Why Dogs Are a Popular Subject for Scientists and Not Cats?

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Have you ever noticed that most articles about pets are centered around dogs—dog, behavior, dog training, dog allergies, and such? Have you felt like there was not enough information online about cats, their behaviors, quirks, and other aspects of cat lives as pets? Why is there so little information on cats when compared to dogs as pets?

Why there is more research available on dogs than cats

It is, in fact, true, that there is far less research on cats than on dogs. The amount of research conducted on dogs exceeds that on cats by quite a bit for a number of reasons:

  • Easier to get funding for research on dogs rather than cats: Dogs are considered to be human’s best friend and are extremely popular as pets. People want to understand dogs more and more and know how they think and feel. This leads to easier and better funding availability for research on dogs than research on cats. Most people believe cats are mysterious, aloof, and cannot be trained because of which there is relatively less interest in understanding cat behavior and emotions. There has also been a lot of negative perceptions attached to cats since ancient times, which means that people did not want to get to know cats better for a long time.
  • Difficult to get cats to behave for research: Dogs love to listen to their human owners, behave as humans want, and constantly be with their humans. Dogs are also highly dependent on their owners. Cats, on the other hand, are quite independent, like to be on their own, and do not always listen to their human owners. What this means is, it is easy to make dogs behave during research trials and experiments but it can be quite difficult to make cats do your bidding to conduct research. This could be a big reason why there is more research on dogs—they are easier to study and make better subjects for research than cats.
  • More number of dog breeds than cat breeds: This is possibly the biggest reason there is more research material available on dogs. As there are more number of breeds of dogs and because most breeds are distinct and very different from others, there is a lot of research conducted on every unique breed of dog. Cats, on the other hand, can look quite similar, and there are far fewer breeds of cats than there are dogs. This means there is less to research in most cases.

Whatever may be the reason, it is clear than for now, the research community is more focused on dogs than cats, and this is unlikely to change much in the near future. Cats continue to remain mysterious and poorly understood and will probably remain so at least for now.


Is Dog-Sitting an Adventurous Job?

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Many people work as professional dog-sitters. If you like dogs, it can be fun to dog-sit, although it can get a bit monotonous if you have to do it often. Are you a professional dog-sitter? Do you feel like the dogs you sit seem bored or depressed? Can dog-sitting, especially as a profession, be made fun and adventurous for you and the dogs?

Can dog-sitting be adventurous?

The short answer is, yes, it can be quite adventurous. By nature, most dogs are playful and want to do things with and for the owners and sitters. Some dogs are very high on energy and can be quite a handful, while some others are quieter and want to sleep. No matter what the dogs like, you can figure out activities that they and you will enjoy together.

Remember to check with the dog owners before you plan any activities with their dogs. It is important to get their permission and to know the status of the dog’s health and socialization before planning any fun activities. This will ensure that you and the dog are safe at all times.

Ways to make dog-sitting fun and adventurous

  • Hikes and treks: Dogs that like being in nature and the outdoors would love such activities. It gives them a chance to run, climb, swim, and have a wonderful time doing things they love. This also tires out the dogs, so it is a great idea for dogs that are very high on energy.
  • Long walks and runs: Most dogs love running, and it is a great activity for them to do with humans. This also helps high-energy dogs to use all the excess energy and tire themselves out in a productive, fun way instead of getting destructive inside the house or feeling bored.
    • Playtime with other dogs: For dogs that love to socialize, play time could be made a lot of fun by taking them out to meet and play with other dogs. It will also ensure they do not spend all their time only around humans.

Tips to keep dogs safe during activities

  • Ensure the dog is physically fit, especially for hiking, trekking, and other physically vigorous activities.
  • Ensure you carry enough water and food for yourself and the dog.
  • Ensure the dogs are always on leash and do not feel unsafe or threatened at any point. If they are off leash, ensure you can see them throughout.

Dog-sitting is fun, especially for someone who loves dogs but cannot get one for themselves. It is a fun way to spend time with dogs and ensure the dogs do not feel lonely and sad, which is how a lot of dogs feel when left alone for long hours. You can make it interesting and adventurous for yourself and the dogs through these activities.


5 Facts about Your Dog’s Eyes That Perhaps You Didn’t Know

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You all know that sensory perceptions in dogs is way superior to that of humans. They can see better, smell more, run faster, and perceive things much more acutely than humans. Dogs’ eyes, especially, are quite interesting. Would you like to know some surprising facts about your dog’s eyes and vision? It might help you understand your dog better.

