Advice from Miss Repecka

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Dear Miss Repecka is the Oregon Humane Society’s advice column for kids. Here are all the past questions and answers our knowledgeable chicken has answered. Encourage your kid to ask Miss Repecka for pet advice! Fill out the form on our official Dear Miss Repecka page.

Help! Why does my guinea pig love my house?

Question

Dear Miss Repecka,

Why does our Guinea pigs (Guinea and Scruffy) love my house so much? (Cardboard house built so they can hide in it and chew on it).

Jax

Answer

Gretta - Miss Repecka

Dear Jax,

Ah, guinea pigs! Cute little critters, aren’t they? Ah wanted to be sure that I had all the right information to answer your question, so ah checked in with one of our experts in the small animal room. Ah’d like you to meet, Gretta, a one year old guinea pig. Gretta was very helpful in answering your question.

Gretta said that Guinea & Scruffy like the house you made for them because guinea pigs like to have places to hide. They don’t always like to be out where they can be stared at and such. They also love to chew, and cardboard is a wonderful thing to chew on. Guinea & Scruffy like your house so much because they can hide in it, plus they can chew on it! Of course it makes them happy! It covers two of their favorite things! Good on you for being such an amazing pig house builder!

UPDATE: Gretta has been adopted!

Yours for a kinder world,

Miss Repecka

Help! I really want a puppy!

Question

Dear Miss Repecka,

I really want a little puppy. And I want it to be a girl. Do you think it would get along with my dog, Pepper? She usually barks at other dogs.

Evie

Answer

Mochi - Miss Repecka
Hey, I’m Mochi! Click to view my profile.

Dear Miss Evie,

Who doesn’t want a little puppy? They are so cute and fun…and lots of work! Ah figured we should talk to an expert about this, so ah headed over to the OHS kennels to get some advice from Mochi, a three year old American Pit Bull.

Mochi said that barking at other dogs doesn’t necessarily mean that Pepper doesn’t like them. What is more important is how she acts when she is around other dogs. Does she want to play and be friends? Some dogs want to be the only dog in the family, and you need to find out if Pepper feels like that before you think about bringing a puppy home. Your folks will be able to help decide what is best for everyone.

Ah hope that you still love Pepper, even though she is an adult dog. Puppies are cute, but they grow up to be adult dogs-like Pepper and Mochi. And adult dogs need our love just like puppies. So go tell Pepper what a good dog she is, and maybe even give her a treat!

Thank you for writing to me, Evie. Ah am on a mission to find Mochi a loving home!

Yours for a kinder world,

Miss Repecka

Help! Why do cats bring home mice?

Question

Dear Miss Repecka,

Why do cats bring home mice?

Tenaya

Answer

Boo - Miss Repecka
Hey, I’m Boo! Click to view my profile.

Dear Tenaya,

You ask a very good question. Why would a cat want to bring a home a dead animal? Since that isn’t something that we chickens do, Ah made a trip to the OHS cattery to talk to one of our feline friends about this rather odd (to us!) behavior.

Ah’d like you to meet Boo, a six year old domestic short hair. While he looks debonair in his tie, he has been known to bring home a mouse…or two.

According to Boo, it is all about instinct. (That’s behavior that doesn’t have to be learned. An animal just does it naturally.) Cats are predators-they are born to be hunters. When they catch their prey (like mice, rats, or birds), instinct tells them to take it back to their family. They might be doing this because they want to teach us how to hunt for prey. They might be bringing it back to show off what they caught. Or it might just be a gift for you because you are their family. We can’t know for sure what the reason is because our cat can’t tell us. Ah would just accept it from your cat as a present and tell them what a good job they did. (And then quietly throw it in the garbage!)

Ah am on a mission now to find Boo a good home!

Yours for a kinder world,

Miss Repecka

Help! Why do people like birds?

Question

Dear Miss Repecka,

Why do people have birds as pets?

