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Anyone who owns dogs has seen this stance and many other stances from our beloved pet after he has relieved himself. He’s gets quite protective of his remains as if he’s ready for war with anyone goes near. As a professional pet sitter, it is my least favorite task to do. You know, scooping the poop. But we all have to do what we have to, to keep the finances flowing .
The Question Remains : What is the purpose of these dogs scratching, protecting and burying with their paws after they eliminate?
This has actually been a popular discussion topic lately on Facebook and other groups I’m involved with. We’re determined to understand the psychosis meaning of this dog behavior.
Dogs of both sexes commonly scratch or scrape the ground with their hind paws immediately after defecating. Some dogs also perform this action after urinating. This is a normal behavior — it’s your dog’s way of leaving a scent and visual message to other hounds that might pass by later. Wolves, the ancestors of domestic dogs, perform this behavior for the same reason.
Dogs have scent glands under their paws and in between their toes. When the dog scrapes at the ground near his fresh poop pile, the scent from these glands is transferred to the ground. Before dogs became domesticated, it was useful to mark their territory using the scent from their glands. Wild dogs, and their wolf ancestors, use this method of marking to protect territories that were too large to patrol each day. Message
When wolves and dogs roamed wild, they needed to warn other animals away from their territory. This was the dogs’ way of protecting their food sources, for example, the rabbits living in their territory, and also their breeding females. You might think that the dog’s feces is sufficiently pungent to warn off competing animals, but much of the scent is lost once the feces dries out. The scent from the dog’s feet glands is more enduring. Additionally, the long and deep scrape marks left by the dog’s paws and claws let other dogs know that your dog is strong and powerful. Health Concerns
If your dog usually scrapes the ground after defecating, it can be a warning sign if she stops this behavior. When dogs develop arthritis or other health problems affecting their mobility, they may stop scraping. As arthritis progresses, dogs may have trouble reaching a squatting position for defecation. This can lead to problems with the dog soiling herself. Practical Considerations
A dog’s scraping after defecation can make cleaning up his poop more awkward. It’s best just to let your dog finish his scraping before you bend down to pick up his poop, otherwise you risk getting dirt or worse kicked up into your face. Most dogs will not tread in their own poop as they scrape, as they spread their paws wide enough to avoid the feces. Unlike cats, dogs do not scrape and scratch to cover up their poop. The intention is to leave the feces visible to other dogs, with an extra marking scent surrounding the poop. Don’t try to train your dog out of scraping as it’s a natural and instinctive behavior that takes only a little time and doesn’t cause significant damage to the landscape.
Every year, millions of people — mostly children — are bit by dogs, and experts say most cases were preventable.
In honor of National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which runs May 15-21, here are five tips to prevent bites. However, it is important to note that these prevention methods are reserved for non-aggressive dogs; canines that have already bitten or even growled and barked should be seen by a veterinary behaviorist or behavior consultant.
Problem to prevent: Your dog bites a person or dog while off-leash (at home or away). Prevention: Early conditioning (or remedial counter conditioning) People = good news for dogs. Teaching dogs that humans are safe is key and the earlier the better. Proper puppy socialization classes are highly recommended. In addition, teaching simple tasks, like coming when called, and manners, like sit and down, are also good tools to guide our dogs away from people if the dog becomes frightened or overwhelmed.
Problem to prevent: Your dog bites humans who reach for him. Prevention: Teach your dog to gently touch a human hand (hand targeting). This prevents bites by giving your dog a specific task to do when he sees a human hand reaching for him – touch it gently with his nose. Because we use reinforcement-based training, this also teaches your dog (or puppy) that human hands are safe. Touching the hand yields a treat.
Problem to prevent: Your dog bites a person or dog on a walk. Prevention: Teach your dog to follow you on leash and change directions when cued. Not all dogs or people will want to meet your dog, even if he’s friendly. Teaching your dog to calmly follow your directions on walks will prevent frustration and possible aggression as a result. Teaching your friendly dog to properly approach and interact with people on walks will also prevent bites.
