A Vet Explains What You Need To Know About Pet Insurance For Your Dog

Pet insurance is not like human health insurance. It is designed to be more like automobile insurance, helping you prepare for the costs of large medical issues. Subscribers pay a monthly premium (prices vary depending on plan and company) instead of being surprised by a major illness or injury. It is like a safety net to catch you when you fall. It is certainly nice to have in an event where price is the last thing that you want to … Read more

From The Vet: 5 Dog Medical Terms Every Owner Should Know

Does your vet speak to you in Pig Latin? Actually it is really Latin and Greek mostly. Here are some terms that I use that have gotten some questionable looks and I think that understanding what your vet is saying is the best way to have a pet health care team for your pets’ best lives. This is your crash mini course in Medical Terminology! #1 – Neoplasia The word neoplasia roughly translated from the Greek root word neo– new, … Read more

Why Does My Dog Lick My Feet? The Answers You’ve Been Looking For

Why does my dog lick my feet? Dogs do things that we might not love, and licking our feet is one of those things. We should never forget that our dogs are designed to communicate with others without using words. Communicating with dogs is like trying to learn a foreign language, only harder… because even the familiar letters are absent. Understanding why your dog does what he does is critical in maintaining your bond and growing your friendship. It makes … Read more

Ask A Vet: Why Does My Dog Sniff People’s Privates?

Does your dog seem to always have his face in people’s crotches? Embarrassing, isn’t it? Well, don’t be too embarrassed. Dogs see the world with a different sense than we do. In addition to sight and sound, they depend on their sense of smell dramatically more than humans. When they approach you in this way, they are not just being a “space invader”. They are trying to gain information about the person through a scent inspection. To a dog, the … Read more

Why Does My Dog Follow Me To The Bathroom?

You will never pee alone again… We laugh at jokes and memes that declare how having a dog means you never have to pee alone again, but it’s true. If we get to go to the bathroom, you can bet our dog is right behind us. Our dogs are really tuned in to us and curious as well, but seriously… do they have to attend our potty breaks? A question I see made out of curiosity a lot is – … Read more

Ask A Vet: Why Is My Dog Scooting?

People think watching a dog drag his rear across the floor (aka “scooting”) is either gross or funny (or both) and I would agree that it is gross, since I know a lot about dog butts! Your dog is not doing the “sit and spin” to amuse you. He is more likely either itching or in pain. Your dog has glands located on either side of her rectum, which create a very strong smelling secretion. Similar structures in the skunk … Read more

Ask A Vet: Should I Give My Dog A Probiotic?

Everyone wants a magic bullet or something that will, in one fell swoop, stop aging or prolong life. As of yet, there is no one easy solution to all that ails us, but there are certain things when administered thoughtfully with professional advice may have some benefit. Probiotics may be one of these items. Probiotics (literally “in favor of life”) are living organisms intentionally introduced to provide a beneficial effect. As far back as 1910, an early scientist named Elie … Read more

From The Vet: 3 Signs Your Dog Has A Fever

Fever is defined as a body temperature above the range that is considered normal for a healthy animal. Time and experience have shown us what these ranges are and we know that fever is one of the body’s signs that it is dealing with an infection. It is important for dog caregivers to be able to recognize signs that their dog might have a fever and be fighting an infection so that they know when to seek help from their … Read more

Ask A Vet: Why Does My Dog Hate To Have His Nails Trimmed?

We all know how important it is to keep our dog’s nails trimmed. It helps save our floors and sometimes, our skin and it is also good for the dog too. Nails can grow too long and curl back into a dog’s skin and be uncomfortable. In a wild state, the dogs might be able to wear them down, but in our living rooms, they need a little help from us. The dewclaws on the side of the legs do … Read more

6 Things You Never Want To See In Your Dog’s Poop 

Poop: it may not be glamorous, but it’s a key indicator of what’s going on internally. Dog owners should take a minute every day to look at their dog’s droppings and know what their pup’s poo is like on a healthy, “normal” day. We at iHeartDogs asked Dr. Michel Selmer, DVM, CTCVMP, about what sorts of red flags to look for when it comes to our companion’s stools. Also known as “The Caring Vet,” Dr. Selmer is a Certified Veterinary Food … Read more

Ask A Vet: Why Is Play Important For My Dog?

