Your Pets Health - Pet Advice - Pet News

Pet Q & A's
Houston Pets

Why won't my cat sleep upstairs?
I have a 5 year old Calico cat. She has slept with me all this time upstairs. During the night she might sleep in another room and then come back into my room, but for the most part, she has slept in my bed, even when I was not in the bed. For the last week or so, she has acted frightened to come upstairs. When I take her upstairs, she sniffs the carpet and won't stay in the bed with me. She sleeps downstairs now. She still lets me pet her but won't sleep in the bed. On Sept. 12, IKE came through, but she slept with me after that, so I don't know what the problem is. Could something have frightened her that I don't know about? I took the mattresses off the bed and looked under it; I shampooed the carpet, but she still won't stay upstairs. Any clues...L.

Dear L.,

Sometimes the smallest change can affect a cat's routine. They are very sensitive. Using a different carpet cleaner or the scent tracked in on the bottom of your shoes could have made her a little nervous. Just give her time, be patient and don't force her to go somewhere she doesn't want to. She should gradually get back to her normal routine.

Why does my dog sit on my feet?
Any time I sit down, my mixed-breed dog, which we adopted from the shelter, sits on my feet. If I move my feet up and on to a footstool, she jumps up and straddles them. Why? Thank you - D.

Dear D.,

Sometimes dogs do things just because they feel good. Dogs sit on feet as an indication of claiming territory or sometimes it's just affection. It's hard to precisely pin down why a dog does a certain behavior, but it's their unique qualities that make us love them so! As long as it doesn't cross over into overly protective or aggressive behavior, it isn't an issue.

Why is my dog nipping?
I have a 8 month old Golden Retriever. Since the moment we got her (which apparently was too early at 6 weeks) she has been a biter. She chews on hands and feet. When I am walking around my house, she tries to walk in between my legs and/or chooses to try to nip at my ankles. My ankles are moving targets and when she lunges and makes contact it hurts. She is now 50+ pounds and her teeth are fully grown. Everyone said that it was just teething, but clearly it is not. How do I prevent this behavior? Thank you - S.

Dear S.,

Teething generally ends at 5 months, however, if a dog thinks it's a good time to nip and chew then she will continue to do it. To counteract nipping and chewing, we suggest combining some basic obedience with good management of the behavior. If she learns commands such as Leave It, not only will that help provide you with a tool to have her stop but it will also be mental enrichment for her. The more occupied her brain is with good stuff, the less time she'll have for behaviors you don't like. Good management includes how you respond when she does nip your ankles. For more details on that, check out the handout on Nipping and Rough Play on our Behavior Page at our web site.

Why does my cat pee on the bed?
We live in Wichita Falls, in a rural area. We have cats that are dumped here a lot. We recently saved a kitten who fell into our swimming pool. We took her in, took her to the vet for a complete check up. The vet said that she was about 4-6 weeks old at that time. We got her shots and had her spayed and declawed. My problem is that we can not let her into any of the bedrooms because she is constantly urinating on the beds. We have had cats before, but all of the beds that she is urinating are new, including the beddings. So there are no other cat scents on any of those beds. I hate the fact that she has to be locked up in the laundry room (kitty jail). Because we do have small children, we all sleep with the doors open. She is litter box trained. Her room has her litter box, food and water, a pillow for her to sleep on, and toys for her to play with. Some people that I have spoken with tell me that this is a behavioral problem and that she will continue to do so. What can I do to stop her urinating on our beds? Please reply as soon as possible. Thanks - TF

Dear TF,

The people you have spoken with are right - it does sound like a behavioral problem! It's a little more complicated than what we can answer here, so we would recommend scheduling a call with a behavior specialist as soon as you can. In the meantime, do not yell or punish her for urinating on the bed and when you can't supervise her keep her in laundry room. Our behavior staff is here 7 days a week to help you! Contact our Animal Behavior and Training Department at 713-869-7722 ext. 157.

Are my dogs jealous of my hubbie?
Why does my cocker spaniel and my yorkie-poo howl and whine like crazy when I hug or kiss my husband? I really think they are jealous. They will knock my husband out of the way so they can hop in my lap or greet me first.

Often times, we accidentally reinforce behaviors like the ones you describe because they get a reaction out of us. For the dog, whether it's positive or negative, it's fun to get that reaction. Using a combination of good management and some basic obedience will help. We would recommend using a program like Nothing in Life is Free, which you can see on our web site, combined with some basic obedience like Leave It and Stay. Using this combo will help give you back the opportunity to freely hug your husband!

This type of behavior is just unacceptable and isn't addressed through Nothing In Life Is Free (NILF) or basic obedience. It takes about an hour or so with a trainer to learn to deal with it positively and effectively and let the dogs know that they can't behave this way.

