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Want to find out how many chromosomes dogs have? Read on to find out!

What Are Chromosomes?

Chromosomes are thread-like entities found inside the nucleus of plants and animals. Chromosomes are made of protein and a single DNA molecule.

The purpose of a chromosome is to keep DNA tightly wrapped up, because without them DNA molecules would be too big for their cells!

Cells in living things are constantly dividing to create new cells and replace the old ones. It’s important that our DNA remains intact and is distributed properly, which is where Chromosomes come in.

While chromosomes do their best to make sure cells reproduce properly, errors can occur in humans, dogs and any other cellular species.

Sex Chromosomes

Just like in humans, dogs have sex chromosomes characterised by X and Y. Females have XX chromosomes while males have XY chromosomes.

How Many Chromosomes Do Dogs Have?

Dogs have 39 pairs of chromosomes and a total of 78.  To compare, humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes (total of 46) and  cats have 19 chromosome pairs (total of 38).

 Dolphins have 22 pairs of chromosomes (44 in total), earthworms have 18 pairs of chromosomes (36 in total) and elephants have 28 pairs of chromosomes (56 in total).

The number of chromosomes an animal has doesn’t mean it is more or less complex than other animals with more chromosomes.

There are around 400 different breeds of dog, making the pooch one of the most diverse animals – at least in terms of their physical appearance – in the world.

What Junk Food Can Dogs Eat?

We all know junk food isn’t good for dogs or humans, but is it actively harmful for dogs? What if your dog eats some junk food accidently? Read on to find out more.

Can Dogs Eat Popcorn

While plain popcorn can actually benefit your dog’s health when eaten in small amounts, popcorn toppings – butter, salt, sugar etc. – are not good for dogs and can lead to intestinal problems and obesity.

The hard corn kernels can also pose a choking hazard, so you may want to keep the popcorn away from your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream

No, dogs cannot eat ice cream for a multitude of reasons. For starters, dogs are not able to digest milk. Seeing as ice cream is made with milk, it could lead to all sorts of digestive problems.

Ice cream is also full of sugar, which is not good for dogs. Sugar free ice cream is actually worse, because if it contains xylitol instead of sugar it would be toxic for dogs.

While no ice cream is recommended, flavours that contain chocolate are especially toxic. This is because chocolate contains theobromine, a component that dogs cannot process.

Can Dogs Eat Pizza

No, dogs cannot eat pizza because it contains a lot of ingredients which are harmful for them. Pizza often contains cheese, which is problematic seeing as most dogs are lactose intolerant.

Garlic, which is often found in the sauce, can cause serious health problems in dogs.  Onions can cause damage to your dogs red blood cells and could make them really sick.

Sodium is prominent in pizza sauce, various meats as well as other toppings and is not a healthy choice for dogs.  Oil is another problem for dogs and could make them sick.

Even the crust can be detrimental as it is basically starchy, carbohydrate-heavy empty calories.

Can Dogs Eat Marshmallows

No, dogs cannot eat marshmallows. While not all marshmallows are toxic for dogs, they do contain a lot of sugar which is not healthy for dogs.

While the occasional marshmallow might be okay, it depends on the ingredients.   Artificially sweetened marshmallows are actually worse than the sugary ones because they often contain xylitol, which is toxic for dogs.  Check the ingredients beforehand and, if your dog has eaten xylitol, take them to the vet.

The Bottom Line

While some junk food won’t cause long-term health damage, it’s not really worth the risk. There are a lot of healthier alternative snacks such as some fruits, vegetables, nuts and dog biscuits, so if you want to treat your dog avoid giving them something which could make them sick.

How Many Nipples Do Dogs Have

Ever wondered how many nipples dogs have? Read on to find out!

Do All Dogs Have The Same Number Of Nipples?

You might assume that all dogs would have the same number of nipples, but that’s incorrect. Larger dogs normally have ten nipples while smaller dogs have eight nipples, but some dogs have as little as six teats and some have as many as twelve!

Larger dogs have more space to fit more nipples, and it’s an evolutionary advantage to have extra teats so the dog can feed more puppies, so having more than eight-ten nipples is nothing to worry about.

While many dogs have an even number of nipples, some dogs could have seven, nine or eleven nipples.  You may be worried if you discover your dog has an odd number of nipples, but it’s not a health issue and shouldn’t be a problem when it comes to nursing puppies.

Why Do Male Dogs Grow Nipples?

Male dogs have nipples and, just like in humans, they serve no function.  The nipples are developed early on in the womb. As they don’t’ cause any harm, there is no evolutionary reason to do away with them.

Where Are Dog Nipples Located?

Your dog’s teats are evenly placed on either side of the chest from the trunk right down to the groin.

Does The Amount Of Nipples A Dog Has Predict Their Litter Size?

While a lot of people believe that you can tell how many puppies a female dog will have by counting her nipples and dividing them by two, in reality there only seems to be a weak correlation between number of nipples and number of puppies.

Some mothers will have more puppies than she has nipples to feed, which will result in some puppies becoming under-nourished.  These puppies are typically hand-reared until they are strong enough to fend for themselves.

The only way you can know for sure how many puppies your dog is going to have is by taking her to the vet.

Nipple Problems

If your dog’s nipples are changing size or if you notice pus or blood coming out of them, you should take them to the vet to determine the cause.

Summary

Dogs can have as little as six and as many as twelve nipples depending on their size. Larger dogs have more space to grow more nipples, so it makes sense larger breeds would have more teats.

You can’t predict how many puppies a mother will have by counting her nipples, but if she has more puppies than nipples you will need to hand rear the baby dogs that can’t get near the milk.

It doesn’t really matter if a dog has an even or odd number of teats as they still serve the same function, but if you notice any unusual discharge coming out of the nipples it’s time to take your canine to the vet.

Male dogs have nipples just like male humans do and, although they don’t serve a biological purpose, they don’t cause any harm.

Do Canines Get Spots?

Worried about your spotty dog? Want to know how and why dogs get pimples? Read on to find out!

Can Dogs Get Spots

Not everyone knows this, but dogs can get pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and even acne!

Dog Acne

Humans aren’t the only species to get acne, dogs can get it too! Adolescent dogs (aged between 6-18 months) are particularly prone to acne due to their changing hormone levels, but adult dogs can get it too.

Dogs are most likely to get pimples around their chin and lip area, although they can turn up on your dog’s stomach too.

Short-haired breeds such as Rottweilers, Bulldogs and Boxers are most likely to get pimples, but they can affect any dog.

Neutered dogs are less likely to get major spots or acne because they are producing less hormones, but they can still get the occasional spot.

Should I Be Worried If My Dog Has Pimples?

Pimples themselves are probably nothing to worry about, but if your dog breaks out in spots you should take them to the vet.

It’s hard to distinguish between pimples and other conditions, which is why your vet will need to take a look at your dog to see what’s going on.

Mild acne is fairly benign, but severe acne can be very painful and can cause permanent skin damage. Your vet may prescribe acne medication if necessary.

If It’s Not Acne, What Else Could It Be?

Some skin conditions are mistaken for pimples or acne when they’re really something else. Here are a few other things your dog’s spots could be.

Folliculitis

Folliculitis is an infection of the hair follicles which can cause blackheads, spots, and puss. While regular cases of folliculitis can be treated the same way you would treat regular pimples, severe cases may require antibiotics, removing hair from the affected areas, and medicated baths.

Ringworm

Ringworm, I.e. a fungal infection which can cause lesions around the dog’s head, and ears paws, can be mistaken for acne in its early stages.

Demodetic Mange

This condition got its name from tiny skin mites. They can pass for pimples and blackheads, although they can also cause real spots in dogs.

If your dog is infected with these skin mites, they could start losing their fair, their skin may become sore and inflamed, and they will probably start scratching and itching themselves frequently.

If you suspect your dog may be affected by demodetic mange, take them to the vet. Your vet can test for the mites and prescribe medications to remove them.

Can I Treat My Dogs Blackheads?

As a worried owner your first instinct may be to treat your dog’s skin condition yourself, but you really need to wait until you see a vet.

Skin medication/cream/cleanser designed for humans may not work on dogs and could cause irritation/rash/make the problem worse.

Never pick or pop your dog’s spots. As with humans, fiddling with a dog’s spots can lead to scarring, infection, inflammation and can make the problem worse.

How To Help Your Spotty Dog

Aside from taking your dog to the vet, there are a few things you can do to help alleviate less severe pimples. Bathing your dog one a week, brushing their teeth several times a week or giving them an edible dental treat can help alleviate spots.

If you’re going to bath your dog, try washing them with a medicated shampoo made for dogs (make sure it’s for dogs, not humans!). It’s best to find a shampoo that contains Aloe Vera as this can sooth irritated skin.

Try to find something as natural as possible and keep an eye on your dog to make sure the new shampoo isn’t making things worse!

You should also think about the food you’re feeding your dog. If you just started feeding them a new brand and the spots seem to have sprung up at the same time, maybe they’re allergic to some of the ingredients. Try a different brand of dog food or contact your vet for advice.

Can Dogs Get Pink Eye

Worried that your dog is suffering from pink eye (i.e. conjunctivitis)? Find out symptoms, treatments and more below!

What Is Pink Eye?

Pink eye (otherwise known as conjunctivitis) is an inflammation of a membrane called conjunctiva. I.e. the lines inside the eyelids and the white of the eye.

The conjunctiva is there to protect the eyes from infection, but sometimes it can become infected. Conjunctivitis can cause itchiness and discomfort, but it isn’t normally painful.

Pink Eye Symptoms

How do you know if your dog has pink eye? Symptoms include:

  • Reddening of the white part of the eye (which is where the term ‘pink eye’ comes from)
  • Itchy eyes
  • Unusual discharge coming from the eyes, including stringy, thick or watery discharge
  • Excessively watery eyes
  • Eyelids stuck together
  • Your dog repeatedly pawing at their eyes
  • Squinting
  • Symptoms associated with a virus, such as sneezing or coughing

How Do Dogs Get Conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis can be caused by numerous allergens, including:

  • Dust mites
  • Pollen
  • Mould
  • Cosmetics
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Dander

It can also be caused by viruses, including:

  • Sore throat
  • Upper respiratory infection
  • Common cold

Other Possible Causes

  • Eye infection
  • Dry eye syndrome
  • Bacteria
  • Getting something caught in their eye
  • Trauma to the eye
  • Underlining eye issues

What Do I Do If My Dog Has Pink Eye?

Conjunctivitis won’t go away by itself, so you will need to see your doctor to make sure the conjunctivitis isn’t a symptom of a more serious condition.

Your doctor can run some tests and prescribe medication for your dog’s eye. Don’t try to treat your dog’s conjunctivitis with non-prescription eye drops, especially human eye drops.

Medication that works for one eye condition could make everything worse if it’s used for another condition. Human medication should never be used on dogs unless your vet specifically recommends it.

Dogs with conjunctivitis who are left untreated could end up with sight damage, eye scaring, and in very rare cases the affected eye(s) may have to be removed! If your dog has a more serious underlining condition, ignoring the symptoms could be fatal.

Can I Catch Pink Eye From My Dog?

It is extremely unlikely, although not impossible, that you would catch conjunctivitis from your dog.

The only way you could catch conjunctivitis from your dog is if the conjunctivitis is caused by a virus or parasite. Your vet will be able to advice you if your dog if contagious and what you should do.

How To Stop Your Dog Catching Conjunctivitis

You can’t guarantee your dog won’t catch conjunctivitis, but there are some things you can do to lower the risk.

Dogs that roam freely outside and have lots of contact with strange dogs are more likely to catch conjunctivitis and other viruses.

Dogs that are not neutered have a higher risk of catching infections from other dogs. Consider neutering your dog to protect them from pregnancy, contagious illnesses

and getting into fights with other dogs.

Dogs with long, ungroomed hair can irritate their eyes when hair gets caught in their eyes. Long hair can also make it easier for foreign bodies to get stuck and end up in your dog’s eye. Groom your pooches hair, particularly the hair around the eyes, to minimise irritation.

The Reasons Behind Cats Hissing

Want to know what it means when your cat hisses? Read on to find out!

What Does Hissing Look Like?

How can you tell the difference between an angry, hissing cat and a happy, meowing cat?

When a cat feels scared, threatened and/or confused they leap up, their eyes go back, their mouth opens, their tongue curls in a U shape, and they hiss at whatever (or whoever) is causing them discomfort.

Do Cats Pretend To Be Snakes?

Ever thought your hissing cat sounds like an angry viper or vengeful Boer constrictor? You may not be far off the mark.

Some cat behavioral experts think that cats originally started hissing to imitate the sound snakes make in an attempt to scare off potential predators.   This is a survival tactic

Even though small cats are in the same family as lions, tigers, and leopards, they are significantly smaller and less able to protect themselves, so it’s not hard to believe that many years ago they had to adapt to their environment and find new ways to protect themselves.

Many small creatures that could not win against a larger predator in direct combat have developed other ways of keeping danger at bay. The owl butterfly, for example, has a large eye-shaped spot on their wings look like owls eyes to scare off larger animals that hunt by sight.

Why Do Cats Hiss?

Cats hiss when they’re scared, surprised, angry or unhappy. It’s an instinctive, flight or fight reaction.

There is more than one type of hiss (and more than one reason a cat will hiss at you). Here are some of the more common reasons.

Pain

Cats hiss when they’re in pain – for example, if you touch them in a place that hurts or if they accidentally hit their paw.

Warning

Cats hiss as a warning, as a way of telling whoever is bothering them to back away. Two cats that haven’t met before may hiss at each other as a way of showing that if the other cat ignores the warning there may be a fight.

Cats may also hiss when someone gets too close to their kittens or if a stranger enters their home.

What Can Dogs Eat?

It’s always good to check before you feed new foods to your dog. Want to find out if yogurt, cinnamon, sunflower seeds and other foods are safe for canine consumption? Read on!

Can Dogs Eat Sunflower Seeds

Yes, dogs can eat sunflower seeds if the shells are removed. When buying sunflower seeds with the intention of sharing them with your canine companion, opt for organic, salt free seeds and remove the shells before giving them to your dog.

Sunflower seeds are also safe for puppies, but they should only make up a small part of your dog’s diet. Whenever you introduce new foods into your dog’s diet, try feeding them one or two and slowly increase their intake if you don’t notice any negative side effects.

Can Dogs Get Poison Ivy

Yes, poison ivy can affect dogs. However, it’s far less likely to affect dogs thanks to their long, protective hairy coats.

Dogs with shorter hair are more likely to get poison ivy. If it does affect your dog, look for a dog-specific colloidal oat-meal shampoo.

You can also catch poison ivy from your dog by petting her after she has come into contact with it. To avoid nasty itching, wipe your dog down after walking through woods or other areas with poison ivy.

Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon

Yes, dogs can eat cinnamon. Cinnamon is not toxic for dogs and shouldn’t cause negative effects when consumed in small doses, although eating a large amount of cinnamon could give your dog an upset tummy.

While cinnamon is not dangerous, other ingredients – such as raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts and sugar – are harmful for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Yogurt

Yogurt is made out of dairy, so although it’s not dangerous for dogs to eat it will be difficult for them to digest. Milk is not part of an adult dog’s regular diet and as a result many dogs are lactose intolerant.

A lick of your almost-empty yogurt container probably won’t cause damage, but you need to be careful about the type of yogurt you feed your dog.

While sugar is not particularly good for animals, artificial sweeteners like xylitol are toxic and could cause serious damage.

Yogurt has no real health benefits for dogs and could cause digestive issues, so it’s best to find an alternative treat.

Can Dogs Eat Cat Food

If your dog samples some of your cat’s food, it isn’t a big deal. However, if your dog eats cat food on a regular basis and easts cat food instead of dog food, it can cause health problems.

Dog food is made for dogs, while cat food is made for cats. Cat food will not have the right nutrients that dogs need to stay healthy and therefore it’s best that they stick to their own food.

If you have a dog and a cat living in your house and you want to separate their food, you may want to invest in a pet food dispenser. These are machines that can serve your animal food when you’re not around.

Some food dispensers come with chip recognition which you can program to only open for a specific animal and close when that animal moves away. This will stop your dog getting at your cat’s food and vice versa!

What Is The Growth Span Of Feline?

Want to find out when your adorable little fuzz ball grows up into a fully mature adult cat? Read on to find out!

When Do Kittens Stop Growing?

The age your kitten stops growing depends on the breed, but there are general life stages a cat goes through which can be used as an indication of when they have matured into adulthood.

Life Stages

0-6 Months:  Kitten

7 months to 3 years: Junior (child)

3-6 years: Prime of their life (i.e. young adult)

7 – 10 years:  Mature (adult)

11 – 14 years: Senior (older adult)

15+ years: Old age

These stages vary depending on the life expectancy of individual breeds, but it’s a good indication of where your cat is in life and what kind of behaviour you can expect.

To find out when your kitten is likely to stop growing, however, we need to think about how long a cat takes to grow into their full size.

When Will My Cat Become Fully Grown

Cats grow at different rates depending on the breed. It can be especially hard to tell how long a mixed cat will tend to grow because you don’t know which breed will be dominant (or even which breeds they are!).

If you have a purebred cat then you can tell when they will become fully grown by comparing their current measurements with their specific breeds growth chart.

When the cat has reached 6 months (24 weeks) they should be half to three-quarters the way to full growth.

Some cats will continue to grow past the first year mark, but others may continue to grow until they are 18 months old and some big breeds may keep growing until they are five years old.

Weight

A new born kitten is incredibly light and can be balanced in the palm of your hand, but as they get older their weight should increase between 7 – 14 grams (0.25-0.5 ounces) every day during the first year of their life.

  • When a kitten is 12 weeks old, they should weigh around 2- 4 pounds.
  • When a kitten is 16 weeks old, they should weigh around 4 -5 pounds.
  • When they are 24 weeks old, they should weigh around 6 – 8 pounds.

Large Cat Breeds

Most cats stop growing when they’re around a year and a half old, but some cats keep going for years.

The Maine Coon

The Maine Coon breed can grow up to 16 inches in height and 48 inches in length, they may weigh up to 25 pounds, and it takes them 4 to 5 years to stop growing!

Savannah Cats

Savannah cats are half wild cat and half domestic cat, so they tend to grow a little bigger than your average housecat.

These felines can grow up to 25 inches in length, 19 inches in height, they can weigh up to 20 pounds and it could take them 3 years to stop growing.

Ragdoll Cats

These beautiful cats have blue eyes, silky coats and a loving temperament. They can grow up to 11 inches in height and 26 inches in weight, they can weigh up to 20 pounds and it could take them 4 years to stop growing!

When Do Cats Stop Growing?

Some cats are fully grown in a year, but others could keep growing until they are 5 years old. It all depends on your cats breed, so if you have a purebred kitty take a look at their breeds growth chart and see how your cat measures up.

How Much Pepto Bismol For Dogs

Want to find out the correct Pepto Bismol dosage for dogs? Read on to find out!

What Is Pepto Bismol

Pepto Bismol is an anti-inflammatory and antacid medication sold in the shape of pink pills. It is used to treat stomach problems such as heartburn, nausea, diarrhoea and indigestion.  It contains bismuth subsalicylate,

Pepto Bismol can work wonders in humans, but will it have the same effect on your dog?

Stomach Upsets In Dogs

Diarrhoea is never pleasant, but it can also be quite dangerous where canines are concerned. If your dog has diarrhoea, they are losing nutrients and water from their body and, if it is not being replenished, your dog could get severely dehydrated.

You should check with your vet if your dog has diarrhoea to establish the best course of action.

Is Pepto Bismol Safe For Dogs?

While Pepto-Bismol is safe for most dogs, there is a chance it could cause gastric bleeding in dogs. Pepto-Bismol should only be given to your dog after you consult with a vet.

Your vet will also confirm how much Pepto Bismol you should give your dog. While you can find guidelines below, your dog may require a different dose.

You should normally avoid using human medication on a dog. Humans and dogs have very different bodies and ingredients which are perfectly safe for a human could be toxic for a dog.

Pepto Bismol comes in multiple forms. You should only give your dogs the chewing tablets or liquid.

