We know that our dogs love attention from their pet parents and all kinds of affection. And if you spend time with one dog and not another member of your pet family, the other ‘member’ will want your affection and love as well. But, do our dogs get jealous of this affection? Apparently, they do.
Dogs do get jealous
Christine Harris, a psychologist at the University of California at San Diego, was playing with her parents’ border collies when she got the idea to study jealousy in dogs. Adapting a jealousy study used on 6-month-old human babies, Harris and colleague Caroline Prouvost set up experiments with 36 dogs in their homes.
The team videotaped the dogs’ reactions while their owners ignored them and instead paid attention to a stuffed animal (a realistic-looking dog that whined, barked, and wagged its tail), a jack-o-lantern pail, and a pop-up book that they read aloud.
The resulting behaviors suggest the dogs assessed each “rival” and decided whether it warranted action. If it did, they did their best to break the bond that left them out, according to the new study published July 23 in the journal PLOS ONE.
A variation of 36 dogs were observed for the study.
More specifically, of the 36 dogs observed—a varied lot including a Boston terrier, Yorkshire terriers, Chihuahuas, a pug, and mutts—78 percent would push or touch the owner when that person was petting and sweet-talking the fake dog; 42 percent were upset over attention toward the pumpkin pail, and just 22 percent were bothered when the book was the focus.
Nearly a third of the dogs tried to place their bodies between the owner and the stuffed dog, and 25 percent snapped at the toy. (Only one dog snapped at the pail and book.) And 86 percent of the dogs sniffed the stuffed animal’s rear end as they would a real dog. It appeared, the scientists say, that the dogs saw the doglike interloper as a true threat.
“These behaviors would seem to be motivated from a jealous emotional state”—though of course, she pointed out, the findings don’t speak to the subjective state of the dog’s mind.
Dogs probably don’t get jealous for too long
“Humans and dogs are different in a number of ways,” Harris said. “For example, I would doubt that the dog ruminates on the transgression after the fact, whereas humans do. Humans also ask themselves all kinds of questions about the meaning of an infidelity (am I boring? unlovable?) and about the relationship (will this be the end of my relationship?). These types of thoughts are obviously going to impact the experience and feelings of jealousy.”
Instead, what she imagines is shared across both species “is the urge to stop the interaction, to engage in behaviors that reestablish the loved one’s attention. The appraisal that a loved one is interacting with a rival seems sufficient to motivate this state.”
The findings “are another step in dispelling myths about what dogs supposedly cannot do,” said Marc Bekoff, a fellow at the Animal Behavior Society and an expert in dog behavior. There are compelling reasons based on solid evolutionary theory that even complex emotions like envy and guilt aren’t exclusive to human beings, said Bekoff, who wasn’t involved in the study.
It’s perhaps not surprising that in the study of human infants this dog study emulated, the babies, like the dogs, were much more likely to exhibit jealous behaviors when their mothers were attending to a realistic doll than when reading a book—a nonsocial activity.
The real outcome of this study is that jealousy is not just for humans
Not only does the study show more broadly that jealousy is not a human construct, it also suggests the emotion does not have to be based on sexual rivalry—which is the way people often think about it.
Dogs seem like the perfect species in which to look for something like envy: They are cognitively sophisticated, form bonds with humans and with each other, and will try to manipulate the way we give them attention (as the collies did). But what about other animals?
The official studies still need to be done, but Bekoff said to expect a lot more evidence showing how sophisticated the emotional lives of nonhuman creatures can be.
This is just opening the door on what could potentially be more studies on other animals and shows how dogs are emotional with feelings. As for our cats, well, they might feel jealousy as well, but they are a little more solitary and less emotional than dogs. More studies and time will tell.
While we know it is important to feed our puppies and give them plenty of nourishment, it is equally important to make sure they stay at an ideal weight. If your puppy is looking extra chunky, you might want to try to remedy this situation while he or she is still young. The last thing you want is for your pup to turn into an overweight dog. And it is better to enforce good eating habits while they are young.
Usually, with puppies, it is just a matter of losing a few pounds before it becomes a real issue. There are tell-tale signs that your puppy might be overweight such as heavy breathing, lack of endurance, lethargy, and trouble getting up or walking up stairs. Let’s hope it doesn’t get this far!
