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Latest health and behavior news and advice from the veterinarians at Tufts University.

Lots You Can Do At Home to Make Vet Visits Less Intimidating

Lots You Can Do At Home to Make Vet Visits Less Intimidating

10 tips to make handling by the doctor (and you) a much less traumatic experience.

June 2017 - “When I was growing up, we were taught that you pry the dog’s mouth open and then shove the medicine down their throat,” says veterinarian Stephanie Borns-Weil, DVM. “What I’ve been thinking about for a long time now is how you can get canine patients to participate in their own care rather than making it seem like an adversarial relationship. And what I’ve found is that you can actually train animals to play a willing role. You can make it a positive thing,” says the doctor, who heads up the Tufts Animal Behavior Clinic.

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Dog and toilet paper

The Right Way(s) to Teach Basic Commands

More than one method will get you there.

You have just brought home a two- to three-month-old puppy and have fallen completely in love, showering him with affection as he gets settled in his new home. That’s great, but you should also start training him within a day or two of his arrival. You’ll both be very excited about the new circumstances, and the motivation to bond will be high on both sides. That’s why there couldn’t be a better time to start teaching him.

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Dog Pool toys

Everybody Into the Pool!

Items to help your dog frolic and stay safe in the water.

Nothing beats the summertime heat like a dip in the pool or a visit to the beach or a lake, and many dogs, like their human family mates, enjoy all the splashing around. They’re probably not going to be willing to go down the water slide with you, but toys and gear are available that will enhance their pool or shore-side experience. At the same time, a number of other items will help insure their safety. First, the fun stuff!

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Marianne Heberlein

Ah, Those Wily Dogs

Investigators show they figure us out pretty quickly to their own advantage.

If it's you and your dog competing in a shell game, there’s a better-than-even chance your dog is going to win. That's right. They’re onto you and can outsmart sleights of hand you set up to fool them.

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