Tavares Animal Hospital

418 East Alfred Street, Tavares, FL 32778
Monday thru Friday 8:00am - 5:30pm

Office: (352) 343-7793 Emergency: (407) 644-4449

Dog & Cat -Behavior

– Is there any way to tell if my new pet will have a good personality?
A good pet personality may be indicated if he or she comes to you freely, without snarling. When picked up, he should be fairly easy to hold and not cry excessively. And finally, he should be alert, active and curious.

– What types of toys are good for my dog to play with?
The best toys to give your dog are: hard rubber balls large enough so they can´t be swallowed, large rawhide chew sticks, nylon bones that are especially good for keeping your pet´s teeth clean.

– What kinds of toys are good for my cat to play with?
The best toys to give to your cat are: wooden spools, catnip mince, hard rubber balls, paper balls, and remember…cats generally make their own toys.

– I want my dog to be a well behaved and happy pet. At what age should we begin professional training?
Dogs should begin professional training at about 4-6 months. Puppy classes are very helpful as well.

– How useful is hiring a professional to train my pet?
Professional training will be quite useful to both you and your pet. Even if he just learns the basics in a group class consisting of the dogs, owners and a teacher. There are excellent books and videos at the library and bookstores that give additional hints on dog and cat training. If your dog is having a specific behavioral problem, a good trainer can be a big help. But remember, since your pet lives with you, it is very important that he respect your commands and know that you are the primary person he must listen to.

– My puppy is very playful but sometimes his bite can hurt. How can I stop him from doing this?
You can keep your puppy from biting by avoiding tug-of-war games and be sure not to tease him to the point of snarling. Should your pup start to nip, pinch one of its rear feet. They have a defensive reflex to withdraw when something unexpected touches their feet. Finally, be sure to avoid hitting or pinching the puppy´s body, neck and head area (particularly the snout). This will only stimulate more biting.

– My pet barks a lot. I´m concerned that he may be disturbing others. How can I encourage him to bark less?
If your pet barks excessively, call it to you as quietly as possible. ²²Shush²² the animal if it starts to bark again. Next settle down and call the pet to stay close to you. Be persistent in this routine. Soon you will notice your pet look to you after its first bark. Praise him, as this is the sign of good watchdog behavior.

– Whenever, I leave the house, my pets favorite chew toy is my furniture. How can I stop this behavior?
To keep a pet from chewing on the furniture when you are out of the house about 30 minutes before you leave lightly dab Listerine Mouthwash on those things you want your pet to avoid chewing. Don´t let him see you doing this. On the first day only, take your pet out of the treated area and apply a little bit of Listerine across your pet´s nose. Also be sure to leave a favorite toy or chewy to keep him busy until you return.

– I know all puppies like to chew, but he´s ruining some of my good things. Got any suggestions?
There are many ways to keep your puppy from chewing on things. Try giving your pet something it will enjoy chewing like flavored nylon bones, or hard rubber balls. You can also put Listerine mouthwash on things you want your pet to avoid chewing. Only repeat the Listerine if your pet backslides. On the first day, put some Listerine on the puppies nose.

– My dog has a really bad habit. He loves to chase cars and joggers. I need him to stop this behaviour so what can I do?
When your pet chases cars and joggers he is only following his natural instinct. The best way to avoid this is to put a fence around your yard. Also try a 50-foot rope leash so when your dog chases toward a passing car you can pull him up short.

– I want my pet to feel secure and loved but I´m not sure how to discipline. Suggestions please?
Disciplining your young puppy is very important. A well-trained puppy is a joy to the family and has a good self-image. If your pet does something you don´t approve of, do as its mother would do…grab him by the scruff of the neck and shake him gently. Be sure to praise him when his behavior is good!

– What´s the best way to housebreak my new pet?
In order to housebreak your pet there are some standard rules to follow. When he has finished his meal, immediately take him out to his toilet area. Stand still and let him sniff around for a preferred spot. When the ²²duty²² has been performed, crouch down, point at the urine or stool and praise him by name. Look directly at the matter, not at the animal. This should be done after each meal, waking up, extreme excitement, drinking water, prolonged chewing on a toy or it seems to be sniffing and looking for a spot to eliminate. Your puppy should learn where to go in about 4 days. Remember that it´s your responsibility to help your pet get control of his bodily functions by being consistent.

– My pet jumps on me when I come home. He also jumps on visitors to our home. What can I do to stop this behavior?
To stop a pet from jumping up on you, pet him only after you have encouraged him to take a sitting position. Then get down to his level and pet him. If he is on a leash, step on the leash to shorten it thus keeping your pet down.

– My pet is terrified of thunder and storms. How can I help her get over this fear?
Many pets have a fear of thunder. Train him to be less afraid by repeatedly playing a recording of a thunderstorm. Gradually increase the volume while comforting him. If your pet reacts severely, tranquilizers should be kept on hand in the event he should need them.

– Should I punish my pet if I come home and find that he´s soiled the floor?
Upon returning home, if you find that your pet has eliminated in the house, it does no good to punish him at that time since he won´t remember what he did wrong. The punishment will actually confuse the pet. A better idea would be to confine your pet to one area of the house or crate him when you are away from home.

– Do different breeds of cats have different personalities or is it just in the way I raise it?
Different breeds of cats seem to have different personalities. As a rule, Siamese are more aloof and vocal than others. Persians and Himalayans require more care than shorthaired breeds, but are as affectionate as any other cat. Burmese are especially friendly and are good with children.

– We currently have a cat. We will be bringing home a new puppy. How will they get along with each other?
When bringing a dog into a home that already has a cat, be prepared that there might be some conflict. The adult cat that hasn´t been around other animals may not like the dog. Declawing the cat may help. When bringing puppies and kittens together, there should be less of a problem, as the topic of being ²²territorial²² has not truly taken place.

– How can I stop my cat from spraying?
The causes of spraying by your cat differ with each cat, and so does the treatment. Altering will help if he or she is spraying to establish territory. If he is spraying because he is lonely, consider a friend or puppy for him. Also try giving the cat more affection. Often something has changed in the cats environment and causes anxiety in the cat and causes territorial spraying.

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