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

August 2019

Features

Your Best Exercise Equipment: Your Dog

We’re supposed to be engaging in at least 150 minutes (2½ hours) of moderate to vigorous physical activity each week. And guess what? If you have a dog, you’re much more likely to reach that target without even trying.   More...

Obeying the Local Dog Laws

Were you aware that dogs are not allowed in elevators in Glendale, California? Or that in North Carolina, “if any person owning or having any bitch shall knowingly permit her to run at large during the erotic stage of copulation he shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.” Or that it is unlawful to allow a dog to defecate on the grounds of the capitol buildings or governor’s mansion in West Virginia, even if you pick up the waste afterwards?   More...

Are You Too Old to Adopt Your Next Dog?Subscribers Only

You’re 68 and have lost your canine pal and want to adopt a new one. But the average life expectancy in the U.S. is just under 79 — you’ve got 11 years left, if you go by averages. Yet the average life expectancy of a dog is 10 to 13 years. Your pet may outlast you.   More...

The Cost of Having a Dog with DiabetesSubscribers Only

It is always something of a financial challenge having a diabetic pet,” says Orla Mahony, DVM, a veterinarian at Tufts’s Foster Hospital for Small Animals.   More...

Don’t Pet the CoyoteSubscribers Only

Coyotes are well adapted to both suburban and urban areas — they’ve even been spotted in New York’s Central Park. And you may have been seeing more of them because while coyotes tend to be born in the spring, they often spend much of the summer in and around their dens, both being protected and fed by their mothers and being taught to fend for themselves by learning to hunt.   More...

5 Signs of Deep Affection You Won’t Want to IgnoreSubscribers Only

You know your dog loves you, but sometimes she may “say” it and you could miss, or ignore, the cue. Here are five ways she might express love that warrant your returning the sentiment with some soft stroking and loving words. After all, you’d feel a little bad if you told someone you loved them and they didn’t say it back, even if you knew they felt that way.   More...

Diseases You Can Catch from Your Dog — and Vice Versa

Diseases that can be transmitted between animals and people are termed “zoonotic,” and their danger is ever-present. By some estimates, six out of every 10 infectious diseases in people are caused by exposure to animals who themselves were exposed to parasites, fungi, bacteria, and viruses. And some parts of the world, including the northeastern United States, have been called areas of “emerging zoonoses,” that is, areas where more diseases are being transmitted between species, according to the journal Nature. But adhering to various simple sanitation measures can keep both you and your pet protected. Check out the zoonotic diseases below — and what you can do to make sure they don’t spread among your “family” members.   More...

News & Views

How They Find Their Way Home

You get lost, you make your way back with a general sense of direction combined with “I recognize that house…I remember passing this post office.” And then, of course, there’s the map app on your phone, which can guide you anywhere. Your dog gets lost, sometimes many miles from home, and she finds her way back, too. How?   More...

Expert Advice

Dear Doctor: My dog’s not losing weight fast enough

My dog was limping something awful, to the point that I thought he had torn a ligament and was going to need an operation. But when I took him to the vet, it turned out the problem was that he was very overweight and needed to lose some excess pounds.   More...

Dear Doctor: Dog is too “modest” to go while on the leash

My dog will poop only when he is off leash. It is a problem because he is very reactive, and I’ve sometimes let him off leash to “go to the bathroom” while worrying that he might chase a bicyclist or jogger. I want him to be able to romp off leash sometimes but not all the time. How can I get him over the modesty hump?   More...