Rabbits are hopping into homes and hearts more than ever in recent years, and it’s important that pet parents know how to safely handle and pick them up. Bunnies, like all small pets, can be easily injured without proper support. Once you understand the basics, you and your bun will have everything you need to be as inseparable as any other pet parent and their furry friend.
Here's how to pick up a rabbit without scaring or injuring them.
How to Hold a Rabbit
1. Gather Your Rabbit
To get started, find a safe area to handle your rabbit. Starting on the floor is the safest choice, in an area with no obstacles (nothing to knock over or break) and preferably a blanket, rug, or carpeting to soften any impacts should your rabbit break loose. With your area set, lure your rabbit with treats so they can get used to your setup and settle in.
2. Pet the Rabbit
To hold a rabbit, you must touch under their belly and under their rump. As prey animals, rabbits can be skittish by nature and may hop, thump, or run if you try to touch their belly or back end.
To help your rabbit prepare for being picked up, begin by petting areas they’re used to (such as along the back and scruff) and slowly introduce your petting to new areas, like behind their back legs, under their chest, and on their belly.
At this stage, don’t lift them up yet—just see how your bunny reacts to being touched. If they startle badly, repeat this step for as long as it takes for them to get used to you touching the necessary areas.
3. Pick Up Your Rabbit
When you and your rabbit are ready, it is best to settle next to your rabbit, either behind or to their side. Scoop one hand under their chest, and another under their back legs or rump, drawing them into your lap or chest as you do so.
You want to do this swiftly, though not rushed, and with confidence. If your rabbit startles or tries to jump, hold them firmly to your body for their comfort and safety.
A rabbit will only feel safe being held if they:
Bunnies, like all small pets, can be easily injured without proper support.Depending on how you are sitting or standing when holding a rabbit, it may be more secure to hold your rabbit’s chest and shoulders from the side or above. You may also hug them into your body, under their back legs, or the classic hold of under both the chest and rump. The hand at the front of the rabbit should span underneath and to the side or top of the shoulders to provide better control.
Old dogs often experience a decline in their physical abilities and health, which can impact their ability to keep up on walks and necessitate extra special care. This change is a natural part of the aging process in dogs, just as it is in humans. According to VCA Hospitals: Small dogs are considered senior citizens of the canine community when they reach 11-12 years of age. Their medium-sized friends become seniors at 10 years of age. Their larger-sized colleagues are seniors at 8 years of age. And, finally, their giant-breed counterparts are seniors at 7 years old.
Here are several reasons why older dogs might struggle with walks and require more attention:
One of the most common issues in older dogs is arthritis, a condition that causes joint pain and stiffness. This can make it difficult and painful for them to walk, run, or even stand. Regular, gentle exercise can help, but care must be taken not to overexert an arthritic dog.
𝐃𝐞𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐒𝐭𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐚 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐌𝐮𝐬𝐜𝐥𝐞 𝐌𝐚𝐬𝐬:
As dogs age, they naturally lose some of their stamina and muscle mass. This decline can make it hard for them to keep up on longer walks. Older dogs may tire more quickly and need shorter, more frequent walks instead of long excursions.
Aging can also affect a dog's senses. Loss of hearing and vision can make walks more challenging and potentially frightening for an older dog. They may become more anxious or hesitant, especially in unfamiliar or busy environments.
𝐂𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐢𝐜 𝐇𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐡 𝐈𝐬𝐬𝐮𝐞𝐬:
Older dogs often have chronic health issues such as heart disease, kidney disease, or other conditions that can affect their energy levels and overall health. These conditions may require specific care routines and can limit the amount and intensity of exercise they can safely handle.
To care for an older dog, it's important to adapt to their changing needs.
While you may shower your pup with verbal affection, toys, and cuddles, a nagging uncertainty might linger—does your dog know you love them?
