The Wet Nose Press Pet Blog

November 15, 2019
by Lynn Merton
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The role of a pet behaviorist

Image Credits: Pixabay

No pet owner would want to abandon his or her animal to a shelter. But, most often, when the behavior of a pet goes out of hand, owners find themselves at a loss about the appropriate course of action. This is where the contribution of a pet behaviorist becomes invaluable.

Here are some ways in which you can benefit from the services of a pet behaviorist:

A Pet Behaviorist Helps You Understand your Pet Better

The sudden continuous barking of your dog may be driving you crazy and upsetting your neighbors. Not knowing the reason for the sudden change in behavior may frustrate you. But, your dog, more often than not, has a solid reason for the behavior.

Sudden uncommon behaviors such as self-destructive chewing, excessive biting, scratching, aggression, and fear, can be difficult to identify immediately, let alone understand and resolve. Such behaviors though frustrating can make both the owner and the pet sad and miserable.

Though self-help pet books and information on the Internet are available, nothing can surpass the practical and specialist knowledge of a qualified practitioner. A pet behaviorist, a highly qualified individual who knows better about animals and their behavior, can put your pet and you out of misery. As a specialist, he or she can help you understand the rational reason behind your pet’s seemingly irrational behavior.

A Pet Behaviorist Helps You Diagnose Your Pet Issue Faster

When you approach a pet behaviorist with your pet issue, he or she develops a plan of action after obtaining thorough information about your pet. The behaviorist starts by observing your pet in its natural environment, that is your home. He or she also observes your pet-owner relationship. The next step is to identify the triggers provoking abnormal behavior. With all the essential information in hand, a behaviorist comes up with an efficient solution.

A Pet Behaviorist Helps your Pet Heal Faster

A pet behaviorist specializes in the field of pet behavior identification and modification. Behaviorists usually have a Ph.D., MS or MA, in animal behavior, at the minimum. Some may earn extra accreditation, such as the CAAB (Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists) and ACCAB (Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists).

Such education trains behaviorists to understand the behaviors of different animals, including dogs, cats, horses, and birds. As a result, these specialists know about the normal behavior of animals; factors could possibly cause behavioral changes and ways to correct the abnormal behavior.

Behaviorists are trained in safe and effective behavior modification techniques and treatments. They will also counsel you about methods that can help you support your pet better to get him or her out of the crisis faster.

A Pet Behaviorist Helps you Bond Better with your Pet

Relationships become stronger when they go through challenges. A pet-owner relationship is no different. A behaviorist, with his or her expertise and insights, can help you both come out of the pet behavioral crisis successfully and build a better bond for the future. With a pet behaviorist, you’ll have not only a happier pet for the present but also a healthy and well-balanced animal companion for the future.

November 14, 2019
by Lynn Merton
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Home Remedies to Treat Your Cat’s Cold

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You might be surprised to learn that one of the most common ailments affecting cats is upper respiratory infections, aka colds. It’s not the same kind that affects humans, so you don’t have to worry about transferring your cold to your pet or vice-versa. Cold in cats is caused by viruses and bacteria such as Feline calicivirus and Bordetella bronchiseptica.

Symptoms can range from mild (sneezing, clear discharge from eyes or nasal cavity) to severe (fever, appetite loss, fatigue, or yellowish discharge). If the infection is minor, you can try the home remedies listed below to alleviate your pet’s cold.

1. Clearing the Nasal Passage

Keep your cat’s airways from being blocked or congested by getting rid of nasal discharge. You can use a damp paper towel or washcloth for this purpose. Clean their eyes in a similar way. This will help your sick cat breathe and see better. Do not use the same towel or cloth to wipe their nose and eyes; keep the two separate.

Humidifiers or vaporizers are also a great way to clean your cat’s nasal pathways. You can use a store-bought device and place it next to your cat for no longer than half an hour at a time. You can also turn your bathroom into a makeshift humidifier. Let the hot water from your shower turn the bathroom warm and humid, and then make your cat sit in the room for about ten minutes.

2. Providing a Warm Environment

It is important for your cat to stay warm. Cover a heating pad or a hot water bag in blankets, and place it around the cat’s body. Do not let your cat come into direct contact with the heat source as it can cause burn injuries. Your cat should be able to distance itself from the heat source easily. Also, keep your cat indoors and away from drafty areas in the house.

