Here for you.

After 100+ years of experience with animals, we’ve learned a few things and are happy to share!

Should you let a new dog sniff your hand?

  How many of us were taught to extend our hand when meeting a new dog to allow them to smell it? The “sniff test” is common advice that we have probably all done, but is no longer the advisable way to introduce yourself to a new dog.  Extending your hand towards a dog you don’t know could be seen as a potential threat, and trigger a defensive bite.  Instead, turn sideways, avoid direct eye contact, and possibly toss (don’t hand) the dog some treats. Dogs have amazing senses of smell – they can gather information just fine from where you are, so go ahead and keep your hands safely to yourself!

Cat got the zoomies? Should you be concerned?

  Most people are familiar with the concept of dog “zoomies,” but it’s not as widely known that cats can, and do, absolutely have the zoomies, too. Those moments when your cat is spontaneously tearing around the house and you can’t get him to stop, even for his favorite treat? He’s likely in zoomie mode. Why does this happen? It could be that he just woke up from an epic cat nap! Cats can sleep up to 16 hours a day to conserve energy for hunting. When they wake up, the zoomies can happen because they’re reinvigorating their minds and bodies for the hunt. Sometimes a cat will just get up and run about, seemingly chasing nothing. That’s because cats, as a prey species, like to stretch their predation skills and are, indeed, chasing an imaginary mouse. It’s also entirely possible that your cat is really just trying to engage you in play, so offering a wand toy or some toy mice to “attack” during a zoomie session is never a bad idea. Sometimes, your cat will tear out of the litterbox and run around–something you’ll want to keep an eye on. This could indicate a handful of litterbox or medical concerns, and if this behavior is persistent, you’ll want to contact your veterinarian. Other things to keep an eye on would be if the behavior is concurrent with loud vocalizing, weight loss or disinterest in eating or drinking; speak with your veterinarian about those issues, as well.

Please don’t feed the bears… or the greedy humans

As summer comes to a close but our need for safe outdoor recreation does not, we need to be cautious about engaging in activities that sustain cruelty.

Although I didn’t watch it, I hear Tiger King’s Joe Exotic now has a personal understanding of why wild animals don’t belong in cages. Now that he’s in one.

The animal entertainment industry has a long and sordid history of abuse, well beyond caging. Flourishing over many decades, we humans demonstrated our “superiority” over animals by tearing them from their homes, kidnapping their babies, breeding them to excess, and imprisoning them in small barren cells.

We gawked at them and used fear and violence to keep them under control and teach them to do silly things to make us laugh. When there were too many, or they outlived their usefulness, they were culled, neglected to death, or sold to research.