Ethan

Answer

Dear Ethan,

Ah believe Ah know the answer to your question. We birds are so amazing and such good company, who wouldn’t want to have some of us around?! Okay, seriously now, ah think there are several reasons that people might choose a bird for a pet. Birds can be very good company. Some cheerfully chirp, tweet, or sing. Others can mimic sounds, and some, like parrots, are very smart and can learn actual words. For people who don’t want a pet that needs to be walked, brushed, or bathed, a bird is great. And it doesn’t cost very much to have a bird (think about how little they eat!). They don’t need as much attention as a dog or cat, either. And, just like there are dog or cat people, some folks just really like birds. As a matter of fact, Ah’m a bird person mahself! 😉

Yours for a kinder world,

Miss Repecka

Help! When do eagles lay eggs?

Question

Dear Miss Repecka,

When do Eagles lay eggs?

Aiden

Answer

Dear Mr. Aiden,

Eagles-just talkin’ about them gives me the chills. Why, one of them ate mah cousin Bill several years ago! After that I read up on eagles so that wouldn’t happen to me, so Ah know something about them.

Bald eagles lay one to four eggs in late March or early April. Eagles build a gigantic nest up in a very tall tree. Their nest is big enough for you to lay down in! It is made of sticks and grass and straw and moss and whatever else the eagles find to put in there. The male and female both help build the nest-good thing, seein’ how big it gets! The female eagle lays her eggs in that huge nest up in that tall tree and both adults incubate the eggs for about 35 days until hatching.

Yours for a kinder world,

Miss Repecka

Help! What would be a good dog for me?

Question

Dear Miss Repecka,

I have 3 chickens (Batman, Goldy, and Chicken Big), a praying mantis (Tim), a little brother, and a big sister. I really want a Doberman. Do you think that would be a good dog for me?

Thanks,

Owen

Answer

Harley - Miss Repecka
Hey, I’m Harley! Click to view my profile.

Dear Mr. Owen,

Goodness! A Doberman Pinscher, eh? Ah don’t know any Dobermans, so Ah’m off to the kennels to see what my friend Harley can tell me about them. Harley is a 9 year old Blue Heeler mix and he has lots of Doberman friends.

Harley assured me that Dobermans can make great family dogs. Like all dogs, they need to be well socialized (introduced to lots of people) when they are young so they learn that people are nice. They love their families and like to be with them and do things with them. They are also very smart, so training them should be easy. Because they are so smart, though, they need to keep learning new things throughout their whole life! They are also very active dogs, so they need lots of exercise. (Ah’m hearing lots of fun, but lots of work!)

Harley said that the real question isn’t whether a Doberman is a good dog for you, but whether your whole family would like to have a dog. Ah say that because getting a dog is a whole family decision. Everyone needs to be happy to have the dog and willing to help take care of it. So talk to your mum and dad and little brother and big sister and see how they feel about a dog. Who knows, maybe they will all love the idea and you will be on your way.. And remember that mah friends at the Oregon Humane Society would love to help you find just the right dog. It might not be a Doberman, but there are plenty of dogs that would love to be part of your family.

Ah am on a mission to find Harley a loving home!

Yours for a kinder world,

Miss Repecka

Help! Will my cat like our new kitten?

Question:

Dear Miss Repecka,

I wonder how to get my cat to like my new kitten, Mo?

Thank you,

Hazel

Answer:

Blathers - Miss Repecka
Hey, I’m Blathers!

Dear Miss Hazel,

That’s a good question. Why can’t your two cats get along? I went to the OHS cattery to talk to mah friend, Blathers, an adorable black and white kitten who is 11 weeks old.

Blathers said that sometimes two pets meet and they get along right away. They play together and take naps together, and it’s great. Sometimes, though, one of the pets needs more time before they decide to be friends. If your cat likes to play, try playing with it and the kitten at the same time. Give them both a treat together, and put their food bowls close-but not too close!

Blathers suggested that you have an extra litter box at your house so they don’t have to share one. Don’t force them to be together, but praise them when they are. Don’t worry if your cat hisses or swats at Mo. Your cat is just telling him they are the boss! Hopefully, it won’t take too long for them to become friends.

UPDATE: Blathers has been adopted!

