Details for TECH CULTURE

Signs of separation anxiety in dogs

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ogs are loyal and beloved companions that
make great household pets. When leaving for
work in the morning, dog owners may lament
that they can’t take their furry friends with them. But
it turns out those dogs might be even more upset
that they can’t follow their owners out the door each
morning.
Separation anxiety is a significant issue that can affect
any breed of dog. According to the ASPCA, separation
anxiety is triggered when dogs become upset because
they’ve been separated from their guardians, such as in
the morning when owners leave for work. Separation
anxiety is a very difficult problem for dogs, creating a
sense of distress that can pave the way for destructive
and potentially harmful behaviors.
Dog owners may wonder what they can do to soothe
their dogs’ anxiety so they can be left alone without
experiencing the fear or distress associated with
separation anxiety. Learning to recognize the symptoms
of separation anxiety is a great first step in that healing process.
• Urinating and defecating: Some dogs urinate or defecate when left
alone, even if they’re potty trained. This is a sign of separation anxiety.
The ASPCA notes that dogs that urinate or defecate in the presence
of their owners are probably not suffering from separation anxiety
but a different issue, and such behavior should be discussed with a
veterinarian.
• Barking and howling: Dogs experiencing separation anxiety may
persistently bark or howl when separated from their guardians.
Neighbors may complain that dogs continuously bark throughout
the day, which can signal to owners that their dogs are experiencing
separation anxiety. The ASPCA notes that barking or howling is
typically only triggered by being left alone.
• Destructive behaviors: Destructive behaviors when left alone, such

as chewing on objects, door frames or window sills, is a telltale sign
of separation anxiety. Some dogs will dig at doors and doorways,
perhaps in an attempt to escape the home and follow their guardians
out the door, or destroy household objects, including furniture. These
destructive behaviors not only aggravate owners, but they also pose a
significant injury risk to dogs. Dog owners typically do not witness the
destructive behavior, which can cause injuries like broken teeth, cut and
scraped paws and damaged nails.
• Coprophagia: Some dogs defecate and then consume all or some of
their excrement when left alone. This is all called coprophagia and likely
won’t occur when owners are present.
Dogs that act up when owners leave home aren’t being destructive for
the sake of being disruptive. In fact, these dogs are often suffering from
separation anxiety, the recognition of which can be the first step toward
helping dogs overcome this troubling condition.

Understanding
feline diabetes

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iabetes is a condition most
often associated with
humans. But this potentially
debilitating disease can even affect
pets, including the family cat.
Feline diabetes can greatly affect
cats’ quality of life. The Cornell
University College of Veterinary
Medicine estimates that between
0.2 and 1 percent of cats in the
general population suffer from feline
diabetes. While that’s a low number,
the potential dangers faced by cats
with undiagnosed cases of feline
diabetes makes it imperative that cat
owners understand this disease and
how to recognize it.

What is DiaBetes?
The cells in a cat’s body require
sugar in the form of glucose for
energy. Glucose in the blood requires
the hormone insulin, which serves as
something of a key that unlocks the
doors to the cells, making them capable
of employing the glucose for energy. The
insulin attaches to the cells and lets the
body know when to absorb the glucose.
That process is essential for muscle
function. When a cat has type 1 diabetes,
glucose concentrations are high because
of a decrease in insulin production.
Type 2 diabetes, which is more common
among felines than type 1, occurs when
glucose levels are high because the cells
are not responding to the insulin in an
appropriate way.
What are some signs that
may inDiCate the presenCe of
feline DiaBetes?
Diabetes deprives the body of a necessary
energy source, so when cats are suffering
from diabetes, be it type 1 or type 2,

weight loss is likely
to occur. That weight
loss occurs because
cats’ bodies will turn
to sources other than
glucose for energy.
In these instances,
the body breaks
down fats and
proteins,
resulting
in weight
loss. The
CUCVM
notes
that this
weight
loss
occurs even
though
cats’ appetites
increase.
Excessive thirst and
urination is another potential indicator
of feline diabetes. Cats’ bodies respond
to elevated levels of glucose in their
blood by excreting excessive amounts
of the glucose in their urine. That high
concentration of glucose in the urine pulls
excessive amounts of water into the urine.
According to the CUCVM, this results
in increased urine volume, increased
urinary water loss, a higher likelihood of
dehydration, and an increase in thirst.
Some cats experience nerve damage
in their hind limbs as a result of feline
diabetes. However, the CUCVM notes
that this is a rare occurrence.
Cat owners who suspect their cats may
be suffering from diabetes should report
their concerns to their veterinarians
immediately. Treatment can be very
effective and restore quality of life to
cats.

Get the scoop
on pet food safety

T

oday’s consumers are more conscious than ever
before regarding the foods and other substances
they put in their bodies. It would stand to reason
that those same concerned individuals also would extend
that caution to the meals they feed their pets, as the basic
principles of food safety also apply to pet foods and treats.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it is
key to pick the right foods for pets, and to consider some
important information before purchasing anything. The
CDC does not recommend feeding raw foods to pets.
Salmonella and listeria have been found in raw pet foods,
as well as packaged ones sold in stores.
In the United States, the Association of American Feed
Control Officials regulates the production, transportation
and ingredient suppliers of manufactured pet foods. With
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, these agencies
help regulate animal feeds and impart new standards,
process controls and other features. Pet owners concerned
about their pets’ foods should look for approval from
AAFCO as well as the FDA before feeding.
Many pet owners prefer to seek locally sourced ingredients
in the foods they select. This means protein and
carbohydrate sources produced right in North America.
Check package labeling to see where ingredients are
procured if this is a concern.
The same safe food handing procedures people observe
when handling their own foods should be followed
when they prepare meals for their pets. Before or after
handling pet foods and treats, wash hands to prevent
the spread of foodborne illnesses, states FoodSafety.gov.
When possible, store pet food separate from human food,
preparing the foods in separate spaces as well. Use a clean,
dedicated scoop or cup to create a pet food serving. Follow
manufacturer’s guidelines for food storage. An air-tight
container is adviseable to keep the food fresh and free from
possible contaminants.
Pet owners also should routinely check for pet food recalls
to ensure the brand they’re using is safe. Every effort pet
owners make to keep their
pets’ foods safe and
contaminantfree keeps pets
healthy and
happy.

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