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At the level of folklore, it makes sense to think that a diet relatively low in protein would help inhibit aggressive tendencies in a dog. After all, throughout history protein has been the nutrient associated with red-blooded men who use aggression to hunt and then dine on protein-rich animal food to keep up their strength […]
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The science on whether a lower-protein diet will curb aggression has been mixed.

Less Protein to Reduce Aggressive Behavior?

At the level of folklore, it makes sense to think that a diet relatively low in protein would help inhibit aggressive tendencies in a dog. After all, throughout history protein has been the nutrient associated with red-blooded men who use aggression to hunt and then dine on protein-rich animal food to keep up their strength […]
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arthritic dog

Keep a Pain Diary!

If your dog is experiencing pain, a very important step for relieving it is to keep a pain diary once your veterinarian has put a treatment plan in place. It can be as simple as jotting down a few words on a calendar each day (“stiff upon rising,” “lameness,” “doesn’t want to play”). Once you […]
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Blind Dogs Pave the Way for Blind People

There’s no effective treatment for a common form of blindness called inherited retinal dystrophy that affects millions of people worldwide. It’s going to take gene therapy. We’ve now gotten one step closer with research on blind dogs that has identified a gene responsible for a significant proportion of all canine cases of the disease. It’s […]
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Wait, did she say Harry or Larry?

They Can’t Distinguish Between Words That Sounds Alike

If you use “Down” to get your dog to lie on the floor and “Done” for telling your pet that no more treats are coming or that a game is over, he may mix up the cues and not know what you’re asking him to do. That’s because dogs can’t tell words apart if they […]
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Are female dogs more feminine, or do we just decide they are?

Male Pattern Dog-ness

People often wonder which makes a better pet — a male or a female dog. Part of it is that different personality traits are ascribed to a dog depending on its sex. Male dogs are often called goofy and playful, while female dogs are often considered more “mature” and demure. Is it true? Do male […]
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Two Girls Walking Their Dogs In The Park. Russia. Gatchina. May

Dear Doctor: How many dogs should a dog walker walk?

Q. I’ll sometimes see a professional dog walker exercising six or more dogs at a time in my neighborhood. That seems like an awful lot. Is there a maximum number of dogs that a dog walker should take out at once? Lily DetweilerCohasset, Massachuetts Dear Ms. Detweiler, A. There is no set answer, but in […]
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It’s important to teach them to go from nipping to just mouthing.

Will the Teething and Nipping Ever End?

A puppy’s adult teeth generally start to come in when she reaches the age of 3 months. It hurts; the new teeth have to cut through the gum line. That’s why she teethes on everything — your furniture, your shoes, your hands. She’s trying to relieve the uncomfortable sensation. To dull the pain, run a […]
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Spondylosis can make it really difficult for a dog to walk comfortably.

The Growth of Bony Spurs Along the Spine

Your geriatric dog has begun walking very slowly and seems to be in pain, with perhaps a twist or weakness in his gait. He also seems to be experiencing pain when he goes from lying down to standing. If the veterinarian rules out arthritis, there’s a chance it’s spondylosis, the growth of spurs on the […]
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A couple of weeks after the operation, your young dog will be good to go.

When a Testicle Doesn’t Descend

With reports coming out that neutering a male dog as a puppy can increase his risk for certain cancers, some people are opting to leave their male pets intact for a couple of years — or longer. But in up to 3 percent of cases, a dog’s testicle remains undescended, and that in itself raises […]
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It is hard to give up a dog you have already taken home, but sometimes it is the right thing to do.

Stigma-Free Pet Surrender

As recently as the 1980s and early 90s, there was a prevailing notion among animal advocates that people who gave up their dogs were acting irresponsibly. A number of studies suggested that people relinquished their pets largely because of behavior problems, and that if they just stuck it out and tended to the issues with […]
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Would it be better to put out a lot and let the dog choose how much to eat?

Free Feeding Versus Scheduled Feedings

On the face of it, there are a number of reasons to allow your dog unlimited access to food rather than doling it out in measured portions. One is that she will never go hungry. Like us, dogs are hungrier some days than others, and free feeding will allow her to eat more when she […]
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Vet examining dog

Advances in Veterinary Stem Cell Research

Stems cells used to research ways to cure canine diseases have come from parts of the body that include umbilical tissue, bone marrow, and even body fat. Now, scientists in Japan have found a way to get stem cells from dogs’ blood, which can help accelerate the process for reversing dire conditions in our pets […]
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