Interesting facts about your dog’s eyes and vision

  • Dogs are blind when they are born: Yes, that is correct. Even though dogs eventually end up with better vision than humans, they are born with absolutely no ability to see. In fact, puppies do not even open their eyes for the first few days after birth. It takes a few days, and at times a few weeks, for pups to finally open their eyes and be able to see their siblings, their mom, and their surroundings.
  • Dogs can see a limited number of colors: Dogs have a very keen sense of sight. Many people believe dogs see in black and white. Although not completely true, dogs have fewer color sensors in their eyes than humans, so the range of colors they see is limited. Dogs cannot see most shades of red and green and are more attuned to see blues and yellows. Remember this when getting toys for your dog the next time.
  • Dog vision works best at dusk and dawn: Yes, just before sunrise and after sunset is when dogs can see the best. This might be a good time to take your dogs out on walks or let them out to run around in the yard as they will possibly enjoy their outdoor jaunts the best at these times.
  • Dogs have three eyelids to keep eyes moist: If you thought your dog just have upper and lower eyelids, think again. Dogs have a third eyelid that ensures their eyes remain moist. Some dog breeds are known to have prolapse of this third eyelid, which can cause irritation and pain in the eyes if not diagnosed and fixed in time.
  • Dogs can see extremely well in darkness: Many dogs in the wind hunt at night, and have evolved to have extremely good vision at night. Dogs can see really well even when there is barely any light and possibly even in pitch darkness.

These are just some of the many surprising facts about dogs that many people, even dog owners, are not aware of most of the time. Knowing how your dog thinks, sees, smells, and tastes can give you a better understand of your dog’s overall behavior and make sense of quirks and seemingly funny habits that your dog might exhibit.


How To Treat 5 Common Eye Problems In Dogs

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Remember how at the very first meet with your dog you had completely fallen in love with those big, dark eyes. Unfortunately, those captivating, expressive eyes are not invincible to disease. It is always best to have a care routine for your pooch’s eyes. You, yourself can check for abnormalities.

To do an eye exam:

In a well-lit area, look into the eyes of your fur-baby. It should appear

  • Clear and transparent
  • The eye should be free from crust or discharge
  • The eye-lining should be pink

It is best to develop healthy habits to prevent any problem like wiping the gunk away from the eyes of your dog with a damp cloth. Carefully wipe outwards along the lining. If you see your teary-eyed pooch understandably facing vision problems, seek the veterinarian’s help immediately. Depending on what has affected your dog’s eyes, the treatment will be ascertained.

The top 5 canine eye problems and their treatments are

Conjunctivitis – It is common in humans, but dogs are also not spared from it. Depending on what has caused the conjunctivitis, a treatment can be chalked out. If it is simple dirt particle reaction, then over the counter saline drops will give some relief to his precious eyes. If a bacterial growth has resulted in the conjunctivitis, then antibiotics will be prescribed.

Cataract – Some dog breeds are known to be more prone to cataract than others. Dog breeds such as pug, Siberian husky, boxer to name a few. Other breeds may also get cataract with age. If your pooch gets diagnosed with cataract, then don’t lose heart. Surgery though a very good option is not the only solution. Eye-drops and oral supplements are not just cost effective but also provide enormous relief to the dogs.

Glaucoma – It is one of the scariest eye disease which causes blindness. Depending upon the type (primary and secondary) of glaucoma your dog may have, the plan of action will be charted by your veterinarian. It can be treated with eye drops or may require surgery. Like cataract, glaucoma is also more common in certain breeds.

Cherry eye – A protrusion from the corner of your pooch’s eye may seem very scary but it is not as painful as you might think it is. It happens when the nictitans gland are not securely attached inside the eyes. If you observe any such swelling, do consult your veterinarian. You will be prescribed a lubricant and, in some cases, may have to even consider surgery.

Entropion – It is a condition where the eyelid turns inward. It is a structural abnormality which can damage the cornea. At an early stage, you may find your dog blinking too frequently and you will notice a discharge coming out, on a more advanced stage corneal ulceration is found. Combination of ointment, drops and surgery are used to treat the condition.

One thing to remember is that, there are some breeds more prone to eye diseases than others. So, check for the risk factors for your pooch’s breed. And remember the earlier the detection, better the chance of cure.


