t be too surprised when your sweet kitty bites or scratches when you go in for the belly rub, because their reaction is instinctive. Learn more…

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5 Signs of a Flea Infestation

by VetDepot on March 14, 2014

flea blogThe official start of spring is just a few days away! Saying goodbye to the cold winter weather may be a relief, but for pet owners, springtime unfortunately also means the start of flea season.

Fleas may be a year-round threat in some areas, but spring and summer are the seasons to be especially proactive against infestations. Monthly flea prevention, like Frontline Plus or Advantage II, is a great way to ensure pets are protected from parasites.

Pet parents should be on the lookout for the following signs of an infestation:

  1. Restlessness: Pets don’t have to be scratching incessantly to be suffering from flea bites. If you notice your pet is more restless than usual, this could be a sign of fleas.
  2. Scratching, chewing, and licking: This is an obvious one. If you notice your pet is displaying these behaviors, check for fleas. These tiny parasites are most likely to hide out in the armpit and groin areas of an animal. Learn more…
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Declaw blogDeclawing a cat is nothing like a manicure. The procedure typically involves removing the last bone (or at least part of the bone) in each toe of the paw. Like any surgical procedure, declawing is painful and requires time and care to recuperate.

Before resorting to surgery, it’s important for cat owners to remember that scratching is a natural feline behavior. Clawing at surfaces is how cats mark their territory and sharpen their nails. However, when those surfaces are rugs, furniture, and other household items, it’s easy for owners to get frustrated.

Several steps can be taken to prevent destructive scratching. Staying on top of nail trimming will lessen a cat’s need to scratch. If you’re not comfortable trimming your cat’s nails yourself, you can make an appointment with a veterinarian. It’s also essential to provide plenty of appropriate places for your cat to scratch. Place scratching posts in multiple locations around your home so that your feline companion always has an appropriate alternative to your furniture. Learn more…

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Tips for Training Your Cat to Walk on a Leash

by VetDepot on March 6, 2014

cat on a leash blogOutdoor cats face a lot of dangers. From coyotes, to cars, to fights with other cats, there are many threats to cats that spend a lot of time outside. However, being outdoors is not without its perks. A little sunshine and some exercise is certainly beneficial.

So, how do owners expose their feline companions to the great outdoors without putting them at risk? The answer is a harness and a leash. The idea of walking a cat on a leash may seem a little absurd to some, but just think of all the fresh air and exercise your cat could enjoy.

Try these tips for training your cat to walk on a leash:

  • Be prepared: Before venturing outdoors, make sure your cat is wearing a collar with an ID tag or has a microchip. Also be sure that your cat’s vaccinations are up-to-date and they are receiving monthly parasite protection. Learn more…
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Why Some Dogs Love the Taste of Cat Food

by VetDepot on March 5, 2014

dog empty bowl blogIf your home is residence to both a feline and canine companion, you may have noticed your dog trying to sneak a bite or two of cat food. Crunchy kibble of the feline variety may not seem very different than dog food, so what makes it so attractive to dogs?

The reality is that dog and cat food may look similar, but there are some key differences. Since cats are carnivores and dogs are omnivores, kitty food has a much higher protein content and less fiber. There’s no doubt that this difference affects the taste, and dogs seem to be drawn to the protein-rich food.

So, is it dangerous for dogs to chow down on a few bites of cat food? The answer depends on the dog. Some dogs won’t be affected at all, while others will experience diarrhea and vomiting. Learn more…

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Why Do Dogs Tilt Their Heads?

by VetDepot on March 4, 2014

puppy head tilt blogMost dog owners have witnessed it. You say something to your dog, a phone rings, or something loud happens on TV, and your dog does the elusive head tilt. But, what exactly are dogs trying to accomplish by cocking their head to one side?

There is no definitive answer to this question, but animal behaviorists have their theories. Some dogs know certain words, or at least pick up on tone of voice. Many dogs will tilt their head when they think they’ve heard something that is usually followed by a reward. If you’ve just uttered the words walk, treat, or car ride, there’s a good chance your pup is titling her head in anticipation.

The head tilt could also have something to do with the way dogs hear. Canines have moveable ear flaps that allow them to locate a sound’s source. Learn more…

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How to Get Your Cat to Exercise

by VetDepot on February 28, 2014

cat exercise blogMost pet parents have heard how important exercise is for their furry companion’s overall health. Exercise helps prevent obesity, keeps pets stimulated to ward off destructive behavior, strengthens bones, and improves circulation.  For dogs, it’s easy. From daily walks, to games of fetch, to agility classes, there are a lot of obvious options for making sure a dog gets enough activity. But, how do you get a cat to exercise?

Below are five ways to ensure your cat is getting a healthy amount of activity:

1. Set up play dates: If you have friends or family members with feline companions, set up a date! You can catch up with your buddy while the kitties have fun running and playing together. It’s a win-win situation for everyone! Learn more…

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cute guilty puppy blogThe next time you come home to an expensive pair of chewed up shoes, you may want to think twice about yelling “bad dog” and lecturing your puppy. Recent scientific findings suggest that dogs are actually incapable of feeling shame.

So what about that guilty expression, the tail between the legs, and the cowering head? Animal behaviorists attribute these “guilty” behaviors to the owner’s anger. Dogs are simply responding to their owners’ reactions and are unable to connect that anger with the damage they did earlier in the day.

This isn’t to say that dogs are incapable of learning from their behavior. If a reward or punishment is handed out immediately after the good/bad behavior, dogs are more likely to connect their actions with the consequences. Learn more…

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