31st October 2012, 09:59 PM
Our Sophie is a ground Hoover; she'll eat anything she finds. We do not have a fenced in yard, so she is always on a leash when she goes out. IF we had a fenced in yard, I would not be able to put her out there. The constant diarrhea from her backyard buffet would not be welcome. I take Sophie on long walks, one to three miles, and that way she and I both get our exercise.
I have a friend whose little poodle keeps eating the mushrooms that randomly grow in their back yard. They cause the dog to hallucinate! My friend has given up in trying to eradicate the mushrooms and keep her dog from eating them. She doesn't let her out into the yard often, if she can help it. They have lived in that house for 25 years and their previous poodle never ate anything out there. Back yards can be really scary places for dogs.
3rd November 2012, 03:07 AM
I totally oppose declawing. Declawing is not allowed in the UK and Ireland -- the vet organisations here regard it as cruel and maiming a healthy animal. It is actually very painful for the cat for ages afterwards and they don;t just lose a nail; they lose the equivalent of the entire end joint of a human finger or toe. So they are forced to walk on the end of an amputated joint on all their front toes.
Declawed cats also are often unable to climb to safety or to defend themselves if attacked by dogs which puts them at risk if they are let outdoors.
I think if people want cats then they have to accept that means compromise and training (and often some torn furniture). I now choose furniture that is more cat and dog proof -- got a leather sofa and voila! -- no scratching any more by the cats and it always looks good and is easy to clean (I got a second hand one to try out without spending a huge amount -- €165 at Oxfam!). Cats can actually be trained and spending some redirecting to scratching posts etc generally will really help too. There are some nail caps that can be bought -- Softpaws is one type -- they actually work really well too for indoor cats; I used them with one of mine for a while. You glue them on and they are shed after about 4-5 weeks. You can even get coloured ones!
In memory: Lucy