We all know that cats like to ‘sharpen their claws’, but it’s amazing how little we actually know about it. Yet scratching in cats is extremely important.
- a genuine need of cats
- a significant source of concern for cat owners
- a leading cause of surrender to shelters
- the excuse used for surgical declawing of cats
What you see here is typical of veterinary science. Pick a rare disease like arterial thromboembolism and you’ll find lots of good science. Pick a common, everyday, practical problem and it just doesn’t get the same attention.
Finally, I have something to tell you. For the first time, two recent studies have looked at scratcher preferences in kittens and adult cats. They offered cats choices and measured which ones they chose to use more often. Continue reading “Which Cat Scratcher Do Cats Use Most?”
Not long ago I saw two adult dogs in a row that had just been adopted from their breeder. The first one wasn’t perfectly normal, but he’ll be OK. However, the second one, Jethro was in real trouble. That’s him in the picture.
Right now, he’s frightened of many things in an unpredictable way. He’s frequently frozen and unwilling to move, difficult to walk, wary of strangers and not interested in food. At night he wanders the house unsettled. But he’s also showing signs of the lovely dog within.
Recently I told you that the best age to get a puppy is 7 to 8 weeks old. But there are plenty of dogs and puppies over 16 weeks old needing homes. Here are some examples:
So what happens if you get them? The answer is that they still make great pets, but not all of them and not always in the same way. Continue reading “Adopting an Older Ex Breeder or Shelter Dog”
The age when you bring a puppy home matters. What you might be surprised by is how early that is.
The best age for a puppy to enter their new home is at seven to eight weeks old. This is what the evidence tells us, especially the best and most recent study. Continue reading “What Is The Best Age To Get A Puppy?”
One of the common arguments for not desexing a dog is the effect on their trainability, especially herding, guarding or protection. But does this really happen? Continue reading “Are Desexed Dogs Harder To Train?”
UPDATE 13 May: Limited puppy preschool places are now available at our clinic on Thursday nights. To comply with current regulations, we request that:
- only one person comes with each puppy
- class members wait outside until the start time
For puppies elsewhere in the world, I’m afraid that the puppies of the next few months won’t grow up the same. I fear that this virus will change how they enjoy the rest of their lives. But I also think you can do something about it. Continue reading “A Puppy Checklist For The Social Distancing Age”
Old dogs commonly develop a form of dementia we call Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome. I’ve written about the signs of CDS and its treatment elsewhere.
Here I want to update you on the latest evidence about foods and dietary supplements that might benefit dogs with CDS. I’ll discuss each ingredient first and then the foods that might contain them. Continue reading “Foods & Supplements For Dogs With CDS”
Try looking for answers when your dog eats their own stool and you’ll quickly see the problem. All the advice is the same.
Some top sites have literally cut and pasted the content from others, and those that haven’t appear to be just rewriting what everyone else says. The reason is simple: because no-one has the answers.
A recent study (and the only good one) found that success rates with the sort of methods they discuss are only 1-4%. And it’s even worse if you try one of the many products being sold: 0-2%!
This fits exactly with my experience over 25 years. But it’s not hopeless! I’m going to use what I’ve learnt plus the evidence to give you practical, realistic advice. There’ll be a lot less promises, but also a lot less wasted effort. Continue reading “How To Stop Your Dog Eating Poo”
I see every day how hard it is to find the right way to stop dogs pulling on the leash. There are too many traps and too little good advice.
For these dogs, an appropriate restraint needs to be more than just comfortable and secure; it has to also be effective. So I put the question out to a select group of professional dog trainers. Continue reading “What Is The Best Way To Stop A Dog Pulling?”
Everyone has an opinion about what makes a great obedience class. I’ve got a lot to say on the subject, but I’ll start here: obedience has nothing to do with it!
The evidence is clear and consistent. When measured by results, reward-based training outperforms more ‘traditional’ methods. It’s also much less likely to cause pain or anxiety.
That’s why this article is going to help you tell the difference. By the end, you should be able to choose the right class for your dog. I will go through some clues you can use, and then use an example of two very real classes. Continue reading “How To Find A Good Dog Training Class”
Does your dog do this? When mine gets excited or playful he starts sneezing.
Sneezing during play isn’t well understood, but it’s clearly one of the least serious causes of sneezing in dogs.
I’ll take you through the other common reasons, from minor to major. As nearly every one is associated with a runny nose, I’ll also describe the nasal discharge that goes with it.
By the time you make it to the end, you’ll be an expert! Continue reading “Causes Of Sneezing In Dogs”