Problem to prevent: Your dog bites a human who bumps, startles or steps on him. Prevention: Teach your dog to give humans personal space and not crowd them unless invited to do so. Dogs are very sensitive to personal space and can learn to move out of the way when humans approach them. It’s good manners and it helps teach them to be aware of human movement. Since we train this with praise and treats, there is no fear associated with the movement. Fear fuels aggression, so it’s best not to scare our dogs when training them.
Problem to prevent: Your dog bites people when he becomes frightened or stressed. Prevention: Teach your dog to calm himself by making better behavior choices on his own. For example, teach them how to settle themselves on a mat. It’s a unique process called “shaping,” which basically engages the dog’s brain and helps him figure out how to go to the mat and relax on his own.
Boy, do I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say their dog was “hyperactive” or “ADHD” – I’d be a wealthy woman. In fact, those are clinical terms referring to very specific behavioral disorders (canine and human) that are relatively uncommon in dogs. In reality, most “hyper” dogs are just under-exercised. A couple of days hiking at the Peaceable Paws farm and you’d hardly know them.
Not every dog owner has access to large tracts of acreage upon which to exercise their unruly canines, and in any case, “wild child canine syndrome” (WCCS) is more than just lack of exercise; it’s also lack of appropriate reinforcement for calm behavior – i.e., training. Unfortunately, all too often a dog loses his happy home – maybe even his life, as a result of his high-energy behavior.
We’ve seen several of these WCCS dogs at the training center in recent weeks. One private client decided to return her Shar-Pei-mix to the rescue from whence the pup came. Despite her best intentions and efforts, the client had mobility challenges that made it impossible for her to provide the pup with the exercise and management she needed. As painful as it was for the owner, returning the pup was the right decision.
WCCS dogs often include inappropriate biting in their repertoire of undesirable behaviors. We currently have a temporary foster resident at the training center: a 13-week-old high-energy Jack Russell Terrier who failed his assessment at the shelter for using his mouth in protest when restrained. Little Squid is a perfect example of the kind of dog who needs to learn self-control and the art of being calm.
A successful WCCS behavior modification program contains three elements: physical exercise, management, and training. While any one of these alone can make your high-energy dog easier to live with, apply all three for maximum success. Let’s look at each of these elements in greater detail.
Squid’s day begins with an hour of barn-play while we do chores. He delights in harassing our dogs (and our pig). He gets at least one long hike around the farm per day, preferably two, or even three. He also gets one or more sessions of ball/toy fetch in the training center, and some puppy socialization/play time when there’s a class going on. Finally, he wraps up his day with evening barn chores. Does it tire him out? No. I have yet to see him tired. But it does take the edge off, so that when I work with him to teach calm he is able to focus and participate in the training. The physical exercise sets him up for training success.
Not everyone has an 80-acre farm to play on. If you’re farm-deprived, there are other ways to provide exercise for your WCCS dog. A placid walk or three around the block won’t do it. Nor will leaving him on his own in your fenced backyard. He needs to be actively engaged.
Outings to your local well-run dog park can be a good exercise option. If you don’t have one in your area, invite compatible canines over to play in your dog’s fenced yard. If you don’t have one, invite yourself and your dog over to your dog-friend’s fenced yard for play dates.
Absent any access to a dog-friendly fenced yard, play with your dog on a long line. A 50-foot line gives him a 100-foot stretch to run back and forth and work his jollies off.
Caution: Work up to 50 feet gradually, so he learns where the end of the line is. You don’t want him to blast full-speed to the end of his long line and hurt himself. Also, wear long pants. A high-speed long-line wrapped around bare legs can give you a nasty rope burn.
If none of those work for you, having him wear a pack when you walk him, or even better, pull a cart (which takes significant training), or exercising him (safely) from a bicycle may be options for using up excess energy. If outside exercise is simply out of the question, here are some indoor activities that can help take the edge off:
-Find it. Most dogs love to use their noses. Take advantage of this natural talent by teaching yours the “Find It!” game:
1. Start with a handful of pea-sized tasty treats. Toss one to your left and say “Find it!” Then toss one to your other side and say “Find it!” Do this back and forth a half-dozen times.
2. Then have your dog sit and wait or stay, or have someone hold his leash. Walk 10 to 15 feet away and let him see you place a treat on the floor. Walk back to his side, pause, and say “Find it!” encouraging him to go get the treat. Repeat a half-dozen times.
