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AKC: Health

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Which Thanksgiving Foods Can I Give My Dog?

It’s not just humans that overeat during the holidays. Some of us may also be a bit indulgent with our dogs. But it doesn’t have to be the turkey bones or other not-so-great items from the Thanksgiving or Christmas menu. There are healthier choices to share with your dog. Plenty of fall favorites can be tasty (and safe) options for your dog to share in small portions during holiday festivities. It may be tempting to offer up the turkey bones to include your dog in your family’s celebratory fe

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Probiotics for Dogs

If you have ever eaten yogurt with live cultures, you may have taken a probiotic. The term refers to beneficial or “friendly” gut-dwelling microbes (bacteria and yeasts). There are billions of them in the gastrointestinal system of all animals, and they aid in the digestion of food, fight off potential pathogens, make nutrients and vitamins, and bolster the immune system. The word itself is derived from the Latin word “for” (pro) and the Greek “life” (bio). Probiotics for dogs are a nutritional

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Dog Flu: Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention

When it comes to the dog flu, it’s important to always be prepared. While most cases are not fatal, the canine influenza virus can make your pup uncomfortably sick, causing them — and you — a lot of stress and time spent at the vet’s office. If you are a dog owner, you don’t need to panic about the dog flu. You should, however, familiarize yourself with the symptoms so that you know what to look for in the event of an outbreak in your area. What Is Dog Flu? Dog flu, or canine influenza vir

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Why Does My Dog Eat Dirt?

As a pet owner, you may have caught your dog eating (or attempting to eat) some pretty weird stuff. But have you ever observed your pet snacking on straight-up dirt? Why Do Dogs Eat Dirt? Holistic veterinarian Dr. Laurie S. Coger, DVM, explains, “Dirt eating is a form of what is termed ‘pica,’ the ingestion of nonfood materials. There are many causes, including nutritional, behavioral, and physical. Stress or boredom can also lead to eating all sorts of things, including dirt.” If your

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Avoid a Sticky Situation: How to Get Sap Out of Dog Fur

Sugary tree sap can be the bane of a dog owner’s life during the spring and early summer when it flows most freely. This super-sticky substance is notoriously tricky to remove from fur. Plus, scratchy pine needles and other debris can get glued to it, turning your dog’s coat into a matted, tacky, uncomfortable mess. Thankfully, you don’t need to avoid your daily woodland dog walks at this time of year. You’ve likely got all the tools you need to get sap out of your dog’s fur at home. And, if

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Soy in Dog Food: What You Need to Know

When there are so many brands, ingredients, and ways to prepare dog food, it’s no wonder figuring out that what diet is best for your pet can get confusing. So what purpose do common ingredients like soy in dog food serve? Soy Isn’t Just a “Filler” One of the most prominent assertions about soy is that it’s a cheap filler with low nutritional value. Dr. George Fahey, Jr., Professor Emeritus of Animal Sciences and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, explains

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How to Trim Your Dog’s Nails Safely

Nail trimming is an essential part of dog grooming, and trim nails are one clear sign of your dog’s good health and hygiene. Professional groomers will perform the task for squeamish owners, but dog nail trimming is a simple procedure if done correctly. Since nail trimming can be an anxiety-laden experience for many dogs, start handling your puppy’s feet and trimming their nails when they’re young, so they become accustomed to the process. Some dogs will sit in your lap or on a table while yo

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Antidepressants for Dogs: Canine Behavioral Medications

You are likely familiar with antidepressants for humans, but their use in dogs is less commonly understood. We tend to think that dogs live in the moment and find joy in the simplest of things. Why would they need drugs to lift their mood? In fact, antidepressants aren’t usually used to treat depression in dogs. Instead, they are most often prescribed for canine anxiety and can serve as an important component of a behavior modification plan. If your dog is nervous or fearful, antidepressants

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Is Dogs Sniffing Their Social Media? The Importance of Letting Your Dog Sniff

A recent TikTok trend shows owners joking that their dog stopping to sniff is their version of social media, which changes owners’ perspective of allowing their dog to abruptly stop the stroll and actually allow them to “see what’s up.” While sniffing a tree isn’t the same as reading a tweet, sensory walks do offer dogs many benefits without the online pressure of putting your best life on display. Benefits of Sniff Time for Dogs You might find it frustrating when your dog wants to stop an

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Pulmonary Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) in Dogs

Just like people, dogs can suffer from hypertension, also known as high blood pressure. Systemic hypertension refers to high blood pressure throughout the body, while pulmonary hypertension refers to higher-than-normal blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs. Pulmonary hypertension, in particular, can dramatically shorten your dog’s life and cause sudden death. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms and the steps you to take if you suspect your dog is suffering from this co

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Why Does My Dog Lick My Feet?

Have you ever wondered: why does my dog lick my feet? For some owners, this behavior may seem odd. And for those with ticklish feet, it can be downright unpleasant, especially if your pup’s licking becomes a regular occurrence. But licking is a perfectly normal behavior for dogs. They lick to communicate and to take in their surroundings. Your dog has an additional sensory organ, called the Jacobson’s organ, which connects their nasal cavity to the roof of his mouth. This organ allows them to t

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Why Is My Dog Scooting?

Scooting a bottom across the floor is a common dog behavior often indicative of an anal sac issue. Anal sacs may become clogged or injured for a variety of reasons, which can lead to scooting. Visiting your vet is recommended to ensure scooting isn’t due to a serious issue like allergies or parasites. Many dog owners can recall a certain dreaded scenario. You’re sitting around your living room with a few guests when suddenly, your dog starts scooting their bottom brazenly across the floor in

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Is Salt Bad for Dogs?

You’re likely aware that certain foods, like chocolate or grapes, are toxic to dogs. But can dogs eat salt? As an electrolyte, salt is an essential part of your dog’s health. It helps keep body fluids in balance and plays a role in muscle and nerve function. But too much salt is dangerous for dogs and can lead to salt toxicosis. How do you know if your dog has had consumed excessive amounts of salt? And are there certain foods you should prevent your dog from eating? Read on to learn more abo

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Why Do My Dogs’ Feet Smell Like Fritos?

If you get close enough to your dog’s feet, you might have noticed that they smell a bit like corn chips or Fritos. Some dog owners don’t mind the aroma. Others might find the smell unpleasant and perhaps even wonder if it’s a sign of poor health. Since dogs can’t tell us what’s wrong, it’s our job to learn what smells are normal and when it might be time to intervene and seek veterinary care. What Causes the Fritos Smell? At any given time, dogs have some level of bacteria and fungi on th

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Dog Meal Prep: How to Prepare Dog Food in Bulk

Whether you’re using commercially prepared dog food like kibble or making your own dog food at home, feeding high-quality ingredients can help improve your dog’s health and longevity. To make things easier you can consider dog meal prep by preparing portions or big batches of cooked food for the week. After you’ve put some thought into choosing the right diet for your pet, it makes sense that you’d want the food to stay fresh for as long as possible. Food that isn’t stored properly can lose i

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What is Cute Aggression, and Do I Have It?

Have you ever felt overcome with emotion at the sight of a cute and fuzzy animal? Does seeing a picture of a Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppy smiling make you want to pinch their cheeks? If you said yes to either question, you might be experiencing a response known as cute aggression, also known as playful aggression. Despite how the name might sound, this superficially aggressive response doesn’t mean you want to hurt anyone, only that you have an urge to squish them because they’re just so adorable.

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How to Train Your Dog to Hike With You

If you’re a nature lover, there’s nothing more exciting than an outdoor adventure, and hiking with your dog is a great way to explore and get some exercise in the process. Some breeds are naturally perfect hiking companions, but as long as you tailor the distance and terrain to your pet’s abilities, almost any dog can join you on the trail. However, to ensure a successful hike, it’s important to train your dog before you head out. Basic obedience, as well as trail-specific skills, will keep y

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Can Dogs Eat Lettuce?

For a lot of Americans, salads are a popular meal option. But can dogs eat lettuce? In general, yes. Lettuce of the romaine, arugula, and iceberg varieties do not contain ingredients that can really harm your dog. After all, lettuce is 90 percent water and is also a low-calorie snack that could be a good training treat for an overweight dog. Plus, there’s just something about that crunch that dogs love! Is Lettuce Safe for Dogs? While you can feed your pup greens, there are possible risks.

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Can Dogs Eat Bones?

We’ve all heard the phrase “give a dog a bone,” but the literal action might not be as harmless as we believe. There was a time when families didn’t think twice about treating your pup to the pork chop bones left over from Sunday dinner. Today, we are much more knowledgeable about canine nutrition and realize that the watchword about dog bones is: caution. Bones are a good source of minerals and other nutrients and help satisfy your dog’s appetite. Chewing stimulates saliva enzymes and helps

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Why Does My Dog Sleep On His Back?

Does your dog sleep upside down with its paws in the air, head buried in the couch cushions, and body twisted like a pretzel? While they make for hilarious pictures on your camera roll, you might be wondering if this topsy-turvey position is healthy and if they’re still able to breathe. When dogs snooze at funny angles, it’s not only by choice. It’s all about their health, comfort, and ancestry. Can Dogs Breathe When They Sleep On Their Backs? “Dogs are smart,” says AKC Chief Veterinar

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Dog Breeding for Beginners: What You Should Know

There might be a lot of questions swirling around your head if you’re planning for your first litter of puppies. Being a first-time breeder can be overwhelming if you don’t know what to expect. But we tapped Margaret V. Root Kustritz, DVM, Ph.D., DACT, professor of small animal reproduction at the University of Minnesota, to answer some of the most asked questions that breeders have when breeding that promising next litter. How Often Do Dogs Go Into Heat? Bitches should have an obvious hea

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How to Help a Dog Losing Vision and Sight Be More Comfortable

As dogs get older and are living longer, some of them may experience some sort of loss of hearing and/or vision. While our dogs have other senses they can rely on, it can be disorienting to dogs and stressful and overwhelming for owners. If you have a dog that is aging, it’s important to support your dog to safely navigate their home and continue to do the things they enjoy most. There are some lifestyle changes that can be adopted to help dogs adjust to their decreased hearing or sight and b

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Can Dogs Eat Rice?

One of the most popular foods around the world is rice. But can dogs eat rice? The answer is yes. Rice is an ingredient sometimes found in commercial dog foods. Many pet owners feed white rice to their sick dog. One of the reasons white rice is the chosen grain for a dog with an upset stomach is that it’s easy to digest, quick to prepare, and low in fiber. “We use rice as a carb source when dogs are on a bland diet after a GI upset,” says Dr. Steve Weinberg, DVM and medical director/CEO of

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Dog Sports and Activities for Senior Dogs

Participating in dog sports with your dog can provide mental and physical exercise, the thrill of competition, and a chance for you both to have fun. If you’re the owner of a senior dog, you might think your dog sports days are behind you. Fortunately, there are many sports that are suited to dogs of any age (if your veterinarian approves, of course). In fact, many senior dogs are still top ranking in their respective sport. Scent Work No matter their age, dogs experience the world through

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What to Expect at Your Puppy’s First Vet Visit

Finally, it’s the exciting day you’ve been anticipating for months, maybe even years. Your new puppy is ready to come home with you. You’ve gotten your crate, food, and other supplies, you’ve chosen a place for training and socialization, and you’re ready to start an amazing adventure with a little ball of fluff who is going to become your best friend. Whether your pup is coming from champion show lines or from a local shelter, the first vet visit is a crucial step. Breeders generally incl

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