Ask A Vet: Pawp Online Vets Talk Dog Exercise & Cat Litter Box Habits

In this week's Ask A Vet column, Pawp's online vets discuss emergency telemedicine, dog exercise needs, and cat litter box habits.

Pawp's Online Vets

Updated December 04, 2022 • Published September 28, 2020

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Ask A Vet: Pawp Online Vets Talk Dog Exercise & Cat Litter Box Habits

Being able to talk to a vet online can be a real comfort for pet parents. It’s like having a 24/7 vet in your pocket for general pet questions — like if your dog is eating right or why your cat has flaky skin — or for pet emergency situations — like if your dog eats chocolate or if your cat is refusing to eat at all. Pawp’s online vets can provide cat and dog owners with reliable, real-time vet advice and information they can trust.

It’s not always easy to get an answer about your pet you can count on, but Pawp’s digital vet clinic connects members to licensed veterinarians instantly, for any pet question or concern, anytime day or night. Let them know your pet’s details so they can provide unique health advice for your cat or dog. If you do need help beyond a virtual vet appointment, Pawp’s online vets can also activate a $3,000 emergency fund to help pet owners pay their vet bill before leaving the clinic.

Every week, Pawp’s online vets answer questions they’ve received from pet parents. While last week’s Ask A Vet dealt with vet bills and separation anxiety, this week’s Ask A Vet is about telemedicine, dog exercise, and cat nutrition.

Ask A Vet Anything

How can an online vet help my pet without ever seeing him?

Online vets often act as the first line of defense for other veterinarians; we field general pet questions that don’t require in-person visits and help determine when you do need to bring your pet in for a visit or if your issue can be resolved safely from home (without the $150 “just in case” vet bill). If the issue is non-threatening, online vets can make recommendations (such as feeding a bland diet for dogs with diarrhea). Online vets are also available as a resource for second opinions or follow-up questions. Pawp’s online vets are on 24/7, which means you don’t need to make an appointment or wait for office hours. Online vets provide help when you need it, anytime and anywhere.

Read More: What To Know About Online Vet Appointments

How much exercise should my dog be getting?

There’s no one size fits all answer for the right amount of exercise your dog should get. There are a few factors that can affect that answer, like breed, age, location, and personality. That said, aiming for at least 30 minutes a day is a good rule of thumb for a lot of dogs. Understanding your dog’s breed characteristics and energy levels can help you determine if your dog is exercising the right amount, needs a bit more outside time, or would just prefer to spend a bit more time on the couch. Exercise often correlates with diet, so a good measure of whether your dog is exercising enough is whether they’re in good shape. Talk to a vet about your dog’s diet and exercise routine now.

Read More: How Much Exercise Does My Dog Really Need?

Does my dog need a coat when it gets cold out?

This answer really depends on your dog and your location. Some dogs are built for colder climates and can overheat in coats and some dogs need whatever extra padding they can get. Dogs with double coats, like the husky, golden retriever, and akita to name a few, have a thick undercoat built to withstand extreme temperatures. They probably won’t need extra help — but smaller dogs, dogs with short hair, and older dogs (to name a few) may benefit from another layer in the colder months. Every dog is different, so recognize signs the cold is making them uncomfortable, like shivering, whining, or licking their paws. Generally speaking, though, anything 45°F or below is a good cutoff to start dressing your dog (if they need it).

Read More: The Best Winter Coats For Your Dog

My cat really likes cheese. Is it OK to give it to her in small amounts?

While much has been made of cats and their love for dairy, cheese is not a normal part of a cat’s diet. Cats are carnivores and won’t derive nutrition from this very fatty treat. Furthermore, it can upset their stomachs and lead to vomiting or diarrhea. Cheese is high in fat and can contain an unhealthy amount of salt for your cat to consume. While your cat may grow attached to a little cheese here or there, there are far better ways to treat your cat with something delicious (including cheese flavored cat treats).

Why does my cat not bury his poop?

While most cats cover their eliminations (much like covering their tracks in the wild), some cats choose to leave their poop for all to see. There can be a few reasons and determining why requires more information. Is it a new occurrence or has your cat always done that? If you’ve recently switched litter types, your cat may not be used to the feeling on their paws. They may not like a new fragrance or the litter may also be too deep or too shallow (they can be picky). Your cat could also be asserting dominance, which might happen after an environmental change like a new pet in the house. Talk to a vet if you’re concerned about your cat’s litter box habits.

Read More: 6 Litter Box Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make

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