Littermate Syndrome: What It Is & How To Handle It 

Littermate Syndrome: What It Is & How To Handle It

What’s better than one puppy? Two puppies! Twice the paws, twice the love. Raising puppies from the same litter seems like a great idea since siblings would get to grow up and play together, and they would have each other whenever you weren’t around.

However, too much of a good thing can, in reality, be a not-so-great thing. When you bring home multiple puppies from the same litter, or even puppies of the same age but from different litters, a behavioral condition called littermate syndrome can develop.

What Is Littermate Syndrome?

Littermate syndrome describes a behavioral condition when puppies of the same age bond too closely with each other, affecting how they act with other dogs and even their owners. While it will be cute to watch the two puppy siblings play, eat, and sleep together, problematic behaviors can start to develop and become more prominent as they age.

We may think of them as bonding, but this too-close relationship causes the puppies to become inseparable. This intense bond can hinder their individual growth, independence, and ability to adapt to new situations.

How Can Littermate Syndrome Affect Puppies?

Littermates can become socially dependent on each other, and this can cause them to not interact adequately with other dogs and humans. This can cause them to experience fear and anxiety when exposed to other dogs and unfamiliar people.

If littermates are separated after they have bonded, they can experience severe separation anxiety. This can lead to destructive behaviors, excessive barking, and emotional distress. Dogs with littermate syndrome can develop aggression towards each other, resulting in fighting.

When it comes to training, littermates may have difficulty focusing on training exercises as their attention will be focused on each other rather than the task at hand. This can also affect their independence, as they may struggle with individual problem-solving skills when faced with new experiences or environments, as they will always look to their littermate to see how they are reacting.

Managing Littermate Syndrome

Littermate syndrome can be avoided by not raising two dogs from the same litter in the same space. If you desire two dogs from the same litter, try socializing and raising one in a separate residence for a few months.

This will ensure that both dogs are socialized properly and will reduce the likelihood of behaviors like separation anxiety occurring. After six or so months, you can bring the two dogs back together again.

If you already have two littermates at home, you’ll need proper management to help littermates grow into well-adjusted and independent dogs. The overarching goal is for each puppy to be independent and functioning without their sibling. Read on for some effective strategies to handle littermate syndrome.

Separate Crates and Individual Feeding Areas

Crate training is effective for puppies, especially when you have multiple in the home. Dogs have the natural instinct to take refuge in quiet places, and a crate provides them with that den-like space to give them a cozy place to wind down.

With littermates, crate training each puppy separately can help them feel secure and provide them with a designated space of their own. This promotes independence and reduces over-reliance on their siblings.

Don’t allow your puppies to crate together. If your puppies have been crating together, procure a separate crate as soon as possible. Put the crates side by side and gradually move them apart. It may be helpful to also cover each crate with a towel or blanket to help with the separation.

The goal is for your pup’s crates to be in separate rooms or at least far enough apart so they cannot see each other while in their crate. While in their crates, provide interactive toys and puzzles that can help distract them and make the separation more enjoyable.

Create separate feeding areas for each puppy. This will help to prevent territorial aggressiveness and resource guarding. Think of one puppy shoving the other puppy out of the way to eat the rest of their bowl or the two puppies trying to eat as fast as they can to get to the other puppy’s bowl.

Place each set of bowls in separate areas to ensure that each puppy will have their own space during meal times. If space is an issue, put each puppy on a slightly different feeding schedule so their meal times don’t overlap.

Individual Social Visits

Socialization is important for dogs, and it’s vital to provide individual and positive socialization opportunities for each puppy. Introduce each puppy to new dogs and people separately so they are given a chance to develop their own social skills.

Puppies should start the socialization process between three weeks and 14 weeks of age. Before a puppy is fully vaccinated, some spots (like dog parks) won’t be safe for them. Playing with a healthy and vaccinated dog or going on walks can work. Reach out to a pet care professional to see if they recommend any puppy training classes in your area.

Watch your puppy carefully and keep the sessions short and positive.

Separate Training Sessions and Attention

Promote individual learning by keeping your puppies separate during training sessions. This format will allow them to focus on the commands you are teaching them rather than paying attention to their siblings. This also gives you a chance to spend some quality one-on-one time with each puppy, developing a stronger connection with you and reducing the reliance on their sibling.

Take each puppy on separate walks, and give each separate time to cuddle and spend time with you. When you give each puppy individual attention, you are building their confidence, building your bond, and you are able to spot what makes them unique. At the same time, the other puppy learns self-reliance and independence from their littermate.

Rotating time apart helps your puppies to develop individual identities and reduces their reliance on each other. If you have other family members in the home, implement a schedule where each puppy has individual time with different members. This helps them socialize by bonding with other humans.

If you need assistance with your pet training, reach out to AskVet’s Certified Pet Coaches™.

Monitor Playtime

Playtime is important for puppies. It provides physical and mental stimulation and also helps to get all that puppy energy out. Allow your puppies to play with each other, but monitor this playtime carefully.

Introduce toys and engage them in activities that encourage independent play. This helps the puppies develop their own play styles and reduces the reliance that they have on each other for entertainment.

Be Consistent and Keep Things Positive

Managing littermate syndrome requires planning, patience, and consistency. You’ll have to establish clear rules and routines that everyone in the household agrees on. This not only helps to give your puppies structure but also helps your puppies understand expectations.

Dogs, like people, can learn how to maintain appropriate behavior in a wide variety of settings. It can be hard to stay consistent, but having two well-rounded dogs is worth the hard work.

Positivity works wonders for humans and dogs too! When your puppies receive praise and treats, they will continue exhibiting the behaviors that keep the rewards coming. This means their favorite treats when they behave or fun activities when they have alone time. By rewarding your puppies’ accomplishments, you reinforce their continued growth.

Two Puppies – One AskVet Membership

If you ever feel that you are struggling with managing littermate syndrome or you are encountering other behavioral challenges, consider seeking guidance from one of our Certified Pet Coaches™. They can provide expert guidance tailored to your specific situation and help you develop a customized training plan. Our experts can assess each puppy’s individual needs, provide specialized techniques, and offer support throughout the training process.

Scheduling a virtual session is easy. First, sign up to become a member of AskVet (if you haven’t done so already). At $9.99 per month, it’s a no-brainer, especially when you have more than one dog under the roof.

Along with our Certified Pet Lifestyle Coaches™, you also have 24/7 access to our veterinary experts in case of healthcare questions. You can even utilize our peer network, connecting you with other pet parents who may be going through the same thing. You can share experiences and gather advice from those who have gone through the same journey.

Give you pet the personalized care. Get the app!

Double the Puppies, Double the Work, Double the Love

No doubt, having two puppies will make your home, hands, and heart feel full. While littermate syndrome can be a challenging task to address, consistently putting these strategies to use can help each of your puppies develop into well-rounded and independent dogs.

Remember that your key goal is to focus on individual growth and independence. With patience, effort, and lots of love, you’ll be able to raise two independent puppies and share unique and love-filled bonds with them.


How To Crate Train Your Dog Or Puppy | American Kennel Club

Socialization of dogs and cats | American Veterinary Medical Association

Why Play? | Oak Tree Veterinary Hospital

How to Feed Multiple Pets Without Conflict | American Kennel Club

Acupuncture for Dogs: What You Should Know

Acupuncture for Dogs

You might have heard of acupuncture in the context of treating humans, but did you know that acupuncture can have many benefits when used on dogs? Acupuncture is an alternative medicine practice that can help soothe a variety of ailments, notably arthritis and nerve pain.

When you love your dog, you’ll try anything to ease their pain. If you’ve been looking into alternative medicine practices and have stumbled upon acupuncture, don’t let the needles scare you away. When done by a professional acupuncturist, there’s usually nothing to worry about.

To learn more about what acupuncture is, what it can help treat, and what to expect during the procedure, keep reading!

What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice where a trained administrator enters fine needles into specific points where nerves and blood vessels converge. These points are called acupuncture points; they’re believed to control the energy transmitted through a body. Much of traditional Chinese medicine is based on the idea that illness is caused by an imbalance of energies within your body.

When the fine needles are inserted into these points, they can help enhance blood circulation and promote healing capabilities. It stimulates the nervous system to release anti-inflammatory substances into the dog’s body to relieve pain. Research suggests that acupuncture could work by modulating the nerve pathways by interacting with nerve fibers in the skin. This activates a release of chemicals, many of which can help alleviate pain.

How Does It Help Dogs?

Acupuncture can help dogs the same way that it helps humans. The process of acupuncture and the outcome won’t be much different because it has the same function. It improves a dog’s blood flow, relaxes muscles, may limit how much pain medication they need, reduces the amount of waste product produced, and helps to increase the metabolic waste the body removes.

There are no real systemic side effects of using acupuncture as a treatment for your dog because it covers a more holistic approach. For dogs in poor health who could be at higher risk when undergoing certain surgeries or using certain medications, acupuncture might prove a suitable alternative.

Let’s review a few of the benefits associated with canine acupuncture.

Conditions Acupuncture May Help

Acupuncture can help soothe the symptoms of multiple conditions, including some of the following:

  • Arthritis: Dogs with arthritis and other joint diseases often experience chronic pain and stiffness. Acupuncture helps relax the muscles, rejuvenate the joints, and alleviate some of that pain.
  • Nerve pain: Acupuncture could help to alleviate discomfort from pinched nerves or slipped discs.
  • Cancer side effects: This treatment can help boost energy and even limit nausea, which can be a side effect of cancer or cancer treatment.
  • Gastrointestinal problems: This can work to soothe cases of diarrhea and other symptoms of stomach issues.
  • Surgery: Acupuncture can relieve anxiety and pain from surgery.

What Is the Acupuncture Process?

During a typical first acupuncture session, you’ll go over your dog’s overall health, any concerns you have, and what you’d like to focus on with the provider. The provider will conduct a physical exam and then decide what should be treated. Your next few sessions will be where needles are placed, and the treatment begins.

The veterinary acupuncturist will insert needles into specific areas of your dog’s body. Your dog is highly unlikely to even feel this happen and soon should relax as they begin to do their magic. The first session can take up to an hour, but the next few will be anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes. Your vet will come up with a plan of how many sessions a week your dog could benefit from, and then you go from there.

For the most part, even the most nervous of dogs will relax after the needles have been inserted. It’s part of the benefit of acupuncture and often a sign that something is working.

Are There Side Effects?

Most people that want to bring their dog in for acupuncture treatment wonder if there’s anything that can truly go wrong. The most common side effects are soreness and mild bleeding. Sometimes you might notice a bruise at the sight of insertion, but this can easily heal up with some icing and rest.

Dogs with heart conditions, who may be pregnant, or have seizure disorders, should avoid doing electroacupuncture because they may have adverse reactions. Talk with your dog’s primary veterinarian before you begin any other treatments just to keep them updated and to get their opinion on things!

Alternative Methods Are Impactful!

Acupuncture is often where you end up when you’ve tried everything else in the book. Alternative medicine can be really impactful for dogs that have nowhere else to go, but ideally, it should be done in addition to regular veterinary treatment. It can be hard to navigate medical treatment for our pets, especially because they can’t communicate the exact problems that they are having.

Alongside acupuncture, your vet might recommend other alternative methods, such as massaging. If you think about how nice a massage feels for yourself, it’ll be easy to understand how your dog might benefit from it. Many of these alternative methods can be used in conjunction with each other, which can only promote the benefits that they have.

Similarly, some veterinarians may recommend your dog take herbal supplements in addition to their full care plan. Holistic treatments might not be enough to treat your pet, but when used in conjunction with other methods, we can provide our beloved four-legged friends with the best care possible.

Give you pet the personalized care. Get the app!

Ask Questions With AskVet

With something like acupuncture, you’re bound to have a variety of questions. Even after an acupuncture visit, you might be wondering if your dog is okay or if there are ways to monitor for any reaction. For these questions, you can speak with the experts at AskVet.

When you sign-up with AskVet, you can gain access to our team of veterinary experts and Certified Pet Coaches. Talk to our veterinary experts to discuss your dog’s issues and what you’re doing for treatment. They can offer advice and give you a better picture of what your dog is going through and the process of acupuncture.

If you’re looking to work towards improving your preventative care techniques and setting your dog up for success, AskVet has got you covered. Get started today to gain access to a variety of resources, use our vet chat 24/7, and join a community of pet parents who are all looking out for their pets.


Acupuncture | College of Veterinary Medicine | Purdue University

Effect Of Acupuncture On Pain And Quality Of Life In Canine Neurological And Musculoskeletal Diseases | NCBI

Evidence-Based Application of Acupuncture for Pain Management in Companion Animal Medicine | Veterinary Science

Effect Of A Single Acupuncture Treatment On Surgical Wound Healing In Dogs: A Randomized, Single Blinded, Controlled Pilot Study | Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica

Acupuncture in Veterinary Patients – Management and Nutrition | Merck Manual

Electroacupuncture – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics

How To Train a Rescue or Shelter Dog

How To Train a Rescue or Shelter Dog

Becoming a pet parent to a rescue or shelter dog is a very rewarding experience. Not only are you saving a life, but you are also gaining a new friend and family member. While it may take a few weeks to a few months for you both to adjust to this new life together, before you know it, you’ll have a comfy-spot-stealing, shenanigan-starting, good-time-having best pal.

While this relationship doesn’t occur overnight, there are a few things you can do to establish a positive relationship with your new pal. By training your rescue or shelter dog, you’re giving them structure, routine, and building a lasting relationship that will be one of the most rewarding in both of your lives.

Understand Your Dog’s Background

One of the most critical aspects of understanding where to start the training process with your pooch is to understand their background. Your new dog may have experienced a not-so-positive start in life, whether it be neglect or abuse.

Like in people, this may affect a dog’s ability to trust or influence certain behaviors, so knowing what challenges may lay ahead will help you plan accordingly. Take all the notes you can from the rescue on the dog’s past (if they have them), the dog’s likes and dislikes, and everything else. By being patient and understanding, you can create a safe and supportive environment for them to thrive.

Establish a Consistent Routine

You want to start off on the right foot (or should we say paw?) when bringing your dog home. To maintain consistency, start your dog’s training the day that they come to their new home from the shelter.

This can be established quite successfully in the beginning by having a routine. Dogs absolutely love having a routine, and you can help make your new family member feel welcome in their new home by giving them some predictability in a new place.

One of the best ways to establish your dog’s routine is to feed them on a regular schedule in a consistent place. When you have a regular feeding schedule, your dog will likely start to be on a regular bathroom schedule. Getting your dog on a regular schedule can be a big help with their training. Many rescue dogs are already potty trained, but some might not be.

