adjusting?

Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. No, it is recommended to keep the cats strictly inside for 2 weeks before you start letting them out.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

The answer is a resounding yes. Cats and dogs can share the same space. While they won`t always be best friends, they can learn to tolerate each other. If you`re planning to introduce a cat to a dog or a dog to a cat, we have a few tips that can help.
If a dog attempts to aggressively chase, pin, pick up or otherwise “manhandle” any cat, it is best to not even consider getting a cat — or at least to proceed with caution. Additionally, a dog who growls, lunges at or obsessively barks at a cat would probably do best in a cat-free environment.
While there are some parings that work out in days, in some rare cases, it never works out. Liz Palika noted that, in her experience, the “get acquainted” process usually takes two to three weeks. Dr. Landsberg noted that sometimes it`s not easy to tell by their interactions if a dog and cat are getting along or not.
Even when pets are spayed or neutered, opposite-sex animals tend to get along better than those of the same sex. Are you bringing a dog into your older cat`s happy home? A cat and a dog can absolutely be best friends, but you have to help them build a relationship slowly and carefully.
They`re enough to show that the categories “dog person” and “cat person”, contrary to popular opinion, are not mutually exclusive. They might also suggest that people who prefer dogs are more predisposed to liking cats, while primary cat-lovers aren`t so willing to accept dogs so readily.
You can start by securing your puppy with a leash so that he can`t get at your cat, and have a friend bring your cat into the room. The goal is to reward your pup for exhibiting good, calm behaviors such as sitting still, lying down and showing disinterest in the cat.
People often notice problems or behavior changes during or after moving to new home. Your dog may start showing destructive or attention seeking behaviors such as chewing, digging, barking, or even going to the bathroom in your house, something they haven`t done since they were a puppy!
Sometimes a cat and a dog will become instant friends, often they will develop a tolerance of each other over many years and occasionally they can`t even be in the same room together. Just like with kids, sometimes a little bit of coaxing and a touch of manipulation is all that is needed to help them make friends.
If your dog has a strong prey drive (the inclination to seek out, chase, and potentially capture animals seen as prey), they might become very focused on the cat. The dog will stiffen, stare, and possibly bark or whine. If you see these signs, do not let your dog near the cat.
There are many reasons your cat might be hissing at your dog. In general, cats do not like confrontation with other animals, and hissing is a way to tell a possible aggressor to keep their distance. Hissing between dogs and cats can also be a territorial behavior when a new cat or dog is introduced to the family.
Will my dog ever stop chasing my cat? If after all your hard work and training, your dog still persists in chasing after your cat, continue to work on their recall, and reward them as soon as they obey. In time, they will learn the behaviour of leaving the cat alone and stop chasing after them.
Having a dog and cat that peacefully coexist under the same roof is possible, but it does require a bit of a time commitment. There`s no guarantee your cat and dog will get along with each other, but gradually introducing them and giving both of your animals equal amounts of attention can help.
In the most general terms, though, the best strategy would be to adopt first a middle-aged, well-mannered dog who shows little interest in cats, and then a kitten who has been raised in a household with friendly or indifferent dogs around.
First of all, despite what you may have heard or read, cats and dogs can get along. In fact, not only can they co-exist in the same environment, it`s actually not unusual for them to become friends.
Research has shown that “cat people” tend to be more intelligent than “dog people.” On top of that, the study found the pro-cat camp tends to be more creative, independent, and rebellious. However, the science suggests it isn`t all negative for dog lovers – and not all positive for feline folks either.
Cat lovers are generally more sensitive and intuitive, and may be more likely to prioritize their own needs and well-being over the needs of others. On the other hand, dog lovers tend to be more extroverted and outgoing.
The reality is that some dogs will never be able to coexist happily with cats. With the right planning and a lot of patience, however, it is absolutely possible to teach some dogs to tolerate, or even become buddies with cats.
You will know when it is time to remove the leash and begin short supervised sessions. Never leave a kitten under 4 months of age alone with a dog. There have been instances of dogs killing kittens when they were merely trying to play.
Cats and dogs are much more likely to fight or be unhappy if you try to force them together suddenly. Keep them in separate rooms and out of sight of one another until they are both calm. Begin mixing the animals smells by stroking the cat then stroking the dog and vice versa (with pets in separate rooms).
You may want to keep your dog on-leash and with you whenever your cat is free in the house during the introduction process. Be sure that your cat has an escape route and a place to hide. Keep your dog and cat separated when you aren`t home until you`re certain your cat will be safe.
Use Boundaries. In addition to having designated and consistent spaces where pets go to eat, don`t be afraid to create physical boundaries between them during meals. An easy way to do this is to feed pets in different rooms of your home and close doors while they`re eating.
But a move with dogs can be downright traumatic — for you and for your dog. “Pets don`t really understand what`s happening, and it`s up to us to make them comfortable,” says Julie Hansen, a veterinarian and chair of veterinary technology at Argosy University in Eagan, Minn.
Dog depressed after moving

