Animal Clinic of Kalispell - March 2019

REMEMBERING TAYLOR THE Smart but Str Usually I let one of my pets use this article to show off, but this month I wanted to talk about what it’s like to live with a pet who has anxiety issues. A lot of people are embarrassed to admit when their dog or cat has bad behavior, or they feel bad about sometimes wanting to abandon their pet in an empty parking lot. I’ve been there. I may be a vet, but even I get frustrated with my pets. One of the most intelligent dogs I ever had was a springer spaniel named Taylor. She was the kind of dog who liked to learn and follow instructions. If I told her to lie down, she’d hang out on her bed for hours. When we were hunting or fishing, she was totally in her element. There were times when Taylor knew what I wanted before I could even say it. But I’m not proud to say that there were also times throughout her life that she just drove me batty and I considered dumping her in the woods. Taylor had anxiety issues that manifested a little differently. She was hyper-attached to just me. That meant anytime I left she assumed she was being abandoned completely even if the rest of the family was right there. Many dogs with anxiety are intelligent, they want to Dr. Clark here.

Are You Ready for Fido? HOW TO DECIDE IF YOUR FAMILY CAN CARE FOR A PET

While we don’t know exactly why humans keep pets, one fact is certain: Millions of people love them. In fact, nearly 70 percent of households in the U.S. have a pet. But no matter what you see on your favorite dog Instagram accounts, keeping a pet isn’t endless playtime. Ask yourself the following questions before buying or adopting a furry companion. Do you know what you’re getting into? Owning a pet can change your lifestyle. To start, you will have to consider the animal’s well-being when hosting events or taking vacations. You will also have to make room in your budget for pet-related expenses. Additionally, some animals can live for upward of two decades. Discuss how responsibilities will change as a pet ages and what your future will look like before making the commitment. Does an animal fit your lifestyle? When choosing a pet for your family, gather research from animal experts and other pet owners. Calculate the cost of owning a pet, and evaluate how that animal will fit into your lifestyle. For example, dogs are one of the most high- maintenance and expensive animals to own, but they tend to be more involved in family life than a cat or a hamster. That said, your home’s size and location may make it better suited for a smaller pet, as many larger animals require more square footage and plenty of outdoor space. Is your family ready? Every family is different, and it’s important to have an honest discussion about the implications of owning a pet. If you have kids, consider how much they will be able to contribute to such a responsibility. Another factor to consider is how much free time you have to spend with your pet; some animals require more attention than others. To avoid major conflict down the road, discuss care and responsibility plans as a family before welcoming an animal into your home. Keeping a pet can be a source of joy for your family, but it can also be a source of stress. Before making any major choice, talk to your family members and consider what owning a pet would mean for all of you.

Shamrockin’ Dog Treats

There aren’t any shamrocks in this recipe, but these treats are green, minty, and

the perfect excuse to break out the clover-shaped cookie cutters. Inspired by The Everyday Dog Mom.

Ingredients

• • • • • • •

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup water

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1/2 cup quick oats

2 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped 10–12 drops green food coloring

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