Tips & Tails


Why Do Dogs Eat Poop? How I’ve Dealt with Coprophagia

I’m on the front line, fighting that most foul habit: coprophagia. Here are a few of my strategies to stop it. Helen Ubinas | Aug 2nd 2012 My rescue Goldens and I are locked in a battle of wills that can only be described as the Poop Wars. On one side, there’s me — Private […]

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Hiking with your Dog

Warm weather is a natural draw for getting out and enjoying the bounties of summer before the next cold arrives in the fall. And naturally, our dogs want to get out and enjoy the warm weather, too. But a day out in the sun is only fun when everyone is comfortable. Before heading out to […]

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Does a Wagging Tail Mean a Dog is Friendly?

Why Do Dogs Wag Their Tails? By Matt Soniak A wagging tail isn’t always a happy, welcome-home greeting. Sometimes it means a face full of fur for pet parents or a broken glass flung across the room by a swift swing. Despite these occasional destructive faux pas, dogs’ tails are more than battering rams and […]

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Can Dog Aggression be Cured?

Aggression is the most common and most serious behavior problem in dogs. It’s also the number-one reason why pet parents seek professional help from behaviorists, trainers and veterinarians. What Is Aggression? The term “aggression” refers to a wide variety of behaviors that occur for a multitude of reasons in various circumstances. Virtually all wild animals […]

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How to Tell If a Dog Is Too Skinny?

By Sandra Ketcham Being overweight or obese poses significant health threats to your dog, but being underweight is not healthy either. A quick body check can determine if your dog is too thin. If your dog seems too skinny to you, regardless of what the body check indicates, consult your veterinarian. Stand behind your dog […]

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What are Hot Spots in Dogs?

Hot spots, also known as acute moist dermatitis, are red, moist, hot and irritated lesions that are typically found on a dog’s head, hip or chest area. Hot spots often grow at an alarming rate within a short period of time because dogs tend to lick, chew and scratch the affected areas, further irritating the […]

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Top Reasons to Adopt a Pet

It’s not just the right thing to do; adoption is a reward. Pet lovers know: Adoption is the snuggliest option. Thinking of adding a pet to your family? Here are ten reasons to adopt your new best friend. 1. Because you’ll save a life. Each year, 2.7 million adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized in […]

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Help for Back-to-School Blues

In September it’s not just our kids that have to adjust By Natasha Ashton, Petplan pet insurance co-founder and co-CEO When lazy summer days give way to structured schedules in September, one family member can have a particularly tough time weathering the transition: our pets! Many pet parents see a spike in separation anxiety in […]

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Sunscreen for Dogs and Cats!

Too much time in the sun poses similar health risks for our dogs and cats as it does for ourselves. Like humans, pets can experience sunburns — which not only can be painful, but also can increase risk for certain types of skin cancer. Topically applied sunscreen can protect your pet from the harmful effects […]

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Is Taking your Pet on an Airplane Worth the Risk?

Air travel is not just stressful for animals. It can be dangerous, no matter how smooth the landing, timely the departure or friendly the flight attendants. By Alastair Bland SMITHSONIAN.COM If you think flying is stressful, just imagine how the experience must impact an innocent, unknowing dog or cat when packed away in the cargo […]

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Why Do Dogs Dig?

One of the most frustrating behaviors dog owners experience is digging. Many a garden has been sacrificed to the paws of a digging dog, and it can become a nuisance if it’s not understood and managed. Understanding why dogs dig is an important tool in controlling the behavior, especially if the digging is only a […]

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What is Pancreatitus in Dogs?