Give your dog a space of their own, whether it be a dog bed or a crate. Along with giving your dog a space of their own, it’s also equally important to set boundaries. This may include not allowing them to beg for morsels at the dinner table, lounging on the sofa, and using a baby gate to keep them out of certain rooms.

While you may want to show them extra love to make up for the time they spent in the shelter by letting them do as they wish, these will be difficult habits to break down the road.

Provide Opportunities for Exercise and Mental Stimulation

Just like humans, dogs need physical exercise to maintain their health. Not only does it help keep weight off, but your dog will get a chance to get outdoors and sniff to their heart’s content. They’ll be able to burn off excess energy and be less likely to get themselves into trouble when left alone. Going on walks with your dog also gives you extra time to bond, which is important in the early days.

We may we wish we could, but we can’t spend the entire day walking our dogs. This is where mental stimulation comes into play. Giving your dog puzzles and interactive toys helps to keep them engaged and keep their mind working, which is a perfect way to distract your dog while you are not actively interacting with them. Better to load a toy with treats than your dog to discover what a trash can is!

Both regular exercise and mental stimulation are important for your dog. Their physical health will benefit from getting outside and moving around, and their brain will get some well-deserved exercise by figuring out puzzles. This will come in handy when it comes to training your dog.

Prioritize Training

When it comes to training your rescue or shelter dog, assume that they are coming to your home not knowing any training or how to properly behave in your home, and you will be starting from the very beginning. Training your dog is a must so that your dog can function around other people and other dogs. This keeps them and everyone around them safe.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is the best way to instill skills in your dog. Whenever your dog exhibits a desired behavior, you give them a treat to enforce the behavior and let them know it is desired. Many dogs are highly food motivated, so they’ll be eager to figure out what to do to get another treat. Positive reinforcement is very effective, and your dog will be learning essential skills in no time.

1. Teach Your Dog Their Name

One of the first skills your dog will need to learn is their name. Anytime you say their name and they look at you, give them a treat. After a while, your dog will learn that anytime they hear their name, they’ll get something positive in return, whether that is a yummy morsel or a sweet scratch behind the ears.

2. Teach Your Dog To Sit

Next, teach your dog to sit. While your dog is standing, hold a treat over their head and slowly move it back over their head. This will make them look up, and they will sit on their bottom on the ground. As they do this, you can say ‘sit’ and give them a treat. Continue this behavior until you just say “sit,” and they do the action. Always reward them when they obey the command!

3. Adjust 

If you find that your rescue or shelter dog has come home with less than desirable behaviors, like jumping or chewing, redirect them to a positive behavior and then reward them. If your dog jumps on you when you first enter the door, ignore them. Once they stop jumping and engage in another behavior, present a treat.

If your dog is chewing an object you don’t want them to, give them an alternative toy. This will show your dog the items that they are allowed to gnaw on.

What To Know About Separation Anxiety

If your rescue or shelter dog had a less-than-positive past or even a well-meaning pet parent who didn’t work on training and surrendered their dog, you might see some behavior issues pop up. While this is not the only behavioral concern you could see with your pet, a very common behavioral concern in dogs is separation anxiety. This is completely understandable in rescue or shelter pets, especially if they were surrendered by their previous owners.

Separation anxiety occurs when your dog becomes upset that you are not home with them. Behaviors may include excessive chewing, barking and whining, and using the bathroom in the home. Your dog may start becoming clingy when they get the sense you are going to leave, often when you get your bag, grab your keys, or put your shoes on.

One key way to help this behavior is not to make a big deal when you leave or come home. Being calm lets your dog know that everything is normal. Taking your dog on a walk or leaving them with interactive toys prior to leaving gives them an outlet to get rid of excess energy. When your dog has been physically or mentally engaged, they are more likely to snooze when you are out of the house.

Seek Professional Help When Needed

Other behavioral concerns are fear and aggression. Your pup may have experienced fear while in the shelter since there is so much unknown, and this can come out as aggression when your dog feels stressed out. When it comes to addressing these behavioral concerns, working with an experienced dog trainer or expert can help with omitting unwanted behaviors.

When you are an AskVet member, getting in touch with a Certified Pet Lifestyle Coach is easy when you have behavioral concerns. You can sign up for a virtual session easily, and before you know it, you’ll be chatting with your Certified Pet Coach and coming up with an action plan that will help your pet live with you comfortably.

Give you pet the personalized care. Get the app!

Furever Love

Adopting a rescue or shelter pet is a remarkable decision, but it does come with responsibilities. It will take patience and understanding to help your new best pal overcome their past and develop into a well-adjusted and loving member of your family.

Becoming a member of AskVet gives you one-to-one support in managing your pet’s daily health and wellness — like having a life coach for your pet. You also have 24/7 vet support anytime you have a health-related question.

With AskVet, you can transform your new pal into a beloved family member in a wag of a tail. Join us today!


​​Why Your Dog Needs a Routine at Every Stage of Life | American Kennel Club

Benefits of Exercising with your Dog | VMBS News

Positive Reinforcement Dog Training: The Science Behind Operant Conditioning | American Kennel Club

Developing Diagnostic Frameworks in Veterinary Behavioral Medicine: Disambiguating Separation Related Problems in Dogs | Frontiers in Veterinary Science

Separation Anxiety | ASPCA

How To Introduce a Cat to a Dog the Right Way

How To Introduce a Cat to a Dog the Right Way

For many, bringing a new cat into the home is exciting but, at the same time, can also be anxiety-inducing. When there are other resident pets that live in your home, take into consideration how they might respond to sharing their space. Cats and dogs are capable of living happily together, but it takes getting used to having another animal in the house before you start seeing the benefits.

When you bring a new kitten or cat into a home with a dog (or dogs) that already resides there, take some precautions before the introduction happens. You’re trying to create a space that is inviting and safe for your new pet without overturning everything your dog has ever known. As a pet parent, the main goal is for your animals to be healthy and happy, so we recommend taking this introduction seriously.

To learn more about some of the best practices to use when doing introductions between your new cat and your resident dog for the first time, keep reading.

Consider Both Pet’s Personalities

You’ve probably been considering bringing home a new cat for quite some time. Getting an animal is rarely an “on-a-whim” decision, so that means that you’ve done some thinking about if your dog is even capable of this new relationship.

You know your dog best, and you might have an idea of if they could live with a cat or not. It’s important to determine if your dog is able to live with a cat before going through the process of adopting.

For example, some dogs have a higher prey drive than others, making smaller animals an easy target. If your dog is one that gets overly excited and has a keen eye for hunting, you might want to reconsider getting a new cat or spend more time working on your dog’s drive and impulse control.

The last thing anyone wants to do is bring a new cat into the home, knowing that their dog’s personality might be too big for it. (While dog breed type can affect prey drive, it’s not a hard and fast rule.)

If you think that your dog would match up nicely with a cat, it would be helpful to seek out cats that have lived with dogs before. Even a kitten, who has no past trauma related to dogs would be ideal, as they are somewhat of a blank slate. Of course, this isn’t always possible, but it might help to have a more calm and anticlimactic introduction.

How To Introduce a Cat to a Dog

Introducing cats to a resident dog doesn’t always go as planned right away. It can take several days to several weeks for a new cat to warm up to your dog, and vice versa. They’ll need time to adjust. Don’t jump right in by throwing them in a room together; this could be a potentially dangerous first meeting, not to mention stressful for both animals.

By taking your time and going through specific interactions, you can get an understanding of how the two animals will react to one another. These initial stages can give you a good read on their body language and if they are taking to the new friend well or are labeling them an enemy.

Keep Them Apart

Before bringing a new cat into your house, establish a separate room set up for your cat to stay in. Have their litter box, toys, some food, water, a bed, and cat furniture in one room of your house so that they get used to the new space before having to get used to a new animal.

Have both animals eat on one side of the door. This will get them used to the new pet’s smell while doing something enjoyable. If the door-closed hello goes well, try an augmented face-to-face introduction through a baby gate.

Don’t rush into introducing them before either of them are ready; this situation can be overwhelming.

Swap Scents

Once the new cat has spent some time getting their scent on some of the items in the room, take out a toy or blanket of theirs and swap it with one of your dog’s. Have both your dog and new cat spend time with each other’s toys so that they can begin to get used to each other’s scents.

Dogs heavily rely on their sense of smell, and this will prepare them for their new sibling. You can even rub your cat and dog with two different towels and place the towel under their bowls while they eat, again, to build a positive association.

If you have multiple animals in the house, like another dog or even another cat, swap scents with each of them and your new cat. This way, all of your animals can get used to the new animal’s scent, and your new cat can have a better understanding of how many other animals are in the house.

Independent Exploration

The next step is to allow your new cat to explore the rest of the house without interruption for your dog. Take your dog into the room where your cat has been and let them smell the cat’s space as your cat explores.

Give your cat ample time to check out all the rooms, nooks, and crannies. This is their time to become familiar with their new space without having other animals in their face.

Swapping rooms and allowing for some independent exploration will give both of your pets the ability to become accustomed to the other’s scent without the pressure of seeing each other face-to-face.

Leashed and/or Gradual Intros

Once they’ve had time to settle in, your new cat might be itching to get out of their confined room, and your dog is probably wondering who the new scent is coming from. The best thing to do is leash your dog and have your cat in some sort of crate/kennel. Allow your dog to go up to the crate and smell the new cat, but then have your dog step away and sit or lay down.

After a few minutes, let your cat out of the crate with your dog still on leash. Your cat can then take their time to come up and sniff the dog. It might not happen right away; don’t force the interaction.

Baby Gate/Separate Room Intros

Remember, you know your pet best. Your new puppy or new cat might have a better first introduction through a baby gate in separate rooms. This allows the cat to have a safe space as well as an escape route if they decide puppies aren’t for them. The new/resident cat can have a large room set up with all of their stuff. Their scratching post, litter tray, and hiding places are all there and undistributed.

Then, the face meetings can take place at the cat’s own pace. You can use door stoppers to prop open the door safely after a few days of eating behind closed doors to begin the process of introducing them face-to-face.

Shy cats, in particular, might be wary of new situations and this new animal family member in particular. If your feline friend decides to stay sequestered, make sure your cat feels like they are still important by spending time with them in their personal room. The same goes for a dog — our pets can get jealous!

Allow for Space and Time

Let your cat decide when they are ready to go up to them. Many cats are curious, and some are very brave. If your dog is giving them calming signals and not showing them they are a threat, the interaction could happen.

They might begin to gaze at each other as if communicating silently as a way of building trust. Just be patient!

Positive Reinforcement

Whenever your new cat or dog does something desirable, like sits calmly, boops noses, or sniffs gently, reward them with a treat and some calm praise. You don’t want to sound too excited, or else your dog might hear it in your tone of voice and become excitable.

Offer cat/dog treats and pets and let them figure it out for themselves. Positive reinforcement helps your pets make good associations with whatever they are interacting with.

Be Mindful of Body Language

All of the above can be dependent on both of your animal’s body language toward each other. Your cat may be giving signals that they are uncomfortable by raising their hair, hissing, or running away. If you notice these behaviors, the situation is likely progressing too fast for your new cat.

On the other hand, if your dog shows signs of aggression or becomes too excited, they might need to work on some things before furthering the introduction. If your dog becomes extremely focused and alerted to your cat, this could be a sign they see the cat as some sort of toy or snack. Immediately separate them to avoid harm.

Give your pet the personlaized care. Get the app!

Say Hello to AskVet

If you’re having difficulty with the introduction of your new cat to your current dog, consider using AskVet to get in touch with our Certified Pet Coaches. Our pet coaches can work with you to understand both of your pet’s needs and come up with behavioral plans to help your whole animal family thrive. They can also give you tips on how to improve the process and let you know if you’re doing anything incorrectly.

You want to make the introduction process as seamless as possible, but it’s much easier to do that with the help of AskVet. Sign-up today for a virtual session, and hopefully, you’ll be seeing a best-friend relationship form in no time!


The Gaze Communications Between Dogs/Cats and Humans: Recent Research Review and Future Directions | NCBI

Canine Olfaction: Physiology, Behavior, and Possibilities for Practical Applications | NCBI

Incentive Motivation In Pet Dogs – Preference For Constant Vs Varied Food Rewards | NCBI

Communication in Dogs | NCBI

Introducing a New Dog to Your Home: 13 Tips

Introducing a New Dog to Your Home: 13 Tips

Bringing a new dog home into your life is an exciting and emotional process. Not only are you excited to introduce them to your family and friends, but you get to learn about the new personality that will be running around your house.

How you introduce a new dog into your home can depend on if you have other animals, family members, or children. No two dogs are going to be the same, so you can’t always anticipate how they will act when coming into a new space.

When a new dog comes into your home, be prepared to give them time to adjust to their new surroundings. Giving them space and letting them explore before bombarding them with new introductions can help to ease them into your family.

For tips on how to introduce your dog to your new home and other animals, keep reading!

New Dogs Need Time

Whether you adopt a new puppy or an older dog, they will need time to settle in (often referred to as the 3-3-3 Rule). Depending on their background, some dogs need more time, so there’s no telling when they will start to act like themselves. Some dogs settle right in and make themselves at home, while others might be more hesitant to relax.

If you’re bringing a new dog into a home with other dogs or cats, the timeline could look very different. Not only do you need to make your new dog comfortable in their new space, but you also have to ensure that your other animals are responding positively, or at least neutrally. Ensuring that all parties are comfortable with each other will help the process move along efficiently and can make the transition easier.

Perp Work: What To Do

Every dog is unique and will require their own specific way of settling into their new home. Still, there are things that you can do to show trust, safety, and love to your new dog as they make their way into your family.

1. Gather All Supplies Ahead of Time

Have all of the supplies you need ready to go. Have a crate set up for them in their new designated spot, a new dog bed, a comfortable harness or collar, a durable leash, water and food bowls, dog food, and some training treats available. This will make things easier on you when they get to your home.

2. Introduce Your Scent to the New Dog

Give your new pup an old towel or piece of clothing with your scent on it. Before you even get into your house, give your new dog something with the scent of you and your home. This will familiarize them with you and make their new home recognizable.

3. Remain Calm

It’s best to keep a neutral emotional state when introducing your new dog to yourself, your family and friends, their new space, and new animals. If you’re overly excited, your dog will feed off that energy and might become either anxious or riled up. It might set the wrong tone when doing introductions with their new family members.

How To Introduce Your Current Dog to a New Dog

You know your dog best, including how they normally react with other dogs. Take into consideration how your resident dog prefers introductions and base your actions on that.

