Dear Tabby, My boyfriend just adopted a dog and we’re eager to introduce his dog to my dog. We were wondering if it’s better to introduce the two dogs on leash or off leash? Making New Friends in The Heights Dear Making New Friends, While it might seem like the best and safest way to introduce two dogs to one another would be while they’re both on-leash, interestingly enough, dog experts recommend against this. Here are the reasons why and how experts recommend going about this first meeting, sans leashes. Leashes Inhibit Dogs’ Natural Posturing When dogs are on-leash, they are unable to turn their bodies in ways that exhibit peaceful communication with other dogs. Being on-leash often forces dogs to look straight ahead and into the eyes of another dog. In the dog … [Read more...] about Introducing Dogs: To leash or not to leash?
Dear Tabby, My chocolate Lab loves beer! If he hears someone open up a cold one, he comes running! I’ll often pour some in a bowl for him to enjoy--especially when the Texans are on. Is this OK? A little beer every now and then won’t hurt him, right? Enjoying a Frosty One With Fido in Forest West Dear Enjoying a Frosty One, It’s adorable that you enjoy spending quality time with your Lab. However, I hate to break it to you, but beer (or any alcoholic beverage) is really not OK for your dog. One of the main ingredients in beer also happens to be one of the most toxic to dogs--hops. It’s unknown why hops are so toxic to dogs but the consumption of hops can cause violent physical reactions in many canines. We’re talking not only about immediate physical symptoms such as … [Read more...] about Tabby delivers a ‘Buzz-kill’ for beer loving dog owner
Dear Tabby, As my cat is getting older, I often wonder if she’s comfortable and completely healthy. Unlike my dog, it’s so hard to tell if she’s 100% or not the older she gets. How can I tell if she’s in pain or not? Concerned about kitty’s comfort in Cottage Grove Dear Concerned About Kitty, This is a very timely question because September is Animal Pain Awareness Month. The International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM) launched Animal Pain Awareness Month in the hopes that more pet guardians learn about and recognize pain in their pets. Hiding Pain Is Your Cat’s Instinct Unlike other companions, it is hard for a cat to show their pain. Evolution is working against well-meaning guardians. According to the Okaw Veterinary Clinic, as both predators and … [Read more...] about Is your cat comfortable?
Dear Tabby, I’ve noticed that my dog licks his lips constantly--and not just at dinner time! Why do you think he’s doing this and should I be concerned? Licking Issues in Lazybrook Dear Licking Issues, I have to be honest: your question stumped me! The excessive licking of the lips is a behavior that I’ve noticed among my canine friends, but wasn’t something that I’d ever really wondered about until you contacted us here at The Leader News. Thanks to your query, I did some digging around and found a few potential answers to your question, A Form of Communication and Affection According to many dog experts, (and much like humans) dogs use their tongues, mouths and lips to communicate. The difference is that, while humans use their mouths to communicate via speech, dogs … [Read more...] about Does your dog lick his lips excessively? Find out why!
Dear Tabby, We’ve enjoyed taking our dog on lots of walks and other outdoor adventures this summer. However, I’m nervous that she’ll have trouble adjusting to “normal” life once the kids are back at school. Any tips for helping our dog get used to her “new normal”? Back To School Anxiety in Brooksmith Dear Back To School, You’re right. While back to school can spell the return of structure and good habits for humans, it can be a lonely, confusing time for you pet--especially a pet in a family with children. Instead of lazy mornings at home spent with the pets, now the kids are rushing out the door before the sun is up and often aren’t home until the sun is setting. This spells long, boring days for a dog who has only known long walks, outside time and snuggling all … [Read more...] about Preparing your pup for back to school boredom