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PET HAPPENINGS January 2013


F.A.Q. (Funniest Asked Questions) at the Moab BARKery
by Kaye Davis

We get asked a lot of questions about pets by their owners. Below is a sample of some of the funnier or stranger questions we have been asked and their answers.

pointing ChihuahuaWhy does my Chihuahua point and shake?

First of all Chihuahuas do not point, they are terriers not pointers (pointers: dogs that indicate the location of recently shot game for hunters by pointing their body and often front leg toward the game so it can be retrieved). The reason Chihuahuas lift their front leg in this manner is to indicate that they are unsure or uneasy with a situation. They will shake because they are nervous, upset, and cold, excited or have excess energy.

Why does my dog roll in poop and dead stuff?
I can speak from personal experience that Hounds will often do this. It is their way of taking the smell home to show their pack. They think the smell of poop or a corpse (even as small as a worm for my dogs) is exciting, so by rolling in it they can collect a sample to show their friends. They don’t do it to mask their own smell, because animals that hunt usually do so from a downwind attack angle. After all, if your clothes smell of BO and you spray perfume on yourself to mask it; you just end up smelling of BO and perfume. Animals have a more acute sense of smell than humans and can smell through it. image of a Pointer dogThis is also why dogs often roll in something and run straight back to their owner – much to our disgust!

Is my dog gay?
Dogs, and for that matter, cats and birds and many other creatures, occasionally display seemingly homosexual behavior by mounting one another, appearing to pair off, even nesting and raising young together. However when it comes to the animal kingdom, language used to describe human preferences and behavior, like gay and homosexual do not apply. There are a number of possible reasons that your dog keeps trying to do that to the neighbors’ dog. It could be anythingfrom a harmless social interaction, practicing or demonstrating dominance over another dog, or just plain being aggressive. At the end of the day dogs will be dogs: they are our butt-sniffing, waste-eating, genital-licking best friends.
humorous graphic of a dog farting
Why does my dog have wicked farts?
Although most dogs seem to enjoy the smell of human flatulence, the reverse is rarely true. Dogs suffering from excessive flatulence can quickly pollute the air quality in a room. Although not harmful to human health, the smell is often horrific and can create some embarrassing moments, especially when guests are around.

The most common causes of bad flatulence in dogs include;
— Eating too fast and/or too much– when dogs eat too fast, swallowed air makes it to the intestines very quickly and in a more concentrated quantity. When dogs are fed too much, their entire digestive and gastrointestinal system has to work over time to accommodate a meal larger than it can deal with and creates excess gas.

—The natural process of producing the gas through food digestion and absorption within the digestive and eliminatory tracts.

— Eating foods that are known to cause flatulence (beans, cauliflower, grains).

— Eating a poor quality dog food – poor quality dog foods use a lot of fillers like corn, wheat, soy, sorghum and millet, these all ferment in the dog’s stomach and digestive tract causing gas. Consider for a moment that these grains are also the primary diet of feed-lot cattle.

So how can you cure your dog of those wicked farts?
— Feed your dog less and smaller meals – dog food bags always have feeding guidelines on them, read them, follow them and measure your dog’s food. If you do this you may notice that you are saving money because you are not wasting food over-feeding your dog and your dog may even lose weight. Instead of feeding your dog a single portion of food a day, divide the daily ration into smaller portions and feed them more frequently.

— Exercise the dog more frequently to stimulate their intestines.

— Choose a premium brand of dog food that is highly digestible – at minimum your dog’s food should have no wheat, corn, soy or sorghum. Some dogs may need to have all grains eliminated from their diet to reduce flatulence. If this is the case, be patient, any irritant to a dog’s digestive system can take up to 6 weeks to subside and so give it time to work before you decide if it is improving.

— Use probiotics and enzymes. Probiotics are essential to every healthy digestive system, by supplementing your dog’s food you help to increase the levels of beneficial bacteria that crowd out bad bacteria and restore the normal balance of micro flora. The result is a cleaner and more efficient digestive system.


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To see past articles about animals, pets and their care check our archives.

 
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