Enrichment for Pets; New Answer Coming for Arthritic Dogs


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Amy Shojai grew up listening to WGN  Radio, and now she is on WGN Radio. Listen here on Steve Dale’s Pet World to the certified animal behavior consultant Amy Shojai is a pet journalist who received the American Veterinary Medical Association Veterinary Communications Award 

Among her many books, Shojai talks about Is My Dog Bored.  She says you need to find things for dogs to do that are dog specific, and goes way beyond merely hiding food. She explains how you can find games to use several dogs’ senses. Important to understand, a dog cannot experience fear while they are thinking about something else. The challenges is to get them to think about that something else. We discuss Licky Mats, and her challenge. And also discuss the necessity of enrichment for cats. And, in fact, this is a necessity. Does My Cat Hate Me?  is Shojai’s book filled from beginning to end with ideas involving feline enrichment. Also when it comes to enrichment, there’s the importance of choice, so dogs or cats have the opportunity to decide for themselves.  And how do you know your cat loves you? And mistakes people make reading cat body language.

Great News Regarding Arthritic Dogs

Dr. Tammy Grubb, president International Academy Veterinary Pain Management.  This is a VERY important organization, recognized and prestigious as more and more products are available to treat, and around the world more and more pet parents are aware of pain and seek an appropriate and safe treatment.

Dr. Grubb explains HERE on Steve Dale’s Pet World, WGN Radio, that chronic pain in humans can cause mental health issues (sometimes even visa versa), so why wouldn’t the same be true regarding dogs and cats? For example, dogs with noise phobia are more likely to have arthritis pain, correlation in this instance may or may not be related to causation. But it might. Who would think so many behavior issues in dogs and also cats are related to pain?  For example, dogs in pain, we know, may be more likely to bite. When a dog bites, the dog may be euthanized. However, if the pain was discovered and addressed early on, this road never would have been gone on and the dog never feels the need to bite. Addressing pain in dogs can literally save dog lives, and the same is true for cats

Osteoarthritis in dogs and cats is the most common cause of chronic pain. And this isn’t just an old age or a “fat pet” disease, though it is these things and we have more overweight pets than ever, and our pets are living longer than ever.

For cats, in particular, historically it’s been a challenge to even identify arthritis and then to treat arthritis. A monoclonal antibody called Solensia is doing this via a monthly injection. The dog-specific version, called Librela will be available soon. Dr. Grubb calls the success of Solensia “Amazing, to change quality of life.”