Animal Behavior Essentials: What You Need To Know

We all do it – observe our pet’s behavior and assume we know what they’re thinking. Sometimes we’re probably right, after all we know our pets better than anyone else. But because our furry friends are members of a different species, there are certain aspects of their behaviors that are bound to be lost in translation.

One of the most important things we’ve learned after caring for Charlotte area pets for more than 35 years is that, when it comes to animal behavior, knowledge is power. Understanding what your pet is trying to tell you is what every pet owner wants, and our animal behavior basics will get you started!

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5 Ways to Encourage Good Behavior in Dogs

Dogs are full of energy, enthusiasm, and curiosity. They are much like toddlers that way, in the sheer fact that they can get into mischief in the blink of an eye. 

Dogs (of all ages) are also a quick study on which behaviors earn rewards – like your attention. This is all well and good, if they are taught they are taught proper communication and manners. If not, though, these sneaky, and sometimes naughty, behaviors can win out.

There are plenty of ways you can encourage good behavior in dogs. Animal Medical Hospital and 24-Hour Urgent Care is here to tell you more!

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7 Puppy Behaviors You Shouldn’t Overlook (or Excuse)

Puppies may be quite clumsy at times, but they are actually incredibly skilled. They have the special abilities to leap into our hearts, cover us from head to know in puppy kisses, and make us wonder what life was like before their adoption and homecoming

Despite their scrumptious goodness, some puppies have terrible manners. They don’t mean to misbehave, they really just don’t know that there are alternatives to their fledgling canine instincts. Because most owners of young dogs are blinded by their cuteness, we’d like to weigh in on 7 puppy behaviors that can improve over time, and with the right methods.

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Keeping Pets Active Indoors and Out

You know the struggle… You finish a long day of work and all you want to do is crash on the couch and binge watch your favorite series. Exercise can go by the wayside  if we don’t remain loyal to what is best for our health. The same is true in keeping pets active. It’s easy to let those daily walks, runs, hikes, or backyard play get off track when you must be indoors or are too busy to think about it. 

Our pets need exercise and play in order to live a healthy life and to curb bad behavior. A bored pet can gain too much weight or display behaviors like chewing, digging, and anxiety. The team at Animal Medical Hospital & 24 Hour Urgent Care wants to help you keep your fur friend active now and throughout the year with some suggestions.

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Ignore the Bad, and Reinforce Good Dog Behavior 

It may seem counterintuitive, but the best way to get what you want is to ignore the things you don’t. This is true in so many aspects of life, but especially so in the world of dog ownership.

Without a doubt, getting to the root of dog behavior isn’t always as straightforward. And yet, there are multiple ways you can encourage positive dog behavior at home – and in public. 

They Can’t Help It (Most of the Time)

Dogs don’t always look for trouble, but they certainly find it from time to time. At the intersection of curiosity and opportunity, dogs might do things that go against our wishes. The trick is, though, that most of them don’t even realize they’re misbehaving.

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Making Changes to the Quality, Quantity and Location of Your Cat’s Litter Box 

Most cats aren’t shy about their attachments to certain routines. They dislike when their food is switched up, when meal times vary, and under no circumstances are they keen on going to the bathroom in strange places. Furthermore, don’t even attempt to throw curveballs at them regarding their preferred type of litter! 

Indeed, cats have very strong opinions about how their litter box looks, feels, and smells. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to transition them to a new normal, especially if the changes benefit the entire household.

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Sir Hurricane Barksalot: Stopping Destructive Pets 

If you have had a pet destroy your sneakers, obliterate your television remote, or shed your furniture, you aren’t alone. Animals, as endearing as they are, can be a bit inconsiderate.

Destructive pets can be a problem for your home and a danger to themselves. Thankfully there are some things that you can do to help curb chewing and other unwanted behavior.

Derailing Destructive Pets

When dealing with a destructive pet, it is important to realize that some of these behaviors may be perfectly normal. Dogs dig and chew, cats scratch, and nothing we do as humans is likely to change this. 

When we acknowledge these behaviors as somewhat normal, we can then provide an acceptable outlet for them. Consider:

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Cracking the Code: How to Read Your Dog’s Body Language 

Do you ever wonder what your pup’s thinking when they perk up their ears, or suddenly wag and stick up their tail when a new dog comes along? I think most dog owners agree that their pets are very expressive, but what they are thinking is still a mystery to most.

The team at Animal Medical Hospital & 24-Hour Urgent Care explored the body language of our canine friends, so that you can better understand their cues.

What Is Your Dog’s Body Language Saying

Understanding your pet’s body language helps when you are taking them out into the wide world. The outside is full of situations in which you can better know your pet and their response to stimuli, whether that’s an approaching stranger, the sound of a bird, or a friendly dog who wants to play.

Here are some basic examples of typical body language and what they mean.

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Dogs Who Eat Poop, and How to Keep Your Dog Out of the Litter Box

As much as we love our dogs, there are things they do that make us cringe. Raiding the bathroom trash can, rolling in dead animals, and licking their own backsides comes to mind. But nothing beats dogs who eat poop.

If you’ve been sitting calming on the couch, minding your own business, and been the recipient of a “litter box kiss” from your dog, just know you’re not alone. The somewhat common behavior of eating out of the litter box is one that – although high on the ick factor list – is not usually something to worry about. 

Keep reading as Animal Medical Hospital & 24 Hour Urgent Care breaks down the facts about dogs who eat poop.

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Dog Park Etiquette: The Basics

Summer may be winding down, but we still have plenty of nice weather left in Charlotte and plenty of time left to fit in more outdoor fun with your furry best friend. For many pet owners, dog parks offer a place for their pups to run free, socialize, and get their wiggles out. 

Just like in any other public space, there are rules of etiquette that should be observed in a dog park – both for you and your dog. Nobody wants to be that dog owner, so make sure you have a handle on proper dog park etiquette before you go.

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