Here is some information to help get your plan started:

1. Introduce the New Dog’s Scent

Give your resident dog something with your new pooch’s scent. This can prepare your dog for a new friend, getting them familiar with their scent before seeing the new pet. Dogs use their scent to perceive their surroundings, so it can make the transition process easier.

2. Start in a Neutral Territory

Schedule the first meeting to be in a neutral location. Don’t bombard your dog with a new friend by walking them straight in through the front door unannounced. Take your dog to a park, and have a family member with you to introduce them on-leash, allowing for slack in the line. Tandem walks can also make for a nice and neutral introduction, letting them get to know each other’s scent as they walk.

3. Watch the Body Language

Let them sniff each other while paying close attention to each dog’s body language. For example, if the hair on your dog’s back is raised, that indicates arousal (which could be negative or positive).

If a dog rolls on their back, this could be a sign of fear or stress. Commonly seen between a puppy and an adult dog, the younger pup wants their new elder to know they submit.

One of the most positive postures is the play bow. When you bring new dogs together, and you see a play bow, it’s typically a solid indication that fun times are afoot.

Your dogs don’t have to pay attention to each other if they don’t want to. It’s actually somewhat preferred to have your two dogs take notice of each other’s presence and then be able to go off and smell or urinate elsewhere. Let them establish their relationship without prompting them.

4. Go for a Short Walk

Before going back to the house, you can try to go on a short walk together to see how they respond to each other. Dogs that ignore each other and can coexist sometimes make for the best pairings!

When you get home, stay outside first. Let your dog show the new dog around their backyard, continuing to monitor their body language. If your backyard is fenced in, feel free to let your dog off-leash, keeping your new dog on a leash. If your dog feels playful and confident, you can take the leash off the new dog and see how they respond.

How To Introduce Your Cat to a New Dog

Some dog breeds may have a higher sense of prey drive than others; consider this when introducing a new dog to your resident cat. Your first priority is to keep your cat safe. Some shelters and rescues perform a cat test before releasing a dog to a new home. Ask the shelter’s dog trainer or behaviorist how they fared before bringing your new puppy home.

1. Introduce the Scent Before the First Day

Introduce your cat to the new dog’s scent before they meet, which should help your cat become accustomed to the new dog’s scent before they arrive. This could be on dog toys or a blanket. It gives them the heads-up that someone new is going to be coming into their space. At the same time, ensure that the incoming pup can’t get into the cat’s litter box or food. Having a dog-free area for your cat to go can help your cat to feel less threatened by their new family member.

Let them see each other with your new dog leashed. Your dog might become easily excitable at the sight of a cat: Teach them to be gentle and calm. Cats are highly independent and might not want anything to do with the new dog the first time they meet.

2. Your Cat Sets the Pace

Let your cat determine the speed at which they meet. You don’t need to rush anything when it comes to this introduction. Keep your dog leashed until they can be trusted off of it.

Let your cat come to your new dog, sniffing and checking them out to get a feel for them. This is often best done through a baby gate. If your dog fixates on the cat, lead the dog away and try again in a little bit.

When you bring your new dog home, ensure the cat has a different room they can retreat to that the dog cannot enter. Maintaining separate areas in the home if your cat needs more time is wise.

3. Teach Dog-Cat Playtime Manners

Don’t allow your dog to chase the cat.Even if they look like they’re playing, this behavior can become hazardous and should be avoided. Teach your dog that there are certain toys to chase after and that the cat is to be respected and left alone.

Luckily, cats are pretty good at setting boundaries, so as their relationship grows, they should begin to learn each other’s behaviors and limits.

4. Focus on Comfort

You don’t want to rush your new dog into anything, and you want them to adjust on their own. Promote trust by keeping interactions positive and encouraging them to explore. On a similar note, you also don’t want your resident pets to feel overwhelmed or like their space is threatened.

5. Keep Routines Consistent

Don’t switch up the routines of your resident pets for the new dog. You want to allow for a hierarchy to establish itself and let your resident pets know that they are not being overtaken. Greet your current pets before your new dog, keep with the same feeding and exercise schedule, and carve out plenty of time for giving them attention.

6. Monitor All Interactions

It’s smartest to supervise your new dog consistently, even if they are the single pet in the household. Allow for some independence, but keeping them safe and out of trouble will alleviate anxiety for you and make future training much easier.

Until you feel all pups can be trusted, don’t leave them alone with each other. As your new dog gets to know your other pets, they will understand each other better. For now, there is too much uncharted territory to let them off alone together.

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Say Hello to AskVet

No matter how exciting it is to get a new dog, it can be nerve-wracking to learn how your new dog will react to your home and to your other pets. Staying positive and calm will show your dog that there is good energy that they are coming into. However, you can never be certain about how they will react.

When questions arise, you can go to AskVet with them to find answers. Whether you are concerned about your resident animal’s emotional wellness, if you notice that there is an undesirable behavior that pops up, or if you just are wondering about different training and resources, AskVet has got you covered.

Sign-up today to chat with a Certified Pet Coach and make introducing your new dog to your home a whole lot easier.


Pet Dogs’ Relationships Vary Rather Individually Than According To Partner’s Species | NCBI

Canine Olfaction: Physiology, Behavior, and Possibilities for Practical Applications | NCBI

3-3-3 Rule of Adoption | Winnipeg Humane Society

Understanding Dog Body Language: Decipher Dogs’ Signs & Signals | AKC

Aromatherapy for Dogs: 3 Benefits

Aromatherapy for Dogs: 3 Benefits

As loving pet parents, we will try just about anything for our dogs. Nothing is off limits to try if it means our dog could feel a sense of relaxation and peace, and aromatherapy is known to have these exact benefits. People have been using aromatherapy for themselves for years, and our pets can also reap the benefits.

With any new method you try, be aware that your dog might not have the reaction that you expect. For example, some oils that are safe for people aren’t safe for dogs. Additionally, some dogs may be allergic or not get a lot out of this practice. Like their dotting humans, all canines are unique.

If you’ve been considering starting aromatherapy for your dog, read on to learn about how it works and some of its benefits.

What Is Aromatherapy for Dogs?

Aromatherapy for dogs is the practice of using essential oils to help with both physical and behavioral troubles. Essential oils are combined specifically to help certain ailments: Not every dog will need the same essential oil mixture.

How Does Aromatherapy Work?

Aromatherapy for dogs can work in two ways: through smell and through skin absorption. You can diffuse oils into the air, massage oils onto your dog’s body, and use different skin or paw balms on your pet to maximize the effect.

Diluting Essential Oils: The Basics

Dog’s skin is sensitive — often more so than our own. Just like when we use essential oils, we want to dilute them. Diluting essential oils is easy. Simply combine a few drops of essential oils with a dog-safe carrier oil, like coconut oil or olive oil. Pure essential oils are highly concentrated — too much for pups and people.

What Are the Benefits of Aromatherapy?

If you’ve done aromatherapy for yourself, some of the following benefits might sound familiar! Don’t be surprised if it takes a few days or weeks to see some of the benefits, as your dog has to get used to the new smell. Sometimes wearing the essential oils on yourself for a few days supports a positive association with the oil, boosting the effects when introduced to your dog’s care plan.

1. Reduces Anxiety

One of the main benefits of aromatherapy is how using specific essential oils can help reduce your pet’s anxiety. Aromatherapy targets the limbic system, which regulates emotions and mood. A dog that is in a panic is going to be experiencing an overwhelming response in their limbic system, but aromatherapy may help calm the central nervous system.

A dog’s olfactory bulb is connected to their limbic system, which also influences memory. A dog uses their nose so often that it carries a more intense connection to certain smells. When exposed to aromatherapy, a dog is impacted by it quicker than a human would be, and it can calm them down at a faster rate. This is especially true as a dog memorizes certain smells and associates them with feeling calm and relaxed.

If your dog experiences separation anxiety, having a diffuser going while you’re away for a little might do just enough to calm your dog and help them through it. Ensure the diffuser is dog-safe; if the device is tipped over, there should be no risk of hot water burns.

Lavender essential oils are especially helpful in reducing anxiety in dogs, mixed with Frankincense. You will also need to ensure that all of the essential oils are pre-diluted so that your dog doesn’t have any irritation due to the strength of the smell.

Treating anxiety often requires more than some chamomile and calming music. In those cases, chat with a Certified Pet Trainer to develop a well-rounded wellness plan. The team at AskVet is available 24/7 to advise on all animal family members’ health and happiness.

2. Boosts Happiness Levels

In addition to anxiety when separated from their humans, dogs can feel sad or depressed at other times as well. When you’re gone, their motivation to play might be down, and they might spend most of their time looking out the window, waiting for you to come home.

One possible solution to this can be aromatherapy. Essential oils like geranium Rose and bergamot can help balance your dog’s mood and frustration levels.

You can also spend time with your dog by massaging these essential oils into their body, which benefits both you and the dog. Your dog will never turn down quality time spent with you, and you get to see them happier. A win-win!

3. Physical Health Benefits

Beyond emotional wellness, oils are also associated with physical health benefits. Namely, they can work as a holistic flea and tick repellent. When you mix a certain combination of oils, it can help ward off fleas and ticks due to their own sensitivity to smells.

Combine geranium oil, rosemary, lemongrass, and bergamot together and put it on the back of your dog’s head so they can’t lick it. Of course, if you are using some sort of flea and tick medication, you should continue to do so to best protect your dog. This is simply another way to help repel fleas from even trying to latch on.

We know and love peppermint air fresheners in our cars, but they have a not-so-secret superpower: This puppy-safe essential oil has antimicrobial properties.

How To Diffuse Essential Oils Safely

Dogs have a very strong sense of smell, so if you think your perfume or shampoo smells too strong, your dog would probably agree.

Finding top-quality oils that are pre-diluted can help you to avoid adverse reactions. Overusing aromatherapy might also be dangerous for your dog, so you don’t want to overdo it.

When you do use an essential oil diffuser, don’t let it run for more than an hour (and that’s a tip for us humans as well), or keep it next to where your dog sleeps. Too much might overwhelm them and can cause an adverse reaction.

Think about how sometimes smelling a certain candle can give you a headache; it’s similar to how a dog can respond to too much aromatherapy exposure.

Give your pet the personlaized care. Get the app!

What Essential Oils Are Safe for Dogs?

Like certain plants have high toxicity levels to dogs, some essential oils that aren’t safe for dogs:

  • Peppermint oil
  • Cinnamon
  • Wintergreen
  • Pine
  • Thyme
  • Sweet birch
  • Tea tree oil
  • Anise
  • Clove
  • Ylang ylang
  • Juniper

When it comes to aromatherapy for cats, the list slightly differs but has many crossovers.

The Sweet Smell of Success

When you aren’t sure which oil to use or if you think you need more help when it comes to your dog’s anxiety, AskVet is here to help. Download the app to join today, and you’ll gain access to a variety of resources, from preventative care to behavioral health to diet and nutrition. Plus, with 24/ access to Certified Pet Trainers and veterinary experts, you can call on your virtual support system any time of day or night.


Canine Separation Anxiety: Strategies For Treatment And Management | NCBI

Evaluation Of The Effect Of Topical Application Of Lavender Oil On Autonomic Nerve Activity In Dogs In | American Veterinary Medical Association

The Nose Knows: Is There Anything Like a Dog’s Nose? | AKC

Canine Olfaction: Physiology, Behavior, and Possibilities for Practical Applications | NCBI

Use of Essential Oils in Veterinary Medicine to Combat Bacterial and Fungal Infections | PMC

10 Garden Plants That Are Toxic to Pets | UC Davis

Essential oils for Cats | Iowa Veterinary Wellness Center

Running With Your Dog: 5 Helpful Tips

Running With Your Dog: 5 Helpful Tips

If you’re looking for ways to get your dog more involved with exercising, you might want to look into running together. This is especially true if you’re already an avid runner yourself and are looking to add a running partner to your daily excursions. Or maybe you love the idea of starting a fitness training plan but think the motivation of bringing your pup along will help.

Most dogs love to run, hence their adorable daily zoomies that have the backyard looking like a racetrack. However, not all dogs are ready to go on a long run with their humans.

Before you start bringing your dog on runs, be aware of their limits and understand that not all dogs are distance runners. Here are five helpful tips to help kickstart your dog’s running career and make the process easy and rewarding.

Know Your Dog and Their Limits

Certain dog breeds may be more or less likely to be a runner, and it comes down to their drive, their age, their breed, and their personality. For some dogs, running is not encouraged, whereas other dogs may need it in order to feel fulfilled and content.

Dogs that might really enjoy an energetic run include high-energy breeds like huskies, border collies, and retrievers. Dogs that struggle with the following might not be best suited for long runs, so keep this in mind as you start to prep your dog for runs:

Before planning your early morning runs, consider these points:

  • Brachycephalic dogs might have difficulty breathing while running, especially in the heat. Brachycephalic breeds can include bulldogs and pugs.
  • Older dogs and young puppies should proceed with caution. Senior dogs may have decreased stamina and loss of hearing/vision and are more susceptible to temperatures. Puppies need to take things slower to protect their growth plates.
  • Proceed after consulting with your vet if your dog has: arthritis or hip dysplasia. Have questions? Chat with a veterinary expert here 24/7.
  • If you have a smaller dog, especially a Chondrodysplastic breed like dachshunds and basset hounds, proceed with caution. Their short, curved legs are prone to premature disc degeneration and other injuries. Short distances are best.

If your dog fits into any of those categories, consider lower-intensity workouts. Running might only further exacerbate current issues or cause new ones.

Helpful Tips To Start Running With Your Dog

After ruling out potential problems, if your dog is in the clear and motivated to do this activity with you, there are ways for you to make the process easier.

1. Start With Walking

Your dog needs to go on walks daily. It’s a great way for them to log some exercise, get their bodies moving, and burn off energy.

Don’t just jump into running long distances with your dog. Walk the routes you intend to run and follow similar paths so that your dog can become used to them.

That way, when you start running, your dog has built up their stamina through walks. You can start increasing the distance you go every week — slow but steady absolutely wins the race.

Walking isn’t the only basic skill to master — dogs should know how to heel and display polite leash manners. Keeping your dog in a heel might be easier at a walk, but they could be more easily distracted when at a run. Request the assistance of an AskVet Certified Dog Trainer to ensure that your team is ready; plus, get all the help you need along the way.

