Companion animals
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Companion Animals. Importance of Companion Animals. 60% of American families own pets Often regarded as another family member Serve as catalysts for human interactions. Role of Nonverbal Communication. Dogs and cats use postures, gestures, facial expressions and sounds in communication

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Companion Animals

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Companion animals

Companion Animals

Importance of companion animals

Importance of Companion Animals

  • 60% of American families own pets

  • Often regarded as another family member

  • Serve as catalysts for human interactions

Role of nonverbal communication

Role of Nonverbal Communication

  • Dogs and cats use postures, gestures, facial expressions and sounds in communication

  • Owners interpret these nonverbal signals as expressions of affection

  • Pets provide only positive feedback (no criticism, lying or gossiping)

Pet numbers in the usa 1996

Pet Numbers in the USA (1996)

  • Cats59.0 million

  • Dogs 52.9 million

  • Birds12.6 million

  • Fish55.6 million

  • Horses 4.0 million

  • Rabbits 4.9 million

  • Hamsters 1.9 million

Reasons for popularity of cats

Reasons for Popularity of Cats

  • Adapt well to totally indoor lifestyle

    • Do not require outdoor exercising

    • Easily housetrained

    • Do not annoy neighbors with barking or howling

    • Can be left alone for long periods of time

  • Relatively inexpensive to obtain and keep

Demographics of pet ownership

Demographics of Pet Ownership

  • Families with children more likely to own pets

  • 65% of pet owners have incomes above $25,000

  • 76% of pet owners own their own homes

Multiple pet ownership

Multiple Pet Ownership

  • Mean of 1.68 dogs per dog-owning household

  • Mean of 2.19 cats per cat-owning household

Wild animals as pets

Wild Animals as Pets

  • Not recommended

  • Babies appear cute and cuddly but adults are unpredictable and dangerous

  • Higher risk of zoonotic infections due to lack of approved vaccinations

Economic impact of companion animals

Economic Impact of Companion Animals

  • Pet foods

    • Dogs > $10.1 billion annually in USA

    • Cats > $2.0 billion annually in USA

  • Veterinary care

    • Dogs ~ $8.0 billion annually in USA

    • Cats ~ $4.0 billion annually in USA

Pet related industries

Pet-Related Industries

  • Veterinary medicine & surgery

    • Health care

    • Prescription medications

  • Shampoos and pesticides

  • Pet equipment

    • Collars, leashes, harnesses

    • Beds, blankets, sweaters

    • Toys

Pet related industries continued

Pet-Related Industries (Continued)

  • Training facilities and instructors

  • Grooming facilities and products

  • Boarding kennels

  • Cat and dog shows

  • Dog racing

Pet related industries continued1

Pet-Related Industries (Continued)

  • Service dog organizations

  • Therapy dog organizations

  • Animal behavioral therapists

Domestication of dogs

Domestication of Dogs

  • Ancestors were Canis lupis (gray wolves)

    • Camp followers

    • Pups may have become playmates for children

    • Territorial nature may have led to use as camp guards

    • May have joined hunts for food

    • Earliest records of domestication were remains in Paleolithic caves dating ~ 12,000 B.C.

Domestication of dogs continued

Domestication of Dogs (continued)

  • Selection for desired traits has resulted in the development of various dog breeds

    • Hunters

      • some work by sight, some by scent

    • Retrievers

    • Guard dogs

    • Personal preferences for varying colors, sizes, body types, etc.

Domestication of cats

Domestication of Cats

  • First records in Egypt ~ 4000 B.C.

  • African bush cat (Felis lybica)

  • Were trained to hunt with aristocrats and valued in control of rodents

  • Became objects of deification

    • Bast = Egyptian cat-headed goddess (also known as Pasht, Ubastet, and Bubatis)

Domestication of cats continued

Domestication of Cats (continued)

  • Brought to Europe by Phoenician trading ships around 900 B.C.

  • In Middle Ages became associated with Satanism, witches and warlocks

    • Killing of cats during Dark Ages contributed to surge of rodents and spread of bubonic plague

  • Introduced to Americas by Europeans



  • An abnormal fear of cats

  • Cats seem to have a mystic persona which may contribute to the polarity of feelings about cats

Purebred dog registries

Purebred Dog Registries

  • In the United States:

    • American Kennel Club

    • United Kennel Club

    • States Kennel Club

  • Over 1.5 million new dogs registered annually within the United States

  • Estimated to be over 400 breeds of dogs recognized world-wide

American kennel club

American Kennel Club

  • Established in 1884

  • Nonprofit organization for advancement of purebred dogs

  • Maintains stud book and breed registrations

  • Dog breeds are classified into seven categories and a miscellaneous group

  • Currently 147 breeds recognized by AKC

Akc dog breed groups

Sporting dogs


Working dogs


Toy breeds

Nonsporting dogs

Herding dogs

Miscellaneous group

AKC Dog Breed Groups

Examples of akc sporting dogs


Pointers (many types)

