Do You Have a Happy Cat? Five Signs the Answer May Be No

A happy cat will show their feline affection. Cats are pretty self sufficient. They are also good at covering up when they are not happy or experiencing stress. Many cat owners feel that things are hunky-dory in the kitty happiness department. After all, they have a warm place to snuggle, a bowl of food, and a clean litter box. What’s to be sad about?

Many cats are not as content with life as their owners may believe. In honor of Happy Cat Month, Godspeed Animal Care wants to share with you a few ways to assess if have a happy cat (or if you have some work to do). Continue…

Emergency Preparedness for Pets Before You Actually Need It

Pet emergency preparedness can save your pet's lifeMost pet owners spring into action to prevent, recognize, and treat a pet emergency, but what’s the right approach when it comes to disaster preparation? There are similarities, of course, but to truly tackle emergency preparedness for pets, you have to widen the scope quite a bit. Between hurricanes, floods, fires, and more, pets can quickly become separated from their owners, and suffer from injury or illness.

If You Gotta Go

Evacuation is one of the most common results of a natural or man-made disaster. The rule of thumb for owners of all types of pets is that, in the case of evacuation, pets must go, too. In other words, if it’s unsafe enough for people, it’s certainly no place for animals.

Acceptable Alternatives

A major part of your emergency preparedness for your pet must include a list of alternative places to safely stay in the case of evacuation. Have an evacuation route all mapped out, and mark places along the way that you know are pet-friendly. Hotels, motels, friends, and family members are all excellent, safe choices, but if there’s a lack of availability, you may not be able to keep all your pets together.

Depending on the type of emergency, there could be temporary Red Cross shelters positioned around the area. Designed to help people, these shelters cannot accept pets except for service animals. Check with us about pet boarding.

Tips and Tricks

In the spirit of preparation, cover your emergency bases in these ways:

  • Train your pet to leave the house. This will help them move quickly when it really counts.
  • Have your pet microchipped and always update your contact information if it changes.
  • Ensure that their vaccinations are all up to date.
  • Print up your pet’s medical records just in case.
  • Have a picture of your pet printed and placed on their travel kennel or crate.
  • Keep a backup collar, ID tags, and leash in your car.
  • Store a few days worth of food, water, waste disposal bags, toys, and bedding.
  • Keep some first aid items on hand.
  • Affix a sticker to the door or window near the entrance to alarm rescue workers that a pet lives there (be sure to remove them or write “evacuated” across them before you leave).
  • Before moving back into your home, be sure to carefully inspect your property for any potential hazards to your pet’s health and wellness.

Emergency Preparedness Pets

No matter the type of destruction your home or block experienced, it’s an uphill battle to get back into the normal swing of things. You may notice subtle to major shifts in your pet’s behavior. Aggressiveness, resource guarding, or anxiety are typical results of trauma or stress. Please let us know if we can help you address certain behavioral problems.

Also, if we can answer further questions about emergency preparedness pets, we encourage you to reach out to us at Godspeed Animal Care.

Gross! Why is My Dog Eating Poop?

It’s 2 a.m. You’re making your way to the kitchen for a glass of water when you pass by the litter box to find your dog munching away on the…contents. Or maybe you’re out enjoying your favorite park when – to your dismay – Fido decides to snarf up another pet’s poo before you can even blink your eyes. As disgusting (and shocking) as this behavior may seem, seeing a dog eating poop is not uncommon.

While this scene may not be a favorite among pet owners, it’s important to understand why your potty-mouth pooch may be feasting on fecal matter.

Coprophagia

Coprophagia isn’t exactly a word that rolls off the tongue, but it is the scientific term for ingesting feces. When it comes to dogs who are omnivores and natural scavengers, the tendency to eat a wide variety of things may perplex us, but seem perfectly OK to them. For this reason, we must take great care to keep our canine companions from eating something toxic or something that carries disease, such as a dead rodent or bird.

Continue…

Ask a Vet: Why Do Cats Drool?

cats droolThe movie Homeward Bound depicts the harrowing journey made by three courageous pets. Chance and Shadow are two canines who appreciate their feline friend, Sassy, although they bicker like most cats and dogs. Sassy says, “Like I said all along, poopsie, cats rule and dogs drool!”

Antagonistic or not, Sassy’s got a point. Certain breeds of dogs are known to drool more than others. However, there are reasons why some cats drool, too – and they aren’t always good.

Cloud Nine

Many cats drool when blissed out. This usually occurs after kneading, snuggling their owners, or even just dreaming. A sign of great happiness, most cat owners will look upon a puddle of drool with a sigh or a shrug.

The important thing to remember is that, while cat drooling can be a benign behavior, it can also signify disease, medical problems, or pain that shouldn’t be ignored.

Continue…

Addressing Behavioral Problems through Positive Reinforcement Training

Man with dogHave you ever attempted to correct a behavior with your pet by yelling “NO”? Or have you wondered when the day would come when stubborn Fluffy would finally learn to STOP PULLING ON THE LEASH?!?

You’re not alone. Most pet owners have experienced behavioral problems with a pet at some point in time. Behavioral challenges are typically a result of negligence in the areas of training and socialization. They can also stem from ineffective or punishment based training methods.

Since many of our canine companions come to us with unknown backgrounds, sometimes we find ourselves in situations where training needs to be provided to a young-ish pup or readdressed with an adult dog. Continue…

School Blues Behaviors: Pet Separation Anxiety

iStock_000023282591_MediumIn all of the hullabaloo of the back-to-school season, we as pet guardians often don’t realize how affected our pets are by the changes in our routine and attention. That is, until our favorite pair of shoes turn up chewed to shreds or accidents behind the sofa ensue…

Sometimes these symptoms of stress can be short-lived during the back-to-school adjustment period, but they can also indicate a greater need for obedience training, positive reinforcement, and behavior management due to pet separation anxiety issues.

Before you succumb to the chewed sofa or missing sock blues, first get some understanding of stress response in your pet. Continue…