The Wet Nose Press Pet Blog

March 13, 2019
by Lynn Merton
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Why do Dogs Like Bones

Image Credits: Pixabay

Every dog owner must have gazed in wonder at the dog chewing blissfully at its bone. For a canine, nothing can be a better sedative. It is strange that a dog will continue to chew the bone even if there is no meat on the bone. It not only chews it but also crushes it. The end of the meal will see most of the bone disappearing within its body. It is puzzling to see that an animal loves a thing which has zero nutrition value. The dog loves the bone so much that it can spend hours consuming it.

Fat is important

The answer lies in the annals of history when humans first domesticated dogs. The clue lies in the sites located in New Mexico where bison bones were discovered. The bisons concerned was hunted down around 1450 AD. The hunters, the archaeologists discovered, left the female bison alone but took away the meat of the male bison. A little more investigation found out that the kill happened not during the winter time-the customary bison hunting season, but during the spring. Female animals killed during spring does not taste well as the fat content in their body is found to be less. The female bison was probably pregnant and severely stressed resulting in a lower quantity of fat in the body. The herbivores live off their fat reserves, and the fat content of both male and females are much reduced. A diet consisting of only protein for predators is inadequate for the calories needed to sustain the body. There is also the chance of protein poisoning. This is why the hunters took away the male bison’s meat and not the female herbivore’s.

Bone marrow helps to survive All of these leads us to the answer of why dogs love to chew on bones. The changes in season affect the ready availability of plants and vegetables which are eaten as food by herbivores. The latter in turn are prey to carnivores. Bones are essentially fat reservoirs. The marrow of the bone is rich in fat, and this keeps the animal alive at a time when there is a lack of food. Bone marrows are nearly 50 percent fat in composition. There is also the presence of bone grease, the chemical which bonds the essential calcium to the bone. For a predator who caught its prey at a particularly bad time of the year, then the bone marrow becomes an invaluable fat source. This fat literally multiples the nutrition capability of the prey. For a carnivorous animal like a dog, the bone grease, to its genes, make the bridge connecting life and death. You should always give the raw bone to your dog and not a cooked one with no fat.

March 12, 2019
by Lynn Merton
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Transgender Dogs

Image Credits: Pixabay

When it comes to awareness, a transgender dog does not exist. The main qualification to be a transgender is to make sense of one’s own gender which is not linked to the sex of the body. Canines do not have this awareness. There are many instances, however, when owners have found their dogs to be so, and the animals subsequently had gender reassignment surgery. There is a good reason owner have felt their dogs to be transgender.

One example can be given of a British couple who adopted a female puppy. They soon figured out that their puppy is exhibiting unusual behavior. Since it was trained to urinate in a female position, it did so inside the house. However, it did the same deed in the male position when outside. When the owners took the dog to the veterinarian, the specialist told them it could be a hermaphrodite, meaning the dog has both female and male genitalia. Later investigation led to the realization that it was an intersex dog. Canines of this kind whine more and lick their bodies more than other dogs. These dogs also urinate in the male position even though it appears like a female.

Training and maturity

If your dog is intersex, do not worry. The innate nature of a dog depends on how it got raised and trained. A canine can be affectionate or aggressive. It depends on the environment within which the dog was brought up. Any dog’s behavior depends on its training. The sex of the dog, however, affects its rate of learning. The female dog is smarter and learns quickly. They are smaller compared to male dogs and reach maturity earlier. It is easier to train a female dog than a male one. Do understand that training has nothing to do with intelligence but depends on maturity. Since females mature faster, they are also much easier to train. Start training your dog when it is still a puppy. If it has not been neutered or spayed, then do the procedure as quickly as possible. 

More than we expected It is not unusual in the animal world to have some animals which can change sex between genders and have both male and female characteristics. It is to be kept in mind that the male and female sex could overlap both in humans and in animals. Dogs cannot be an exception. Animals which can change their sex do this through a process termed sequential hermaphroditism. Three outcomes can be done in this regard: protogyny where females change into males, protandry where males turn into females, and where a living thing is born both male and female and has the power to assume any sex later in its life. The last can be observed in fishes.

March 11, 2019
by Lynn Merton
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Territorial Aggression in Cats

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The chances are that your cat is suddenly acting aggressive and actively defending its territory. As an owner, it is your responsibility to keep it calm. Bringing home another new cat when you already have one may involve some time until the cat tolerates each other.

More territorial than dog

A cat’s territorial behavior can manifest in multiple ways due to various reasons. It is to be noted that cats are much more territorial compared to dogs in their nature. The feline species is also more solitary. The characteristics of territorial behavior include stalking, attacking other cats, hissing or marking by urine. If you brought in a new cat, keep the new feline separate for some time. It is a good idea to switch the bedding of the two cats so that they can smell each other. They will then sniff in other places like under the doors to get to know each other.

The presence of territorial behavior in cats is much more severe than dogs as felines fiercely guard their territory. A cat regards all newcomers as intruders or invaders. The invader could be a new cat in the house or a stray cat ambling outside. Felines are also much pickier. Your cat may like one cat but dislike another. Non-neutered male cats can be specifically territorial. It is thus crucial that you neuter or spay your cats. Even a friendly and social kitten could become a territorial cat when it matures. To avoid such scenario, socialize the kitten from three to 12 weeks of age. Put it in many situations and even those which involves going out of the house. It should not hesitate to go anywhere.

