Questions and Answers

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List of FAQ and answers.

Dogs and cats have specific alimentary needs and require attentions depending on their breed, size, environmental conditions and growth process.
In this section, our expert is at your disposition to solve your doubts and satisfy your curiosity.

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What can I find on petfood packaging?

On the packaging, together with the name of the product, you can also find a lot of useful information. These information are the complete list of ingredients used, the levels of nutritional elements (proteins, fats, fibers, minerals) added vitamins and minerals. It is also indicated the minimum durability of the product and the batch number, which has to be communicated to the manufacturer in order to have further information.

What does complete food for dogs/cats mean?

The name is used to identify the use of food, which can be completed with the indication of the specific stage of life of the animal to which it is intended. “Complete” means that the feed provides all the nutrients needed by the animal every day in the right quantities, following the suggested doses.

What does complementary feed mean?

“Complementary” means a feed which has to be associated with another one to become complete. It could be also referred to a snack or a biscuit used to reward the animal or to do a specific action (for example teeth cleaning).

How do I know the list of ingredients?

Every feed has its own list of ingredients that you can find under “Composition”. There are two different ways to declare the ingredients used in the recipe: showing the specific ingredients in decreasing order of their weight or for categories, in order to avoid a long list of names.

What does meat and derivatives mean?

The category meat and derivatives includes all the fleshy parts (skeletal muscle) of terrestrial warm blood animals declared suitable for human consumption and other parts such as liver, heart, kidneys, at high nutritional value for the animals but no more widespread due to the changed alimentary habits.

What does animal dehydrated/transformed protein mean?

Considering that fresh or frozen raw materials are not always available meat can be used also dehydrated. Dehydrated meat has different advantages: it guarantees a higher level of safety concerning meat preservation, preventing the risk of unwanted bacteria development and early alteration; it ensures a better use while it is processed, as you can insert in the recipe a higher quantity of proteins rather than using fresh meat which, in comparison, contains a much higher quantity of water.

Why are additives employed?

As in human consumption the additives contained in feed are used in order to preserve the product quality or to ensure that they are complete at nutritional level.
All additives employed are subject to a strict procedure of authorization in order to ensure the health safety in animals and they are used in the minimum required quantity to provide the desired effect.

What are the analytical constituents?

The analytical constituents show nutritional information that you can find in feed and include: proteins – fats – fibres – ash. Such definitions such as “crude” and “ash” are according to the legal declarations and they come from the terms used in laboratory. “Ash” is not added to the feed but it is the residue of analytical methods and consists mainly of minerals.

How much feed should I give?

On the package you can find information regarding the amount and frequency of dishing out the product. It is important to follow this indication to guarantee that the animal receives all the essential nutrients and in order to prevent that he becomes obese. However, requirements are variable and are affected by various environmental and nonenvironmental factors and we are ready to assist you in suggesting the most suitable daily ratio for your dog.

What kind of food is better to avoid for my dog?

Foods to be avoided for dogs are definitely grapes and raisins, chocolate, onion and garlic. Even if chocolate is very attractive it could lead to serious signs of intoxication. Snacks conceived for dogs with chocolate, are not toxic because they contain a small amount of theobromine, which is the toxic substance.

 

Do you know why cats…

Chatter their teeth when they see a bird outside the house?

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They simulate the savage bite that they would inflict him if they were in the wild.

Run at breakneck into the room?

To discharge their energy accumulated during the day.

Are attracted by the wood, but in particular by olive wood?

The essence of olive wood makes cats who sniff and lick its surface thrilled and euphoric

After having sniffed an object usually they spread their mouth?

The opening of their mouth stimulates Jacobson’s organ which is behind their upper incisive.

Are attracted by people or animals who generally do not consider or love cats?

Cats admire people and animals who are not frightened of them. This indifferent behavior is judged by cats as a threaten for them and therefore they admire and try to get close to whom seeks to avoid them.

Drink dirty water in containers or from puddles?

Because the clean water given to them has a strange odor, or because the bowl was washed with an aggressive washing-up liquid.

Scratch the trunks of trees and nibble their leaves?

Because they need to shorten or sharp their nails, or to mark their zone. In the wild cats would eat even herbivorous animals because in their organs is contained a precious substance, called folic acid.

Tiptoe?

