Article by Mychelle Blake | Found on PetHealthNetwork

Proper exercise for dogs is important to their overall physical and mental wellbeing, but often “mental exercise” is given short shrift when looking at fulfilling a dog’s needs. Dogs that are bored and that have little mental and environmental stimulation can develop mild to severe behavioral problems as a result. Providing your dog with “brain exercise” is easy to do – here’s some ideas you can try out! Read more

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Cats inside cardboard boxes . . . it’s so common that it’s become cliché. Why do cats like boxes so much?

There has been some research into this issue, and it seems likely that there are multiple reasons for cats to go crazy for cardboard boxes. Read more

Article by Eloise Porter | Medically Reviewed by Steve Kim, MD | Featured on Health Line

When to Worry About Your Pet

Your dog is part of the family: He’s your best friend, eats your leftovers, and accompanies you on morning walks. But your dog can’t complain, so how do you know when to seek medical help? How can you tell if that limp signifies a sprain, or that sneeze requires an antibiotic?

Learn the warning signs that mean you should take your pet to the vet.

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Dogs are problem-solving team players who need more than cookies and affection to prosper. Follow these eight steps to make sure your dog is happy, secure, and fulfilled.

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How Dogs Recognize Human Emotion

Written by  | Featured on Medical News Today

Calling all dog owners: does your four-legged friend seem to know when you are feeling sad, happy or angry? If so, a new study may explain why; dogs recognize human emotions by drawing on different sensory information – an ability that, until now, has only been identified in primates and humans.
Dogs combine sensory information to identify the emotional states of both dogs and humans, say researchers.

Previous research claims that dogs’ ability to differentiate between human emotions is down to “associate behavior” – in which they link certain emotional states to facial expressions or other cues that they have learned.

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Dog Park Etiquette

Article featured on PetMD

Minding Your Dog’s Manners

Spending an afternoon at the dog park is great for providing your dog with exercise while allowing her to socialize with other animals. While the experience can and should be fun, it can also be a challenge if Daisy’s bad manners are allowed to go unchecked. Here are some basics for a fun, trouble-free time at the dog park.

Before You’re Out the Door

Your dog should be in good health and old enough to have had her entire series of vaccinations. It’s also helpful if your dog has been through basic obedience training. A city license and/or rabies tag should be on your pet’s collar, as well as proper identification. In fact, in some parks these tags are a requirement for admittance. Be sure to pack waste bags for picking up after your dog, as well as water. You can use a resealable bowl, a collapsible bowl, or a water bottle with a special dog spout. And don’t forget to take your dog’s leash for walking her to and from the entrance of the dog park.

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Tips for Easing Your Pet Through Back to School Anxiety

Article by Dr. Jessica Vogelsang | Featured on PetMD

Parents across the land are rejoicing: it’s back to school time! But in the midst of our revelry let’s not forget the ones who find Back to School more distressing than we do:

Not the kids. They’ll manage. I’m talking about your pets.

Over the summer, our dogs, cats, and other companion animals got to enjoy us for long stretches of time. They may have even joined us on vacation. And now that fall has rolled around and it’s back to the old routine of work and school, some of us may find that our pets are displaying more anxiety than usual.

Here are a few tips to help ease the back-to-school transition:

  1. Get a new routine and stick to it as much as possible. Pets find comfort in predictable routine, which is why they stress out when it changes abruptly in the fall. The sooner they are able to recognize and predict the new routine, the more comfortable they will be.
  1. Don’t let their attention time fall by the wayside. It’s super easy to skip those long walks when the pressure of fall sports and homework starts to rear its ugly head, but your pet needs the attention now more than ever. Don’t let your day get so crazy that you can’t take a quick walk with your dog or play with your cat for a little bit. Keeping your pet active will help minimize unwanted boredom-related behaviors.

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Arthritis in Pets - Laurelwood Animal Hospital

How to Spot Arthritis in Dogs and Cats

By Lorie Huston, DVM

Arthritis is one of the most common ailments seen in middle-aged to older pets. Even younger dogs and cats, under the right circumstances, can suffer from arthritic changes. Arthritis causes changes within the affected joints that are painful for the affected pet. This pain is responsible for many of the signs associated with arthritis. Here are seven of those common signs.

1. Limping

You may see your pet limping or favoring one or more of his legs, depending on which legs and which joints are arthritic. In some cases, the limp may seem worse when your pet first rises and become less noticeable as your pet “warms up” by moving around.

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Missing Dog Found - Laurelwood Vets

It has been a rough year for Dale “Bucko” Franck and his wife Nancy. According to Iowa Public Radio, Bucko spent some time in the hospital for health problems and Nancy was diagnosed with cancer. Nancy recently had cancer surgery, but there were complications, and the Cedar Rapids woman was transferred over to Mercy Medical Center after spending a few days in intensive care.

While Nancy’s situation is devastating to Bucko, it also appears to be hard on the family’s two Miniature Schnauzers, Sissy and Barney. And Sissy missed Nancy so much that she decided to take matters into her own paws.

In the middle of the night, Bucko woke up and discovered his furnace wasn’t working. While he was up trying to fix the problem, he took both dogs out into the back yard. Usually, the dogs run right back into the house after Bucko unhooks them. He assumed that Sissy had already run into the kitchen, so he went back inside. But it only took a few minutes for Bucko to realize Sissy was gone.

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Voice Loss in Pets - Laurelwood Vets
By Dr. Ken Tudor

Do you remember the last time you got a bad cold and lost most or all of your voice? It was annoying, but not a serious problem. Well, the same is not true for pets. If their voice changes or is lost it is a big deal and not just a cold.

The Voice Box or Larynx

Animals are able to make sounds by creating vibrations of vocal cords or folds. These fibrous cords are part a rigid chamber at the beginning of the trachea or windpipe called the larynx or voice box. The vocal folds open and close the opening of the trachea, producing the characteristic bark and growls of dogs, the meow and purr of cats, and our own voices. When the vocal folds close, they close the tracheal airway. This is why we can’t breathe and talk at the same time. The same is true when dogs bark and cats meow.

The cat is unique in that its vocal fold cords have an additional membrane called the ventricular cords that are used for purring. They can vibrate these rapidly without closing the trachea completely and can breathe when they are purring. So how do animals lose their voice?

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