Pet behaviour

Why do some dogs bark more than others?


Why do some dogs bark more than others is a question that plagues most dog owners, or neighbours of dog owners. Your dog is fine when you’re at home but the moment you go out, he barks non-stop. You know because your angry neighbour has told you. Or maybe your dog barks when there is […]



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Why old dogs and cats need new tricks


As medical science extends the lifespan of pets, age-related cognitive decline in cats and dogs is on the rise. Clinical signs associated with cognitive dysfunction include  disorientation, social interactions, sleep-wake cycle disturbances, house soiling, activity changes (apathy or aimless wandering) and increased anxiety. These are reported in almost half of dogs over the age of 10 […]



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Pigs as pets: think carefully before you adopt


Pigs as pets may seem like the best idea in the world when you’re confronted with a tiny pink bundle of snout and hooves just a few days old. But pigs are not the easiest animals to handle, says our veterinarian Dr Adri Rossouw, so consider very carefully the implications of pig ownership before adopting […]



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Why cats wee on your stuff


When cats wee on your furniture, bed or in the bath, there’s a very good reason. They’re trying to tell you something. Punishment won’t stop their behaviour; it’ll only make it worse. But understanding why cats wee in inappropriate places can help you change this unpleasant habit. One of the first things to figure out […]



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Cat flap training tips for cats who won’t budge


Cat flaps are brilliant for flat dwellers and people who don’t like to leave windows open for security reasons. But not all cats can get the hang of how to use them. American animal behaviourist Dr Sophia Yin has these training tips. Remember, that to train any pet to use a cat flap, patience and […]



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Why your dog licks your face


If your dog licks your face you might think it’s terribly cute; but others might hate the idea. Why do dogs do this, and is there anything you can do to stop it? Dog licks: it’s in their genes Blame evolution! Dog face licking has evolved from the wolf puppy behaviour of licking the mouths […]



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How to soothe an anxious dog


An anxious dog can be difficult to live with but there are things you can do to help calm him/her down. Before you try them though remember you’ll need to be patient, and that punishment never works to alleviate anxiety. In fact, it only makes it worse. Work patiently and kindly and you’ll be amazed […]



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Why children need pets


Children living with pets are emotionally, psychologically and possibly even physiologically better off than those living without. That’s the conclusion of a wealth of international studies, and personal accounts from parents. “Nothing less than alchemy is involved when animals and children get together, and the resulting magic has healing properties that work well,” wrote psychologist […]



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Litter tray misses: what your cat’s telling you


Litter tray misses can be frustrating and unpleasant for the cat owner who has to clean up after their cat but for the cat, it could be even worse. Messing outside the litter tray could be a cat’s call for help. Diabetes, early kidney failure, and other health problems can be the cause of your […]



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My cat is keeping me awake all night, what can I do?


‘Help, my cat is keeping me awake all night’ is a common refrain from cat owners. We’ve all experienced that persistent paw tapping in the early hours of the morning as our feline friend tries to wake us. Or the incessant meowing or knocking items off furniture to get attention. It’s infuriating, no matter how […]



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