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AKC: Health

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Dog Coughing: Causes and Treatment Options

The sound of a dog coughing sends alarm bells ringing in most dog owners’ heads. Is your dog sick? Is he choking? Should you call your veterinarian? A dog cough can have many causes, some of which are potentially dangerous. Here is what you need to know about the causes of coughing in dogs and what you can do about it. Why Do Dogs Cough? Dogs explore the world with their nose—and occasionally their mouth. Your dog comes into contact with all kinds of things, including dust, germs, and the occa

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How One Senior Samoyed Filled His Bucket List

What’s that? A few white hairs in your dog’s muzzle? Come to think of it, your BCF (Best Canine Friend) catches more zzz’s than usual, and unlike the puppy years, doesn’t fly into a frenzy every time the doorbell rings. Your senior dog is slowing down. Now might be a good time to make a bucket list of all the things you wanted to do with your dog but kept putting them off. Making Every Day Count On a Friday in 2013, that’s precisely what Heather Stevenson of Thousand Oaks, California, did. Af

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Can You Use Neosporin on Dogs?

Just like their owners, dogs are susceptible to minor injuries and are not immune to getting cuts, scrapes, or burns. But can you use Neosporin® on dogs? The answer isn’t completely straightforward. In some instances, applying the topical, antibiotic ointment can help heal your dog’s wound, but there are situations when it is not advisable or necessary to use it on your canine companion. Since most people immediately reach for some type of ointment when an incident occurs, it’s not unusual that

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Are Mixed-Breed Dogs Healthier Than Purebred Dogs?

For more than 30 years, I have served as a veterinarian at one of the largest veterinary emergency hospitals in the country. Each year, our hospital treats more than 11,000 cats and dogs in our emergency room. Thousands more see our veterinary specialists. As you might guess, I’ve taken care of a lot of dogs and have likely seen just about every type of canine illness you can imagine. I am also a longtime owner and breeder of Afghan Hounds. One thing I’ve learned through my experience is that wh

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How to Find the Best Veterinarian

Choosing the right veterinarian for your dog is a serious decision. You’ll want to consider factors such as your canine companion’s age, underlying medical conditions, or previous injuries and surgeries. Your dog may need a veterinarian with specialty training, with state-of-the-art equipment, or one who offers special services. Here are a few tips on what to do when selecting a veterinarian: Get Recommendations Talk to neighbors, friends, and family. Find out whom they use and are willing to

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Why It’s Worth Having Your Dog Groomed Professionally

Although many dog owners prefer to groom their dogs at home, having your dog professionally groomed can save you time and energy. It takes a lot of care and patience to groom a dog, especially a fluffy one, a puppy, or one with behavioral issues. Let’s take a look at what professional groomers offer. They Do It All A professional grooming session typically consists of the dog being brushed, bathed, and dried, as well as trimmed or clipped with clean, sanitized brushes and clipper blades. Groom

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5 Ways to Save Money on Pet Expenses

We love our furry friends, but sometimes pet expenses can cause an unexpected dent in our wallets. Being unable to afford the cost of pet maintenance is one of the top three reasons dogs are relinquished to rescue networks, according to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy. But like most things, a little planning and preparation can help you keep the bills low and manageable. Here’s how: 1. Be proactive Don’t cut corners when it comes to preventive medications and vaccinati

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Can All Dogs Swim? How to Teach a Dog to Swim

Does your dog run with excitement to every body of water in sight? Maybe you can’t walk past a creek or pond without your pup diving in. Or maybe your dog treats water like the enemy and will do anything to stay dry. Every dog is different and not all are born with a love of getting wet. But can all dogs swim? Depending on the breed, your dog might be a natural in the water or swimming might be challenging. However, whether your dog enjoys taking the plunge or prefers staying on land, it’s esse

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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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How to Care for Your Large-Breed Dog

From the Labrador Retriever and the Golden Retriever, to the German Shepherd Dog and the German Shorthaired Pointer, some of America’s most popular dogs are large breeds, achieving an adult weight in the range of roughly 45 to 90 lbs. These large dogs are different from smaller dogs and extra-large breeds in more than just size and appearance. From puppyhood through adulthood, they have special care needs and considerations. Physical Activity for Large-Breed Puppies AKC Breeders of Merit Kare

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How to Care for Small-to-Medium Dogs

From the French Bulldog to the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, small-to-medium dog breeds are some of the most popular dogs in the world. They’re a great in-between dog. While many still act like lap dogs, they can play like bigger dogs. These pups love to play, be close to loved ones, and protect their families. Like all dogs, they require regular exercise, mental stimulation, and a regular health routine. Here’s what you should keep in mind if you’re adding a small-to-medium sized dog to your family.

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How to Groom a Dog at Home

Good grooming will help your dog look and feel his best. Routine grooming sessions also allow you to examine your dog’s coat, teeth, eyes, ears, and nails for signs of problems. How often you need to groom your dog depends on his size, breed, and type of coat. While good hygiene habits are essential for a healthy dog, unlike humans, most dogs do not require daily hygiene and grooming habits. What is required, and how often, depends on the breed. The Afghan Hound, Poodle, and Komondor — just to

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Can Dogs Get Poison Ivy?

Most anyone who’s ever come into contact with poison ivy knows the aftermath (i.e. an itchy rash) is not fun. But, can dogs get poison ivy? Yes, dogs can be affected by poison ivy, but it’s rare. Dr. Hayley Adams, a veterinarian and board-certified diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Microbiology and the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, agrees that while it’s not common, dogs can react to poison ivy. Your vet may prescribe topical, oral, or injected steroid medica

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Do I Need a Dog Walker? How to Find & Choose One

Whether your dog is an active pup who requires a few miles of jogging each day or a couch potato, exercise and mental stimulation are important for all dogs. So, what happens if you work long hours, have an erratic schedule, or are physically unable to give your dog the required exercise? As a responsible pet owner, you might want to consider hiring a dog walker. Like hiring a babysitter, choosing the right dog walker is serious business; he is responsible for your dog’s well-being and safety d

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What Every Puppy Owner Needs to Know About Parvo in Puppies

The last thing any new puppy owner or dog breeder wants to hear is a diagnosis of parvo. Parvo in puppies is unfortunately a common disease with deadly consequences, which is why it is important for anyone dealing with puppies on a regular basis to be aware of the symptoms of parvo and what to do about it. What Is Parvo? Parvo in puppies is caused by the canine parvovirus. This virus is highly contagious and spreads through direct contact with an infected dog or by indirect contact with a cont

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How Long Can You Keep Your Dog Outside?

Dogs get an unmistakable twinkle in their eyes the minute you reach for their leashes or open the back door. That’s because they know that they’ll be enjoying some fresh air and sunshine in no time. After all, when they’re outside, dogs have an endless supply of interesting smells to track down, squirrels to chase, patches of sunshine to lounge in, and, of course, stinky mud puddles to roll around in. While dogs love spending time outdoors, it’s best to bring them in before bedtime to spend tim

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Do Dogs Need Sunscreen?

Humans often take precautions to protect themselves from the sun, but should we be doing the same for our dogs? Can dogs get suburned? The answer is yes. Just like people, dogs are prone to sunburn and to other complications and diseases associated with sun exposure. Taking certain safety measures can lower your dog’s risk of developing serious sun-related medical issues. This includes choosing a dog sunscreen that’s formulated for your best friend. Sun Risks Sunburn isn’t just painful for do

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Why Do Dogs Drool? When It’s Natural and When It’s Cause for Concern

Drippy, slobbery, and sloppy, drool is a fact of life for certain dog breeds. In fact, all dogs drool occasionally. Just like barking or chasing squirrels, it’s part of the canine package. But what should you do if there’s a large amount of slobber, and how do you know when it’s healthy or if there’s something more serious going on? Typical Drooling Drool, or as it’s known in the medical field, ptyalism, is an excessive flow of saliva that has accumulated in the mouth/oral cavity. It is seen c

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What Happens When a Dog Reverse Sneezes?

Reverse sneezing is a condition that affects all types of dogs, but more commonly smaller dogs such as miniatures, Terriers, and brachycephalic breeds. It is a “paroxysmal” respiratory response, meaning that it comes in spasm-like episodes. What Is Reverse Sneezing in Dogs? Reverse sneezing is a fairly common respiratory event in dogs, but is rarely seen in cats. It is suspected to be caused by irritation or inflammation of the nasal, pharyngeal, or sinus passages. It may be a way for the dog

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Five Common Questions New Puppy Owners Have

You’ve done all the new puppy owner preparation: You researched and asked questions about the right breed for you, you selected a responsible breeder from whom to acquire your puppy, you puppy-proofed your home, and you spent more hours than you’d care to admit watching videos of dog training tips on AKC.tv. Good job getting off to a great start as a responsible dog owner! You’re probably also wondering: How is it possible for something to be so cute? Hate to disappoint you, but we haven’t crac

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When Should I Call the Vet?

Your dog is an important member of your family, but unlike human family members, a dog cannot complain if they are in pain or feeling under the weather. It’s hard to determine if a dog’s limp is an injury, or sudden loss of appetite is a symptom of a serious illness. How do you know when to reach out for medical help or seek emergency care? As an experienced veterinarian, I ask my patients to notice key warning signs, but it’s important to have this conversation with your own veterinary practic

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Ringworm in Dogs — Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention

With so many parasites out there, it is tempting to lump ringworm in the same category as hookworms, whipworms, roundworms, and tapeworms. Despite its name, however, ringworm is not actually a worm—it is a fungus. This fungal infection is common all over the world and infects almost all species of domestic animals, including dogs, which is why dog owners should know the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for ringworm. What Is Ringworm? Ringworm, as the fungus is commonly called, is named

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Why Do Dogs Pant?

If you’ve ever seen your dog panting in the summer, you know it’s because she’s trying to cool down. Or, if you have a breed such as a Pug or Bulldog, you’ve most likely seen your dog pant frequently. This heavy breathing is normal, due to their short snouts. However, there may be other, more serious causes for panting that every dog owner should be aware of. Overexertion Dogs who are excited or are engaging in heavy exercise (like running or playing fetch) will pant, much like a human can bec

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How to Remove a Tick from Your Dog

Removing a tick from your dog, or worse — ticks — may not be pleasant, but it’s important to do it promptly and correctly. Once you know how to remove a tick, it will be a fairly easy process. Because they can carry infectious organisms, every year ticks infect thousands of animals and people with illnesses like Lyme disease, babesiosis, and ehrlichiosis, among others. Pathogen transmission can occur as quickly as three to six hours after a bite occurs, so the sooner you remove the tick the les

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How to Know if Your Dog Is in Pain: Signs of Discomfort

Wild and domestic animals show pain in a variety of ways. Their inability to communicate does not in any way diminish their potential to experience hurtful and unpleasant stimuli. Pain in dogs can be caused by a variety of conditions including, injury, trauma, or an underlying issue, like canine arthritis. Be watchful for subtle queues that your dog is feeling pain. Obvious Signs of Pain in Dogs Anxiety Agitation Vocalization Trembling Restlessness Increased breathing rate Subtle Sig

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