Pancreatitis in Dogs The pancreas is part of the endocrine and digestive system, which is integral for the digestion of foods, producing the enzymes that digest food, and producing insulin. When a condition occurs to cause inflammation of the pancreas, the flow of enzymes into the digestive tract can become disrupted, forcing the enzymes out […]

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July Fourth fireworks: Awesome for humans, terrifying for pets

Many people enjoy the booming sounds and flashing lights of fireworks, but they can be terrifying and overwhelming for pets, and possibly hazardous. On the Fourth of July, so many pets are frightened and try to escape the sights and sounds that animal shelters around the nation report a dramatic increase in lost pets during […]

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10 Veggies and Fruits that are Harmful to Dogs

We love to share food with our dogs, and since fruits and vegetables are healthy for us, we often assume that they’re healthy for our pets, too. This is often the case, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s always the case. In fact, there are some fruits and vegetables that are toxic to our dogs. […]

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Dog Joint Health: Pain, Osteoarthritis, and Other Joint Problems

WebMD veterinary expert answers commonly asked questions about joint problems in dogs. By Sandy Eckstein Dogs’ joints take a pounding, from running after tennis balls to jumping off the back deck. And for some dogs, that’s a problem. More use means more injuries and can lead to joint-related problems such as ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) […]

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Do All Dogs Know How to Swim?

Skip Dean/First Light/Corbis Dogs are born with strong natural instincts, including barking, digging and being totally lovable to humans. Some people also think that swimming is a skill that all dogs naturally have. Why would they call it the “doggie paddle” unless it was something all canines could do? But swimming isn’t necessarily an innate […]

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Dogs and Tear Stains

WebMD discusses common dog eye problems, and offers tips on helping clear up your pooch’s eye issues. By Hilary Parker Your snow-white poodle is so cute — but he’d be even cuter without those reddish-brown streaks under his eyes. Dog eye discharge and tear staining are common problems, especially with certain breeds. So, what causes […]

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Does my Dog have Hip Dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia in dogs is a disease of the hip in which the ball and socket joint is malformed. This malformation means that the ball portion and its socket don’t properly meet one another, resulting in a joint that rubs and grinds instead of sliding smoothly. Canine Hip Dysplasia in Dogs The hip joint is […]

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Should you Sleep with your Pet?

Many of us allow our pets to sleep with us, but is it healthy? Are there health risks to letting your dog or cat share the bed with you? How does it affect your relationship with your pet? Below we’ll cover the trends and facts about sleeping with your pet, the benefits and risks, and […]

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How to Remove Tear Stains from a White Dog

Your dog’s tear stains are caused by liquid secretion from his eyes, which gradually permeates the fur around his eyelids. While most dogs have at least some tear stains around their eyes, the problem is much more visible on dogs with white or light-colored fur. Many dog owners are concerned with the cosmetic effect that […]

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Buddy System: How to Teach Your Dog to Swim

One of the best things about summer is cooling off in your local swimming hole, especially if you can have a swimming buddy! If you live near a dog friendly lake or beach, or you have a backyard pool, you should definitely encourage your dog to join you for a swim. But you may want […]

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Does My dog Need Sunscreen?

Your dog’s skin is a telltale—or telltail, as the case may be—sign she has had too much sun exposure. If your dog is sunburned, her skin will look pinker than normal. It might be more sensitive to the touch, too. Your dog’s sunburn is more than unsightly and uncomfortable; it’s harmful. Like people, dogs exposed […]

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What to do about Separation Anxiety?

One of the most common complaints of pet parents is that their dogs are disruptive or destructive when left alone. Their dogs might urinate, defecate, bark, howl, chew, dig or try to escape. Although these problems often indicate that a dog needs to be taught polite house manners, they can also be symptoms of distress. […]

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Do Dogs See Colors?

