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DOG OWNERSHIP

How You, Personally, Can Get More Shelter Dogs Adopted

Taking a shelter dog for an outing of just a few hours or fostering the animal for a night or two significantly increases the dog’s chance of being adopted — and not by you. When dogs are seen in the community and their short-term caregivers share these animals’ stories, people step up to take home the canines as permanent pets.

Dear Doctor February 2024

Walk the dog before or after meals?

Talking to a child about a pet’s death

Q: We are going to have to put down our dog very soon. We have two children, ages four and six. How do we talk to them about this?

How Delicious Is Your Dog?

If you haven’t yet met a dog named Cookie, Honey, or Mochi (a Japanese dessert), you will soon. One in nine dogs is now given a food-themed name, according to a database of more than 50,000 pet names. It makes sense. Foods are delicious, and we find our dogs deliciously captivating. Here are the top 10 food names given to dogs in 2023, according to the 2023 Pet Names Study released by trustedhousesitters.com.

Listen Up! You Can Make Your Deaf Dog a Lot Safer — and Happier!

As many as one in 10 dogs is deaf in one or both ears, according to the American Kennel Club. And many dogs that are not completely deaf don’t hear as well as a dog should. People often assume it’s only white dogs that can be deaf, but a dog doesn’t have to be all white, or even mostly white, to be genetically predisposed. The merle gene, present in collies, dappled dachshunds, American foxhounds, and other colorful breeds, increases the odds for deafness. So does the piebald gene, found in Samoyeds, greyhounds, beagles, and Dalmatians.

It’s Okay to Comfort Your Dog

There’s a school of thought that says comforting a fearful or anxious dog is counterproductive because it teaches him that whatever he’s afraid of is in fact scary and will only reinforce the distress. Thus, not to make their dog even more upset, people go against their instinct to soothe their pet in distress and act like nothing’s wrong.

14 Ways to Love a Rescue Dog

About a third of all pet dogs in the United States are purchased from breeders as puppies and therefore haven’t gone through being dumped, homeless, sent to a shelter, forcibly taken from a home in which they were mistreated, abused in a puppy mill, or all of the above. A number of them also come from family and friends. Many of the rest are rescued. Some of those rescues, no matter what they’ve been through, are amazingly resilient and quickly accept the love and comfort of their new household. But others are just too traumatized. They are afraid for their human family even to stroke them gently or to come near them to attach a leash so they can have a pleasant walk outside. They need time, and they need your patience. Here are 14 ways to earn your new dog’s trust. These strategies work to keep all dogs feeling secure but will prove particularly reassuring for a scared one.

Marijuana Toxicity in Dogs on the Rise

As the legalization of marijuana expands, veterinary emergency rooms are seeing an increase in canine cases of marijuana toxicity, according to research published in...

But What’s With Their Tails?

Cats use their tails to help with balance. Think of the way you might hold out your arms to steady yourself as you make...

Are Black Dogs Less Likely to Be Adopted?

At least as far back as the 1700s, black dogs have been getting a bad rap. The writer Samuel Johnson used the phrase “The...

The Vet Will See Your Dog In Person Now

The Food and Drug Administration is mandating that dogs go back to seeing their veterinarians in person periodically in order for there to a...

How Your Dog Saves You Money

The cost of caring for a dog can be alarming if you don’t have pet health insurance. Even something as simple as a routine...