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The following are some of the most frequently asked questions that pet parents have concerning their pet’s behavior. If you have a question that is not answered below or you would like to schedule an appointment, please contact our office at your convenience.
Click on a question below to see its corresponding answer.
Most dogs with dew claws attached are in perfect health. We usually do not remove dew claws unless the pet is at risk of traumatizing them. If you have concerns about your pet's declaw let us know and we can offer our advise.
The age at which pets lose teeth varies. Most dogs lose their deciduous teeth between the ages of five to eight months, while cats lose theirs between the ages of three to six months. Unlike humans, pets will lose teeth as their adult teeth grow in and push deciduous teeth out. You will not need to pull on teeth to help remove them.
Some pet breeds are more susceptible to excessive eye discharge. For pets with lighter fur, this discharge may stain the area around the eyes, causing a pet to look unclean. Cleaning these ocular secretions is extremely important, as a build-up of eye fluid may cause harmful bacterial infections. There are numerous products available that clean and sanitize eye secretions. If you opt not to purchase a special product, you can use a clean, damp cloth to gently remove eye discharge, but avoid making contact with the eye itself.
Clipping the points off cat claws can prevent damage to furniture, stop your pet from getting an ingrown nail, or avoid having their nails grow so long they injure themselves. Clipping claws is not necessary, but many veterinary professionals recommend it, and some practices will even clip them for you during annual wellness exams. In some regions, clipping claws is not recommended for outdoor cats. Be sure to ask your veterinarian whether it is a good decision for your cat.
Cats typically do not need grooming. They are inclined to clean themselves and have a tongue meant for cleaning fur. Occasionally, your cat may trample through mud and require a bath, but these instances are rare. However, if you have an allergy sufferer in your home, bathing your cat may improve their condition. Cats do benefit from periodic brushing, especially cats with longer hair. A pet owner might consider having their longer haired cat shaved during hot summer months, but this is entirely elective and is not necessary.
Most pet owners believe that shaving their dog during summer months helps them keep cool; however, thicker coated breeds have an internal thermostat that allows their body to adjust to warmer weather and self-regulate their internal temperature, so they do not need to be shaved. Shaving a dog that is not used to having short hair allows them to be exposed to harmful UV rays, particularly for outdoor dogs. You are much better off providing an outdoor dog with adequate shade and a pool of water to cool off in. Also, shaving some breeds can cause permanent damage to their coat. Consult with a certified pet groomer about the consequences of shaving your pet prior to cutting their hair.
Female pets that are not spayed will enter a heat cycle or estrus. A female dog will go into heat 1-2 times per year and can have a bloody discharge. Purchasing pet-specific diapers will help. If you are not considering breading her during estrus it is important to keep her away from areas with potentially intact males - such as dog parks. Female cats will go in and out of heat frequently. They do not have much or any discharge but affection and vocalization will increase.
Most dogs menstruate continuously for 21 days, approximately every 6 months. Cats’ cycles last 4 to 10 days but occur more frequently than dogs, about once every 8 to 12 weeks.
If you do not plan on breeding your pet, have them spayed. We can help you book the appointment. Spaying female pets prevents numerous health issues including some life-threatening diseases.
There are numerous reasons why dogs eat their feces. The medical term for the act is called coprophagy. Reasons can include:
How to get your pet to stop:
Circling their sleeping place is one of the many “wild” habits that canines never evolved away from. In the wild, dogs would circle a grassy area to trample down grass and make a comfortable surface to lie on. Circling is also how dogs mark their territory, so it is possible they are also staking claim to the surface upon which they are going to lie down. Some dogs will dig at the surface they are going to lie on. Again, this is a method of making the area more comfortable.
Cats refuse their litter box for several reasons. The reason can be behavioural or medical. If you are unsure why your cat is refusing their litter box, it’s best to schedule a veterinary exam to be sure the problem isn’t caused by a serious medical issue.
Dogs’ testicles descend at various times between the ages of 4 to 9 months. If your pet has reached one year of age and does not have both of their testicles descended, schedule a veterinary exam.
Veterinarians are in disagreement regarding why pets snack on plants, including grass. Some feel that dogs instinctually chew grass because it was once a primary source of food for wild dogs. Some veterinarians insist that pets know it eliminates stomach pain or can induce vomiting, allowing a pet to rid themselves of something that is bothering their gastrointestinal tract.
Regardless of why your pet gnaws on grass, veterinarians are in agreement that it is not detrimental to your pet’s health.