If you give your dog Pepto Bismol, keep an eye on the strength.  Extra strength formulas will have higher doses of bismuth subsalicylate, which your dog could overdose on if they have too much.

What Is The Correct Pepto-Bismol Dosage For Dogs?

Dogs should be given one teaspoon of the liquid for every ten pounds or 8.5 mg of the chewable tablets for every pound. Pepto-Bismol should be offered every 6-8 hours for the first few doses.

If symptoms persist, stop giving the dog the medication and contact your vet for advice. Pepto-Bismol should not be given to your dog longer than five days maximum. If it doesn’t work after the first few doses, it is unlikely to work at all and could make things worse.

How To Tell If Pepto Bismol Is Giving My Dog Side Effects?

Pepto Bismol can be perfectly safe for dogs, but it has the potential to cause side effects including:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Dark/black stools
  • Blood/mucus in stools
  • Lethargy
  • Constipation
  • Straining while/after defecating.

While these side effects are (and should be) concerning, they are fairly rare. The most common side effect is constipation, black stools or a discoloured tongue.

How Do I Give Pepto Bismol To My Dog?

If you are feeding the chewable tablets to your dog, you may want to add it to their food or disguise it in a treat.

If you’re giving your dog the liquid form, you should be fine to squirt it into your dog’s mouth via a plastic syringe.

Is Pepto Bismol Suitable For Pregnant Dogs?

No, Pepto Bismol is not a good idea for expectant or new mothers.

Summary

Pepto Bismol can be safe and useful for treating stomach upsets in dogs, but it does have potential side effects.

Consult with your vet before giving your dog Pepto Bismol as they can tell you the correct dose for your specific dog and may recommend you use another form of treatment.

How To Stop Cats Pooping In Your Garden

Sick of cat poop building up in your garden? Worried a random feline is going to destroy your flower bed by digging it up to bury their business? Read on if you want to find out how to stop cats pooping in your garden!

How To Repel A Cat

If you have a cat, you will need to litter train them and make sure there’s a litter box inside the house. Litter training should only take a few weeks and once it’s done your cat should be happy to use the litter box and not do their business around the rest of your property.

But what if the cat fouling your garden doesn’t belong to you? It is especially annoying if the cat poo piling up in your garden doesn’t even belong to your cat, but unfortunately a lot of cat owners are damn unhelpful when their cat messes up someone else’s property because of the right to roam rule.

If you can’t get through to the owners and the cat keeps coming back, you may want to buy some cat deterrents for your garden.

Mulch The Lawn

You may have heard that mulching your lawn can help keep the grass healthy and replenished, but did you know mulching is also a good cat repellent?

Most cats don’t like the way mulch feels against their paws, plus it hides the soil where they like to do their business, so mulching the lawn can help make your garden less attractive to cats so they are less likely to come in uninvited.

Citrus

Cat’s don’t tend to like the smell of citrus fruits, so one way to keep them out of your garden is to sprinkle a bunch of citrus peels around the lawn to act as a repellent. If you don’t eat loads of citrus fruit (you would need to replace the peels frequently) then citrus spray works well too.

Branches

If you get a bunch of branches or sticks and crisscross them around your plants it may keep the cats at bay. Cats don’t like walking on branches or sticks, so this can be an effective (and free) way of keeping those pesky felines out of your garden.

Wire

Chicken wire or concrete-reinforcing wire can be a good way of expelling cats from your garden. Cat’s don’t enjoy walking on wire because of the openings, so it might deter them from coming back.

Odour Repellent

Spraying your plants with a smell cats won’t enjoy (or will be afraid of) is a good way of repelling them. Pop down to your local gardening or DIY shop and see what’s on offer. Lion dung is a good repellent because it’ll make the cat think he’s in big cat territory.

Water Scarecrow

These scarecrows don’t look much like the one from the Wizard of Oz, but they can be a very effective humane animal deterrent.

These small devices are connected to a garden hose and their motion sensors will detect nearby animals. The scarecrow will then spray the animal with water to send them on their way.

Solar Powered Cat Deterrents

These devices – which also use motion sensors to detect intruding animals – let off ultrasonic noises that cats find unpleasant.

It may take a few encounters to be effective, but after a while the cat should be safely wary of your garden.

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