The Mysteries of Your Dog’s Tongue

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Dogs have a lot of things to offer us. They’re loyal, cuddly, and friendly. They also come with a lot of surprises. There are lots of things about our dogs’ tongues that we don’t know. You probably love doggy kisses, but his tongue does a whole lot more. Just like in humans, a dog’s tongue is a very important part of his mouth. Your tongue is a muscle controlled by your brain. Here are a few facts about your dog’s tongue.

  1. Some of them come in shades of blue.
    Shar-Peis and Chow Chows have tongues with a bluish tinge. It varies from dark to baby blue. Although no one really know the reason behind it, it’s still pretty spectacular to behold. While it’s beautiful, it also puts them at a health disadvantage. Vets will have a harder time identifying symptoms in dogs with blue tongues.
  2. Human tongues are cleaner.
    Contrary to popular belief, your dog’s tongue doesn’t have magical healing properties. When he licks his wounds, he might in fact, be doing more harm than good. A canine mouth has over 600 different types of bacteria!
  3. Dogs are excellent groomers.
    Although they don’t really seem like it and their grooming habits won’t come anywhere close to that of a cat’s, they still like taking care of themselves and keeping their appearance in check. While cats have hard tongues that help them de-tangle and un-knot their fur while grooming, dogs have softer tongues. Although this puts them at a disadvantage while grooming, they still try. He can do the simple things like remove dirt and debris from his fur. You’ll still need to do the heavy lifting by brushing him on a regular basis to remove knots.
  4. They can keep themselves cool with their tongues.
    You might have noticed that your furry friend’s panting gets heavier whenever it’s hot. This is because panting helps them to keep cool. Unlike humans, dogs lack sweat glands all over their body. So they use panting as a mechanism to cool off on a hot day. The quicker he pants, the quicker he cools down. The air moves over his tongue, his upper respiratory tract’s lining, and mouth to evaporate excess moisture, cooling them down.
  5. Your dog’s tongue influences the way he barks.
    The sound of your dog’s bark is one that can be easily distinguished. Although they all sound pretty similar, no dog has the exact same bark. This is all thanks to their tongues. The shape and size of his tongue impacts the way he sounds.
  6. Our furry friends have lesser taste buds.
    Dogs only have sixth of the taste buds that we have. This is why they tend to choose their desired meal more through smell than through taste.


How Safe is Raw Meat for Your Pet?

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It’s understandable to want to change your pet’s diet to something more traditional – raw meat to be exact. They used to be predators before they were domesticated after all. But you should know that following a raw meat diet comes with its set of disadvantages.

Although a controversial path to follow, raw food diets are becoming more and more popular amongst pet parents. With a pick of raw meat, bones, vegetables and fruits, the raw meat diet also has its benefits. But do the cons outweigh the pros? Let’s find out.

Benefits of the raw food diet:

  • Healthier skin
  • Shinier coats
  • Higher energy levels
  • Cleaner teeth
  • Smaller stools

Because our pets used to be wild predators who had to survive on eating raw meat before they were domesticated, they could also benefit greatly from a diet change. However, you should still be aware of the potential risks that a raw food diet could pose.

Risks of the raw food diet:

  • The bacteria in raw meat could prove to be threat for both dogs and their human owners.
  • Raw foods are usually imbalanced. They usually have an imbalance of one nutrient or another. Our pets need a lot of nutrients and minerals to function properly. An imbalance could in these nutrients could pose further health risks for our beloved pets.
  • Raw bones could cause dire health conditions like an internal puncture resulting in internal bleeding. The bones could also break teeth leading to periodontal disease when left untreated. It could even choke your pet if the bone is too large or sharp to swallow all at once.

What is a dog raw food diet?

It usually consists of:

  • Muscle meat that’s still on the bone
  • Healthy organ meats like kidneys and livers
  • Bones that are either ground or whole
  • Raw eggs
  • Apples, and other fruits
  • Vegetables like celery, spinach, and broccoli
  • Dairy products like yogurt.

A lot of animals find raw food diets more beneficial to them than processed foods. However, the risks should also be taken into careful consideration before you go ahead with the new diet. You should also talk to your vet about this big change and see what he has to say. He might even recommend some food labels to get you started.

The benefits of a raw food diet might outweigh the risks. However, these risks could eventually progress into more serious health conditions. More often than not, we take a while to catch something wrong with our pets. It takes a while for us to tell whether they’re hurting or suffering internally. They can’t communicate directly to us and we’re not experts at animal language so their pain could become severe until we notice that something is wrong.


