If They’re Happy Would You Know It? Emotions in Pets

You know that absolute enthusiasm that your dog displays when you return home just has to be pure joy. And that woeful expression that you get when he has an accident on your new carpet? Obviously shame. A purring cat? That’s easy. Clearly she is happy. 

Do animals really experience emotions, though, or is our desire to anthropomorphize them taking over here? Brodie Animal Hospital believes that emotions in pets do exist, and science supports us, although their emotional experience is likely a bit different than our own.

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How to Stop Dogs From Digging

french bulldog in a yard

Do you have a digging dog on your hands? Canine behaviors such as digging up your flower bed or burying toys may be confounding (not to mention extremely annoying), but it usually all boils down to instinct. Once you know why they’re doing it you can help redirect them. 

Can we really stop dogs from digging? Absolutely!

Scratch the Surface

Dogs dig for entertainment, to cool down on a hot day, when hunting for small, burrowing prey, to escape, or to simply grab their owner’s attention. The important thing to remember is that dogs aren’t doing this to upset you, they simply cannot help it. 

Born This Way

Some dog breeds have been bred specifically to be good diggers. Terriers and Beagles know exactly how to find small prey beneath the ground, for instance. 

Also, working breeds that don’t have enough “work” to do may end up throwing themselves into the job of digging, among other things. 

Stop Dogs From Digging

It is really important to keep your dog as active as possible. When they are bored or idle they may take up this common canine behavior. Mental stimulation and strenuous physical exertion keeps a dog happy and healthy. 

Friends Forever

If your dog spends too much time alone without the company of other animal friends or people, they may look for an outlet in all the wrong places

Doggie day care, dog walkers, or pet sitters can provide extra opportunities for engagement when you’re working. When you are home, be sure to give your dog at least 2 walks a day, time playing with brain games, or take up agility or obedience training.

Hot Diggity Dogs

If your dog is obsessed with gophers, moles, and other burrowing animals, try to eliminate them from your property in a way that doesn’t expose your dog to dangerous poisons or traps. You might try specific fencing options to keep them out of an area just for your dog.

Harness the Potential

Since digging is a behavior that feeds their senses and answers canine instincts you might want to set up an area of your yard that is just for this purpose. Train your dog to only dig in the back corner, for instance, that isn’t visible from the house. Bury some of their toys there to make it a game.

Similarly, if your dog digs because of the weather be sure to provide extra cool places for them to relax in. Shade, cross-ventilation, and access to water is ideal. Breeds like Huskies or Malamutes dig in the snow to stay warm, and owners might see this breed carving out a burrow during the colder months.

Dogs Will Be Dogs

To stop dogs from digging try not to overreact or punish them as this can have the opposite result. Fill holes with water or position large rocks along the fenceline where they’ve dug previously. Place chicken wire or install fencing to redirect them. 

If you need extra help with behavioral training, please let us know. Our staff is always here for you at Brodie Animal Hospital

The Special Relationship Between You Makes Cat Care Worth It

Have you ever met an uninspired cat owner? Not likely. Of all the people out there devoted to their pets, those that are privileged to live among cats could easily rattle off a long list why their kitties are the absolute best. 

Without a doubt, cats are alluring and entertaining, dazzling us with their eyes, acrobatics and hunting skills. What’s more, when excellent cat care is in place they seem to show their appreciation with extra snuggles and head butts.  

Every Cat Is Unique

Veteran cat owners know that not all cats are equal. Some are chatty, while others like their alone time. Some go bananas for birds, others are content to play with catnip mice. Some cats are easily litter box trained, others struggle.

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Your Golden Oldie: Caring For Your Senior Pet

Are you the proud owner of a senior pet? It’s important to remember that while getting older isn’t optional, age is not a disease. Your senior pet may need a little more TLC than their younger counterparts, but they can still live an active, happy, and comfortable life for years to come. Your veterinarian can help make this happen. 

What is a Senior Pet?

Generally speaking, pets who have reached the age of 7 are considered senior, although this varies with breed and species. Your veterinarian can help you determine which life stages your pet has reached – one reason annual preventive care exams are so important. 

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A Leg Up: Puppy and Kitten Vaccines

Giving your puppy or kitten a great start in life depends on many things. Keeping your pet healthy and well for the long term will depend on the care they receive from you and from their healthcare team.

Developing a health and wellness plan with your veterinarian, which includes the proper puppy and kitten vaccines, is a wonderful place to begin.

Why A Series?

The veterinary community has always balanced the number of vaccines a pet needs using  lifestyle as a guide – breed, age, and where and how pets are active. So why do we still recommend a series of vaccines for puppies and kittens?

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Oooohh My Heart: Heartworm Disease in Pets

Even with our mild Texas winters, we can feel the spring fever blooming all over Austin. People are out and about, pets are enjoying the warm sunshine, and everyone is ready for play and fun. But one of the things that no one finds fun is the sudden explosion of mosquitoes!

Annoying for us, mosquitoes carry a parasite that can cause serious and even deadly disease for our pets. Heartworm disease may be something you’ve heard of, but may not know much about. Brodie Animal Hospital explains, here.

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The Importance of Preventive Care for Cats

If you own a cat (or they own you), you know how fiercely independent they can be. Indeed, their curiosity and independence are some of the characteristics we love best about them. But behind their unique personalities lies an important secret: it can be sometimes hard to know if your cat is healthy or not.

Although it may seem as if our cats can and do take care of themselves, in reality, cats need our attention and care in order to thrive. Never is the adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” more true than when considering preventive care for our pets. Preventing disease is not only easier on your cat, it is also easier on your wallet than treatment.

Here, Brodie Animal Hospital takes a look at the importance of preventive care for cats.

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Year-Round Pet Dental Health: Your Secret Weapon

PPet dental health is vital to overall pet healthet dental disease is one of the most common problems that dogs and cats face in their lifetimes. It has been shown that by the time they are 3 years of age, 85% of dogs and cats have some form of pet dental disease. This problem not only causes things we can easily notice, like bad breath, it also causes more subtle changes that may not be noticed until they are big issues.

Your team at Brodie Animal Hospital knows that pet dental health is one of the most important ways to give your furry friend good health and happiness.

Dental Disease Basics

Just as in people, bacteria causes plaque to form on the teeth and at the gum line. If left undisturbed, minerals in the saliva bond with plaque to form tartar within days. The bacteria that cling to this dental calculus can then work their way under the gum line and cause gingivitis. Continue…

Pet Wellness: The Key to Longevity

pet wellnessYour pet is a member of your family, and you strive to give them everything they need to be happy and healthy. Although we do our best to provide for our furry loved ones, the hustle and bustle of daily life can make it easy to put pet wellness on the back burner.

At Brodie Animal Hospital, we believe in taking a proactive approach to pet care. Learn how keeping an eye on pet wellness can help your pet live a longer, healthier, and sweeter life!

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