Yours for a kinder world,

Miss Repecka

Help! Is my dog’s mouth clean?

Question:

Dear Miss Repecka,

My dog, Marley, likes to lick my face. Is his mouth clean? It sometimes grosses me out that he licks my face.

Andy

Answer:

Dear Andy,Belle - Miss Repecka

What an interesting question! Ah decided to talk to someone who actually has a dog tongue, so ah went to the OHS kennels to see my friend, Belle, who is a 10 year old Fox Terrier.

Belle said that dogs use their mouths to explore the world, eat, drink, and clean themselves. Before you let Marley kiss your face, think about where his tongue might have last been. It is not a good idea to let Marley lick your face because bacteria (germs) can enter your body through your eyes, nose, and mouth. If he licks your skin somewhere else on your body, it shouldn’t be a problem. Just keep your face away from Marley’s face, and you should be okay! (If you had a chicken for a pet you wouldn’t have to worry about this because chickens don’t lick people!) ☺

UPDATE: Belle has been adopted!

Yours for a kinder world,

Miss Repecka

 

Help! My dog is lazy!

Question:

Dear Miss Repecka,

My dog Rosy really likes her comfy bed. It’s hard to get her to go outside to take a walk. Once she is outside she really likes it, but it’s hard to get her out. My question is how can I get Rosy to want to go outside?

Emily

Answer:

Dear Emily,Aspen - Miss Repecka

That’s a really good question you asked. Ah don’t like to get out of my comfy bed much either! Ah decided to check with an expert on this, so I went to the OHS kennels to talk to my friend, Aspen. Aspen is a very charming 10 year old husky mix, and ah figured she’s had lots of experience with beds and walks. She told me that when she’s in a comfy place, sometimes it takes a bit of encouragement to get her up and going. If you get excited about the walk, it might be enough to get Rosy up and moving. If your enthusiasm doesn’t get her up, try a treat like a small piece of cheese. Use it to lure her out of the bed, then give it to her with lots of praise, put her leash on, and off you go. Ah think Rosy might just be like a lot of us and enjoy laying around a bit too much! Good for you for getting her up and taking her on a walk. Rosy is lucky that you take such good care of her!

A big thanks to Aspen for her good advice.

UPDATE: Aspen has been adopted!

Yours for a kinder world,

Miss Repecka

Help! My dog stares at me when he poops!

Question:

Dear Miss Repecka,

Why does my dog stare at me when he poops? Sometimes we take Charlie to the dog park to run but when he poops he stares at me. It’s really weird. Why does he do this?

Avery

Answer:

Dear Avery,Lyla - Miss Repecka

Oh my, such a complicated question! Ah knew right away that Ah would need help from one of my canine friends to find the answer, so Ah went to visit Lyla in the OHS kennels. Lyla is a 3 year old German Shepherd mix and she had a good laugh when ah asked her your question! Lyla said that this has to do with a dog’s instinct (the way their brain is wired). When dogs defecate (the fancy word for poop!), they are not easily able to stop once they have started, so they can’t fight or run if there is trouble. They look at us as part of their pack to watch out for them and to protect them at this time. So Charlie’s behavior isn’t weird at all-for a dog. It’s just a dog thing. Ah think it says a lot, Avery, that your dog trusts you with his safety.

UPDATE: Lyla has been adopted!

Yours for a kinder world,

Miss Repecka

Help! My gerbils are fighting!

Question:

Dear Miss Repecka,

My gerbils are 2 years old, and they are sisters. They were in a cage together but they got in a fight with blood and deep cuts. Why do you think they got in a fight?

Penny

Answer:

Dear Penny,Spiderman - Miss Repecka

Ah am so sorry to hear that your two gerbils aren’t gettin’ along. I wandered over to our small animal room and spoke to a rabbit named Spiderman, who happens to have a lot of gerbil friends.

Spiderman said that when you have two gerbils, one is naturally going to be dominant, or the boss. As gerbils get older, sometimes the dominant gerbil starts to lose strength. If the other gerbil senses that weakness, they may start a fight because they want to become the boss. This is not good because, as you saw, gerbil fights can be really bad.