2. Use Running Gear That Works for Both of You

Invest in running gear that benefits both you and your dog:

  • Leash: Keeping your dog on a short leash or even attaching them to a harness that goes around your waist for hands-free running can help to keep them close by to you. In most cases, you don’t want your dog straying from your side; it can be easier to control them if they’re on a short leash. Speaking of leashes, investing in a dog leash with a poop bag container is vital.
  • Harness: When it comes to the harness vs. collar debate, harnesses are typically better for dogs since they don’t put added pressure on the trachea.
  • Booties: Depending on the terrain, booties can help protect your dog’s paws to make the running experience much more enjoyable, even if they think the boots are awkward at first.

3. Schedule Rest Days

Just like humans, dogs need a few days a week to rest. Even if you don’t run every day, take your dog on gentle walks on their rest days so they can continue to use their body and exercise their muscles. This will help them to build stamina even if it doesn’t seem like it would!

You might notice that in the beginning, your furry friend becomes a bit sore. They might move slower or use more effort to jump up onto the couch after a few days of running. This is typically nothing to worry about, especially because humans experience the same difficulties.

4. Let Your Dog Set the Pace

Your dog will let you know what pace is good for them. They might start off really strong but then decide to slow themselves down midway through the run. This helps them to maintain their stamina and lets them go for longer.

Follow along with your dog’s pace so that you can be mindful of how they feel. Remember, though this run is for you, it’s just as much for your pooch! You don’t want to burn them out or make going on runs seem like a punishment. They should want to run with you and look forward to the activity but on their own terms.

Your dog may surprise you: Greyhounds are known as great running pets, but you might find that your Terrier prefers to go out on a jaunt more than their long-legged canine sibling.

5. Bring Water and Stop for Breaks

Don’t forget to carry with you some water with a collapsible bowl and water bottle for when your dog becomes thirsty. A little bit of water here and there can prevent your dog from becoming dehydrated.

If you see a small puddle of stream, don’t be afraid to let your dog jump in to cool down. This can help to regulate their body temperature; heat stroke can be a concern even on cloudy days.

A note on heat: Excessive panting isn’t the only sign of heat danger to watch out for. Paw pads are very susceptible to heat and rough surfaces. Asphalt can reach up to 125 degrees Fahrenheit on a 75-degree sunny day, which can burn paw pads.

Booties are a must, but it’s better to avoid taking your dog running at all when the weather gets too hot. Instead, venturing out in the early mornings and late evenings is best.

Water breaks are smart for you and your dog, so if you come across a scenic view on your run, allow yourself to stop and take it all in.

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Talk With the Experts at AskVet

For more tips and tricks on how to best run with your dog, consider using the AskVet app to find resources on training, emotional wellness, and behavioral problems.

Our Certified Pet CoachesTM (CPC) can help offer guidance on taking your dogs on walks while also answering behavioral questions like “Why does my dog do that” and “How do I stop them from barking at the vacuum cleaner?”

Join now for access to veterinary experts and Certified Pet Trainers. Your pets are members of your family — and the AskVet Family is here to support yours.


Behavior Guide for Your New Puppy | OSU Veterinary Medical Center

Canine Brachycephaly: Anatomy, Pathology, Genetics and Welfare | NCBI

The Dog As An Exercise Science Animal Model: A Review Of Physiological And Hematological Effects Of Exercise Conditions | NCBI

Chondrodystrophy (CDDY and IVDD) and Chondrodysplasia (CDPA) | UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

How to Prevent Dogs and Hot Asphalt Meeting This Summer | The Animal Hospital of Sussex County

How Hot is Too Hot? Heatstroke in Dogs | American Kennel Club

How To Stop a Dog From Begging: A Guide

How To Stop a Dog From Begging: A Guide

Have you found yourself standing at your counter trying to enjoy a meal because your dog won’t stop begging for food when you are seated? Do you avoid having guests come over for meals because you don’t want your dog to harass them for a morsel?

Pet parents everywhere can relate; it is hard to resist those puppy eyes staring you down, maybe as they throw in a dramatic whine. We know you love your dog, but the begging can be annoying. It can also cause health issues for your furry best bud.

Dogs who beg successfully end up consuming too much human food, which can be harmful to their health. Obesity, digestive problems, and other health issues can arise from the consumption of healthy foods. Fortunately, there are several strategies you can use to teach your dog to stop beginning.

Let’s explore some of those tips so you can put an end to this behavior and enjoy your meals in peace.

Establish Clear Rules and Boundaries

You want your buddy to be by your side everywhere you go; we get it. However, your dog thrives on structure and routine. One of the first steps you can take to knock out the begging is to not allow your dog at the table at mealtimes.

Make sure everyone in the household is on the same page when it comes to this rule. Being on a united front will help make the process easier. It’s also important that everyone agrees to the next tip: ignoring the begging.

Ignore the Begging

Sometimes this can be easier said than done, but one of the most effective ways to stop a dog from begging is to ignore it completely. Dogs are very persistent, but when your dog figures out that this behavior isn’t getting them what they will want, they will give up. This is not going to be an overnight fix, though. It will take time, but eventually, your dog will see that this behavior is fruitless.

Make Sure Your Dog Is Full

While we know that most dogs are food motivated, your dog may simply be hungry when they are begging for your food. Make sure that you’re feeding your dog enough and that it is high-quality food. Nutrient-dense food is going to keep your dog satiated for a longer period of time, which means that they may be less likely to beg.

If you are ever unsure of how much food your dog should be consuming daily, you can easily get an immediate answer from one of our veterinary experts in the AskVet app.

Alternative Activities

Before you sit down to enjoy a meal, give your dog something to do that will keep their attention away from the table. Give them toys, puzzles filled with treats, or games that will keep them busy. This will prevent your dog from begging and provide time for mental stimulation.

You can also feed your dogs at the same time you enjoy your own meal. Vary things up by adding savory broth or tasty vegetables to your dog’s bowl. Your dog will be excited to see what new thing has been added to their bowl and will take their focus away from your plate.

Consider a Crate

If your dog finds resisting the urge to beg difficult, consider using a crate during mealtimes. Before sitting down, place your dog in their crate with their favorite treat or toy. This is especially helpful if you already crate train, as your dog likely finds their crate as a positive space where they can retreat and rest. This is a win-win as your dog will get some quality time with their favorite treat, and you’ll have a peaceful meal.

You may find that after some time, your dog will associate mealtimes with the time they get a treat in their crate and may even start to exhibit the desired behavior on their own.

Command Training

Command training is another effective way to stop begging. “Sit” and “stay” are useful commands to use when you want your dog to stay away from the table.

Positive Reinforcement and Patience 

Speaking of treats, a friendly reminder that positive reinforcement training is a powerful tool. Rewarding your furry pal with praise, treats, and affection will reinforce behaviors and encourage your dog to continue with their polite behavior.

Your dog’s begging didn’t get so awful overnight, and they won’t completely stop beginning overnight. It takes time and plenty of patience to change behavior. It can be easy to get discouraged, but stay consistent and keep reinforcing positive behavior when it occurs. Your furry pal will get the hang of it.

Give your pet the personlaized care. Get the app!

Ruff Time? AskVet Can Lend a Helping Paw

If you’ve tried different strategies to no avail, it may be time to seek outside help. A behaviorist can help you identify the underlying cause of your dog’s beginning and provide you with specific training strategies to address it. They can also help you develop a long-term plan to prevent begging in the future.

This advice is right at your fingertips when you’re an AskVet member. Head over to the app to schedule a virtual pet coaching session with one of our Certified Pet Coaches to discuss why your dog is having such a ruff time with their increased begging.

If you haven’t signed up yet, it’s easy to do. Head over to AskVet to sign up for an account, and once your account has been created you can schedule virtual sessions with one of our knowledgeable Certified Pet Coaches.

From there, you’ll work together to create personalized plans. Your pet’s coach will check in regularly to see how things are going, and make the necessary adjustments. It’s like having a personal life coach for your pet!

Another benefit of being an AskVet member is also having access to a peer-to-peer community where you can share tips and tricks, and even encouragement when training becomes a little difficult.

The help doesn’t end here. We can help support your pet with customized plans for pet health and wellness through every stage of their life. The best part? All of this support and knowledge is available 24/7 and for $9.99 a month.


Household Food Items Toxic to Dogs and Cats | NCBI

Why Your Dog Needs a Routine at Every Stage of Life | AKC

Crate Training Benefits: Why A Crate Is Great For You And Your Dog | AKC

How To Litter Train a Kitten: 5 Tips & Tricks

How To Litter Train a Kitten: 5 Tips & Tricks

Bringing home a new kitten isn’t quite as much work as bringing home a new puppy. Kittens tend to be more independent.

Cats are highly intelligent and motivated animals that pick up on what you’re trying to communicate with them. Because of this, training your new kitten on how to use a litter box tends to be fairly simple. If you commit to the training, your kitten should pick up on it in no time.

To learn a few tips and tricks on how to litter box train your kitten, keep reading:

When Should You Start?

For the first few weeks of a kitten’s life, their mother helps them to eliminate and cleans them up afterward, so a litter box is unnecessary. After a month or two, when they are with their new human, a litter box can be introduced. With adult cats adopted from the shelter, start litter box training immediately when they get home so they can figure out where it’s appropriate to use the bathroom. Luckily, many adult cats are pros at this already.

Litter training must be consistent on your end, but it will likely come naturally to your cat. You must keep it clean so that they continue to use it correctly. Additionally, you may have to try out a few different spots around the house, different cat litter, or use positive reinforcement to get your kitten to use it correctly, but it’s worth the trial and error!

5 Tips and Tricks When Litter Training

All cats are intelligent, but every cat is different and may need to be motivated to use the litter box. Some cats might struggle more than others or resist their litter box at first.

Cats famously love boxes, but how do we get them to love their litter box? Let’s get into potty training made easy.

1. Pick the Optimal Size

Before you even get your kitten, go shopping for supplies. Start with a litter box that suits the size of your new cat. For tiny kittens, a small litter box will work perfectly for them.

One of the most common litter box problems is that the litter tray is too deep or too large. Young kittens tend to do best with a 13×9-inch tray. Low sides are ideal since your newest furry friend might not be a top-notch jumper yet. If the kitten’s litter box is too difficult to get out of, felines might feel trapped and not want to use the box, leaving pet parents to deal with accidents around the house.

An older cat will require a larger litter box. As your cat grows, upgrade their litter box size so they fit comfortably in it.

2. Consider Litter Type

You will then have to pick out the best type of litter — this will depend on your cat’s preferences. Cats and kittens are notoriously picky in everything from cat food to litter type. When you bring your cat or kitten home, ask the rescue or breeder what type they previously used.

Using the right kind can help to avoid accidents.

  • Clay litter: Clay litter is one of the easiest ones to find in your local pet store. The particular can be fine or dense. Clumping clay kitty litter is generally made from bentonite. While it’s heavier, it’s easier to clean but tends to be more expensive. Non-clumping clay litter is made from wood fibers or non-bentonite clay. It’s lighter and less expensive.
  • Pine: This litter is made from lumber scraps. Opt for soft, harsh-chemical-free pine for your cat’s litter box.
  • Other Natural Materials: Wheat, corn, and walnut shell options are available. Some Wheat is a naturally clumping litter and comes both scented and unscented. Grass and corn litter are also biodegradable (like wheat) and naturally clump.

Kitten-specific litters often have pheromones added to encourage them to use the box. You might also want to add a mat underneath the box to make the house training process a tad neater.

3. Think About the Location of the Box

Depending on the size of your home or space, you might only have a few good spots in mind for the litter box. Ideally, the litter box will go in a spot that’s quiet and out of the way but not too far from human interaction. A low-traffic area is best since cats won’t want to go to the bathroom there if they feel frightened or on edge.

A litter box shouldn’t be near your kitten’s food or water dishes or in rooms that are known to be pretty loud. If you have space in your bathroom, that’s always a solid option or a spare room that isn’t used as frequently as others.

If you have multiple floors in your house, place a litter box on each floor with the same supplies for all locations. If you have multiple cats (lucky you!), there should be at least one more litter box than the number of cats in the home.

4. Reward Them for Using the Litter Box

While litter box training often comes naturally, try rewarding your kitten’s good behavior with a little treat. When your kitten is done using the litter box and exits it, give them a treat or praise ASAP. You want to associate them using the bathroom with the reward, so it’s essential that you give it to them immediately.

On the other hand, if your kitten has an accident, don’t punish them. It won’t send the right message, and they’ll be more confused and startled than anything.

5. Clean It Regularly

Your cat relies on you to keep their litter box clean. If you aren’t on top of it, they might begin to use other spaces in your home to go to the bathroom.

Cats like a clean litter box, and can you blame them? Just like humans, they don’t want to use the bathroom somewhere that’s messy. For cats, their solution is to go elsewhere: This means more accidents that you have to not only clean up but find throughout your house.

Not using the litter box is sometimes a medical issue. While it might be that the litter box isn’t up to the cat’s standards, it may suggest a urinary tract infection, parasites, cystitis, or something else. If your feline is urine spraying, that issue might simply fade once they are spayed or neutered.

Cat behavior and kitten care can get tricky; this is when you want to reach out for professional help. Talk to your local vet or reach out to the veterinary experts at AskVet for 24/7 help to get answers and the support you need.

Give your pet the personlaized care. Get the app!

Questions? Talk to Experts at AskVet

Some cats may show problems with litter box use throughout their life, and it can be difficult to pinpoint the issue. When these behaviors arise, you can talk with AskVet’s Certified Pet CoachesTM (CPC) about resolving the problems. AskVet gives you access to these professionals 24/7, as well as other pet lovers that might have dealt with similar issues.

You can gain access to resources for training, understanding emotional wellness, and creating behavioral plans to improve your kitten’s life. Talk with an AskVet Pet Trainer and get started today!


Feline Litter Box Issues Associate With Cat Personality, Breed, And Age At Sterilization | American Veterinary Medical Association

The Behavioural Effects of Innovative Litter Developed to Attract Cats | NCBI

Does Previous Use Affect Litter Box Appeal In Multi-Cat Households? | ScienceDirect

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease | Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

Why Do Dogs Pant? When Is It Too Much?

Why Do Dogs Pant? When Is It Too Much?

When the dog days of summer are beating down on you, the endless sweating makes you feel like you are melting. While you can cool off by sweating, our canine companions use a different method to cool down. While dogs can technically sweat, this bodily mechanism is not as effective at cooling a dog’s body as it is for a human.

Why Is My Dog Panting? An Explanation for This Common Dog Behavior

Despite popular belief that dogs only sweat through the paw pads on their feet, dogs do have sweat glands on their body. Their fur traps moisture, which prevents it from evaporating, which helps the dog feel cooler. Panting is how dogs most effectively cool off. Some breeds are known for panting more than others, such as labrador retrievers and pugs.

