If only our pets could tell us what makes them happy... it would stop it being such a guessing game! Luckily our in-house vet, Andrew Moore has pulled together some expert advice and tips on how to understand what our family fur really want from us. 

Watch to find out what's on this feisty feline's mind!

Sometimes, it's difficult to understand your pet's peeves. So to help you better understand your cat we've gathered some tips and facts you might want to know about feeding, cleaning, communicating and socialising with your pet.

Feeding

● Watch those treats! Obesity can lead to joint problems and even diabetes. Limit the treats and always measure food portions.
● Like us, cats don’t like stale food but it’s not just about taste. Stale food could harbour E-Coli or even Salmonella. Make sure canned food is never left out for more than an hour.
● Cats liking milk is a bit of a myth. Adult cats can actually become lactose intolerant so giving them milk may cause a stomach upset or diarrhoea. It’s best to avoid milk completely.

Communicating

● Cats give off subtle visual clues to their mood so watch out for dilated pupils, ears turned back and tail twitching or waving, which are all signs that Fluffy is not happy. Playtime should be fun so reading these signs will make sure you’re both enjoying yourselves.
● Try to avoid regular direct eye contact with your cat. They can actually find this threatening and it makes them more wary of you. You may have noticed they sit closer to the person who ignores them most, as this is where they feel safest!
● Cats rub against items in the home to lay their scent, this helps them feel safe and mark their territory. Modern cleaning means removing this scent from the cat’s environment, which can cause some anxiety and disorientation.

Socialising

● Tummy-rubbing whilst tempting, is not so enjoyable for some cats. It’s their most vulnerable area so they may protect it by biting or scratching. Go for a stroke of the head or a good scratch behind the ears and watch them purr.
● Cats have a reputation for being a bit lazy so it’s easy to forget they love to play. Schedule daily playtime and use toys that they can chase, hunt and catch.
● Be careful when introducing a new playmate. Cats see other cats as competition for food, toys, treats and attention.

Cleaning

● Cats wash themselves. So unless absolutely necessary, avoid stressing your cat out by trying to give them a bath - unless they’re really dirty or have suffered contamination they shouldn’t lick.
● Is your furniture suffering? Cutting a cat’s claws can make them feel powerless. Try introducing a scratching post to keep those talons in check and save your sofa.
● Kitty litter... If you think it smells bad, a cat’s sense of smell is 14 times stronger than ours! Clean solids out once a day and the whole tray weekly. This will stop them doing their business in other corners of the house.

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Watch this comedy canine speak up for all dog-kind!

Sometimes, it's difficult to understand your pet's peeves. So to help you better understand your dog we've gathered some tips and facts you might want to know about feeding, communicating, exercising and travelling with your pet.

 

Feeding

● Don’t give in to those puppy dog eyes! We know it can be hard to avoid giving them a treat when they’ve been good, but dogs love being active just as much. Show your love by going for an extra walk or a playing a game of fetch.
● Did you know some breeds, like Labradors, are really efficient at converting food to fat? So you need to be really careful about how much you feed them. Measure portion sizes so your dog only has the amount of food needed for their size.
● Stick to dog treats: dog’s bodies struggle to process human, sugary or fatty treats. In fact chocolate, even in small amounts, could be fatal.

Communicating

● Did you know some dogs can feel dominated by big hugs and it can cause them stress? Give them a good scratch behind the ears for a guaranteed happy pooch.
● Dogs understand us by recognising pitch and body language. When training, use simple words and obvious hand gestures so they understand what you’re asking of them.
● Don’t bark up the wrong tree! Shouting actually sounds like barking to a dog and will often make them bark even more. Try a calm and assertive voice to train your dog to understand when no means no.

Exercising

● A new walk means new sights, sounds and smells to Rover. Switch up your walking route for a happy dog.
● Cooped up dogs can get bored and stressed, which can cause them to chew furniture. Morning walks are a great way to keep your dog calm and relaxed for a peaceful day ahead.
● You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. Dogs need mental exercise too so challenge them by introducing new toys or creating a scavenger hunt using healthy dog treats.

How to make dog walks fun

Travelling

● When travelling, make a home away from home for them. Some dogs feel anxious when they’re in kennels but their familiar bed or favourite toy will help them settle.
● Dogs can get injured if they’re loose in the back of the car or boot. Secure them in a crate or with a doggy seatbelt and they’ll be safer and happier.
● We can’t stress enough that dogs should never be left in the car (even with a window open or on a cloudy day). Cars can heat up rapidly and dogs overheat quickly, which can be deadly. Plan your day and take them with you when you park up.

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