Test to Tell if Your Puppy is Overweight
There are certain weight charts to determine where your puppy’s weight should be, but that varies among age and breed. As always, it is best to consult your veterinarian, if you are unsure.
A simple test that you can do at home is the following:
You will know that your puppy is not overweight and at his or her ideal weight if you can feel your puppy’s ribs easily but they are not prominently visible. His or her waist is distinct when viewed from above and his abdomen slightly tucked when viewed from the side. If your puppy is overweight, the ribs are hard to distinguish from his or her fur and there is a distinct cover of fat. You will probably start to notice fatty bumps around his ribs and tail. He or she has no waist!
Tips to Help an Overweigh Puppy to Lose Weight
Check with your Veterinarian to make sure it isn’t a physical condition
Some physical conditions can cause weight gain in puppies, sometimes rapidly. Hypothyroidism is a main culprit and your veterinarian can run some tests to make sure your puppy is healthy. Your vet can also weigh your dog to determine if he or she is within in the normal range. And, of course, your vet will give you tips to get your puppy stared on a weight- loss program
Diet for an overweight puppy
It is crucial that you change either the type or amount of food you're feeding your puppy. High protein foods sometimes cause weight gain but so can high carbohydrate foods, so a balanced diet is best. Weight management foods are controversial, so do your homework and again see if your vet has any recommends. If you are solely feeding your dog protein and not enough carbohydrates, you might want to switch it up to see if this will help the weight gain. As with humans, it is all about portion control.
Make sure your puppy gets exercise
To help control your overweight puppy’s weight gain, it imperative that you slowly increase your puppy's exercise. Ideally, a dog should be walked at least twice a day for 30 minutes. Also consider other ways to be active with your dog such as playing fetch and having him or her run at a dog park. If you are used to walking, try picking up to a jog. It could help both you and your pup get fit!
Treats and Rewards
While training your puppy, you invariably provide him with treats as positive reinforcement when behaving well. Try switching to a low-calorie or high fiber treat and/or vegetables such as carrots and celery. And, always incorporate petting and praise as a reward. Your puppies will love it and it has no calories!
If you follow the above tips, your overweight puppy should lose weight easily. Portion control and exercise are fundamental in puppies, dogs and even humans. If you get your puppy’s weight under control now, it will avoid his or her developing issues such as diabetes in an adult dog.
Just as in humans, dogs and cats can have certain allergies to a specific type of food. In fact, food allergies account for about 10% of all the allergies seen in dogs and cats. It is the third most common cause after flea bite allergies. Food allergies affect both males and females and can show up as early as five months and as late as twelve years of age. Food allergies in dogs and cats can be cured with a little time, effort and change in diet.
The difference between food allergies and intolerance to food
There is a difference between food allergies and food intolerance. Food allergies are true allergies and show the characteristic symptoms of allergies such as itching and skin problems associated with canine and feline allergies. Food intolerances can result in diarrhea or vomiting and do not create a typical allergic response. Food intolerances in cats or dogs would be similar to people who get an upset stomach from eating spicy foods or sometimes dairy. Fortunately, both food intolerances and allergies can be eliminated with a diet free from whatever food it is that is causing the allergy.
The most common food that causes allergies
Several studies have shown that some ingredients are more likely to cause food allergies than others. The most common food that causes allergies in dogs and cats are beef, dairy products, chicken, lamb, fish, chicken eggs, corn, wheat, and soy. Unfortunately, the most common offenders are the most common ingredients in dog and cat food. While some proteins might be slightly more allergy inducing than others, many proteins are similar and therefore the allergic reactions are associated with the amount of each in the food.
Symptoms of food allergies in cats and dogs
The symptoms of food allergies are similar to those of most allergies seen in dogs and cats. The most common symptom is itchy skin affecting primarily the face, feet, ears, forelegs, armpits and the area around the anus. Symptoms may also include chronic ear infections, hair loss, excessive scratching, hot spots, and skin infections that respond to antibiotics but reoccur after antibiotics are discontinued. It is sometimes difficult to distinguish food allergies from the more common allergies. One sign is if the allergies last all year round, it is probably a food allergy.
