The Sierra Sage
THE PET VET
Information about animals for animal lovers. Whether furry or feathered, four-legged or two, this is a column made just for you.
Quail Ridge Animal Hospital
Born to be Wild
Nature is starting to bloom all around us, and to celebrate all things natural, let’s take a look at your pet’s nature. The sweet little dog, cat, hamster or bird you have at home is wild at heart. Humans have domesticated many kinds of animals, but before that, they lived on their own in the wild. That means, there is usually a good reason for some of their peculiar behaviors. While spinning around before lying down in bed may look strange, for example, there is method behind their wildness.
Dogs are a great example. Our best friends have been around humans for thousands of years. But before that, they were wolves living in the wild. Many of their behaviors were programmed long before we knew them so well. Your veterinarian can help explain some of these traits and let you know if there is anything unusual going on. In the meantime, here are some fun facts:
Let’s start with an easy one. Dogs bury their toys and bones because, in the wild, they would have to protect the food they want to save for later from other animals. Old habits die hard.
If they value those toys so much, why do they thrash them around in their mouths? Gruesomely enough, that’s how wolves kill small animals.
Your recently groomed dog runs outside and rolls in who knows what. Why, you ask? Because wolves would use that offensive material to cover up their own scent. This would help protect them from other animals that might track them down.
We have all seen how dogs say hello, and let’s say it’s a bit more personal than a handshake. Dogs can tell a lot by smelling another pooch’s rear. They can learn the sex of the other animal, their reproductive state, and their health. “Do I want to get to know this dog? Let’s see (or smell).”
Spinning before bed
Now back to that spinning around in bed. Well, wolves didn’t have nice fluffy beds or a pile of laundry to relax in. To smooth out the ground and to get rid of pesky bugs or objects, they trampled down the earth beneath them.
The animals in your home are fascinating creatures. Talk with your vet next time you stop by to learn more.
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Lesli A. Hewitt-Spears, DVM
Hey there! I am Dr. Hewitt and I have been working with animals of all kinds for more than 25 years.
I started out as a kennel assistant, worked as a veterinary technician and eventually held externships during veterinary school at the San Francisco Zoo and The Avian and Exotics Clinic in Monterey, California.
Since I graduated from Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2002, I have strived to understand and treat canine, feline and exotic species' ailments and diseases with the utmost care and concern.
I love all the fuzzy, furry, feathery, and scaly creatures that you consider as part of your family. I have recently been given the honor of becoming the veterinarian for Safe Haven Rescue Zoo in Imlay, NV.
My family consists of my wonderful Husband, Lee, our awesome children - Hunter and Emma, two dogs, two cats, one bird, a guinea pig, 6 chickens, and a fresh water community fish tank. It has been my life-long dream to practice quality, caring medicine for all of my animal friends. Livin' the Dream...