Companion Connection

Questions People Often Ask

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated...

I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man." -Mahatma Gandhi-

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What do I do—my dog is afraid of thunderstorms!

Pet MD

It can be heartbreaking to watch: Even before the first clap of thunder, otherwise well-behaved dogs begin to pace, pant, cling to their owners, hide in the closet, or jam themselves behind the toilet. In severe cases, they'll claw through drywall, chew carpets, or break through windows in their escalating panic.

Thunderstorm phobia in dogs is real, not uncommon, and shouldn't be ignored, experts say.

"Most of the time they don't grow out of it on their own, and many will get worse with time if nothing is done," says Matt Peuser, DVM, a veterinarian at Olathe Animal Hospital in Kansas.

Why does storm phobia happen, and what can you do if your dog suffers from it?  Read On

What do I do when I have found an animal?

Most stray animals are someone's companion—don’t keep an animal that you find without making a real effort to locate the guardian.  Talk to neighbors and post signs all around the neighborhood as well as nearby veterinary clinics.


· Take the animal to a local veterinary clinic to be scanned for a microchip.  If the animal has a microchip, the guardian can usually be contacted.

· If you can keep the found pet temporarily, please call or contact 311 (for Austin) online to submit a Found Animal report.

· Contact local animal shelters and animal control agencies. File a found pet report with every shelter within a 60-mile radius of your home and visit the nearest shelters daily, if possible.

· Post signs in the neighborhood. Post signs and hand out flyers of the pet and information on how you can be reached.

· Advertise. Post notices at grocery stores, community centers, veterinary offices, traffic intersections, at pet supply stores and other locations. Also, place advertisements in newspapers and with radio stations. Include the pet's sex, age, weight, breed, color and any special markings. When describing the pet, leave out one identifying characteristic and ask the person claiming the pet to describe it.

· Be wary of pet-recovery scams. When talking to a stranger who claims to be the guardian of the pet, ask him to describe the pet thoroughly before you offer any information. If he does not include the identifying characteristic you left out of the advertisements, he may not really be the guardian.

Has Your Dog Ever Been Sprayed by a Skunk? Here’s How To Get That Smell Out! 

Whole Dog Journal

Skunks, skunks, skunks! Half a dozen of my friends have reported skunk/dog encounters in the past WEEK! These usually happen late at night, when the dog goes out for his last potty of the night before bedtime . . . and suddenly the whole family is wide, wide awake and facing an odoriferous emergency. What to do?

Why did my cat stop using the litter box? (Revival Animal Health)

Cats who start to house-soil after having been reliably using their litter box may do so because of a litter box aversion, a surface or location

preference, or to mark territory.  Determining the reason that you cat is house-soiling is the first step toward solving the problem.

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) Fact Sheet

Many vets are not up to date about FIV since the virus was only discovered 15 years ago.  A positive test result only confirms the presence of FIV antibodies.  Such antibodies could be the result of actual exposure to the virus OR the result of receiving the FIV vaccination itself.


The Feline Immunodeficiency Virus is a slow virus that affects a cat’s immune system over a period of years.


FIV is a cat-only disease and cannot be spread to humans or other non-felines.


Most FIV+ cats live long, healthy, and relatively normal lives with no symptoms at all.


FIV is not easily passed between cats.  It cannot be spread casually – like in litter boxes, water and food bowls, or when snuggling & playing.  It is rarely spread from mother to kittens.


The virus can be spread through blood transfusions, badly infected gums, or serious, penetrating bite wounds.  (Bite wounds of this kind are extremely rare, except in free-roaming, unneutered tomcats).


A neutered cat, in a home, is extremely unlikely to infect other cats, if properly introduced.


FIV+ cats should be kept as healthy as possible.  Keep them indoors and free from stress.  Feed them high-quality diets. And treat any secondary problems as soon as they arise.  

Best Friends has a great article.

Why Does My Dog Eat Grass?

Pet MD

Dogs love to munch away on grass, and some even make it part of their daily routine. Fortunately, most experts believe it isn't something you should worry about. So why exactly do they gobble up that green stuff in your yard?

Why Does My Dog Eat Poop?

Pet MD

Veterinarians commonly deal with owner complaints that their dog eats its own or another animal’s feces or poop. Although there is much speculation why dogs indulge in this behavior, we still don’t know exactly why some dogs have this disgusting habit.

There is a product called “ForBid” that may help stop this habit.

How do I read my Cat’s mood?


How do I read my Dog’s mood?

Can FIV+ Cats Live With Other Cats?  Finally, a Study That Says “”Yes”


The study in the Veterinary Journal shows FIV is difficult to transmit. How many cats' lives have been lost because people believed the opposite?


Today in News of the Obvious: FIV-positive cats can live with other uninfected cats and not transmit the virus. A veterinary study concludes this. Finally.

Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine conducted a long-term study in cat shelters and drew two conclusions: FIV-positive cats can live with FIV-negative cats and not infect the FIV-negative cats during normal day-to-day interaction; and mother cats infected with FIV don’t pass the virus on to their kittens. The study was conducted by Dr. Annette L. Litster of the college’s Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences

Dog age calculator: how old is my dog in human years?     Written by Brooke Bundy 

Medically reviewed by Dr. Dwight Alleyne

Updated September 8, 2022


Yes, you could always multiply your dog's age by seven, but there's a better way. Use our dog age calculator to understand the different stages of your dog's life.

To find your dog’s approximate “human” age in the chart, select their weight, breed, and years since birth. You don’t have to know their exact breed, but it helps to know whether your canine is small, medium, or large because their size and life expectancy go hand-in-hand. For example, the life expectancy of a Chihuahua ranges between 14 and 16 years compared to 11 to 13 years for a Labrador retriever.