Diagnosis for food allergies in cats and dogs
The diagnosis for food allergies is very straightforward. But due to the fact that many other problems can cause similar symptoms and that many times animals are suffering from more problems than just food allergies, it is very important that all other problems are properly identified and treated prior to undergoing diagnosis for food allergies. Your vet can determine if your dog or cat is just have a normal skin allergy.
Try to feed your dog or cat a new source of protein
A way to get rid of a food allergy is to feed your dog or cat a new food source of protein and carbohydrate for at least twelve weeks i.e. a protein and carbohydrate that your dog or cat has never eaten before. Examples would include be rabbit and rice, or venison and potato. There are a number of such commercial diets available on the market. In addition, there are specialized diets that have the proteins and carbohydrates broken down into such small sizes that they no longer would trigger an allergic response. Regardless of the diet route you choose, the particular food needs to be the only thing that your dog or cat eats for 12 weeks. This means no treats, no flavored medications, no rawhide, cat nip, only the special food and water.
Treatment for food allergies in dogs and cats
The treatment for food allergies is avoidance. Once you have been identified the offending food through a food trial, then they can be eliminated from the diet. Short-term relief may be gained with fatty acids, antihistamines, and steroids, but elimination of the products from the diet is the only long-term solution. .
If you choose to feed your dog or cat a homemade diet, then you can periodically change the ingredients off your food and determine which ingredients are causing the food allergy. For example, if your dog or cat’s symptoms subsided on a diet of rabbit and potatoes, then you can add beef to the diet for two weeks.
If your dog or cat still showed no symptoms, then you can add chicken for two weeks. If your beloved dog or cat now has symptoms, then chicken is clearly one of the things your dog or cat was allergic to. The chicken could be withdrawn and after the symptoms cleared up, a different ingredient could be added and so on until all of the offending ingredients were identified. A diet could then be formulated that was free of the offending food sources.
You can also you the same principal with very pure pet foods that are on the market and are chicken or beef based, and then add or switch accordingly.
As with all diets, make sure to check with your veterinarian to make sure that they agree with your basic diet and that all other allergies have been ruled out.
The Persian cat is a beautiful, calm, and one of the friendlier cats. They are known to be not only easy on the eyes (aren’t all our felines, but have a calm, friendly disposition. They aren’t necessarily lazy cats, but love to lounge and aren’t known for their athletic prowess.
The Persian has two types
The Persian comes in two types: show and traditional. The show Persian has a round head enhanced with a thick ruff, small ears, a flat nose, big round copper eyes, a broad, short body with heavy boning atop short tree-trunk legs, and a thick, flowing plume of a tail. The traditional Persian, also known as the Doll Face, does not have the extreme features of the show Persian, and his nose is a normal length, giving him a sweet expression. Both have a long, glamorous coat that comes in many colors and patterns, and both share the same wonderful personality.
The Persian is a true lap cat
The Persian’s sweet, gentle face communicates with his expressive eyes and his soft, melodious voice. The Persian is the epitome of a lap cat, with a restful and undemanding personality. He loves to cuddle, but he’s also playful and curious. He’s not a jumper or climber, instead posing beautifully on a chair or sofa or playing with a favorite feather toy. Persians prefer a serene, predictable environment, but they can be adaptable enough to weather a loud, boisterous family as long as their needs are understood and met
The Persian Cats’ Personality
The lovely Persian Cats are gentle, quiet cats who like a calm environment and people who treat them kindly. Unlike more athletic cats, they prefer lounging on a sofa to scaling the heights of your bookcase or fireplace mantel. Persians and children can get along nicely as long as the kids pet these lovely felines and don’t drag them around. In general, just make sure children treat this cat with the gentle respect he deserves or any other cat for that matter.
A little Persian fun
The Persian may greet you with a quiet meow, but in most cases he lets his eyes do the speaking for him. He doesn’t mind spending time alone, but your presence will always make him happy. When you go on a trip, it may be better to have a pet sitter come in and care for him in his own familiar surroundings than to board him in a strange place.