There are cases of vets actually telling people they`re dogs are depressed after moving. Dogs might stop eating and even vomit up food. In fact, this behaviour is common among newly rescued dogs, when they first arrive at foster homes.

Cat-dog relationships can take weeks to fully develop. Whether it`s new to the household or a longtime family member, a cat needs access to a dog-free sanctuary before they ever meet. Cat-dog relationships can take weeks to fully develop, which makes it a good idea to give your cat a safe place of their own.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. Why do cats meow?
ANSWER : A. Cat parents often wish they could better understand what their favorite feline friends want or desire. A cat’s meow can be interpreted in many different ways and can indicate an array of feelings and needs. Here are some of the most common reasons for your cat’s vocalizations:

1. Greeting- Many cats will meow as a greeting when you enter your home or walk into a room. Cats will also meow at another cat or animal in the household to extend a hello and acknowledge the other animal’s presence.

2. Attention – An exuberant meow followed by leg rubbing or another attention seeking behavior may indicate your cat is looking for some quality time spent together. Some petting or rubbing behind the ears may be in order.

3. Hunger – A meowing cat is often a hungry cat. This is one of the most common reasons for a cat to vocalize to their owners. A cat will meow to get your attention at feeding times or even when they want extra food.

4. Sickness – A sick or hurt cat may begin to meow excessively, warranting a visit to the veterinarian. There are numerous reasons for a cat in distress to meow—whether it is related to an upset stomach, an injured leg or a urinary blockage. These meows should be carefully investigated.

5. Entering or leaving – Most cats will vocalize when they want to be let in or out of a room. You may notice when you are in the bathroom or behind the closed door of a room that your cat begins to meow, scratches at the door, and often reaches its paw under the door. This is a clear indication that the cat wants to be where you are.

6. Angry – An agitated cat may meow to warn their owner or another household pet that they are upset and would like to be left alone. This angry meow may increase in sound volume as the cat becomes more stressed or agitated. Often a cat will exhibit this type of meow at the veterinary office when they are unhappy with their examination or restraint.

Each feline is different and so are their vocalizations. Learn to understand the variety of meows your cat uses on a daily basis. This will help you develop a better relationship with your cat and help them live a more trusting and happier life.

