Illustrated Articles

Dogs + Care & Wellness

  • Dental disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a condition in which the tissues supporting the teeth become inflamed. When a pet develops dental disease, significant quantities of bacteria reside within the mouth and the oral tissues. These bacteria can enter the bloodstream and travel to other areas, specifically the heart, liver, and kidneys, causing distant or systemic effects. The bacteria that are found within the mouth of pets with dental disease are the same bacteria associated with both endocarditis and valvular disease in dogs and cats.

  • According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, over 80% of dogs have signs of dental disease by the time they reach 3 years of age. Dental pain in dogs may take on a wide variety of appearances, but in many cases a dog may not show any outward signs of pain. Sometimes dogs may exhibit signs such as decreased interest in eating dry food or hard treats, chewing more slowly than usual, dropping food while chewing, excessive drooling, pawing at the mouth, new or worsening resistance to having the face or mouth touched. The only effective treatment for dental pain is to address the dog’s underlying dental disease. The best way to prevent dental pain is to ensure that your dog receives regular dental care through a home dental care plan and regular veterinary dental care.

  • Knowing how and what your dog can see will help you make good choices for her. For example, you should keep your dog’s color range in mind when shopping for toys. She will enjoy yellow and blue toys more than red ones. And you’ll understand why she gets distracted during a game of fetch as she hones in on a bird flying 50 yards away. You’ll also know that to get her complete attention, you should stand directly in front of her where her range of visual acuity is greatest. And the next time you are lucky enough to be graced with a rainbow in the sky, rest assured that your dog can enjoy it, too. She will not see ALL the colors of the rainbow, but she may see a bit of yellow and blue. And that will be just fine for her!

  • Most dogs' ears are a lot larger and their ear canals are much longer than ours are. They are certainly a lot more sensitive. We usually only need to clean them when there is a problem; however at this point they may already be sore, so that the dog learns that handling around the ears is painful and tries to avoid it.

  • Most male animals (stallions, bulls, boars, rams, dogs, and tomcats) that are kept for companionship, work, or food production are neutered (castrated) unless they are intended to be used as breeding stock.

  • Many behavior problems have a component of fear, anxiety or excessive arousal so that retraining cannot begin until a calm, relaxed state can be achieved on cue. Training should focus on both the behavioral response (sit, down, walk, stay on your mat) as well as the emotional state (calm, relaxed).

  • The goal of training is to teach your dog a desirable behavior and to associate a command word with that behavior. To be successful, you must first be able to get the pet to exhibit the desired behavior reliably before adding the command.

  • There are numerous reasons that a dog might soil the house with urine and/or stools. Determining the specific reason is essential for developing a treatment program. Dogs that soil the home continuously or intermittently from the time they were first obtained may not have been properly house-trained.

  • Dogs mark by urinating on upright objects. Leaving a scent mark with urine is a normal dog communicative behavior. Marking is most likely to occur on or near new or novel odors, especially the urine left by other dogs.

  • On your marks, get set, go! Dogs running, jumping, catching balls, making razor sharp turns, and racing to a finish line; that's the canine sport of flyball.