Tiptoing allows cats to run faster because it reduces the contact surface to the ground (lower friction).
They can beat dogs in speed but they cannot sustain the stress of a long run because of their reduced heart and lungs capacity, due to the small size of their rib cage

 

Do you know why dogs…

Bark even if they see their owner?

lo-sapevate-perche-il-caneIt is a common mistake to believe that dogs by barking at you want to threaten you. As a matter of fact by barking, dogs send an alarm signal to warn the other members of the group (and also people can be part of it), that something strange is happening.
In the wild the alarm produces two effects: one is for puppies who have time to run and hide, the other is for the adult members, who can gather and organize a prompt reaction to the threaten. The alarm signal doesn’t specify however, which is the nature of the threat: dogs do not “clarify”, if you are a friend or an enemy, they simply intend to report the new situation. For this reason dogs bark both when their owners come home and when there is a thief.
However when the new presence has been identified, the barking is followed by a ceremony of greetings for the owner or by a decisive attack for the thief, which is carried out, on the contrary, in absolute silence.
The sudden and silent aggression is proved by the trainings of police-dogs: the attack on the bandaged arm of the “criminal” is carried out without any noise.

Even dogs on the run prefer action to “words”: They run resolutely, without any noise, at least until they are in a safer situation. As a matter of fact any type of vocalization is a symptom of conflict: when two dogs meet they have a large repertoire of sounds because even the most aggressive dog is still afraid of what may happen to him. When dogs growl, it means that their initial fear is replaced by a greater self-confidence in their own capacities. Even in this case, however, the need to attack is as strong as the one of running away. Then, if the feeling of fear takes shape, dogs keep alternating
growling and barking, growling and barking, showing their will to attack (growling) but they believe it is wise to call reinforcement (barking).
Finally, if dogs are scared they start barking intensely, even for a long time, at least until the danger has not entirely disappeared, which means when the owner arrives. We can conclude that the famous saying “dog barking, not biting” corresponds to a great truth: the barking dog is not brave enough to attack; the biting dog does not need to bark to call for help.

What does he want to say when he wags his tail?

scodinzolaAnother typical mistake is related to the waging: dogs wagging frantically their tails are not always happy as well as cats who move their tails are not always angry or bored. The only emotional condition that characterizes (both in dogs and cats) the movement of their tails is a state of conflict, as it is for all rhythmic alternating movements (forward-backward, left-right) when there is a communication between animals and animals and animals and people. When dogs are in a situation of conflict, they are pushed into two opposite directions: alternating their movements is the physical expression of their psychic conflict.
Until one of the two needs doesn’t cancel the other, the animal remains in a state of tension. What happens then in the mind of dogs who are wagging their tails? The animals want to stay but they are also motivated to leave. The second thrust is, of course, dictated only by fear, while the first may have different motivations: hunger, desire of company, will to attack.
Therefore, it is hard to understand the movement of their tails as a specific attitude; it is better to consider it as a visual signal to be read according to the circumstances that causes it. Puppies, for example, do not move their tail, in their first days of life. Only the 50% of puppies begins to wag their tails after the thirtieth day, and this activity reaches its full maturity after about fifty days of life. The first wag occurs when puppies receive milk from their mother and they line up all together to suckle.
You may think that they are happy to suck milk. But if it were so, why the wagging doesn’t appear after the second week of life? Isn’t suckle already appreciated at that stage of life, too? This phenomenon depends on a state of conflict arising in the psyche of puppies. After two or three weeks of life, puppies sleep curled up on each other, to keep each other warm, and there is no sense of rivalry among them. But after six/seven weeks, puppies become little wranglers, so that the feeding moment is experienced with big tension. Puppies have to push, grip and molest each other to take milk because their dimensions are growing and their mother’s nipples turn out to be closer. This causes in puppies an acute emotional contrast, between fear and intolerance towards the others and the need to get fed.
In this situation dogs start wagging. Afterwards, the movement of their tail portrays other particular situations of their social life: when puppies receive their food from adults (also from human beings), when males make an approach with females, when dogs decide to attack an enemy, also when two dogs meet each other or they leave after having met. Also the way of agging is different. In more submissive animals, the tail has slow and wide movements while in more aggressive dogs the tail shakes with a short and rapid impulses.
Why wagging has always been considered as a signal of friendship and sociability? As a matter of fact, it happens to see more often the behavior of dogs in the domestic life: therefore we are accustomed to see a submissive and docile animal who greets his owner, recognizing him as a leader of the social group where he lives. The dog’s behavior, in these situations, is linked both to the joy and the excitement to see again his leader and the slight sense of apprehension for what might happen afterwards. This example can already explain the conflicting answer of the wagging.
It is difficult to accept this conclusion, since we would like to believe that our dog feels just affection for us and it is hard to believe that our dog might be frightened by our presence. But we have to imagine the impression that our dominating figure provokes in dogs and consider their state of dread in comparison to our dimensions.
If in addition to this undeniable physical superiority we add all our ways to dominate dogs and that in many situations their survival depend on us, it is easy to understand the reason of this conflict also when dogs greet us.
Last consideration regarding the movement of the tail: the wagging is considered also a way to transmit scent signals. Dogs have a recognition code based on the scent emissions of glands which are in the anal area. The movement of the tail stimulates these glands: we can’t perceive these messages with our nose, but for animals these messages are very important for their communication.

