How to Get Your Dog to Stop Barking

Dog barking

A dog barking is a totally normal behavior. With few exceptions, almost every dog barks. To them, it’s a normal form of communication.

Too much barking though can be a problem. It can be bothersome to you and your family, and even more so for your neighbors.

Is there a way you get your dog to stop barking so much?

Yes, there is, and as your dog’s pack leader, it’s your job to teach them how to behave. 

Let’s review how you can teach your dog to not bark so much.

First, it’s important to review the main reasons that cause a dog to bark. If you review this list, it may help you determine what the root cause of your dog’s excessive barking is. 

Why do dogs bark?

  • Warning
  • Excitement
  • Playfulness
  • Anxiety
  • To get attention
  • Boredom
  • Responding to other dogs

If you understand the reason for your dog’s barking, then you can figure out how to control that behavior.

For example, a dog that is bored needs more walks, play or exercise. If your dog is anxious, you can address the root causes or find ways to treat separation anxiety. If your dog barks at other dogs, you can desensitize them to other animals.

Training is also important. Your dog needs to know that there are times to bark and there are times to be quiet. Teaching them the basic speak/quiet commands is important.

Related: How to train your dog

If your dog has excessive barking issues, start working on addressing these as soon as possible. It will be easier to train them before the behaviors become too ingrained.

Related: Positive enforcement rules for you and your dog

Tips to help break the barking habit

  • Teach your dog the Speak/Quiet commands
  • Don’t yell. To the dog, it is like you are barking back at them.
  • Stay positive when you are working with them.
  • Be consistent with your dog at all times. Make sure everyone in the household is reacting to the behavior in the same way.
  • Do not comfort, pet, hug or give your dog a treat when they are barking for attention or out of anxiety. Even if it gets them to stop, it is encouraging and rewarding the behavior.
  • Get your dogs attention with a clap or whistle.  When they have quieted, redirect their attention to a toy or other reward.
  • Use the basic commands of sit and down in order to shift focus.
  • Do not let your dog bark constantly outside. Bring them in when they bark so they know they can’t be outside if they bark.

How to teach your dog to stop barking

Training Resources:

How to Get Your Dog to Stop Barking – Humane Society
Cesar’s best tips to stop dog barking – Cesar’s Way
Train Your Dog to Speak or Be Quiet – The Spruce

Related: How much exercise does your dog need?


We offer dog training services in the Plainfield – Naperville area with dog shuttle service available to and from lessons. We also aim to teach pet parents how to break their own bad habits, as well, so your dog can have consistency. 

Contact us online or call (630) 854-8841


 

My Cat Ate a Mouse – Should I Be Worried?

Cat with mouse in it's mouthCats are natural predators of rodents. Some cats are particularly obsessive about mouse hunting. For many years, many people kept cats or fed outdoor cats because our feline friends are so good at catching mice.

Today it is much more common for people to keep their cats indoors full time. Just because your cat is an indoor cat doesn’t mean it won’t get a chance to catch a mouse. Mice will move indoors during the fall and if you have a cat, it’s likely they will be hunting for him.

This leads people to wonder:
If my cat eats a mouse, will he get sick? Should I let my cat eat mice?

 

If you want to be safe, you really shouldn’t let your cat eat mice. Your cat could eat a mouse and not get sick, but it’s possible they could contract a disease from mice.

Cat BoredomDiseases mice can give cats:

  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Intestinal Worms
  • Hantavirus
  • Rickettsialpox

Eating a mouse could cause your cat to be infected by one of these diseases. 

Toxoplasma can make your cat sick and can cause various symptoms ranging from diarrhea, pneumonia, liver disease, or diseases of the nervous system. This disease can also spread from your cat to you!

Roundworms are a common intestinal parasite that a cat can get from eating a mouse. Roundworms can live in your cat’s intestines and compete for nutrients they would normally ingest.

