Thursday, June 12, 2008

Pet Tips for June, 2008

Tips on how to tell if your cats are playing or fighting

If you live in a household with more than one cat, then you have likely witnessed your cats playing or fighting. The question is, “Are they playing or fighting?” This can be hard to determine as they tend to seem like they would be fighting when they are actually at play.
Here are some tips to help you tell if they are playing or are indeed fighting.

Tip #1 - The first thing you need to take into account is how they have behaved towards each other in the past. If they have never gotten along, then chances are they are fighting. It is important to stop the fighting by distracting them. Cats that fight can lead to disease transmission and/or wounds and infections.

Tip #2 - When cats play they will usually chase, swat, hiss or nip.

Tip #3 - When cats scream, they are likely fighting.

Tip #4 - One cat that is dominant over another cat to an extreme suggests fighting. Usually when cats are playing the dominant role will shift between the cats, giving them both dominancy at one point or another.

Tip #5 - Cats that continue to hiss for a longer period of time suggest fighting. Some hissing is normal during play, but if it continues for a long period they are probably fighting.

Tip #6 - During cat play, neither cat will get hurt. If one is hurt, this was obviously a fight.

If you find that your cats are fighting, you must find a way to distract them. You can make a loud noise by clapping your hands or dropping something heavy on the floor. A sudden loud noise will usually startle the cats and they will get out of there pretty quickly. You can also shake their can of treats if they are familiar with that sound.

If the cats are playing, you shouldn’t get involved. Let them play their games and have fun. However, if they are fighting it is recommended that you do try to distract them. NEVER try to physically remove one cat from a fight. You will likely be hurt in the process.

Tips on dog fights – canine rivalry

Dogs are pack animals. Pack animals have leaders. If your household has more than one dog, you will sometimes see rivalry between the two dogs. This is normal. The fighting will usually occur when one dog tries to move up into the higher dogs rank.

Here are some tips to remember when living with two dogs

Tip #1 - Although dogs think of humans as the highest rank, the dogs also think of the highest rank dog as second in command.

Tip #2 - As the owner, you should respect the ranking of dogs and treat the dogs as they should be treated as in a pack. For example, you should pet the highest ranked dog first, and then go down the line. The highest ranked dog should be fed first and given treats first. The highest rank dog should have the nicest dog bed.

Tip #3 - The ranking occurs through behavioral gestures and body postures. These behaviors include growling and snarling.

Tip #4 – Fighting can happen at any time. Sometimes a lower ranking dog will try to move into a higher ranking dog’s territory. When this happens, dogs will fight. Some of the signs that a dog is intending to fight to protect its rank is licking of the lips, one dog leaning over another, one dog rolling on its back, etc. The signs could escalate into snarling, growling or even a full fledged fight.

Tip #5 – If a full fledged fight occurs; you must stay out of it. NEVER try to physically get involved. If you are concerned that a dog will be hurt badly, you can try to distract them by making a loud noise or by squirting them with water.

Tip #6 - Aggression can be lessened by spaying or neutering.

It seems that same sexed, same breed and same aged dogs will tend to fight more. If you notice that the dogs are fighting more and more frequently or if a dog EVER directs its aggression towards a human family member, then you must contact your local vet for a referral to a good dog trainer.

Dogs are happiest when they know what is expected of them. Sometimes they just need a little help along the way.

1 comment:

rgblog said...

I agree that you should stay out of fights between your dogs. I have a 9 year old Boxer and a 10 month old Boxer. Whenever the 10 month old oversteps his bounds he is disciplined by the older Boxer and I stay out of it.