Why males like to be scratched on their chest?

Scratching the chest of male dogs, between their anterior paws, is a big pleasure for them and the reason is easy to be understood: in the mounting phase during the pressures produced in the pelvic area, the chest of male dogs scratches rhythmically on the female’s back. By repeating this scratching, we stimulate some pleasure “key” hidden somewhere inside the brain of our friends. If we want to thank or “reward” our dogs this is for sure the best way. Even scratching dogs behind their ears is very welcome, and the sexual behavior once again can give us some explanations. Licking, smelling, nibbling at the ears are all courting messages.
Another way to entertain dogs is to push them away nicely while they try to play with us. In that moment we have complied with their will to play. Dogs will move closer to you once again, asking to be pushed away and the game will continue in this way, adding perhaps some gentle bites: dogs will bite your hands and will give you the chance to grab their jaws. If all movements and phases of the game are carried out with kindness, you shall have taken another small step towards a closer affective relationship. Even the so called “pat” is a very common form of contact. For humans it is a very important form of contact: it is common to see two people who meet, hug and give vigorous pats on their back. For dogs, instead, the benefit they get is different, since dogs do not hug. They will probably see your pat on their back or on their belly as a form of contact. It is an action that puppies often perform on their mother’s belly and that submissive dogs reserve to the leader of the pack in which they live.
Therefore the pat on the domestic dog indicates an attitude of submission from our side, or even better an attitude of serenity and sociability. As a matter of fact even dominant dogs behave in the same way towards submissive dogs: by hitting with their paws or with their nose they reassure the submissive on their intentions. Many dogs find particularly pleasant a caress on their head, especially along their mouth. Due to frequent but slight irritations on their mouth, dogs must rub against hard and rough objects – that can reduce the uncomfortable feeling – such as a piece of furniture or a tree.
If a human being man can replace this object with a soft and warm caress it is highly appreciated by our four-legged friend.
But there is a contact form which is not so highly appreciated: long baths and brushing imposed to competition dogs. Dogs certainly cannot understand so many hours spent in the water or being bushed. Obviously a dog cannot take position against this meaningless behavior, so he just suffers it, as if he were at the mercy of his bully fellow.
Humans are very lucky to be chosen as life companions by these animals who are so sociable, patient, and loyal to their duty.

Why puppies love so much slippers?

pantofolaMany puppies, at a certain age, become very destructive. Their favorites are slippers and gloves, but also toys, newspapers and mails can become chewing objects. In addition to biting and tearing these objects, puppies got excited by beating them from side to side, as if they want to “kill” them. A newspaper, for example, can be destroyed as if it were a dead bird that the puppy wants to pluck.

Many aspects of life in a litter can explain this behavior. First of all it is almost always a fun event, a game in which the puppy rushes. In addition puppies are “programmed” to explore every aspect of the world in which they live. Dogs are wild-origin animals and they must know everything about their surrounding environment to ensure their survival. For domestic dogs it is less dramatic, since their existence is without doubt with less dangers, but the discovery of the environment has not been deleted by their genetics of wild animals. Secondly, there is the dentition problem, which is completed between the forth and the sixth month of life. During this period, just to reinforce their teeth, dogs need to bite hard and resistant objects because the food that is usually given to them have a poor consistency (milk, vegetables, rice, meat), and cannot respond to their needs. Thirdly, this behavior is induced by the specific life phase of the dog, which precede the predatory activity. This is the period in which puppies are grown up enough to be interested in preys, but not sufficiently physically developed to hunt them. In this period adult dogs bring puppies pieces of meat that are left around. Therefore it is perfectly natural for a puppy, to find in slippers or in a pack the “piece of eat” generously left at his disposal.

And puppies do not understand at all the reason why we don’t like they destroy a nice pair of gloves, scolding them too hard. They have just tried to act in the best way, to grow up and to fit well in their social group.