Search for professional help

If your kitty suddenly becomes extremely territorial, like showing aggression towards all, do take it to the veterinarian as soon as possible. The medical professional can help out to iron any health issues. It is found that aggression masks underlying health problems. If you have not neutered or spayed your cat, do it now. Neutering or spaying goes a long way to eliminate aggression. One non-neutered or non-spayed cat can affect all pets within the house.

Whatever you do, you must not permit your kitty to fight other cats. Felines are not canines. Dogs may resist at first, but soon a truce between dogs come into play. This never happens for cats. The more cats fight, the worse the problem becomes. If you see your cat fighting with another cat, use a whistle or throw water to separate them. Do not physically get yourself between two feuding cats. You may end up getting hurt. Never punish your cat for territorial behavior. Doing this will make the cat much more aggressive. In case the problem continues, there could be a need to separate the cats. Seek professional help to solve such feline behavioral issues.

March 8, 2019
by Lynn Merton
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Foot Pad Pain in Dogs

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Your dog can suffer from a wide range of foot pad injuries from lacerations to blisters, ulcers, punctures, and burns. You should be aware of the surface on which your dog walks on. Concrete, to give an example, could be rough. It heats up swiftly during hot or warm weather. The foot pads of your dog can also be injured if it walks on sand, rock, and gravel. The standard clinical signs include limping, bleeding, or licking the foot.

Specialized body part

The pads of dogs’ feet come with specialized skin. This skin is much different from the rest of the dog’s anatomy. Broken nails, cuts, and scrapes need specialized treatment. Even though injuries can happen anytime, a few steps can be adopted to reduce risks. These include using proper gear for specific environments and keeping the paw pads of the dog moisturized. As a dog owner, it makes an excellent practice to keep your dog’s nails trimmed.

Standard paw pad injuries may not involve trips to the veterinarian. However, if you are afraid, or unsure, do not hesitate to call the medical professional. The list of symptoms associated with paw pad injuries include blisters, raw, or inflamed parts and the dog will limp. There will be loose flaps of scarred skin on the paw pads, and your dog may refuse to walk. The canine would suddenly engage in chewing or licking its affected paw. There would be uncharacteristic pulling as well.

Treatment

You can take care of your dog at home if the abrasions are mild. The standard way to treat foot pad pain is to rinse the foot in question under cool water gently. This is done to remove debris. An antibacterial solution or ointment should be then applied. Neosporin is a favored choice of many. The final step involves placing a clean non-stick telfa pad over concerned footpad and then lightly wrapping the same with an ace bandage or a vet wrap. This bandage must be kept dry and clean at all times. It should be changed every day until your dog’s pads are completely healed. Take the dog to the veterinarian if there is bleeding from the paw pads or excessive blistering. The damage to the webbing between the toes and the presence of cracked nails demands an immediate visit to the veterinarian.

Although a few foot injuries cannot be prevented, you should not allow your dog to walk over rough or jagged surfaces. Hot surfaces are also not good for your dog to walk upon. It is an excellent idea to make your dog wear protective footwear if it is not possible to avoid such surfaces. Your veterinarian will look into foot pad injuries more seriously as these do not heal quickly like regular skin.

March 7, 2019
by Lynn Merton
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How to Exercise Your Lazy Cat?

It is okay if your cat is always sleeping. Most cats spend their daytime sleeping. They reserve their energy for night-time playing and hunting. Since you must sleep at night, you should make your cat play during the day too. The playing activity will make your cat tired, and both of you can sleep without any disturbance.

Check for health issues

However, if your energetic cat suddenly seems to be uninterested in playing games, and does not look towards toys, take it to the veterinarian. There could be health issues involved in making the cat lethargic. If your cat loves to stay indoors, it is your responsibility to give it exercise. Your job is to stimulate it so that the cat exercises. To do this, you have to change the immediate environment.

Finding the correct toy

You should find toys which your cat likes. This is tricky as each cat has a unique taste and all are picky. It is not sufficient to have a house filled with cat toys. Your cat would like a particular toy and exclude all others. To understand what to buy, carefully observe your kitty. If it is unmoved by a mechanical mouse but jumps up when it sees a dangling toy, you know what to buy. Do not hesitate to buy a few kinds of toys to find out the kind of toys it likes best.

It is not enough to buy your cat toys. You must play with it too. This is critical to make your lazy cat an active animal. The toys are fun, but your cat will be joyous if you play with it. Buy a laser pointer and switch it on to activate the natural prey instincts of your cat. A wand toy is also a good buy in this regard. Hide the toy sometimes to encourage your cat to search and hunt. Give a treat at the end. It will make the cat feel that he has hunted down the prey. Buy a few battery operated toys; these are excellent if your kitty loves to pounce on things. Some battery toys can be set with a timer so that they become active even when you are not at home. You can give food puzzles to your cat so that the kitty’s meal times are not only delicious but adventurous too.

Buy premium quality food for your cat. Giving it cheaper food mean it does not get all the nutrients needed to be active and healthy. Speak to the veterinarian about your kitty’s particular dietary requirements. Get suggestions on what type of food would be the best for your cat. Remember to give your furball enough water as dehydration leads to lethargy.