Why dogs left home
Many dogs become distressed when left home alone, and they show it by
barking, destroying things, or toileting indoors. Now, a new study
reported in the October 12th issue of Current Biology, suggests that
this kind of separation anxiety occurs most often in dogs that also show
know that people's emotional states affect their judgements; happy
people are more likely to judge an ambiguous situation positively," said
Mike Mendl of the University of Bristol. "Now it seems that this may
also apply to dogs; dogs that behaved anxiously when left alone also
tended to judge ambiguous events negatively. Their anxious behaviour may
reflect an underlying negative emotional state." The new findings also
raise the possibility that some dogs may be more prone to responding
anxiously when left alone than others, and that this is related to their
That's important because "separation-related behaviour is common in
dogs, so predicting which dogs may develop this, and treating them
appropriately, is very important for ensuring good dog welfare," Mendl
The researchers conducted the study with 24 dogs, both male and
female, that had recently entered into one of two animal re-homing
centres (shelters) in the United Kingdom. Each dog was first tested for
separation anxiety-related behaviours.
A researcher interacted with each dog in an isolated room for 20
minutes. The following day, they took the dog back to the room and then
left it alone for a period of five minutes while its behaviour was
captured on video. In those five minutes, the researchers observed
barking, jumping on furniture, scratching at the door, and repetitive
behaviours to varying extents depending on the dog.
In order to study decision making in those same dogs, the researchers
trained them to expect that when a bowl was placed at one location in a
room (the "positive" position), it would contain food, but when placed
at another location (the "negative" position), it would be empty.
They then placed the bowl in ambiguous locations in between the
positive and negative positions.
Dogs that ran quickly to those ambiguous locations, as if expecting
the positive food reward, were classed as making relatively "optimistic"
decisions. Dogs that didn't approach the bowl as if they were expecting
a food reward were judged to be "pessimistic."
An analysis of the two sets of behavioural data found that dogs that
made more "pessimistic" judgements about whether they would find a food
bowl empty or full also expressed more separation-related behaviours.
The results suggest that behaviour regarded as "problematic" for
owners also has emotional significance for the animals concerned, even
when the behaviour itself isn't being expressed, the researchers
conclude. Mendl says the results also suggest that "optimistic" versus
"pessimistic" decision making may be a valuable new indicator of animal
Dog owners should take note. "Some owners think that dogs showing
anxious behaviours in response to separation are fine and do not seek
treatment for their pets," Mendl says, noting that he and his colleagues
have validated treatments for dealing with these types of behaviours in
past work. "This study suggests that at least some dogs showing
separation-related behaviours may have underlying negative emotional
states, and owners are encouraged to seek treatment to enhance the
welfare of their dogs."
When to worm your pet
is important to give worm treatment to your pet kittens but before doing
so you must consult a veteranarian so that he could advise you on the
type of tablet and the dosage to be given. Meanwhile here are some
important facts to keep in mind about the best time or age they should
Kittens between 6 to 16 weeks of age should be wormed every three
weeks.From 4 months onward cats and kittens should be wormed every 3
What are the symptoms that my cat or
kitten has worms?
* Loss of appetite
* The cat's coat is in poor condition
* The cat has a pot belly appearance - especially in kittens
* The cat or kitten suffers weight loss
* Stunted growth of a kitten
* Diarrhoea (sometimes bloody diarrhoea)
* Vomiting or vomiting up a worm.
* Anemia - The cat or kitten has pale gums
* Worm segments around the anal area. These segments look like small
grains of rice or sesame seeds.
* Continual licking of the anal area.