Fun Dog Facts

We may be biased, but at Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital, we think dogs are amazingly cool. That may be why we’re so interested in learning more about them. From details about their mental and physical capabilities, to interesting facts about their behavior and tendencies, we are constantly entertained and wowed by fun dog facts. 

Keep reading as we share some of what we’ve learned about dogs over the years!

Why Do They Do That?

There are so many fascinating dog behaviors that it was difficult to select just a few. Here are our favorites:

  • Dogs kick after going to the bathroom to activate the scent glands on their paws – further marking their territory
  • Dogs chase their tails for many reasons: boredom, curiosity, predatory instinct, exercise… or they might have fleas! If your dog chases his tail, talk to us about possible reasons
  • Dogs curl up in a ball to sleep as a way of protecting their internal organs – a throwback behavior from their wild days
  • Yawning is contagious between people and dogs
  • A recent study shows that dogs are among a small group of animals that will show unselfish kindness toward others without any reward
  • Human blood pressure goes down when petting a dog, and so does the dog’s
  • When your dog gazes at you, it elicits your own oxytocin release… and your dog’s, too

Physical Prowess

  • A dog’s sense of smell is a superpower – up to 100,000 times more sensitive than a human’s
  • Dogs have 1,700 taste buds
  • A dog’s nose print is unique, much like a human fingerprint
  • Dalmatians are all born white, and develop black spots as they age.
  • All dogs are born deaf
  • Dog eyes have structure called a tapetum lucidum, which allows for night vision

Smarty Pants

  • All dogs dream, and puppies and senior dogs dream more than adult dogs
  • Dogs are as intelligent as a 2 year old child, and can understand up to 250 words and gestures
  • Dogs understand humans well, and can read our facial expressions easily; they also pay attention to how we interact with other humans
  • Dogs have evolved to appear to smile-much like humans-with open mouth grinning. This may indicate a relaxed, happy state
  • You can absolutely teach an old dog new tricks

Puppy Love

  • 70% of people sign their dog’s name on their holiday cards
  • 45% of US dogs sleep in their owner’s bed
  • Over 60% of US households own a dog
  • The Labrador Retriever has been on the AKC top 10 list of most popular breeds for the past 25 years, longer than any other breed
  • There are over 75 million dogs in the US, more than in any other country

Fun Dog Facts… From You!

What interesting and fun dog facts do you know about? Let us know the next time you come in for a visit, or post on our FaceBook page.

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5 Ideas for Celebrating Halloween with Pets – Safely!

It’s that time of year again! Whether you’ve been stocking up on decorations since they hit the shelves or you’re just now figuring out costumes and trick-or-treating routes, there’s no doubt that the Halloween season is upon us. 

It’s only natural to want to include your furry friends in on the fun, but not all pets are as excited about lit jack-o-lanterns and tiny ghosts and goblins as we are. Not to mention, Halloween can be a scary and dangerous time of year for our animal companions.

Your team at Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital has come up with some safe, fun, and decidedly non-spooky ways to celebrate Halloween with pets!

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This entry was posted in Pet Safety, Pet Travel & Boarding, You & Your Pet and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

The Best Ways to Introduce a New Kitten to a Resident Cat

There are loads of reasons to adopt a kitten, but you’d be right to pump the brakes if you already have a cat at home. Given abundant time, space and encouragement adult cats or aging seniors can definitely adapt to a new addition. However, their acceptance and tolerance of an interloper/new pal typically do not develop sooner than a few months. 

The best ways to introduce a kitten to your resident cat will require preparation, steadfast dedication, and a few of our go-to tips.

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This entry was posted in Pet Rescue & Adoption, Puppies & Kittens, The Cat's Meow, Training & Behavior and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Feline Diseases: Should You Be Worried About FIV and FeLV?

There are core and non-core vaccinations available for cats, and your veterinarian can help you to determine the best course of action for your pet.

Non-core vaccinations, such as those for feline leukemia (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) are typically recommended based on lifestyle. If your cat is regularly exposed to the outdoors, these vaccines are worth considering.

What Is FIV?

Feline immunodeficiency virus affects the body’s ability to normally respond to an immune response. Similar to the way HIV can lead to AIDS in humans, an FIV-positive cat has specific challenges related to the immune system. Typically transmitted through bite wounds sustained in cat fights, proactive, effective treatment can help a cat live comfortably with FIV for some time.

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Pet Pee Pads: Convenient, or Not?

Training a pet to eliminate in the right place – at the right time – can be a hurdle for many pet owners. It’s not always easy, and it never happens overnight. But when it finally clicks, it’s an amazing relief for pets and owners alike. Pet pee pads can definitely help the process of house training, but they can also present certain snags to long term success.

Setting Goals

Housetraining a puppy or teaching a newly adopted grown pet is not something that can be done without time, patience, and consistent positive reinforcement.

Every pet is different and each has their own special preferences. Learning what they like goes a long way toward potty training success. Plus, this is an opportunity for pet owners to gain insight into what motivates their new best friends.

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This entry was posted in For The Dogs, Training & Behavior, You & Your Pet and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Snake Bites: Don’t Wait, This Is a Real Pet Emergency

Snakes are as ubiquitous in Texas as country music and BBQ. Luckily, of the four types of venomous snakes found here, the coral snake, copperhead, rattlesnake, and cottonmouth (also known as the water moccasin), are rarely aggressive without provocation.

Through an understanding of snake habitat and behavior, pet owners can help their best friends avoid a painful, and potentially life-threatening, pet emergency.

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This entry was posted in For The Dogs, Pet Emergencies & First Aid, Pet Safety, The Great Outdoors and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Senior Pet Celebration: How To Take Great Care of Your Senior Pet

When you have a senior pet, one of the most important things to remember is this: dying isn’t optional, but suffering can be. In other words, older pets can still enjoy life, be active and pain free, and stay healthy for weeks, months, or even years to come. And your veterinarian can help make this happen.

Working with us in the golden years of a pet’s life can make that precious time happy and healthy for both of you. 

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Leaving Your Dog Home Alone: Steps to Follow

A dog is splayed out in the entry way of its home, looking out the glass door

As our best friends, it’s no wonder we want to take our dogs with us everywhere we go. And in this day and age, it’s nearly possible! Still, there are some times when we have to leave our dog home alone, sometimes for longer than we’d like.

So what’s a dog owner to do? 

Luckily, there are ways to leave your best friend at home responsibly, without returning to chewed up shoes and stains on the carpet. Come alone with Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital as we show you steps to follow for safely leaving your dog home alone. 

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How in the World Are You Supposed to Keep Your Pets Safe From Snakes?

Of the 250 snake species in the United States, only four of them are venomous. Unfortunately, all four species – the copperhead, coral, rattle, and cottonmouth – can be found here in Texas. 

Most of us are well-versed in the art of snake avoidance, but lots of pets aren’t always familiar with typical snake habitats. Indeed, many dogs and cats are drawn to the same spot that snakes seem to frequent. Fortunately, there are some great strategies to keep pets safe from snakes. 

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What to do About Chagas Disease in Dogs

An insect sits on a leaf

As responsible dog owners, we do everything we can to protect the health and wellbeing of our canine companions. Keeping our pets safe means understanding the threats to their longevity, whether it’s avoiding heat stroke, keeping up with their dental care, or making sure they take their medications each day.

Chagas disease, a major threat to the health of Texas dogs, is still relatively unknown among dog owners. We hope to change that by educating our readers about Chagas disease in dogs – what it looks like, and how to protect your pets.

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