Posted by: Trainer at October 17, 2008 07:07 AM

Canine jealousy is not surprising, since dogs have many
of the same emotional responses we do. They have fear,
anger, love, jealousy. Their ancestors, the wolves, are
pack animals, much like humans, with a hierarchical
society not totally unlike ours, leading to similar
emotional development. This is no doubt why early
humans were able to integrate wolves into their tribes,
because of the similar social structure, where an alpha
human replaces the alpha wolf.

Dogs are often jealous of each other, each wanting more
attention from their humans than the other. And this
can apply to other animals as well. Many years ago,
with my first dog and first cat, while they got along
well, both were jealous of my attention. If I petted
the cat, the dog would try to nose the cat out of the
way so I could pet her, and vice versa. And probably
this also applies to jealousy of humans getting attention
instead of them as well.

Over the years, having owned many dogs, I am convinced
that much canine jealousy is sexual in nature. In a
wolf pack, the alpha female is typically the mate of
the alpha male, so that wolf males aspire to be alpha
male, so they can mate (typically only the alphas mate),
and the wolf females aspire to be the alpha female, for
the same reason. This leads to jealousy of others of
the same sex.

In human/canine households, where the humans are the
alphas, I think many canines in their minds imagine
themselves being the "mate" of the alpha human of the
opposite sex, leading to jealousy of other dogs (or
humans) of the same sex, as being competition for
being the alpha human's "mate".

It seems clear to me that dogs recognize gender
differences in humans, just as they do in each other.

I am the only human in my household, and so for years
I have observed jealousy (and sometimes fights) among
the female dogs, over who would be alpha female. The
alpha female changed hands several times over the
years, but whoever was alpha typically got more access
to my attention, with the others learning to back off.
It became clear that whoever was alpha female considered
that I was hers alone.

I have had fights among my males, but none of the obvious
jealousy as among the females, probably because their
was no human alpha female in the house.

My alpha female for much of her life, Misty, who died
last year at over 15, clearly believed I was her mate.
Her "sister" Andrea came first and was alpha for 2 or
3 years, and Misty was always very jealous of her,
until they had a fight over a bone, which Misty won.
I did not realize it at first, but it finally became
clear that Misty was now alpha female, and much of
Misty's jealousy of Andrea went away after she made
the top spot.

Interestingly, while Andrea was alpha and Misty was
number two, Misty was the "enforcer", making sure the
other dogs behaved. When Misty took over, then Andrea
took over the enforcer job.

Misty always wanted to be where I was, got to sleep
in the bed next to me, would sleep on my pillows if
I was not there, was totally devoted to me, and I
still miss her greatly.

Why won't my dog walk on leash?
I have a 10 month old dapple miniature dachshund who absolutely hates her leash. Whenever I put it on her, she simply squats down, chin on her paws, and refuses to move. If I try pulling gently and talking to her, trying to get her excited about our walk, she begins to tussle with the leash and begins barking and yelping as if someone was beating her viciously. I'm afraid I may hurt her, so I remove the leash. However, not having the leash is making it difficult to walk her; not to mention housetrain her. Any suggestions on how I can get my pup to make nice with her leash? A.J.

Dear A.J.,

We would recommend starting by just putting the leash on her and ignoring her. When she does move - even a little bit - praise her and give her a treat. As she becomes more comfortable dragging the leash around, start holding the leash for brief periods of time and then begin walking her. Don't tug on the leash - that just triggers what's called opposition reflex in dogs (where they will pull back harder). Just keep praising for moving forward in small steps.

Is it herding or aggression?
Everytime I go running with my 19-month-old husky/australian cattle dog mix, Serena, she goes low to the ground, like she's herding someone, then tries to jump and bark at anyone running towards us. Otherwise, she is great while running, but obviously this presents a problem. The best I've been able to do so far is to make her sit and stay, which she usually does well, but I have to stop in the middle of my run. That's okay though, if it keeps her from jumping and barking, and maybe biting! If someone is walking, it's not as bad. I usually just run out in the road and pass them, then get back on the sidewalk and she does okay with that, too. What else can I do to stop her from doing that? I've had 3 other dogs, and they never "herded" before. Thanks - A.

Dear A.,

Dogs that have a strong herding instinct can be very challenging when they have certain things they fixate on. Teaching her to Leave It would be very helpful for you, but while she's in the process of learning she'll need to take a break from being your jogging partner. She can't learn the right behavior if she's practicing the wrong one everytime she runs with you. Try joining a basic obedience class or short course focusing on Leave It and in no time at all you can have a lovely companion for jogging (which is such a great opportunity for her to exercise)! The next Houston SPCA Basic Level 1 Training Class begins Saturday, October 25, 2008 11:30-12:30.


