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If You and Your Dog Are Traveling by Air

More than 2 million pets travel by air each year, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. If your canine family member is going to be one of them, it’s good to get him acclimated ahead of time.

Is All Your Dog’s Shedding the Sign of a Health Problem?

People shed hair every single day, just like dogs. We just don’t happen to have as much hair to shed, so it doesn’t show in the same way. Also, most of our shed hairs go down the drain when we shower, so we’re not apt to see them. Dogs, of course, have many more hairs than we do, and when those hairs die and slough off, they end up all over the place; our pets don’t rinse their bodies every day.

Raw Meat for Dogs: If We’ve Told You Once…

As the practice of feeding dogs raw meat diets increases, so does the incidence of pets harboring bacteria in their systems that are not only harmful but also ever more resistant to the drugs that are supposed to be able to destroy them. The latest evidence about potential harm comes from a study conducted in the United Kingdom.

Helping Your Dog Get a Better Night’s Sleep

People think of cats as the pets who keep their human housemates up at night. But some dogs have trouble settling down at bedtime, too. Sometimes it’s pain from an illness that doesn’t allow them to drift off. Dogs with separation anxiety might be particularly afflicted. If they’re in pain and the people in the home aren’t available to them because they’re asleep, they may feel more nervous than usual. But if a medical issue (including dementia) is ruled out, what can you do to help your pet slumber?

Two Kinds of Drugs for Behavior Problems

There are essentially two types of drugs for dogs who experience high enough levels of anxiety that behavior modification techniques alone don’t keep them feeling calm and secure. One type is often referred to as “in the moment” medication. It means the dog just needs a short-acting drug to help him in particular situations that unnerve him to the point that he becomes aggressive or shows other signs of extreme stress, like cowering or hiding. Such situations might include thunderstorms or having to be near other dogs, say, at the veterinarian’s office. The other type of medication is longer-acting, working around the clock to take the edge off a dog’s chronic anxiety. It operates “in the background,” so to speak.

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?

Download The Full May 2024 Issue PDF

  • Dogs: The Ultimate Diplomats
  • Short Takes: Prison Puppies; When Eye Gook is Normal; When It’s Not.
  • If Your Dog Could Have the Remote
  • Veterinary Chaplaincy Edges Towards the Mainstream
  • Should Your Dog Get a Summer Crewcut?
  • Why the Food Prescribed by the Vet Might Not Be Working
  • Taking a Load Off Your Dog’s Feet, Literally
  • Dear Doctor

If Your Dog Could Have the Remote

Dogs most like to watch videos of…other dogs. So say the results of a detailed questionnaire answered by more than 1,200 people with canine pets. Second in interest to dog videos are videos of other animals, including wild animals (as in nature documentaries), cats, livestock, and squirrels. (Videos of people are way down on the list.) Reactions to what’s on the screen include dogs turning their head to the side or pricking their ears, vocalizing, approaching the screen and/or running away from it, looking behind it, and bringing toys over. The responses were collected by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine and published in Applied Animal Behaviour Science.

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.)

Why the Food Prescribed by the Vet Might Not Be Working

Did you hear the one about the dog whose veterinarian prescribed a special therapeutic diet to slow the progression of kidney disease? Turns out that even with the newly prescribed food the rate of the dog’s decline did not ease up.