When Doggie Day Care and Dog Parks Are the Wrong Choices

We think of dogs as social creatures, and rightly so. They are a species genetically primed for social engagement with others of their kind. But if a dog gets into a frightful scrape with another dog early in life, perhaps before she came to live with you, being around other dogs can unnerve her, truly making her miserable.

Running with the dogs

Q: Can you settle whether it’s okay to have your dog go jogging with you?

Veterinary Chaplaincy Edges Towards the Mainstream

At a webinar put on a few years ago by the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab at Brandeis University, Robert Gierka, EdD, discussed the concept of disenfranchised grief, which is grief over the loss of a loved one that is not socially acknowledged or considered legitimate. Such losses, Dr. Gierka said, traditionally consist of miscarriage, the loss of a same-sex partner, and the loss of a loved one through capital punishment. There’s also the loss of a pet.

Should Your Dog Get a Summer Crewcut?

Giving your dog a summer buzz cut can actually make her feel warmer, not cooler. That’s because hair on a dog insulates her from the heat.  The coat creates an air chamber between the hairs that does not conduct heat easily. (It also makes it hard for cold air to get to a dog in winter.)

Prison Puppies

We’re not talking here about canine prisons—puppy mills where dogs are kept in deplorable conditions. We’re talking about a program called Prison Puppies in which incarcerated men and women train puppies to become guide dogs and thereby help people in need. The program currently operates in prisons in Michigan and Minnesota.

A Psychological Reason Behind Your Dog’s Excess Weight?

More than 50 percent of dogs in the U.S. are estimated to be overweight. Part of the reason may be a psychological problem — yours. In many households, people turn food into currency for love. They fear that withholding as much food or as many treats as their dog wants will fray the bond they have with their pet. It won’t — if you show your pet love in all the other important ways.

Yes, 10 Percent of Your Dog’s Total Calories as Treats, But What’s 10 Percent?

You may have heard that treats should make up no more than 10 percent of your dog’s calories. But if you don’t know how many calories your dog should be consuming in the first place, that advice isn’t so handy-dandy. Fortunately, there’s a formula for the right number of daily calories overall, at least if your dog weighs between 5 and 55 pounds: 30 x ideal weight (in kilograms) + 70.

New Guidelines for Helping an Itchy Dog

A healthy dog scratches himself so little that you don’t even really notice it, and he certainly doesn’t spend time biting or licking his coat. More than a few seconds of scratching here or there over the course of a day (or rolling against a surface to relieve itchiness), and there’s a good chance something is wrong.

Letting a dog know that his canine housemate has died

Q: I have three senior dogs who have always been together sharing everything. At some point, one will die or, more likely, need to be put down. What is the best way of letting the other two know that one has passed and will not be coming home? If the dog has to be euthanized at the vet’s office, should I bring all three with me so that the others know their friend has passed?

Is It the Vet’s Fault or Yours?

Nearly one in two people with pets have gotten into a disagreement or heated interaction with their veterinarian or others on their animal’s veterinary staff. So suggests a survey of 1,000 people conducted by Banfield Hospital, which offers veterinary services in 42 states. At the same time, a separate survey of more than 1,300 veterinarians conducted by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) indicates that nine in 10 veterinary professionals have experienced negative or “escalating” client interactions. Perhaps the pandemic and its tribulations have contributed to this slide toward mutual antagonism, but whatever the cause, it is painfully clear that not all is hunky dory at your dog’s doctor’s office.

Nope, tennis balls are not the greatest choking hazard. But they’re up there.

If Your Dog is Choking

A choking dog is an emergency. An animal has to be able to breathe. Before rushing to the vet, first try the following.

dog anxiety

When an Older Dog Develops Separation Anxiety

If a dog who has never minded your leaving the house without her suddenly develops separation anxiety when she is older, get her to the doctor. Much of the time, it’s a medical issue that triggers the problem. The dog is in pain for some reason, and she now becomes anxious and insecure in your absence. If the pain interferes with her physical functioning, it can undermine her security all the more. Often, but not always, such a dog had sub-clinical separation anxiety in her younger years that simply was never picked up.