Best Toys for Dogs
Author: John Williams Dog Training

Dog toys are essential to keep your dog occupied to stop barking problems, boredom issues and through teething times for your dog. Finding a good toy for your dog through these times is essential, leaving your dog with a bad chew toy that they don’t like will leave your dog with no option but to chew something else, there are many chew toys available so the choice is endless.

Dental health for your dog will be greatly improved by chewing toys so it is important to keep your dog interested in the toy choice you give them. Popular toys usually contain something that tastes good, smells good, some light up, and others make noises to keep you dog entertained. If the toy is fun for your dog then you can use it to reward your dog for good behavior or take it from them when they are bad.

Different Dogs enjoy different textures and tastes, you will need to find what your dog likes to chew and try your best to find a similar product but without it being as destructive to your house like their old toy, the table leg, was.

Avoiding tugging toys may be a good idea in some cases, more excited breeds of dog and puppies especially will get the message that tugging is fun for you as well as your dog, thus encouraging him to tug at you trouser legs when they’re in need of attention and curtains when they’re bored. Personally I would avoid theses toys.

When looking for a good toy for your dog, here are some good suggestions:

1. Look for a dog toy with something different like sound, taste, or lights.
2. Pick a dog toy that is tough enough to withstand your dogs chewing and biting
3. Choose dog toys that you think your dog will enjoy, using experience of what he normally chews is a good idea.

Remember that choosing a dog toy all depends on the dog in question, each dog will have different tastes and experiences of what they enjoy, something as cheap and simple as a tennis ball could be enough to keep your dog occupied for hours on end.

Save Up To 50% Everyday!

Best Gifts for Cats -- the Easy Way to Pick Them
Author: Ron King

Do you have a gift list that includes a true cat lover? If so, you're in luck! Buying for a cat owner is more simple than ever, especially with the selection and specialty items available on the web. Before you purchase the first kitty-themed item, stop to consider the following idea. The best gifts for cat lovers are unique and specific to their cat.

Before you buy a present for the cat lover on your list, think about the following:

What type of cat breed does the prospective recipient like or own? Many potential offerings given to cat lovers are also breed specific. If possible, purchase a gift that reminds the recipient of their favorite pussy cat.

If you are buying a gift for someone who currently owns a cat, find out the sex of the cat. Many cat-themed gifts are gender-specific, so you should know what sex your recipient's cat is.

Does your recipient like to dress up your cat? If you are buying a gift for someone who likes to dress their cats in sweaters or other types of apparel, your search for an appropriate gift will be much easier. Don't assume that the receiver dresses their cat, however.

Now that you've taken a few moments to ponder on your recipient's cat, here are the top 6 gifts that any cat lover would be happy to get.

1. A cat-themed picture frame. What better way to show your love for your animal than putting the feline's picture on display? Anyone looking for gifts for cat lovers would be pleased to receive a lovely picture frame to show their pride and joy. You may desire to ensure your intended recipient doesn't already own a lot of cat picture frames. This is a popular gift to give and to receive, so it is not uncommon for avid cat lovers to have more than one cat picture frame.

2. Cat-themed jewelry. It may be common to run across a lovely cat broach, pin, charm bracelet, necklace, or other piece of jewelry. Nothing could be more personal or intimate than a lovely piece of jewelry. If you have a close friend who you think would enjoy this type of present, you will find many online retail websites dedicated to offerings for cat lovers that carry a great selection of cat-related jewelry. For an even more personal touch, you can additionally have these type of gifts inscribed with a message as well.

3. Cat-related stationary, desk calendar, engagement calendar, diary, or books. Every New Year, hundreds of beautifully-designed calendars are put on the market for purchase. The selection can be astounding with hundreds of breeds and cat themes represented. This is a fabulous choice that any cat owner would enjoy receiving, particularly if you can find a calendar that represents the recipient's favorite breed. If you desire to go beyond the ever-popular cat calendar, you can also purchase lovely cat-related stationary for your recipient. Another superior choice is to locate a nice cat-themed diary for your recipient.

Gifts for cat lovers may include a cat calendar, stationary set, or diary that you like. Consider buying the cat lover on your list a beautiful cat-themed coffee table book. Most cat lovers will delight in feasting on the gorgeous photography and text of a good cat coffee table book.

4. Cat themed clothes and coffee mugs. Cat lovers will enjoy receiving cat-themed T-shirts and sweaters. You can frequently find funny cat-themed coffee mugs too.

5. A work of kitty art. Cat lovers abound nowadays, so it easy to find works of art that is cat related. For the true cat lover, a lovely cat sculpture can be a wonderful and whimsical gift. You can easily find all sorts of cat-related ceramic pieces, wooden sculptures, planter, fountain, or other types of cat art. For the truly dedicated cat owner, you can even commission a local artist to do a portrait of your friend's cat!