Hantavirus can quickly progress into acute respiratory distress and pulmonary edema. It can also be spread to humans as well, although symptoms may not show for weeks. 

Rickettsialpox causes ulceration of the area surrounding the mite bite, fever, and a rash over the body and limbs.

Another danger your cats face is that they can eat a mouse that has already ingested poison. The poison that will kill a mouse may also make your cat sick and even endanger their life.

The safest option is to not let your cat eat mice. Of course, that’s not always possible.

What to do if my cat eats a mouse?

Since you don’t know how your cat will react or if the mouse was diseased, you must carefully monitor your cat’s behavior and health for anything out of the ordinary. Watch for any symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or abnormal behavior. If you notice any symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.

If you don’t see any unusual symptoms but are still worried, call your vet’s office for advice. Better to be safe because early treatment is very important.

Related: 9 Weird Cat Behaviors Explained


The Pet’s Home provides in-home pet sittingdog sittingcat sittingdog walkingpuppy training and pet taxi services in the Plainfield, Oswego, Naperville and Shorewood area. 

Contact us online or call (630) 854-8841


Cat image by Stig Nygaard


 

Using Baking Soda to Fight Dog Odors

Arm and Hammer Baking Soda for dog odorsDid you know that good old-fashioned baking soda can help you fight dog odors?

This common and affordable household product can be used for cleaning many things in your home, but we’ll discuss how you can use it to eliminate pet odors.

It is a natural cleaner and deodorizer that doesn’t contain harsh chemicals.

Dry shampoo your dog with baking soda

When you don’t have the time or energy to give your dog a bath, you can give them a quick “dry shampoo” with baking soda.

  1. Make sure your dog is completely dry.
  2. Brush your dog to remove loose hair.
  3. Lightly sprinkle baking soda across your dog’s coat, avoiding the face.
  4. Lightly rub the baking soda in and leave it in for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Use a brush and a towel to remove excess baking soda.

Wet shampoo your dog with baking soda

Many dog shampoos contain baking soda already. You can make your own DIY dog shampoo with odor neutralizer by mixing mix one tablespoon of baking soda with 1.5 cups of warm water. Wash your dog with the mixture and gently massage it into their coat.

You can also make a baking soda and water rinse to use after you have used your normal dog shampoo. This gives your dog a very thoroughly clean and will remove excess shampoo from your dog, which may cause itchiness.

Related: How to clean your dog’s teeth

Use baking soda on a dog bed, furniture or carpeting

Sometimes that spot where your dog loves to lie down can smell a little bit too much like a dog after a while.  Sprinkle baking soda on carpeting, furniture, or the dog bed, then leave it in for about 20 mins and then vacuum it up. 

Baking soda to deodorize your car

You can also use baking soda to eliminate dog odors in your car. Sprinkle it on the seats and floor mats and give it a few minutes to absorb odors and then vacuum it up. 

Clean up “dog accidents” on carpeting

You can use baking soda to clean up a spot on the carpeting when a dog has an accident. First, try and blot up as much of the liquid as you can with a rag or cloth first. Then mix equal parts white vinegar and baking soda to create a runny paste-like substance. Apply the mixture to the soiled carpet or furniture, let it sit for a few minutes to absorb odor and then wipe or sponge it up.

Get rid of skunk smell

The old cure of using tomato sauce to get rid of the smell when your dog gets sprayed by a skunk just isn’t very effective. Instead, get out your reliable box of baking soda, and mix a ¼ cup baking soda with a teaspoon of liquid dish soap and 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide. Rub the mixture onto your dog, leave it on for five minutes and then rinse thoroughly. You may need to clean them with this once or twice to finally get that smell out.

Is baking soda poisonous to dogs? 

An important note: Baking soda is considered non-toxic to humans but that doesn’t mean it is safe for dogs to eat. You can brush your dog’s teeth using baking soda but larger amounts can be dangerous. Baking soda is a leavening agent. If combined with the heat found in your dog’s stomach, it will release gasses that can cause low potassium, low calcium, high sodium, muscle spasms and even heart failure. If your dog eats baking soda, call your veterinarian immediately. 


