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Monthly Archives: July 2011
As you are no doubt aware, dogs are pack animals. In the wild your dog’s ancestors, the wolf, hunted in packs. Once the prey was taken down, the dominant alpha male(s) and female(s) would feed first, leaving scraps for the rest of the pack.
Through centuries of selective breeding, humans have domesticated the dog. However, you should not underestimate how much of their ancestry is still alive today. In fact, the majority of your dog’s brain (approximately 85%) is the same as a wolf (1). Therefore, providing a hierarchy for your dog is very important to satisfying their desire for structure, belonging and security.
To foster better behaviour, you need to tap into your dog’s pack-instinct. One way to do this is reinforce the hierarchy in your family during dinner time. The technique below aims to recreate the wolf pack scenario described above, but rather position you as the alpha male or female.
Begin by preparing your dogs meal. Take their bowl over to its usual spot, but instead of putting it down on the ground, elevate it so that it is out of reach. Then eat your family meal. Once you have finished, put your dogs bowl on the ground and let them eat for 15 minutes. After this time pick up their food bowl, and if there is any food left, elevate it again so they can’t reach it. After an hour, put their bowl back on to the ground and let them eat for another 15 minutes. After this time, again pick up the bowl, and if there is any food left that will spoil before tomorrow’s meal, throw it away, otherwise save it for tomorrow.
By following this routine you will teach your dog that you are the pack leader. This will make it easier to train him or her and helps provide a familiar structure to their life.
Peter Singer was recently published on CNN world. The short article provides a concise review of some recent animal welfare developments around the globe. Notably, the recent motion passed in the British House of Commons banning the use of the wild animals in circuses. Singer also mentions the Chinese government’s prohibition on the sale of live goats, chickens and horses for live feeding to the big cats at state-owned zoos.
Eventually, we as pet owners have to unfortunately deal with the sad time when our animals enter their final stage of life. This can come about through terminal illness or simply old age. Palliative care is all about holistic care. It includes the management of pain and other symptoms, and provides physical, emotional and spiritual support for everyone. Excellent palliative care achieve the best quality of care for the animal patient and for their family.
If your furry friend is not desexed, now is the time to do it! The National Desexing Network, in conjunction with participating animal shelters, rescue homes, animal welfare organisations, vet clinics and local councils, are offering reduce prices for pet desexing for all of July.
There are many advantages to desexing your pet. Most notably:
- Dogs and cats are happier and safer if they are desexed;
- They are less likely to roam or escape from your backyard and get it fights, hit by a car or impounded;
- They are less likely to get mammary or testicular cancer, or urinary tract disease; and
- Many owners report that their pet becomes more homely and affectionate as they are not wanting to search for a mate (the pet that is).
Finally, by having your pet desexed you will also help to save the lives of animals currently in shelters. Many shelters are already at capacity, and only 40% of abandoned cats and 60% of dogs who enter pounds are ever re-homed.(1) This means that an estimated 100,000 cats and 80,000 dogs that are euthanised every year.(2) By reducing the number of unwanted puppies and kittens through desexing, you are giving the dogs and cats already in shelters a greater chance of finding a forever home.
If you want to reduce this number, please get your pet desexed. If it is the cost that has prevented you from getting your pet desexed earlier, you can apply for low cost desexing at http://www.ndn.org.au/apply-for-low-cost-desexing.html
If you are looking to a adopt a dog or cat, then Perfect Pet Finder has hundreds of desexed cats and dogs from reputable animal shelters and rescue homes waiting for a loving home…just like yours.