Choosing Between Grain vs. Grain Free Pet Food

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For most of us, our pets are a vital part of our daily lives. We love them to bits and we only want the best for them. We’ve all heard the saying, “We are what we eat.” The same can be said about our beloved pets. What we feed them influence how they grow into adults. Their diet is a very vital part of their livelihood. That’s why it’s of utmost importance to pick the right food for them.

Is grain-free food really the right option for your pet? Let’s see what experts have to say.
Since all pets were once carnivores and predators, their primary source of nutrition was protein. That’s why it’s so natural for our furry friends to prefer meat over other foods. Dry pellets tend to contain a lot of nutrition for our pets, they also tend to contain a lot of grain foods. While dry foods are more convenient when it comes to storing and feeding, it doesn’t contain nearly as good quality ingredients as grain-free foods.

Grain-free foods have protein based ingredients like real beef, chicken, eggs, salmon, and other healthy protein sources. These ingredients are much better for your pets’ growth and development in comparison to the ingredients that are found in dry foods. Because of its composition, grain-free foods also tend to keep pets fuller for longer, meaning there are lesser chances of obesity – a serious problem on the rise.

Switching your pet’s diet from grain to grain-free food can also help with alleviating food allergies. Consult your vet before making any major changes to your pet’s diet.

How about pet foods that contain grain?
These can’t be ruled out just yet. They do have their benefits. Dogs are able to digest grains and starches. In fact, most of our pets also need grains to balance out their diet. Good grains are healthy. But these are also a rather expensive option up front. Most pet food manufacturers use fillers to make up for the protein based ingredients that they lack. So instead of feeding your pet a nutritious and balanced meal, he’d be ingesting a lot of food that has no specific nutritional value and just empty calories.

Grain based foods are not bad for your animals, just be sure of the quality before you buy it. Ask your vet for advice. If your pet is suffering from conditions such as obesity, diabetes, or gastrointestinal problems, it’s safe to sit down with your vet in order to come up with a feasible diet plan that your pet can stick to. Blindly changing his diet without talking to a professional often does more harm than good.


How Well do You Know Your Cat’s Personality?

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Cats are really hard to read, but we try our best. How well do you think you know your cat? Is she shy or more extroverted? Is she greedy? Playful? Jealous? Cautious or more on the impulsive side? It’s hard to know all this when she’s closed off and napping most of the time. You cat could have one of five personality types.

Personality types:
The University of South Australia recently did a study which identified 5 distinct types of cat personalities. They analyzed 3,000 cats to come up with these results. So it’s safe to say that the study was a success. Here are the 5 distinct personality types that our cat could have.

  1. Skittish
  2. Outgoing
  3. Dominant
  4. Spontaneous
  5. Friendly

This has a lot of relevance when it comes to our cats and how we can properly care for them. So let’s take a deeper look to get a more thorough understanding.

  1. Skittish cats
    These cats are highly strung and could get overly anxious. They hate change and usually go hide in their safe space when there’s a human in the house that they don’t recognize. Help these cats out by giving them plenty of holes or safe spaces where they could retreat to, to regroup and calm down. Forcing them to face their fears one on one could only traumatize them further so give them space. They avoid situations that seem frightening and potentially dangerous and that’s their way of life. No point trying to change it.
  2. Outgoing cats
    Nosy can sometimes be a better word to describe these inquisitive creatures. These cats love to investigate and explore their surroundings. They even find themselves in trouble sometimes by going places they have no business being.

    The outgoing cats need a lot of mental stimulation to keep them occupied. If they get bored, they tend to resort to destructive behavior to get attention. They end up scratching your precious furniture or even soiling the carpets.

  3. Dominant cats
    These cats don’t know what sharing is. They tend to hog all the attention and can’t tolerate other pets or people for that matter. They want their own food and water bowls, and litter boxes. If you have a multi-cat household, make sure you provide enough litter boxes and food bowls for each cat. Space them far away from each other so that your dominant kitty can’t be in all the places at once to hog them.
  4. Spontaneous cats
    These cats tend to act erratically from time to time. They have a lot of energy and anxiety issues. It’s as though they haven’t yet learnt how to cope with life so they run from unfamiliar situations and ask questions later. Have set routines. Having a routine calms these cats down.
  5. Friendly cats
    These cats are really hard to find. She’s the friendly, head bunting, curl up against your leg kind of cat. They have good social skills and low anxiety levels. These cats are pretty content with their home life.


