March 2012

Features

The Best Dog Winter Coats and Jackets

I tested the winter dog jackets for warmth, water resistance, and the ability to put them on and take them off a dog easily. I also looked for comfort – the fit and fabric that best allowed ease of movement for active dogs. Most of the products I reviewed are pricey. Admittedly, I wasn’t looking for a bargain. If you’re out with your dog in a seriously cold winter climate, you need serious gear.

Whole Dog Journal's 2018 Approved Wet Dog Food List

Some of our readers are disappointed that we don’t rank-order foods. There are a couple of reasons for this. The most important: What is “best” for one dog may be disastrous for another. Every dog has to be fed with his or her unique needs and limitations in mind, just like humans. Everyone can’t eat the same thing and thrive! You wouldn’t insist on making your daughter with a serious allergy to shellfish eat pasta with clam sauce, just because the rest of the family is eating it.

The Best Wet Dog Food: How to Find It, Where to Look

There are eight things required by law on a canned dog food label. The front label must contain the brand and product name, species for which the food is intended, and the quantity statement (how much is in the can). The next five requirements may appear on the back or back and side labels.

How to Play "Search Me!"

The "search me!" game uses lots of energy and can tire out your very active dog, and offers very practical applications as well. Start with treats, since most dogs will happily look for food. You can eventually ask him to look for hidden objects (favorite toys, your lost keys) and even hidden or missing humans!

Dog Seizures: Causes and Treatments

There are few things as frightening as watching your dog have a seizure. Yet dog seizure disorders are surprisingly common. A seizure is defined as uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain. Seizures can run the gamut from very minor, focal seizures (a twitching of the face or a leg) to major convulsions in which a dog loses consciousness, may vocalize loudly, has uncontrolled muscle movements, and loses bowel and/or bladder control.

When One Is Not Enough

For many of us who love dogs, our canine family members are a lot like potato chips – we can’t have just one. There are so many dogs out there, each with love to share and insights to offer, each needing love and care, that the idea of restricting ourselves to a single canine companion is simply unthinkable. Our four-legged pals complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and fill our hearts and homes with joy and love (and fur).

Panosteitis: Canine Growing Pains

Symptoms of panosteitis can look like other conditions, so a thorough evaluation is needed. Other diseases that can mimic panosteitis include tick-borne illnesses (Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever), polyarthropathy (inflamed joints), sprains, and fractures.

Dog Teeth Cleaning: Don’t Deny Dental Health

While your veterinarian might not have said much about your dog’s teeth 10 years ago, today, it’s likely at the forefront of discussion during your dog’s annual or semi-annual health exam. That doesn’t mean your vet is now a money-grubbing capitalist. It means that veterinarians have learned how important their patients’ dental health is and how better to address it.

Five Steps to Stopping Unwanted Behavior

Most of the time, when dogs do something we don’t want them to do (such as stealing our socks or jumping on our elderly aunt), the first thing out of our mouths is “NO!” We’ve all done it. But you may have had a dog trainer or two tell you not to use the word “no.” Why not? Shouldn’t you correct your dog if he makes a mistake?

Lyme Disease in Dogs

There are three “states” of Lyme disease in dogs: acute, subacute, and chronic. Symptoms generally do not appear until after a two- to five-month incubation period, and can take even longer. Affected dogs may first shows signs of any of the three states, and may progress to others depending on the severity of infection, the dog’s immune system, and treatment.

Dogs vs. Wolves

Despite the widespread belief that wild wolf packs exist in a perpetual state of dominance challenges and bids for enhanced status, the collected evidence shows a glaring absence of these rigid types of relationships. There are few reports of wolves seeking higher positions in their pack, fighting over leadership, or physically dominating other wolves through aggression or alpha rolls.

Barkaholics Not-Very-Anonymous

The trouble with having a dog who barks for a variety of reasons is that there isn’t one easy answer for getting her to stop. People often see barking as a single problem; just last week I was asked by several students in my class, “How do I stop my dog from barking?” I couldn’t give a simple answer. The solution to barking problems depends on understanding several factors.

Fighting Through The Fence

Fence aggression – barking, lunging, and fence-fighting – is an all-too-common canine behavior. It can also be a very difficult behavior to live with. A dog who is left for long periods of time (especially) in an enclosed yard can easily become frustrated and aroused by dogs being walked past her space and her inability to interact with those dogs. That frustration often turns into aggression, and the aggression can become very serious. Dogs can even be grieviously injured or even killed if they are able to grab another dog (or part of a dog) through a fence.

How to Teach Your Dog to Greet Nicely

On any given day, depending on the circumstances, a dog might have a multitude of opportunities to meet and greet a number of other creatures: dogs, cats, horses, a variety of other species, and all sorts of humans. Some dogs seem to do it with aplomb, while others are clearly overexcited and unable to contain themselves. I suspect most if not all of us would far rather have the dog who’s calm, cool, and collected rather than the other option. So how do we get there?

Cloudy Eyes in Dogs

There are many possible ways in a which a dog’s eyes can look clouded. Often, you are seeing the cloudiness in the lens of the eye – an elastic, transparent structure that lies behind the iris (the pigmented part of the eye) and the pupil (the opening in the center of the eye). Tiny muscle fibers inside the eye contract and relax to makes the lens change thickness and shape; these movements help the dog change focus. As dogs age, certain changes cause the lens to turn white and become visible. When this ordinarily transparent structure develops a cloudy spot or section, the dog’s vision is compromised.