Dog on the Move

Feeding neighbors’ pets treats causes 4 sorts of issues

Q: Eddie, our neighbor’s indoor-outdoor cat, could be very candy. He typically visits us whereas we’re sitting on our porch or working within the yard. He is so affectionate that we won’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 do not 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 home, he dangers getting hit by a automobile.

Second, some meals trigger medical issues in some pets, and you’re in all probability unaware of any meals Eddie cannot tolerate.

Third, too many treats unbalance Eddie’s weight loss program. 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, further treats could make Eddie obese, which will increase his danger of diabetes, arthritis and different medical issues. Most obese cats have again ache that forestalls them from reaching round to groom their hind ends, which grow to be matted. Different situations frequent in obese cats are urinary issues, respiratory issues and even most cancers.

Sadly, by 8 to 12 years of age, overweight cats are almost 3 times 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 counsel you confess to Eddie’s household after which substitute petting, cuddles and snuggles for the meals treats you’ve got been giving him. Think about using your neighborhood e mail or social media to advise your neighbors to do the identical.

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

A: No, their gait is okay.

Like most horses, canines have 4 main gaits: stroll, trot, canter and gallop. The trot is most effective, overlaying probably the most floor with the minimal vitality expenditure. Canines 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 frequent gait in canines. When canines tempo, each proper legs transfer ahead on the identical 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 backward and forward, as an alternative of driving the physique ahead.

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

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

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

Whereas one in every of my canines used this type of operating to rid the yard of groundhogs, I am relieved to say that none of my different canines ever caught an animal.

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

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