3. Next, have your dog sit and wait or stay, or have someone hold his leash and let him see you “hide” the treat in an easy hiding place: behind a chair leg, under the coffee table, next to the plant stand. Walk back to his side, pause, and say “Find it!” encouraging him to go get the treat. Repeat a half-dozen times.
4. Again, have your dog sit and wait. This time hide several treats in easy places while he’s watching. Return to his side, pause, and say “Find it!” Be sure not to help him out if he doesn’t find them right away.
You can repeat the “find it” cue, and indicate the general area, but don’t show him where it is; you want him to have to work to find it.
5. Hide the treats in harder and harder places so he really has to look for them: surfaces off the ground; underneath things; and in containers he can easily open.
6. Finally, put him in another room while you hide treats. Bring him back into the room and tell him to “Find it!” and enjoy watching him work his powerful nose to find the goodies. Once you’ve taught him this step of the game you can use it to exercise him by hiding treats in safe places all over the house, and then telling him to “Find it!” Nose work is surprisingly tiring.
If you prefer something less challenging, just go back to Step 1 and feed your dog his entire meal by tossing pieces or kibble from one side to the other, farther and farther, with a “Find it!” each time. He’ll get a bunch of exercise just chasing after his dinner!
-Hide And Seek. This is a fun variation of the “Find it” game. Have your dog sit and wait (or have someone hold him) while you go hide yourself in another room of the house. When you’re hidden, call your dog’s name and say “Find me!” Make it easy at first so he can find you quickly and succeed. Reinforce him with whatever he loves best – treats, a game of “tug,” petting and praise, a tossed ball – or a combination of these. Then hide again. As he learns the game, make your hiding places harder and harder, so he has to really search. A trainer friend tells me she has hidden in bathtubs and closets, under beds, and even inside a cedar chest.
-Manners Minder. If you are into higher-tech exercise, use a treat dispenser called the Manners Minder that spits out treats when you push a button on the remote control. A Maryland trainer friend, Elizabeth Adamec of Sweet Wag Dog Training, shared her exercise secret with me for her high-energy adolescent Golden Retriever, Truman. This one is especially useful if you don’t feel like exercising along with your canine pal or can’t, due to physical restrictions of your own:
Teach your dog to use the Manners Minder, by showing him several times that when he hears the beep, a treats fall out of the machine. You can use his own dog food, if he really likes his food.
1. Set the machine a few feet away and have your dog sit next to you. Push the button, and let him go eat the treats. Repeat several times, encouraging him, if necessary, to go get the treats when he hears the beep.
2. Put the machine across the room, and have your dog sit next to you. Push the button, and watch him run over and eat the treats. If he’s not doing this with great enthusiasm, repeat Steps 1 and 2 several more times with higher value treats, until he really gets excited about the treats when he hears the beep.
3. Set the machine in the next room, and repeat the exercise several times. Call him back to you each time, so he runs to the Manners Minder when he hears the beep, eats the treat, and runs back to you to wait for the next beep. Gradually move the treat dispenser into rooms farther and farther away from you, until your dog has to run all the way across the house, or even upstairs, when he hears the beep. Now you can sit back with the TV remote in one hand, your dog’s remote in the other, and enjoy your favorite show while canine pal gets exercise and dinner, all at the same time.
There are tons of other ways to provide your dog with indoor exercise. Play tug. Teach him to bowl. Teach him to catch, then repeatedly toss him his ball 10 feet away and have him bring it back to you. Some trainers use treadmills and canine exercise wheels to exercise their dogs. (These must be carefully trained and supervised.) Get creative. Get busy. Have fun. Let the indoor games begin.
Successful positive training, especially for high-energy dogs, relies on the appropriate use of management tools to prevent the dog from practicing – and being reinforced for – undesirable behaviors. In between his many daily exercise and training sessions, Squid is either parked in an exercise pen in the barn tack room (with plenty of bathroom breaks outside), or in an outdoor kennel off the side of the training center.
Here are examples of when to use various management tools for your wild child dog:
Crates and Pens. Use crates and exercise pens when you can’t directly supervise his energy to consistently reinforce appropriate behaviors and prevent reinforcement for inappropriate ones. The best times for the appropriate use of crates and exercise pens include:
–When you can provide adequate exercise and social time in addition to his time in the crate or pen.
