Pet Talk

Q. Every time I take my dog for a walk he pulls on the leash constantly. It is no fun because it is such a struggle. Any ideas on getting him to walk without always pulling?

A. As soon as he starts to pull, be a tree. Stand still and when you feel the least bit of slack in the leash, praise him and start walking. You may have to repeat this corrective action numerous times, but remember your dog’s goal is to keep moving. Eventually he will realize when he’s not pulling the walk continues. Don’t give up and be consistent and before long you will have a wonderful walking companion.

Q. Sometimes my cat misses the litter box or doesn’t use it at all. Any suggestions?

A. First, I would recommend a visit to your veterinarian to rule out any medical condition, such as a urinary tract infection. Cats can have the feeling they have to urinate constantly and will sometimes go outside their box. This could require antibiotics to clear it up.

If your kitty checks out medically, then it may be as simple as keeping the box clean. Some cats will refuse to use a dirty box. Or your cat may not like the litter you are using. Some felines do not like scented litter, so if that is what you are using, try unscented.

If the litter isn’t the problem, then the litter box may be too small. Larger cats need a larger litter box.

Another possibility is a change in the household, such as a new baby or pet causing jealously issues. I would say then it is time to lavish your cat with lots of affection.

Good luck. I hope my suggestions will be helpful in solving your problem.

Sally Salopek is the owner and operator of Attend-A-Pet pet sitting services in northern Door County. She has also worked professionally with animals in health care, pet grooming, training, wildlife rehab and rescue. Please send your animal care questions to [email protected].