Retrievers (many types)

Setters (English, Gordon, Irish)

Spaniels (many types)



Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

Examples of AKC Sporting Dogs

Examples of akc hound group




Black and Tan Coonhound






Irish wolfhound

Norwegian elkhound


Pharaoh hound



Examples of AKC Hound Group

Examples of akc working dog group


Alaskan malamute

Bernese Mountain dog


Doberman pinscher

Giant Schnauzer

Great Dane

Great Pyrenees






Saint Bernard


Siberian Husky

Examples of AKC Working Dog Group

Examples of akc terrier group

Airedale terrier

American Staffordshire

Australian terrier

Bedlington terrier

Bull terrier

Cairn terrier

Dandie Dinmont

Fox terriers

Irish terrier

Jack Russell terrier


Miniature schnauzer

Norfolk terrier

Norwich terrier

Soft-coated Wheaton

West Highland White

Examples of AKC Terrier Group

Examples of akc toy breeds


Brussels Griffon


Chinese crested

English toy spaniel

Italian greyhound

Japanese chin


Miniature pinscher





Shih tzu

Silky terrier

Yorkshire terrier

Examples of AKC Toy Breeds

Examples of akc nonsporting breeds

American Eskimo

Bichon Frise

Boston terrier


Chinese Shar-pei

Chow chow


Finnish Spitz

French bulldog


Lhasa Apso




Shiba Inu

Tibetan spaniel

Examples of AKC Nonsporting Breeds

Examples of akc herding breeds

Australian cattle dog

Australian shepherd

Bearded collie

Belgian malinois

Belgian sheepdog

Belgian tervuren

Border collie

Bouviers des Flandres


Canaan dog


German shepherd dog

Old English sheepdog


Shetland sheepdog

Welsh corgis

Examples of AKC Herding Breeds

Examples of akc miscellaneous breeds

Examples of AKC Miscellaneous Breeds

  • Polish Lowland Sheepdog

  • Plott Hound

  • Spinoni Italiani

    Includes breeds with active enthusiasts but too few numbers for inclusion in the regular AKC stud book

Akc sanctioned shows

AKC Sanctioned Shows

  • Dog shows (conformation)

  • Obedience trials

  • Agility trials

  • Tracking tests

  • Field trials

  • Working trials

  • Herding trials

Feline registries in the u s a

Feline Registries in the U.S.A.

  • American Cat Fancier’s Association

  • American Cat Association

  • Cat Fancier’s Association, Inc.

  • Cat Fancier’s Federation

  • Crown Cat Fancier’s Federation, Inc.

  • National Cat Fancier’s Association, Inc.

  • United Cat Federation

Classifications of cat breeds

Classifications of Cat Breeds

  • Natural breeds

  • Human-developed breeds

  • Spontaneous mutations

Examples of natural cat breeds

Examples of Natural Cat Breeds

  • Persian

  • Russian Blue

  • Turkish Angora

Examples of human developed cat breeds

Examples of Human-Developed Cat Breeds

  • Exotic Shorthair

  • Bombay

Examples of cat breeds arising from spontaneous mutations

Examples of Cat Breeds Arising from Spontaneous Mutations

  • Manx

  • Scottish Fold

Feline body types

Feline Body Types

  • Foreign (oriental)

    • Slim, lithe, elegant fine-boned

    • Siamese

  • Cobby

    • Heavy, short-legged, compact broad-chested

    • American shorthair, Burmese, Persian

  • Moderate (modified)

    • Intermediate

    • Russian Blue, Abbysian

Feline coat types

Feline Coat Types

  • Hairless

    • Sphinx

  • Shorthair

    • Siamese, Bombay, Burmese, Chartreux, Manx, Russian Blue, American and British Shorthair

  • Wirehair

    • American Wirehair

Feline coat types continued

Feline Coat Types (continued)

  • Curly coat

    • Cornish Rex, Devon Rex

  • Longhair coat

    • Persians, Turkish Angora, Somali, Maine Coon cat, Ragdoll, Himalayan, Birman, Balinese

Contributions of companion animals to humans

Contributions of Companion Animals to Humans

  • Companionship to all ages

  • Education of children

  • Source of self-esteem and self-expression

  • Reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure

  • Promote activity and interaction with others

  • Therapy dogs (nursing homes, hospitals, group homes, prisons)

Contributions of companion animals to humans continued

Contributions of Companion Animals to Humans (continued)

