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AKC: Health

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Conditioning Basics For Your Canine Athlete

Exercise and conditioning are important for all dogs, but especially so for canine athletes. Walking, running, stretching, and trick training are all ways to keep your dog well-conditioned. The AKC Fit Dog program is an excellent motivator to help keep you and your pup in shape. Regular exercise and keeping your dog in good physical condition is important for all canines, and essential if you are thinking about participating in any dog sports together. Human athletes prepare their bodies b

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The Skinny on Sighthounds

For the uninitiated, these lithe-bodied runners can seem underweight. But nothing could be further from the truth. If modern dogs were required to have resumés, most would list their job description as “companion.” But even if a dog’s main activity is warming the couch, his body – not to mention his brain – still reflects the original purposes for which he was bred, from the badger-battling Dachshund to the sled-pulling Alaskan Malamute. Indeed, the world’s breeds display a tremendous variety

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Paws FUR Pink: Raising funds for Breast Cancer and Canine Cancer

In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, we honor and celebrate all dog owners who have fought cancer by sharing their inspiring stories. Almost one-third of all dogs more than seven years old will experience cancer at some point in their lives. One in eight women in the United States will have breast cancer in their lifetime, and it’s estimated that 41,760 women will die from breast cancer in the United States this year. So what does dog cancer have to do with breast cance

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9 Adventures To Have With Your Senior Dog

What is it about humans, senior dogs, and bucket lists? There’s the well-known “Dream Weekend” Subaru commercial and the popular children’s book Stay: A Girl, a Dog, a Bucket List, which both celebrate the ritual that some families with older dogs take part in — creating a “bucket list” of fun activities to do together. We’ve compiled a list of activities for you to help create special milestones to commemorate your dog’s golden years. After all, just because your special pal is getting older d

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Can Glucosamine Help Treat Arthritis And Joint Pain in Dogs?

Many dogs suffer from arthritis as they age. This painful condition, which occurs in dogs and in people, results when cartilage, the cushioning between the bones, begins to thin and wear away. As a result, the ends of the bones start to rub against each other. Trauma, disease, or normal wear and tear that comes with use over years all may cause arthritis. “While there is no cure for canine arthritis, some treatments can lessen pain and improve mobility,” says Dr. Jerry Klein, the AKC’s chief ve

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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 you

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How To Groom Your Dog For Fall

Some people lament the end of summer, holding on to the lingering warmth as much as they can, while others celebrate the arrival of cooler weather. Whatever your stance is, once autumn arrives, it’s time to tend to your dog’s post-summer grooming needs—from heat-damaged paw pads to insect-bitten skin and sun-bleached fur. Here’s how to best prep your pup for fall: Hot Paws Do you like to take your dog to the beach or lake with you? Go on hikes? Or have her keep you company in the backyard?

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Too Much Sleep: Is There Such a Thing for Senior Dogs?

Your dog’s sleeping habits may begin to change as he or she ages Sleeping more is (usually) very normal for senior dogs, although there can sometimes be reason to worry Pay attention to your canine’s behavior — certain changes in sleep cycles may be an indication of possible disease If you have a senior dog at home, then you know all too well that your pet’s health and behavior are likely to evolve and adapt over the years — and that includes sleep. But what differences should you expect a

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The Best Puppy Toys

The AKC independently selected each product featured in this article. If you purchase a product through this article, we may receive a portion of the sale. While we do our best to update links often, please note that prices and deals are subject to change. Puppies explore the world through their mouths, so they’ll chew anything they can sink their teeth into. By providing them with toys that indulge their teething instincts, you’re more likely to spare your shoes and socks from destruction. Du

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How to Get Rid of Stinky Dog Breath

There are many reasons your dog may have bad breath, including diet and disease Talk to your vet to see if your dog is a candidate for a dental cleaning Get rid of bad dog breath with our top product picks Few smells are as unpleasant as a dog with bad breath. Your dog might think that you appreciate his kisses, but if he has bad breath, then getting up close and personal is the last thing that you want to do. Bad dog breath isn’t just gross – it could also be a sign of a health problem.

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Alone Time for Dogs: How Much Is Too Much?

The amount of time dogs need to spend with humans varies depending on each individual pet A dog should spend no more than 6-8 hours alone during the day without a dog walker or dog daycare Recognize the signs of separation anxiety, which is a sign of stress when dogs are left alone Working humans, students, families juggling busy schedules, and those who travel a lot may have to leave our dogs alone more often than we’d like. Whatever the reason your pet may be alone at the house for long

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Dog Ear Infections: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

As many as 20 percent of dogs have some form of ear disease Dogs are more prone to ear infections than humans because of the shape of their ear canals Prevention is key — learn how to clean your dog’s ears safely If your dog is showing any of the common signs of ear infections, it’s important to visit your veterinarian as soon as possible Purchase a safe ear-cleaning solution for your dog Many dog owners have learned to recognize the telltale signs of an ear infection: whining, scratchin

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Are Dogs Color Blind? Side-by-Side Views

The popular notion that dogs only see in black and white is incorrect Dogs can make out yellow and blue, and combinations of those colors This means the best toys for your dog may be those in blue and yellow hues Is everything in a dog’s world black and white? That idea was widely accepted for decades, but new research and conclusions about canine anatomy and behavior have shown that while dogs can’t see the same colors humans do, they actually are not color blind. Technicolor may be beyo

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Puppy Senses: How Your Puppy Sees, Hears, and Smells the World

Puppies’ eyes open at 14-21 days old, but their sight is still limited Hearing is the last sense that puppies fully develop — they can’t hear until about three weeks old Puppies navigate by smell from the moment they are born — it is their strongest sense Puppies come tumbling into our lives full of exuberance, energy, and a wholehearted enthusiasm for life. It is natural that we wonder how they perceive the world, and if they see, hear, and smell differently than we do. We want to share t

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When Does My Puppy Finish Growing?

Some puppies continue growing up until 24 months Larger dog breeds take longer to reach full adult size than smaller breeds Puppies require the right amount of food and exercise (not too much or too little) to stay healthy Puppies seem to grow up so fast. One day, they’re little balls of furry cuteness and, in what seems like the blink of an eye, they’re fully grown into loving canine companions. But not all dogs grow at the same rate, with smaller breed dogs growing up much faster than thei

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How to Make Sure Your Puppy Gets Enough Sleep

Although puppies are little bundles of energy, they usually sleep 18-20 hours a day. One minute your puppy may be a miniature tornado, and the next he’s fallen soundly asleep, almost mid-dash. Sleep is essential to healthy growth, contributing to the necessary development of his central nervous system, brain, immune system, and muscles. All of that sleep also helps him rest up during growth spurts. When they’re awake, puppies burn a lot of energy – growing physically, experiencing new people an

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How To Tell If Your Dog Is In Shape Or Overweight

If your pooch is looking a bit more pudgy than usual, it’s actually quite common. The battle of the bulge isn’t just something people face — so do pets. In fact, according to a 2018 survey conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 55.8 percent of dogs in the United States are overweight or obese. And that extra weight can cause a lot of health issues for your dog, including canine diabetes, heart problems, and painful arthritis. Wondering how to tell if your dog is fat or overwei

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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 ma

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​12 Tips for Choosing the Right Dog Groomer

When we think of caring for our dogs’ health, our thoughts might turn instinctively toward healthy foods, exercise and vet visits, but grooming is just as important to your dog’s well-being. Although some dog owners prefer to groom their own dogs, a skilled professional not only makes your dog look great, but he or she also offers services that contribute to your dog’s care, like nail trimming, ear cleaning, and teeth cleaning. How to Find a Dog Groomer The first step in discovering your dream

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Dogs That Are Hypoallergenic? These Breeds Come Close

So, you want a dog but have an allergy attack whenever you’re around one? You’re not alone! According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, as much as 10% of the population in the U.S. is allergic to dogs. While no dog is 100% hypoallergenic, it’s possible to find less-allergenic dog breeds. These dogs have a predictable, non-shedding coat that produces less dander. Dander, which clings to pet hair, is what causes most pet allergies in people. Even though dogs that are hypo

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How to Get Rid of Fleas on Dogs in 4 Steps

Fleas are a nuisance. These tiny, blood-sucking parasites irritate your dog and infest your home—often before you realize that fleas have moved in. If you and your dog are scratching your heads, and you’re wondering how to get rid of fleas on dogs, we’ve got you covered. Here are the four steps you need to take to eliminate these unwelcome freeloaders. 1. Understand the Flea Life Cycle The first step is understanding the enemy. Fleas go through four life cycle stages: Egg Larva Pupa Adult

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Osteoarthritis in Dogs — Signs and Treatment

Osteoarthritis is a common problem in dogs, particularly in seniors and large breeds. Although there is no cure for this progressive condition, identifying the problem early and initiating appropriate management can help keep your dog active and improve quality of life. What is Osteoarthritis? Osteoarthritis, also referred to as Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD), is a progressively worsening inflammation of the joint caused by the deterioration of cartilage. In a healthy joint, cartilage acts a

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Puppy Feeding Fundamentals

Walk down the dog food aisle of any large pet-supply store, or peruse the shelves at a boutique pet-food shop, and you can quickly become overwhelmed. This is especially true for puppy owners, and probably even more so for first-time puppy owners. When did it get so complicated? Back in the day, dog food options were far more limited, and even responsible dog owners didn’t worry too much about what went into their dog’s dish. The process may now be somewhat more involved, but that’s a good thin

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The 7 Biggest Dog Food Myths

The Internet can offer a wealth of tips and facts on dog food. Unfortunately, it provides even more dog food myths and misinformation. Here’s a sampling of dog-feeding urban legends populating the Web and the actual truths behind them. Dog food myth No. 1: “Never feed dogs pork!” My initial reaction to this was “hogwash!” But then I started to wonder why so few commercial foods contained pork. A perusal of the Internet found several sites warning me off the killer pig, including the thought th

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Tips on Finding the Perfect Dog Walker for Your Pup

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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