Friday, November 27, 2015

Puzzles for Pups: Benefits of Interactive Toys for your Pet

Interactive toys are a great way for your pet to stay busy and have fun, while also improving their mental and physical skills. Consider this modern method of playtime to avoid having your dog be bored or mischievous. There are many benefits to interactive toys, and introducing them into your dog's routine can give you a happier and smarter pet!

 Mental Stimulation
Mental stimulation is just as important for your dog as physical stimulation. Encourage your dog to self-entertain with interactive toys in order to provide a simple and fun way to get mental exercise.  

Problem-Solving Skills
Dogs are intelligent creatures and have some thinking skills that are similar to human thinking skills. They are able to learn facial expressions, hand gestures and can learn by imitation. Give your pooch a chance to sharpen his skills with a puzzle toy that requires problem-solving skills. This can improve your dog's confidence and decrease their anxiety. 

Weight Management
As with physical exercise, mental exercise is necessary to keep your pet active and happy. Fun purpose-driven toys are a great way to improve your dog's fitness. If you have a high-energy dog, interactive toys will tire them out. Remember, a tired dog is a good dog! Support a healthy and active lifestyle for your pet by giving them challenging and fulfilling ways to play. 

Don't Forget the Kitties
Cats can absolutely benefit from interactive play as well. These toys can help keep your cat active and prevent obesity. Activities like Morris Animal Inn's Crazy Cat Electronic Tablet Game provide exercise and excitement for cats. It allows them to explore and stalk, which are natural cat instincts. Provide opportunities for your cat to stay curious with interactive toys, so that their playtime can be fun and educational. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Why Your Cat Needs to Knead

Kneading is a very common behavior for cats. It may just be soft pawing or even a repetitive clawing. Regardless of when or where, if a cat feels the need to knead, they will. Why do cats love this activity so much? 

It's comforting
Kneading represents a period of comfort and safety. During the nursing process, kittens will knead their mom's belly to increase milk flow. Kneading then becomes an instinctive behavior that they carry with them past kittenhood. Its a moment of happiness and contentment. Much like certain food or activities remind you of childhood, kneading brings your cat back to a comforting time.

Your cat is marking their territory. 

Kneading is also a way for a cat to create a safe space. Cats have scent glands on the pads of their feet, and these produce a unique scent. A cat releases this scent to claim territory and define what is theirs. They may also claw to leave signature scratches on something they want to mark as theirs. So, next time your cat is kneading on your lap, consider it a compliment! 

If you don't like your cat's kneading behavior...
Consider redirecting your cat to an area besides your lap. You can simply reward your cat for kneading in a certain area - maybe a blanket or pillow. It is important to remember that kneading is a normal and comforting activity for your cat, so you shouldn't discourage the behavior. 

Now you know why your cat needs to knead. Next time you witness this behavior, you can understand a little better why your cat enjoys it so much! 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

How to Include Your Dog in the Holidays

With the holiday season just around the corner, keep your pet in mind when planning festivities. The holidays are a time to be grateful for family and friends, and your four legged loved one should be no exception! There are lots of opportunities to include your pet when making holiday plans. Here are some ways you can make sure your pet enjoys this special time of year as much as you do.

Go for a long walk
A great way to show your dog some extra love during the holiday season is by taking him outside for some fresh air. Let your dog run around and release some energy in a fenced in area, or take him on a long walk with plenty of breaks for sniffing.

Give them a special treat or meal
It may be tempting to feed your dog some scraps from your big holiday meal, but this could be dangerous for them. Typical foods served at a holiday meal may include raisins, chocolate, bones, onion, and garlic. Ingesting these foods could cause an upset stomach and vomiting for your dog. Instead, consider making something special just for your pup. A special hand-made meal or tasty treat will get a warm reception from any dog. 

 Donate to a local charity
There is no better way to celebrate the holiday season than by giving to others. Make a donation in your pet's name to your local animal shelter or rescue or donate food, blankets, toys or leashes to pets in need.

Set aside a quiet space
Make sure there is a place in your home where your dog can go to get away from all of the noise and excitement of the holiday. Your house will most likely be busier, louder and more stressful for your dog. Give your dog some time to sneak away to his warm and cozy bed to remind him of the comforts of his normal routine.

Keep your dog safe from holiday hazards
Although the holidays are a wonderful time for you and your family, there are aspects of the season that can be dangerous for your pet. Make sure to supervise your dog around any decorations and/or Christmas trees. If a curious pup gets a hold of a shiny ornament, it can be a recipe for disaster! Its also helpful to have an emergency vet's number on hand in case of any accidents.

Get a holiday pet portrait
Make your pet feel extra pampered and loved this holiday season by including them in the special moments you capture. Getting a professional photo taken of your pet will be something you will cherish for years to come. 

Have a picture taken of your pup in a winter wonderland scene at Morris Animal Inn's Holiday Pet Photo Shoot on November 15th from 10am-3pm. Call 973-539-0377 for more details!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

5 Reasons Why Dogs Chase Their Tails

Dogs are playful creatures by nature, and most of us have watched a pup run around in circles chasing his tail. What may just seem like an amusing quirk could actually be a behavior that is worth looking into. Here are a few explanations for why your cute canine is chasing his tail.


It is not uncommon to see a puppy spend minutes spinning in circles to try and catch its own tail. This entertaining habit is normal for puppies, who are naturally very playful. Tail chasing usually happens when a puppy is bored, which can be often for an energetic puppy! As the puppies get older, this usually fades away. 

Some dogs have a genetic predisposition to tail chasing and other compulsive behaviors. For breeds like German Shepherds, Bull Terriers, and Dobermans, tail chasing is not so much a silly game as it is a hereditary tendency.

 Fleas or Worms
If an older dog is consistently chasing his or her tail, its a good idea to go for a check up at your veterinarian. Tail chasing is not always all fun and games. It could actually be a sign that they have fleas or worms. So check with your local vet to make sure your dog is healthy. 

Attention Seeking
Dogs crave attention from humans, and they may do something as silly as chasing their tail to get it. Getting your dog active attention from humans is important. Simple things like a good belly rub or a Frisbee toss will make your dog happy and less likely to come up with his own ways to be entertained. 

Excessive Energy
If you have a high energy dog, they will need plenty of physical activity. Without it, they may resort to exerting energy by tail chasing. To avoid this behavior, consider increasing your dog's daily activity level. 

Is your dog chasing its tail? Bring them to Morris Animal Inn! We have plenty of activities to keep them active and entertained, including pampered pet sessions for dogs seeking some extra TLC, canine cardio sessions for high energy dogs, and more! To find out more about the activities we offer, visit or call 973-539-0377.