When dogs pant, water evaporation occurs in the dog’s mouth and tongue. This evaporation helps cool the blood in the vessels near the skin, and this cooled blood then travels throughout the dog’s body. Pretty great cooling system!

Other common reasons for your dog’s heavy breathing can be if your dog is feeling excited or anxious. Anytime your dog’s heart and breathing rate increase, they pant in response. You can expect to see your dog pant on hot days, after playtime and exercise, or in response to a new toy or treat.

Abnormal panting can also indicate underlying issues, so it’s important to note if the panting is present with other symptoms. Of course, if your dog has worrisome panting, consult with a veterinarian.

Brachycephalic Panting

Some dogs may pant a great deal, and this may be due to their breed. Breeds like pugs, bulldogs, and Boston terriers have short snouts and soft palates that are longer than other breeds. This longer and softer palate can block the trachea, which is the windpipe needed for breathing.

This condition is referred to as being brachycephalic, which essentially means that their face is flat and their airflow is compromised. This combination is not the best for breathing: Air has a difficult time moving around the airway, resulting in decreased airflow.

Dogs with brachycephalic issues commonly experience excessive panting, even if they aren’t exercising. For this reason, it is critical to monitor breathing in these breeds for wheezing, coughing, and reverse sneezing.

Avoid taking them outside when the weather is hot and humid, and give them plenty of breaks whenever they are on a walk. Keep cold water available during the walk and throughout the house and yard.

When Is Your Pet Panting Too Much?

It’s normal behavior for dogs to pant, as this behavior helps a dog cool down on warm days and after a long session of play. If your dog is excessively panting, this could be a sign that your dog is experiencing discomfort or breathing difficulties. Some reasons for excessive panting may include being in pain, anxiety, or heart failure.

However, one of the biggest culprits for extreme panting is heatstroke.

Signs of Heatstroke

Heatstroke is when your dog’s body temperature is at a dangerously high level, which causes overheating. This can be due to spending too much time outside during a hot day without access to adequate shade and water. It may also occur with too much exercise in the heat.

Another common cause of heatstroke is leaving a dog in a car on a warm day with no ventilation. Cars can get very hot very quickly. Never leave your dog in a vehicle on a warm or hot day without supervision.

Review the symptoms of heatstroke ahead of time so you can act quickly:

  • Heavy panting
  • Drooling
  • Lethargic body language, like dizziness, stumbling around, or limping
  • Reddened gums
  • Vomiting/diarrhea

What To Do In Cases of Canine Heatstroke

If you suspect your pooch is experiencing heat stroke, get them taken care of as soon as possible. Heatstroke and its side effects are dangerous for your dog and can cause heart and organ failure if action is not taken.

Move your dog to a cooler, shaded spot, and offer them fresh water to drink. While it may make sense to offer them ice or very cold water, doing so can induce shock. The aim is to gradually reduce your dog’s body temperature. You can also cool your dog off by placing a towel soaked in cool water on their back.

If you suspect that your dog is experiencing a heat stroke, take your pet to their DVM for treatment immediately. This condition can move fast, and it’s important to take it seriously. Your dog’s veterinarian will be able to diagnose and determine the best treatment so your dog is back on their paws.

Give your pet the personlaized care. Get the app!

Don’t Stress: Keep Cool With AskVet

While being a pet parent is one of the most rewarding roles you can have in life, it can sometimes induce stress if you have a question you are worried about. AskVet is your go-to spot whenever you have a question about your pet’s health and wellness.

While we can’t stress enough that visiting your veterinarian is the best choice when there is an emergency, a little proactive planning is great for your peace of mind. Anytime you have a question about your dog’s health, AskVet is here to give you the information you need to make well-informed decisions regarding your best furry buddy.

If you believe that your dog’s panting could be caused by another issue, like stress or anxiety, chat with one of our Certified Pet Lifestyle Coaches™ (CPLC™). They can help create a personalized 360-degree plan with alternative options and solutions to improve your pet’s everyday life.

We can help support your pet with customized plans for pet health and wellness. Join today for $9.99 a month and schedule a virtual chat with a CLPC™ today to get started!


Panting in dogs: Paths of air flow in response to heat and exercise | ScienceDirect

Brachycephalic breathing problems | Kennel Club

How to Tell if Your Dog Has Heat Stroke: Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention | Memphis Emergency Vet

Do Dogs Sweat? | AKC

Siberian Husky 101: The Owner’s Breed Guide

Siberian Husky 101: The Owner’s Breed Guide

The allure of the majestic yet goofy Siberian husky is hard to beat. Not only are these pups from Siberia beautiful dogs, but they are smart, active, and extremely lovable. Husky lovers know just how much of a handful their pup can be, yet once you have a husky, it is hard to adopt any other kind of dog. Once you become a husky parent, you truly are one for life.

However, the Siberian husky is not a dog that you should acquire if you aren’t familiar or haven’t done extensive research about the breed. They are an active, working breed that rely on their humans to keep them mentally stimulated and exercised. If you are concerned you won’t have the time and resources to give your husky the best life, you might want to reconsider adopting one.

To learn more about the Siberian husky and the care they need to thrive, keep reading!

Overview of a Siberian Husky

The Siberian husky is a regal, bouncy, and vocal dog breed that is easily recognized around the world. If you see a husky, you might do a double-take, thinking you’re seeing a wild wolf. But alas, it’s likely your goofy neighbor who also happens to be an escape artist.

Huskies are confident and boisterous working dogs who like to go off on their own to explore. They are independent dogs with a strong sense of self, making them more likely to talk back to you when they get into trouble.


Huskies are classified as medium-sized dogs, but their thick coats often make them appear much larger. Males tend to be slightly larger than females, weighing around 60 pounds and being 24 inches tall. Females weigh up to 50 pounds and can stand 22 inches tall.

They are known for their erect ears and curled tails which can also enlarge their appearance. Pair that with their confident stance and proud chest, and this dog has no fear and knows their strength. Although, that might not stop your husky from climbing into your lap or fearing the suspicious noises coming from the radiator.

Coat Colors

A Siberian husky’s coat is what really stands them apart from other dogs. Like the Alaskan malamute, they are double-coated.

Their double coat keeps them warm and comfortable even in arctic-level cold weather. It insulates their body heat and allows them to go hours without wanting to come inside, even in brutally cold climates. It even helps keep them cool in the summer, despite how furry they appear.

Siberian huskies come in a variety of different colors, including:

  • Pure white
  • All black
  • Black and white
  • Sable and white
  • Red and white
  • Brown and white
  • Agouti and white
  • Black, tan, and white
  • Gray and white

Life Expectancy

Siberian huskies are known for their relatively strong health and active lifestyle. With the proper nutrition and plenty of exercise, your husky will live a long and happy life. Due to their high energy levels and high prey drive, they need regular, strenuous exercise to stay fit and healthy. In general, they have a lifespan of between 12 to 15 years by their human’s side.

History of the Siberian Husky

The Siberian husky is often referred to as an ancient breed because of how far back we can trace their lineage without having mixed different breeds of domesticated dogs.

Siberian huskies originated among a tribe of Siberian nomads, the Chukchi. The Chukchi used Siberian huskies as sled-pulling dogs to help transport them across long distances, and they were treated as a part of the family. It’s said that they even provided warmth to the children at night.

The Siberian Husky We Know Today 

What was first known as the Chukotka Sled Dog began being imported into Alaska around 1910 to be used as sled dogs during the gold rush. However, when the Soviets closed the border before World War II, the dog stopped being imported as well.

With the inability to import the Chukotka sled dog, the Siberian husky we know today has changed slightly from their foundation dog breed. Despite this, the breed flourished in North America. Today, the Siberian husky is a notable and AKC-recognized dog breed that lives in many homes across the continent.

Notable History 

These dogs became a sensation overnight when they were used to rush hundreds of yards through Alaska to deliver a serum that would help treat a diphtheria epidemic that had broken out in the town of Nome.

Balto, the last lead dog to deliver this serum, was honored with his very own statue in New York City’s Central Park, and an animated movie based on the dogs’ heroic actions was also released.

In recent years, Togo, the lead sled dog, has earned his well-deserved fame for leading the expedition through the most perilous and longest stretches.

Breed Characteristics

Huskies are somewhat of an enigma. They all have very specific personalities that will likely keep you entertained for hours each day. However, they share many of the same natural-born instincts, making them somewhat predictable.

They are specifically famous for their vocality, hyper-independence, selective hearing, and dramatics. They are lovable and intelligent dogs that need the energy they give to be reciprocated. With that, they will be the best pet you could ever ask for!


Huskies of both Alaska and Asia are often regarded as independent and maybe over-confident, akin to malamutes. Their natural instinct is to roam and hunt, so being confined to a small yard or apartment might not be ideal. They are going to want to escape, and they are quite talented at doing so.

Whether your pup is a bonafide escape artist or not, accidents happen. Check out the One Pet ID, which can help you track down your missing pet and bring them home.

They are quite playful and like to find ways to get your attention. They want to play with you rather than alone and often do well with another dog around. They are pack animals, so getting two can bring them both comfort and play.

Huskies are great family dogs and watchdogs due to their history with the Chukchi people. They are pretty gentle with children, but it’s always important to supervise your dog around young children. Because of their friendly nature, they do well meeting strangers and other dogs outside of the home. They might get a bit too excited, so be sure to train your puppy early and consistently.


Training your husky is essential. They are powerful and independent dogs who are known to have selective hearing. If you don’t establish a hierarchy with your dog, they may not listen to you during crucial moments.

Huskies that are bored are bound to find their way into trouble. These dogs are high-energy and require a human who is active and willing to meet their needs daily. When you do this, you are giving your dog their best chance for success. They will be content and happy, and so will you!

Providing plenty of mental stimulation throughout the day — either training or enrichment such as a puzzle or game — will help to keep your dog active even without physical activity. Learning new tricks and giving your husky a job will also fulfill part of your husky’s energy needs.

Leash training is an absolute must. Crate training is also recommended. This way, you can handle your dog comfortably on walks and ensure that your pup is safe at home when you’re away from them.


Huskies are good at adapting to new scenarios thrown at them. Especially when raised from puppyhood, huskies become rather attached to their humans and will put their trust in them. Huskies that live in small spaces need more outdoor time than huskies that have space to roam.

You can live in an apartment with a husky, as long as you are providing them with ample amount of time outside and mental stimulation to help with feelings of being confined. If you socialize them well with all kinds of people, animals, and places, you will have a dog that doesn’t care about the environment they are in. They’ll trust that you have things covered!


One lovely characteristic that is seen across the board is the husky howl. Huskies aren’t prone to barking: it’s usually a long-winded howl. Huskies talk — a lot. They are internet famous for their sing-song voice and ability to have back-and-forth conversations with their humans.

They are a very noisy breed of dog, which might discourage you from apartment living. It always helps to introduce your husky to your neighbors, so they know where the howling is coming from at night!

Caring for a Siberian Husky

Siberian huskies require a significant amount of your energy and attention in order to thrive. If you’re looking for a sled dog, a hiking dog, or a dog to go running and biking with – this could be a great match! They are highly active with big personalities, meaning their human needs to be prepared to put in the work. They are not a dog that does well with novice dog parents. You might need more than just a crash course to fully understand how to train your husky.

Physical Needs

Huskies are strong and durable dogs that do well in high-intensity situations. One 15-minute walk a day simply won’t cut it for a husky. They require at least an hour-long walk a day; the more time spent outside, the merrier!

Puppy play dates, walks in your neighborhood, a swim in a pond, or a hike on a nearby trail will be the perfect amount of exercise for your dog each day. Having toys and puzzles around for mental stimulation will also burn your husky’s energy, which means more naps for them and quieter for you.

Grooming Needs

Huskies have a double coat, so their fur is very dense and full. They have two seasons: shedding season and not shedding season. Their undercoat sheds twice a year, in which you will be vacuuming your house twice a day. Keep up with brushing to avoid mattes or clumps falling out in your home.

You can maintain good upkeep with their coats by grooming them at least once a week throughout not shedding season and daily during shedding season. Be prepared to be covered in fluffy furs throughout the year, no matter what season it is.

It’s also important to keep an eye on how long their nails are getting to ensure they don’t become painful for your dog to walk on. Generally, huskies don’t need to be bathed more than a few times a year (or if they become covered in mud), as they are pretty adept at keeping themselves clean.

Nutritional Needs

All dogs deserve the highest quality of dog food. Huskies that are actively working may require a bit more than the average household husky.

You might get a husky that eats until they are full and stops midway through their dinner. Don’t stress too much; your husky knows their body well. On a similar note, huskies may try to use their puppy dog eyes to get a second breakfast — don’t fall for it, no matter how cute it is!

Typically, huskies eat between 1.5 and 2 cups of food a day, split between two meals. However, your dog’s needs will be specific to them. Therefore if you notice that your dog is not keeping on weight or putting on too much, you can adjust how much they are eating every day.

Health Concerns

Siberian huskies are a relatively healthy breed. Like all dogs, they are more prone to certain health conditions than others. If you are going through a reputable breeder, you should be able to access health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and von Willebrand’s disease.

Huskies are prone to other health problems, such as:

  • Cataracts
  • Corneal dystrophy
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)

Seek Out Your Husky Pack

Huskies can be a lot of work, but talking with others about certain behavior and how people worked to train their huskies can help make having one a bit easier. When you use AskVet’s services, you can get any question you need answered, and you can also join in with other pet parents to discuss your beloved pets and all their quirks.

Finding a community of other pet parents will help you to better understand your dog’s breeds. Now, with AskVet, this is easier than ever.

Schedule a virtual session with a Certified Pet Lifestyle Coach™ from AskVet to get started on creating a 360-degree lifestyle plan for any animal family member you have, including your husky. A CPLC™ can help answer any wellness and behavior questions that might pop up. Call us up and see how we can help you!


Siberian Husky Dog Breed Information | The American Kennel Club

Siberian Husky | Characteristics, Overview, Temperament, & Facts | Britannica

Puppy Parties And Beyond: The Role Of Early Age Socialization Practices On Adult Dog Behavior | NCBI

Siberian Husky – Breed Info | Animal Health Clinic

Caring for your Siberian Husky | Winter Park Veterinary Hospital

Can Huskies Talk and What are They Saying? | The American Kennel Club

Alaskan Malamute Dog Breed Information | The American Kennel Club

Chukchi | Alaska Native Collections | Smithsonian Institute 

Togo | U.S. National Park Service

Your Husky’s Life Span & How To Make the Most of It

Your Husky’s Life Span & How To Make the Most of It

From the moment we bring a dog into our home, we work towards giving them the healthiest and happiest of lives. Every dog breed has a specific life expectancy that correlates to their health, their genetics, and how they are being taken care of.