3. Eating Right

If your cat has a cold, it may not feel like eating. Loss of appetite can lead to weakness and make it more difficult to fight off the infection. So coax your cat with fishy treats that carry a strong odor such as tuna. If you are using canned food, serve it warm. Additionally, your cat may have difficulty swallowing food, so soften the dry food with water.

4. Ensuring Hydration

Ensure your cat stays hydrated by monitoring their water intake. Keep a steady supply of freshwater and lookout for signs of dehydration. If their gums are colorless or red, or if the skin around their neck area stays up for more than a second when softly pinched, then your cat may be dehydrated.

5. Cleanliness & Quarantine

If your cat is sick, their water and food bowls and litter box may also be infected with the cold virus or bacteria. Replace these items or clean them out thoroughly. This step is especially important if you have other pets. You should also keep your sick cat quarantined in a separate room to minimize the spread of infection.

6. Rest & Relaxation

Your cat needs plenty of sleep and rest. To avoid stressful situations and activities and give them time to recover. Keep monitoring their body temperature, particularly at their extremities such as tail and feet. If they feel too cold or too hot, take them to the vet as soon as you can.

Some Dont’s

While you can give certain vitamins and supplements to your cat when it’s sick, it is advisable to do so only after consulting with your vet. At no time should you give any oral or topical medication, including for fleas or ticks, at your own volition. Before you begin treating your cat at home, it is recommended you pay the veterinarian a visit. More so, if your cat’s immune system is not yet fully developed or is otherwise compromised due to age or other illness.

November 13, 2019
by Lynn Merton
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Do You Need a Pet Trainer/ Pet Behaviorist?

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A dog is popularly known as a man’s best friend. And is aptly labeled as such. Dogs bring so much happiness into our lives. Dogs are blessings we don’t deserve. That being said, sometimes, our furry friends tend to misbehave. They exhibit problematic behavior and have a penchant for causing chaos in the house. These issues can be mild to severe, and the degree of the problem is what determines whether your dog will need a pet trainer or a behaviorist.

Who are Dog Behaviorists?

Dog behaviorists are people who have been professionally trained and have an advanced education on matters such as dog behavior, cognition, and evolution. They have a lot more experience than your average dog trainer when it comes to dealing with behavioral problems in animals. They understand the root of the problem and devise a solution accordingly. Dog behaviorists assess and solve your dog’s behavior issues using science-based training methods. They mainly deal with concerning behavior like unprompted aggression and fear.

Do You Need a Dog Behaviorist?

If you’re someone struggling with your dog’s outbursts and general behavior, you might be asking yourself whether a dog behaviorist can solve your problems better than a trainer. Keep in mind that many dog trainers are experts at what they do with many years of experience under their belt. Dog trainers are more than enough when it comes to dealing with basic obedience or puppy training.

On the other hand, if your dog is struggling with serious behavioral issues, like aggression and irrational fear, it’s time to consult a dog behaviorist. Dog behaviorists assess and diagnose the situation with ease, presenting you with a game plan to tackle the problem in no time at all. They know what they’re doing and your beloved pet could not be in better hands.

Why Would Your Dog Need a Behaviorist?

Your dog would need the help of a trained and certified dog behaviorist if he:

· Is aggressive

· Is reactive (barking, snapping, and lunging at strangers and house guests)

· Has phobias (If your dog starts fearing simple things he was fine with before, he may benefit from seeing a pet behaviorist.)

· Is not getting better even after seeking help (You might have already called in a dog trainer to assess the situation. If the training hasn’t significantly changed your dog’s behavior, then it’s time to call in the pet behaviorist.)

Dogs with behavior issues need more than just group classes and alone time with an obedience trainer. If you’re tasked with dealing with an overly aggressive, fearful, or reactive dog, make an appointment with the nearest pet behaviorist available in your area. Dog behaviorists are there to help our dogs when we may not be able to do so. Sometimes, our dogs need some extra, professional care.

November 12, 2019
by Lynn Merton
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Difference Between Dog Trainer and Behaviorists

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Animals are no longer considered outsiders to the family or the community they live in. When an animal, pet or otherwise, fall sick, or shows sudden behavioral changes, or is not his or her usual self, owners look for a professional to treat their beloved.

Understanding the difference between animal trainers and behaviorists becomes important because you would want the right professional giving the right treatment to your animal.

Given here are some key differences between animal trainers and behaviorists to help you decide:

Training VS Treating

Trainers are professionals who impart a specific skill-set to animals. For example, if you want your dog to learn to obey your orders and sit or stand accordingly, then your animal needs a trainer. If you are trying to teach your pet to walk on a leash, then again, a trainer is the best person to leave your dog to.