By Lynn Buzhardt, DVM Care & Wellness I’ve heard that dogs can only see black and white. Is that true? When you look at a rainbow in the sky, you see shades of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Can your canine friend distinguish the same range of color that you do? Does […]

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Spring Pet Allergies

Spring is in the air! And so are pesky allergens that can cause allergies in every family member including your four-legged friends. While dogs and cats, like humans, can have allergies any time of year, they can also have seasonal allergies. These arrive with the warm weather as nature comes out of hibernation and pollen […]

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Spring Pet Allergies

Spring is in the air! And so are pesky allergens that can cause allergies in every family member including your four-legged friends. While dogs and cats, like humans, can have allergies any time of year, they can also have seasonal allergies. These arrive with the warm weather as nature comes out of hibernation and pollen […]

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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. That said, if your dog ate a small amount of milk chocolate, you don’t necessarily need to panic. Learn how much is too much, which types of […]

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Do Your Pets Ride Loose in Your Car? Why This Vet Changed His Ways — and You Should Too

I’ve done it, and I know better. You’ve done it, and you probably know better too. I’ve written against it and recommended products that will prevent it. But I bet the majority of pet owners still do it. In fact, I know they do. What am I talking about? Letting dogs ride loose in the […]

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Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much?

Heidi Clark | August 22, 2016 Does your dog spend a good deal of the day with his head on a pillow? Thought so. While it may seem excessive, sleeping for long periods is a natural part of the canine lifestyle. Dogs tend to spend 50 percent of the day snoozing, 30 percent awake but […]

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Are Dog Parks Dangerous? What to Watch For on the Grounds

Q: We took a puppy class, and the trainer told us that she couldn’t recommend any of the local dog parks — or, in fact, the idea of dog parks at all. She said that no puppy should ever go to a dog park and that she wouldn’t take her own dogs to them because […]

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Is Pet Insurance Worth the Cost?

Like medical coverage for people, pet insurance policies are complicated. Here’s what we found when we analyzed the coverage from three health insurers. By Mandy Walker Last updated: March 30, 2016 Two years ago, Elizabeth Newsom-Stewart’s cat Fawkes ate part of a lily plant leaf. Newsom-Stewart, then a veterinary student at Cornell University, immediately knew […]

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Are Antlers Safe for Dogs?

Dogs love chewing on bones and antlers. This fact is reinforced in cartoons, the media, advertising, and even in our speech. Ever heard the expression, “like a dog with a bone”? On the surface, antlers seem like the perfect object for dogs to chew on. Antlers do not appear to splinter as easily as bones […]

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5 Ways to Keep your Dog Healthy this Spring

Longer days, warm weather, and weekends spent frolicking with your furry friends all mean one thing–spring is here! As we emerge from our winter hibernation and prepare our yards, gardens, and home for the upcoming months, we don’t want to forget our pets. Increasing temperatures also mean the return of several health threats to our […]

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Does your Pet have Separation Anxiety?

We love our pets for many reasons, including their loyalty and devotion to us. They are often happiest when standing faithfully by our side, and a little sad to see us leave home for any reason. However, some pets can suffer from stress and panic in the absence of their owners. This challenge is called […]

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8 Reasons You Should Get Your Dog’s Teeth Cleaned

By Dr. Rob Spooner, DVM Crunching on kibble and chewing on raw bones and dental treats will definitely help scrape calculus from teeth, but it’s nowhere near as effective as regular brushing and dental cleanings. Here are 8 reasons you need to do something about your dog’s dental health: 1. 80% of dogs (cats too) […]

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Top Reasons to Adopt a Pet

It’s not just the right thing to do; adoption is a reward. Pet lovers know: Adoption is the snuggliest option. Photo by iStockphoto Thinking of adding a pet to your family? Here are ten reasons to adopt your new best friend.   1. Because you’ll save a life. Each year, 2.7 million adoptable dogs and […]

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Bringing Home a New Puppy

Bringing home a new puppy is truly one of life’s joys. Thoughtful pre-puppy preparations and a well-planned first 24 hours can give your fuzzy bundle of promise a head start and make your dreams of the perfect family dog come true. Before the Big Day Once household discussions have established that everyone wants a dog […]