  • Guard homes and businesses

  • Search and rescue operations

  • Narcotic and other scent work

  • Tracking

  • Hunting and retrieving

  • Herding livestock

  • Service dogs for handicapped

Therapy and service dogs

Therapy and Service Dogs

  • Nursing home visitation programs

  • Guide dogs for visually handicapped

    • The Seeing Eye Inc. and others

    • Breeds used include Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds

  • Dogs for the Deaf, Paws with a Cause

  • Delta Society Pet Partners Program

  • Friend for Folks Program (Oklahoma Correctional Facility + OK State CVM)

Human companion animal bond

Human-Companion Animal Bond

  • Symbiotic (mutually beneficial)

  • Social animals thrive with hierarchy and close interaction with their pack leader

  • Companion animals provide an object for nurturing, care, attention, love and return what appears to be an unconditional love

Canine behavior

Canine Behavior

  • Remember that dogs descended from packs

  • Excellent senses of sight, smell, and hearing were required in locating food

  • Refined sense of touch was used in signaling between pack members --- dogs lick their owners as member of their pack

  • Separation anxiety if left alone

  • Territorial urine marking

Signs of dominance in dogs

Signs of Dominance in Dogs

  • Direct eye contact

  • Ears held erect and alert

  • Tail held high

  • Legs braced with forward lean

  • Muscles taut and ready for action

Signs of submission in dogs

Signs of Submission in Dogs

  • Flattening of ears

  • Lying down and rolling over on back

  • Tucking of tail

  • Raising leg

  • Avoiding eye contact

Dog body language continued

Dog Body Language (continued)

  • Play-bow indicates a desire to interact as in games of chase

  • Wagging tail indicates friendliness and submission

Feline body language

Feline Body Language

  • Flicking of tail indicates displeasure

  • When knocked on back will rake opponent with claws

  • Add vocalization

  • When angry flatten ears, arch back, hold tail straight out, curl lips, spit and snarl

  • When frightened pupils dilate, hairs stand erect and back arches

Feline body language continued

Feline Body Language (continued)

  • Use paws to show affection

    • Pats

    • Kneading

  • Purrs

    • Maybe from vibrations of major blood vessels

    • Used to express emotions

Games cats play

Games Cats Play

  • Play-fighting

  • Prey-pouncing

  • Bird-swatting

  • Fish-scooping

Feline behavior continued

Feline Behavior (continued)

  • Territories of free roaming cats up to 3 acres for a female and 30 acres for male

  • Territorial disputes if crowded

  • Considered a nonsocial species, do not live in groups as adults

  • Nocturnal by nature

Training of companion animals

Training of Companion Animals

  • Early socialization important

    • “Puppy classes”

    • Owner should establish “pack leader” status

  • Train dogs to sit quietly in a group

  • Train dogs to walk at “heel position”

  • Teach dogs “sit”, “down”, “stay”, “come”

  • Retrieving games expend energy and reinforce owner’s authority

Kitten selection

Kitten Selection

  • Early socialization with humans important

  • Look for an outgoing kitten that will respond to toys dangled in front of it or rolled across the floor

Grooming requirements

Grooming Requirements

  • Daily grooming keeps coats clean, shining and free of mats and facilitates early detection of any problems (e.g. fleas)

  • Time spent grooming reinforces bonding

  • Trim claws regularly

  • Brushing teeth or using special dental treats will minimize dental disease

Identification of pets

Identification of Pets

  • Tattoos (e.g. registration #)

  • Microchip implants

  • Collar with tags



  • Facilitated by confinement to an enclosed area

  • Lavish praising for elimination in desired location

  • Cats will instinctively cover up feces, mimic dams in use of litter box

  • Many cats can be “toilet” trained if owners are patient and use special toilet seats

Neutering companion animals

Neutering Companion Animals

  • Prevents unwanted offspring

  • Health benefits

    • Lessens mammary cancer in females

    • Prevents uterine infections in females

    • Lessens prostatic disease in males

    • Reduces roaming, fighting

  • Lessens urine spraying in male cats

  • Eliminates behavioral problems and “mess” associated with estrus in females

Feeding of companion animals

Feeding of Companion Animals

  • Much interest in meeting “life-stage” needs

  • Many foods are designed primarily to appeal to pet owners

Feeding of puppies

Feeding of Puppies

  • Double birthweight in about 8 days

  • Composition of milk

    • Canine--Human

      7.1% protein 1.6% protein

      1.3% mineral 0.2% mineral

      Need 50-100 Kcal/lb body weight from 2-9 months of age (vs. 30-45 Kcal/lb as adults)

Types of pet foods

Types of Pet Foods

  • Canned

    • 75-82% water

    • Plant proteins often shaped into “meatballs” to appeal to owners

  • Semi-moist

    • 25% water

  • Dry

    • 10% water

Homemade diets

Homemade Diets

  • Should consult with a nutritionist

  • Some ingredients popular with people are not tolerated well by dogs

    • Chocolate can cause convulsions

    • Onions can damage red blood cells

  • Cats are true carnivores and must have taurine and arachidonic acid in their diets