Why do dogs sometimes embrace our leg?

gambeMore than one owner has experienced, with extreme embarrassment, the feeling that can arise between his dog and his legs, when the dog makes pelvic movements as if he were mating. The dog, during his existence, goes through a particular stage of socialization and in this period he decides who he wants to be. This critical period begins after four weeks of life and continues until the twelfth week. Anyone who shares this period with the dog, becomes to his eyes a member of his species. Puppies usually spend this period both with humans and dogs and therefore they become mentally hybrids, in close relationship both with human beings and with their four – legged fellows.

As long as you remain in the sphere of simple daily activities, this ambiguity is not a problem,, because puppies think to be a member of the human herd. But when you start talking about sex, this solidarity, this promiscuity is interrupted: the sexual attraction of the dog is determined and channeled in the right direction by some innate factors of education. A female in heat produces a particular sex appeal scent which attracts males over long distances. Since humans cannot perceive these smells, dogs see humans as if they were not interested in sex. Unfortunately the meeting with a female in heat is a rare event in the life of a domestic dog and therefore his level of sexual frustration grows so much that even the house cat can suddenly become attractive.

The dog is so frustrated that he will try to mate with everything (objects or animals) that stands still long enough to do it: cats, other male dogs, pillows. Human legs are “objectives” that dogs can easily reach and hang on.
In such situation, the more correct behavior is to be sympathetic rather than angry. A gentle refusal of their proposals is all you really need for them, not a severe punishment. Dogs really frustrated will try to mate with their feline companions, but just if they grow together. If cats during the critical period of development of the dog live near him, to his eyes also cats belong to his same species.
The coexistence with humans, dogs and cats between the 4th and the 12th week, leads puppies to have affection with three different species all lifelong. Of course, this recognition system has a downside. The lack of contact with animals of a species will force puppies to believe that that kind of species is different from his, and therefore potentially dangerous. If a puppy is taken away from his mother before he has even opened his eyes and ears, he will establish a close relationship with humans but he will feel uncomfortable with other dogs, not recognizing them as members of his same species.
Similarly, if a puppy lives with his mother until the twelfth week without any approach to humans, he will never be easily trained by a human being. For this reason the assertion that the dogs are domestic for genetic information is not true.

Is it true that dogs have a sixth sense?

sesto-sensoIt is true but not with the meaning that we confer to the word. There is nothing supernatural in the sensibility of dogs. It can be explained by simple biological mechanisms and some of them have been understood just a few years ago. For instance a dog can find his way home from great distances along unknown territories. As it happens also for some other species, it seems that this is thanks to the perception of the changes which occur in the Earth’s magnetic field. In labs this ability has been scientifically demonstrated with the aid of powerful magnets, but it is still not clear how animals can detect these magnetic indications.
Dogs are also able to “predict” the arrival of an earthquake or a storm. When the event is imminent, the dog warns, runs through the house, pants, trembles and whines as if he were in great danger. It is the dog’s answer to the changes of the barometric pressure, or maybe even to the changes in level of static electricity. It may seem that such answer is absolutely without any sense nowadays, but you need to consider that ancestors of our domestic dogs could safeguard their life feeling in advance a severe weather event. Some owners claim that their dog, in certain situations, is able to sense the presence of ghosts. They say that while they are walking with their dog in the middle of a park, the animal stops, shudders and bristles his hair. He starts to growl but refuses to move away from that place. Then suddenly he changes his attitude and starts to walk with complete confidence.
Probably in that place there was simply a strong smell of an animal belonging to some other species, such as a fox or a skunk.
The unfamiliarity of the smell has caused the frightened reaction of our four-legged friend. One of the most amazing revelations about the canine sixth sense has been made recently by some researchers who have identified in the nose of the dog, the presence of infrared detectors. If this were confirmed, it could explain the “supernatural” capacity of many breeds. Saint Bernard dogs for instance can establish if a human being is still alive by sniffing the layer of snow covering him. As a matter of fact if Saint Bernard dogs act by recognizing a source of heat, the hypothesis of these researchers will find a concrete confirmation.

Why do dogs get wet?

A vigorous shake after a dive in the water. The bath, provides refreshment to dogs but it is a also useful to clean their coat. According to the breed the coat may be short or long, but even rough, silky or curly. In Spring and in Autumn coats are subject to the molt, which lasts from four to six months. Thenew “dress” will need three or four months to grow.