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AKC: Health

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Entries in this blog

Is a Dog Harness Better Than a Dog Collar?

Whether it’s time to buy a collar or harness for your puppy or dog for the very first time or replace one that’s wearing out, it’s important to understand that there are a variety of collars and harnesses that work for different dogs in different circumstances. Here are some of the pros and cons of dog collars vs. dog harnesses for you to consider. The Pros and Cons of Dog Collars Pros of dog collars: These are the most basic dog products available and are easy for keeping ID tags and rabies

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Dog Breeds That Don’t Shed

If you’ve always wanted to own a dog but you cannot deal with tumbleweeds of dog hair around your home, or if allergies have always held you back, worry no more. We’ve compiled this list of the best dog breeds to own that don’t shed. Some dog breeds have nearly-hypoallergenic coats that produce much less dander, which is attached to the hair and causes most allergens in humans. While no dog is completely hypoallergenic, people with allergies can live happily with one of these low-shedding dogs.

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How Social Media Can Help Us Cope With Pet Loss

Losing a pet can bring on intense feelings of emptiness and despair. Because pets can’t speak for themselves, owners might feel guilty, believing they could have done more to prevent the loss or ease their pet’s suffering while they were alive. For advice, we spoke to Jackie Pajan, a TikTok creator known as Rainbow Bridge Raina, to her over 73,000 followers. Pajan, who lost her dog Riley in 2020, creates pet loss content and personalized videos to help grieving pet owners find hope, happiness,

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When to Consider Behavioral Euthanasia

The decision to euthanize your dog is never an easy one. Your dog is a beloved family member and it’s incredibly difficult to say goodbye. But it’s even more complicated and distressing when the reason for the euthanasia is based on your dog’s behavior rather than their health. You might feel guilty and wonder how you let your dog down. But in rare situations, behavioral euthanasia is the only responsible and ethical decision. What is Behavioral Euthanasia? Behavioral euthanasia is the term us

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Ivermectin for Dogs: Is It Safe?

Dogs of some herding breeds and some mix-breed dogs can have a genetic mutation that makes them dangerously oversensitive to ivermectin, the active ingredient in some commonly used heartworm prevention medicines for dogs. Given at the proper doses and under the supervision of a veterinarian, ivermectin is safe for most dogs and is very effective in treating and preventing a number of parasites. However, a dog with the mutation who ingests the drug can have a severe, life-threatening reaction ca

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How to Do a Turkey Trot 5K with Your Dog

Looking for a fun new holiday tradition to share with your dog? The Turkey Trot—running/walking a 5K race—has become an increasingly popular way to spend part of Thanksgiving and now it has officially gone to the dogs! My Newfoundland and I did our first Turkey Trot last Thanksgiving and had so much fun that I knew I wanted to make it an annual tradition. I was thrilled to learn I would have an opportunity to do an AKC Turkey Trot to support great canine causes. AKC Turkey Trot This year, the

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Dog Ate Candy: What to Do if Your Dog Got Into Sweets

So your dog ate candy. The first step is to figure out what type and quantity of candy your dog consumed. The biggest concern with candy (that isn’t chocolate) is the risk of the ingredient xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol commonly used as an artificial sweetener and is toxic to pets. This ingredient is often used in sugar-free items but has been showing up in more and more foods every day even when they aren’t labeled as sugar-free. Most often, xylitol is found in sugar-free gum, sugar-free

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What to Do if Your Dog Eats Chocolate

Chocolate is toxic to dogs, and depending on the type and amount of chocolate consumed and the weight of your dog, it could cause a serious medical emergency. If you know your dog has eaten chocolate, it’s important to monitor him for signs of toxicity (see below), and it’s recommended that you contact your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline (855-213-6680, fee applies) for advice. Learn how much is too much, which types of chocolate are the most dangerous, and what signs to look for that m

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How to Explain a Pet’s Death to Children