A behaviorist, on the other hand, is one who analyzes your animal’s behavior. If your pet has been having behavioral issues lately, then a behaviorist is the person you need to approach for diagnosis and treatment.

A behaviorist will study symptoms such as abnormal barking, destructive chewing, unexplained fear or aggression, or others, in animals, and understand the underlying cause for the abnormal behavior. He or she will then create a plan of action to address the issue.

Practice VS Observation

Practice or reiteration is a key method used by trainers to cultivate desired skills in animals and ensure that such skills stay with them. Trainers work either individually with each pet or conduct a group session involving a set of pets, as part of training. They may work with animal owners from the beginning of the training period so that owners can carry out practice sessions at home.

Observation is the foundation of a behaviorist’s job. They begin by studying the animal in his or her natural environment to identify behavioral triggers. They then replicate the environment and include triggers. They then place the pet in the induced environment and work on modifying its response gradually.

Self-Training VS Professional Training

Animal trainers can be self-taught. Some trainers may acquire training skill by working for other trainers. There are also multiple certification courses to teach trainers for their job. There is, for example, the CCPDT – Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers – that is globally recognized. No matter how a trainer acquires his or her skill, it is important to know if the trainer has had more than enough practice to perform his or her job efficiently.

Animal behaviorists, however, come with higher qualifications. An animal behaviorist usually has a PhD, MA, or MS degree in animal behavior. Some may have an additional qualification such as a CAAB (Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists) certification. Such education is key to their ability to understand abnormal animal behaviors and modify them. When choosing a professional, pay attention to how your animal responds to the person. It is important to consider your animal’s basic trust and comfort levels with the trainer or behaviorist to derive the best results.

November 11, 2019
by Lynn Merton
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Can Cats Get a Cold?

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Some people believe that cats have nine lives, and their amazing immune systems do a lot to give credence to that idea. Cats are efficient at taking care of themselves, but sometimes they do need a helping hand. Cats can absolutely catch colds, and if not properly handled, the situation can result in the cat ultimately losing its life.

A cold virus can affect your beloved feline in a variety of ways. One common way a cat can catch a cold is by wandering around an area where a car has already been infected by the virus. A cold virus is likely to spread, and if one can catches a cold, then the chances are that the others will as well. This could pose a problem, especially for multi-cat households. However, a vaccine is available that treats this kind of a disease, called an ‘upper respiratory tract infection’ by the veterinarian. You should ensure that your cat is vaccinated in order to prevent the chances of then catching an upper respiratory tract infection.

How do you know if your cat has caught a cold?

Cats are hardy creatures, and they don’t always show their pain. But there are some tell-tale signs you can watch out for to see whether your cat has a cold or not.

  1. The most common and prominent sign would be a nasal discharge. You can also find your cat sneezing more often if they can get an upper respiratory tract infection.
  2. Your cat can also have discharge coming out from their eyes.
  3. Your cat can start to avoid food and water. Dehydration is another telling sign that your cat may have caught a cold, especially when seen together with discharge from the eyes or nose
  4. Your cat may start avoiding food. As their nose and sense of smell are what informs them of the food they will eat, a cold prevents them from properly processing that information. A blocked nose means that they won’t be able to smell the food, which means they are less likely to want to eat it.
  5. Your cat may also appear lethargic.
  6. Signs of breathing difficulty indicate that the upper respiratory infection has progressed far and that your cat needs immediate medical attention.

What should you do if you think your cat has caught a cold?

If you suspect that your feline friend has caught an upper respiratory tract infection, then you have to take them to the vet immediately. As soon as your vet diagnosed them with a cold, they will be given antibiotics, alongside other medication designed to help your cat fight off the virus.

While an antibiotic won’t help your car fight off the cold, it does help them in fighting off any underlying infections that could gave crept up due to the cold. You will also have to force feed your cat for a fee days until the medications take effect and they recover their sense of smell. This can easily be achieved by buying a dropper and feeding them either nutritious soup, or other food ground into liquid form, through the dropper. You can also use a humidifier to create a warm and humid atmosphere for your pet, as that can also help alleviate nasal congestion. Consult with your vet about decongestants as well as the appropriate diet for your pet. Most importantly, remember to keep updating your vet on the status of your cat so you can give them the best as well as consistent healthcare.