Article by Dr. Mary Becker DVM | Found on VetStreet

You have puppy or kitten fever, but you live with a senior pet. Should you get a new animal? We often have the idea that a younger pet will revitalize an older one, but is that really true?

 I have found over and over that bringing a new pet into a household with a senior can breathe new life into the old boy or girl. We give pets the time we can spare and the love we can share, but living with another member of the same species can provide them with social, mental and physical benefits. We see it when they join in on neighborhood barking, groom each other, curl up together for a nap or join forces to chase a ball or toy. And a more experienced pet can teach a new one the household rules. In fact, with the right pairing, the time you spend training could be cut significantly.

Read more

Article by Julie Edgar | Featured on Medicine Net

Cats are fastidious creatures, and nowhere is that more evident than in their litter box habits. When your cat won’t use the litter box — and at least 10% of all cats develop an elimination problem — the cause could be anything from an unclean box to an illness.

Before you try some easy strategies to get her back in the litter box, have her checked out by a veterinarian to rule out a health problem. If you’ve just introduced a new cat to your household, make sure the litter box is as cat-friendly as possible to prevent a problem in the future.

WebMD looked at common litter box problems and solutions. Here’s what we found: Read more

Article by Jon Hamilton | Found on NPR

You may not remember what you were doing a few minutes ago. But your dog probably does.

A study of 17 dogs found they could remember and imitate their owners’ actions up to an hour later. The results, published Wednesday in Current Biology, suggest that dogs can remember and relive an experience much the way people do.

That’s probably not a big surprise to people who own dogs, says Claudia Fugazza, an author of the study and an animal behavior researcher at Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest. Fugazza owns a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog named Velvet.

“Most dog owners at least suspected that dogs can remember events and past experiences,” she says.

But demonstrating this ability has been tricky.

Fugazza and her colleagues thought they might be able to test dogs’ memory of events using a training method she helped develop called “Do As I Do.” It teaches dogs to observe an action performed by their owner, then imitate that action when they hear the command: “Do it.” Read more

Children are unaware of the risks of approaching frightened dogs

Children understand the risks of approaching an angry dog but they are unaware that they should show the same caution around frightened dogs.

That is one of the findings of a study by Dr Sarah Rose and Grace Aldridge of Staffordshire University who will present their findings at the 2016 British Psychological Society’s Developmental Psychology Section annual conference in Belfast.

Dr Rose said: “UK statistics show that young children are at the highest risk of being bitten by a dog with nearly 1200 admissions to hospital for under 10’s during 2013-2014. This study explored whether the explanation is that they are unable to accurately recognize a dog’s emotions when approaching one.”

Read more

How Do You Train Your Dog When Times Are Tough?

Article by Dr. Lisa Radosta | Article Featured on PetMD

I’ve spent a lot of time here emphasizing the importance of teaching your dog the proper skills in order to be a good pet. Regular readers know that I think that going to class is best for most pups. There is nothing like an educated coach to help you guide your puppy. When you can, get to class!

However, a comment on a recent blog that I wrote reminded me that every aspect of our lives — even puppy training — can be affected by the economic downturn that our country is facing. So, what do you do about training your pup when times are tough?

Read more