Is Your Cat A Creep? Why Your Cat Loves Staring At You

Cat staring.

Cats are masters of nonverbal communication; after all, nothing says “I love you” like a good, strong head butt from your favorite feline or a dead rodent conveniently deposited on your welcome mat. Understanding how our pets communicate with us is an essential part of pet ownership and can help you build a strong, loving bond with your furry friend.

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I’m Pregnant. Now My Cat Is Acting Different Around Me

Cat ignoring pregnant woman.

For years, your furry little bundle has been your “baby,” garnering your attention, sleeping on your lap, and cuddling with you in bed. Now that you’re about to welcome a human baby into your home, you’re suddenly persona non grata in the eyes of your cat. What is happening?

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What You Can Do About Constant Dog Barking

Dog barking.

While people quickly recognize excessive barking, it’s harder to understand the reasons behind this canine behavior. There isn’t, unfortunately, a one-size-fits-all solution to unnerving barking, and it’s also not something that can be fixed without ongoing, determined effort (and a lot of patience). Sure, it can be a nuisance, but more than that, it can often be explained by something significant going on in a dog’s life.

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Retractable Leashes: Neither Dog, Nor Man’s Best Friend

By Karen Fazio, CDBC
 Director of Behavior and Training

Retractable leashes are a serious threat to pet health and pet safety.

One day, as I was about to leave my house for a walk with my dog, I saw (Insert dog’s name) spot a squirrel in our yard. Not surprisingly, before I could utter the word “NO!” he took off after it. Worse still? As he was bolting down the front steps, I realized  – a bit too late – that I had forgotten to lock the retractable leash he had on. I stood, transfixed at the top of my brick stairs, as the zip line ran out… The last thing I remember was toppling down the stairs and landing flat on my face, leaving me with a small scar just above my right lip that serves to remind me of the dangers associated with retractable leashes.

I will admit that retractable leashes can be fun. They provide pets with a sense of off-leash freedom that allows them to explore areas that they might not otherwise be able to. Many people wonder if retractable leashes are good for puppies. However, in my experience, the risk of serious injury, or even death, far outweigh any pleasure you or your dog might enjoy.

Retractable Leashes Present a High Risk for Pet Injury

Retractable leashes are commonly made out of thin nylon cord, which can cause serious injury to both pets and their owners. When these leashes get wrapped around a finger, arm, or leg they have the potential to cause severe burns and deep gashes, which may send the victim to the emergency room. When wrapped around the body or limbs of a pet, the risk for broken bones or even dismemberment is tremendous.  

Serious neck and spine injuries also are a consideration for pet safety, especially if your pet bolts when the mechanism isn’t locked and it reaches the end of the line, suddenly jerking your pet backward at his neck. In these cases, trauma to the neck and spine is a certainty; and in some cases, the injuries are grave enough to cause death.

Taking the Lead

Despite how comfortable retractable leashes may feel in our grasp, they can be difficult to hold on to when attached to a struggling or pulling dog. This is because the handles are designed to be held primarily by the fingers, which tend to be quite weak.

Novice Pet Owners

Another reason retractable leashes aren’t always safe for pets is when they are held by novice pet owners who adopted a new dog during the pandemic. Many of these animals (and their owners) have not had the opportunity to socialize with other animals and might get too excited upon seeing a potential friend out on a walk. Inexperienced pet owners will have a hard time controlling a dog with just a flimsy retractable leash, which could lead to a dangerous situation for both dog and owner.

If you would like to learn more about the dangers of retractable leashes, and what options may be right for your individual pet, please schedule an appointment. The team at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital is committed to keeping your pet safe, happy, and healthy, both at home and on the trail.

Achieve a Full Life With Indoor Cat Enrichment

Indoor cat enrichment.

When we enrich soil, we’re making steps toward improving or enhancing it. As a result, plant life can flourish. The same is true for the pets we care for. Dog owners enrich the lives of their dogs by engaging them with outdoor activities and plenty of exercise. 

The same cannot be said for owners of strictly indoor cats. To protect them from boredom, stress, and anxiety, an approach to indoor cat enrichment can make all the difference. It is also important to consider the kind of enrichment your cat might need. Enrichment for cats in apartments is very different than for those with plenty of space to run around and entertain themselves. Similarly, senior cat enrichment is much different than it is for kittens.

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Like a Fish! Pet Drinking Habits and What’s Normal

A cat drinking from a bowl.

Water is essential for life as we know it. From the tiniest plant to animals like elephants, we would be nothing without water. 

Most of our clients at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital have a good understanding about how important water is to their pets as well. It can make you a little crazy, though, to know exactly how much is enough and what too much water intake looks like. We are here to help calm your concerns.

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Alternatives to Surrendering Your Pet

Young boy with arms around dog.

Have you been considering surrendering your pet? We understand this can be one of the most difficult and heart wrenching decisions a pet owner can face. There are times, though, that make it necessary for an owner to make a drastic decision, such as a loss of a job or a death in the family. Some pet owners also decide to relinquish a pet because of behavior issues or aggression

Before making a rash decision about surrendering, there are some other things to consider. These are some helpful options as alternatives, which we at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital hope any loving pet owner who is faced with this problem will consider. 

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When the Dog Bites: Navigating an Unsavory Situation

dog about to bite in oakhurst nj

When your dog bites someone, a lot of emotions come into play. Often disbelief, fear, denial, guilt, and sadness surface, all of which can be difficult to experience. While Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital would love to see a world where only puppy kisses exist, we know all too well that sometimes nature takes over and our sweet pets show their instinctual behaviors.

So if your dog bites someone, what do you do? Keeping your wits about you is a good start so that you can address the immediate situation and prevent it from occurring again.  

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Caring For a Blind Pet May Be One of Life’s Greatest Gifts

blind dog

When faced with caring for a blind pet, many myths are likely to surface. Things like “The pet will be harder to provide for” or “they won’t have a high quality of life.” Other thoughts such as, “will it be harder to prevent vision-related injuries” or the inability to play or exercise might also come up.

The truth is, blind pets are just like other animals who have their sight. They are equally deserving of love (perhaps even more so), absolutely up for any kind of fun, and show grit in the face of this potential challenge.

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