Do not feed neighborhood pets

Q: Eddie, our neighbor’s indoor-outdoor cat, could be very candy. He usually visits us whereas we’re sitting on our porch or working within the yard. He is so affectionate that we will not assist however give him a couple of cat treats. Eddie appears to be gaining weight, and I ponder whether he’s charming different neighbors out of treats, too. Ought to we cease feeding him?

A: Sure! I do not suggest feeding your neighbors’ pets for 4 causes.

First, feeding Eddie encourages him to wander from his yard. If he crosses a road to get to your own home, he dangers getting hit by a automobile.

Second, some meals trigger medical issues in pets, usually pores and skin rashes or diarrhea, and you’re in all probability unaware of any meals Eddie cannot tolerate.

Third, too many treats unbalance Eddie’s food plan. Take into consideration the way you’d really feel if neighbors gave your youngsters sweet behind your again after which your youngsters turned up their noses on the healthful dinner you’d ready.

Most significantly, additional treats could make Eddie chubby, which will increase his threat of diabetes, arthritis and different medical issues. Most chubby cats have again ache that forestalls them from reaching round to groom their hind ends, which grow to be matted. Different circumstances widespread in chubby cats are urinary problems, respiration issues and even most cancers.

Sadly, by 8 to 12 years of age, overweight cats are almost thrice extra prone to die than cats of regular weight.

Cats meow and rub up towards us when they need consideration and affection. Many individuals mistake this feline sign as a plea for meals.

I recommend you confess to Eddie’s household after which substitute petting, cuddles and snuggles for the meals treats you’ve got been giving him. Think about using your neighborhood e mail or social media to advise your neighbors to do the identical.

Q: I’ve canine and horses, and I’ve a query about their gaits. I discover that when my canine canter, they often do a cross canter; in different phrases, one entrance leg leads whereas the alternative hind leg leads. A horse’s lead leg is similar entrance and rear. Is one thing improper with my canine?

A: No, their gait is okay.

Like most horses, canine have 4 major gaits: stroll, trot, canter and gallop. The trot is best, masking probably the most floor with the minimal vitality expenditure. Canines additionally amble, which is the transition from stroll to trot, and so they tempo.

The tempo, a standard gait for some breeds of horses, is an irregular however pretty widespread gait in canine. When canine tempo, each proper legs transfer ahead on the similar time, after which each left legs transfer ahead collectively. The tempo is inefficient, as a result of it wastes vitality shifting the canine’s heart of gravity back and forth, as an alternative of driving the physique ahead.

It might shock you to be taught that canine have two methods to canter and two methods to gallop.

More often than not when canine canter, they use the cross canter gait, additionally known as the rotary or diagonal canter, through which they run with one entrance leg forward of the opposite and the alternative hind leg forward. This gait permits them to make sharp turns. The transverse or lateral canter, through which the legs on the identical facet of the physique lead, is routinely utilized by horses however hardly ever by canine.

Equally, when canine gallop, they often use reverse lead legs in entrance and rear. Horses transfer in a different way, often galloping with the identical leads in entrance and rear. Once more, this gait lets canine flip sharply, like after they’re chasing rabbits or squirrels.

Whereas one in every of my canine used this type of operating to rid the yard of groundhogs, I am relieved to say that none of my different canine ever caught an animal.

Lee Pickett, VMD, practices companion animal drugs in North Carolina. Contact her at

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