–When your dog has been properly introduced to the crate or pen and accepts it as a good place to be. Note: Dogs who suffer from isolation or separation distress or anxiety often do not crate or pen well.
–When you know you’ll be home in a reasonable period of time so you don’t force your dog to soil his den – no longer than one hour more than your pup’s age in months, no more than an outside maximum of eight to nine hours for adult dogs.
Leashes and Tethers. Leashes and tethers are useful for the “umbilical cord” technique of preventing your wild child from being reinforced for unwanted behaviors. With your dog near or attached to you, you can provide constant supervision. Also, with your dog tethered to your side, you should have many opportunities to reinforce him for appropriate behavior.
The leash can be hooked to waist belts that are designed for that purpose, or clipped to your belt or belt-loop with a carabineer. Your WCCS dog can’t zoom around the house if he’s glued to your side.
If inappropriate mouthing behavior is included in his high-energy repertoire, however, this may not be the best choice. Tethers are better for keeping this dog in view, with easy access for reinforcement of calm behavior, while keeping his teeth from your clothing or skin. Appropriate situations for the use of leashes and tethers include:
–For dogs who get into trouble when they are unsupervised.
-Leashed when your activities don’t preclude having a dog connected to you – okay for working on the computer; not okay for working out.
-Tethered when you want to keep your dog near but not directly connected to you, to teach good manners and/or prevent inappropriate behaviors.
Baby Gates and Doors. Baby gates and doors prevent your dog’s access to vulnerable areas when he’s in wild child mode. A baby gate across the nursery door keeps him safely on the other side while you’re changing diapers, but still lets him be part of the “baby experience.” Not to worry if the older kids left their stuffed toys strewn across the bedroom floor; just close the bedroom door when your dog is in a “grab toy and run” mood. The most appropriate uses of baby gates and doors include:
–To prevent your dog’s temporary access to areas during activities you don’t want him to participate in.
–To prevent your dog’s access to areas when you can’t supervise closely enough, to prevent inappropriate behaviors such as counter surfing or getting on forbidden furniture.
The final element of your WCCS behavior modification program is training. The more training you do the easier it is to communicate with your dog. The better he understands you, the more easily he can follow your instructions and requests. With a high-energy dog, in addition to basic good manners training, invest a lot of training time in impulse-control behaviors.
-Click for Calm. Start by simply clicking your dog for calm behavior, beginning with clicks and treats for any pause in the action. One challenge with a high-energy dog is that the instant you try to praise or reward, he’s bouncing off the walls again. With the clicker, an instant of calm elicits a “click” during the calm behavior. Even if the delivery of the treat causes excitement, your dog still understands it was calm that caused the click-and-treat to happen. An added advantage of the clicker: when they hear the click, most dogs pause in anticipation of the coming morsel, drawing out the brief period of relatively calm behavior even longer.
The goal of clicker training is to get your dog to understand that he can make the click happen by offering certain behaviors – in this case, calm. At first you won’t get long, leisurely stretches of calm behavior to click. Begin by giving your dog a click and treat just because all four feet are on the floor at the same instant. Be quick! You want him to understand the behavior he got rewarded for was pausing with all four feet on the floor, so the click needs to happen the instant all four feet are down. If you click late, you may reinforce him for bouncing around – the exact opposite of what you want!
If your timing is good and you click for four-on-the-floor several times in a row he’ll start to stand still deliberately to make the clicker go off. This is one of the most exciting moments in dog training –when your dog realizes he can control the clicker. Your clicker is now a powerful tool; you can reinforce any behavior you want, any time it happens, and your dog will quickly start repeating that behavior for you.
How does “pausing briefly on all four feet” translate into calm? Very gradually. You will “shape” the pause into longer periods of stillness, by extending the time, in milliseconds at first, that he stands still before you click and treat. As he gets better at being calm for longer periods, be sure to reinforce randomly – sometimes for shorter pauses, sometimes longer. Do the same thing with “sit” and “down.” Down is my favorite calm position: the very act of lying down evokes relaxation.
