Thoughts from the Wild

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Why Do Cats Need to Knead?

August 12, 2021

For some cats, kneading seems like the pinnacle of Zen contentment. They close their eyes and rhythmically press one paw, then the other, often extending and releasing their nails at the same time. In this meditative state, they may drool slightly or rev up their purring engine to the loudest setting. But what’s behind this …

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A Taste of the Wild Guide to Working Dogs and Their Jobs

August 12, 2021

For the sweeping majority of dogs, their primary ”occupation” is to provide companionship to their people. Tail thumps, warm kisses, constant company and unconditional love. It’s an important job, and one that most family dogs are more than happy to do every second of every day. “If you love what you do, you’ll never work …

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Dogs at Work: Portuguese Water Dogs

August 5, 2021

Most people in the United States know of the Portuguese water dog (PWD) breed thanks to Bo and Sunny, the happy-go-lucky residents of the White House during the Obama administration. But long before that, they had a reputation as valuable crew members aboard Portuguese fishing vessels. History of the PWD No one is sure how …

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Would You Believe Cats Get Acne, Too?

July 22, 2021

Oh, the embarrassment of those unsightly blemishes. While often the source of teenage angst in humans, acne doesn’t have the same social repercussions for cats. In fact, feline acne has nothing to do with a cat’s teenage years or hormonal roller coasters going on inside the body. So what’s the deal with acne in cats? …

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Dog Ear Cleaning 101

July 15, 2021

Believe it or not, healthy dog ears actually come with a self-cleaning feature. In this process, known as epithelial migration, the skin in the ear canal gradually migrates from the tympanic membrane, or eardrum, outwards, carrying with it excess debris. So, if the ears aren’t bothering your dog, it’s usually best to leave them alone …

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Newfoundlands Are at Home on Land or Sea

July 8, 2021

Named after the island off the east coast of Canada, the Newfoundland’s water-resistant double coat, rudder-like tail and webbed feet made them ideal shipmates. The powerful dogs thought nothing of leaping into the icy Atlantic waters to haul fishing nets or rescue a sailor who fell overboard. They were also hard workers on shore, whether …

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Grapes Are Toxic to Dogs, and Now We Know Why

June 24, 2021

Among the many things on the no-no list for dogs are grapes and their relatives, raisins and currants. Accidentally feeding your dog any of these fruits could quickly lead to severe kidney failure and even death. For a long time, no one knew what, exactly, about these foods were toxic to dogs. The type of …

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How to Make Peaceful Introductions When Adopting a New Cat

June 17, 2021

Owning cats is like eating potato chips: It’s darn near impossible to have just one. In fact, the average number of cats per household in the U.S. is about two, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. As part of National Adopt-a-Cat month, perhaps you’re thinking about joining the ranks of multi-cat households (and who …

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