Showing posts from November, 2023

One Third of Dogs Have a Behaviour Issue, Study Shows

The most common problems are fear, especially fear of loud noises, and not doing what the guardian wants, such as not coming when called. Photo: Mikkel Bendix/Pexels By Zazie Todd PhD New research published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior shows that if your dog has a behaviour issue, you’re not alone.  Importantly, the study is based on a representative sample of dog guardians in Denmark, which means the results are an accurate insight into all dogs there. The findings suggest that we need to pay more attention to behaviour issues in dogs. Dr. Iben Meyer (Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Copenhagen), first author of the study, told me, “The estimated prevalence of owner reported behaviour problems in dogs was much higher than what is found in veterinary records from primary veterinary practice. This points to a need for veterinarians to focus more on screening for behaviour related problems and to provide a space for the owner where such issues can be

Your Cat Would Like You to Pay Attention to Their Happiness

Can cats even be happy? And how do you know? Some tips to help please your feline. Photo: Christopher Schruff/Pexels By Zazie Todd PhD Stereotypes about cats can get in the way of looking after them. Most people think that cats are easy pets and that you don’t need to do much for them—but the more you do from a cat-centred perspective, the better your relationship with your cat will be.  One of the challenges for people who care about cat welfare is that a lot of people don’t pay attention to their cat. It’s as if they just assume that their cat is alright. And maybe they are alright (if you’re reading this blog, I’m sure they are, since you’re showing dedication to learning about cats!). But unfortunately, experts believe that the biggest issue that affects the welfare of pet cats is a home environment that is not set up right for them and that consequently can cause the development of behaviour issues in the cat (Rioja-Lang et al 2019).   This page contains affiliate links which me

Companion Animal Psychology Book Club November 2023

“Schott’s writing is engagingly conversational and showcases his colorful sense of humor … Educational, entertaining and compassionate, this confluence of happy accidents is a must-read for anyone who is, loves or works with a veterinarian.” ― Shelf Awareness By Zazie Todd PhD This page contains affiliate links which means I may earn a commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you. This month, the Animal Book Club is reading The Accidental Veterinarian: Tales from a Pet Practice by Philipp Schott DVM. From the publisher: "Cats, dogs, people ― funny and heartbreaking stories from a pet veterinarian With insight and humor, Dr. Philipp Schott shares tales from the unlikely path he took into his career of veterinary science and anecdotes from his successful small-animal clinic. Dr. Schott brings to his writing the benefit of many years of expertise. Wisdom he imparts on readers includes the best way to give your cat a pill, how to prevent your very handy dog from opening a fr

How to Train Your Dog to Wear a Coat or Sweater

Coats and sweaters may be necessary for cold weather--but your dog won't automatically like them. Here's how to teach your dog to wear a coat. Photo: Enna8982/Shutterstock By Zazie Todd PhD What’s your favourite thing about winter with your pets? A storm last Friday blew most of the leaves off the deciduous trees all at once. It felt like a sudden change to the season. Now the temperatures are colder, although there’s no sign of any snow in the forecast yet. There’s a strong El NiƱo this season and typically here on the west coast of BC that means warmer temperatures and more precipitation over the winter.  After we got Pepper 2.5 years ago, I discovered the joy of sweaters and coats for little dogs. My previous dogs, Ghost and Bodger, were both pretty big (okay, very big in Ghost’s case!) and had thick fur coats. They did not need sweaters. But because Pepper is small, he now has a little wardrobe of coats and sweaters, including a glittery reflective sweater for in the dark a

Upcoming Webinar: Training Your Dog to Lay on Their Side by Jane Wolff CTC CSAT CPDTKA

Companion Animal Psychology is hosting an upcoming free webinar presented by Jane Wolff. By Zazie Todd PhD Companion Animal Psychology is co-hosting a free webinar presented by Jane Wolff of Good Wolff dog training called Training your dog to lay on their side: Overcoming training obstacles. It can be a tricky task to train some dogs to lay fully on their sides, but it’s a very useful behaviour for a ton of medical and grooming purposes—trimming nails is just the beginning! Join Jane Wolff, co-owner of Good Wolff and creator of the “Fresh and Fearless: Basic grooming made easy” course, who will troubleshoot typical issues with training dogs to achieve this position, a.k.a. lateral recumbency, in a short webinar.  Jane will review luring techniques and environmental management that can really jump-start your training and help you to get your dog comfortably laying down and ready for further training. She’ll also review why this position is useful and when to avoid training a dog to lay

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