The Pet’s Home provides in-home pet sitting, dog sitting, cat sitting, dog walkingpuppy training and pet taxi services in the Plainfield, Oswego, Naperville and Shorewood area. 

Contact us online or call (630) 854-8841


 

Benefits of Pet Therapy

Therapy dog with elderly patient

Photo by Zachary Wolf

Pet therapy is a broad term that includes animal-assisted therapy and other animal-assisted activities. It is essentially a type of therapy that involves animals as a form of treatment and rehabilitation. Patients in hospitals or nursing homes can benefit from pet therapy, especially children and the elderly. 

Animals have been a benefit to human’s well being for thousands of years. Only in recent decades have they been recognized for the physical and mental health benefits they give people and pet therapy might be recommended by a doctor.

Benefits of pet therapy

  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Decreasing effects of depression
  • Increase self-esteem
  • Improves social skills
  • Improves motor skills and joint movement
  • Increases verbal communication
  • Increases willingness to join in activities
  • Decreases loneliness and isolation
  • Can provide motivation to exercise
  • Helps teach empathy and nurturing skills

People who benefit from pet therapy

  • Stroke victims
  • Children having dental procedure
  • People undergoing chemotherapy
  • Residents in long-term care facilities
  • People hospitalized with chronic heart failure
  • Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder
  • People hospitalized with chronic heart failure
  • Children having physical or dental procedures
  • People undergoing physical therapy
  • Patients working to regain motor skills
  • People with mental health disorders
  • People suffering from suicidal thoughts

Could pet therapy be of benefit to you?

You should ask your doctor, therapist or caregiver if pet therapy could be of benefit to you. They could recommend a certified pet therapy organization for you to get in touch with. 

Even if you don’t suffer from some of the more serious issues above, any pet owner can tell you how they benefit from their animal friends. If you are physically capable of caring for a pet yourself, you can get a dog, cat or other pet to be your companion. They will keep you company, ease stress and depression and maybe help you meet new people. 

Why Do Dogs Have a Favorite Person?

Dogs favorite person

Does your dog have a favorite person?

Lots of dogs have a favorite human. Usually, they make it really obvious who their favorite human is. It’s the person they’re always running to first, always following around.

Sometimes it creates problems in the pet owners home when the dog really favors one over the other. It can make the less favored human wonder “What did I do? Why don’t they love me that much?”

So, why do dogs have a favorite person?

All dogs are different, but there are some common reasons why a dog may favor one human over another. 

The person there for the socialization period

Dogs have an important socialization period between birth and six months.  This is the age where puppies’ brains are developing. Their brains are very receptive and the social experiences the dog has during this time can influence them for the rest of their lives. 

The person who is there during this period, who has more positive experiences with the dog at this period, can become the favored human. Sometimes, any person who resembles the human who was there during the socialization period can become favored.

As a side note, this is why it is important for dogs to be socialized to many different types of people during this period. It will help them be comfortable with more people later on.

Attention

Unsurprisingly, most dogs tend to bond with the person who gives them the most attention. They may also prefer the person who feeds them frequently. Dogs also will usually fall in love with the person who gives them the most physical attention and love. Lots of petting, brushing, massaging can cause a dog to love that person the most. Sometimes they will love the person who plays with them the most. Again, all dogs are different.

Related: Foods that are dangerous for dogs

Positive association

Closely related to above, dogs can choose their favorites based on positive associations. The human the dog associates good, positive, warm feelings with will be the favorite. This might be the person who always has the treats, always plays games with and other reasons.

Human and dog personality

Much like people, dogs are attracted to people who have a similar personality to them. A dog who loves to play and roughhouse will be attracted to the person who feels the same way. A dog who likes predictable, quiet time on the couch, will find the person who enjoys the same things. 