Do several short training sessions every day. You’ll have the most success if you practice “clicking for calm” right after one of your dog’s exercise sessions when he’s tired anyway. When he understands that “calm” is a very rewardable behavior, it will work even when he has more energy.
When your dog will remain still for several seconds at a time, add the verbal cue of your choice, like “Chill out,” that will eventually cue him into calmness. Over time you can phase out the click and treat for calm behavior and use other rewards such as calm praise, a gentle massage, or an invitation to lie quietly next to you on the sofa.
-“Sit” As Default Behavior. “Sit” is one of the first behaviors we teach. Even after the dog knows it well we reinforce “sit” so heavily that it becomes his “default behavior” – what he does when he doesn’t know what else to do. Teach your dog to sit by holding a treat at the end of his nose and moving it slowly back a few inches, clicking and treating when his bottom touches ground.
Alternatively, shape it by clicking and treating for slightly lowered hind end until touchdown, and/or click for offered sits. Then shape longer sits. If he already knows sit, start reinforcing it every time he does it until he sits for anything and nothing. When you have installed “sit” as his default, things like the “Wait” exercises (below) and “Go wild and freeze” (See “More Steps to a Calm Dog,” page 19) happen very easily.
-Wait. “Wait” is especially useful for dogs who are short on impulse control. I teach it using food bowls and doorways. “Wait” then easily generalizes to other situations.
-Wait for Food: With your dog sitting at your side, tell him to “Wait.” Hold his bowl (with food in it, topped with tasty treats) chest-high, then move it toward the floor 4 to 6 inches. If your dog stays sitting, click and feed him a treat from the bowl as you raise it back up to your chest. If your dog gets up, say “Oops!” and ask him to sit again. If he gets up several times in a row, you’re asking for too much too soon; lower the bowl in smaller increments.
If he remains sitting, lower the bowl 4 to 6 inches again, and click and treat for his continued sitting. Repeat several times until he consistently remains sitting as you lower the bowl. Gradually move the bowl closer to the floor with succeeding repetitions until you can place it on the floor without your dog getting up. Finally, place the bowl on the floor and tell him to eat. After he’s had a few bites, lift the bowl up and try again. Repeat these steps until you can easily place the bowl on the floor and he doesn’t move until you give him permission.
Caution: If your dog guards resources such as his food bowl, consult with a qualified positive behavior professional before trying this exercise.
-Wait at the Door: With your dog sitting at your side, tell him to “wait.” Reach for the doorknob. If he doesn’t move, click and treat. Repeat this step several times. Then jiggle the doorknob. Click and reward him for not moving. Repeat this step several times. Slowly open the door a crack. Again, click and treat if he doesn’t move, and repeat. Gradually open the door farther, an inch or two at a time. Do several repetitions at each step, with clicks and treats each time.
Eventually you’ll walk all the way through the door, stop, and face your dog, without having him move. Wait a few seconds, click, then return and give him a tasty treat. Of course, occasionally you’ll actually give him permission to go out the door!
Squid does a variation of “Wait at the door” in his pen and kennel. With the dog on the inside and human on the outside, I reach for the latch. If he jumps up, I pull my hand away. If he sits, I continue with the gate-opening process. Each time he jumps up, the process stops. If he exercises self-control the gate opens and he earns his freedom.
A Happy Future
Using a combination of exercise, training, and management, I am wildly optimistic that I can help Squid chill out, pass his shelter assessment, and find his forever home. If, after reading all this you still think your dog suffers from clinical hyperactivity or ADHD, then it’s time to visit a qualified behavior professional for help. More likely though, using the same combination of exercise, training, and management, you can ensure your own dog’s calm and happy future in your family.
I, myself, was diagnosed with Lupus at 8 years old and have lived with for over 30 years. May is a Special Month for me. May is the month for Lupus Awareness . It’s also National Pet Month. I thought to bring awareness to both is quite important. I usually do a lot during this month including the Lupus Walk and Fundraisers.
Have you ever had a doctor or veterinarian tell you that your pet shares many of the illnesses that you have. I have had plenty of pets that have suffered the illnesses I have including Lupus. Yes , Pets as well suffer from this syndrome. So I want to inform you on what it is , what to look for and treatments so that your pets have a great quality of life.