Unfortunately, larger dogs tend to have shorter expected lifespans; scientists assume it’s because larger dogs age much faster than their smaller counterparts.

However, huskies are somewhat of an anomaly. They are relatively large dogs, but their breed-specific health traits and physical characteristics improve their lifespan rather than shorten it.

To learn more about your Husky’s lifespan and how you can make the most out of it, keep reading.

A Husky’s Life Expectancy

In general, a healthy and active Husky will live between 12 and 15 years. Despite their medium-size and heightened activity, they are strong and adaptive dogs that are known to stick around for as long as possible.

How long a Husky lives will vary for each dog, but you can play a large role in extending their life and keeping them healthy. Often, how much care you put into your pet will be reflected in the amount of time they spend in your life. Of course, accidents happen, and we can’t prevent all things such as diseases from impacting our dog’s life expectancy.

Factors of Life Expectancy

There are a wide range of factors when it comes to life expectancy. Huskies fall towards the higher end regarding medium-sized dogs’ life predictions. Huskies are generally healthy dogs that don’t have too many known issues. They are an ancient breed that has survived thousands of years working alongside humans and being loved as family pets.

A few details might play into how long your Husky lives. Some of these you may have control over and can influence, while others, not as much.

Here are four possible factors that can affect our Huskies:


If you are going through a breeder, choose someone responsibly. A breeder should run all of the appropriate genetic tests needed to ensure most hereditary diseases are not a concern. You will also want a breeder that chooses their dogs based on temperament and health. Avoid backyard breeders and look for corresponding red flags.

If you adopt a Husky from a third-party source, such as a rescue, you might not be able to find out much information about your pup’s parents. However, you can pay for your own genetic testing to see if your dog has inherited any genetic diseases that would impact their lifespan. Typically, rescues, especially breed-specific rescues, will have dogs seen by veterinarians to flag possible health concerns as well as vaccinate, spay, or neuter.

Physical and Mental Exercise

Huskies are dogs that need a lot of stimulation, both mentally and physically. Exercising your Husky will help you to keep them in good shape. Huskies like a lot of space to run around; they should get ample amounts of time outdoors.

This high-energy breed can be the perfect fit for the right family or individual, but before welcoming a Husky into the family, really review their physical and mental needs. Huskies are adept at escaping their yards and can be very distraught and destructive without the right physical and mental stimulation.

Huskies are a working dog breed, which means that they are built to work, play, and simply go. The longer you are able to keep your Husky active, the longer they will live. That means that if you are still able to get your 14-year-old Husky on a walk, you should be doing so (with caution).

Proper exercise that is continuous and built-in to your pet’s day can help to limit the onset of mobility issues and arthritis. Plus, a walk or two a day will is good for us people as well!

Nutrition and Diet

Huskies burn a lot of their energy with their constant playful attitude and high drive. They like to work, they like to learn new tricks, and they do like to eat. Huskies know their bodies well and can often determine when they have reached their own nutritional goals.

If you provide your dog with a well-balanced diet, they should be feeling good and healthy for many years to come.

Regular Veterinarian Appointments

Another way that you can prolong your Husky’s life and keep them healthy for as long as possible is to make sure they are getting regular veterinarian appointments. By doing this, you can have a baseline on your dog’s health and track how they are doing over time.

With check-ups, your vet can catch anything that looks out of place and have your dog treated before issues progress. Your dog will stay up-to-date on vaccinations and preventative medications that will keep your pup healthy. The earlier you are able to catch something, the better the prognosis!

Health Concerns of Huskies

Huskies are known to be very healthy dogs that live long, happy lives. Conditions that might be of concern will more likely impact your dog’s quality of life rather than their life expectancy.

For instance, hip dysplasia might not be your dog’s cause of death, but it can limit their mobility and make life a bit more difficult. This decrease in physical activity might lower your dog’s quality of life which could have an impact on their life span.

Additionally, Huskies are known to have ocular issues, like:

    • Glaucoma
  • Corneal dystrophy
  • Juvenile cataracts
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)

Give your pet the personlaized care. Get the app!

Get Answers With AskVet

Questions are bound to arise when it comes to being a pet parent. It’s normal to worry about little changes your dog displays, but we here at AskVet have got you covered. If you want a quick answer to ease your anxiety or help you act fast, join our app and set up a virtual session with our Certified Pet Lifestyle Coaches™.

Pet parents might feel like they have too many persistent questions to ask, but that’s how most pet parents feel! Join in with our Clubhouse, and you might realize that your concerns are concerns that are shared with other Husky parents.

The best thing you can do for your dog is to listen to your intuition when it tells you something is off. Sometimes that intuition will be a whine, and sometimes it will be Husky-loud-howl, but with that skill and the help of knowledgeable experts, your dogs, cats, lizards, and more can thrive.


Veterinary-Prescribed Physical Activity Promotes Walking In Healthy Dogs And People | NCBI

Diagnosis, Prevention, And Management Of Canine Hip Dysplasia: A Review | NCBI

Why do small dogs live longer than big dogs? | Pursuit by The University of Melbourne

Buyer Beware: The Problem with Puppy Mills and Backyard Breeders | PAWS

Huskies are wonderful pets for the right person or family; but do your research! | The Daily Journal

Signs of a Responsible Breeder | American Kennel Club

Your Husky’s Growth Chart: Tracking Their Progress 

Your Husky’s Growth Chart: Tracking Their Progress

For dog parents all over, we know how important it is to cherish those first few months of puppyhood. Soon, your little buddy will have seemingly sprouted overnight into a troublemaking teenager. Huskies grow fast, and so do their energy and physical needs.

Week by week, you will begin to see your Husky rapidly grow in height and weight. You might be wondering if the rate your dog is growing is normal – likely it is. It’s just much faster than you might have hoped for or expected!

Keep reading to learn more about the growth and development of the Siberian Husky and how to prepare for each and every change.

How Big Will My Husky Get?

Huskies are described as medium-sized dogs that are muscular, agile, and famous for how vocal they are. They are active dogs and, because of this, are good at maintaining a healthy weight without much assistance from their humans. Huskies don’t require as much food as one might think, considering their activity levels. Their natural instinct is to eat lightly in order to be faster and more efficient.

Depending on how your dog eats, exercises, and is cared for, they might fluctuate in weight and muscle mass. Some dogs will be bigger than others, and that’s something you might be able to tell from their parents. In general, your Husky will be medium in size with the appearance of a bigger dog.

Weight of a Husky

A fully grown adult male Husky can weigh up to 65 pounds, with more weighing between 50 to 60 pounds. The adult male’s body mass is bigger than females, making them slightly larger and heavier.

Females are also medium in size but typically weigh between 45 to 55 pounds. They might appear to have smaller frames than males, but it can vary between each dog.

Height of Husky

Huskies are average in their height and will likely come up to your thigh when standing on all four feet. Their dense fur can make them appear larger than their actual frame, but in general, they don’t grow taller than two feet.

Factors That Impact a Husky’s Size

While each Husky you come across is going to vary from the next, certain factors will play into their size. As a Husky grows older, you might be surprised at how big they are getting. You might think you’re taking home the runt of the group but end up with a hefty 65-pound Husky.

Huskies do eventually stop growing, but the range can vary. You might think they’re done and wake up to find out they don’t fit comfortably in their crate anymore.

The factors below factors can be solid indicators of how big your Husky pup will grow to be:

Paw Size

The first thing to do when checking out puppies of any breed is to take a look at their paws. Compare their paws to others in their litter and see where they stand. Are your puppy’s paws twice the size of some of their siblings? If so, you can expect a big dog!

The bigger a puppy’s paws, the more likely that dog is to be bigger as an adult. Dogs grow into their paws more so than their paws grow with them. Puppies with big paws tend to be stronger and more sturdy dogs as they age and grow into their bodies.

Huskies have rounded, compact paws (similar to the Alaskan Malamute). Note that when investigating your Husky’s paws, you’ll likely spot webbing between the toes.

This webbing helps Huskies and other snow pups navigate icy terrain by increasing the surface area. Still, the webbing is less than that of strong swimming breeds like the Newfoundland and the Portuguese Water Dog.


By simply understanding your dog’s growth timeline, you can have a better understanding of where your dog should be in size.

Huskies usually take 1.5 years to reach their adult height but can fill out their bodies for up to another 1.5 years. If your puppy is below 1.5 years, they are likely still growing, and you can expect to see changes.

After a year and a half has gone by, your dog might still be gaining weight to fill out their height, but they are almost at their final size. Of course, as dogs mature, they could encounter changes in lifestyle that would fluctuate their weight from time to time.


If you want to get a good indicator of how big your dog might be, ask to meet or see pictures of the mother and father. Puppies born to that litter will likely be around the same size as their father or mother, depending on if they are male or female.

For instance, if you have a male Husky puppy, they might be similar in size to their father, while female Husky puppies will be closer in size to their mother.

When Do Huskies Stop Growing?

It usually takes between 1.5 to three years for your Husky to reach their full grown size. All Huskies are one-of-a-kind and will follow their unique growth and development path, but be prepared for yours to surprise you. Overnight it can feel like your Husky has doubled in size, with their puppy behaviors and looks quickly turning into that of a young adult dog.

Two Months

When you first get your Husky pup around the two-month mark, you will be smitten with their adorable, cuddly, teddy bear energy. They are sure to be spunky from the beginning, but their clumsiness and fluffiness will captivate you. At this point, your dog might weigh anywhere between ten to 30 pounds, usually only being up to a foot tall.

Six Months

By the six-month mark, you will have noticed rapid growth. Your Husky is still a puppy, but they have become more into their own personality, keeping you on your toes. At this point, female Huskies will be closing in on 40 pounds, with males jumping to between 40 to 50 pounds.

These puppies will need much more regular exercise than they did just four months ago, as they will sleep less, have more energy, and have bones/joints that can support more vigorous exercise. Training, walks, and mental stimulation will become key in maintaining your pup’s growing needs.

One Year

In one year, your Husky will be in their teenage stage. They might become more mischievous, causing a ruckus more often than not. They will be bursting with energy which will mean more walks on your end. Like other high-energy breeds (for example, German Shepherds and Border Collies), Huskies can become destructive and disruptive when bored.

Along with this energy is a burst in size, making them more than halfway done with their growth and development. At this point, both males and females will be about as tall as they are going to get, and will fill out even more as time goes on.

1.5 Years

By 1.5 years, your Husky is done growing in height. They will be as tall as they’re going to be, with only a bit more weight to put on. Some Huskies will be completely grown at this point, but that is typically the case for females. Males can still put on a few more pounds at this point.

Two to Three Years

When your Husky reaches the age of two, the next year is for finishing out their development stage. They will grow or weigh as much as they ever will at this point in their life. While fluctuations in weight are possible, what your Husky weighs at this age is an average of what your Husky should look like for the rest of their life.

During this stage, you’ll see your Husky as more of a dog than a puppy. Their adorable puppy fur will be long gone, and their adult features will be more apparent.

Lucky for you, their puppy-like behavior never seems to go away. They still maintain their goofy and playful spirit.

Husky Growth Chart

Female Husky Growth Chart:

Age (Months) Height (Inches) Weight (Pounds)
2-4 9-12 10-30
4-6 11-14 25-37
6-8 13-16 28-43
8-10 15-18 32-44
10-12 17-19 32-46
12-14 18-20 33-48
14-16 19-21 34-49
16-18 20-22 35-50

Male Husky Growth Chart:

Age (Months) Height (Inches) Weight (Pounds)
2-4 9-12 10-30
4-6 11-15 30-41
6-8 14-18 39-50
8-10 17-20 41-55
10-12 18-21 43-57
12-14 19-22 43-58
14-16 20-23 44-59
16-18 21-24 45-60

What Should I Consider Overweight?

Your dog might fluctuate in their weight, and this could be dependent on a lot of factors. How much they exercise, their nutrition, and how much they eat, as well as the environment they are in can alter their size.

In a healthy Husky, you should be able to feel their ribs when you touch the sides of their bodies, and their waist should be definable. Of course, some Huskies may weigh more than the average Husky and still be perfectly healthy and happy. Consider reaching out to your pet’s veterinarian if you are concerned with the health or weight of your dog.

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How Do I Get All of My Questions Answered?

With AskVet, of course! Having a dog and a Husky, no less, is a lot of work!

It’s common to question if what you are doing is right for your dog. We all want to do what’s best for our dogs and ensure that they are growing up to be healthy and strong.

It’s impossible to have all of the right answers. With a community like ours, you don’t have to worry about figuring it out on your own. With AskVet, you can ask any question you have and get an immediate response from our Certified Pet Lifestyle CoachesTM (CPLC).

Additionally, you can join our Clubhouse and talk with other pet parents about all pet-related things. It’s nice to know you’re not alone and find others who are going through the same things, whether they be exciting milestones or similar concerns. Schedule a virtual chat with a CPLC™ and start building a healthier future for all your animal family members today.


Siberian Husky Dog Breed Information | American Kennel Club

The Influence of Breed, Sex, Origin and Housing Conditions on Undesirable Behaviors in Ancient Dog Breeds | NCBI

Ancestry-Inclusive Dog Genomics Challenges Popular Breed Stereotypes | Science

Why Do Cats Have Whiskers?

Why Do Cats Have Whiskers?

Remember drawing a cat when you were young? You put so much care into making perfect triangles for ears and a long curling tail. The finishing touch to your hand-drawn kitty was always two or three whiskers on each side of their face.

A cat’s whiskers are synonymous with their purring and meowing, but exactly why do cats have whiskers, and are they important?

What Are Whiskers Made Of?

If you think that whiskers (AKA vibrissae) resemble hair, then you are on the right path. Whiskers are made of keratin, just like our hair and nails.

Whiskers are a thicker type of sensory hair that is connected to nerves via the hair follicle, which is deeply embedded in your cat’s skin. These hair follicles have their own blood vessels. What’s more, areas in your cat’s brain are also connected to their whiskers via sensory organs called proprioceptors. A true internal radar!

Facial whiskers do fall out on their own, but they do not shed as easily as your cat’s fur. While you may brush your cat’s coat to try to get rid of their shedding hair before it gets all over your home (and you), there are no preemptive measures you would need to take for your cat’s whiskers.

In fact, the best course of action is to leave them alone. Since they are connected to nerves, they are quite sensitive, and it’s best to avoid messing with them.

Why Do Cats Have Whiskers?

