Humane Education

Curious Questions

Have you ever marveled at the curiosity of your pet as they investigate or try to understand the world around them? Curiosity helps ignite learning, build understanding and foster empathy. That is why we have chosen Stay Curious as our educational theme for 2019/20. When we are curious about animals we learn more about them and are better able to meet their needs.

Each week throughout the school year we will take your Curious Questions about animals, have them answered by an expert, and will post them here and on social media.

Teachers can submit students’ questions, or parents their children’s questions on video or in written form to

Our education website also has discussion questions and activities to foster curiosity in the classroom

Sept 27, 2019

Why do dogs kick up grass after they poop?

Ground scratching is a normal behaviour that allows dogs to communicate with others. Dogs have scent glands in the pads of their paws and scratching is one way of leaving their scent behind that sends a message to dogs and other animals that they have been in the area.

“…but they are scratching up my lawn!” 

Preventing a dog from communicating can be frustrating for the dog. If you don’t want your dog scratching up your lawn, take them to a nearby park or ally to do their business (just remember to pick up their poop!)


Stay Curious!

Oct 4, 2019

The curious question is why do cats butt their heads in your face?

Also known as head bunting, this behaviour in cats is typically affectionate and there are several different reasons why they may be doing this. Cats have scent glands all over body so they could be depositing their scent on you as a form of communication. Cats also engage in this behaviour to bond and socialize with other familiar cats, dogs and people. Finally, this could also be an attention seeking behaviour – your cat may be asking for a pet or scratch.

Helping cats feel safe:

Cats are more likely to be trusting and affectionate when they have positive interactions with people. Cats typically prefer frequent but brief periods of socializing. Keeping interactions positive, regular and allowing cats to initiate and end interactions on their terms helps them to feel a sense of control. This also means respecting cats’ safe spaces (beds, cat perches, etc.) and teaching young people to be respectful as well.

Oct 11, 2019

Why are some eggs white and some eggs brown?

The short answer is, white hens lay white eggs and brown hens lay brown eggs.

So how does that happen?

When an egg is forming inside a brown hen, the same genetics that give the hen its brown feathers also creates a pigment that is deposited on the outside of the egg right before it is laid, giving it its brown colour.

Why are donkeys stubborn?

Donkeys are often considered stubborn because people compare them with horses. However, donkeys have evolved as a mountain species and their reaction to fear or distress is to stand and be willing to fight. Horses, on the other hand, developed as a plains prey species which means their reaction to fear is to run away.

So a donkey isn’t being stubborn by just standing there?

When a donkey does not move, people tend to think they’re being stubborn. In reality they are just doing what donkeys do, preparing to defend themselves.

Information & Resources for Teachers


Visit the Alberta SPCA's website for teachers.

CTS Courses

Resources for several animal-related Career and Technology Studies (CTS) high school courses.

Humane Education Features

Stories about our Education department, programs and the work we do.

Contact Education Department

Do you have a question about our Education programs? Give us a call or send us an email.

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