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

December 2018

Full Issue (PDF)

December 2018 - Full Issue PDFSubscribers Only

Features

Choosing a Final Good-Bye Away from the Vet’s Office

For 16 years, California resident Jennifer Mickadeit adored her mixed-breed dog, Zowie. The loyal pooch was her companion through a divorce, new marriage, and the birth of her daughter, Lola Rose. So when Zowie’s failing health made it clear that it was time to make end-of-life decisions, Ms. Mickadeit wanted to ensure her death would be as comfortable — and intimate — as possible.   More...

Off!Subscribers Only

It’s one of the most annoying behaviors many dogs engage in — jumping on people, including their owners. They clearly don’t mean harm. On the contrary, they’re usually excited and trying to be friendly. But it can hurt. It can also soil clothes or even knock some people over, including the elderly and the very young. At the very least, it can be unpleasantly startling. Why is it often so hard to train a dog out of this behavior?   More...

Out-of-the-Box Gift Ideas for Your Dog to Take Out of the BoxSubscribers Only

Fully 95 percent of dog owners buy Christmas gifts for their pets, according to a survey reported on by Pet Age. On the one hand, it may seem silly. After all, dogs don’t understand the holidays. They don’t even understand what a holiday is. On the other hand, making sure the dog gets some attention by presenting her with a gift on a day that her routine is completely thrown off, often with people on the scene who she doesn’t know or hardly knows, can be a nice way of remembering that she likes being “in” and also needs some focus to feel secure.   More...

Do You See What I See?Subscribers Only

Many dog owners have observed that their pets are able to see and hear images on TV. They’ll run in from another room if they hear a dog barking on a television show and then look at the screen and bark back, for instance. Some dogs even have a penchant for particular shows. We’ve heard of one who would come in from another room to catch a little Law and Order when he heard the “bah bum” tones at the beginning of an episode and another who would run through the house to get to the television when the “I love you, you love me” theme song from Barney came on.   More...

News & Views

Can You Pass the Remote?Subscribers Only

My son John was a year old, sitting on the couch sucking a milk bottle while watching a children’s French video, when the video ended and he found himself suddenly at the start of a Law and Order episode. My wife didn’t quite realize there had been a transition until she heard John pop the bottle out of his mouth and utter “Uh oh.” By the time she made it to the family room to see what was going on, he had already calmly popped the bottle back into his mouth. But on the TV screen, a woman who had been pushed off the balcony near the top of a tall building was lying dead in a bush.   More...

The End of a Pub Era?Subscribers Only

With some 1,000 locations throughout the UK, including at hotels and airports, the Wetherspoons chain of pubs has instituted a “no dog” policy. It has actually had such a policy in place for decades but never really put teeth into it.   More...

The End of a Culinary Era?Subscribers Only

What a difference a couple of generations make. From the 1960s to the early 1970s, Vietnam was engaged in a protracted war with the United States that led to devastating mortal and social consequences for our country. Today, Vietnam is a travel destination for adventurous Americans, celebrated in part for its lively street food culture and best exemplified by 2016 images of President Obama and the late chef Anthony Bourdain breaking bread on an episode of Mr. Bourdain’s television show. But it seems there is about to be a shift in the country’s vibrant food scene.   More...

The End of a Punishment Era

Shock collars have now been banned in England, following a ban in Wales and ahead of what appears to be an upcoming ban in Scotland. Officials in England say that along with being misused to inflict unnecessary harm and suffering, there is also evidence that e-collars can lead to aggression or generate anxiety in pets, thereby worsening any underlying behavioral problems.   More...

Expert Advice

Dear Doctor: Not Even One Raisin?

I know you’re not supposed to feed your dog any grapes, raisins, onions, or garlic, but is it really true that even one raisin or grape is poisonous? Or one slice of onion or a bit of garlic? I mean, after all, while they say not to feed your dog chocolate, I know anecdotally that a tiny piece of chocolate is not going hurt most dogs.   More...