Makin’ Biscuits: Why Do Cats Knead?

If you’ve ever pondered your cat’s unique behavior, you’re not alone. From a love of cardboard boxes, to sleeping in circles, to pouncing on your feet, cats have no shortage of quirks. 

Among these might be the rhythmic motion your cat makes with her paws, pressing in and out, as she sits on your lap. Also known as kneading, this behavior gets its name because it resembles a baker working bread dough. 

But why do cats knead? Come along with Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital as we explore this question. 

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Achieve a Full Life With Indoor Cat Enrichment

grey cat

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.

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Freaky Felines: Weird Cat Behaviors Decoded

cat on cat tree weird behavior

You love your cat, but sometimes it can feel as if you just don’t understand each other. Why does Fluffy seem to enjoy being petted one minute, and attack your hand the next? What do those slow blinks mean? And what’s the deal with the strange chirping sounds he makes when he spies a tasty looking bird or squirrel through the kitchen window?

These and other quirks are part of the joy of cat ownership, and understanding them can lead to a better relationship with your sweet kitty. The team at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital has tackled our favorite weird cat behaviors…for your reading pleasure….

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A Helping Paw: The Incredible World of Working Dogs

service dog

We’ve all witnessed or heard stories about incredible service animals and working dogs who are trained to help people. From assisting a visually impaired owner to comforting a soldier suffering from PTSD, there’s no end to the contributions these animals make.

The team at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital wants to take a moment to recognize and pay tribute to working dogs!

Working Dogs 101

Dogs have evolved alongside humans for millennia and have performed invaluable tasks throughout history, such as guarding, herding, hunting, pulling, and more.

Nowadays, most dogs serve as companions, but some are also trained to perform certain tasks that make our lives easier.

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A Stinky Situation: Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?

dogs eat poop

As wonderful as dogs are, they sure have some disgusting habits – drinking from the toilet, licking their own behinds, and eating literally everything (just to name a few!). However, eating poop may top the list of unsavory canine quirks. Honestly, could anything be worse?

Dogs eat poop for a variety of reasons, most of which are totally harmless. However, while this habit may not be cause for concern, understanding the basics behind coprophagia (poop eating) can help you curb the behavior.

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Are Pet Facial Expressions a Real Thing?

Pet facial expressions are a good way to know what your pet is thinking

As a pet owner, you’re familiar with your pet’s unique personality traits. Through their body language and vocalizations, it’s easy to tell when they’re happy, annoyed, excited, angry, fearful, curious, etc. In fact, many of these communication styles can seem almost human-like.

The way a pet expresses themselves can be extremely nuanced, such as in the case of pet facial expressions. What do they mean, and how can they help us gain a better understanding of what our furry family members are trying to tell us?

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Flummoxed? Weird Cat Behaviors Explained

Some weird cat behaviors can be explainedDoes your cat like to squeeze into the fruit bowl when no one’s watching? Do they twitch all through their body during sleep? And what’s their take on cardboard boxes? We could keep going with the oddball questions, but chances are, you’ve either asked them yourself already – or you’ve got some similarly confusing cat behaviors happening at home. While most feline antics are perfectly normal, sometimes curious behaviors signal problems on the horizon.

But What Does It All Mean?

The following cat behaviors are not only common, they’re 100% normal. As such, we appreciate these amusing (if not sometimes partially aggravating) actions: Continue…

Back to School Blues: Helping Pets Adjust

By: Karen Fazio, CDBC

Back to school is an exciting time for most families, but not always for their pets. Sudden changes in routines, withdrawal of attention, and turning back clocks can cause some pets to exhibit unwanted issues.  These issues can include depression, separation anxiety and destructive behaviors.

Luckily, there are some things we can do, 1-2 weeks before school starts, that may help your pet(s) adjust to such a big change in their schedule and routine.

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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 safetyOne 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. 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 pets, 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 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.

This point can easily be proven if one should try to hang from a chin-up bar by their fingers. It simply cannot Can’t be done. With that consideration in mind, there’s little 
possibility an individual would possess 
enough finger strength to effectively hold back a struggling pet.

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.

Pet Toys: Providing Fun and Educational Play for Pets

By Karen Fazio

Playing with our pets is fun – and quite necessary for the healthy psychological development of our furry friends. For dogs and cats, pet toys often play a major role in playtime and their development, as they provide mental stimulation, learning opportunities, and a chance for pets to interact and bond with their humans.

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