Do You Know Why Your Pet is Overweight?

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In today’s day and age, more and more pets are becoming obese. Yes, it’s not just a human problem. Food can take its toll on our pets too. You might be wondering why your cat is suddenly looking a bit heavier. It’s hard for us to say no to our beloved pets. With their adorable faces and cute eyes, they almost always win us over. Even when it comes to ‘one last treat’. People give their pets more treats and food from time to time because they think it makes the pets happier. Don’t be fooled though. Your pet isn’t happy if he or she is obese.

How does obesity affect your pet?

Obesity can have adverse effects on your pet’s emotional and physical wellbeing. There are numerous medical conditions that are tied to obesity. Your dog could develop conditions that range from osteoarthritis to diabetes. Obesity can also have dire effects on your pet’s emotional wellbeing. They have worse scores in quality of life, vitality, emotional disturbance, and overall pain.

How does your pet become overweight?

  1. When you show your love through treats.
    Your pet obviously loves the occasional treat but be careful, don’t make it a habit. We fall for those eyes every time and just end up giving them more treats. Try to not express your love through treats. Limit the treats to special occasions like when your dog has done something especially impressive. Be stricter with yourself. Know when to say no.
  2. Lack of exercise.
    When you’re working late and have no time to play with your cat or take your dog on a walk, guess what’s happening to their bodies. That’s right, with no physical exercise to burn all those calories, your pets start putting on weight. Just like humans, our animals also need physical exercise to keep those pesky calories off. Take at least an hour a day to do something physical with your pet. Not only will this benefit them, it will also give you a chance to unwind after a long day.

Should you change your pet’s diet?

In order to prevent your pet from putting on even more weight, you need to tell when you need to change your pet’s diet. Here are a few tips you could use.

  1. Check their ribs.
    Spread your hands across your pet’s ribcage. If you can still feel his ribs, then your pet doesn’t need a diet change.
  2. Check his profile.
    Get low and level with your pet. If their abdomen is tucked behind his rib cage, then your pet’s in the clear.
  3. Check how they look overhead.
    See if you can find a waist behind your pet’s ribs. Just like humans, if your pet is still at a healthy weight, you should be able to see their ribs.

If you’re still unsure of whether your pet is obese or not, talk to your vet. He will also be able to prescribe some modes of treatment and help with the diet change.


How Understanding Animal Psychology can lead to Better Pet Care

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Understanding our animals is a big part in caring for them. Unlike humans, they can’t use speech or language to communicate their thoughts so it’s up to us to decipher what they’re trying to tell us through the things they do and the way they act in general. In order to keep our pooches and our kitties in good health, we have to be able to read the subtle signs and little noises that they make.

We already know that cats are very different from dogs. While dogs are more playful and express their love for their owners freely, their feline friends tend to be more on the introverted side. They don’t tend to give their love freely and it would seem as though we kind of have to earn it. Cats and dogs are very different not just in behavioral terms, but also in physiological terms. Cats are obligate carnivores which means that they need to have a different, more specific diet than dogs do. Dogs pick up on and follow commands more easily than cats do. They’re more welcoming of change and aren’t uneasy around people they don’t know.

If you have guests over, you’ll realize that your dog would greet your guests, tail wagging, as soon as he sees that there’s no danger and that they’re just friends. Your cat on the other hand, retreats to her corner and watches from a safe distance, only interacting when she sees fit.

The connection between animal welfare and understanding animal behavior

Simply put, we’d do much better understanding our beloved pets if we had a better idea of what was going through their heads. In today’s society, there is a lot of importance that’s given to the research into animal psychology. U.S Law requires that your animals are not just healthy, but that they’re also happy. They require your pets to be of good psychological health. Taking care of our animals without the proper knowledge is nearly impossible. Sure, you could read signs and cues here and there but how far can you get?

Animal behavior researchers are learning more and more about animal behavior and psychology by looking at results from both fields as well as labs, to better understand how the minds of our furry little friends work.

Animal welfare is already an industry that is prosperous and pretty advanced. More advancements in animal welfare will only arrive when more input has been given on the psychological front by researchers and specialists assigned to this case. We all love our pets, no doubt in that. But to care for them more thoroughly, we have to have all the behavioral information as well.