June 16, 2010

How to Make Sure Your Dog and Cat are Friends

Filed under: cat stress,dog stress,Dogs and Cats — Dr. Amber Reed @ 5:15 pm

feline stress Whether you’re introducing a new dog to a home with a cat or vice versa, it is important to take special precautions to ensure that your dog and cat get along.  First of all, it is important to understand that certain breeds of dogs do not get along well with cats.  We all know the image of dogs chasing cats in cartoons, and while this is generally a misleading image, there are some breeds of dog that do not make good cat companions.  Hounds, malamutes, beagles, border collies, greyhounds, terriers, and whippets are just a few examples.  Before you decide to get a cat or dog, be sure to do some research about which breeds do not make good friends.

Otherwise, dogs and cats can be best buddies.  Most dog owners will learn that a well trained dog is easier to work with when introducing cats and dogs.  Puppies can be a little too energetic and may frighten your cat.   On the other hand, established house dogs often accept kittens more easily than the reverse situation.  Still, you need to monitor new pets more closely during the first few weeks to ensure that all your pets are getting along well.

Moreover, cats need private areas where they can escape and feel secure.  Give your cat a separate room, especially if she seems to be struggling to bond with the dog.  Also, a scratching post is a great accessory because it not only gives your cat an appropriate place to scratch, if it is tall enough, your cat can hide on top of the post.

Before introducing a new pet, give it time to adjust to the new surroundings.  Whatever you can do to alleviate stress levels before introducing your cat and dog will make the early stages of their relationship less anxiety-inducing.  Most importantly, have patience and your dog and cat should be friends in no time!

January 25, 2010

When I move, will it affect my dog?

Filed under: dog stress,moving homes with your dog,moving with your dog — Dr. Amber Reed @ 9:15 am

moving dogsMoving house is a stressful event for everybody. Humans don’t usually enjoy moving because of the work associated but also there are emotions attached to moving house. Perhaps we’re moving from the home we grew up in or we’re simply moving cities for a new job, it doesn’t really matter, we usually have mixed emotions about moving. The same is true for your dog except your dog doesn’t understand the reasons behind the move. From a dog’s perspective, there is suddenly a lot of commotion in the house and then they find themselves in a new place that they don’t understand or recognize.

canine stressDogs mark their territory and when they’re placed in a new environment without any warning they can begin to exhibit strange behaviours. In most cases, dogs will adjust easily to a new home by exploring and sniffing their new surroundings. Unfortunately, high strung or anxious dogs may not cope well with moving and could begin to demonstrate some aggressive or antisocial behaviour. For example, if your dog can smell evidence of other pets that previously lived in the new home, it may start marking its territory, which isn’t exactly ideal behaviour from the perspective of the pet owner. Similarly, your pet might need to be reminded about housetraining because it is confused about the new surroundings.

In most cases, your dog just needs time to adapt to the new home. Give your dog several opportunities to visit the new home before moving so that they won’t be so confused when they arrive. Other than that, you can help your dog by offering lots of support. Love and affection can put your dog at ease and make the transition to a new home much easier to handle. The confusion a dog feels about new surroundings can make it difficult for them to adjust so dog owners need to be patient and supportive during this process.

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Disclaimer: CritterCures is an educational resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure diseases, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet are taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.