How to Give the Vet a Proper Diet History

Unless a dog is still a puppy, most veterinary visits tend to include little to no discussion about diet. Sometimes, however, what a dog eats becomes of paramount importance, perhaps because she has put on excess weight that could compromise her health, mobility, and even her lifespan. Or maybe she has developed an allergy that the vet suspects might be a food allergy, and it needs to be determined which ingredient could be causing the allergic reaction.

dog with diabete

Can dogs tolerate lactose?

Q: Are dogs lactose intolerant? My dog gets tiny bits of cheese for doing  tricks, but I wonder if I’ve been rewarding him with the wrong food.

The dog won’t eat from her bowl

Q: Why does my dog always take her food far from her bowl before eating it?

Short Takes November 2023

Post-Clipping Bacterial Infection

The Right Amount of Exercise Depends on Your Dog’s Age

Physical activity for a dog isn’t just about managing his weight, maintaining heart health, or slowing the muscle loss that comes with age and causes creeping frailty. Exercise is also very much about keeping up a dog’s mood and outlook on life. Just like for people, physical activity releases the feel-good brain chemical serotonin.

Why is she drinking more water?

Q: My dog had been drinking considerably more water than usual and urinating more as a result. I took her to the vet to see if she had diabetes or Cushing’s disease, but she was negative for both of those conditions. Nor does she have other potential thirst-making illnesses like kidney or liver disease, an infection, or a fever, and she does not take any medications that would make her thirsty. What might be going on?

When You’re Afraid of Needles But Your Dog Requires Daily Injections

Three main reasons for giving injections at home — and how even the squeamish can get used to administering them.When a veterinarian tells a client that their dog requires regular injections, some people start out by saying, “I can’t do that; I can’t deal with needles,” reports Tufts veterinarian Armelle de Laforcade, DVM. But, she says, “people who think they couldn’t go near a needle, once they try it, realize it’s not that bad.”

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?

Your Role in Reporting Your Dog’s Bad Reaction to a Product

Your dog has a bad reaction after eating a certain food, getting a particular vaccine, having a topical applied to ward off ticks or other parasites, or undergoing home treatment with a device that is supped to relieve pain or heal a wound. Does the adverse reaction have to be reported? No. There is no legal requirement. Should it be? Yes.

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.

The Biggest Predictor of Canine Health

Maybe money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy health. In looking over survey data collected on more than 21,000 dogs, researchers working on a nationwide initiative called the Dog Aging Project found that a higher household income was associated with better health for the dog in the home. No surprise there. More money means pets receive better medical care. What was surprising was that the company of other dogs and even companion animals of other species, such as cats, had a positive health effect that was five times greater than the effect of family income. A vibrant canine social life even had a bigger impact than house-
hold stability.

Short Takes August 2023

Outdoor Restaurant Seating Now Includes Your Dog