Thoughts from the Wild

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Enrichment Tips to Keep Your Indoor Cat Happy

February 11, 2021

Life may seem a lot easier for indoor cats than their outdoor counterparts. Indoor cats don’t have to lift a paw to receive tasty, nutritious meals. They can snuggle in a warm bed in the middle of a blizzard. And they never have to worry about dodging cars or ferocious animals. But the truth is, …

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Are Small Dogs More Prone to Dental Disease?

February 4, 2021

Periodontal disease is the most common health condition in dogs. By two years of age, about 80 percent of dogs are estimated to have some form of it, and the risk for periodontal disease continues to grow with age. But evidence also shows that small and toy breed dogs are more likely to experience dental …

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Dogs at Work: Shining a Light on Invasive Lanternflies

January 28, 2021

There’s no satisfying the appetites of spotted lanternflies. Since appearing in Pennsylvania in 2014, these pests, indigenous to China, have been feeding on valuable grape vines, fruit trees and hardwoods, leaving behind a wake of destruction. Specially trained scent-detection dogs may be the last line of defense in stopping the spread. Lanternflies suck sap from …

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Indoor vs. Outdoor: Which Kind of Cat Owner Are You?

January 21, 2021

Is the dead mouse on your doorstep a token of your cat’s love? Perhaps a trophy attesting your cat’s hunting prowess? Or are you horrified by the furred or feathered “gifts” your feline brings you? It’s questions like these, and the risks associated with being outdoors to both cats and wildlife, that led researchers at …

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How to Find a Reputable Dog Walker

January 7, 2021

If daily walks are good for you, they’re perhaps even more important for your dog. Besides being an opportunity to “take care of business,” walks stimulate your dog’s muscles and mind. They help work off excess energy, which is especially important for certain breeds (there is some truth to the adage “a tired dog is …

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Dogs at Work: Mall Security Dogs

December 30, 2020

If your idea of shopping center security is the bumbling, Segway-riding Paul Blart of the movie Mall Cop, think again. Many malls now have sophisticated, integrated security plans, which may include trained dogs and handlers. Depending on the needs of the mall, security dogs may simply provide surveillance and crowd control, so shoppers and retailers …

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Is It a Good Idea to Give a Puppy or Kitten as a Gift?

December 16, 2020

For years, animal welfare organizations wagged a finger at the idea of giving pets as gifts. They warned that most of these puppies and kittens would be surrendered to shelters and left homeless because of impulsive gift-giving whims. But recent research shows otherwise. In a survey of people who received pet gifts, 86 percent of …

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