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

January 2019

Features

Teach Your Dog to Wait

If your dog has learned an effective “Sit,” which is the first word many of our pets come to understand, you have employed an important tool for getting her to stay put — or “Wait.” You can command her to get moving again with a word like “Release” or “Okay.”   More...

How Often Do You Need to Bathe Your Dog?Subscribers Only

Healthy dogs who do not have a skin condition do not require bathing. Oils on their skin and hair retain moisture, and scents that cling to them during their travels help them let other dogs know where they’ve been and what they’ve been up to; dogs communicate with each other via their noses.   More...

Are Certain Pet Foods Causing Heart Disease?Subscribers Only

You may have heard recently that certain types of diets, including those that are grain-free, have been linked to a type of life-threatening heart disease in some dog breeds that don’t commonly become afflicted with it, including golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers, mixed breeds, and others. Called canine dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM, it results in an enlarged heart.   More...

Typical Tail InjuriesSubscribers Only

Injured tails on household pets are not just reserved for cats relaxing too close to rocking chairs. “We definitely see tail accidents in dogs, too,” says John Berg, DVM, the editor-in-chief of Your Dog and a veterinary surgeon at Tufts. Dr. Berg has sewn up his share of dog tails that have been through the proverbial ringer.   More...

Quirky Habit or Medical Condition?Subscribers Only

You often notice your dog’s teeth chattering. Is she cold, or is it something else? What about the dog who frequently seems to snap at the air? Does she have an aggressive streak, or might she be exhibiting signs of a neurological condition? What follows are six quirky behaviors and, given the context in which they are performed, what they might mean.   More...

News & Views

Your Kid Has Asthma? The Dog Doesn’t Need to be Re-Homed

There’s a common belief that once a child has been diagnosed with asthma, any dog (or cat) who lives under the same roof as the youngster should be re-homed because asthma leads to allergies, including allergies to pets. But according to the results of a new study from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, that belief is nothing more than urban legend — as long as the child is properly treated for his condition.   More...

New Exhibit on the Hero Dogs of 9/11Subscribers Only

In the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack at New York City’s World Trade Center, thousands of people arrived from all over to help in whatever ways they could. So did hundreds of dogs, who put their lives on the line digging through smoldering debris in search and rescue missions (the last living person was found in the wreckage by a dog 27 hours later) and also as cadaver dogs trained to find human remains. In addition, many worked as therapy dogs to comfort traumatized and grieving people in shock.   More...

Expert Advice