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

Can You Keep Your Dog’s Teeth Clean Without Brushing?

Can You Keep Your Dog’s Teeth Clean Without Brushing?

Comparing traditional teeth brushing to various oral hygiene products that claim to do what brushing does.

July 2016 - “As effective as brushing.” “Designed to help clean like bristles on a toothbrush.” “Chewy, porous texture helps clean hard-to-reach-teeth.” “Scientifically tested to reduce tartar buildup.” So go just a few of the claims on various treats and other products that imply you don’t have to brush your dog’s teeth to keep them healthy. …

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Is a Head Halter Right for Your Dog?

Is a Head Halter Right for Your Dog?

It's a great training tool, but it's not for every dog or every owner.

In a book by a popular and generally well regarded dog trainer, under the heading “Equipment to be avoided, and why,” it says that a head halter is the wrong choice for walking your pet because “It is very uncomfortable to be pulled around by the head.” “It…prevents the dog from looking around, choosing where to look and sniff, and giving signals to other dogs.”

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The Best Kind of Flea and Tick Medicine for dogs

The Best Kind of Flea and Tick Medicine for dogs

Tufts dermatologist explains how to make a decision.

There is a lot of confusion about which is the best flea and tick medicine to give a dog. A collar that emits the active ingredients slowly? A liquid-like spot-on that you apply monthly between the shoulder blades? Or a pill? And among those three choices, what are the best brands? Furthermore, should you buy your brand from the veterinarian, or is it okay to pick up at the supermarket? Then, too, are dogs…

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When a Dog's Balance Suddenly Goes

When a Dog's Balance Suddenly Goes

A disease that looks scarier than it is: how not to overreact.

“It was so out of the blue,” recalls Mary Bridwell of Morro Bay, California, while describing her 13-year-old golden retriever Inga’s sudden and frightening loss of balance last March. A repetitive thumping sound startled Mrs. Bridwell from sleep at 2 a.m. When she left her bedroom to investigate, she found Inga “trying to stand up but slamming into the wall and obviously distressed.” Mrs. Bridwell was further alarmed by a new tilt to Inga’s head…

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