Lupus in dogs does exist. Lupus is a type of autoimmune disease that causes the body’s immune system to attack itself. There are two types of lupus found in dogs; Systemic Lupus and Discoid Lupus.
Systemic Lupus is a fairly rare and potentially fatal form of lupus. It causes inflammation of the skin and can also cause damage to the heart, lungs, and joints. Because this disease affects many body systems it is difficult to diagnose. The most common symptoms are pain in muscles, skin sores, hair loss, increased urination and fever. This type of lupus can be managed with proper medication but not cured. Dr. Mike Richards says treatment usually involves the use of immunosuppressive medication, and that dogs can live with this disease successfully. Middle-aged female dogs are more prone to systemic lupus and it’s most common in breeds such as Beagles, German Shepherds, Collies, and Poodles.
Discoid Lupus is the second most common autoimmune disease in dogs and causes them to become allergic to there own tissue. Unlike Systemic Lupus, which affects the whole body, Discoid Lupus is found only on the skin, primarily the nose. This type of lupus is found on the skin, and most often on the nose. Symptoms include change in the appearance of the nose causing it to flake and peel. Due to the increase in sun exposure this disease is worse in the summer. This is diagnosed through examination of biopsy samples. Treatment involves using sunscreen, corticosteroids, and in severe cases, prednisone or other immunosuppressive medication can be taken. This type of lupus can occur at any age and is seen most often in Shelties, Siberian Huskies, and Collies.
According to Dr. Patricia Huff of Pet Samaritan Clinic, “Diagnosis of lupus is reached with a positive combination of clinical signs and laboratory diagnostic tests. SLE may have some signs in common with certain infectious diseases, neoplasms (new growths or tumors) and other conditions. “ Your veterinarian may order appropriate tests to rule out these other conditions. Radiographs (x-rays) of affected joints will allow differential diagnosis between lupus-associated joint disease and other forms of arthritis. A complete blood count (CBC) will reveal anemia and other blood cell disorders. A blood chemistry panel and urinalysis may demonstrate nonspecific changes consistent with SLE.
Lupus can be a difficult disease to diagnose. If suspect your dog has it, then consult with your vet.
We think that we are in charge of our beloved kitty furballs, but no, believe me when I tell that the little cuties rule the roost and have you all worked out. Here are some images that just go to prove that your cat is more than likely your boss, I have long accepted that I am employed by two cute girly cats for their every want, need and desire (“treats yes I know, I’m coming now!!) continue to the next page for cats in charge.
1. “You want to wear something out of here, sorry I’m sitting find something else”
2. “huh hmmm, human I have made this mess, please come and tidy it up”
3. “Hey We have finished this one, bring some more”
4. “Emergency 911, we have a empty bowl about to go down, get back up to refill it now”
5. “We need to talk!! It’s either me or the internet- now choose me already”
6. “When I said it’s dinner time, I mean’t it, or I’ll eat your shirt”
7. “So you’ve been petting another cat! we need to talk about your priorities”
8. “How many times, this is my chair, not yours, MINE!!”
9. “This is my not impressed face, I suggest you fix it immediately”
10. “That’s right, I’m monitoring your performance covertly, I’m so in charge here”
This is an article found The Huffington Post that I thought Cat Lovers might enjoy!! Happy Easter Everyone!!
Here are a few brilliant ways cats are secretly helping their owners live healthier lives
Curator : Kit Sudol
The Internet loves ’em. You probably have a family member that has at least 20 of them and maybe sends you cat photos every day. If you don’t have that family member, then you probably are that family member (just a heads up).
Anyway, most folks agree that cats are pretty amazing. But here’s the thing: There’s more to cats than videos of them hanging out in boxes or memes about having a cheeseburger. In fact, cats can do so much more than entertain the Internet.
(“I’m just a kitten on the Internet tryna have a good time.”)
FACT: Cats can help you live longer.
It’s true! And before you go off to your local shelter to adopt a zillion of them in hopes of becoming some kind of immortal cat-themed super-villain, let’s put our protective safety goggles on and dig into some science facts. (And then we can talk about adopting cats and/or villainy!)
(I mean, we were all thinking about Catwoman here, right?)
How does this work? Well, cat purrs actually promote healing.
