PET TALK: June 10th, 2020
Columns, Pet Talk

PET TALK: June 10th, 2020

June 10, 2020

In this week’s Pet Talk, Maneka answers if music has any effect on dogs, can dogs smell our feelings and more…

By Maneka Gandhi

Can dogs sense time?

Dogs have a sense of time. It’s been proven that they know the difference between an hour and two. If conditioned to, they can predict future events, such as regular walk times.

Are yawns contagious for dogs also, just like humans?

Yes, just like us, they also yawn on seeing someone yawning in front of them. Hilariously, they can’t help but yawn too. This study also found that dogs can even tell the difference between a real yawn and a fake yawn.

Why is it so that when me and my dog meet eyes, I feel like we are really bonding and connected?

This is because oxytocin spikes in both you and your dog when you both share a mutual gaze. Scientists even compared it to “human mother-infant relation.”

Is it true that dogs know when people are lying?

Yes, and as a result they stop listening to the person they deem untrustworthy. Thus, the study reveals that how sophisticated dogs are when it comes to social clues.

Why is it advisable to keep dogs in the workplace?

This is because they are awesome stress busters. Employees that have dogs by their side are happier, less stressed out, and can communicate better with their co-workers, which lead to higher productivity.

Does music has any effect on dogs?

Yes, dogs are very sensitive to music. It basically calms, stressed out and anxious, dogs. If your dog is lonely while you are at work all day, then music will prove to be a good time pass for your dog, especially classical music.

Will it be right to say that dogs can smell our feelings?

Yes, it is true. In fact, your dog’s sense of smell is approximately 1,00,000 times better than yours. So, it shouldn’t be shocking that they can, in fact, smell things such as fear. When a human is fearful, they perspire, and a dog is easily able to pick up on this change.


My dog has started humping. How can I stop him from humping?

First of all, catch your dog in the act — you need to address the behaviour while it’s happening. Call your dog’s name and say a word like “off” or “stop”.

If your dog stops humping when you say “off” or “stop”, reward him with a treat, toy affection, depending on what your dog likes the most. Remove humping target if possible. Praise your dog when he moves his attention to the reward and away from humping.

Eventually you might be able to break your dog’s humping. But sometimes you need to seek the help of a professional dog trainer or behaviourist to work on this issue.

What is a reverse sneeze in dogs? How is it caused? How it can be treated?

Causes: Reverse sneezing is caused by irritation of the throat, pharynx, or laryngeal area. It can also happen if they inhale irritants such as pollen or strong odours, or if they have allergies. Some dogs are more sensitive than others to items such as perfume, household cleaning products, and similar things that have a strong fragrance. A reverse sneeze can also be caused by respiratory infections, postnasal drip, obstruction or inflammation of the nasal passages, or excess in nasal discharge. Though it’s less common, pneumonia, a gastrointestinal disease, nasal tumours, or dental diseases may also be a cause, particularly in older dogs without a history of reverse sneezing.

Treatment: If the reverse sneeze becomes a regular occurrence, it’s best to take the dog to a vet for evaluation. They may be able to narrow down any potential causes to see if the situation improves. A vet visit should happen as soon as possible if you notice prolonged bouts of reverse sneezing, or bloody or yellow nasal discharge.

For dogs, the vet is likely to try and rule out conditions like grass inhalation, collapsing trachea, kennel cough, and respiratory infections. For cats, the vet will want to look for feline asthma and upper respiratory infections.

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Reverse sneezes are self-limiting and usually not treated with medication. Depending on the cause, the vet may recommend an antihistamine, though that is often only in the cases of allergies or chronic bouts.

For the occasional reverse sneeze, you can offer your dog some comfort. One common method people use is to hold the dog’s nose while gently massaging the underside of his throat for a few seconds. You will notice that the dog will swallow a couple of times during this process. The goal is to calm the dog and promote airflow. Fresh air or, in the least, a change of environment can help as well.

Do dogs also suffer from insomnia just like humans do?

Yes, but insomnia isn’t as common with dogs as it is in people. However, puppies can have trouble sleeping, especially when they first arrive in their new home. Even older pups can have issues and not be able to sleep through the night. In fact, when owners are dealing with insomnia, it can impact how well their pets sleep too. Fortunately, there are a number of natural insomnia treatments you can try that may benefit your dog.

• Move the bed: rethink the placement of your dog’s bed. Puppies like to sleep with you so move theirs closer to yours; • Feed the dog a night meal; • Play later at night: Try scheduling your play time half an hour before bed and burn your dog’s excess energy so it will be ready to crash when you do; • Put on music: Try playing slow, calm and soothing music at a low volume to soothe your puppy and help him to sleep; • Massage therapy: Try giving your dog a massage to slow down the energy and soothe it into a restful state.


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