Actions tend to speak louder than words. However, recent research suggests that the sentiment behind verbal expressions of love may not be entirely lost on your furry friend. That said, every pup has their own love language.
By using any of the following tips, you can show love to your furry friend.
Do Dogs Know We Love Them?
Belly rubs, games of fetch, daily walks, nutritious meals… The ways you care for your pup convey a sense of love that domesticated dogs can comprehend. While it might not be the same love that humans understand, the genuine bonds between dogs and humans remain.
While some dogs may experience love at first sight, many require time to develop a strong bond, much like any other deep connection in our lives. Rescue dogs, in particular, may need several days, weeks, or even months to understand that you love them.
Most dogs can’t say “I love you” (at least without the help of talking dog buttons), but they express love through body language, such as a happy tail, perky ears, and loving licks. Scientists also say that the signs of love are apparent in dog and human biochemistry, since we both get a surge of happy chemicals at the mere sight or sound of the other.
As for those who doubt that dogs love us in return, this is precisely what neuroscientist Gregory Berns aims to explore through brain-imaging and behavioral experiments. “I think the answer is yes. [Dogs] love us for things far beyond food—basically the same things that humans love us for; things like social comfort and social bonds,” he tells his colleagues at Emory University.
How To Show Your Dog You Love ThemLike humans, dogs have their own love language for expressing and receiving affection. Next time you want your pup to feel loved, try one of these affectionate gestures.
Acts of love are important, but don’t underestimate the power of telling your dog you love them, especially in a sing-song, cheerful tone, according to NPR.
Berns found that when given the choice of food or verbal praise from their beloved human, nearly every dog in his study opted for praise. “We know how it feels when someone praises us; there’s a positive feeling associated with it,” he says. “That’s perhaps similar to what dogs are feeling.”
Dogs with close human relationships also respond positively to their human’s gaze, often approaching them or pawing at them for pets.
Just keep in mind that hard stares can be threatening in dog speak, so use gazing in moderation and only with pups you’ve established a positive relationship with.
Of course, we all know the saying that the way to a pup’s heart is through their stomach, and there’s still plenty of truth in that. Consider loveable Ozzie: He’s a short-haired terrier mix who participated in Bern’s study. He chose treats over his human’s praise 100% of the time.
While an outlier in this study, Ozzie isn’t the only pup who enjoys treats from his humans. Experts say high-quality training treats should be on every pet parent’s shopping list. “There is nothing more bonding than using rewards to train your pup. Dogs get to do the three best things in the world: be with you, learn a behavior, and eat all at the same time,” says Dr. Gary Weitzman, veterinarian and president and CEO of the San Diego Humane Society.
Your dog wants to know they can count on you. A good way to accomplish that? To feed them nutritious meals on a set schedule. In fact, dogs thrive when they have a routine, from meals, walks, and even potty breaks and bedtime.
Overfeeding pups is often confused as showing love, but it’s keeping them at an ideal weight that’s the ultimate gesture of caring for and loving your pooch.
When it comes to cultivating a strong bond with our pets, respecting them is one of the most important things we can do.
One study suggests that mutual respect in dog-human relationships fosters trust, a sense of security, and even increased dependency within the relationship. The same study goes as far as saying that recognizing and respecting our dog’s boundaries brings many pet parents the fulfilling realization that they are genuinely meant to be their dog’s caretaker.
5. Scratches, Rubs, and Pats
For dogs who cherish physical contact, a gentle pat, ear scratch, or belly rub serves as a heartfelt “I love you.” Not all dogs are fond of being touched, just as there are humans who don’t appreciate the gesture.
However, if your dog is constantly in your space, lying on or next to you, or wiggles their entire body at the mere sight of you, it’s a good indication they’ll appreciate more physical affection.
Even brief interactions with their human companions (as little as three minutes) can elevate oxytocin levels and reduce stress levels in dogs. Those doing the petting are likely to experience the same mood-boosting effects.
The best areas to pet, scratch, or rub a dog typically include:
Because dogs can’t communicate verbally, closely watch their body language to gauge comfort. Look for changes in ear position, gaze, body posture, and facial expressions. If a dog moves away from your outstretched hand or during physical contact, respect their request not to be touched.
Where you pet, rub, or pat matters too. Most dogs don’t enjoy being touched on or near their:
Play can look different for every dog, especially as puppies grow into adults and eventually settle into their senior years. So, try a variety of toys that keep your dog active and mentally engaged. Hunter recommends tug-of-war toys and puzzles or games that turn mealtimes into treasure hunts.
“Mental activities are a great way to bond with your pet,” says Hunter. “Dogs thrive on attention, and you may even find your dog returning the favor by being more attentive to your cues.” Without interactive play with their cherished humans, dogs can become bored, potentially leading to destructive behaviors and, in some cases, depression.
7. ExerciseWhen you participate in activities like walking, swimming, or practicing agility with your dog, you’re not just providing opportunities for new experiences; you’re demonstrating love and strengthening the bond with your canine companion.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), exercise, particularly outdoor exercise, is a critical opportunity to stimulate a dog’s brain with a variety of sights, smells, and sounds. Regular physical activity is vital for maintaining your dog’s muscle tone and joint mobility, as well as your own.
Exercise can be serious business for your pup, so before gearing up your dog for more strenuous activities, such as flyball or hikes, consult your veterinarian to make sure your pet is in good health. Your vet will also discuss any necessary precautions, ensuring that your dog’s love for movement aligns with their overall well-being.
Ways To Show Your Dog You Love Them FAQs
How do dogs say I love you?Pups who like to tell you that they love you may lick, exuberantly wag their tail, and even boast a broad smile. Love is also evident in your pup’s daily activities and subtle gestures. They may stay close during playtime, display a keen sensitivity to your emotions, or consistently show eagerness to join you in new adventures.
How do you make your dog feel safe?Establish a consistent daily routine that your dog can count on. Dogs thrive when they know what to expect, and knowing that you’ll serve them breakfast just after their morning walk and that they’ll get their favorite chew toy just before you leave for work will make their day and yours go much smoother.
Never physically or verbally punish your dog, as it only fosters fear and can lead to reactive behavior. Instead, stick to positive reinforcement training, which teaches your dog desired behavior with reward-based learning while strengthening your bond.
Featured Image: LittleBee80/iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images
Keeping your dog's ears clean is an important part of their overall health and grooming, and can prevent or treat potential health issues, such as an infection. However, cleaning your dog’s ears can be challenging—especially if you’ve never done it before.
Your vet can advise you on the frequency in which your pup’s ears need cleaning. Your dog’s ears may also need cleaning if they develop an infection.
Since proper ear care is a necessary when caring for your beloved pup, it’s important that it’s performed correctly to prevent injury or damage to your dog’s ears.
Not sure whether to see a vet?
Answer a few questions about your pet's symptom, and our vet-created Symptom Checker will give you the most likely causes and next steps.
Check your pet’s symptomShould You Clean Your Dog’s Ears?Your veterinarian can help you decide if—and how often—you should clean your dog’s ears. Your vet may ask you the following:
However, dogs that get water into their ears from either swimming or bathing will benefit from having their ears cleaned.
Dogs with allergies or ear infections will also benefit from routine ear cleaning. In fact, cleaning your pup’s ears can help prevent or reduce the frequency of ear infections.
Check your dog for earwax once a month. Your groomer may also perform a routine ear check.
Bath time provides a great opportunity to inspect your dog’s ears. You can also peek at them when you’re brushing your dog, or trimming their nails.
If you aren’t sure whether your dog should get their ears clean regularly, ask your vet to examine your pup. They can determine if there’s a reason to avoid ear cleanings.