We all know what cat purrs are, although veterinarians aren’t entirely sure what the deal is them — and no, that’s not a setup for a Jerry Seinfeld-style joke
(I am so, so sorry.)
They really aren’t sure why cats purr. Some suggest cats do it when they’re content, which makes sense. But they also purr when they’re injured or scared, which probably means they aren’t content. Like, at all.
But … what’s the science?
FACT: It turns out that those cute cat purrs exist in a super-special vibration range that has the potential to be medically therapeutic.
Your average house cat’s purr has a frequency between 25 and 150 Hertz. That’s interesting because that’s also the frequency at which muscles and bones are able to best repair themselves. So cats might be self-healing.
But that’s not all: Those super-special, super-adorable cat purr vibrations also exist at a frequency that’s good for humans too. The Fauna Communications Research Institute found that every single cat in their study had purr vibrations well within the “medically therapeutic” range (20-140 Hertz).
What does this mean?
Uh, well, that your purring cat can help with bone and muscle repair, pain relief, dyspnea (shortness of breath), and so. Much. More.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. FACT: Owning a cat may mean less stress in your life.
Well, unless your cat likes to jump out and scare you (like mine)
(Pictured: My cat hiding in a paper bag. Because why not?)
But science says that in studies about pet owners versus non-pet owners, folks who owned cats had significantly fewer stress symptoms. Dog owners were #2 in low stress. And in last place? People without any pets.
And here’s the kicker: Owning a pet (cats and dogs) in general reduced stress-related blood pressure more than medication designed specifically to do that (aka ACE inhibitors).
Now, having way lower stress because of an adorable little fuzzball in your life is actually a really big deal health-wise because…
FACT: Cats can reduce the likelihood of having a heart attack! By 40%!
The University of Minnesota found that owning a cat might actually be good for your heart, and not just in an, “Oh my gosh, I am just so overwhelmed with love for this animal!” kind of heart stuff way.
In their study, they found that folks who did not own a cat were 40% more likely to have a heart attack and had a 30% higher chance of dying from heart disease than cat owners did. Which is just like … what?!
So, why is this? Well, researchers at the University of Minnesota said this:
“If we assume that cat ownership is directly responsible for the benefits, then the most logical explanation may be that cat ownership may relieve stress and anxiety and subsequently reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.”
See? Less stress, less anxiety = fewer heart and blood pressure issues. Also, probably more tripping over cat toys at two in the morning, but I couldn’t find anything about that in the study. Oops.
FACT: Correlation doesn’t always equal causation…
… as my former stats professor used to say.
Yes, studies have found that cats can reduce stress, the likelihood of cardiovascular disease, and even potentially give you some purr therapy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should quit your job and hang out in a cave with some cats to live forever.
In fact, these findings could say more about the lifestyles of the average cat owner than the mystical powers cats have over the human body.
But, still, these studies are pretty compelling, and hey, if that means I can go around telling people that cats are actually magic, then I’m totally down, y’all.
(That cat is performing magic behind me, obviously.)
So, yeah. Cats? Adorable little monsters who just want your love and they also can heal you (maybe). And now for the infographic to prove it, just in case all this wordsmithin’ isn’t enough and you need some fun visuals to really get the point across.
Aww, yes, that information looks even better in infographic form.
But you know what’s better than infographics?
Adopting a cat from your local shelter!
According to the ASPCA, 7.6 million animals are put in shelters every year, and of those, 3.4 million are cats. It gets worse because an astonishing 1.4 million cats are euthanized. That means around 37% of cats in shelters are adopted … while 41% are put down.
So there are wonderful adoptable cats out there, just waiting for your love and time and attention. Actually, there are a ton of them, so if you can, you should totally adopt. And in return? They’ll possibly use their magical healing powers on you … and love you. A lot. And there’s nothing better than that.
If you can’t adopt right now, you can always foster a cat. Or volunteer some of your time at your local animal shelter. Who knows, if you stay there long enough, maybe you too will become immortal.
Hey, it’s worth a shot, right?
Infographic found on Visual.ly, originally created by the talented Gemma Busquets. Catwoman GIF via Giphy. The Jerry Seinfeld meme created with Meme Generator. Thumbnail via Thinkstock. All photos of my cat Scout were lovingly taken by me. No Scouts were harmed in the writing of this article.
