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Welcome May!

Hello May, Paw Pals!

KittyBoy, the beautiful cat below, loves our May weather. As spring blooms into full swing, it's time to embrace the blossoming warmth and delightful adventures with our furry companions. Let's wag our tails into May with a spring in our step and hearts full of love. Welcome to our May newsletter, packed with paws-itively delightful reads!

Leash Rehab: Retraining Reactive Dogs

Today, let's dive into the wild world of leash reactivity. First, let's define it – leash reactivity occurs when a dog becomes overwhelmed and overreacts to a trigger while on a leash. Common triggers include passing bikes, cars, joggers, and other dogs.

Reactivity often stems from a frightening experience, like being attacked or tumbled by a larger dog. Some dogs are also naturally more fearful. The most common reactions are lunging, barking, and growling. While these reactions look aggressive, reactivity is usually fear-based.

Even if your dog barks like a tough guy, he's afraid. Instead of barking, some dogs may try and hide or run away. The leash makes them feel trapped. So, give your dog a break; he's most likely terrified.

It's important to understand that greetings in the dog world are different from those in our human world. Dogs typically meet from the side, circling, rear-sniffing, and avoiding eye contact. But guess what happens on a leash? Boom! A head-on collision with the eyes locked. That's a potential threat in dog lingo, and we're off on the wrong paw right from the get-go!

First and foremost, don't punish, jerk, or yell at your dog; that won't help and may make them afraid of you. Avoid retractable leashes for better control. Don't rush your dog. Don't force a meeting. Make sure you don't react to an approaching dog; stay calm.

Move your dog to a distance where he doesn't react to the trigger. Reward calm behavior with high-value treats (if your dog isn't calm, you're not far enough away). Use treats to redirect his focus to you. Immediately stop treats when the trigger leaves. The goal is to teach your dog that other dogs mean treat time! Gradually decrease the distance from other dogs as your pooch remains calm. If your dog reacts, move farther away and slow down. Getting your dog to the point where they don't react may take a long time, be patient.

Remember, these steps are your pup's path to leash reactivity rehab. It's not a sprint; it's a marathon. If you're stuck in a leash reactivity maze, bark up our tree for help.

Grin and Bear It? The Lowdown on Pet Bruxism

Have you ever caught your pets grinding their teeth? It might seem like a quirky habit, but bruxism in dogs and cats is more than just a noisy nuisance. In fact, it could be a subtle signal from your furry companion that something is amiss with their health. Let's dive into the world of pet bruxism and uncover the reasons behind this curious behavior.

Bruxism, simply put, is teeth grinding. While some pets may engage in this grating practice, it's essential to recognize that it goes beyond a mere bad habit. Instead, it often serves as a warning sign of underlying health issues. Bruxism isn't confined to just grinding; clenching is also part of the repertoire. You might notice your pet's teeth clattering, accompanied by occasional drooling, especially in cats.

Possible Causes of Bruxism:

Pain: Oral pain is a common trigger for bruxism, encompassing issues like gum disease, bad teeth, mouth infections, oral injuries, or growths or tumors. Puppies, for instance, may grind their teeth due to a loose tooth, but this behavior typically fades as they grow their adult teeth.

Bite Matters: An abnormal bite and misaligned teeth, known as malocclusion, can contribute to teeth grinding. This is a reminder that dental health extends beyond the cleanliness of teeth. Talk to your vet about solutions for your fuzzball.

Gastrointestinal Distress: GI problems, including acid reflux, can manifest as teeth grinding in pets. It's essential to consider the overall well-being of your pet's digestive system.

Stressful Situations: Just like with humans, anxiety and stress can be culprits behind bruxism. Changes in the environment, moving homes, or alterations in routines can also trigger teeth grinding.

If your pet's bruxism persists, a veterinary exam is recommended. Don't dismiss chronic teeth grinding as just a quirk. Our pets rely on us to look out for their well-being; with a little care we can keep your furry friend smiling for years to come.

Purr-fect Preparations: New Cat Essentials

Embarking on the journey of feline parenthood is an exciting adventure; let's be sure you have the key supplies for your new furry family member. Here's a handy checklist of must-have items:

  • Microchip: This will provide your contact information in case your cat gets lost. Make sure you register it and keep your chip registration up to date.
  • Bed: Provide cozy beds in quiet areas of your home so your cat can nap. Plush beds with rims allow them to nestle in.
  • Litter Box: Cats need a roomy litter box. Choose a covered box or one with low sides for easy access. Fill with clumping, unscented litter.
  • Food and Water Bowls: Durable ceramic, stainless steel, or plastic bowls are ideal for your cat's food and water. Place them in an easily accessible area.
  • Cat Food: Feed a complete and balanced age-appropriate cat food. Follow label portions and transition slowly from old to new food.
  • Grooming Supplies: A soft brush removes loose hair and distributes oils. Trim nails monthly with cat nail clippers. Buy a soft toothbrush for their choppers.
  • Scratching Posts: Sturdy vertical and horizontal posts save furniture from kitty claws. Try different materials like cardboard, sisal, or carpet.
  • Toys: Interactive toys like feather wands and treat balls encourage activity and mental stimulation. Rotate toys to keep them interesting.
  • Cat Carrier: A sturdy carrier with comfortable bedding ensures safe transport to the vet.
  • Vet Appointment: Schedule an initial check-up within the first few weeks.

Bonus Cat-Pampering Supplies:

  • Cat tree for climbing and perching
  • Cat house for napping
  • Treats for positive reinforcement training
  • Window perch for watching the world
  • Catnip toys to spice up playtime
  • Paper bags or boxes for adventures

With this checklist in hand, you'll be fully prepared to give your new cat or kitten a loving home. Let the fun begin!

Great Pet Links!

May is:

Pet Cancer Awareness Month
Chip Your Pet Month
Arthritis Awareness Month

May 3 - Special-Abled Pets Day
May 10 - German Shepherd Day
May 11 - Disaster Preparedness Day
May 20 - National Rescue Dog Day

Hot Weather Tips For Pets
Eco-Friendly Cat Litter
Is Your Pet Dehydrated?
German Shepherd Dogs
These Cats Will Make You Laugh

May 2024 Newsletter