DOG OWNERSHIP

Top 10 Dog-Friendly Vehicles

The issue of harnesses that will truly keep dogs secure in the event of a collision is still being worked on, but there are also other features in cars that make them more - or less - safe for companion animals. The online automotive resource Edmunds.com has determined the 10 types of vehicle best suited to dog safety, or at least dog comfort. They are all in the large-car category: no sedans.

Dear Doctor – Picking Up Stakes

Q My 5-year-old Havanese has never known any home except our current one. We will be moving in about a year. Whats the best way to help her make the transition?
Rebecca Harrington
Abingdon, Virginia

Trying On Parenting With a Dog

Charlie was, to put it mildly, impossible. The black Lab-rottweiler mix chewed up Heather and Steve Lamperts couch. He dug up the drip line for their outdoor plants while they were at dinner one night and then, when they came home, ran around the house excitedly, putting his muddy paw prints all over the carpet because he was eager and proud to lead them to the flood he had created in their back yard.…

A Dangerous Mix: A Dog and a Child Under Six Without You In the...

One of the bonuses of getting a dog before you start a family is that you then raise your child with a pet and all the wonderful benefits that will afford him. But we strongly urge you to think twice about having a baby while your dog is still a puppy - under the age of a year to a year and a half. Puppies need a considerable amount of care for their proper development…

More on the Benefits of Dog Ownership

The latest findings, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, show that its psychologically healthy people in particular who derive social benefits from their dogs in addition to the social support they enjoy from the people in their lives. That is, pets are not taking the place of friends of family but adding to peoples social cushion, if you will.

When Letting Go Is the Kindest Thing You Can Do

We had probably already waited too long. Ellie was clearly miserable and was ready to be relieved of her pain once and for all. So we said our good-byes while the vet waited outside the exam room. Then she gave Ellie the injection that would let her body go, with us kissing and petting her and leaving afterward with aching hearts. We still ache for Ellie, in fact, as much as we love the dogs currently in our lives.

The Five Questions to Ask When Choosing a Puppy from a New Litter

We wholeheartedly endorse choosing a dog from a shelter or pound. There are wonderful dogs out there just waiting to become pets who would provide years of joy to anyone seeking canine companionship in return for a loving home. But as much as saving a dog in need brings with it wonderful rewards, there are also advantages to choosing a newly born puppy, whether from someone who raises purebred dogs professionally or from someone…

Is It Time to Say Good-Bye to Your Dog?

In fact, chances are high that youre going to outlive your pet and further, that at some point down the road youre going to be faced with the difficult decision of when to put her down to take her out of her suffering. Euthanasia is more often than not part of the life cycle with an animal who has become a family member.

Factoring in the Cost of Life

Sometimes a dog owner will be advised that his pet has an illness thats potentially treatable but that the treatment is going to be expensive - often beyond the owners means. People feel torn about what to do when the main thing standing between giving a sick animal more time and more quality of life is money they dont really have to spare, says Your Dog Editor in Chief, John Berg, DVM, who often operates…

Making a decision about the dog’s body

If possible, decide in advance of the euthanasia what you want to have done with your dogs body. The vet is going to ask, and thats one less decision youll have to make on the day your dog dies. There are four choices: Take the body home and dig a grave in the backyard. (States have laws about the required depth of the hole, and it may have to be quite big for a large dog.) …

The Benefits of Fostering a Dog

Diamond Dave was a wreck. The sweet Chihuahua had been surrendered by his family to a shelter in Methuen, Massachusetts, when they were moving; their new landlord didnt allow dogs. Poor Dave was so timid and scared that he just kept huddling in the corner of his cage, says Michael Keiley, director of the shelter, a facility under the auspices of the Massachusetts Society for the Protection of Animals (MSPCA) called the Noble Family…

To Breed Or Not to Breed?

When my niece, Melanie, told me eight years ago that she had just adopted a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel from a breeder in Georgia, I worried that she was in for heartache. The little guy was only 11 weeks old, but I had read that virtually all Cavalier King Charles developed mitral valve disease in middle age, a condition that leads to heart failure and often causes premature death. …