Related: Tips for leaving your dog on vacation

You can still become your dogs favorite

Just because you’re not your dog’s favorite doesn’t mean that you can’t do things to increase the bond between the two of you. 

How to be your dog’s favorite

  • Spend lots of time with them during their first six months
  • Spend more one on one time together every day
  • Play your dog’s favorite games with them
  • Do dog training or skills training together
  • Take your dog for more walks
  • Be the one to give your dog treats
  • If your dog enjoys grooming then groom them frequently
  • Avoid being associated with the things your dog hates
  • Create positive associations with you and the dog’s favorite things

 

The Pet’s Home provides in-home pet sitting services, as well as pet sitting, dog sitting, cat sitting, puppy training and pet taxi services in the Plainfield, Oswego, Naperville and Shorewood area. 

Contact us online or call (630) 854-8841


Image source: Pexels


Why Do Dogs Lick?

There are many different reasons that your dog will lick you, both environmental and biological. Dogs lick their owners, pack members and themselves for many reasons, and if you want to change the behavior, it helps to understand why they do it.

Reasons dogs lick

  • Affection
  • Grooming
  • Communication
  • Attention Seeking
  • Behavior issue
  • Medical issue
  • To show submission
  • Humans can taste good
  • They are rewarded for it

Affection

Most people assume their dog licks them because the dog loves them. And much of the time, they are right. Your dog licks you because they love you and the dog themselves will experience pleasure as well. Licking for affection causes your dog to release pleasurable endorphins that calm and comfort them.

Grooming

Most people think of cats as cleaning when they lick themselves but dogs often lick to clean themselves as well.

Communication

Dogs will lick other dogs to tell them all sorts of things. It could be “I’m hungry” or “I submit to you” as well as “Let’s be friends.” Your dog will do this with you and other people as well, but since humans just aren’t that good at “speaking dog”, we often miss the message. 

Attention seeking

Your dog craves attention from you and will do all kinds of things to get it. It’s really not any different than how kids (and even adults) will act up to get attention from people. A kid might not lick your face to get attention (or maybe they will) but your dog certainly will.

Compulsion

We know that dogs have feelings and emotions similar to humans do, from love to fear and even anxiety. Dogs can exhibit obsessive-compulsive behavior and also suffer from anxiety. Licking can provide stress relief, but obsessive licking won’t cure anxiety and if this is the case, you need to try and treat the root cause.

Medical issue

Dogs who frequently lick their feet may be trying to soothe a persistent itch caused by allergies. Dogs who lick their anal area frequently could be suffering from allergies or may need their anal glands expressed. Consult your veterinarian if you have concerns. 

To show submission

Dogs are pack animals with many related social behaviors. Licking is often a submissive gesture to the dominant pack leader. Your dog may be showing obedience and respect to you and other humans they love.

Humans taste good

You’ve seen your dog lick their bowl, the floor or a surface where food was or a spill happened. Dogs can taste very tiny food particles and it’s possible they could lick you because they taste yummy little bits of food. Sometimes they also enjoy the salt on our skin.

They are rewarded for it

You might be rewarding your dog’s behavior when they lick you. They get attention, they may get a good scratch or rub, maybe even a treat. That’s all positive reinforcement for their licking. As we mentioned before, they may also get some pleasant endorphins from licking, so that is a reward as well.

Most of the time, your dog licking you is very normal behavior. Unless you’re seeing some sort of obsessive behavior, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. 

The Pet’s Home provides in-home pet sitting services, as well as pet sitting, dog sitting, cat sitting, puppy training and pet taxi services in the Plainfield, Oswego, Naperville and Shorewood area. 

Contact us online or call (630) 854-8841

Foods That Are Dangerous For Dogs

Foods that are bad for dogs

Many dog owners are known to sneak their best friend some scraps from the dinner table when no one is looking. 

Those cute faces just seem to say “PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PRETTY PLEASE!” and it can be hard to resist.

Some human food can be okay for your dog in small amounts, but others can be dangerous.

In this post, we list human foods that can be unhealthy, dangerous or even toxic to your dog. Read further so you don’t accidentally make your dog sick.

14 Foods Dangerous to Your Dog

Here are some of the worst foods for your dog. They can be very dangerous to their health and have been known to even be fatal to some dogs.

Avocado – The inner avocado is safe for dogs and can even be found in some dog foods. The problem is the skin and leaves. They contain persin, which is an oil-soluble toxin that can be dangerous to non-human mammals. According to the ASPCA, persin may cause “respiratory distress, heart failure, edema”.

Chocolate – Most dog owners know not to give their dog chocolate but it is worth repeating: Chocolate can be toxic to dogs. It contains Theobromine, which can cause a dog to vomit, have diarrhea, become overly thirsty, or even cause abnormal heart rhythms, seizures, tremors, or death. 

Related: Chocolate Overdose: What to do if they find your secret spot 

Macadamia Nuts – Macadamia nuts can make dogs very ill, causing vomiting, tremors, loss of control of body movements (ataxia), weakness, and depression. Symptoms usually show within 12 hours of eating and can last 12 to 48 hours before recovering.

Grapes and Raisins – Grapes are one of the most toxic foods for dogs. Eating grapes can lead to kidney failure and even death. Raisins and grape juice can be even more dangerous because they are in a more concentrated form.

Garlic and Onions – These plants are toxic to dogs in any form, whether fresh, cooked, dried, or powdered. Onions and garlic are part of the allium plant family, which can cause damage to dogs red blood cells and organs. Symptoms include weakness, vomiting, breathlessness, and loss of interest in food.

Sugar-Free Gum & Candy – Sugarless gum and candy is often sweetened with Xylitol, which can be deadly to dogs. According to the VCA, xylitol ingestion causes life-threatening hypoglycemia (dangerously low blood sugar).

Related: How to Clean Your Dog’s Teeth

Raw Meat, Fish, Eggs – Dog ancestors may have eaten raw meat, but your dog shouldn’t. Raw meat contains bacteria that can lead to food poisoning. Raw fish can hide parasites that cause fatal diseases. Raw eggs can contain salmonella or e. coli.

Alcohol – Alcoholic beverages can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.

Citrus Fruits – The stems, leaves, peels, fruit, and seeds of citrus plants (oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit) contain citric acid and oils that can cause irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression if ingested in significant amounts.

Green Tomatoes – Ripe red tomatoes are okay, but unripened green tomatoes and tomato plants contain solanine, a toxin that can cause gastrointestinal distress, lethargy, weakness, and confusion.

Caffeinated Drinks – Caffeine is very unhealthy for dogs and possibly only fatal. This includes coffee and tea, coffee beans and grounds, cocoa, chocolate, colas, and energy drinks. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, restlessness, increased heart rate, fast breathing, and muscle twitches.”

Dairy Products – Many dogs are lactose intolerant and cannot properly digest dairy foods. Too much cheese can cause constipation or diarrhea, obesity, and lasting gastrointestinal issues. 

Yeast Dough – Bread dough needs to rise. If your dog eats it, then the dough will rise in their stomach, stretching the abdomen and causing pain. When the yeast ferments the dough to make it rise, it makes alcohol that can lead to alcohol poisoning.

Salty Snacks – Salty snacks like pretzels and potato chips can make your dog seriously thirsty. It could lead to sodium ion poisoning, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, high temperature, and seizures and possibly even cause death.

The following is a list of foods that are dangerous to dogs. Even though some foods on this list may be okay in small amounts, we do not recommend feeding your dog these foods.