Q. My cat is pooping outside of the litter bix. He is 2 1/2. He did this as a kitten. It stopped then started about 3 months ago. Litterbox is clean.
ANSWER : A. Inappropriate elimination or house soiling can be a frustrating problem but with a bit of detective work on your part, there is hope. First, before deciding that this is a behavioral issue, any medical problems (diarrhea, constipation, fecal incontinence, pain on defecation, etc.) need to be ruled out and/or treated. If your cat receives a clean bill of health from your vet but is still eliminating outside the litterbox, then we need to consider that something about the box itself might be aversive to your cat. Cats can be quite finicky about their litterbox and toileting habits. Below I have listed common recommendations and cat preferences for litterbox use. Review the list and make any changes that could account for your cat’s aversion to defecating in the litterbox:
* Soft, fine-grained clumping litter (vs, coarse-grained, non-clumping litter)
* Unscented
* 1 – 1 1/2 inch depth (especially older cats or cats with hip problems)
* Larger pans (especially for large cats) – want to get whole body inside – poop just outside the box might mean the box is too small
* Open, non-hooded
* At least one shallow side to get in and out easily
* Easy to get to – not hidden away, preferably in areas they spend time in or near – and not near appliances that make scary, unpredictable noises (washers, dryers, refrigerators)
* Scoop minimum 1X/day – preferably 2
* Clean the litterbox with soap and water and put in fresh scoopable litter at least once/month (instead of just continuously adding)
* Some cats prefer to urinate in one box and defecate in a separate box, so you may need 2 boxes even if you just have 1 cat. Multi-cat households should have 1 box/cat plus 1 extra.

Q. Rescued a dog almost two weeks ago, and now that her kennel cough is gone her personality shines!! No previous training, how should I start?
ANSWER : A. POST FOUR:

After your dog is familiar with the behavior you lured from scratch, and taught to your dog, you can start to use the “no-reward marker” I talked about. What you do is ask the dog to perform the behavior, and if the dog does not perform the behavior, you simply say your no-reward marker (choose one: eh-eh, hey, uh-oh, oops) show them the treat, put it behind your back, and BRIEFLY ignore your dog. Just turn your back for a second or two, before turning back to your dog and saying, “let’s try that again.” When you’re ready to start over with your dog, make sure you move around. If you are repeating the same cue while in the same position, while your dog is in the same position, you are likely to receive the same results. The more you move around, and start fresh, the better your chances are of having your dog listen to your cue the second time around. BIG rewards when they dog it successfully! Lots of praise and treats.

My no-reward marker is “hey.” When my dog does something wrong I say, “hey” and she immediately understands that she needs to offer a different behavior. This is clear to her. I don’t have to say it in a mean way, I simply say, “hey” in a normal tone of voice and she understands what the word means.

Once you’ve built up that connection and communication with your new dog, you can work on all kinds of fun behaviors! I personally enjoy the more zen-like behaviors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruy9UMcuGh8

I like to teach my dog fun tricks that offer her a “job” to do of sorts like object retrieval: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4iertZSva8

(object retrieval training completed; what it looks like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jx0Dml28FGY)

Scent-games are fun too! Very confidence building. Hide a REALLY smelly treat in a box, and place that box in a line of boxes. Let your dog go in the room while saying something like “search!” or “find it!” and watch them hunt for that smelly treat! Lots of rewards when they find it!

Q. Want a pet cat companion for my dog Lucky, who is 5. The problem is that I’m somewhat alergic to cats. So, not sure what to do!
ANSWER : A. Dogs can make friends with lots of species, including cats! If you are heart-set on a cat, allergenic breeds are available such as hairless or lesser haired Sphinx and Devon-Rexes. However these breeds can be rare and hard to find at times. A short-haired cat that is brushed regularly may also cause less allergies. Many people with allergies are also able to take medications such as a daily allergy medication or spray like Nasocrom which can make living with a cat much easier.

If your dog is very friendly with other dogs, then getting him a dog friend may be an option! That would keep you from needing to get a cat and having an allergic reaction. Looking at your local animal shelter may help you to find a dog for adoption that is similar in personality and play style to your current dog. Many shelters will also let you introduce your dog to the one you are interested in adopting to see if they will be a good fit! If you can’t get another pet at this time, taking your dog to a local dog park or dog meetup can help him to get more social interaction and get out extra energy without the need for caring for another pet.

Q. How do I determine how much my overweight pet should weigh?
ANSWER : A. There are many tools to determine overweight and obesity levels in pets. A new tool, morphometric measurements and body fat index, are available to accurately determine a pet’s ideal weight; this will allow an accurate determination of the amount of food a pet should receive to achieve weight loss. Feeding the correct amount will lead to greater weight loss success.

There are many weight loss food options to help pets reach their ideal weight. Your veterinarian can help make a ideal weight recommendation. Here are some tips to help your dog lose weight in a healthy and safe way:

1. Diet: Providing a healthy and well balanced diet is essential to your pet’s overall health. Finding the right food for your dog can be a challenging process. For those overweight animals many commercial dog companies offer weight loss diets, but it is important to evaluate food labels for adequate nutritional content.

You want to ensure you are not missing other essential vitamin or mineral content. Volume of food is also important and the amount of food that works for one breed of dog may not be the same for another breed of dog. Portion control as opposed to free-choice feeding can help your dog to drop a few unnecessary pounds.

There are also prescription weight loss foods designed by veterinary nutritionists, such as Hill’s r/d (http://bit.ly/1AoENSd). Some pet owners find that home cooking is the best option for helping to provide a well-balanced and realistic diet plan. There are websites such as balanceit.com that offers recipes to fit your dog’s specific needs. Consulting with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to find the appropriate diet is a great way to help your dog be as healthy as possible.

2. Exercise: Another great tactic for weight loss for your dog is exercise. Whether this is through running, walking or playing with a favorite toy all of these are wonderful types of exercise to help keep your dog at a lean and healthy weight.

For those pet owners with busy schedules utilizing professional dog walking services or playtime through dog daycare services is another option. It has been shown that those pet owners that exercise regularly with their pets generally live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Physical therapy: As animals age pet owners offer encounter their favorite canine having more difficulty walking and have a dwindling desire to play with toys. Physical therapy, specifically hydrotherapy is a wonderful way to help older and arthritic animals gain more mobility and lose weight. Hydrotherapy has been proven to have several therapeutic effects on the body including, muscle strengthening, relief of swelling, decreased joint pain, less stiffness in limbs, improved circulation, weight loss, and increased tissue healing to name a few. For more information on the benefits of hydrotherapy:
http://bit.ly/1w1qqoy

4. Veterinary visit and blood work: Weight gain can also be related to underlying health concerns such as hypothyroidism or other endocrine disorders. Scheduling a veterinary evaluation and routine blood work can be another important component in increasing the longevity of your dog’s life. Conditions such as hypothyroidism that predispose dogs to gain weight can be treated with a daily medication to improve hormonal balance. If feel that your dog is unnecessarily overweight there can be an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.

5. Healthy treats: Pet owners love the chance to reward their favorite canine companion with treats and most dogs jump at the chance to consume these delicious products. The problem is many treats, which can include commercial dog treats or table scrapes can add many unnecessary calories to your dog’s daily intake. Reading labels and making note of the calories in these treats is an important component of understanding your dog’s overall health. Treats should not exceed more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily calories. There are healthier treats that can be offered to your pet to keep calories lower yet provide a fuller sensation. A pet owner can add steamed or pureed vegetables, such as carrots, green beans or sweet potato to add more fiber and thus a fuller feeling for your dog.

Q. Whenever I take my dog on walks he always barks at people and others dogs in my neighborhood. What should I do to resolve the problem
ANSWER : A. The very first thing to do is to make sure your dog is getting sufficient physical and mental exercise every day. A tired dog is a good, happy dog and one who is less likely to bark from boredom or frustration. Depending on his breed, age, and health, your dog may require several long walks as well as a good game of chasing the ball and playing with some interactive toys.

Figure out what he gets out of barking and remove it. Don’t give your dog the opportunity to continue the barking behavior.

Ignore your dog’s barking for as long as it takes him to stop. That means don’t give him attention at all while he’s barking. Your attention only rewards him for being noisy. Don’t talk to, don’t touch, or even look at him. When he finally quiets, even to take a breath, reward him with a treat. To be successful with this method, you must wait as long as it takes for him to stop barking. Yelling at him is the equivalent of barking with him.

Get your dog accustomed to whatever causes him to bark. Start with whatever makes him bark at a distance. It must be far enough away that he doesn’t bark when he sees it. Feed him lots of good treats. Move the stimulus a little closer (perhaps as little as a few inches or a few feet to start) and feed treats. If the stimulus moves out of sight, stop giving your dog treats. You want your dog to learn that the appearance of the stimulus leads to good things.

