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


Feeding the Dog with Liver Disease

“A lot of owners want to change their dog’s diet if they see any signs” that something’s not right with the liver, says Tufts veterinary nutritionist Cailin Heinze, VMD, DACVM. “But a change in liver enzyme values on blood work does not necessarily mean that a dietary change is appropriate.” Indeed, there are only two main instances where dietary change has been shown to be beneficial for liver disease. One - When the liver disease is severe and the dog has protein intolerance; and two - when there is excess copper in the liver. More

On the Road with Fido

Who determines the top eight dog-friendly places to take your pet when the family needs some R&R? You do, along with thousands of other followers of, a terrific website for people who want to travel with their dogs and are looking for the skinny on hotels, dog-friendly restaurants, parks, beaches, and other recreational areas as they make their plans. More

For Bored Dogs

Want to add some spice to their life and intensify the bond between you and your dog? Consider one of these nine activities. It’ll require some time commitment, driving your dog to and from “class” if nothing else. But oh, how enriched his life will become! And the added fun may even attenuate his tendency to [insert annoying habit here]. Like they say, a tired dog is a happy dog. More

On Whether Dogs Are Moved By Music

Do dogs react to music? Research indicates they do not. ButtThis doesn’t mean that freestyle dancing is a false form of environmental enrichment for a dog. It can strengthen an already close bond with the owner — the dog must learn to follow cues in quick succession — and is especially good for dog owners who aren’t very fast or athletic and don’t want to throw a Frisbee or ball around, but who love music and enjoy training their dogs and giving them some intense environmental enrichment. Your dog just isn’t going to have one of those days where he “can’t get that tune out of his head.” More

Solving a Urethral Obstruction Requires Quick Action

You notice that within the last day or two your dog is unable to urinate, or his urine stream is very weak. Or he makes frequent attempts to urinate and perhaps strains while doing so, or you can see blood in his urine. Get him to the vet’s office — now. If a dog (or person) can’t urinate, toxins normally filtered from the body in the urine build up in the bloodstream, and he… More

What Flavor Is Your Dog’s Aggression?

In addition to the most common types of aggression - conflict and fear aggression - there are four other types of aggression that some dogs need to be coaxed away from. And it is important that owners recognize them. Aggression is the number one behavior problem among pet dogs, with most owners bringing their dogs to animal behavior clinics for help in solving the issue. Herein, the other types of aggression that make living with a loved dog difficult, and how to help a canine pal from feeling that he needs to be on the attack to create equilibrium for himself. More

This Year’s GoPetFriendly Winners for Dog-Friendly Travel Destinations

The eight top dog-friendly travel destinations of the year, according to the users of More

Which Breeds Are Most Prone to Liver Disease — And Why?

When it comes to excess copper build-up, “while Bedlington terriers are the breed that comes to mind first,” Dr. Heinze says, Dalmatians and Labs and a number of other breeds also may be prone. So there’s some sort of genetic predisposition to being unable to get copper out of the liver, causing it to build up over time and kill liver cells. … More

Which Breeds Are Most Susceptible to Which Types of Urinary Stones?

There are three main types of stones in the urinary tract that affect dogs, and while no breed is off the hook, some are more commonly affected. More