Vets may recommend against routine ear cleanings at home for dogs with damage to their eardrum or pups that have an inflamed ear canal. Pups with trauma to the eardrum or ear canal need careful cleaning performed by their vet.
If ear cleaning at home isn’t recommended for your dog, your vet may also provide ear cleaning services. This may be a good option for dogs with an infection, other health issues, or if you are simply uncomfortable cleaning your dog’s ears.
When To Call Your VetIf your dog’s ears are red, painful, or have a bad odor, they may have an ear infection. If you spot these symptoms, don’t attempt to clean your dog’s ears. Contact your vet immediately.
Some ear infections can be minor, while others can be severe. Your veterinarian will guide you on the best course of treatment and follow-up care.
When To Clean Your Dog’s EarsThere’s no standard timeframe to follow for routine ear cleaning. However, if you notice a buildup of wax in your dog’s ear, it’s time to clean them.
Dogs are all unique and can develop wax in their ears based on their breed, health, and other factors. Your vet can help you determine a cleaning schedule that’s best for you and your pup.
Ear Cleansers for DogsIt’s important to only use a cleaner that’s approved specifically for dogs.
Don’t use household items like alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or essential oils. These materials will not efficiently clean your dog’s ears and may lead to ear infections or damage to their ear canal. An example of a recommended vet-approved ear cleaner is Virbac Epi-Otic® Advanced Ear Cleaner for Dogs & Cats.
When you clean your pup's ears, use clean cotton balls or cotton wipes.
Cotton swabs should never be used as they can push wax down into your dog’s ear canal, making it harder to dislodge the buildup in your pup's ear.
In fact, cotton swabs could potentially cause damage to the eardrum.
How To Clean Your Dog’s Ears
Make sure you have all your supplies within arm’s reach. Have a pet-approved cleaner, cotton balls or wipes.
Have support. If your dog is not used to ear cleanings, you may need another person to help hold them while you clean their ears. Restrain your dog by gently placing an arm around their neck to prevent your pup from pulling away. Use your other hand to gently stabilize their head or the back half of their body.Expect a mess. Until you know how much your dog will fight or wiggle, clean your dog’s ears outside or in a place that’s easy to clean. A towel may be helpful to keep the rest of their body clean.
Be gentle. Carefully hold the exterior floppy or erect portion of your dog’s ear, which is made up of hair, skin, cartilage, and blood vessels (pinnae). This will allow for entry to their ear canal.
Use your cleaner. Fill the ear canal with your vet-approved ear cleaner. Make sure the dog ear cleanser fills both the horizontal and vertical ear canal. Gently massage the base of your dog’s ear while slowly moving your hand upward so the entire ear canal is massaged.
Allow your pup to shake it out. Your dog will shake their head. Shaking lets your dog expel most of the cleaner and wax on their own.
Clean up. Use a clean cotton ball to wipe out as much of the ear canal as you can see. Don’t shove the cotton ball into your dog’s ear. This will avoid injury and the cotton ball from getting stuck. Repeat the flushing and wiping process until the cotton ball is clean and there’s no more visible discharge in your pup’s ear canal. If there is a lot of debris, you may need to flush three to four times.
Keeping your dog’s ears clean isn’t just a matter of hygiene—it will help you notice problems early.
If you notice things like redness, frequent heavy debris, odor, or pain, it's time to move past your routine cleaning at home and contact your veterinarian.
This can help you to nip a problem in the bud and prevent a more severe infection and pain from developing in your pup.
Joel DeJaynes, DVMVeterinarian
6 Tips for Keeping Your Dog Safe Around a Christmas Tree; By Hanie Elfenbein, DVM. Reviewed by Sandra C. Mitchell, DVM, DABVP
The winter holidays are a magical time, punctuated with glittering lights, shimmering ornaments, Christmas trees, and brightly colored garlands. Not only are all these things fun for us, but they’re also intriguing to our pets. However, before you set up your tree and start taking out your decorations, take a moment to consider these Christmas tree safety tips to keep your pup happy, safe, and healthy throughout the holidays. Dog Christmas Tree Safety TipsIt can be very difficult to keep a young puppy away from the Christmas tree, particularly if this is their first Christmas. Even an older dog—who may have learned not to jump on the tree—can still be curious.
Here are a few pet safety hazards and precautions you should consider.
1. Don’t Let Them Chew on Branches and NeedlesA live tree can be especially dangerous to pets.
Dogs like to chew on a tree’s limbs, and the fir tree oils can be irritating to your pup’s mouth tissue, causing symptoms like drooling and vomiting. If your pet is chewing on the branches, there’s a pretty good chance that they are also swallowing the needles.
When ingested, pine needles can get caught in a dog’s intestinal tract, puncturing the lining or bunching together and causing an intestinal obstruction. Both can be fatal.
Additionally, you should be careful with artificial trees as pets are likely to chew those crunchy needles, too. These trees can cause the same kind of obstruction in a dog.
The best way of protecting your pup from these afflictions is limiting their access to the area around your Christmas tree.
Consider purchasing a dog-friendly gate or pen to surround the Christmas tree.
2. Don’t Let Them Ingest Fake SnowFake snow—also called flocking—is a popular Christmas tree decoration.
However, it can cause serious problems in pups when large amounts of it are swallowed.
If you’re going to have a tree in your home, it’s best to get a regular, non-flocked tree.
3. Keep Them Away From Christmas Tree WaterSome trees are treated with chemical preservatives to keep them fresh longer.
These chemicals drain into the water in the base of the tree, making the water poisonous to drink. Dogs will drink the water if the base of a tree is left uncovered.
You should cover your tree’s water with a tree skirt, towel, plastic wrap, or aluminum foil.
However, putting a gate or pen around your tree is the safest and best preventative of toxicity in pups.
4. Maintain a Barrier for Christmas Tree LightsChristmas lights should be positioned away from the bottom of the tree.
Electric cord injuries will damage a dog’s mouth tissue and can lead to long-term problems eating, difficulty breathing, and even death.
Regularly check the electric light cords frequently for signs of chewing (which is also a fire hazard).
To ensure your pup’s safety, put a gate or pen around your tree. You can also buy plastic fish tank tubing, split them, and cover your lights. This makes them much more chew-proof.
5. Keep Ornaments Out of Reach
Hang your ornaments on the uppermost branches of your tree and tightly secure them on the branches. It’s better if you select tree ornaments that don’t easily shatter.
For delicate glass, treasured, or priceless ornaments, consider creating an area where they can be displayed that is far out of reach of your dog's tail, paws, or mouth.
You can hang these from a garland that’s placed across a mantel, over a doorway or window, or you can hang them in shadowboxes on the wall.
6. Remove the Threat of Tinsel, Strings, and Candy CanesTinsel is one of the most dangerous tree decorations you can choose.
If your pet ingests even a few strands of tinsel, they are highly likely to develop an intestinal obstruction.
This also occurs when edible ornaments—such as popcorn and cranberry strings and candy canes—are ingested by your pup.
These strings can tear a dog’s intestines and can be fatal. Leave these decorations off your tree.
Other decorations that can be deadly to dogs (and children) include:
By following these tips, you can be confident in creating a happy, healthy holiday season with your furry, four-legged family member.
Hanie Elfenbein, DVM, Veterinarian
Dr. Elfenbein graduated from the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 2016. She currently practices in...
Administering medication to your feline friend can be a challenging task, especially if your cat is finicky or has a strong aversion to pills or liquids. A lot of the cats that we care for require the burrito method [mentioned at the end of the article] because they hate taking medication so much. However, ensuring your cat receives the prescribed treatment is essential for their health and well-being. In this article, we will explore various techniques and tips to make giving your cat medication a smoother and less stressful experience for both you and your pet.