Ah don’t know if you have put them back together, but if so, you will need to watch them carefully because the fighting could happen again. (Some sisters just can’t seem to get along!) Spiderman felt you should come up with a plan to keep them apart if needed.

UPDATE: Spiderman has been adopted!

Good luck with your little friends.

Yours for a kinder world,

Miss Repecka

Help! Our puppy licks Duke’s face!

Question:

Dear Miss Repecka,

We adopted a collie mix puppy (Ruby) at OHS and she loves her big Husky brother (Duke) so much. She loves to jump on Duke and lick his mouth and teeth. He does not like this but is so sweet that he doesn’t do anything. How do we get Ruby to stop this behavior??

Thanks!
Chloe

Answer:

Dear Chloe,

Morgan - MIss Repecka

What an interesting question! Since chickens don’t engage in licking behavior, ah went to the OHS kennels to talk to mah friend Morgan about this odd behavior.

Morgan is a handsome, 3 year old American Pit Bull. This is what I learned from Mr. Handsome: It turns out that licking another dog’s mouth is normal dog behavior, especially in puppies. Morgan said that licking can be a sign of friendship, affection, or deference. In other words, let’s be friends, I really like you, or you’re the boss. Adult dogs (like Duke) will let puppies (like Ruby) get away with more when they are little. If Ruby keeps licking Duke as she get older and he doesn’t like it, he will tell her to knock it off himself.

The only time you would need to intervene is if Ruby doesn’t take the hint and still keeps licking Duke and his corrections start to get harsher (growling and snapping at her repeatedly). Then, rather than scold her for licking, lure her away and get her engaged in a different activity. Ruby should, however, stop licking on her own as she gets a little older.

Thank you for your great question. Now go and play with your adorable puppy and her big brother, you lucky girl!

UPDATE: Morgan has been adopted!

Yours for a kinder world,

Miss Repecka

Help! What happens to my dog if we get COVID19?

Question:

Dear Miss Repecka,

I’m worried about what will happen to my dog if my dad and I get COVID19. We don’t have anyone who can take care of Boomer. I’m really worried about this.

Elizabeth

Answer:

Dear Elizabeth,James - Miss Repecka

Oh honey, this is a heavy question… Obviously, you love Boomer very much and are worried about him. Ah want to give the best advice to you, so I went to the kennels and talked to mah friend, James. James is an American Pit Bull/Boxer at the shelter. He is only 1½ years old but very wise for his age. We think you need to talk with your dad about this and work out an emergency plan for Boomer. This is too big for you to carry alone. James was impressed by how much you care about Boomer. He hopes he can find a home where people love him as much as you love your dog!

Talk to your dad about possible solutions for Boomer. It is always good to have an emergency plan in place for your pets. Maybe a family member/friend, a pet sitter, boarding facility or friendly neighbor.

Please write back and let me know what plan you come up with for Boomer.

UPDATE: James has been adopted!

Yours for a kinder world,

Miss Repecka

 Help! What is catnip doing to my cat?

Question:

Dear Miss Repecka,

What does catnip do to cats?

Walker

Answer:

Dear Walker,Freya - Miss Repecka

Being a chicken, I am not real familiar with catnip, but ah know where to find someone who is! Ah went to talk to mah friend, Freya, in the OHS cattery. Freya is an eight year old domestic long hair, and she knows all about lots of things. When ah asked her about catnip, she started purring! She said that catnip has oil in it called “nepetalactone,” and that is what the cats like about it. The smell of it makes them feel frisky and kinda crazy for about 10 minutes, and then it wears off. Some cats don’t react to catnip at all, while others just go nuts. (Kittens don’t react to catnip until they are about 6 months old.) Catnip doesn’t hurt cats, but they can get used to it if they have it too often.

Do Stan Lee and Freida like catnip? If they do, it is easy to grow, and ah think they would LOVE fresh catnip! Ah am glad that you want to learn things about your pets. It shows you really care about them.

UPDATE: Freya has been adopted!

Yours for a kinder world,

Miss Repecka

Help! Why does my cat have fur in her ears?

