Solutions to Common Pet Problems
Problem: Your Dog Chews Everything but His Toys
Why it happens: It’s healthy for dogs to chew. It feels good on their teeth. But in adult dogs, eschewing the chew toy in favor of other
items can indicate boredom or attention-seeking behavior.
What to do: Make his chew toys irresistible. “Put toys away when not in use to keep them more novel and interesting,” says Millman. Use a variety of playthings and rotate them. Try sturdy, treat-dispensing toys filled with nutritious munchies.
Problem: Your Cat Claws at a Caretaker
Why it happens: “Most cats will not attack unless provoked,” says Iampietro. So your cat, cranky because you had the audacity to leave, is
probably swatting at its overly solicitous caretaker.
What to do: “Slowly introduce the pet to the visitor so the cat will feel more comfortable with her at vacation time,” says Kathy Kwieran, founder of Kathy's Kitties, a cat-rescue and fostering facility in Kempner, Texas. “The caretaker shouldn’t pet or pick up the cat but should let the cat approach her.
Problem: Your Pet's Poop Adheres to Her Backside
Why it happens: Your pet’s stool may be too soft. This can be a problem for long-haired animals.
What to do: “Try a more digestible diet to result in a small amount of firm, dark-colored stool that won’t stick to fur,” says Moser. “Look for a cat food that is 32 to 33 percent protein, 12 to 14 percent fat, and relatively low-fiber. For a dog, you want the protein level at 22 to 24 percent, fat around 12 to 14 percent, and low-fiber, low-residue.” If you still have a sticky situation, carefully crop the fur around the rear end with a beard trimmer or nose-hair scissors, or have a groomer do it.
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So maybe you can’t change your health overnight. But you can get a head start.