Consult Your Veterinarian:
Before attempting any method of medication administration, consult your veterinarian. They will provide detailed instructions on the dosage, frequency, and the best method for administering the medication. Your vet can also recommend alternatives if your cat struggles with a particular method.
Pill pockets are soft treats with a hollow center designed to conceal medication. Simply insert the pill or capsule into the pocket and give it to your cat as a treat. Many cats find these treats palatable and will gladly swallow the medication without realizing it. Pill pockets are available in various flavors to cater to your cat's preferences.
Crush and Mix:
Some medications are available in tablet form, which you can crush into a fine powder. Mix the powdered medication with a small amount of wet cat food or a tasty treat. Ensure your cat consumes the entire mixture to receive the full dose. Be sure to check with your vet before crushing any medication, as some should not be altered in this way.
Administering liquid medication can be trickier, as many cats are resistant to the taste and texture. Use a syringe or a dropper to carefully place the liquid into the side of your cat's mouth. Gently squirt the medication toward the back of the throat to minimize the chances of your cat spitting it out. Be cautious and take your time to avoid causing stress.
Pill dispensers are handy devices designed to hold and release a pill when placed at the back of your cat's throat. This ensures the medication is swallowed without the need to handle the pill directly. It can be an effective method, but it may take some practice to master.
In some cases, your veterinarian may be able to provide compounded medications in different forms, such as flavored chews or transdermal gels. These alternatives can be easier to administer and may be more appealing to your cat.
For particularly stubborn cats, you can combine methods. For example, wrap a crushed pill in a pill pocket or mix it with a small amount of wet food. This combination approach can increase the chances of successful medication delivery.
Always reward your cat with affection, treats, or playtime after administering medication. This positive reinforcement can help create a more positive association with the experience, making future administrations easier.
For those really, really difficult cats that will fight you all of the way…
The "Burrito Method" is another helpful technique for giving medication to your cat. This method involves wrapping your cat securely in a towel or blanket, resembling a burrito, to immobilize them and make the medication administration process easier. Here's how to use the Burrito Method:
If all else fails, and your cat remains uncooperative, consider seeking assistance from a veterinary professional or a cat behaviorist. They can provide additional guidance and techniques to help you medicate your cat safely and effectively.
Giving your cat medication may be a challenging task, but it's crucial for their health and well-being. With patience, the right techniques, and a little creativity, you can successfully administer medication to your feline companion. Remember to consult your veterinarian for guidance and explore different methods until you find the one that works best for you and your cat.
Our pets ARE our emotional support dogs, although they may not be certified, they see us through everything. We should ALL return the love and favor to them when they are anxious, fearful, not feeling well, when they don't want to go for a walk outside and through thunderstorms and fireworks. If we aren't taking care of their feelings, like they take care of ours, you're doing something very wrong. If you have any questions about this, give me a call. I'm here to listen and help.
Here is some more "scientific" studies that support my blog post.
Science has provided substantial evidence to support the idea that dogs have feelings and can form strong emotional bonds with humans. Here are some key findings and insights from scientific research on this topic:
8 Surprising Things Your Dog Can Sense; By Erika Lessa, CBST, CDBT, CDBC, CPDT-KA, Fear-Free Certified on Sep. 29, 2023
Dogs experience the world differently from their human counterparts.
They have heightened physical senses and are aware of things we aren’t.
Dogs can detect emotion, physiological changes (changes in the functioning of the body), illness, and environmental events, such as weather. This sensitivity is connected to their ability to see, smell, hear, and feel.
They see fewer colors because of color blindness, and they see in higher contrast. This provides better night vision and the ability to track movement. A dog’s peripheral vision is wider, but they see less detail.
There’s no contest when comparing a dog’s sense of smell to their human’s. A dog has about 300 million scent receptors compared with a human’s 6 million.
A pup’s hearing also differs from ours. Dogs’ ears are built for hearing at higher frequencies than a human, but they don’t recognize changes in pitch as well as we do. In fact, there are many other differences between dog and human hearing.
A dog’s fur and skin help them feel and process interactions with other animals, including humans. Pressure from a puppy playmate’s teeth can help communicate a need for less intense play.
Given all of their incredible senses, dogs possess the ability to sense things about the world that may surprise you.
1. Can Dogs Sense Your Mood?You may wonder if your dog can sense when you’re sad or upset. Sadness, distress, anxiety, and anger are emotions, which trigger physiological responses in us.
This can change our speech patterns, movements, posture, and smell. Since a dog’s senses are so heightened, they can detect these signals and be able to understand what happens next.
For example, if you come home smiling and open your arms to your pup, they know you’re happy. They prance around and lean in for petting.
They may even grab a toy because when you display this behavior, play typically comes next. Alternatively, if you come home angry, or quiet—going straight to your bedroom—your pup will know to steer clear.
A human’s stress and anxiety are contagious to their dog. Dogs living with people who are chronically stressed are negatively affected in the long-term.
This study captured emotional mirroring and the synchronization of stress levels of dogs with their pet parents.
2. Can Dogs Sense a Pregnancy?Though there’s no research confirming a dog’s ability to detect pregnancy, there are many stories of dogs changing their behavior when pet parent(s) become human parents.
Given a dog’s ability to smell hormones and pheromones (a chemical, such as a scent, that signals behaviors like mating), it's likely that they can sense pregnancy.
3. Can Dogs Sense Fear?A dog is sensitive to fear in humans.
When a dog perceives fear in a person through smell, body language, or facial expressions, it can result in behavior mirroring.
This means a dog will show fear-based reactions in response to being exposed to a fearful human.
Depending on the intensity of fear, this interaction may activate a dog’s fight or flight response. Responses can range from avoidant behaviors to reactive ones.
If your dog deals with fear by running away (flight) or by biting (fight), it may be triggered by humans feeling tense, anxious, or afraid.
One study examined dogs’ behavioral responses to a stranger after exposure to sweat samples—one collected from a happy human, the other collected from a frightened human.
Overall, the dogs exhibited more social behaviors toward a neutral stranger after experiencing the “happy” sample and more avoidance after the “fear” sample.
4. Can Dogs Sense a Negative Person?Because negativity is more of an attitude than an emotion, it may have less impact on a dog. That said, if negativity causes stress and anxiety in a person, emotion and mood come back into the mix.
When this happens, their dog could be affected.
A negative person who is emotionally unpredictable has a unique chemosignal that dogs can detect. If those scents predict explosive or dangerous behavior, a dog learns to anticipate unsafe surroundings.
5. Can Dogs Sense Illness?Dogs’ ability to smell illnesses has been well documented.
Typically, the biggest indicator of illness is through odor. Dogs can detect metabolic changes in our breath and through our skin.
Most recently, a test was studied on dogs’ ability to detect COVID-19. Overall, the average rate of successful detection was 94%.
6. Can Dogs Sense When Someone Is Having a Seizure Or About To Have One?Seizures cause changes in a person’s physical appearance and facial expressions, thus alerting their pup that something isn’t right.
Pet parents who experience seizures can train their pups to help them. However, not all dogs will alert a person of an impending event even if they can sense it.
7. Can Dogs Sense Cancer or Diabetes?Research has been conducted to determine whether dogs can detect cancer or diabetes.
In samples including human tissue for cancer and exhaled breath for diabetes, dogs were able to sniff out infected samples and detect hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in those who have diabetes.
Particularly, dogs seem to notice the presence of melanoma, a form of skin cancer, in humans.
Some untrained pups have repeatedly sniffed at a spot on the skin of a pet parent diagnosed with the disease.
8. Can Dogs Sense the Weather?Along with thunder and lightning, storms cause changes in barometric pressure (amount of air pressure in the atmosphere) and electrostatic charge (static electricity).