Question:

Dear Miss Repecka,

Why does Luna have fur in her ears?

Willow

Answer:

Dear Willow,Fats Domino - Miss Repecka

What an interesting question to ask! Ah am assuming Luna is a cat, so ah decided to consult an expert to help with this question, so Ah made a visit to the OHS cattery to talk to mah friend, Fats Domino, and this is what he told me: The hair found on the inner part of Luna’s ear is called ear furnishings, or ear floof. This ear floof helps her hear better by picking up faint sound vibrations. This would also help Luna if she was hunting or doing something where hearing was very important.

Ah am so glad you asked that question because Fats Domino had such an interesting answer! Ah am on a mission to find this smart kitty a good home!

UPDATE: Fats Domino has been adopted!

Yours for a kinder world,

Miss Repecka

Help! Why does my cat make biscuits?

Question:

Dear Miss Repecka,

We got a cat from the Oregon Humane Society a few months ago. Her name is Daisy and she is really sweet but she makes biscuits with her paws ALL THE TIME. Why does Daisy do this? Thank you for answering our questions.

Sarah

Answer:

Dear Sarah,Finley - Miss Repecka

What an interesting question you have asked! Being a wise chicken, ah decided to consult with one of our local biscuit makers, Finley. Finley is an 8 year old male Tabby in the OHS cattery.

This is what he told me:

Cats seem to make biscuits for different reasons… depending on the cat. Some cats do this because it reminds them of when they were kittens and were nursing from their mom. They made biscuits on her belly to help make the milk come out, so kneading has good memories connected with it.

Finley explained that some cats make biscuits on people to show they like you. You pet cats to show them affection, and they make biscuits to show affection for you.

Finley added that some cats knead on things to mark them as their own. Cats have scent glands on the bottom of their feet and making biscuits activates those scent glands, marking that area as theirs.

So, your friend Daisy could be making biscuits for a few different reasons. Ah suggest you make up some bread dough and put her to work kneading it. Ah think she would do a great job! ☺

Ah am on a mission to find Finley a special home where he can make biscuits until his heart is content.

Yours for a kinder world,

Miss Repecka

Help! Why does my dog act weird around other dogs?

Question:

Dear Miss Repecka,

Hello! We got a dog 3 years ago and his name is Duke. He is 8 years old. He seemed nice to dogs at first but then he started acting weird around other dogs. He is an Aussie and very kind to people but when he sees or is near another dog or cat he freaks out and lunges, pulls, barks, and whines.

Do you know why my dog is acting weird?

Giana

Answer:

Dear Giana,Sweetie - Miss Repecka

Hello! Ah am so glad you are asking for help with your dog! Ah wanted input on this from a pro, so I visited my friend, Sweetie, who is a shelter pet at OHS. Sweetie is a 3 year old American Pit Bull and she had some good questions and advice for you…

Sweetie suggested that you think back to when Duke’s weird behavior started. Did anything change just prior to his behavior changing? Was there a specific incident that you can think of that may have scared Duke (such as an off leash dog running up to him or a barking dog startling him from behind a fence etc.)?

Sweetie was also curious to know if Duke has had a reduction in exercise or playing or learning things. Herding breeds like Duke are very smart, hardworking dogs and sometimes they find things to do like making up games (such as barking and lunging at dogs and cats) to get out their energy.

On the other hand, if you started taking Duke out a lot more than normal, he could be telling us that he’s a little overwhelmed with that and is getting anxious and it’s making him have bursts of energy due to the anxiety.

Sweetie provided a great handout (see below) that could help you and your family work with Duke. The idea is to be at a distance from a cat or dog so that Duke isn’t yet reacting (freaking out) and give him a small treat for being calm, looking at the “trigger” (other dog or cat) and then looking away.

In the handout – where it says “Click” that’s referring to marker training. Instead of using a clicker, you could just say “GOOD!” in a happy tone to let Duke know that he got it right. If Duke is lunging and barking, then he is too close to the “trigger” (other dog or cat) to practice and needs more distance.

