The loss of mental function with age is one of the hardest parts of dog ownership. To some extent it’s unavoidable, but there’s also a lot you can do.
The most important thing is knowing when it isn’t likely. I see far too many dogs written off with ‘dementia’ who really have something else entirely. Usually something that can be treated. Continue reading “Cognitive Dysfunction In Old Dogs”
After every thunderstorm or firework night I wait for the calls:
- Dogs wandering the streets far from home
- Dogs that have gone through windows
- Dogs with lacerations from escape attempts
What we don’t see nearly enough are the dogs that just suffer in silence, panting, trembling or hiding at home. Noise phobias are common in dogs, and there’s a lot your vet can do to help. Continue reading “Thunderstorm & Firework Anxiety In Dogs”
I wonder how many people have regretted those fateful words: “I’m going to get a kitten to keep my cat company”.
You see, cats aren’t like us. As a highly social species, we tend to assume all the others are the same. But while cats can learn to be friends, it isn’t natural and it almost never happens in the wild. Continue reading “How To Introduce A Kitten To A Cat”
Finding it hard to introduce a cat to another cat? Well before you feel like a failure, try this experiment… Continue reading “How To Get Two Cats To Like Each Other”
Recently, a well-respected Sydney academic published his behavioural data on over 6000 castrated male dogs. It’s created headlines like”Neutering Causes Behavior Problems In Male Dogs”.
Can this be true? You’ve probably been told that desexing reduces behaviour problems, not causes them! Continue reading “Male Dog Behaviour After Neutering: The Science”
Yesterday: a dog who panics whenever someone touches her feet. The day before: a dog with anxiety about her ears being touched. These dogs are everywhere; what happened to them?
The answer is something I’ve held back a long time from writing about. It contains criticism of my own profession as well as others. God knows, I’m no saint, and like most vets, I’ve made all these mistakes too. But we’re going to keep making them, so you need to know how to stop them. Continue reading “Preventing Stress, Fear & Scares At The Vet”
Sadly, the treatment of mental health problems in dogs is taken much more seriously than in cats. An anxious dog will often get help quickly due to destruction or noise issues. An anxious cat, by contrast, tends to suffer in silence. Even worse, when they do show signs they’re often blamed for it. Continue reading “Fear, Stress & Anxiety In Cats”
No one wants to drug their pets. I get that. But we need to talk about mental health.
Let’s start by throwing out all the weasel words that stop us seeing it for what it is. It isn’t a ‘behaviour problem’ except to us. All these concerns like destruction, whining, howling, barking, biting or escaping. They’re only symptoms of a much greater problem. Continue reading “We Need To Talk: Anxiety Medications In Dogs”
As a grumpy cat lover, I’m embarrassed to say what gets under my skin. It’s when a cat is so much fun to be around that someone says, “he’s like a dog.” Although it’s meant as high praise, to me it says a lot about how we risk seeing cats. Continue reading “The Top Ten Mistakes Cat Owners Make”
Update 1 year later: read to the end for the good news!
Out of the box came a beautiful and regal young male Ragdoll cat. He was quite a sight; in the prime of life and nearly perfect in health and temperament. But not to his owners, who said, “he’s a monster, we’re going to have to get rid of him.” Continue reading “How To Feed Kittens, Not Monsters”