Pet Talk

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Dr Ann Chauvet

Dr. Chauvet earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon,Canada,and is known internationally for her specialized work in the relatively rare field of veterinary neurology speaking to, training, and consulting with veterinary practices and organizations globally.

Pet allergies – food and environmental. How to recognize, treat and prevent allergies?

Environment and food play a critical role in case of pet allergies. Dogs can be allergic to fleas as we know, but they can also develop allergic reactions to carpets, mold, roaches and much more. If you have a very itchy dog with no trace of fleas, allergies should be on your mind. Food allergies can be easily noted with vomiting, diarrhea or malformed stools. If your dog suffers from belly rashes, it may be allergic to the carpet. Raw feet can indicate grass allergies. Ask your veterinarian to check your dog if you see any signs of itchiness, redness, heat rash and discomfort on the skin and/or ears; or if you note problems with the digestive system.


My dog is very spoiled; she gets a lot of treats during the day, then she’s totally not interested in her dinner and keeps begging for treats. Can treats substitute her regular food?

Ah! Can ice cream replace a family meal? Not really. Treats are very palatable and usually flavored, making them more desirable. It is best however, if your dog eats a well-balanced diet rather than treats. Although nothing helps us bond better than treats, there are many substitutes you can use instead. Try green beans – most dogs love them and they are much healthier. Rice cakes or kibbles from his/her regular food can also be used as treats.


My newly adopted rescue cat sprays all over the house. Will he stop? What can I do to prevent it? 

Spraying is territorial. Cats often spray in attempt to figure out the hierarchy in the house, which may stop over time. There are products like Feliway, which will help manage this behavior. You can try confining the cat temporality to a small space with litter box or get multiple litter boxes (one in each room) to encourage the cat to use them instead of plants and furniture. Also, we recommend that you use a pet repellent product on the areas that have been sprayed or are precious (sofas). You can find these at most pet stores. Also, a spray bottle with water may become your best trainer – use it every time the cat comes close to an area it has sprayed or acts as if it wants to spray.  If the issue continues, your best option is to contact a behaviorist.

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