You and your family might consider purchasing a “Virtual” private training or take our Reactive Rover virtual class through OHS to help get you started.

Sweetie also suggested that perhaps your family take Duke to the vet to rule out any underlying medical issues that could be making him feel uncomfortable. This is especially important if the behavior came on suddenly.

Ah wish you the best, Giana! Please let us know how it goes with Duke.

UPDATE: Sweetie has been adopted!

Yours for a kinder world,

Miss Repecka

Help! Why does my dog eat grass?

Question:

Dear Miss Repecka,

I like taking my dog, Clyde, for a walk but he eats a lot of grass. Is it okay for him to eat grass? My mom says it is because he has an upset stomach but I’m not sure that is right because his stomach can’t be upset for 2 years.

Isiah

Answer:

Dear Isiah,Missy - Miss Repecka

Clyde sounds like lots of other dogs Ah know-they all like to eat grass. Ah went to the OHS kennels to get a professional answer to your question and talked to Missy. Missy is a 1 year old Labrador-Boxer and she too has a sweet tooth for grass. Missy assured me that eating grass is natural for dogs, and most dogs will indulge in munching it sometime in their life. They just

like the way it tastes. Dogs enjoy all sorts of things that disgust humans and chickens.

Missy wants to be sure that Clyde is munching on grass that hasn’t been sprayed with fertilizers or pesticides, ‘cause those would make him sick. If he goes for grass that might be sprayed, use a treat to lure him away and then keep on walking at a faster pace. And if you offer Clyde a treat now and then to pay attention to you while you walk, perhaps he’ll stop less often to eat grass and be a better walking partner.

UPDATE: Missy has been adopted!

Yours for a kinder world,

Miss Repecka

Help! Why doesn’t my Chihuahua have teeth?

Question:

Dear Miss Repecka,

My dog, Delilah, is a Chihuahua mix and she barely has any teeth on the bottom row! I just want to know why…

Malakai

Answer:

Dear Malakai,Elvira - Miss Repecka

Being a chicken, ah don’t have teeth, so ah figured ah had best check in with someone who does. Ah went to the kennels and talked with my friend, Elvira. She is an Australian Shepherd at OHS and, most importantly, she has teeth! Ah figured she would know how to help you. Elvira said that there are several reasons why Delilah might not have teeth on the bottom.

  1. It could be genetics-your dog’s mom or dad may not have had many bottom teeth either.
  2. It could be gum disease. (Dogs can get that just like people!) If your dog has gum disease, her bottom teeth may have fallen out.
  3. Your dog could have embedded  teeth. That means the baby teeth fell out, and the adult teeth formed, but didn’t push out through the gum (Lots of small dogs have this  problem)
  4. Sometimes, a dog will chew on rocks or toys that are too hard, and their teeth will crack and fall out.

Elvira said that the next time Delilah goes to the vet, you should have them take a look just to be sure that nothing is wrong (like the gum infection).

Thanks for writing, Malakai!

UPDATE: Elvira has been adopted!

Yours for a kinder world,

Miss Repecka

Help! Why is my dog’s nose always wet?

Question:

Dear Miss Repecka,

My dog’s name is Casey. Why is his nose always wet?

Oscar

Answer:

Dear Oscar,Dakota - Miss Repecka

Y’all asked a great question! Now, chickens don’t have noses, so I went to the OHS kennels to find an expert -a dog with a wet nose! I talked to mah friend Dakota and was amazed at what she said! Dakota is a 3 year old shepherd and her nose was definitely wet.

You probably already know that noses are important to dogs. They work amazingly well and this is one of the main ways dogs gather information from their environment. A dog’s nose works best when it is damp because scent particles stick better to damp surfaces. Pretty cool, huh?

There is one more reason why your dog’s nose would be wet. Dakota said the nose helps keep a dog cool. Dogs lose some heat through their foot pads and some by panting, but the nose helps them cool down.

So, Casey’s wet nose is helping him smell his world better and keeping him cool. Ah’m beginning to wish ah had a nose like that!

UPDATE: Dakota has been adopted!

