Truly Hungry, Or Just Bored?

A number of years ago, the American Animal Hospital Association published a chart listing a number of things that stand in the way of weight loss for overweight dogs. Topping the chart: begging. Also way up there: guilt on the part of the pet “parent.”

Some Dogs Are Fools for Pools!

Indoor dog gyms are on the rise all over the country, and we’re all for the trend. In some locales, for months on end the weather is either too hot or too cold for adequate outdoor activity. Just like for people, a climate-controlled fitness center is the solution for getting a dog’s muscles moving and her brain’s mood-stabilizing endorphins flowing.

When Your Dog Says “No Canoodling!” with Your Human Partner

Perhaps your dog barks when you and your partner hug or kiss or show other signs of amorousness. Maybe she even tries to stop acts of physical intimacy, getting between you and your mate. Is she jealous?

Teaching Your Dog That When He Needs to Go Out, the Bell Tolls For...

Some dogs have access to a doggie door that allows them to exit and re-enter at will, so they can “go to the bathroom” whenever they want. Fortunately for those who are unable to go out when they want, dogs are generally excellent at “holding it in” and can wait for the appointed times at which you take them to do their business. But still, there are those moments when they really need to relieve themselves even though it’s not time for their scheduled walk. What then?

Dog won’t stop eating poop

Q: Our 3-year-old Havanese is a great leash puller and sniffer, a mostly wonderful dog except for her absolute certainty that the poop of other animals makes a terrific snack. Since her legs are close to the ground, she’s fast and very good at lunging suddenly when she wants to grab some “delicacy.” We — not the youngest kids on the block — are outwitted at every turn. Bunny poop, goose poop, dog poop — she is not particular. A trainer we consulted thought we might try using a device that issues a high-pitched sound to make negative associations for her at those moments. But I’m not sure I have enough hands to carry the device on a walk, much less mobilize it in a timely fashion. And I’m not sure it’s a good approach. I’d appreciate any advice you can offer.

Stay Calm in the Presence of a Dog-Phobic Person

It’s an unfortunate catch-22: People who are nervous around dogs are the ones who tend to bring out their aggressive tendencies. Their anxiety transfers to the animal. Research has shown, in fact, that anxious people have a higher incidence of getting bitten by a dog.

Protect the Mail Carrier!

An average of almost 15 mail carriers a day were bitten by dogs last year, according to the U.S. Postal Service — more than 5,300 over the course of 2022. It is not dogs with a history of threatening or outright dangerous behavior that are doing the biting. “It is usually a ‘good dog’ that had not previously behaved in a menacing way,” according to U.S. Postal Service Occupational Safety and Health Senior Director Linda DeCarlo. Indeed, many attacks reported by letter carriers came from dogs whose owners regularly stated, “My dog won’t bite.” It’s not surprising. Even gentle dogs can be very protective of their turf, taking their human families off guard.

The One Word Your Dog Will Never Understand

Your dog’s begging at the table has gotten out of hand. You’re happy to drop him a piece of food here and there, but when you say no, he keeps beseeching — putting his head right at the table ledge even when you tell him to move away, staring at you, yawning, whining, and perhaps even nudging you with his paw.

The Dog is Embarrassing Me

Q: When I walk my dog and he sees people — or other people walking their own dog — he barks and pulls or walks on his hind legs because he’s so excited. It’s so embarrassing that I avoid taking him for walks, or I turn in the opposite direction when I see people to avoid my dog making a scene. He also pulls, but I bought a harness to replace his neck collar, which helps with that. Do you have any recommendations?

The Only Time to Lock a Crate

People lock their dogs in their crates for all kinds of reasons, often to keep them out of trouble when they are not home. We are not fans of that strategy. In the main, a dog should be kept in her crate only when she is being “toilet” trained and you are right there in the house with her. If she doesn’t do her “business” when you take her outside, you can put her in a comfy crate outfitted with soft crib bumpers, a fluffy blanket, and a couple of toys for 15 minutes or so until she builds up the urge to go and you try again. That way, she will learn to eliminate outdoors.

Dog Bite Prevention

People often fear getting bitten by a big dog, but even a Chihuahua is estimated to have a bite force of up to 180 pounds per square inch. To put that in perspective, people have an average bite force of 126 pounds per square inch. 

Short Takes July 2023

Veterinarians Can Now Become Board-Certified in Shelter Medicine