While they give our cat a cute appearance, whiskers are more than a facial feature and serve an essential purpose. Like an insect’s antennae or a TV antenna, whiskers help cats tune into signals around them.

There are whiskers in several parts of a cat’s body. However, the most abundant whiskers are on a cat’s face. These tiny tactile hairs grow around their eyes, on their chin, on either side of their nose above their upper lip, and, interestingly enough, on the back of their forelegs. The aforementioned foreleg whiskers are called carpal whiskers.

These whisker signals help cats determine if a space is too small for them and even help them pick up the movements of prey they may be on the hunt for. It’s pretty mind-blowing how much the itty-bitty nerve endings in a cat’s whiskers influence the cat’s behavior!

In addition, some cat breeds have longer whiskers than others. For example, Persians and Maine Coons are known for their exceptionally long whiskers.


Being a cat parent, you are well aware of the shenanigans that your furry pal can get into. Among those antics is your cat’s amazing ability to squeeze into small spaces. Their whiskers are to thank for that ability.

Cat’s whiskers serve as a built-in warning system to let your cat know if they are able to fit into a space or not. Your cat’s whiskers usually grow on each side, depending on how wide your cat is. If you have a skinny kitty, their whiskers would be shorter than a more robust feline, who would have longer whiskers to match their roundness.

While knowing if a route is wide enough for passage is helpful, another way whiskers come in handy is when your cat is just going about their day-to-day. If your cat enjoys climbing, running under furniture, or hanging out on top of the fridge, they will use their whiskers to help determine if there is anything near their face – which keeps their eyes, nose, and mouth safe.

This is all very helpful, as kitty vision is not as powerful as their hearing and sense of smell. This is especially helpful for those big cats who hunt for their food. Whiskers pick up any minor disturbance in the air current. This can help a big cat determine how their prey is moving or how close it is.

While your cat may not have to hunt for their dinner, they can still use their whiskers as radar when they play with their countless toys and prowl around for any dropped treats.


Like their tail, cats can use their whiskers to communicate their feelings. When our cats are in an inquisitive mood, they may raise their whiskers to get a sense of what is going on in a room.

If your cat feels anxious or aggressive (maybe because your dog is bugging them), they will pull their whiskers back tightly against their face. Look for their ears to be pinned back too, as their whiskers and ears will be a duo in non-verbal communication.

Protective Care for Whiskers

While there isn’t anything specific you need to do to protect your cat’s whiskers, there are a few things you can do to keep them from feeling overstimulated. The first is avoiding too much contact with your cat’s whiskers. Although your cat may love to have their chin or cheeks scratched, try not to grab their whiskers.

Another way your cat can be overwhelmed is if you have a deep dish for their water or food. When your cat dips their face in to take a drink or bite of food, their whiskers can touch the edges of the dish. If you see your cat quickly drinking or eating or tilting their head to one side when they do so, their whiskers may have too much contact with the bowl. Switching to a flatter dish will help with this overstimulation.

Another way to protect your feline’s whiskers is to ensure that everyone around them knows their importance to your cat. This includes small children who may think that whiskers are cute and may try to touch or pull them out.

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Whiskers For Them – AskVet For You

While your cat has their personal system of navigation, you have your own way of navigating life as a cat parent. AskVet is your system to help you stay focused on your pet’s lifestyle and wellness, so they can live a longer and healthier life. With our 360° Pet Lifestyle Plan, we are with you every step or pawprint of the way.

Book a virtual session with a Certified Pet Lifestyle Expert™, so you can feel empowered to address your pet’s needs confidently. Get answers to your questions and concerns and build a well-rounded care plan for any feline, canine, or reptilian (etc., etc.) family member in your home.

Then, join other pet parents in our online community, the AskVet Clubhouse. You can trade stories, give and get advice, and all the cute anecdotes of being a pet parent.


Why Do Animal Have Whiskers | North American Nature

What can whiskers tell us about mammalian evolution, behavior, and ecology? | Mammal Review

The Mechanoreceptors of the Sinus Hair Organ on the Cat’s Foreleg | ScienceDirect

Are Cats Color Blind? How They See the World

Are Cats Color Blind? How They See the World

When you go out shopping for a new toy or bedding for your cat, you’ll often try to find a color that vibes well with your cat. Whether you think the color suits them or if it fits in with their coat colors, the question is: does your cat know the difference? Can they even tell that there are a variety of colors?

From a young age, we might have been told that most animals can’t see color, but how true is that statement? While cats struggle to see certain hues and shades, they do see some things in color–just not everything.

Keep reading to learn more about cats and color blindness.

Color Perception in Cats

Color blindness does, in fact, affect our feline friends. To be color blind means that you are unable to discern certain colors from one another, especially in low light. It doesn’t always mean that you see in just black and white. Most people that are color blind have difficulty seeing reds and greens or blues and yellows.

With cats, it’s a bit more difficult to decipher what colors they can and cannot see simply because they cannot undergo a color-blind test the way humans can. Studies have been done to try to determine how cats see in comparison to human vision and what that means for their eyesight and ability to see different wavelengths of light.

Cat Vision Explained: How Do Cats See?

The eye has two specialized receptor cells in the retina. One type is called rod cells which aid in light vision. The other is cone cells, which are photoreceptors that aid in color vision.

People have three types of cones: one that allows us to see reds, one to see greens, and one to see blues. These three together help people see various colors in a range of shades and hues.

Cats were originally thought to have dichromatic vision, which means a cat’s cones help them see color, but they have a lower number of cones than humans — only two.

One is sensitive to blue-violet, and the other is sensitive to greens and yellows, leaving red out. One study found that cats had photopic trichromatic vision. This means that they see a similar range of colors as the human eye but with lower visual acuity; the colors are not as vibrant.

What Different Colors Can a Cat’s Eyes See?

There is much to debate about when it comes to what colors cats can see. If we say cats have photopic trichromatic, then it would be safe to say they can see all of the colors, but differently from how humans would. If we say that cats are dichromatic, then they can only see hues of purple, blue, green, and yellow.

Some people will think that their cat is unable to see certain colors based on how they react to toys or blankets. However, this is probably unlikely because of what colors they can and can’t see, and more so just about which objects your cat likes better.

What Colors Can’t Cats See?

Cats seem to show similarities to people with red-green color blindness. They also seem to be more sensitive to blues and yellows. This would mean that the main colors that cats likely have difficulty distinguishing are red, orange, and brown.

It’s possible that the way humans and cats see color is vastly different. Feline eyes are more likely to see in pastels than in vibrance, especially if we consider them to be photopic trichromatic.

How Do Cats Make Up For Color Blindness?

Cats rely on all of their senses to survive, but eyesight is still important. If your cat has more difficulty with their color vision, do not worry! They make up for it with their spectacular night vision and peripheral vision.

Night Vision

While they might not see as vibrant as humans, cats can see in the night better than us and need a lower amount of light to see clearly. They have more rods in the back of the eye than us, making their sensitivity to light more acute. The lack of color that they might experience is made up for by how well they can see in dim light.

Additionally, cats’ pupils can adjust in a range of light conditions. In the daytime, you might notice that their eyes look like thin slits. That’s because they don’t need to work hard to let any light in to see. In the dark, a cat’s pupils can dilate so that they are almost the same size as their eye, allowing for more light to come in and helping them see.

Wider Peripherals 

Cats’ eyes are not as centered as humans, giving them a wider range of vision. This feature is to help them hunt and for other survival purposes. They can see at a 200 degrees angle, compared to a human’s 180 degrees, making it easier to spot predators and prey.

This does mean their depth perception isn’t as great as that of humans, but it is still considered very good in the animal kingdom.

Give your pet the personlaized care. Get the app!

Get All of Your Questions Answered with AskVet

No matter how long we have been a pet parent, there are new questions you’ll find yourself asking. You might find it helpful to be a part of a community of other pet parents looking for similar answers. When you sign-up with AskVet, you can gain access to this exact community.

Not only does AskVet provide you with answers when you schedule a virtual visit with our Certified Pet Lifestyle Coach™ (CPLC™), but you can join in with other pet parents in the AskVet Clubhouse to share stories and concerns you might have about your pet.


Cat Color Vision: The Effect Of Stimulus Size, Shape And Viewing Distance | Science Direct

Neutral Point Testing Of Color Vision In The Domestic Cat | NCBI

Trichromatic Vision In The Cat | NCBI

Husky Shedding 101: 7 Tips & Helpful Facts 

Husky Shedding 101: 7 Tips & Helpful Facts

As a husky lover, you’ve likely seen the viral videos on social media of huskies at the groomers with what looks like an explosion of fur all around them. The husky in question looks extremely pleased with themselves, with tufts of fur floating all around them.

We love our huskies for their vibrant personalities, ability to be very vocal, and lovely appearance. Who can resist those beautiful eyes and lush, thick coats? You may not be able to resist those eyes, but that coat can be the bane of your existence from time to time.

Husky Coat 101

Huskies were the canine companions of nomadic peoples living in the Arctic. A thick coat is a means of survival in those bitterly cold temperatures, and a husky was absolutely made for winter weather with their built-in insulation.

Huskies have a thick, double coat of fur that keeps them warm. The outercoat is made of long, straight hairs that help to repel moisture from rain and snow. The undercoat is made up of short, thick hairs that trap heat close to the body. This undercoat is especially protective against the cold, hard ground of the Arctic.

Wind protection is critical, as it can be a significant source of heat loss. You are probably well aware of those blustery days when it can feel almost nice when the wind isn’t blowing. The Arctic can be a windy place, and a huskies coat keeps them feeling nice and cozy even on the most blustery of days.

In fact, huskies love the cold, and you may have to do some serious bribing to get your husky inside when there is snow on the ground.

Why Does My Husky Shed So Much?

During the fall and winter months, your husky will go through the process of “blowing their coat.” What this essentially means is that their undercoat will shed at a more rapid pace for new, healthy growth to come in.

You won’t ever have to ask yourself if your husky is blowing their coat or not. You’ll find clumps of hair all over the house, on clothing, and on furniture. You’ll literally be living in a cloud of your husky’s fur.

This shedding is a natural process, and there isn’t too much you can do to prevent your husky from blowing their coat. It is also a long process as your husky will not blow their coat all at one time.

This process usually covers a span of anywhere from two to four weeks. However, there are some ways that you can proactively get control of the crazy amount of fur that your husky will shed.

Brush, Brush, Brush

Devote some time each day to grooming your husky’s coat. Routinely brushing their coat will help remove loose hair before it has a chance to fall out on its own. (Slicker brushes are perfect for removing dead hair (and freeing tangles) from the undercoat.)

As you brush, you’ll probably wonder if you’ll end up with a bald husky as the pile of hair grows bigger and bigger every time you clean out the brush. Don’t worry! There is plenty of fluff left, and your furbaby won’t be left shivering. Seeing the massive pile of hair really gives you the idea of how insulated and well-prepared they are for the colder months.

When grooming your pup, brush in the direction of hair growth to avoid damaging the coat or causing skin irritation. If your husky’s skin becomes irritated, they may scratch and cause more fur to fly everywhere.

Make Time for Bath Time

Bathing more frequently during the spring and the fall can help to loosen up any dead hair from your husky’s coat. Make sure you use dog-specific products to keep their coat looking shiny and healthy. Give your husky a thorough brushing so you can remove as much hair as possible. This will help to keep your drains clear of any fur clogs.

If your husky is not a huge fan of baths, make it positive with plenty of treats and praise. Some pet parents find it helpful to slather Xylitol-free peanut butter on the shower wall to keep their dogs distracted. Lastly, since huskies are larger dogs, make sure they feel safe in the tub by placing a rubber mat so that they don’t slip.

Use a Blower

A hair dryer or even a specially designed pet blower can help loosen up loose fur. This is especially useful if you can do this process outside, so you don’t end up with husky hair flying around your home.

If you are using a hair dryer, turn on the low-heat or no-heat setting. Don’t concentrate the hair dryer on a single spot; keep the dryer moving. If you have never used a hair dryer on your husky before, give them a chance to sniff the dryer while it is off and feed them plenty of treats during the introduction so that things start on a positive note.

Introduce your husky to the noise by having them in the bathroom with you while you use the hair dryer on yourself. As long as your husky is calm and relaxed, slowly start to blow some of the air their way to see their reaction.

Vacuum Regularly

Part of being a pet parent is investing in a great vacuum cleaner. It’s a fact of life that things are just a little furrier with our dogs around. Vacuuming regularly keeps the hair in your home more of a subtle accent feature rather than an attention-grabbing statement piece.

Not everyone has time to vacuum every single day. In this case, a robot vacuum helps keep things a little less hairy between your big vacuuming days. You also get to spend more time with your husky while your robot vacuum does the work for you.

We have a pro tip when picking out a vacuum to deal with pet hair: Select a vacuum with anti-wrap technology, which saves you from having to untangle pet hair from the rolling brush.

Another crucial tip when using a robot vacuum is to avoid the auto-vacuum function if your dog is not house-trained. We’ll spare you the details, but if your dog has an accident while the robot vacuum is on auto, you will have quite the mess waiting for you when you get home.

Invest In an Air Purifier

It can be beneficial to have an air purifier with any pet in the household, but especially with a high-shedding dog. Air purifiers help to trap pet hair, dander, and other allergens non-pet related like dust and pollen.

Air purifiers are even beneficial for your dog, too, especially if your dog has any underlying respiratory conditions. They are a valuable addition to any home as they can help to improve the air quality for everyone in the household, whether they have two legs or four.

Play Outside 

Huskies are energetic, high-energy animals who need plenty of physical exercise. They were bred to pull sleds, after all! All of this pent-up energy needs somewhere to go, and if your husky is not getting enough physical stimulation, they may become bored, which can lead to destructive behaviors (including howling endlessly).

Remember that huskies absolutely adore cold weather, so make sure you are okay with getting bundled up and heading outside with your dog. They will love, play fetch, and play tug of war with you.

An advantage to getting outside is while your husky is running around and playing, all of that loose fur has a chance to get blown away outside and not in your house. Both of you will be happy and healthy, and you’ll love not having to clean up the extra fur.

Don’t Be Tempted To Shave

It is a temptation to want to get all the shedding over with and just shave your husky’s coat. You may think they will be more comfortable during the warmer months without their thick coat. However, this double coat helps your husky to regulate their body temperature.

Although they have a thick coat, the undercoat also works to keep cool air close to the skin during warmer months. The outer coat helps to prevent sunburn by blocking UV rays. Think of a huskies coat like a well-insulated house. Warm air is kept in during the winter, and cool air is kept in during the summer.