Yours for a kinder world,

Miss Repecka

Help! Will my bunny be okay?

Question:

Dear Miss Repecka,

My bunny Dapper’s water bottle wasn’t working, so he went without water for a day. We got him a new water bottle but will he be okay? I am just really worried about him. He is also very small for a male bunny, and he needs to breed in a month. I don’t know if he can. Thanks for setting this program up by the way.

Ryan

Answer:

Dear Ryan,Adelaide - Miss Repecka

Since I’m only a humble chicken, I asked my friend, Adelaide, who knows a thing or two about rabbits. Adelaide is a beautiful Siamese kitty who just arrived at OHS. We’ve become fast friends. She said it is good that you found the water bottle malfunction when you did! Dapper will be okay without water for a day as long as you’re able to monitor his water and food intake because, if this declines in the next 48hrs (two days after not having water access), it would be best to seek veterinary treatment as an underlying issue may be the cause. Adelaide said to monitor the water level in the bottle itself and provide a floor bowl (as many rabbits actually prefer to drink from the ground) along with access to alfalfa or timothy hay to help stimulate water consumption.

Adelaide also told me to tell you that rabbit size (male or female) is primarily determined by breed and nutritional levels. It really isn’t a worry if he’s physically small but if you notice he’s thin (especially in the hind quarters) a veterinary visit might be necessary. Due to COVID-19 restrictions on Spay/Neuter services, it might be difficult to access these options at this time. However, a rabbit does not need to breed to stay healthy. If you’re experiencing what might be considered ‘behavioral frustration’ try providing solid hay blocks, veggies such as green-kale or cilantro and rabbit safe wood toys that can be found on Amazon.com quite inexpensively. The frustration is most commonly associated with the inability to properly grind-down their teeth, which is not only a behavioral relief but a necessary act due to the anatomy of our furry friends.

Does Adelaide know her stuff, or what?! I hope this helps, Ryan. Let us know if you have any more questions.

UPDATE: Adelaide has been adopted!

Yours for a kinder world,

Miss Repecka

Help! My cat goes crazy at night!

Question:

Dear Miss Repecka,

Why does my cat zip around the house in the middle of the night? Luna is really sweet but she goes crazy at night and wakes me up. How do I get her to stop?

Ava

Answer:

Dear Ava,Navin - Miss Repecka

Ah, those crazy cats! They just don’t seem to get the idea that you like to sleep at night…without being raced over or meowed at every ten minutes! But why do they do this? Ah went to the OHS cattery to find someone to help us understand this annoying behavior and bumped into my friend, Navin. Navin is a 2 year old male kitty and he confessed to zipping around at night on occasion.

Navin said most cats have basically nocturnal behavior, meaning they are most active at night and sleep most of the day. It is natural (but annoying) for Luna to want to race around in the middle of the night. There are a few things you can do to help slow her down at night. Navin suggested feeding Luna a large meal just before your bedtime. Having a full tummy should help make her sleepy. Make sure that Luna gets plenty of exercise during the day so she is more tired at night. If Luna wakes you up and wants attention or food, try to ignore her. And finally, close your bedroom door so that she can’t get in!

Ah do hope Luna catches on and lets you sleep at night, Miss Ava. If she doesn’t, though, you can always take a “cat nap!” (Cluckle, cluckle, cluckle!)

UPDATE: Navin has been adopted!

Yours for a kinder world,

Miss Repecka

Help! What is the purpose of cat toys?

Question:

Dear Miss Repecka,

Do toys help in any way other than bringing my cats, Stan Lee and Frieda, joy?

Walker

Answer:

Dear Walker,Chimchar - Miss Repecka

Ah am impressed with your question! Most people don’t think about how cats might benefit from toys. Ah decided that a cat was the best one to help answer this question, so ah headed over to the cattery to talk with Chimchar and Kiera. They are sisters here at OHS and have an extensive toy collection.