Teach your dog the ‘quiet’ command. Oddly, the first step is to teach your dog to bark on command. Give your dog the command to “speak,” wait for him to bark two or three times, and then stick a tasty treat in front of his nose. When he stops barking to sniff the treat, praise him and give him the treat. Repeat until he starts barking as soon as you say “speak.” Once your dog can reliably bark on command, teach him the “quiet” command. In a calm environment with no distractions, tell him to “speak.” When he starts barking, say “quiet” and stick a treat in front of his nose. Praise him for being quiet and give him the treat.

As in all training, always end training on a good note, even if it is just for obeying something very simple, like the ‘sit’ command. If you dog regresses in training, go back to the last thing he did successfully and reinforce that before moving on again. Keep sessions short, 15-20 minutes max, and do this several times a day.

Q. My dog is house trained but has started pooping in the house, why is she doing that?
ANSWER : A. It could be the type of food you are feeding. If you are feeding a lower quality kibble, it will be packed with fillers. These fillers will cause your dog to poop more than is necessary, and it can cause your dog to poop indoors because of the excess poop. Finding a higher quality kibble like Taste of the Wild, Orijen, or a high quality food like Ziwipeak, or Honest Kitchen, will help with that issue.

Remember to NEVER scold for accident indoors. The more you scold, the more fearful your dog is of pooping in front of you, the less your dog will want to poop in front of you outdoors, the more he will poop indoors, the more you scold… it’s a vicious cycle.

Have you been cleaning messes with Nature Miracle? Pick up a bottle, and try cleaning with that instead of regular cleaner. It will eliminate the smells deep down (even to your dog), which will discourage him from potting in that spot again.

Maybe he needs to be taken outside more often, and maybe he needs to be kept outside longer each time. He should be allowed at least 10 minutes of roaming outside before he has to come back inside. Allow him 10 minutes every single time you bring him outside, just in case he has to poop. He needs every opportunity you can give him. Bring him outside every hour if he’s full grown, every 40 minutes if he’s an adolescent (6-10 months), and every 30 minutes if he’s a puppy (2-6 months). If you have a doggy door, you should still be bringing your dog outside yourself to encourage him to stay outside longer, and poop. When he does poop outside, you should praise him, and reward him with lots of treats!

Q. How do I desensitize my dog to squirrels and stray cats in the neighborhood?
ANSWER : A. It depends on the goal that you have in mind. I am going to assume that you would prefer that your dog not chase squirrels or stray cats in the yard/street. In this case, your options include: (1) training your dog on a “Leave it ” cue using positive reinforcement methods, (2) training your dog not to pull on its leash when it sees a squirrel/stray cat, and (3) training your dog to perform a more desirable behavior when it sees a squirrel/cat.
Training your dog on a cued “leave it” command is useful because it will give you the ability to tell your dog to stay away from any number of undesirable objects on your command. Training your dog to perform a more desireable behavior when it sees a squirrel or cat will substitute a behavior you find acceptable (sitting, laying down, coming to the door, etc.) with a behavior you dislike. Your dog can still react, just in a positive way. If your dog pulls on the leash every time you see a squirrel/cat, training not to pull will make your walk safer and more pleasant.
The ideal training method to use with dogs, or any animal for that matter, is positive reinforcement training, particularly a method called “clicker- training.” The basic concept of positive reinforcement training is to pair a reward (reinforcement) with a behavior you want to increase in frequency. In other words, when your dog performs the behavior you desire, it receives an award, which reinforces the desired behavior so you get more of that behavior. There are many excellent books in stores or on-line that describe positive reinforcement training in detail and many give step-by-step instructions for training common commands like “leave it”. Look for books that specifically mention positive reinforcement training or clicker-training. You can also take dog training classes to learn the techniques, find a mentor who already uses clicker-training, or request a consult from one of the pet experts on this site to guide you.