The Persian Cats require a lot of grooming
A Persian cat is high maintenance in terms of grooming. The Persian’s fur must be groomed daily with a stainless steel comb to remove mats, tangles and loose hair. Mats and tangles can be painful to a cat, and loose hair gets all over your clothes and furniture, so you can see the benefit to spending the time needed to care for the coat.
Depending on his or her color, a Persian can have a silky, shiny coat or one with a soft, cotton like texture. The drawback to the soft coat is that it tangles more easily and requires additional grooming time.
Try bathing your Persian weekly
In addition to daily combing, the Persian should be bathed weekly. It’s a good idea to start this practice as soon as you get your kitten so hopefully he will come to look forward to it as a special part of spending time with you. Blow the coat dry (using a very low heat setting to avoid burning your kitty), combing as you go.
Because of his pushed-in face, the Persian’s eyes can have a tendency to tear. To prevent ugly staining, wash or wipe his face daily, particularly beneath the eyes. As with other cats, try to trim her or his nails and check your Persians’ teeth for cleanliness.
While they are somewhat high-maintenance in the grooming department, a Persian cat will make up for it in his serene, calm and loving demeanor.
If you have adopted a dog that has come from an undesirable or unstable environment, it will be no surprise that he is fearful of you and most likely, his or her new surroundings. Usually the dog has not been properly socialized and lacks the proper introduction to different people, animals, places and things during his or her prime puppyhood or sometimes adult socialization period. A dog can also be fearful from an early emotional trauma, physical abuse or simply not getting enough social interaction.
Make all learning experiences and situations a positive one
In all situations, it’s important to present a happy persona and tone of voice. Make it clear that even walking the dog, eating his food, and each encounter that is presented to your pup is fun and positive. Each dog has his own set of fears; therefore, make sure to treat each situation as a new one and each positive outcome needs to be rewarded with a loving gesture and/or treat.
Eventually, your dog will show signs of budding confidence. As your dog gains confidence, repeat the practice sessions in other rooms and then outside of the home, i.e. taking him for walks, with you on your daily errands, etc. Gradually expose your pup to new experiences and whenever he or she shows the slightest sign of relaxing or sociability, reward him with very tasty special treats. Carry them with you in a little baggie at all times and or course, lots of verbal praise.
How to deal with a dog who is fearful of people
If your pup’s fear relates to the size or gender or physical traits of a person, work daily to let that person be the one to feed, walk and eventually play with the dog. The objective is to have the dog realize that good things happen with this person, that he must depend on this person for interaction, and that he or she can be trusted and will not hurt him.
During the weeks that you are working on this counter-conditioning of your fearful dog, as hard as it is, try to limit the interaction your dog has with you. You can play with your pup and provide him with a secure feeling, but it is important that you allow the new person the daily interactions. You want this person to be the relied person so your dog realizes that he is dependent on him or her for good things such as food, treats, fun and exercise. Once this is established, you both can now be a part of your dog’s daily life.
Please be patient, and avoid pushing your dog too quickly. It takes time, but this approach nearly always works. The goal is to have your dog realize that other people can be trusted and to learn how to interact with all family members in a positive way and reduce his or her fear.
Your dog is fearful of other dogs
Start off by introducing your fearful dog to a smaller dog who you know is friendly and relatively calm. As your dog begins to get comfortable, gradually introduce him or her to dogs of larger sizes and more active behavior. Try to avoid interactions with rough and tough dogs, or you will have a setback. And you will have setbacks, but that’s OK. Just leave for the day and come back another time.
A good environment for socialization with other dogs, especially puppies, is a carefully supervised puppy or play group. Or if you have a neighborhood dog park where you already know the other dogs, this could be a good way to make introductions. Make sure that your dog and the other dog that are ‘meeting’ are both wearing a leash so you can control the situation if your dog becomes frightened.
While these are just the basics and there might be other situations which causes your dog to be fearful, the key factors to remember are to start slowly, be patient, and always be positive and loving. It could take a few weeks or even months depending on your dog and how fearful he or she is. But, with love, caring and practice, you can help your dog overcome his or her fears and be a happy well- adjusted dog.
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