Diet induced diseases

Diet-Induced Diseases

  • Toxicity from chocolate

  • Toxicity from onions

  • Feline urinary tract obstruction from high mineral diets (especially magnesium)

  • Steatitis from high fat diets (especially red tuna in cats)

  • Blindness and heart disease in cats fed dog food diets (too low in taurine)

Preventative health care

Preventative Health Care

  • Annual examinations by a veterinarian

  • Provide adequate exercise and food

  • Routine stool checks and dental care

  • Heartworm preventative medication

  • Regular immunizations

  • Testing of cats for viral infections

  • Flea preventative medication

Zoonotic diseases

Zoonotic Diseases

  • Rabies

  • Tuberculosis (very rare in dogs and cats)

  • Visceral larval migrans (aberrant migrations of roundworm larvae in humans)

  • Toxoplasmosis (cats are a definitive host and people may be infected by oocysts in cat feces)

Zoonotic diseases continued

Zoonotic Diseases (continued)

  • Leptospira spp. (shed in urine of infected animals, these bacterial organisms can cause kidney or liver disease)

  • Campylobacteria spp. and Salmonella spp. (shed in feces of infected animals, these bacteria cause abdominal cramps and diarrhea)

  • Giardia (protozoan causes diarrhea, common source is water contaminated with feces)

Skin diseases of dogs and cats

Skin Diseases of Dogs and Cats

  • Mites

    • Sarcoptes spp. (contagious)

    • Cheyletiella spp. (contagious)

    • Demodex spp. (non-contagious)


  • Fleas (contagious)

  • Ticks (contagious)

Skin diseases continued

Skin Diseases (continued)

  • Dermatophyte infections (ringworm, contagious)

  • Pasteurella spp. (commonly present in oral cavity, bite wounds result in infection)

  • Staphylococcus spp. (common infection in dogs, very rarely contagious)

  • Malassezia (yeast infection of skin, rarely causes infection in humans)

Allergies in dogs and cats

Allergies in Dogs and Cats

  • Result from combination of hereditary and environmental factors, not contagious!

  • Many dogs and cats have environmental and food allergies which can be diagnosed and treated by veterinarians

  • Many people have allergies to proteins from the saliva or dander of pets, there are many treatment alternatives and such people should consult an allergist specialist

Pet health care

Pet Health Care

  • Sophisticated care is now available through veterinary specialists using state-of-the-art imaging (endoscopy, ultrasonagraphy, computerized tomography, MRIs, etc.)

  • Owners should consult a veterinarian at the first sign of illness in their pet (changes in behavior, appetite, drinking, appearance)

Geriatric pet care

Geriatric Pet Care

  • Large breeds of dogs age faster than small

    • Typical lifespans

      • Toy poodle 14-17 years

      • German shepherd 12-14 years

      • Newfoundland 7-11 years

  • Domestic cats often live 15-19 years

  • Regular examinations and preventative care can promote long healthy lives for our pets

Career opportunities with companion animals

Career Opportunities with Companion Animals

  • Dog and Cat Breeders

    • Responsible pet breeding:

      • breed only animals with excellent temperaments

      • breed only animals that are good representatives

      • breed only healthy animals

      • breed only if can find good homes for offspring

Professions relating to showing

Professions Relating to Showing

  • Judges

  • Trainers

  • Groomers

  • Handlers (exhibit animals in competition)

  • Photographers

  • Show coordinators

Professions related to pet care

Professions Related to Pet Care

  • Groomers

  • Boarding facilities and “pet-sitters”

  • Pet shops

  • Manufacturers of pet supplies

  • Manufacturers of pet foods

  • Research and quality assurance workers

Professions related to training of companion animals

Professions Related to Training of Companion Animals

  • Professional trainers (herding, tracking, field trial, agility, guard, personal protection, search and rescue, etc.)

  • Training for therapy work (seeing eye, hearing aide, retrievers, etc.)

  • Behavioral therapy

Veterinary specialists


Animal behaviorists


Clinical pharmacologists



Critical care specialists

Imaging specialists

Internal medicine specialists

Laboratory animal medicine specialists



Veterinary Specialists

Veterinary specialists continued




Preventative care specialists

Theriogenologists (reproductive specialists)

Zoological medicine specialists

The American Veterinary Medical Association oversees the certification of specialists in each of the above specialities

Veterinary Specialists (continued)

The value of companion animals

The Value of Companion Animals

  • As stated by Boris Levinson (child psychologist):

    “Pets upgrade the quality of life, bring us closer to nature, provide companionship and emphasize the fact that animals must be accepted as desirable participants in society”

    Enjoy your pets!

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