List of foods you should not feed your dog

  • Alchohol
  • Almonds
  • Avocado
  • Apricot pits
  • Bacon
  • Beer
  • Bones
  • Cheese
  • Cherry pits
  • Chives
  • Chocolate
  • Citrus (peels, leaves, seeds)
  • Coffee
  • Dairy
  • Energy drinks
  • Garlic
  • Grapes
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Peach pits
  • Pecans
  • Plumb pits
  • Popcorn
  • Potatoes (Raw)
  • Potato chips
  • Pretzels
  • Raisins
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Raw meet, fish & eggs
  • Salt
  • Sugar-free gum & candy
  • Tea
  • Tomatoes (green, plants & leaves)
  • Walnuts
  • Wine
  • Yeast dough

To be safe, we don’t recommend you feed your dog any of these foods. If your dog has ingested any of these foods, contact your veterinarian. 


Related Information & Sources: ASPCACanine Journal – DogtimeHumane Society – RoverWebMD


 

Common Dog Parasites

Prevent parasites in dogs

In this post, we list the five most common parasites that infect dogs and how you can protect your dog from worms, ticks, and others. 

Unfortunately for your dog, there are several common parasites that can infect your best friend. All dogs can become infected, and sometimes these parasites can even be transmitted to humans.Any dog can get parasites, and some can be transmitted to humans. 

Any dog can contract parasites, and some of these can be transmitted to humans. There are treatments available for all these, but preventing your dog from becoming infected in the first place is always the best option. 

Most Common Dog Parasites

  • Fleas
  • Ticks
  • Heartworms
  • Intestinal Worms
  • Mites

flea parasite in dogsFleas

Fleas are tiny, hard-bodied, flightless insects that are external parasites of mammals and birds. Their source of food is consuming the blood of the host they have attached to. It has strong legs which allow it to jump up to a foot or more.

Flea infestations can be a hassle to deal with for both you and your dog. They can also cause a variety of problems including Flea Allergic Dermatitis, anemia, and tapeworm infection.

Prevention is your best option. You can use a variety of oral flea treatments, topical treatments, shampoos, washes, sprays, and flea collars to protect your dog from fleas. These should especially be used during the warm summer months here in northern Illinois.

tick parasite in dogsTicks

Ticks are tiny arachnids and relatives of both mites and spiders. Like fleas, they live on the blood of birds and mammals, including dogs and cats.

Ticks will jump onto your dog (or you!) and attach its jaw into the skin and suck blood until the tick has eaten all it possibly can. They can carry many diseases, including Lyme Disease.

Ticks will usually live in tall grasses and wooded areas. You can use products to prevent ticks from attaching to your dog, but during summer months you should check your dog regularly for ticks, especially after spending time in wooded or tall grassy areas.

Related Post: Ticks and Dogs

Heartworms

The dog heartworm is a parasitic roundworm that can spread to your dog through the bite of a mosquito.

It is one of the most dangerous parasites that can infect your dog. It can even lead to death if untreated. Even the treatments to rid your dog of heartworms is bad for your dog’s health.

To prevent heartworms, it is best to give your dog a monthly heartworm prevention. If you have not given your dog a heartworm preventer in months, you should have your dog tested by your veterinarian.

Related Post: Protect Your Dog from Mosquitos

Intestinal Worms

Intestinal worms that your dog can pick up from the outdoors include roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms.

Tapeworms can be contracted from fleas; the rest can infect your dog from contaminated soil or infected animals, such as mice or other animals. Some of these can also be transferred to humans.

Protecting your dog from fleas will help protect him or her from tapeworms. Regular veterinary checkups are the best way from preventing serious intestinal worm problems.

parasite mites in dogs Mites

There are two types of mites that can affect dogs: Demodex and Sarcoptic (also known as scabies). Mites can live in small numbers on your dog without causing problems. Higher numbers can cause itching, hair loss, and scabs.

Scabies is highly contagious to other dogs and also to humans. It is most often spread through direct contact with other infected dogs or mammals. It can be difficult to prevent because you won’t know when you come in contact with an infected animal.

