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AKC: Health

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OCD in Dogs: Can it Happen?

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in the dog world is also known as Canine Compulsive Disorder or CCD. It’s identified by normal dog behaviors that are performed in such an extreme, repetitive way that they are difficult for the dog to stop and can interfere with the dog’s ability to function. Examples of normal dog behaviors that in some dogs have become compulsive include sucking on their flanks or a toy; incessant licking, called acral lick dermatitis; pacing, spinning, and chasing the tai

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Metronidazole for Dogs

Dog owners today are armed with more tools for keeping their dogs healthy and fit than ever before. Modern medicine has radically improved how well, and how long, our companion animals live. For both humans and dogs, antibiotics continue to be a potent ally in the fight against disease and infection. What is Metronidazole? Dog owners today are armed with more tools for keeping their dogs healthy and fit than ever before. Modern medicine has radically improved how well, and how long, our compan

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Addison’s Disease in Dogs: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention

What Is Addison’s Disease? Addison’s disease, scientifically known as hypoadrenocorticism, is a disease with serious consequences for dogs, although fortunately with proper treatment, dogs diagnosed with Addison’s disease are expected to have normal lifespans. Addison’s disease occurs when the adrenal glands fail to produce the hormones that they are in charge of in the body. The most important hormones produced by the adrenal glands are steroids, particularly aldosterone and cortisol. These s

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Puppy Teething and Nipping: A Survival Guide

Congratulations on your new puppy! This adorable, four-legged family member is going to bring you love and affection — and also some challenges, including how to survive teething and nipping. Puppies’ mouths are filled with 28 tiny, razor-sharp teeth that seem to be attracted to nipping at your fingers and toes. Although an annoying behavior, this is completely normal for teething puppies and something you can train away. When Do Puppy’s Teeth Fall Out? Puppies get their baby teeth at a much

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Benadryl for Dogs

The temptation to reach into our medicine cabinets to treat our pets can be very dangerous. Humans and dogs react very differently to medications, which is why veterinarians caution dog owners against making independent decisions about how to medicate their animals. However, some human medications are safe for use with dogs, as long as they are used appropriately. Veterinarians use Benadryl for dogs on a regular basis to treat allergies, travel anxiety, and motion sickness. While you should alw

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A Survival Guide for Dog Diarrhea

It’s not a topic anyone likes to discuss, but if you own a dog, chances are you have found yourself cleaning up a stinking brown puddle (or, politely put, doggie runs) more than you’d care to think about. Diarrhea is a common canine affliction and it varies in frequency, duration, and intensity from dog to dog. You may not be able to totally prevent diarrhea, but knowing as much as possible about it might help limit the number times your dog has one of these unpleasant episodes and reduce the

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How Do Wildfires and Smoke Affect Dogs?

With wildfires ravaging regions of the Western U.S., both humans and pets are at risk of being displaced and inhaling dangerous amounts of smoke. Remember — if you feel the effects of smoke, your pets probably do, too. And if you ever have to evacuate your home, your pets should always go with you. If you’re in an area impacted by wildfires or smoke, don’t panic. Here’s how to prepare for an emergency, protect your pup from dangerous air quality, and evacuate safely. What To Do With Your Pets

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What Responsible Dog Ownership Means According to a Veterinarian

So, you think you want a dog? Before adding a canine companion to your family, you should give careful thought to what it means to be a responsible dog owner. I know I had to. When I was a little kid, my family was not animal-oriented, but I was obsessed with animals, especially dogs. I was annoyingly persistent in asking my parents for a puppy, and they gave me every reason why we should not get one. It took almost a year, but I finally convinced them that I was responsible enough to take care

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How to Kayak With Your Dog

Kayaks are an increasingly popular way to enjoy the water. Whether it’s sit-in or sit-on, kayaks allow you to explore the wilderness and get back to nature. But unlike a motorboat or canoe, you can’t just put your dog in the boat and go. Does that mean you can’t take your dog out on the water? Of course not. With some patient training and simple acclimatization, your dog can learn to love the kayak and be a safe passenger. Kayaking With Your Dog Requires Basic Skills Sarah Mairs is a dog train

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Do You Need Pet Insurance For Your Dog?

When a beloved pet is sick or injured, the owner is forced to make tough decisions while under an enormous amount of emotional stress. Managing the finances of a pet’s sometimes-lifesaving-care makes a difficult situation that much harder. That’s where pet insurance comes in. Why purchase pet insurance? Oftentimes it takes only one unfortunate incident for a veterinary bill to exceed the cumulative premium payments, especially for a young pet. By purchasing a pet insurance plan, dog and cat ow

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Why Is My Dog a Picky Eater?

Does it seem like your dog suddenly has lost interest in eating food? Knocks over their bowl out of boredom with their food? While it could mean you have a picky eater on your hand, changes in appetite could also signal a greater health problem that should be addressed right away, particularly in young puppies, senior dogs, or pets with known underlying health conditions. Is my dog a “picky eater” or behaving normally? “The saying goes, ‘Some dogs eat to live, other dogs live to eat,'” says Dr

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Protect Your Dog From These Hot Weather Hazards

Summer means ice cream, hikes in the woods with your dog, swimming in ponds, running through fields, and generally having a ball while soaking up the warmth. All that fun in the sun can have a downside though. Most people are aware of the more obvious hazards that come with long, warm days — heat stroke, drowning, disease-spreading mosquitoes, fleas and ticks. But here are some other hazards that may not be on your radar screen. Foxtails and Other Mean Seeds “Mean seeds,” is a term that has b

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Why Does My Dog Cough?

Every dog or puppy coughs from time to time — and it’s no surprise as much as they use their mouths and noses to explore the world. But how do you know if it’s something more and you need to call the veterinarian? While the occasional cough is probably nothing to be concerned about, if your dog is coughing often or in a specific way, it might be worth talking to a vet to rule out something more serious. Causes of Dog Coughing There are several causes of dog coughing, ranging from something mi

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5 Easy Ways to Keep Your Dog’s Teeth Clean

Oral hygiene is just as important for dogs as it is for humans. Poor oral hygiene can lead to serious life-threatening conditions including kidney, liver, and heart muscle damage. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 80 percent of dogs show signs of canine periodontal disease as early as age three. Practicing good dental care at home will lead to more than sweeter-smelling kisses; your dog will live a happier, healthier, and longer life. Thankfully, cleaning your canine com

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Easy Homemade Dog Shampoo

Whether you prefer natural products for your dog, are a regular DIY’er, or just want to save some money, making your own dog shampoo is one way to accomplish all three. The ingredients may already be in your pantry, and if not, they’re easy to find in stores. They’re as basic as baking soda, vinegar, and ordinary dish soap. One thing you don’t want to use is shampoo made for humans. The pH level of our skin is different from that of dogs: ours ranges from 5.5-5.6, while dogs’ pH is between 6.2-

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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 Fido to the pork chop bones left over from Sunday dinner. Today’s dog owner is much more knowledgeable about canine nutrition and realizes 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 help

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Why Does My Dog Roll Around Where Something Has Died?

Bugs? Check. Worms? Check. The questionable remains of something deceased? Check. Check. It never fails. Even if I’ve killed a bug on the floor and cleaned it up, my dog still runs over to the spot rolling and rubbing himself all over the area where something has just died. What gives? If you can relate, it likely means your dog leans down on a walk, gets a good whiff of something you probably don’t see, and proceeds to start rolling around and writhing on the ground. Even if the spot is clear

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Puppy Nutrition: From the Dam to First Food

Got “milk teeth,” now bring on the puppy food. Rapidly growing puppies tend to be eager eaters. Not surprising considering that until they are around six months of age, puppies need two to three times the amount of most nutrients and calories per pound of body weight compared to an adult dog. Choosing Puppy’s First Food A puppy’s first food, generally introduced at three to four weeks of age, should provide complete and balanced nutrition and be formulated to meet the nutrient requirements of

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Dog Lice: What They Are, How to Avoid Them

First, the good news: You cannot get lice from your dog, nor can your dog pick up this parasite from you. Lice are species-specific; those that thrive on your dog’s blood won’t change their dining preferences if they land on you, or vice versa. But there is plenty of bad news where this parasite is concerned. Like the more common pest for dogs — fleas — a louse infestation, which is known by the scientific term pediculosis (from the Latin word for louse, which is “pediculus”), can cause itching

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Great Dane Life Span & Health Issues

Big, brave, and beautiful, Great Danes hold a special place in our hearts. But despite their larger-than-life persona, this giant breed has a relatively short life span. Why Are Great Dane Life Spans So Short? For such big dogs, Great Danes sure get the short end of the stick when it comes to longevity. Great Danes live between 8-to-10 years, with some living only 6 or 7 years, and a lucky few reaching the ripe old age of 12. Compared to small dogs, which can live almost twice as long, this ha

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Flea & Tick Prevention: Why It’s Worthwhile

Summer is a time when the lure of the great outdoors calls to us and our family pets. Unfortunately, it also rings in the full-blown season of fleas and ticks. Whatever we do to keep our dogs healthy and protect them, it is impossible to keep them from meeting up with ticks and fleas when they go outside. And unfortunately, these parasites can have a serious effect on your dog’s health. There are big benefits to being consistent when protecting our dogs against these pesky parasites. Plethora

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Palliative Care and Hospice for Terminally Ill Dogs

Even under the best circumstances, a dog’s life is too short. It’s a difficult subject, but one every pet owner must face eventually. As the end of your dog’s life approaches, whether due to illness or old age, you might be contemplating some difficult choices. But while euthanasia was long considered the most humane option for aging or terminally ill pets nearing the end, the growing fields of veterinary palliative care and pet hospice provide dog owners with options that can extend both your c

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Is It OK to Shave Your Dog’s Coat?

Temperatures are soaring, your dog is panting, and there’s dog hair all over the house. You might be thinking that a good, close shave down could help cool your dog off while eliminating some of that furry mess. Well, think again. Many dogs should not be shaved at all, depending on their coat type. Shaving can actually have the opposite effect of what you intend and make your dog even hotter. Here are some insights on shaving your dog, and some steps you can take instead to keep your dog health

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How Dog Owners Can Keep Their Pups Healthy and Safe This Summer

Now that warmer weather is here, it’s extremely important for dog owners to take certain precautions when it comes to their pup’s health. To ensure that you and your canine companion have an enjoyable summer, we’ve compiled a list of cautions to keep in mind this season, so that your furry BFF stays safe. Car Travel If you’re planning any road trips this summer, your dog may be included in your vacation plans. Please keep in mind that every year, dogs die from being left alone in hot vehicles.

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How Changes in Weather Can Affect Your Dog’s Mood

Have you ever noticed that your dog’s mood shifts with the weather? Storms, heat, cold, and the changing seasons affect our dogs, just like they affect us. Most dogs can even sense when the weather is about to change. Understanding the impact of weather changes on your dog can help you prepare your canine companion for the forecast ahead. Changing Seasons When the temperature heats up, some dogs rejoice, while others seek out cool, shady spots where they can rest. Though all dogs can be suscep

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