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People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number: (888) 426-4435 Our Animal Poison Control Center experts have put together a handy list of the top toxic people foods to avoid feeding your pet. As always, if you suspect your pet has eaten any of the following foods, please note the amount ingested and contact your veterinarian […]

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People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number: (888) 426-4435 Our Animal Poison Control Center experts have put together a handy list of the top toxic people foods to avoid feeding your pet. As always, if you suspect your pet has eaten any of the following foods, please note the amount ingested and contact your veterinarian […]

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Cold Weather Safety Tips

Exposure to winter’s dry, cold air and chilly rain, sleet and snow can cause chapped paws and itchy, flaking skin, but these aren’t the only discomforts pets can suffer. Winter walks can become downright dangerous if chemicals from ice-melting agents are licked off of bare paws. To help prevent cold weather dangers from affecting your […]

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6 Ways to Help Your Dog Survive Fireworks Displays

Fireworks have been a traditional part of America’s celebrations since the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. But as popular as fireworks displays are, animals don’t understand that the bursts of light and deafening explosions are just for fun. To them, Independence Day seems more like the end of days! Dogs have jumped fences, […]

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Want a Pet-Safe Holiday?

The holiday season is upon us, and many pet parents plan to include their furry companions in the festivities. As you gear up for the holidays, it is important to try to keep your pet’s eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible. Also, please be sure to steer pets clear […]

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The Most Dangerous Things In Your Home For Pets: Christmas Edition

Keep both pets and your Christmas decorations safe by avoiding these seven hazards. Christmas Tree If you buy a real tree, skip the tree fertilizer, and keep pets from treating the stagnant water as their personal water bowl. Got a climber on your hands? To keep your dog or cat away from the base of […]

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Are Rawhide Chews Dangerous for Your Dog?

When it comes to choosing the right dog chews, the options are seemingly limitless. You’ve likely heard that rawhide chews are particularly bad for dogs, filled with awful chemicals and waiting to be lodged into your pup’s intestine. But is this really the case? Are rawhide chews safe for dogs, or are they delicious death […]

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Dog Toys: How to Pick the Best and Safest

For dogs and other pets, toys are not a luxury, but a necessity. Toys are important to your dog’s wellbeing.Toys help fight boredom when you have to leave your dog at home, and provide comfort when they’re feeling nervous. Toys can even help prevent your dog from developing certain problem behaviors. Although cats can be […]

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What Thanksgiving Foods Can Your Pet Eat?

Thanksgiving Safety Tips: Thanksgiving is a time for friends, family and holiday feasts—but also a time for possible distress for our animal companions. Pets won’t be so thankful if they munch on undercooked turkey or a pet-unfriendly floral arrangement, or if they stumble upon an unattended alcoholic drink. Check out the following tips for a […]

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Does My Dog Have Arthritis?

Toxic Inflammation of the Joints in Dogs Septic arthritis is a type of inflammation of the joint that is commonly seen after a traumatic injury that has exposed the joint to contamination by environmental microorganism, after surgery, or when microorganisms enter the joints through the blood stream. Infection of other body systems can be a […]

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5 Reasons Why Dogs Should Attend Doggy Day Care

Why Doggy Day Care Is A Good Idea It seems like a great solution to many trainers to recommend doggy day care to the average client. Many dogs lack stimulation, sufficient outlets for their energy, or opportunities to socialize with other dogs. Here are five reasons why you might consider sending a dog to doggy […]

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How to—Safely!—Introduce a Dog to Your Children

A skittish dog and a teetering toddler are two things that don’t belong in the same equation. The most important thing to note when introducing a new pet into the home is getting the initial meeting started off on the right paw. With that in mind, here are a handful of tips to consider when […]

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10 Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

Halloween can be a festive and fun time for children and families. But for pets? Let’s face it, it can be a nightmare. Skip the stress and keep your pets safe this year by following these 10 easy tips. 1. Trick-or-treat candies are not for pets. All forms of chocolate—especially baking or dark chocolate—can be […]

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