My friend has adopted a six year old Chihuahua, who was very underweight when my friend got her. She has improved with a good diet, but every now and again when she expels waste, she sometimes tries to eat it, even though she is well fed and not hungry. Why is she doing this, please?
This sounds like a bad habit that the poor dog may picked up when she was underfed in her previous home. Some unfortunate animals get so hungry that they can start to do this in desperation.
The best answer is to keep her on a leash at all times when she’s expected to do her business, and teach her the “leave it” common to use at that moment (see here). After a few months of regular training like this, she should eventually lose this habit completely.
For humans, it is taboo to have children with close relatives, for social, religious and/or legal reasons, but I am curious to know what happens in the animal world. Do most/all animals decline to breed with their siblings and parents? If so, is this just intuition?
Animals don’t have beliefs or taboos that stop them from breeding with close relatives, and there are many examples of littermates or closely related dogs or cats who have bred together.
Sometimes there’s no obvious problems and other times there are serious genetic anomalies. In the natural world, instinctive social behaviours tend to prevent such inbreeding.
Male offspring may go into a new territory prior to sexual maturity. The females often stay locally, forming the family unit and even helping raise each other’s offspring. However if there is no new territory available and no unrelated potential mates, inbreeding can, and does, occur.
The tracks of dogs’ and cats’ tears
Many owners of white pets complain about the brown tracks on their pets’ cheeks, caused by tear staining. Many people simply use slightly salty water ( 1 teaspoonful in a pint), but a new product, Ocryl offers a safe and effective alternative for cleaning the hair around pets’ eyes: simply dampen a make-up removing pad with the drops, then use this to wipe the discoloured fur.