I have had my new Shih Tzu puppy , Prince Nino for almost three weeks now. I will tell you, it has not been easy introducing Nino to his new siblings of dogs and cats. The older pets simply don’t like him. And I’ve been working on different strategies to help them get along. I get that Nino is a puppy. Puppies can be annoying. My older pets have no issue with letting him. And when Nino cries, I get very upset and feel bad. I know what it’s like to be rejected too.
Well I have developed some strategies and want to pass along the tips to anyone going through the same thing.
It’s exciting to add a cuddly new pet to your life, except maybe when you have to introduce it to another pet that has already staked claim to your home. That’s especially true if one’s a dog and the other’s a cat. But whether you’re introducing a new dog to your cats — or a new cat to your dogs — it doesn’t have to be hard. Here is some expert advice to help keep peace during the transition.
Watch the Dog
If there’s going to be a problem during cat and dog introductions, it’s usually caused by the dog. SURPRISE!
Most dogs will chase a rapidly moving object. So if a cat gets frightened and runs, a dog often feels honor-bound to chase it.. It’s important to nip that in the bud. If you don’t, the result can be injury, and even death, for the cat.
Make sure your cat can run and hide if it wants to. Whether your cat is the newbie or the senior pet in the house, the cat needs to be able to move freely when the introduction is made. There should be perches or cubbies for hiding, someplace where the cat can get off the floor and settle in. You basically want an elevated resting place [for the cat].
Make sure your puppy or dog is well restrained. Your dog shouldn’t be able to chase, even if the cat darts away. This is a bigger issue with herding breed dogs, who have a prey instinct. But it’s really a hardwired response in all dogs to chase small fluffy things that run away quickly.
Consider baby gates. Gates can help you gradually introduce dogs and cats, and the barrier minimizes danger to the cat. A baby gate is often better than a cat carrier because it gives the cat much-needed freedom.
Age Can Make a Difference
When introducing a new pet to the household, youth can be a virtue. That’s because puppies are much less dangerous to adult cats, and kittens can be quite fearless with adult dogs.
The same safety rules still apply, though. When adding a kitten or puppy, you may want to enforce separation longer or extend your period of supervision. That’s because kittens tend to scurry (an enticing behavior for dogs) and puppies are just goofy and will want to pester the cat.
Here are four common mistakes you don’t want to make when introducing cats and dogs:
Forcing physical proximity: Picking up your cat and holding it in your dog’s face by way of introduction will tempt your cat to scratch the dog and encourage the dog to not like the cat. Always let kitty decide when or if it will approach the dog.
Not knowing the background of the dog you adopt. Adopting a dog from a shelter is often a wonderful idea, especially if you don’t have other pets. But people rarely know a shelter dog’s past. If a 2-year-old dog is looking for a home, there’s usually a good reason. In some cases, the dog may be aggressive, destructive, or have other problems. If you want to bring a canine into a feline household, I do recommend getting a puppy.
Not preparing your pet for change: Make changes like moving your cat’s litter box, putting up a baby gate, or closing certain doors before you bring your new pet home. That way, your long-time pet has a chance to get used to the changes before the new pet shows up.
Not thinking about your pet’s reaction. Try to think about the changes you’re making in your home from your pet’s perspective. For example, be aware that if you move the litter box and the cat has to walk past the dog’s kennel to get to it and the dog is barking that’s going to be stressful for the cat.
When to Get Help
If you’re lucky, it can take just a few minutes for a new pet to settle in, although it’s more likely to take days or even weeks.
But if you’ve come home to find your kitty cowering in fear, if one pet is always hiding, if your dog is displaying resource guarding behavior (such as snarling around its food) or being aggressive toward your cat, get help.
Don’t wait until a pet gets hurt. Talk with a veterinary behaviorist (a veterinarian specializing in animal behavior). These professionals can help you troubleshoot so that your old and new pets get along.
This is is usually a time when pet sitting business slows down. But because of my wonderful loyal clients as well as new ones , We have already had a Busy 2015! Thank you for trusting Us! #petsitters #dogwalkers #hwhd