Home Subscriber Only

Subscriber Only

Dogs Dig It

Different breeds of dogs dig for different reasons. Terriers, originally bred to dig for varmints that burrow into the ground, might dig fast and furiously in the dirt — or bed linens — to work through their hereditary instinct. They’re figuratively engaging in the so-called appetitive phase of preda-
tory behavior.

Telemedicine for Fido, or In-Person Care?

The COVID pandemic led to more Zooming and FaceTiming, including for veterinary care. And it may be easy to assume that most people have come to prefer such virtual vet visits because it’s more convenient than taking your dog to the doctor. But they don’t.

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.

But Wasn’t the Dog Dumped Because He Didn’t Make a Good Pet?

People often think that if a dog has wound up at a shelter after living in someone else’s home, it’s because he didn’t make a good pet. Maybe he kept soiling the carpet, they assume, or was aggressive, or just didn’t know how to get along with people. Or maybe he’s a wallet emptier due to ongoing health problems. In other words, the dog is believed to be damaged goods. But that’s very often not the case.

When a Dog is Born with a Hole by His Heart

When a developing puppy is growing inside his mother, he does not need to breathe. The oxygen he requires to mature in utero comes not from his lungs but from the umbilical cord. Thus, after coursing through the body, blood does not travel through the fetus’s lungs to pick up oxygen for another pump out to the body by the heart. The lungs remain deflated, and blood bypasses them through a kind of shunt called the ductus arteriosus.

How to Keep a Dog from Climbing the Canine Ladder of Aggression

Dogs don’t act aggressively to strut their stuff or show who’s dominant. That’s a human thing. Canine aggression is a response to what a dog perceives as a threat. With aggressive behavior, the dog is trying to deflect the threat and restore harmony. Dogs so want harmony, in fact, that most of the rungs on the Canine Ladder of Aggression, a graphic devised by British veterinary surgeon and behaviorist Kendal Shepherd, BVSc, are not acts of aggression at all but signs of appeasement. They include such behaviors as yawning, nose licking, and turning away. They all mean “I’m uncomfortable; you’re making me anxious. Can you please stop doing the thing that’s making me feel stressed and unsafe?”

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?

Librela injections for arthritis

Q: We have an 11-year-old pit bull mix who has a moderate case of arthritis in his legs and shoulders. We have tried cold laser therapy once a week for a few months, but the positive effects fade after a few days. We also have tried a few pain and anti-inflammatory medications prescribed by our veterinarian, but our dog, Ipo, gets digestive upset from all of them. Now our vet is suggesting Librela injections once a month; he highly recommends them. But since Librela is relatively new (especially to us), we would love to see what your veterinary team thinks about its safety, side effects, and efficacy. Thank you.

Download The Full March 2024 Issue PDF

  • Is It the Vet’s Fault or Yours?
  • Short Takes
  • Fixing a Dog’s Injured Rotator Cuff
  • The Safest Way to Break Up a Dog Fight Involves Resisting Your Instincts
  • A Surefire Way to Ratchet Down Your Dog’s Pain
  • Dental Sealants to Help Your Dog Avoid Gum Disease?
  • Dear Doctor:  Neighbor threatens to shoot aggressive dog

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.

How You, Personally, Can Get More Shelter Dogs Adopted

Taking a shelter dog for an outing of just a few hours or fostering the animal for a night or two significantly increases the dog’s chance of being adopted — and not by you. When dogs are seen in the community and their short-term caregivers share these animals’ stories, people step up to take home the canines as permanent pets.