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DOG OWNERSHIP

Sometimes a dog in a plain brown wrapper makes the best pet.

How Not to Choose a Dog

It’s easy to go to a shelter and fall in love with a little white dog that has fluffy curls, or a beautiful merle with a multi-colored coat and blue eyes. But one of the top guidelines for responsible pet ownership from the American Veterinary Medical Association is to avoid impulsive decisions when selecting a […]
When you use the wrong words to describe your dog’s behavior, you could be misunderstanding his good intentions.

Words Can Harm Your Dog

You know the jingle, “Sticks and stones may hurt my bones, but words can never harm me.” It doesn’t apply when it comes to your dog. There’s a set of terms people frequently use to describe their pets that mischaracterizes the way the animals think and their motivations for engaging in various behaviors. That in […]
Some dogs left alone for too long become extremely anxious. In their fear, they start tearing the house apart.

How Long is Too Long to Leave Your Dog Home Alone?

Search engine results tell you it’s safe to leave your dog home for 4 hours, but perhaps your gut instinct tells you otherwise. Your gut is probably right. A dog’s age, health, and temperament are all important factors in how much time your dog can comfortably handle being left alone. “The guidelines aren’t meant to […]
Nope, tennis balls are not the greatest choking hazard. But they’re up there.

The Greatest Choking Hazard

Any number of objects can become stuck in your dog’s windpipe or at the back of his throat and create a choking hazard — balls that are large enough to get past the mouth but not all the way through the digestive tract, rawhide chews that are gulped rather than gradually broken down, and so […]
This Saint Bernard puppy, a future gentle giant, requires less calcium in his diet than smaller breeds.

For Giant-Breed Puppies, Less — Not More — Calcium

It would appear to make sense that a dog such as a Great Dane or Saint Bernard, or even a Labrador retriever, needs a more calcium-dense diet as a puppy than a dog whose adult size will be smaller. After all, the logic goes, more calcium per calorie is needed to build the bones involved […]

Its Their Eyebrows That Make Us Love Them

You know that sad, wistful, puppy dog look our pets often get when theyre trying to communicate their needs to us, the way they make their eyes look bigger and more baby-like? Researchers reporting in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences have just discovered that dogs can achieve that look because of a small muscle above each of their eyes that allows them to intensely raise their inner eyebrows. Thats all it takes to bring out the nurturer in us.
Sometimes a dog who seems like he doesn’t want to live anymore has an illness that’s eminently treatable. Don’t make a life-or-death decision without talking to your veterinarian.

A Good Death

One of the sad parts of our work is walking over to the clinic from our offices and seeing someone sitting outside on a bench, crying. We know what has just happened. Of course, the best way for a dog to die would be the same as the best way for a person — peacefully, […]
Not the harmless activity it may seem.

Why Chewing Sticks Is a Bad Idea

We’ve all seen dogs who are perennial stick chewers. No sooner do they get outside than they pick up a stick and start chomping on it. It may seem harmless, but it’s not. If your dog is a regular stick chewer, you should teach him to “leave it” or “drop it” on cue or, if […]

They’re Being Polite, Not Disrespectful

Two common dog behaviors may annoy some people, but they’re actually a dog’s way of showing respect and making it clear that she is not looking for trouble. Approaching you in a banana-shaped arc. When you’re at the dog park and it’s time to go home, you might be frustrated when you call your pet […]

Dear Doctor: Bed sharing not working

Q. We thought we’d enjoy having our dog sleep in the bed with us, and we were fine with it when he was a puppy. But he is just too big now to share the mattress, and we find ourselves losing too much sleep trying to accommodate his need to stretch out. We hate the […]
Sad dog waiting alone at home

A Dog’s Life After the Pandemic

As COVID-19 made most of us shut-ins to some degree, the dogs who live with us have enjoyed more of our company. And it changed their behavior, suggests a Japanese survey of almost 700 people with dogs. More than a third of them say their pets now demand more attention. Many also say their dogs […]
But I left your vows in my crate!

Dog As Ring Bearer

A growing number of couples plan to make their dog part of their wedding ceremony, according to a press release we recently received. Apparently, the hashtag #dogringbearer is becoming ever more popular, with a “71% search increase for the term ‘dog ring bearer’” in just the past year. You can find earnest advice online for […]