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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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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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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Adopting a Mutt Can be Absolutely Mutt-Tastic!

Adopting a mutt is the very best!

While the reasons to purchase a pet directly from a breeder vary, prospective owners are usually drawn to a particular look, distinct personality, or other well-known behavioral traits. While it’s true that responsible breeding has its place, the team at Godspeed Animal Care wants to remind people that a mixed breed pet can also bring a great deal to the table. In other words, adopting a mutt can be a huge game-changer!

A Look at Genetics

Part of the fun of a mixed breed pet is that we don’t always know their exact heritage. We can observe certain obvious markers, but without previous knowledge of a pet’s parents and/or genetic testing, it’s a guessing game.

Many owners are interested in having a concrete understanding of an animal’s breed so they can better determine whether they’ll be a good fit for their lifestyle and family.

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What’s the 3rd Week in October For? Celebrating Vet Techs, Of Course!

Vet techs are the backbone of pet health

When you visit your doctor’s office, there is always a nurse that takes your blood pressure, weight, temperature, and so forth before the exam begins. In our profession, instead of nursing professionals, veterinarians need vet techs (veterinary technicians) or LVTs (licensed veterinary technicians). And when we say that we need them, we really, really need them! In fact, they are so important to hospital functionality, an entire week in October is set aside to celebrate their hard work, raise them up, and provide additional tools to help them succeed.

But what do vet techs do, exactly?

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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.

Promote Water Safety for Pets All Summer Long

Water safety for pets makes having a pet at the pool more fun.

One of the easiest ways to combat a heat wave is to simply get wet. This might take some of us out of our comfort zone (that is, a nice air conditioned environment), but the bottom line is that splashing around is not only effective, it’s fun, too! Chances are, your pet agrees with the fun factor. You want to make them happy and comfortable, but water safety for pets absolutely must be enforced.

The Basics

There are quite a few precautions when it comes to summer in general. We recommend scheduling your pet’s wellness care exam before any upcoming adventures to ascertain the quality of their overall health. If they aren’t fully vaccinated yet or microchipped, these help protect them from unseen dangers this summer.

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