After reviewing the laboratory results and examining Bella for the last time, the veterinarian met with the dog’s owners and delivered news the Millers weren’t expecting. Their Golden Retriever‘s liver cancer had progressed and would not improve. The 12-year-old dog would not survive more than a few days. Devastated by the thought of losing their dog, Sara and Ryan Miller knew another painful task loomed ahead. Beckett, their five-year-old son, would need to know that Bella—the buddy he had gro

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10 Ways to Help Your Dog Live Longer

Everyone agrees that the worst thing about dogs is that they don’t live long enough. But these easy, common-sense tips can help extend the time we have with our canine pals. 1. Find the Right Breed What’s your perfect dog? Like a spouse, a dog is a partner who will be with you for a long time, for better or for worse, so pick one you can live with. Divorce between humans is devastating, but a canine-human mismatch can have deadly consequences for the dog. If you are honest with yourself upfron

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Can Dogs Get Leptospirosis?

New York City is dealing with an outbreak of a rare, sometimes fatal disease spread by rat urine known as Leptospirosis. Many dog owners are wondering: does leptospirosis affect dogs? Can dogs get leptospirosis? Leptospirosis is a disease that affects dogs, as well as many other kinds of animals. The organism that causes leptospirosis is a spirochete bacteria and is found throughout the world. There are a very large number of Leptospira; about 230 of them have been identified. In the United St

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How to Groom a Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkies are famous for their human-like hair and show-worthy coats, and that’s why learning how to groom your Yorkshire Terrier puppy will be an important part of welcoming your new dog into your home. “Grooming is a critical part of owning a Yorkshire Terrier,” says Daron Newcomb, a professional groomer with 21 years of experience. “It’s a perfect bonding time for an owner and a pet.” Newcomb, who also has 16 years of exhibiting Yorkshire Terriers in the conformation ring and who has campaign

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Reiki Healing for Pets: Is It Possible?

Our pets provide so much happiness, love, retreat, and even peace in our lives. So, when we see our dog, cat, or any other animal friend suffering — be it from anxiety, old age, or illness — we’re willing to do anything to provide that comfort and relief to them. Reiki has provided a path to healing for many people who are coping with mental, physical, and spiritual difficulties. It’s an energy-based Japanese holistic method applied through noninvasive, nonmanipulative gentle touch that dates b

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Puppies: How Much Exercise Is Too Much?

I’ll never forget the look my puppy obedience class trainer gave me when I told her proudly that my puppy had gone on a two-mile hike with me. As she explained, puppies, especially large-breed puppies, should not be exercised too much, as over-exercising could cause joint and bone problems, and two miles was definitely too much for my three-month-old dog. While I never made that mistake again, it did leave me with a few questions. Just how much exercise is too much for a puppy, and how do you k

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Do Dogs Need a Flu Shot? Facts About the Canine Influenza Vaccine

There have been reports of recent pockets of outbreaks of canine influenza virus (dog flu) in various parts of the country. As with the human influenza, the dog flu will remain with us. The difference now is that we know what the viruses are that cause two different strains of influenza, and that helps veterinarians diagnose and treat the illness properly. There are now vaccines available for both known strains of canine influenza: H3N8 and the more recent H3N2. In fact, you may be able to obtai

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How to Choose the Best Dog Food

In an ideal world, all dog food would be created equal. Instead, dog owners are presented with an overwhelming array of options, all claiming to be the best dog food on the market. Wading through these choices to find a dog food brand that is healthy, affordable, and appealing to your pet is often frustrating. We’ve compiled expert advice to help you narrow down your options. What Makes a Dog Food “Good”? Most people feed their dogs dry kibble or canned wet food. These processed foods might no

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How to Prepare For a Puppy’s First Flight

When I decided to add a Lagotto Romagnolo puppy to my household, I searched for a responsible, knowledgeable breeder I thought would breed the qualities I wanted in my new dog. When I found my chosen breeder, I didn’t let the fact that she was in the Midwest, while I live in the MidAtlantic, stop me from applying to be on her puppy waiting list. Families wanting to welcome a new puppy into their lives have more options than ever for connecting with the perfect pet. If you’ve found that special

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Dog Anesthesia: What Every Dog Owner Should Know

Whether you have a young dog and you’ve scheduled routine neutering, an old dog who needs dental work, or an active dog who has torn a ligament – you may be scheduling a veterinary procedure that requires anesthesia. There’s a risk involved any time a dog is given drugs to put him under for surgery. So it’s important for responsible dog owners to be aware of potential complications, have a plan in place beforehand, and work with a veterinarian to ensure your pet’s safety. When it comes to rout

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The Best Dog Jackets & Sweaters

Just as we humans get cold in chilly weather, your dog may, too. And while Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, other northern breeds, and dogs with dense coats may be just fine in winter, short-haired, small, and light-bodied breeds could use an extra layer of protection. Old or infirm dogs may not tolerate the cold well, either. Luckily, there are dozens of types and styles of dog sweaters to choose from, so your pup can be warm and fashionable. Choosing the Right Dog Sweater Consider the ma

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The Best Dog Jackets & Sweaters

Just as we humans get cold in chilly weather, your dog may, too. And while Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, other northern breeds, and dogs with dense coats may be just fine in winter, short-haired, small, and light-bodied breeds could use an extra layer of protection. Old or infirm dogs may not tolerate the cold well, either. Luckily, there are dozens of types and styles of dog sweaters to choose from, so your pup can be warm and fashionable. Choosing the Right Dog Sweater Consider the ma

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Bloat (or GDV) in Dogs — What It Is and How it’s Treated

I hate this disease. When I first started as a vet, we gave a dog with bloat a 50-50 chance if he could walk into the hospital. Many were too weak and had to be carried in. They often died. Now, 30 years later, bloat still kills about 30 percent of the dogs it affects, even after extremely intensive treatment. I hope you never see this disease in your dog, but learning about what it is, why it happens, and how it’s treated may help your dog fall into the percentage of dogs that survive. Read on

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Why Is My Dog’s Nose Dry?

Most dog owners would probably tell you that a cold, wet nose on their canine companion signals a healthy pup. Likewise, many believe a dog is sick when his nose is dry — but is this true? Before we get into that debate, we first need to understand why dogs have wet noses. The answer is simple: wet noses work better. Dogs depend on their highly developed sense of smell to interpret their world, and scent particles stick better to moist surfaces. That wet nose also cools your dog down on hot day

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The Importance of Training Your Senior Dog

Chances are, when you first got your dog, you spent many hours training new behaviors and teaching him the rules of your household. Now that your dog is a senior, training might be the furthest thing from your mind. After all, isn’t good behavior one of the benefits of an older dog? Well, continuing or restarting a training program with your senior dog has many benefits, too. According to trainer, breeder, and AKC GoodDog! Helpline program manager Penny Leigh, CPDT-KA, your dog will be healthie

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Why Won’t My Dog Eat?

If your dog isn’t eating, consult a vet within 8-12 hours if there is any accompanying vomiting or diarrhea. Absent these symptoms, there’s a few likely reasons your dog isn’t eating, including emotional issues. While concerning, a dog not eating is an issue that often resolves itself, though it’s best to monitor closely. It can be very concerning when your dog isn’t eating regularly. After all, a good healthy diet is a key part of a happy life. So what exactly is happening when your dog ref

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Teach Your Dog to Enjoy Grooming

Many people see grooming as a necessary evil that’s not particularly fun. Unfortunately, many dogs feel the same way and are often afraid or uncomfortable with being groomed. But by shifting your approach to grooming, you can make it an activity that your dog actively participates in—and even enjoys. Husbandry training is a collaborative approach that will make grooming more enjoyable and less stressful for you and your dog. What is Husbandry Training? Husbandry training is a broad category th

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