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AKC: Health

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How To Get Started In Canicross

Have you ever wondered how sled dog trainers keep their dogs in shape during the snow-free “dry” season? Instead of pulling sleds, they let their dogs pull them. The trainer and dog run together with the dog out front pulling the trainer along. This activity, sometimes called urban mushing, has grown in popularity over the years. Today, this team sport, more commonly known as “Canicross” (canine + cross country), is practiced by all kinds of people and all breeds of dog. What Is Canicross? Th

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Should I Let My Dog Sleep Late Every Day?

Given the option of getting up early or sleeping until late, my Chihuahua would rather stay under the covers. Mabel, who’s eight, can snooze for 12-plus hours overnight, without needing to take care of her business or wanting to eat breakfast. (Apparently, she’s more of a brunch girl.) While this schedule is certainly convenient for owners who don’t have to get up and out early, is it healthy to let a dog sleep late every day? According to Philadelphia-area trainer Nicole LaRocco-Skeehan, CPDT

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Do-It-Yourself Cognitive Dog Toys for Cold Winter Days

Dogs are incredibly smart, and they need mental exercise just as much as physical. This is particularly true in the winter when many dogs spend more time indoors. Boredom in dogs leads to frustration and destructive behavior. But giving your dog a cognitive workout burns off excess energy, provides entertainment, and prevents problem behavior. There are lots of fun cognitive training games you can play, but toys can challenge your dog’s brain as well. There are tons of fun puzzle toys on the ma

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Use Your Treadmill to Exercise Your Dog

At this time of year, many of us make resolutions to get fit. Maybe you’re even thinking of getting back on that neglected treadmill that you bought for last year’s resolution. If you’re having trouble getting excited about the idea, here’s something to do with it that might be more fun: Teach your dog to walk on a treadmill. A treadmill is a great way to exercise your dog when the weather is nasty. When the snow is higher than my Pug‘s head, we head down to the basement where she gets to walk

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Hip Dysplasia In Dogs

Hip dysplasia. These two words terrify large and giant breed dog owners, but the truth is hip dysplasia can happen to any size or breed of dog. This painful condition can drastically reduce a dog’s quality of life and is difficult for owners to watch. The good news is that embracing responsible dog ownership and educating yourself about potential health conditions like hip dysplasia can go a long way toward keeping your dog comfortable. Learn what all dog owners should know about hip dysplasia,

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How to Find the Right Vet For Your Dog

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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How to Love Your Dog: A Valentine-Inspired Primer

When it comes to love, dogs offer all of the devotion with none of the guile. They won’t sign up for a secret account on Match.com, or see another owner behind your back. And that flirtation with the pet sitter … well, it’s harmless. After all, there’s a reason dogs have a reputation for being faithful friends. Reciprocating, though, can sometimes be a challenge. Dogs, after all, approached our hearth; it has been in many ways a rather lopsided arrangement in the love department since the dawn

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Valvular Disease In Small Breed Dogs

Heart failure, often brought on by valvular disease, is one of the most common causes of death amongst small breeds like Chihuahuas, Maltese, and others as they approach their twilight years. Here’s what you need to know about this disease and what you can do if you receive a diagnosis for your dog. What is Valvular Disease? First things first. Valvular disease is a complicated condition, with different stages and levels. The stages range from very mild to very severe. Only a veterinarian can

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Healthy Weight Gain For Puppies

You’ve welcomed a new puppy into your home. Congratulations! Now what? In addition to enjoying snuggles, playtime and the challenges and rewards of puppy training, it’s up to you to make sure your dog gets the right amount of food and exercise. Keeping healthy weight gain on track helps ensure a smooth transition from puppyhood to full-grown dogs. To help you through this process, we’ve turned to Dr. Jerry Klein, Chief Veterinary Officer of the American Kennel Club, Dr. Lisa M. Freeman, veterin

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Bowel Obstruction In Dogs: Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention

A bowel obstruction, also known as a gastrointestinal blockage, is a common canine problem. Dogs are naturally curious, and many have a desire to eat or chew almost anything. Most dog owners are aware of this issue, whether or not their own dog has experienced it. All dogs are at risk, but young dogs are especially vulnerable. Puppies tend to be more eager to put every object into their mouths, often because they are often teething and are looking for something to chew. If a bowel obstruction

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How To Get Fit With Your Dog

As January draws to an end, running shoes and yoga mats around the country are beginning to gather dust. If you’ve lost steam on your fitness-focused New Year’s resolutions, why not try adding your dog to your training routine? Exercising together not only benefits your health, but your dog’s as well. But remember, before beginning any exercise routine with your four-legged friend, consult your veterinarian to ensure your dog is in good physical condition for the exercise you’re envisioning. He

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The Real Reason Your Dog Smells Like Fish

Dogs can smell like many things, depending on what they have most recently rolled in, but one of the more unpleasant aromas dogs commonly develop is one of fish. If your dog smells like fish, it is probably not because he figured out how to spray himself with Eau de Sardine. A fishy odor is usually the result of secretions from the anal glands. What Are Anal Glands? Anal glands, which are also called anal sacs, are small sacs located on either side of your dog’s anus. These sacs are full of s

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Does Your Dog Need Dog Stairs or a Ramp?

If you have a senior dog, a dog with arthritis, or a dog with other mobility issues, it may be time for dog stairs or a ramp. In fact, stairs and ramps can also make life easier for some very small dogs or breeds with short legs and long bodies, like Dachshunds and Corgis. Your beloved canine pal shouldn’t have to struggle to get up on the sofa or bed or into the car. And, depending on his size, it may be difficult for you to constantly lift and carry him. Fortunately, there are dog stairs and r

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How to Stop Dog Farts

Whether they’re silent but deadly or startlingly loud and smelly, dog farts are something that no one wants to deal with. Not only are these farts embarrassing for you and your guests, they indicate that your dog could be in pain from excess gas. While the occasional gaseous emission from your pooch is a normal and unavoidable part of life, excessive gas is not. There are several causes of dog farts, from gastrointestinal issues to food intolerance, so you’ll need to visit your veterinarian to

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Cloudy Eyes in Dogs

If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then it is no wonder we get worried when our dog’s eyes start getting cloudy. After all, we don’t want our dogs to lose their vision or be uncomfortable. When dogs have cloudy eyes, it may be a natural part of the aging process. But cloudy eyes also can be a symptom of a number of eye problems. Trying to distinguish between what is normal and what is a problem can be tricky. While your veterinarian is your best source of information about your dog’s eye

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Assessing Quality of Life: End of Life Decisions for Sport Dogs

Sassafras Lowrey is an award-winning author and Certified Trick Dog Instructor. Sassafras’ books have been honored by organizations ranging from the American Library Association to the Lambda Literary Foundation. The death of a dog is devastating to any owner. When you’re involved in dog sports and that dog is also your teammate, the loss can be even more profound. This autumn my beloved Champion Trick Dog Charlotte died after a very intense but short battle with thyroid cancer. Charlotte wasn’

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Worms in Dogs: Diagnosis, Prevention, and Treatment

The idea of worms in our dogs is always unpleasant. Nobody wants to think about creepy crawlies infesting their dog’s internal organs. But understanding the risks, symptoms, and treatment options for worms in dogs is an important part of responsible dog ownership. “Serious health problems can occur if worms in dogs are left untreated,” says Dr. Jerry Klein, AKC’s chief veterinary officer. “Worms can be picked up from your dog’s stool and contaminated soil. They can infect other dogs, and in som

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Dog Owners: Breed Clubs Need You!

Are you passionate about your dog’s breed? Ever consider getting involved with your local breed club? It may feel intimidating thinking about joining a breed club. However, these local chapters of the national breed clubs, or parent clubs, are filled with dog lovers just like you. Getting involved is a great way to make new local friends and find out about fun breed-specific events and training opportunities in your area. Breed club members are dedicated to the education, training, care, and ov

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Should Dogs Lick Wounds To Heal Them?

Dogs instinctively lick wounds. Something hurts, so they lick it. That’s all they can do. The idea that dogs need to lick wounds in order for them to heal is so pervasive that many people, including ancient societies, believed that dog saliva can also heal human wounds. This belief has some basis in fact, but over time has achieved mythic proportions. To Lick Or Not To Lick Wounds Will saliva heal wounds? As unlikely as it sounds, scientific evidence suggests that dog saliva, and even human sa

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How to Spot A Sick Puppy

With a litter or two on the ground, a breeder’s hands are full of cleaning, weighing, handling, and much more. Having so much to do, it can be hard to catch the beginning stages of a sick puppy. Despite extensive research, first–time owners may not know the warning signs of certain illnesses and how a sick puppy might look or behave. AKC Pet Insurance has put together a quick checklist to help breeders and their new puppy owners catch the signs of illness early.  Lethargy While puppies do

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Can I Leave My Dog in the Car in the Winter?

You likely know about the dangers of leaving your dog unattended in a hot car. But, what about when it’s cold outside? While you might think it’s safe to park your pet during the winter months, the potential for harm, while not as high as in the summer, is still substantial. Your dog may enjoy the winter weather and colder temperatures while on walks, but dangers still remain for dogs left unattended in cars in any weather. Risk of Hypothermia A car can act like a greenhouse in the summer, bec

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Fish Oil For Dogs

Fish oil is a dietary supplement that helps supports dogs’ hearts, joints, coats, skin, and immune systems. High in omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil can either be part of a long-term plan or a momentary dietary boost. Always consult your veterinarian before starting your dog on fish oil or any other supplements. Fish oil is one of the best supplements to add to your dog’s diet. Fish oil supports your canine companion’s heart health, promotes a silky coat, reduces itchy and flaky skin, and rel

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Do Dogs Have Periods?

Before you get a dog, it’s important that you’re ready to be a responsible dog owner. From getting a properly-sized dog crate to setting up puppy vet visits, there’s a lot of preparation to do. And if you have a female dog, that includes getting ready for your dog’s periods — or rather ‘estrus’ cycles. Yes, female dogs have periods. Here’s everything you need to know about how to take care of your dog during their period, including when they get their periods, how often, and products you’ll nee

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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 r

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Bathing Your Puppy: A Step-By-Step Guide

Cute, cuddly, and full of personality, puppies might just be the key to happiness. But that happiness comes with a little bit of work, especially when it comes to bathing. Fortunately, there’s a way to make bath-time enjoyable for both you and your dog. Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins, an international certified master groomer and owner of Love Fur Dogs in Glencoe, Illinois, shares her insights on the best approach to bathing your puppy. Step 1: Determine Your Puppy’s Coat Type Before you even get you

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