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Surprisingly Common Ways We Misinterpret What Our Pets Are Telling Us

Is a wagging tail always the sign of a friendly dog? If your cat rolls on her back, does she really want you to rub her tummy? If your dog is “smiling” does that mean he is happy? As a veterinary behaviorist, I have to tell you, the answers to these questions might surprise you. There are some common behaviors that our dogs and cats exhibit that many people often misinterpret. Let’s review some canine and feline body language in order to help you determine what your pet is really trying to tell you. Weigh the Wag For example, tail wagging is not necessarily a sign of friendliness. In dogs, a wagging tail is an indication that the dog is willing to interact, but that interaction can be either

Winter Hazards and Your Dog

Winter can be hazardous for dogs, and it is important to be aware of the dangers to keep your pet healthy. There are indoor and outdoor winter threats to dogs. What You Need to Know As the temperatures outside start to get lower and you prepare for colder weather, it is important to also prepare your dog for the winter. Whether your dog lives indoors or outdoors, there are dangers in colder conditions. Your dog’s health, food and environment all need to be taken into consideration when “Old Man Winter” approaches. Indoor Winter Hazards During the winter, people and their pets tend to spend more time indoors, so it is important to keep the home environment safe for your dog. The following are

The Right and Wrong Ways to Greet a Cat

How a person greets his or her own cat or an unfamiliar cat can affect the cat's perception and reaction to the person. In greetings gone wrong, a cat may panic and try to get away or may resort to defensive gestures like growling or scratching to end the interaction. When greetings go right, cats are more likely to offer mutual greeting and affection in return. Since all cats are individuals, there's no perfect method for greeting them. But there are certain greetings more likely to be perceived as unsafe or threatening and others more likely to be viewed as safe and friendly. Gestures like looking at a cat directly when meeting him or bending or reaching to pet or pick him up can often be

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