Picks and Pans Review: What Pets Want Us to Know

updated 03/09/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 03/09/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

>• Do pets have peeves? Yes, says Colorado State animal science professor Temple Grandin, whose autism, she feels, gives her insight into the minds of our nonhuman pals. Here, tips from her latest, Animals Make Us Human.

DOGS need owners to be "substitute parent[s]," writes Grandin. "Genetically dogs are juvenile wolves, and young wolves live with their parents." Also, to make his trip to the vet less stressful, wrap a T-shirt around a dog's middle: The pressure is calming.

CATS don't respond to social gestures, so give them food as a reward for good behavior. Why? Unlike dogs, cats "haven't evolved to read people."

HORSES can get lonely. If you keep a horse alone in a stall, put up a mirror.

GERBILS are happier in cages with tunnels—even if they didn't make them. They need to feel safe, not "the action of digging."

PARROTS like to be cozy. Providing foliage to perch under can turn off their "instinctual fears of aerial predators."

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