To Understand Cat Body Language, Look at Their Tail

When it comes to human communication, there are loads of “tells” that inform us (consciously and subconsciously) about another’s moods, feelings, opinions, and perspectives. Of course we’re not always aware that we’re giving cues, or even picking up ones from others. 

Cats, on the other hand, are expert communicators. We just have to know what to look for. Their eyes, ears, and posture all give telling clues, but to really have a handle on cat body language, it is the tail that is arguably the most precise.

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The Pup Tent: Tips For Camping With Your Dog

Whether you’re a first time camper or a seasoned backpacker, tackling the great outdoors is always more fun with friends – and for many outdoor enthusiasts, our dogs may be the perfect camping companions. They are energetic, fun loving, and don’t mind hanging out by the campfire after a long day of swimming and hiking. 

Just as with anything, a little knowledge and preparation can go a long way toward making camping with your dog fun instead of stressful. So keep reading for Godspeed Animal Care’s best tips for camping with your dog.

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Dog Owner’s Nightmare, or Harmless Condition? A Closer Look at the Reverse Sneeze

A close-up of a small dog sneezing

Confusing. Frightening. Shocking. Terrible. These are just a few words to describe the sounds of a reverse sneeze. In fact, the sounds of this symptom can be so terrifying that after hearing it the first time, some dog owners seek emergency medical care (often in the middle of the night).

While it can be directly related to something that requires treatment, the reverse sneeze condition is often spontaneous with an unknown cause.

It’s Idiopathic

The reverse sneeze condition, also called “inspiratory paroxysmal respiration”, is common in dogs (particularly brachycephalic breeds), less so in cats. If the owner is unfamiliar with the condition, it can sound like the animal is struggling to breathe. 

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Why Do Cats Knead?

If you’ve been stumped by feline behaviors in the past, join the club. Cats have some endearing but also quirky tendencies that just beg to be explained – such as curling up tightly to take a nap, or grooming fastidiously after a meal. 

One such tendency is the habit of “making biscuits” or kneading. But what exactly is this? And why do cats knead? Godspeed Animal Care explores this question, here.

What is Cat Kneading?

Before we get into why cats knead, let’s talk about what exactly it is. Cat kneading is a pushing motion cats make with their paws, alternating between left and right. It often occurs on a soft surface such as a bed, pillow, blanket, or your lap. Some cats knead with claws completely retracted, and others extend their claws as they push out and retract them as they pull back. 

The behavior is called “kneading” because it resembles how a baker works bread dough. 

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Dog Nose Slits: What do They do?

A dog’s sense of smell is an amazing thing. Originally used for survival, people now use the power of dog noses in emergency situations and to improve the quality of life for pet owners by detecting cancer cells or oncoming seizures.

But what allows dogs to have this unique ability? This power of super smell has a lot to do with those tiny slits on the sides of a dog’s nose. If you’ve never noticed them, you may be surprised to learn what dog nose slits are and the purpose they serve.

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Veterinary Acupuncture for Your Pet

Did you know that your favorite staff at Godspeed Animal Care offers veterinary acupuncture for your pets?

Alternative therapies like acupuncture give us a scientifically founded way to help pets when other therapies are not enough or cannot be tolerated. In fact, therapies like acupuncture often work synergistically with traditional medicine to achieve even better results.

Interested yet? Read on to learn all you need to know about veterinary acupuncture and how your pet could benefit.

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Is Cat Scratch Disease a Real Thing?

As if we needed another reason to detest fleas, they are responsible for spreading a bacterium called Bartonella henselae to approximately 40% of cats.

Found in flea dirt (droppings) and also deposited via direct bites on the skin, B. henselae can also be spread from one infected cat to another during a fight, and to humans, as well.

If you have a cat that likes to use their claws, we recommend this quick refresher on the dangers of cat scratch disease.

Yikes!

Cat scratch disease is a bacterial infection. If an infected cat bites or scratches you and breaks the skin, or simply licks at an existing open wound, a mild infection can develop at the site of the injury in about 3-14 days. Signs of cat scratch disease include:

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Cavities in Dogs? While Rare, They’re Not Unheard Of

We emphasize good pet dental care because periodontal disease is irreversible and progressive. The good news is that with a dedicated dental care routine, this disease is entirely preventable.

There is another facet of pet dental care that requires an added layer of vigilance, however. Dental cavities in dogs are a known phenomenon but because they aren’t as common, dog owners may be surprised to know they’re actually a risk.

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Essential Winter Pet Paw Care

As pets age, their paw pads thicken up and harden, but they still experience pain after consistent exposure to the elements. Without a doubt, paw pads are very sensitive to heat, but special care is also needed during sub-freezing temperatures. Traditional salts and deicers can be extremely harsh and can even lead to GI upset if swallowed.

Luckily, with a little extra attention to pet paw care this season, your best friend will be ready to go.

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Sweet Dangers: Xylitol Toxicity in Dogs

Xylitol Toxicity in Dogs is a Pet Emergency

Alternative sweeteners are all the rage these days, and it only makes sense given what we know about the dangers of too much sugar. Reducing the amount of sugar in our diets can lead to a plethora of health benefits, including weight loss, better blood sugar control, and reduced risk of tooth decay.

The sugar substitute known as xylitol fits the bill when it comes to healthy sugar substitutes, and it can be found in a variety of sugar-free foods and personal care items. Although it’s a natural product that’s safe and even beneficial for human consumption, it can pose a deadly threat to our pets. Xylitol toxicity is a serious concern that should not be overlooked by any pet owner.

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