March 2017

Letters from Readers: March 2017

I used Manuka honey on my 14- year-old Lab/Shar Pei-mix. She had ripped open one of her pads and was having a very difficult time getting it to heal. I used a veterinary-prescribed ointment with fresh bandages as required, while using a boot to provide protection. Two weeks later, with the wound getting worse, I did some research and read reviews of Manuka honey and its healing power. I spoke with my vet and decided to give it a try.   More...

Why Dogs Bark and How to Stop Them

Subscribers Only — Barking is a natural, normal canine behavior. If you have a dog, you need to understand and accept that sometimes dogs bark! Dogs bark for a variety of reasons. How you work to manage and modify your dog’s barking will depend, at least in part, on what motivates him to bark.Step one of any good dog barking modification program is minimizing your dog’s need and opportunity to bark. Exercise, an important element of many good behavior modification programs, is useful here as well. A tired dog has less energy, hence less need to bark, and a well-exercised dog tends to be emotionally healthier as well.   More...

Apple Cider Vinegar

Subscribers Only — Browsing through Internet postings about the benefits of apple cider vinegar will likely give you pause. In some places it sounds like a wonder product for everything – including, gulp, curing cancer. Then you find the naysayers, who cite the FDA’s stand that apple cider vinegar has no nutrients. Of course, you already realize the truth is somewhere between. It won’t cure cancer, but some research shows it shrinking tumors. It won’t prevent cancer either because, well, nothing truly prevents cancer.   More...

Raising a Well-Adjusted Puppy

All of this super-socializing might seen excessive to some, but something happened to Woody at about seven months of age that prompted me to put my socializing efforts into overdrive, rather than cruise control. One day, out of the blue, with no precipitating event that I could recall, Woody started raising his hackles and emitting a soft growl when he saw certain people or other dogs.   More...

Dog Parkour: Canine Urban Athletes

Dog parkour is the Fido-friendly version of parkour, sometimes called “free running,” a type of outdoor gymnastics. In the human version, enthusiasts run, climb, leap, and swing their way through an improvised course of obstacles in the environment. Success in parkour is about discipline, not just daredevil tendencies; safety is of the utmost importance, and participants take great care to develop proper cardiovascular conditioning, strength, and body awareness. The sport “went to the dogs” in 2014, when established traceurs and dog trainers Karin Coyne and Abigail Curtis, DVM, of Reynoldsburg, Ohio, noticed how many unique obstacles in their everyday environment were accessible to dogs.   More...

Train Your Dog to "Check In"

Subscribers Only — Checking in is one of those behaviors I like to place in the “habit” category; I want my dog to offer it easily and without really thinking about it. The purpose of the “check in” behavior (why or when a dog may do it) varies, but it always looks like this: The dog momentarily connects with her human through eye contact. Chili and I have gotten so good at it that we often find ourselves turning toward each other simultaneously! I absolutely cherish those moments of instant, genuine connection with my dog.   More...

Make Vet Visits Less Scary

Vet visits can be stressful for the beings on both ends of the leash! As my dog sits in the waiting room, awash in trepidation, I, too, am often worried about what decisions I’ll need to make regarding diagnostic testing, what it’s all going to cost, and the pros and cons of every possible scenario – all while battling an overall concern for my dog’s physical and emotional health. Veterinary care is a necessary part of responsible dog ownership, and, fortunately, a little pro-active planning and thoughtful training can help reduce vet-related anxiety for both dogs and their owners. The following tips will help prepare you and your dog for your next trip to the vet’s office.   More...

Whole Dog Journal's New Look

I couldn’t be more excited about the changes you will see in this month’s issue of WDJ, not least of which is the new illustration of a dog on the cover, which was based on a photograph of my nine-year-old mixed-breed dog, Otto! Nepotism may have gotten Otto the spot, but I honestly think he serves as a perfect representative of what WDJ is about: a vibrantly fit, happy, intelligent, confident “everydog.”   More...