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Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. If you are trying to reduce her weight you will have to prevent all access to additional food; feed them separately and take up any food your dog has not ate

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

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

It may happen when she is on a diet, or when you don`t give her enough food. Or, she went hungry in the past and considers the dog`s food an opportunity to avoid starving again. So, ensuring that your cat always has enough food to eat can help to reduce the problem.
Don`t leave food out for your dog to graze on — take it back within 10 minutes if it hasn`t been eaten to help cement the idea of mealtimes. Use your dog`s kibble as treats, and only offer meals for short periods of time. This leaves your dog no choice but to eat their food and hopefully get used to it.
You`re Feeding Low-Quality Food

Low-quality dog food can absolutely cause weight gain, according to Dr.

Why does your cat want you to watch her eat? According to Dr. Koski, some cats prefer the company of a companion while feeding — something known in the cat world as social or affection feeding. And while your cat might want you to watch her scarf down her meal, some cats actually like to be pet while eating!
In the long term, eating dog food can have significant health consequences for your cat, including diabetes and obesity, according to The Spruce Pets. This is because dog food is designed for dogs, which require a diet higher in carbohydrates than cats, who can thrive without carbs.
Cat food is much higher in meat-based protein than dog food. This might be why cat food is so appealing to dogs, since the meat smell and flavor are so strong.
Pack Mentality

Some dogs will just go a short distance away from their dishes and others will go far away or even to a hiding spot such as behind the couch or under the table to eat their food. The biggest reason for this behavior is instinct.

Separation anxiety and depression are two of the most common reasons dogs refuse food when their humans are away. Think about it — when you`re feeling down or anxious, you probably don`t have the biggest appetite either.
Look at your dog if their waist is extremely exaggerated instead of a gradual slope your dog might be underfed. If you can see or feel the ribs and they don`t seem to have any fat on them your dog is probably underfed. If your dog is losing patches of hair there may be an issue with the nutrition.
If you can`t feel their ribcage there`s a good chance they are overweight. Other signs of overfeeding include loss of energy, or a change in bowel movements. If their stool is normal in the morning but softer by the evening you may need to recalculate their portion sizes.
If your cat is busy doing something else, like eating, sleeping or playing they are unlikely to appreciate being touched, or fussed. The same goes for if they`re hiding, or in one of their quiet places. If your cat appears scared, or in pain you should generally try and avoid touching them.
Keep in mind that cats are natural “crouch” eaters; they do not like to eat in a standing position. The ideal height for a raised feeder is the cat`s knee height (approximately 4” to 6”); this eliminates the need to lift up the head while eating or drinking. Avoid the use of deep bowls in elevated feeders.
Dog food isn`t dangerous to cats, but it shouldn`t be eaten in place of cat food on a regular basis. A cat can eat some dog food without illness even though it`s not the best nutrition for them.
Dog food isn`t poisonous to cats, so they can technically eat it on a one-time basis. If you`re out of cat food and forgot to pick it up while the shops were open, it`s okay to feed your cat a small amount of dog food. Just avoid doing so on a regular basis, or it could lead to nutrient deficiencies.
If dogs eat only cat food, they are at higher risk for high-protein health issues like pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), liver damage, obesity, and kidney problems. Cat food can also cause digestive problems for dogs with sensitive stomachs, including gastrointestinal upset, flatulence, and diarrhea.
While dogs love cat food for its high protein content, cats rarely seek out dog food, as it simply doesn`t appeal to their tastes. The reason is that felines have a different taste system, so their food is specially formulated to appeal to these specific tastes. For example, cats can`t taste sweetness, while dogs can.
Yes, but only as a short-term, last-resort solution. A stolen snack from the dog`s bowl isn`t a cause for worry. But cats eating dog food on a consistent basis can be detrimental to their health and well-being.
Cats need variety, just like humans! Similar to your cat, you would get tired of eating the same meal every day. If your cat stops eating, try switching the flavor of her food. If she`s been stuck on tuna flavor, offer chicken flavor.
Just like children can be bored while running errands with their parents, dogs abhor when their owners are boring. You may be busy with obligations or simply tired, but remember that your dog waits all day for you to come play with them.
Licking is a natural and instinctive behaviour to dogs. For them it`s a way of grooming, bonding, and expressing themselves. Your dog may lick you to say they love you, to get your attention, to help soothe themselves if they`re stressed, to show empathy or because you taste good to them!
Harmless Circling Behaviors

Spinning can also be an offered behavior in response to training. “A lot of my puppy clients, one of the first tricks they teach is a spin,” says Ellis. “And when dogs are excited and they want food, or they want a treat, the first thing these dogs often offer is a spinning circle.”

