|Posted on September 23, 2014 at 1:28 AM||comments (5)|
No matter which side of the indoor/outdoor cat debate you fall on, it's important to remember that all cats need attention and stimulation. Cats are so autonomous and independent that it's easy to forget that they do need us, no matter how indifferent to us they may seem.
Outdoor cats may get plenty of stimulation, action and maybe food and water, but they still need love. In our area, it's a good idea to bring them in at night to protect them from coyotes, too. We had a sad period in our neighborhood a few years ago when there were several different missing cat posters everywhere. Luckily, coyotes are wanderers, but they do come back.
Indoor cats may get plenty of love and have food and water at their disposal, but it's easy to forget to stimulate them with playtime. They may have a safer life indoors, but we must make sure it's a quality life. Even older cats may have a few bats at a swinging toy.
|Posted on September 5, 2014 at 12:31 AM||comments (209)|
It happens all the time, two or more dogs greet each other and their owners misinterpret the signs the dogs are displaying. There is some posturing, maybe some teeth bearing but, some tail wagging so the owners think everything is okay. What people don't realize is that there are different types of tail wagging. Let's look at tail wagging a littler closer by looking at the situation and the rest of the dog's body language. Of course, it all depends on the individual dog.
Usually, a happy wag is a low, slower, wide wag, usually but not always. Look at your dog's wagging tail the next time he sees you approaching, obviously, that's his happy wag. Now, if you have, or know, a dog that gets nervous, aggressive or barks at strangers, look at that wag. Chances are, his tail will be straight up, maybe pointing forward and moving back and forth very quickly. He may also have hackles, partial or full, his ears may be up and he may be growling or baring teeth. These are not the signs of a happy dog.
There are some pugs in our neighborhood that Cooper absolutely loathes. He will sit in the window, happily watching the street when suddenly, he will stand up, ears go up, hackles rise and his tail gets erect, goes forward and rapidly whips back and forth. Sure enough, there they are. It's absolutely classic.
So, remember, the next time you're trying to assess a dog's comfort level, don't assume everything is okay because her tail is wagging. There could be pugs out there!
|Posted on October 23, 2012 at 1:31 AM||comments (260)|
People sometimes wonder if their dog would be happier at home with a pet sitter or boarding in a home or facility when they need to be out of town. The answer depends a lot on the dog and the dog's usual environment.
I have found that older or nervous dogs who live in a quiet adult home, usually do better staying at home and having a professional pet sitter stay with them.
Younger, well-socialized dogs do just fine in a boarding environment. Naturally, I think that in-home boarding is preferred to a kennel. Our boarding dogs become part of our family and after the first day or so, they learn the routine and it seems like they forget that they live somewhere else and thrive in our busy house. If I went out of town and left Cooper at home, he would sit in the den and watch for me until I returned.
Dogs are remarkably adaptive and will do well as long as they are well loved and cared for in your absence. The important thing is that YOU feel comfortable and confident about where they are while you're gone.