Give your pet the personlaized care. Get the app!

Your Husky Loves You, and You Love AskVet

Being a husky parent means putting a lot of care and energy into raising the cutest and best husky out there. Their vocal and fun personalities will fill your day with happiness and laughter. Their love for you will be evident in all the fur-covered clothing you’ll wear. (Invest in a reliable lint roller!)

Whenever you have questions about huskies, head over to AskVet to chat with experts and other husky parents so you can share in the love of having a high-energy dog. You can get tips and tricks for new games, toys, and even more helpful ways to deal with the biannual “coat blowout.” It is also nice to have someone share in the feeling of emptying out your vacuum canister for the third time in a day.

Set up a time for a virtual chat with a Certified Pet Lifestyle Coach™ and discuss everything from wellness to behavior to nutrition to exercise to behavior and much more. We’re here to make your lifestyle with your pet the best that it can be. No matter what the time — day or night — we are here 24/7 when you need quick and convenient answers for every non-human member of your family.


Genome Sequencing Highlights the Dynamic Early History of Dogs | PLOS Genetics

Ask the Vet: Why Does My Dog Shed? | Sunset Veterinary Clinic

Double Coat Dos and Don’ts | Merryfield School of Pet Grooming

Are air purifiers safe for pets? | Live Science

How to Groom a Dog at Home | American Kennel Club

Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter? | American Kennel Club

Cat Grooming 101: The Definitive Guide

Cat Grooming

A healthy cat is a happy cat — and while cats tend to be great at grooming themselves, even the most independent felines need a little extra care every once in a while! Whether your kitty needs a bath, a haircut, or a nail trimming, we’re here to provide all the guidance you need.

Keep reading for everything you need to know about grooming your cat.

Do I Need To Be My Cat’s Groomer?

First, let’s start with the basics: is cat grooming even necessary in the first place? After all, cats are notoriously fastidious about keeping clean. You’ve likely observed your kitty spending hours grooming, and/or licking their fur. Their natural aversion to baths of any sort might have you questioning whether the hassle of forcing them into the tub is really worth the aggravation and fuss.

It’s true that your kitty can, for the most part, take care of themself. Generally, a cat’s teeth and tongue are well-suited to handle the hairballs and grime of everyday wear and tear.

Still, every once in a while, cats might need extra help. If your cat has long hair that tends to get matted, is getting older and can no longer keep up with their own grooming needs, or has gotten into a literal sticky situation, this article is for you.

Note that if your cat proves to be rather tricky to bathe, you might want to head to a professional pet groomer. Your local veterinarian or pet salon (including mobile pet groomers) are experts.

How Do I Bathe My Cat?

We’ll jump right in with possibly the trickiest part of grooming your cat: bath time. Cats are notorious for despising water. Even the most relaxing and luxurious home bath routine can be fraught with the peril of getting clawed. (Despite this reputation, some very playful cat breeds, like the Bengal, do like water and might have tried to hop in the shower with you before!)

But maybe your cat got skunked or spent a bit too much time skulking through a trash heap, and you have no other option. We’ll walk you through a step-by-step guide to make the grooming process as painless as possible.

Consider Trimming Your Cat’s Claws

Step number one for bathing a water-averse feline: invest in some self-protection. Have you ever noticed your cat digging their claws into a piece of furniture or a scratching post? This is often a form of self-trimming, ensuring those claws are a sharp and healthy length. (However, this behavior can also signify boredom.)

Usually, you can get away with trimming your cat’s claws once a month. If you’re bathing your cat, though — an activity most cats aggressively dislike — you might want to trim those bad boys to protect yourself from getting sliced.

To trim your cat’s claws, you’ll first want to gather your supplies. You’ll need a pair of cat claw trimmers (scissors or clippers work fine), a towel or blanket to wrap your cat in, and some treats to reward your kitty for being a good sport.

Next, wrap your cat in the towel or blanket, making sure to leave their paws exposed. This will help keep them still and prevent them from scratching you. Then pick up your cat and locate their claws.

Be sure to identify a pink area at the base of each claw, called the “quick.” This area contains the blood vessels and nerves that keep the claw avoid, so it’s crucial to avoid cutting it.

Using your claw trimmers, carefully snip off the sharp tip of each claw, repeating this process several times if necessary to get all of the nails trimmed. Finally, reward your kitty with lots of praise (and maybe some treats) to help reinforce the idea that claw trimming isn’t ALL that bad.

Bath Time: An Essential Part of Pet Grooming

Bathing a cat may not be the most fun activity for either you or your feline friend. Still, it’s an integral part of being a responsible pet parent and is definitely worth the trouble if your pet has gotten itself into a sticky situation.

To give your cat a bath, you’ll need a cat-safe shampoo, a towel, a washcloth, and a cup for rinsing. Fill your sink or bathtub with a few inches of warm water, making sure the water isn’t too hot or too cold.

Then gently place your cat in the water and wet them down with the washcloth. Avoid getting soap on their face, especially in your cat’s ears or eyes. Take care to rinse them thoroughly to avoid leaving any soap residue on their fur.

Next, apply a small amount of cat-safe shampoo to your cat’s fur, and lather it in using your washcloth. Work the shampoo into their fur, taking care to avoid getting it in their eyes or ears.

Finally, rinse your cat thoroughly with warm water, and use the towel to gently dry them off. Reward your kitty with treats and lots of praise to reinforce good behavior next bath time (although chances are, they’ll streak away as soon as possible to sulk for a few hours under the nearest bed).

Do not use a hairdryer on your cat, as the noise is too loud for them to handle. Make sure they are left in a warm room to dry off fully, as their body temperature can drop quickly when wet.

Bathing a cat may not be the most enjoyable experience, but it’s an important part of keeping them healthy and happy and is a key part of regular grooming.

How Do I Brush My Cat?

Like we talked about earlier, even the most fastidious cat can use a grooming session every once in a while. Not only does regular brushing remove loose hair and prevent shedding, but it also helps to distribute natural oils throughout the fur and prevent tangles and mats.

To brush your cat, you’ll need a cat brush or comb with rough bristles and a quiet and comfortable spot to work. Not every cat enjoys the de-matting process; brushing somewhere quiet and relaxing might help make your job a little easier. A bed or couch works well. Additionally, you may want to wrap your cat in a towel or blanket to make them feel more secure.

Start by gently petting your cat and getting them desensitized to the cat brush. Slowly work your way up to their head, avoiding their ears and face, and brush in the direction of their fur growth.

Once you’ve finished brushing the top of your cat’s body, move on to their legs and paws. Gently brush out each leg and paw, avoiding their claws. Finally, brush your cat’s tail and backside, again brushing in the direction of their fur growth. (Brushing against the fur growth can exacerbate the buildup of tangles and mats rather than make them better.)

How Often Do I Need to Brush My Cat?

Some kitties might enjoy the grooming process, and you’ll have no difficulty corralling them for their regular brushing. With others, it might be more difficult and have you wondering how long you can go in between grooming sessions.

The answer depends on a few factors, including your cat’s breed, age, and health. In general, most cats benefit from being brushed at least once a week. This can help prevent tangles and mats. Plus, it can remove loose hair before it has a chance to shed and end up on your furniture or clothing.

If your cat has long, thick fur — in other words, if they are a long-haired cat, such as a Persian or Maine Coon — they may benefit from being brushed more often. This is especially true for older cats or cats with health conditions that make self-grooming difficult. In these cases, brushing your cat two to three times a week can help keep their coat healthy and prevent tangles and mats.

On the other hand, if your cat has short, smooth fur — a shorthaired cat, such as a British Shorthair or Russian Blue — they may not need to be brushed as often. In general, once a week should be sufficient, but you can adjust the frequency based on your cat’s individual needs.Give your pet the personlaized care. Get the app!

Cat Ear Care: First-Time Tips 

Ear cleaning can be another key aspect of pet care (although not every kitty will need your help with this step). You don’t need special equipment to clean your cat’s ears — just some ear-cleaning solution and a few cotton balls or pads. Never use Q-tips.

Start by gently lifting your cat’s earflap and using the cotton pad or ball to wipe away any dirt or debris you see in the ear. Be careful not to insert the cotton too far into the ear, or use cotton swabs or other pointed objects to clean your cat’s ears, as this can cause injury.

Once you’ve wiped away the visible dirt, put a few drops of ear-cleaning solution into your cat’s ear and massage the base of the ear gently to help the solution work its way into the ear canal.

Use a fresh cotton pad or ball to gently wipe away any excess solution and dirt that has been loosened. Repeat the process on the other ear. And voila! You’ve taken care of your kitty.

Become a (Quasi) Pro Cat Groomer (at Home)

Although most cats are great at grooming themselves, every once in a while, they’ll need extra assistance, whether that be ear cleaning, brushing, or getting a bath.

If you have questions about grooming your feline friend or any other pet-related matter, reach out to the Certified Pet Lifestyle Coaches™ at AskVet. Whether you have a question about a dog, cat, fish, lizard, or more, when you schedule a virtual session with CPLCs™, you have an expert to talk to. From behavioral to nutrition and everything in between, AskVet here is to help.


Cat Grooming Tips | ASPCA

Skunk Spray: Cats | San Francisco SPCA

How to Clean Your Cat’s Ears | United Veterinary Center

Night Vision: Can Cats See in the Dark?

Night Vision: Can Cats See in the Dark?

Cats are known to be quick, agile, and strong hunters. In order to move so effortlessly around the room, pouncing from chair to ledge, one has to assume that their vision must be top-notch. Even in the dark, cats are known to be quite nimble (with the occasional knocking of a knickknack off a shelf).

Cats have remarkable vision, and it’s no coincidence why: They are natural-born hunters who still possess many of the same instincts as their ancestors. Their vision is essential to them, though it isn’t perfect. Keep reading to learn more about your cat’s night vision and how it came to be!

Can Cats See in the Dark?

The short answer is yes, but it’s not as superior as you might think. A lot of people think that cats are nocturnal, but that’s not exactly true either. They are actually considered crepuscular, which means they are most active at dawn and dusk. In fact, around dawn and dusk is when most cats are reported as going missing.

Cats need a small amount of light in order to see. It’s not like they have actual night vision and can see perfectly when it’s dark, but it still is better than human eyes when the sun sets. In utter, pitch-black complete darkness, they are unlikely to see very well (similar to dogs and humans), but they might have better instincts moving around in the dark than we do.

The Evolution of a Cat’s Night Vision

Cats are known to be solitary hunters, meaning that they easily rely on themselves to survive and have adapted certain instincts to make survival easier. They have vertical slit eyes that allow for more light to be let in. Plus, cats have great peripheral vision that makes hunting easier than it would be for a human in a low-light situation.

As we mentioned above, cats are more active in the early morning and evening as the sun sets. This is an opportune time for hunting, and though cats nowadays don’t need to work so hard to survive, they still have some of the same behaviors. Your cat might be more active at night or in the morning and take advantage of their ability to see better when the rest of the world is sleeping.

What Makes Cats See Better in the Dark?

While their night vision isn’t necessarily a real thing, a cat’s vision is remarkably good in any other case. They rely on their sight to help hunt, watch, and play just as much as their other senses.

Their eyes have unique aspects to them that improve their vision and help them see better through all times of the day. There is a reason that it’s hard to get by your cat without them noticing you! Thanks to their keen visual acuity, they’ve likely noticed you before you have noticed them.

How Cats See the World: The Makeup of Their Eyes

Compared to a human, a cat’s eye develops with different chemistry and functionality. For instance, a cat’s eye has completely different photoreceptors from humans. They have a high number of rods that are responsible for motion detection, peripheral vision, and night vision. Basically, their vision in the dark is as useful as their vision in the day.

This also means that in very bright light, your cat might not actually see as well because the additional rods in their eye can make what they are looking at seem overexposed.

Cats have what is called a tapetum, which is the reason for their glowing eyes in photos taken of them at night. Tapetum is a layer of tissue that reflects light back toward the retina. The reflective layer then bounces light back to sensory receptors and allows more than 50% of light into the eye.

The tapetum can come in handy for humans in a roundabout way. One way to find a missing cat is to shine a flashlight alongside the edges of the homes in your neighborhood and in nearby bushes. Hopefully, the flashlight will reveal your cat hiding, and you can bring them home.

Expandable Slit-Shaped Vertical Pupils

A cat’s eye is designed to adjust to light well and help bring more focus to the large picture. A cat’s cornea is curved, and they have a very large lens. In lower light, a cat’s pupils will expand to let more levels of light in, improving their vision as a whole.

This is why in the daytime, your cat’s eye might have a thinner slit that allows them to focus better on objects around them. They don’t need extra light as they do in the middle of the night, so it’s able to remain smaller.

Peripheral Powers

Cats are a bit near-sighted, meaning that they can’t fully focus on objects that are further away from them. However, what they lack in distance vision, they make up for in peripheral vision and the ability to see in dim light.

The field of vision for a human is about 180 degrees, but a cat’s field of vision is 200 degrees. This helps them to survey their surroundings more efficiently and keep an eye out for predators or prey.

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Why Is a Cat’s Vision So Important?

Cats are used to being lone hunters, even when inside a loving home. Their instincts might tell them to hunt and to stalk, so they are going to need their vision to help them complete their journeys.

Since they are nearsighted and don’t always see things so clearly, having a wider range than human vision and the ability to function better in very low lighting helps them survive. They will feel more confident prowling around the house and stalking mice when they can make use of their eyesight.

Of course, a cat will also use their other senses to be successful, but it’s hard to ignore the power of their beautiful big eyes watching and waiting for someone to make the next move.

AskVet Has All of Your Cat Questions Covered

When we get a pet, whether it’s a dog, a cat, a hamster, or a snake, we are never prepared for all of the little questions that arise. When you sign-up for AskVet, you can gain access to Certified Pet Lifestyle Coaches™.

Schedule a session with a CPLC™, and they can help come up with cat behavior, cat exercise, and cat food plans to better your pet’s life.

With cats, it can sometimes be hard to guess what they are thinking. They are strong and independent animals who might not realize how much we need them in our lives (and in our homes). That’s why AskVet offers a free One Pet ID to help you be reunited with your cat, dog, horse, or more!

Join in with other pet parents to gush over your pet and talk about their quirks and behaviors that stick out to you when you join the Clubhouse. Don’t wait, and get involved today!


The Taming Of The Cat | NCBI

Circular Pupil Shape Linked To Animals’ Ecological Niche | EurekAlert

Vision In Dogs And Cats | DVM 360

Why do cats sleep so much? | BBC Science Focus Magazine

Tapetum lucidum – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics