Jack Russell Terrier on a walk

Our pets can do some quirky things, but even the strangest behaviors may have reasons behind them. Here are explanations of some common pet behaviors. Does your furry friend have any of these habits? Tell us about it in the comments!

Q: Why does my dog want to eat gross stuff when he’s on a walk?

A: To us, garbage lying on the ground is nasty. To your pet, it’s a tasty investigation. There’s a whole mess of reasons why this might occur. If your pet is overly anxious, bored or just plain curious, a piece of trash might appear to be a snack. Another reason might have to do with a lack of nutrients, primarily vitamin B1. Learn more about coprophagia (eating feces) and pica (eating things that aren't food) from our friends at the ASPCA®.

Note: Please consult your veterinarian if you have any questions about your pet’s specific behavior. Your veterinarian can give you advice about your individual pet's needs and rule out any potential medical issue.

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cat with food bowl

Our pets can do some quirky things, but even the strangest behaviors may have reasons behind them. Here are explanations of some common pet behaviors. Does your furry friend have any of these habits? Tell us about it in the comments!

Q: Why does my cat cover his food?

A: When cats cover their food, they’re taking a cue from their ancestors (a practice referred to as “caching”). It’s their way of hiding the scent of their tasty meal from scavengers—or in a housecat’s case, other pets. Finicky cats may also cover their food to let you know they’d prefer something else to eat. Learn more

Note: Please consult your veterinarian if you have any questions about your pet’s specific behavior. Your veterinarian can give you advice about your individual pet's needs and rule out any potential medical issue.

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Puppy Love Sweepstakes

In honor of National Puppy Day (3/23), we’re giving our fans a chance to win a Puppy Prize Pack that can be used to shower a certain favorite furball in presents!

To enter, like us on Facebook and fill out our short entry form.

Prize ($25.95 value) courtesy of the ASPCA Pet Health Insurance program. Sweepstakes ends March 30, 2014. No purchase necessary. See official rules. Void where prohibited.

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Pet Poison Safety Twitter Party

Learn important poison safety tips for your pet and get 3 chances to win at our Pet Poison Safety Twitter Party. The party will be held on Wednesday, March 26 from 7-8 pm EST. Use the hashtag #PetSafety to join the conversation and play our trivia contest.

Tips for joining a Twitter party:

   • Sign up for a Twitter account 

   • Follow the party hosts. For the Pet Poison Safety party, make sure you’re following ASPCA Pet Health Insurance and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

   • Twitter parties are easiest to follow if you’re using a dashboard like TweetChat, TweetDeck, or TweetGrid

   • Use the party hashtag (#PetSafety) in every tweet to be a part of the conversation.

No purchase necessary. See official rules.

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Basenji sleeping

Our pets can do some quirky things, but even the strangest behaviors may have reasons behind them. Here are explanations of some common pet behaviors. Does your furry friend have any of these habits? Tell us about it in the comments!

Q: Why does my dog run or bark while sleeping?

A: Your dog is probably dreaming, just like a person who walks or talks in their sleep. Dogs experience the same stages of sleep as humans, including rapid eye movement (REM), which is the time when we might move around. Older canines spend more than 10% of their time asleep in the REM stage, while puppies are in dreamland for a more considerable amount of time. Learn more

Note: Please consult your veterinarian if you have any questions about your pet’s specific behavior. Your veterinarian can give you advice about your individual pet's needs and rule out any potential medical issue.

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A bite of chocolate may make our day, but it can mean trouble for our pets. Learn more about the danger chocolate poses to your pet in this handy, printable infographic.

Click here for a printable PDF!

What You Need to Know About Dogs & Chocolate

(click to enlarge)

 

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Send a Whisker-Gram!

Spread the love with a fun e-postcard this Valentine’s Day! 

To send one to your sweetest Facebook friends, like us on Facebook and choose the message you like best. 

Also, you don’t want to miss this guide to a pet-friendly Valentine’s Day from our friends at the ASPCA®!

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Dog tilting head

Our pets can do some quirky things, but even the strangest behaviors may have reasons behind them. Here are explanations of some common pet behaviors. Does your furry friend have any of these habits? Tell us about it in the comments!

Q: Why does my dog tip his head when he hears something?

A: While incredibly cute, the head tilt may be your dog’s way of trying to hear something more clearly. This position leans one ear forward to better catch the sound. Another theory involves patterned behavior. In other words, it looks cute for a reason. If you tend to lovingly pet your canine after a head tilt, then a sideways look may be a request for affection. Learn more

Note: Please consult your veterinarian if you have any questions about your pet’s specific behavior. Your veterinarian can give you advice about your individual pet's needs and rule out any potential medical issue.


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pet parents

Cat rolling on ground

Our pets can do some quirky things, but even the strangest behaviors may have reasons behind them. Here are explanations of some common pet behaviors. Does your furry friend have any of these habits? Tell us about it in the comments!

Q: Why does my cat roll around on the ground?

A:  Sometimes cats roll out of excitement or joy, like the way dogs run around when you walk in the door. Other times, they may be seeking attention, and they want to be petted, played with or given a treat. If your cat enjoys catnip toys, it might also be that your frisky feline is feeling intoxicated. Learn more

Note: Please consult your veterinarian if you have any questions about your pet’s specific behavior. Your veterinarian can give you advice about your individual pet's needs and rule out any potential medical issue.

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pet parents

Healthy Start Sweepstakes

It’s a new year and time for new beginnings! Most of us make resolutions to try to improve our health, but our pets would probably prefer more cuddles and playtime. Luckily, they have you to look out for them! 

Join us in celebrating a healthy 2014 for our pets. Enter our sweepstakes for a chance to WIN a pet first aid kit!

To enter, like us on Facebook and fill out our short entry form

Prize (value $29.99) courtesy of the ASPCA Pet Health Insurance program. Sweepstakes ends Jan. 30, 2013. No purchase necessary. See official rules. Void where prohibited.

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WELCOME,
PET PARENTS!

As we’re dedicated to making a difference for pets, we want to keep you informed about pet health topics and your ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan. Our blog will provide you with fresh, interesting and informative topics—from pet health tips and customer stories, to the latest industry news and a Pet Parent Q&A column. Most of all, we encourage you to share comments and join the discussion!

Meet the Author

Julia H.

Social Media Coordinator

Pet Parent to:

Lucy, a 7-year-old rescued Golden Retriever/Chow Chow mix

Blog Guidelines

While we’ll strive to present all viewpoints on this blog, comments will be reviewed before posting. Offensive or inappropriate language, off-topic remarks and comments containing personal policy information will not be featured.

Also, conditions discussed in this blog aren’t necessarily covered by every ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan. For full coverage terms, conditions and exclusions, please refer to your plan.

As always, if you have a question about your plan, call us at 1-866-204-6764.

*Note: While these testimonials may include examples of recent claims payouts, reimbursement is subject to the terms and conditions of your plan. Identifying information has been changed.