Treatment can require both oral medication and medicated baths. If you believe your dog may be infected because your dog is showing intense scratching, then you should visit your veterinarian right away.

The Pet’s Home provides in-home pet sitting services, as well as pet sitting, dog sitting, cat sitting, puppy training and pet taxi services in the Plainfield, Oswego, Naperville and Shorewood area. 

Contact us online or call (630) 854-8841

How much should my cat sleep?

Cats are true masters when it comes to sleeping. They can sleep anytime, any place, under any circumstance. But why do cats sleep so much? Do they have sleep cycles like people do? Read on to find out more about cats and sleep.

Catnap

You may be wondering why your cat sleeps most of the time, don’t worry, cats actually require a lot more sleep than you and I. Cats are crepuscular creatures, crepuscular is just a fancy term that means they’re most active at dawn and dusk. Their vision is best adapted to the light levels at those times in the day so that is when they like to play, socialize, and hunt.

Younger cats and kittens require around 20 hours of sleep a day while adult cats will only need around 13~16 hours a day. Of course your cat may need more or less sleep than others just like the rest of us require different amounts of sleep.

Cats don’t really sleep eight-hour sessions like us, they will cycle in and out of naps throughout the day. While they are sleeping their senses remain finely tuned. They can jump out of bed at a moments notice to be alert. Just as quickly as they awoke they can fall back asleep.

Habits

Cats are predators and they are hardwired to chase and hunt small creatures, mainly at night. Although cats are domesticated, for the most part, housecats are still in touch with their wild side. Even when cats play they still show these instincts of creeping about and pouncing on their prey. Hunting takes quite a bit of energy and all that sleep is used to reserve that energy for hunting, running, climbing, and stalking.

Related: Is your cat board?

Sleeping Problems

Excessive sleep in kittens is rarely a concern but if your adult cat is sleeping more it may indicate a medical concern. Many feline diseases don’t begin to develop until adulthood. Any single illness can cause your cat to spend more time asleep. Excessive sleep in an adult cat could also mean they are in pain, such as arthritis.

If your cat seems to have endless energy and is sleeping less it may be a sign of medical problem such as hyperthyroidism. Other signs of hyperthyroidism may include weight loss, diarrhea, vomiting, increased appetite and thirst.

If your kitten seems lethargic or uninterested in her surroundings they may be sick and should be taken to the vet. Sudden changes in behavior, including sleep, can mean there is a problem.

Dog Flu Outbreak in Illinois

About the Illinois Dog Flu Outbreak 

There have been recent cases of Dog Flu breaking out all over central Illinois. Be cautious with your dog around other dogs.  Veterinarians say this is a new and highly contagious airborne virus that can spread quickly from dog to dog.

This virus can be transferred via nose and mouth secretions, coughs, and even sharing water bowls. Because this particular virus is airborne, it can spread without contact.

Most dogs are not naturally immune to the virus and when exposed to it will most likely contract it. 

How to Protect Your Dog 

The first thing you should do is talk to your veterinarian about canine influenza to see what they recommend is best for your dog. 

If you notice anything out of the ordinary isolate your dog and call your veterinarian as soon as possible. Do not wait or hesitate as this is a very aggressive virus and your should seek medical treatment immediately.  

A vaccine is available, if you have not already, the H3N2 vaccination is available for your dog. Discuss whether the vaccine is right for your dog with your veterinarian. 

Start boosting your dog’s immune system by feeding them a healthy and balanced diet.  Give them plenty of vitamins and minerals, essential fatty acids and probiotics. You can also use some of the many natural immunity boosting supplements and herbs to improve your dogs overall health and well-being.

Be sure to watch your dog for common symptoms such as: coughing, lethargy, lack of appetite, nasal or eye discharge. Give your dog lots of water and plenty of time to rest. 

If your dog does get the flu, keep them away from other dogs for at least 21 days.