When air pressure drops, scent moves down, collecting at ground level.
This alerts a dog to changes in weather conditions. Static electricity builds up in a pup’s fur and creates small shocks as they move.
Dogs are highly gifted companions with a heightened sense of the world around us. If you’re not sure how you’re feeling or feel as though something is off around you, watch your dog. They may be able to give you further insight.
Since Nonie’s opened its Special Needs Unit, we have had dogs with CHF, pets on complicated meds, pets with severe separation anxiety, even pets that are in their last days. We meet with your Vet first, obtain instructions, etc, and then handle their care if you must leave town. We make house calls or we place them on 24 hour watch; whatever your Vet recommends.
When it comes to understanding our pets, we sometimes wish they could just tell us when something's wrong. While they can't communicate verbally like we do, they certainly have ways of expressing themselves. Recognizing the subtle signs of discomfort or pain in your pet is crucial for their well-being.
Here's how you can decode some of these signs:
1. Behavioral Changes:
Any sudden or gradual change in your pet's behavior can be a red flag.
A normally playful pet suddenly becomes lethargic or withdrawn.
An independent pet suddenly becomes clingy or vice versa.
2. Changes in Eating Habits:
Eating less or not eating at all.
Drinking more or less water than usual.
Whining, groaning, yelping, or more frequent meowing.
Increased aggression or irritability when touched.
Learn your pet’s language, they are communicating with you. Sometimes a cry or a whine isn’t for attention or boredom, he’s in pain.
4. Physical Signs:
Limping or favoring one leg.
Difficulty in rising from a resting position or reluctance to jump or climb stairs.
Hunching over, a stiff gait, or altered posture.
Swelling or heat in any area of the body.
5. Changes in Personal Hygiene:
Grooming less often, leading to a dull or matted coat.
Over-grooming or licking a specific area, which might indicate pain or itching.
Unexplained weight loss or gain.
6. Altered Sleeping Patterns:
Sleeping more than usual or difficulty sleeping.
Restlessness or frequently changing positions.
Did Buddy stop coming downstairs for breakfast? It might be because he doesn’t feel good or is having difficulty getting up and it’s painful.
7. Respiratory Changes:
Panting or labored breathing in animals that typically don't pant.
Increased heart rate.
8. Digestive Upsets:
Diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, or straining during elimination.
Blood in stool or urine.
9. Eye Changes:
Cloudiness, redness, or frequent squinting.
Increased tear production or discharge.
10. Hiding or Seeking Isolation:
Many animals, especially cats, will hide or seek solitude when they are in pain or feeling unwell.
What Can You Do?
1. Take Notes: Document any changes or symptoms. This can help your veterinarian pinpoint the issue.
2. Regular Check-ups: Routine veterinary visits can catch potential health problems before they become severe.
3. Trust Your Instincts: As a pet owner, you know your pet best. If something feels off, it probably is.
4. Seek Veterinary Advice: If you notice any of the signs mentioned above or other unusual behaviors, it's crucial to consult with a vet.
5. Provide Comfort: Ensure your pet has a comfortable resting place and is in a stress-free environment.
6. Avoid Self-diagnosis: While the internet is a trove of information, it's essential not to jump to conclusions or administer medications without consulting a veterinarian.
In conclusion, our pets rely on us to notice when they're not feeling their best. By being attentive and proactive, we can ensure they receive the care they need. After all, they bring so much joy and comfort into our lives; it's only right that we do the same for them.
Pets are the new kids and plants are the new pets!!!
Roger Caras' famous quote, "Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole," beautifully encapsulates the profound impact dogs have on our emotional and psychological well-being. Beyond being our faithful companions, dogs serve as sources of comfort, joy, and enrichment in our lives. In this article, we'll delve into the emotional and psychological insights behind Caras' words, exploring the myriad ways in which dogs make our lives whole.