There is a brand new initiative called Fear Free Happy Homes and it is available to all pet owners at now charge. Knowledge is power and this knowledge comes free! All you do is register and you get access to LOADS of great info!
- What puzzle toys to buy for your pets
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Have you ever come in the door to a scene that looks like the aftermath of natural disaster? Trash can turned over and stuff strewn everywhere? Have you ever wondered if your dog just gets bored when you leave and resorts to naughtiness? It may seem like it, but it may not be that straightforward.
Don’t forget that your dog is an animal and not a human. His prime objective, down to his very DNA is to survive. Humans are wired similarly, but over time, we have evolved away from our primal roots. Dogs have changed too, but not quite as much. They are still dogs that have wild tendencies that are designed to help them survive against the odds in the wild.
If you think about the natural environment that wild dogs live in, you realize that the world is full of sights, sounds and smells. The wild environment is active and spacious. Wild dogs live in family groups. They know that there is safety in numbers. When wild dogs are alone, at the very least it is somewhat boring, but at the worst, it is downright dangerous!
On the one hand, you are right. Bored dogs can turn to mischief, just to stay entertained. When we leave dogs home alone, we can provide some ways to manufacture entertainment for them. Lots of enrichment toys are available today and you can even create your own fun games. Try hiding toys and treats for your dog to find in your absence. You can buy a mechanical fetching apparatus or puzzle toys to make your dog think to get a treat. You can buy a hollow and durable chew toy and fill it with canned dog food. Then freeze the toy and it will entertain your dog for hours when you are away. We call these “popsicles”! Check out some other ideas by clicking here.
Don’t forget that dogs that are anxious and stressed may try to self-soothe through chewing, foraging, or trying to dig. Truly anxious dogs, like ones suffered from separation anxiety disorder, can even hurt themselves. If you are not sure how your dog reacts when you are away, it is fairly easy and inexpensive to set up a web cam to watch. If your dog exhibits behavior, while you are away, that is physically or emotionally damaging, please seek help. Your veterinarian can provide advice and assistance. He/she might even suggest a consultation with a veterinary behaviorist.
Everyone has to leave their home sometimes. Leaving seems like it is not a big deal to you, but it might be to your dog. Some dogs are not stressed by your absence and merely seek entertainment, but some dogs are acting out because of true anxiety. Knowing the difference is a quality of life issue for you and your dog. If you are not sure which reason explains your dog’s behavior, ask your vet. In either case, making your dog’s time alone more busy and fun is always a good idea.
For more on how to entertain dogs (and be entertained yourself), follow me on Facebook by clicking here.
Are you worried about the pets that are trying to survive in the aftermath of real disasters? We are too, so we are spreading the word about some special groups that are helping pets rescued from this year’s hurricane disasters. Click here if you want to help. https://www.heschatt.org/give/harvey/
Does your cat sometimes twitch when he is sleeping? Scientists believe that all mammals experience Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. REM is a sleep phase and for humans, it seems that it is during REM that dreaming occurs. The presence of REM sleep has been investigated in cats. When cats entered into REM sleep, they were found to have decreased neuron activity compared to being awake and being in other phases of sleep1.
People have wondered about sleep and as early as 1965, researchers were able to demonstrate that cats do engage in REM sleep and may act out dreams. Scientists create injuries to the brains of subject cats that created REM behavior disorder (RBD).2 Experimentally-induced RBD proves that cats do have REM sleep and that dreaming occurs in REM sleep. The good news is that RBD is a destructive disorder that has not been documented to occur naturally in cats.
Since cats do seem to experience sleep much the way that we do, we can deduce that cats do indeed dream. Certainly the brains of cats have been shown to be capable of dreaming, but the exact nature of human dreams remains elusive as well. There have always been lots of theories. Some people feel that the dreams that happen during REM sleep help in learning. Sigmund Freud thought that dreams were indicative of unresolved needs or desires.
Don’t worry if you don’t see your cat engaging in dreams. Just like humans who do not appear to dream every time they sleep, cats probably don’t either. Cats are capable of dreaming, but we cannot ask them about the content of their dreams, so we cannot prove it. It is fun to think of the content of cat dreams.
I imagine my cat feels himself a master hunter, with a successful hunt every time. I even bet he dreams himself big enough and crafty enough to bring down a buffalo because he has catitude for sure!
Please look me up on Facebook to learn all kinds of interesting and fun animal facts!
- Control of hypoglossal motoneurones during naturally occurring sleep and wakefulness in the intact, unanaesthetized cat: a field potential study.J Sleep2014 Aug;23(4):469-74. doi: 10.1111/jsr.12137. Epub 2014 Mar 8.Fung SJ, Chase MH.
- Rem sleep without atonia–from cats to humans.Arch Ital Biol.2004 Jul;142(4):469-78. Mahowald MW Schenck CH.
Friends started to reach out to me saying that I was quoted in this article. Now to be truthful, gone are the days of actual interviews. They basically just swiped the info from an old article, but I guess this is where we are and I think it is neat to be quoted. Enjoy!