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Ask A Vet With Dr. Jennifer Lu On Cats And Excessive Licking

Filed under: Q&AHealthPetsCat

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Cats are divas and divas need to look GORGEOUS at all times.

But what if your cat goes a little cuckoo and keeps licking itself?

A cat owner has that predicament:

My cat has licked all the hair off the places she can reach - tail, back legs, belly, etc. Over the months that it escalated we moved, she started getting to go outside, we got a second cat who tortures her, and she was put on a strict diet.

So is it allergies, anxiety, or something else? Why is she going crazy with the licking?

Thankfully, ASPCA's Dr. Jennifer Lu is on the case!

Here's what she has to say on a kitty's loco licking:

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Ask A Vet With Dr. Jennifer Lu On Renting With A Pet

Filed under: Q&APetsDogCat

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Many of us face this fear….renting an apartment with a pet!

Luckily, ASPCA's Dr. Jennifer Lu has the PURRfect advice for renters in a squeeze!

She writes:

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Ask A Vet With Dr. Jeannine Berger On Keeping Your Dog Occupied When You're Away

Filed under: Q&ADog

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Sometimes, even though it hurts, we have to leave our puppy or dog alone while tend to life outside the home.

For one Teddyhilton.com reader, keeping a dog busy can be tough.

The reader writes:

What's the best way to keep my pooch occupied calm when I go to work?

Luckily, we've got the answer!

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Ask A Vet With Dr.Jeannine Berger On Cat Pee Problems

Filed under: Q&ACatTips

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We have a new Ask a Vet from the SF SPCA at 7×7.com.

We also have a new vet answering questions!

Meet Dr. Jeannine Berger, DVM, DACVB!

Ask a Vet describes her as a:

"[…] board certified veterinary behaviorist who counsels guardians whose pets’ issues are beyond the scope of training. Think of her as a pet shrink…at your service."

So a person with a pretty tough (and gross) pets issue wrote in and asked:

"If I leave dirty laundry around my cat will pee on it. Is she mad at me for not cleaning up or not doing my laundry?"

Dr. Jeannine responded:

Don’t worry, your cat is not making commentary on your housekeeping skills. Although it seems like a condemnation, what’s actually happening is that your cat thinks that the laundry basket is a perfectly fine litter box. If the real litter box is not just as your cat likes it, or where your cat likes it, your clothes might just be the perfect litter box alternative.

That being said, if your cat squats to relieve herself anywhere other than the litter box, your first stop should always be the vet’s office to rule out a urinary infection or other medical reasons. If that is ruled out, review some of the litter box guidelines.

- Are there enough boxes? The magic number is one box per cat in the household, plus one extra.
- Offer different types of litter to find your cats preferred litter: Clumping, non-clumping, sand, clay, etc. If your cat is using soft surfaces such as laundry, chances are your litter is too coarse or too shallow. Use a fine granulated type of litter to the surface is soft and deep, similar to laundry.
- Always keep the litter box clean- the box might be dirty and the laundry basket is the only “clean alternative”….scoop daily.
- Use mild dishwashing liquid to wash the box weekly.
- Place the litter box in the same room where your cat is eliminating outside the box.
- If you have a multi-story house, have litter boxes on each level.
- And please don’t place litter box next to food and water.

Troubleshooting Litter Box Problems
1. Always begin by consulting your veterinarian to rule out medical causes.
2. Check all the above guidelines.
3. VERY IMPORTANT: Do not punish your cat for going outside the litter box as this will most definitely not solve the problem.

So follow this easy and simple tips if you've got a kitty with pee pee problems!

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Ask A Vet With Dr. Jennifer Scarlett On Doggy Pee Problems

Filed under: HealthDogTips

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Here we have another 'Ask a Vet from the SF SPCA' with Dr. Jennifer Scarlett.

Some of us find that our dogs can be… "prissy" at times. Like refusing to go out in the rain. Someone with that exact problem wrote into Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, asking:

My one year old Havanese hates the rain. When it is raining he refuses to go outside, if you force him to he will not do his business. He waits to come back in and does it in the house. What can I do?

Dr. Jennifer responded:

Well, the driest place on earth is the Atacama desert but that’s no place for a dog.

We have a couple of options, but without question, forcing him to go outside will backfire. If your guy isn’t enthusiastic about going outside in inclimate weather, you may want to throw in the towel and go for indoor potty training, or at least offer a better option than the living room carpet.

You can find puppy pads at any pet store. They are basically flat diapers. There are also some fake grass options. If that doesn’t sound like a good plan, you’ll need to dedicate some time to train your pup’s opinion of a downpour. You’ll want to go with positive reinforcement training. So stock up on yummy treats and pick your cue word.

For example, let’s say “bidness” is your cue word. Every time you say it your dog gets a treat.

Then say it ever time you go outside—Let’s do bidness!—treat and happiness. Ideally you would start this training when the sun is shining but we can still get a lot of good work done now.

Remember, don’t force. The more cruddy experiences your dog has (being forced, pulled or unwillingly carried), the more stubborn the behavior will become. Also, if there’s any way to make a little shelter outside for your dog, that’d help—even a little tarp or tent will help on those downpour days.

Jennifer Scarlett, DVM
Co-President
The San Francisco SPCA

So remember, it's all about positive reinforcement.

Stay positive, and the pup will pee!

[Image via JDH/JCP/WENN.]

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