Home Views


Animal Cruelty Now a Federal Felony

In the present climate of divided party politics, one thing agreed upon by every single member of both the Senate and the House of Representatives is that animal cruelty is unacceptable. A unanimous vote by both legislative bodies has passed a bill called the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act, or PACT. Violators convicted of an animal cruelty felony will face up to 7 years in prison.

Dear Doctor: The seizures are increasing

My cock-a-poo beagle mix Lila started having seizures a little before she turned 3. My vet put her on phenobarbital and that helped, but the seizures are now starting to occur more frequently. Should I go back to the doctor to increase the dosage?

Being a Dog Person is in Your Genes, Literally

You may think you chose to have a dog in your life. But your decision to have a dog may have been genetically predetermined.

How the Animal Behaviorist Should Make You Feel

Aggression is the number one reason people bring their dogs to animal behaviorists, and these owners are often in an agitated emotional state because they are afraid they cant control their pet in dangerous situations. Now a new study out of the University of Bristol in the UK demonstrates that owners emotional needs need be addressed as well as those of their reactive dogs so that they can effectively apply positive reinforcement rather than punishment when training their dogs not to act aggressively.

Teaching Service Dogs to Use the English Language to Help Their Owners

Sure, a service dog can tell if her owner is about to have an epileptic seizure or is going into a diabetic coma. But can she call 911? If Melody Jackson, PhD, has her way, yes. She is heading up Georgia Techs FIDO Project, which stands for Facilitating Interactions for Dogs with Occupations. As part of her work, she is testing vests with attachments dogs can hold, bite, touch with their nose, or tug to launch a string of words in English.

The Most Earth-Friendly Ways to Dispose of Your Dogs Poop

The unfortunate truth is that even if you use truly biodegradable poop bags proven to break down and return to nature in a relatively short period of time, they will not degrade well in a landfill, where compression and lack of oxygen get in the way of the degradation process. So instead of throwing your poop bags in the regular trash, what can you do to go the extra ecological mile?

Their Stress Levels Mirror Ours

Its no secret that dogs are intensely aware of our moods. Now its clear that our stress levels literally course through their veins. Investigators reporting in Scientific Reports found the connection upon examining hair from more than 50 people and their dogs. Hair follicles absorb cortisol, a stress hormone released into the bloodstream.

Dear Doctor: Droopy tail

My 9-year old Maltese, Maggie, has had a droopy tail for a few months. She is also very protective of her rear and tail area and yipes occasionally when touched there, or even sometimes when I pick her up. She also suffers from low-grade kidney disease, for which she has been taking benazepril and aluminum hydroxide. Aside from the droopy tail and yiping, her activity level is normal. She still jumps, runs, eats, poops, and urinates fine. Her anal glands were cleared, and she had a rectal exam. My vet felt it may be a nerve issue and prescribed gabapentin. So far, no change. Any thoughts?

Dear Doctor: A pill instead of surgery for laryngeal paralysis?

I appreciated your June 2019 article on how to surgically fix the labored breathing that comes with laryngeal paralysis, which affects a significant number of older, larger dogs. But I also heard about a drug to treat the disease and make breathing easier. Can a drug really take the place of an operation?

Dear Doctor: Halloween costume for Fido?

I have the cutest Halloween princess costume for my dog, and I want to show it off when children come trick or treating, but my neighbor says it is wrong of me to confine her in clothing. I understand the concern, but I think shes being a little over the top. What do you think?

Avoiding Dog Bites to Children

Children 5 to 9 years old are more apt than any other age group to require treatment immediately after a dog bite. And most of those bites are from the family dog when the pet is resting and a child approaches, says Meghan Herron, DVM, associate professor of veterinary clinical services at Ohio State Universitys College of Veterinary Medicine. With that in mind, Dr. Herron advises the following:

How to Make a Dog More Comfortable If She Had a Previous Owner

Perhaps a dog whos no longer a puppy comes to live with you because her previous owners could no longer take care of her - not out of a lack of caring but because of a change in circumstances. They moved to a place that doesnt allow pets, perhaps, or developed allergies, or accepted more demanding jobs that dont afford them the time to take care of a dog, or died.