Dog on the Move

Do not feed neighborhood pets

Q: Eddie, our neighbor’s indoor-outdoor cat, could be very candy. He usually visits us whereas we’re sitting on our porch or working within the yard. He’s so affectionate that we will’t assist however give him just a few cat treats. Eddie appears to be gaining weight, and I wonder if he’s charming different neighbors out of treats, too. Ought to we cease feeding him?

A: Sure! I don’t suggest feeding your neighbors’ pets for 4 causes.

First, feeding Eddie encourages him to wander from his yard. If he crosses a road to get to your own home, he dangers getting hit by a automotive.

Second, some meals trigger medical issues in pets, usually pores and skin rashes or diarrhea, and you’re most likely unaware of any meals Eddie can’t tolerate.

Third, too many treats unbalance Eddie’s weight-reduction plan. Take into consideration the way you’d really feel if neighbors gave your kids sweet behind your again after which your children turned up their noses on the healthful dinner you’d ready.

Most significantly, additional treats could make Eddie chubby, which will increase his threat of diabetes, arthritis and different medical issues. Most chubby cats have again ache that forestalls them from reaching round to groom their hind ends, which turn into matted. Different circumstances widespread in chubby cats are urinary issues, respiration issues and even most cancers.

Sadly, by 8 to 12 years of age, overweight cats are almost thrice extra more likely to die than cats of regular weight.

Cats meow and rub up in opposition to us when they need consideration and affection. Many individuals mistake this feline sign as a plea for meals.

I recommend you confess to Eddie’s household after which substitute petting, cuddles and snuggles for the meals treats you’ve been giving him. Think about using your neighborhood electronic mail or social media to advise your neighbors to do the identical.

Q: I’ve canine and horses, and I’ve a query about their gaits. I discover that when my canine canter, they often do a cross canter; in different phrases, one entrance leg leads whereas the alternative hind leg leads. A horse’s lead leg is identical entrance and rear. Is one thing flawed with my canine?

A: No, their gait is ok.

Like most horses, canine have 4 main gaits: stroll, trot, canter and gallop. The trot is most effective, masking probably the most floor with the minimal vitality expenditure. Canine additionally amble, which is the transition from stroll to trot, and so they tempo.

The tempo, a standard gait for some breeds of horses, is an irregular however pretty widespread gait in canine. When canine tempo, each proper legs transfer ahead on the similar time, after which each left legs transfer ahead collectively. The tempo is inefficient, as a result of it wastes vitality shifting the canine’s heart of gravity back and forth, as a substitute of driving the physique ahead.

It could shock you to study that canine have two methods to canter and two methods to gallop.

More often than not when canine canter, they use the cross canter gait, additionally referred to as the rotary or diagonal canter, by which they run with one entrance leg forward of the opposite and the alternative hind leg forward. This gait permits them to make sharp turns. The transverse or lateral canter, by which the legs on the identical aspect of the physique lead, is routinely utilized by horses however not often by canine.

Equally, when canine gallop, they often use reverse lead legs in entrance and rear. Horses transfer otherwise, often galloping with the identical leads in entrance and rear. Once more, this gait lets canine flip sharply, like once they’re chasing rabbits or squirrels.

Whereas certainly one of my canine used this type of working to rid the yard of groundhogs, I’m relieved to say that none of my different canine ever caught an animal.

Lee Pickett, VMD, practices companion animal drugs in North Carolina. Contact her at

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