Petersen Pet Hospital - September 2022


1031 Kacena Road Hiawatha, IA 52233 319-743-0554

Mon–Fri: 8 a.m.–6 p.m. (Closed Fridays from 12:30–2:10 p.m. for team meetings) Sat: 8 a.m.–12 p.m. Sun: Closed

Inside This Issue


Happy Labor Day to the Best Team



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Healthy Veggie Dog Treats Places to Visit Similar to Montana



Introduce Dogs and Cats Like a Pro





HOW TO INTRODUCE YOUR DOG AND CAT Help Your Fur Babies Find Harmony!

Everyone knows that cats and dogs don’t get along ... or do they? There are a few ways you can help encourage your pets to get along, but it starts during the early, crucial moments of your pets’ introduction. For a gentle start, try desensitization. Let’s face it: Your dog is way more excited to meet your cat than vice versa! However, your dog may react dangerously to your cat, especially if it is still a kitten. The dog’s prey drive may kick in, causing overexcitement, and even seemingly harmless playtime can lead to fatal injury. One way to solve this is to “desensitize” your dog and get it accustomed to your cat’s presence. To do this, separate your cat and dog and only allow them to view each other at specific times. You could set up a room for your dog or cat (which includes food, toys, and, if a cat, litter box), and a tall gate that your pets cannot climb or get past. Allowing them to

view each other without direct interaction can help them become accustomed to one another.

For a quick start, try a face-to-face introduction.

Many people will try a face-to-face introduction first, but you can do this after desensitization as well. Before the introduction proceeds, both animals must be calm. One person should hold your dog on a loose lead, and pay attention to the dog’s body language while approaching the cat. If your dog has been taught commands, have it sit or lie down. Dogs that are too fixated on the cat — such as staring at the cat, displaying stiff body language, and not listening when its name is called — may try to lunge and chase your cat. In that case, a desensitizing introduction will be needed. However, if the dog is relaxed, try to allow the cat to approach.

Another person should watch your cat’s body language. If the cat is calm — isn’t raising its back or hissing at the dog — it can be allowed to approach the dog. A dog training technique known as Look at That (LAT) can be viewed on YouTube, which may aid in teaching your dog to remain calm when meeting new animals and people. No matter the method, we hope this guide provides important starter tips to turn your furry housemates into best buddies for years to come!

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