This is a perfectly normal adaptive behavior since stress signs from a member of your social group can warn of danger before it`s too late to escape. The now-stressed dog is then prone to start barking or snarling much more readily since he is producing adrenaline and looking for the threat.
For the first day or two after arriving at a new home, a dog may not eat. Be patient, they need time to adjust to their new environment. Lack of appetite can have multiple causes, such as environmental change, stress, depression, illness, food allergy or a change in food.
Socialization. Many dogs bond hardest to whoever feeds, plays, and generally cares for them during their key socialization period, which occurs between birth and six months.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

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. My Beagle listens to me, but cries & whines when I’m gone & doesn’t listen to my parents. I adopted him just a couple days ago. Any tips for my folks?
ANSWER : A. I really highly doubt that your Beagle listens to you and has formed a connection with you in just a couple of days. It takes months to build up any kind of serious connection with your dog. You need to work on communication with your dog through training them to understand different cues. For instance the Leave-It cue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1TS5nA7z5Q

You have to work on bonding with your dog through mental stimulation. Training is very important. Luring each new behavior from scratch, and training using treats is how you form a strong bond with your new dog. No scolding is ever necessary… work on being calm, and positive, all the time.

If your dog is crying/whining when you leave, this may be separation anxiety. You’re going to have to separation train this dog from scratch. This dog needs to learn that separation can be a good thing! Tell your “folks” to NOT scold the dog when he is crying/whining after you leave, because that will make your dog MORE anxious when you leave next time. Your dog will be dwelling on the negative if your parents fuel your dogs negative feelings towards you leaving. FUN things should happen when you leave. Your parents should pull out the treats and start doing some basic obedience training with your dog. Your parents should stuff a Kong filled with awesome treats (peanut butter) and give it to him so he feels happy when you leave.

I have some excellent separation anxiety exercises you can work on. If you’d like, you can purchase a consultation with me, and I will go over how to separation train from scratch. It will make your dog comfortable being alone, guaranteed.

Read Full Q/A … : I Don't Like My Mother

Q. My cat will not eat the renal food my veterinarian recommended, can I feed a grocery store food?
ANSWER : A. Your veterinarian recommended a therapeutic kidney diet because it has ingredients that will help slow the progression of your cat’s conditions, especially phosphorus and lower protein levels. Many of the non-prescription or grocery store foods generally have high levels of phosphorus and would not be ideal for your cat.

To help your cat accept the new food It is important to do a transition. There are two reasons to do a transition:

1) Occasionally a pet will have a GI upset when switched to a new diet,

2) A pet will accept a new food better when a transition is done to allow the pet to get use to the new texture and flavor.

There is more of a chance with a hydrolyzed protein or different (high or low) fiber level food to cause a GI upset. Transition recommendation:

1) Recommend ¾ old diet – ¼ new diet

2) Do this for a few days; if no GI upset, go to the next step

3) ½ old diet – ½ new diet

4) Do this for a few days; if no GI upset, go to the next step

5) ¼ old diet – ¾ new diet

6) Do this for a few days; if no GI upset, go to the next step

7) End with 100% of the new food.

Sometimes a transition should be longer, especially for cats. Use the same recommendation, but instead of a few days, recommend doing each step for a week or more. If you cat is still not interested in the new diet you can research other non-prescription diets focusing on the labels for appropriate levels of phosphorus and protein.

Also, home cooking may be an option but make sure to provide adequate nutrients. A good website to consult is balanceit.com. This website helps you to create well balanced home cooked recipes and offers supplements to add into the diet.

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.

Q. My cocker spaniel is 9 years old. He has involuntary bowel movements (little drops) very frequently, especially when he is asleep.
ANSWER : A. Is your dog on a senior dog food? I would get your dog on a high quality high protien dog food. Ask a pet store assosicate or your regular vet for a food recommendation. When you buy a better food the dog will have to eat less to get the same amount of energy from the food. The dog has to eat more of the cheaper foods to get the energy it needs from it. Meaning more poop and buying more food. So the cost really evens out. So the lessen your dogs bowel movements get on a better senior dog food. Next talk to your vet they may have a recommendation. If you switch dogs do it slowly by mixing the foods. Start with 10% new 90% old mixed for at least a week until you have switched to 100% new 0% old. Senior foods have more fiber to help with bowel movements. Take the dog outside to go potty more frequently, right before bed time.

Read Full Q/A … : Symptoms Questions & Answers

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. 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 overweight cat is about 11. I’m almost certain she’seating food that my small dog leaves. I’ve reduced her intake now find this new problem. Thx
ANSWER : A. If you are trying to reduce her weight you will have to prevent all access to additional food; feed them separately and take up any food your dog has not ate