6. A gift subscription to Cat Fancy magazine! For people looking for gifts for cat lovers, the die-hard cat fanatic will love a subscription to a cat themed magazine. If you can't locate cat-related magazines at your local newsstand, go to your local pet supplies store. You'll see other magazines besides Cat Fancy that your recipient can enjoy to be receiving for many issues to come.

Shop Christmas Trees Galore Today!
Shop This Holiday Season!

Basic House Cat Information
by Indika Kumar

If you own a housecat, there is certain house cat information you are going to want to be aware of. Starting from cat breeding information to cat pregnancy information, by making yourself more educated on this house cat information you will not only feel more comfortable owning a cat but as well ensure that you cat lives as long and healthy a life as possible.
The Basics

There is a bit of basic house cat information that you should learn first. For one, domestic cats have intrigued humans for thousands of years, and are used as symbols of beauty, grace, mystery and power, and are favored as pets all around the world today. The domestic cat is actually second only to the dog in terms of popularity as a house pet, which is the main reason that house cat information is so useful to know.


Grooming is very important, regardless of the breed of cat you are dealing with. Whether purebred or a mixed breed, one of the key rules to good grooming lies in the length of a cat's coat. This is because a cat with a shorter coat will generally not require as much grooming as a cat with a longer coat.

There are dense-coated shorthaired cats such as the American shorthairs which require a monthly grooming session, and longer haired breeds such as the Tabby cat which require much more frequent grooming.

You should comb their fur while they are in the bathtub if it is longer and tends to get knotted and tangled easily, because this will keep it from getting matted as it dries. Make sure that you are using a proper shampoo, and you should never use a human shampoo on your cat.

Also, if your cat is younger this will be much easier because then you can get them used to bathing and other grooming techniques by performing these tasks as they grow up and they will not dread them.

There are also a few other issues that need to be taken seriously when it comes to house cat information, namely diet and exercise.

No matter what breed of cat you have, it is important that you learn how to take proper care of them so that you can get them in an optimal state of health and maintain it. Especially if your cat has certain health problems you are going to need to ensure that you are taking the best possible care of them.

About the Author
Author Sites: Homemade Cat Foods , Homemade Dog Foods and Cat Care Information

Franklin Pet Memorials
“Remember them with a custom solid bronze memorial.”

Contact: Cynthia Linnon
191 Howard Street Franklin, PA 16323
814-346-7205 ph 814-346-7047 fax

Older Dogs Jealous of New Puppies
By Ian Pennington

Jealousy is a characteristic normally one associates with human beings. But ask experienced observers of animals about this. They will all agree that animals are not inferior by any means to human beings when it comes to certain basic instincts such as jealousy. Even people who have pet dogs can vouch for this fact. When a person brings a new puppy to a house where already a dog exists, the older dog will definitely feel jealous of the new puppy. This jealous attitude of the older dogs is not a healthy phenomenon; at least for the health of the puppy. So, the owner must take extra precautions when bringing a new puppy to the house.

If you tend to think that you have already mastered the art of bringing up the dogs after successfully training one dog, you are mistaken. You are in for new practical lessons and tutorials when you bring a new puppy to your house. Dogs are highly territorial animals. Breaking in to another dog's territory is equivalent to attacking another country in the actions of human beings. Normally, the dogs mark their respective territories with urine. The smell of the urine is the invisible borderline. Since you have trained the old dog to properly use potty for relieving itself, its first line of border protection cannot be activated. So, do not be surprised if the older dog uncharacteristically starts urinating at the wrong places when a new puppy is brought to home. He is just marking his territories. Also, he may demand more attention from you. That is all because of the fact that the older dog is jealous of the attention the new puppy is getting.

There are certain things the owners can do to keep things under control. When a person brings a new puppy to the house, he or she has to show more than the normal attention to the old dog. Do not make the two dogs share same crates, toys, and food bowls. One must define a hierarchy of sorts, like the owner first, then the old dog, and then the new puppy. This order should be maintained in all aspects, be it care giving, food giving, or playing.

Another problem is that the new puppy may not understand the signals of dominance sent by the older dog. So, never leave the puppy with older dog, till both animals become comfortable with each other. A good practice is to play with both animals at the same time.

It is often recommended that when you bring the new puppy, you have to chain both the animals so that you can control things better. It is also important to take the new puppy to a veterinary doctor. Diseases can be transmitted to the other dog quite easily.

Ian Pennington is an accomplished niche website developer and author. To learn more about older dogs jealousy, please visit New Puppy Care for current articles and discussions.

Article Source:

Click here to visit The EZ Online Shopping Network of Stores!

No comments: