Dog Care

A dog’s front dewclaws are analogous to your thumbs. But people often have a dog’s dewclaws surgically removed – so, you may wonder, do dogs really need thumbs? Do dewclaws do anything? The best answer to this question is… sometimes. The importance of dewclaws to an individual dog depends mostly on the dog’s lifestyle and
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Your dog has loose stools and you wisely consulted your veterinarian who may have given you medications that will help with diarrhea. But you wonder if food choices affect loose stool. Yes, they do. The best thing to feed dogs with loose stool boils down to providing reasonable nutrition through food that’s bland and high
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No matter the occasion, your dogs will anticipate and enjoy the opportunity to savor a special treat made just for them. ©Nancy Kerns Create a custom cake by assembling your dog’s favorite ingredients, such as peanut butter, bananas, apples, pecans, walnuts, unsweetened shredded coconut, carrots, bacon, chicken, fish, eggs, or cheese – or add whatever
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How often should you bathe your dog? Depending on which expert you consult, the answer could be every day, once a week, once a month, every three or four months, every six months, whenever the dog is muddy or dirty, whenever he smells bad, or never. The correct answer for you and your dog is
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Don’t wait until your dog needs a bath to create a comfortable, relaxing routine for this important ritual. Plan ahead by organizing the products and equipment you’ll need, and if you’re new to dog bathing, rehearse the steps, which are: Dry brush your dog Wet with water Shampoo Rinse Apply conditioner Rinse Dry your dog
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We’re excited about the possibilities of Whole Dog Journal’s searchable database of dry dog foods, and hope you find it to be helpful for finding good foods for your dogs. We’re excited to now present information about every single one of the dry dog foods made by the companies on our “Approved Foods” list, including
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By applying the foregoing criteria, we’ve found a thousand or more good foods to choose from; their manufacturers appear on our “Approved Dry Dog Foods” list. But we know what you’re going to ask next: How do you choose a dog food for your dog? The answer depends on what you’re feeding your dog now and what he
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Signs of kidney disease in dogs may be subtle and easy to miss. They also are not  specific for renal (kidney) problems and can indicate other health issues, like diabetes, heatstroke, and liver disease. The first symptoms of kidney disease in dogs are often only noted by an astute owner. You might notice that your
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Tooth loss in common in older dogs, and the primary cause is periodontal disease. That’s an infection of the tissues around a tooth, sometime also involving the gums. And, if the gums are bad, the teeth will lose their grip, too. Obviously, you can’t do anything about the teeth your dog has already lost—well, you
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Allowing dogs to reach skeletal maturity before neutering results in healthier joints and structure, and this is especially true for the giant breeds, like the Irish Wolfhound. Credit: Westend61 | Getty Images The best age to neuter a male dog has changed over the years. We used to think 6 months of age was just
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Anxiety, and the behavior problems stemming from it, is increasingly common in our companion dogs. If you have one of these dogs, you know how heartbreaking and disruptive this can be. Anxious dogs are not comfortable. They can’t relax. Sometimes they are downright panicky. This can lead to dangerous destructive behaviors, house-soiling, and even aggression.
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Folliculitis is inflammation of the hair follicles. Inflammation is the body’s response to an injury or infection of some sort; when hair follicles become infected with bacteria, the body sends inflammatory cells to attack the bacteria and heal damaged tissue. In the case of inflamed hair follicles, the original insult may have been caused by
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It’s possible to make a homemade diet for dogs with liver disease, but get a recipe from a qualified veterinary nutritionist. The free ones on the internet are often not adequate or nutritionally balanced. Credit: humonia / Getty Images Because the liver is intimately associated with digestion, feeding the proper diet to a dog with
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Cabbage can provide some fiber and lots of vitamins and minerals. It has plenty of vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, magnesium, and beta carotene (a precursor of vitamin A). As is true of many vegetables, it also has plenty of antioxidants. Plus, many dogs enjoy crunching on small pieces of cabbage. Dogs can eat raw
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Anxiety, and the behavior problems stemming from it, is increasingly common in our companion dogs. If you have one of these dogs, you know how heartbreaking and disruptive this can be. Anxious dogs are not comfortable. They can’t relax. Sometimes they are downright panicky. This can lead to dangerous destructive behaviors, house-soiling, and even aggression.
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A choking dog is a situation that can end badly, both for humans and for dogs. It puts otherwise perfectly healthy dogs at an imminent risk of dying – within minutes – if first aid is not successful. As dog owners, we should learn how to help a choking dog, even how to do the
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When your dog needs an annual rabies shot depends on if he previously received a one- or three-year vaccine. However, even if he got a three-year vaccination, your dog’s rabies shot schedule is still dictated by state laws. Both the one- and three-year versions are approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Fortunately, most states
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Can dogs eat chicken bones? Well, yes, he can. Should a dog eat chicken bones? Absolutely not! They can be dangerous. Many veterinarians will say the dangers of eating chicken bones are a myth, adding that dogs have eaten them for centuries. But, in the next breath, the same veterinarian will likely tell you about
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If you’re wondering what is blastomycosis in dogs, consider yourself lucky. Blastomycosis, sometimes referred to as simply “blasto,” is a nasty fungal infection that causes respiratory problems and can lead to death. If you haven’t heard of it, your dog hasn’t gotten this diagnosis. Dogs (and humans!) can be infected when they accidentally breathe in
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Have you ever seen a dog whose eyes were each a different color? This condition is called heterochromia, and it’s due to variations in the amount of melanin pigment in the iris, which is the colored part of the eye. Heterochromia can be congenital (inherited) or acquired. Inherited heterochromia is caused by specific genes that
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Most dog knee injuries are either a patellar luxation or a cruciate ligament injury.  A patellar luxation, or dislocation, is usually due to congenital defects, which means the poor conformation was present at birth. While cruciate ligament injuries can have a conformation component as well, trauma is usually the cause. Both injuries cause pain and
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There are a number of reasons for a dog’s eye or eyes to begin bulging unnaturally. If you notice your dog has one or both eyes bulging, or has an oddly colored eye or a strange discharge from the eye—get your dog to your veterinarian as soon as possible. Time is of the essence for
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Alopecia is the medical term for baldness. In dogs, alopecia refers to areas on the dog’s body that are not growing hair. Most episodes of seasonal alopecia in dogs are not alopecia at all but routine turnovers of the coat or seasonal shedding. Your dog isn’t down to bare skin, he just looks naked compared
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For most adult dogs, a twice-a-day feeding schedule—12 hours apart—works best. Credit: Chalabala / Getty Images Dogs like regular schedules, and that includes your dog’s feeding schedule. Most veterinarians recommend that dogs eat twice a day, approximately 12 hours apart. If it’s longer, you could cause nausea, as he gets hungry just like people do.
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Corn in dog food is ground, so your dog benefits from its nutrients. Corn on the cob is whole, so it is not well digested. In addition, corn cobs are not at all digestible and can make your dog sick. Credit: K_Thalhofer / Getty Images Your dog can eat corn. Corn is a common a
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How much dog urine is needed for a sample? Not that much! Believe it or not, a teaspoon (5 milliliters) is enough to run a urinalysis. So even if it looks like you didn’t get much, bring it in to see if your veterinarian says it’s enough. How to get a urine sample? Start by
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Not all dogs chatter their teeth, and the ones that do tend to do it infrequently and unpredictably, so finding a photograph of a dog chattering away proved impossible for us! Perhaps the most consistent occurrence of the behavior happens (sometimes) when a dog sniffs the urine of another dog. Illustration by Lili Chin, doggiedrawings.net
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