Educational Articles

Behavior

  • African grey parrots are highly intelligent birds and are now commonly bred in captivity as pets. The African grey has a charming personality and is recognized as one of the best talkers among all pet parrots. It is important to keep these smart birds busy, as boredom can lead to problems, such as feather picking and screaming. African greys require regular, preventative veterinary health checkups.

  • Aggression may be defined as any threat or harmful behavior directed toward another individual or group. Aggression in dogs commonly includes body language or threat displays such as a hard stare, growling, barking, snarling, lunging, snapping, and/or biting. There are many different categories or types of canine aggression including territorial, possessive, maternal/protective, pain-related, predatory, frustration, social conflict-related, sexual, disease-related, and fear- or anxiety-related aggression. The most common presentation of aggression is fear or anxiety motivated. The treatment of aggression will depend on the cause of aggression. Aggression should first be discussed with your veterinarian regarding the most appropriate treatment.

  • With a little effort, a lot of patience, the advice of veterinary professionals, and a new anxiety wrap, you and your dog may successfully weather the storm. Take some preventive steps to help distract your dog during storms and use food or toy rewards to make the time less stressful. 

  • Dogs are natural scavengers and hunters so the use of food based activity toys is natural and stimulating. Activity toys have a variety of uses in behavior modification programs. Cats are natural hunters, so their toys will be most interesting if they are the size and texture of prey, if they can be moved around in such a way as to represent small prey (mice, insects, lizards, birds), or if they contain tasty food or treats.

  • Several products are available to help with behavior management in cats. Various products promote play and exercise, provide cognitive stimulation, allow safe outdoor exploration, and assist with anxiety or undesirable behavior (as part of your veterinarian's treatment program for these problems).

  • Mini-pigs that interact with and receive positive feedback from humans during the first two months of life are social and enjoy being with people. They typically have a daily routine that involves eating, drinking, eliminating, socializing, sleeping, and digging. Pigs are very intelligent and need environmental enrichment, or they can become bored and destructive. Pet pigs that are not provided with appropriate environmental enrichment or are not socialized early in life may develop stereotypical behaviors including pacing, staring, excessive drinking, hitting walls, drooling, rubbing on things excessively, and repeated licking or chewing on objects, especially metal and rope. Ideally, pigs should be allowed to root outside in untreated lawn. If they are not allowed access to an area for rooting, they may dig up floors, carpeting, or walls in your home, and chew up house plants. Pet pigs can suddenly become aggressive in response to changes within a household including a change in caretaker schedule, introduction of new pets and people, and discomfort from illness.

  • Some behaviors natural to birds can be problematic for their owners, who often inadvertently reinforce them. The first step is understanding the cause behind your bird's biting or screaming. If your bird is otherwise healthy and his environmental needs are met, positive reinforcement training is the most effective method for managing undesirable behaviors.

  • Is there any truth to the old adage, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks?" Even though young pups may be more actively curious, dogs never stop learning. In fact, adult dogs are often easier to train than their younger canine friends specifically because they are not as active. Older dogs are not as easily distracted as pups and can focus for longer periods of time. This ability to concentrate helps them learn new routines more easily.

  • Dogs are indeed smart and we see examples of this through both scientific research and everyday real life situations. They can learn by watching, cooperating with another dog or person, or just by being in their environment over time.

  • Cats can have a special relationship with each other even if they are not related. A bonded pair consists of two cats that thrive when kept together. Shelters recognize the benefits of housing bonded pairs together and encourage the adoption of the two cats simultaneously. There are pros and cons of dual adoption. Potential cat owners should review the considerations and make an educated decision regarding their adoption options. Even though caring for two cats means a commitment of more time and money, it may also mean more joy.