This is what the girls told me: Playing with toys definitely brings cats joy, but it does more than that. Playing with toys helps your cats get exercise and that helps keep them healthy. Toys also give cats an outlet for their curiosity. A cat without toys can easily get bored and even depressed. Who knew that cats could get depressed?! When things in a cat’s life change, like moving or a new pet in the house, cats can get anxious and stressed. Toys help distract them and build their confidence, so they don’t feel so worried. Playing with toys also helps cats burn off energy, so they don’t get the “zoomies” in the middle of the night! And best of all, toys can help you and your cats bond as you play together.

Wow! No wonder the girls have a huge toy collection! They are a sweet pair, so Ah am on a mission to find them a toy friendly home!

UPDATE: Chimchar and Kiera have been adopted!

Yours for a kinder world,

Miss Repecka

Help! My dog is jealous!

Question:

Dear Miss Repecka,

Do dogs get jealous? We have a 4 year old basset hound and not too long ago we brought home a puppy. My basset hound pushes the puppy away every time it gets close to me. I’m trying to give my older dog a lot of attention but he keeps acting like this. How do I help him?

Alex

Answer:

Dear Alex,Sancho - Miss Repecka

You are very smart to notice this behavior in your dog and want to do something about it. Ah wanted to get the scoop on how a dog feels about things like a new puppy in the house, so ah headed for the kennels at OHS to check with mah friend, Sancho. He is a sweet 6 year old German Shepherd mix. Ah sure did learn something about dogs from Sancho!

Sancho explained that dogs often guard things that are important to them, like food, or toys…or you! You can call it jealously, or you can call it resource guarding, but either way, you are right to want to help your dog change his behavior. It sounds like your dog doesn’t want to share your attention, so he tries to push the new puppy away from you.

The best way to help your dog get over this is to teach him that good things happen when he is with you and the puppy. Yummy treats make an excellent “good thing,” but they need to be better than the ones he normally gets! (Small pieces, though, so your dog doesn’t gain weight learning this!) Every time, and ah mean every time, that your basset hound is with you and the puppy comes up-give him yummy treats! (Even if your dog looks like he wants to push the puppy away-give him yummy treats!) Sancho said you want your dog to start thinking that the puppy brings good things! (You will probably want to wear a treat pouch so you always have treats with you. This training won’t work if you always have to stop and go for a treat.)

Pretty soon your dog will get the idea that the puppy coming up is not so bad, because yummy treats happen. When your dog stops the pushing behavior, you can slowly back off on the yummy treats. Do them every other time the puppy approaches for a bit, then every three or four times.

Another thing you can do to help build this good relationship between your basset and the new puppy is do things together with them, like going for a walk. That way they do something they enjoy together. And since we all know that, as cute as puppies are, their behavior can get annoying, give your basset time away from the puppy. You can use gates or crates or closed doors to give them space, but regular time apart is important.

This kinda sounds like a lot to do, but ah think that you’ve got this! (If you are still having trouble after doing these things, you can call the behavior department at OHS and they can give you some more help.)

Now, ah am on a mission to find sweet Sancho a good home!

Yours for a kinder world,

Miss Repecka

Help! My bunny is lonely!

Question:

Dear Miss Repecka,

I have a bunny named Oreo. I think he is lonely. Should I get another bunny for him? If so, should I get a boy or girl? He is fixed.

Amber

Answer:

Dear Amber,Seward - Miss Repecka

Ah, rabbits! I have known lots of them from when ah lived on the farm, and they are social critters that like to have friends. Ah’m betting your rabbit Oreo is just like them and would like a friend too. Ah double checked with a bunny at OHS named Seward. Seward is a 6 month old boy and cute as can be. Seward said that Oreo could be friends with either a boy or girl rabbit, as long as they have been spayed or neutered. And it would be good to look for a bunny that is about the same size as Oreo.

Finding Oreo a new friend and helping them learn to be friends can be a long process. Ah would encourage you and your family to go online and do some reading about the process of getting a friend for Oreo, what you all would need to do, and what extra supplies you would need. Then you can make a smart decision about whether to get another bunny. Seward suggested House Rabbit Society as a good place to start. They have lots of good information about everything rabbit on their website.

UPDATE: Seward has been adopted!

Yours for a kinder world,

Miss Repecka

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