Why’s My Pet Doing That?!

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A dog with dog insurance sticks out his tongue.

Is your dog or cat doing something and you aren’t really sure why? At Pets Best Insurance, we want to help you interpret some of the behaviors you may be seeing from your pet. So by popular request, here are some of the most sought-after answers to questions you may have about your dog or cat. Please keep in mind that we will list only the most common answers for each question. If you need further clarification, be sure to ask your vet!

Q: Why is My Dog Shaking?
A: Shaking usually indicates one of the following: cold temperature, fear or anxiety, discomfort and pain, or even possibly a medical illness. A doctor should see animals that shake for extended periods of time.

Q: Dogs Rule and Cats drool… But Why Does my Cat Drool?
A: Cats will often drool if they ingest something that tastes unpleasant (or are given certain medications). They can also drool as a result of nausea or intestinal disease, dental problems, oral infections, tumors and neurologic disease. I’ve seen cats drool when they become excited or receive attention as well.

Q: Why Do Dogs Pant?
A: Panting can be a normal way for a dog to help lower his/her internal temperature. But it may also signify a problem. Panting can occur secondary to stress and pain (just like shaking), metabolic problems (such as a pH imbalance, organ problems)or even respiratory problems.

Q: Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?
A: Before dogs were domesticated, it was thought that vegetation was a part of their diet not only in growing flora, but through the stomachs of ingested prey as well. Most people agree that dogs may eat grass due to a residual instinct from their wild ancestors. Some animals will also eat grass when nauseated or fighting a different gastro-intestinal ailment.

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Q: Why Does My Older Dog Drink So Much Water?
A: An increase in water consumption is often a symptom of an underlying problem. To name a few, kidney disease, diabetes, Cushing’s disease, and urinary tract infections can all result in more trips to the water bowl. A veterinarian should see any dog (or cat for that matter) that has an unexplained increase in water consumption.

Q: Why Does My Dog Scoot on the Floor?
A: When your dog drags his/her butt on the ground it is usually a sign of a problem. The most common issues include full anal glands, intestinal parasitism, and allergic disease. Full anal glands account for the majority of these diagnoses. If left untreated, full anal glands can impact or rupture leading to a larger problem than just scooting. If your dog is scooting, a trip to the vet’s office is recommended.

Q: My Dog Has a Dry Nose, is He Sick?
A: Many people feel that by feeling the nose of an animal, you can make some assumptions about their health status. While a dog with a dry nose might be sick, it does not automatically indicate illness. The same goes for temperature. Unless the temperature of the nose is extremely hot or cold, it is difficult to interpret subtle temperature differences by touch alone.

Q: Why Has My Cat Stopped Using the Litter Box?
A: Usually when a well trained cat stops using the litter box, he/she has a medical condition. The most common issues include urinary tract infections, stones, or abnormal growths and tumors. Some cats may stop using the litter box for behavioral reasons as well. Behavioral problems can be exacerbated by stressful environmental conditions. Since the majority of cats that inappropriately urinate are sick, all felines with this symptom should see a veterinarian.

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Q: Why Do Dogs Have Whiskers?
A: Whiskers in dogs are not at all like the stubble seen on the faces of older men. In dogs, whiskers are actually used as a sensory device. They can help gather information by touching or brushing across objects. This can be particularly useful in low light situations. You should never trim the whiskers of your dog or cat.

Since so many odd pet behaviors can have medical undertones, it is always important to consult with your veterinarian when one is seen. As a pet insurance enthusiast, I recommend insuring your companion. Dog and cat insurance may help offset the costs associated with properly diagnosing and treating your beloved pet.

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