Everyone thinks play is fun, but did you know that play can actually change your brain for the better? It seems to be true for people and many other animals, especially dogs. We prioritize play for our human children and we should, because research indicates that children are better adjusted and happier if they have free play. Would it not stand to reason that play might also benefit our dogs? Dogs are not human and we know it. They cannot … Read more

Why On Earth Do Dogs Stare At You When They Poop?

You may have noticed that your dog keeps his eyes on you while he is defecating. It is not because he is embarrassed. He is not wishing you would look away or give him privacy while he “does his business”. It goes much deeper than that. Dogs are animals and they are very tuned in to their environment and their own place in it. For survival, they must be aware of risk. Defecation is one of the times in an … Read more

What Is Distemper And Should I Worry About My Dog Getting It?

Distemper is a serious disease, and we’ve seen several people express concern over it and the pain it can cause pets and their families. We asked Dr. Kathryn Primm, a veterinarian with over 20 years’ experience treating pets and owner of Applebrook Animal Hospital in Ooltewah, Tennessee to share her expert knowledge with our readers on the dangers of distemper, and what you can do to prevent it.   What should pet owners know about distemper?   Dr. Primm: Distemper is caused … Read more

Ask A Vet: Does My Dog Need Sunscreen?

We are aware of the dangers of sun exposure for ourselves and we hear frequently about skin cancers and the damaging effects of sun for people. The ultraviolet light radiation present in the light from the sun is the cause of the skin damage. Most of us have probably even experienced painful sunburn, so we would like to protect our dogs as much as we can. Sunscreen is recommended for humans to reduce the harmful effects, but what about for … Read more

Ask A Vet: Why Is My Dog Afraid Of Children & What Can I Do About It?

Some dogs do not like children. Some are even afraid of them  We adults know that children are harmless, but your dog may not be so sure. For a dog that has not been raised around children, they can seem loud and sporadic. A child’s wail can even trigger a fear or prey response for a dog. A child’s size, sounds, and movements may seem foreign or threatening to a dog. To get to the bottom of this behavior, we … Read more

Ask A Vet: Is Vaccinating My Dog For Rabies Worth The Risk?

This question is much more complicated than it may seem. First, let’s look at rabies as a disease. Anyone that watched Ole Yeller already has an idea what the disease known as rabies is like and in this case, movie magic did not really over-dramatize it. Rabies is a neurologic (attacking the nervous system) disease caused by a virus. A rabies patient will suffer and die a horrific death and even worse, rabies is zoonotic  (a disease that can be … Read more

Ask A Vet: Can My Dog Get Alzheimer’s Disease?

As our society ages and Baby Boomers reach their senior years, everyone is more likely to be touched by Alzheimer’s disease. It seems like everyone knows someone who has been affected by this diagnosis, whether it is a friend or a family member or just someone they know. According to alz.org, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia affect 1 in 3 human seniors. Our dogs age faster than we do and many people with senior dogs wonder if their dogs can … Read more

From The Vet: 3 Things You Should Know About Your Dog’s Ears

We know that dogs have ears and in fact, the ears are sometimes the cutest part of their whole head. Some dogs have darling curly and fluffy ears. Some dogs’ ears stand up and some dogs even have one that stands and the other that flops over! Let’s face it, dogs’ ears are really endearing (hehe). But they serve an important purpose for our dogs and there are some things that all dog lovers really need to know. 1. Normal … Read more

Ask A Vet: What Is A “Hot Spot” & What Can I Do About It?

It is the time of year when I start to see lots of skin issues. One of those is Pyotraumatic Dermatitis or Hot Spot. A hot spot is an area of the skin that is inflamed and excoriated. The hair is often missing in the center and all the hair around the lesion is caked together with moist, smelly crusts. It is extremely uncomfortable for the dog and smelling the odor is not pleasant for you. Why do hot spots … Read more

5 Things You Need To Know About Your Flea/Tick Preventative

Parasite products are not created equal, but if you don’t know to ask the right questions, you might assume you are getting something that you are not. Very often in my hospital, clients come in with over-the-counter flea products that they are not happy with and even some of the ones I sell can be a poor fit if the expectations are mismatched. It is important that pet owners know the ways that these products work and how they can … Read more

Ask A Vet: When Is My Dog Fully Grown?

Got a puppy? Wonder just when he is going to stop growing? It’s a common question that veterinarians receive. When people adopt dogs from shelters and rescues as puppies, they usually do not know what breeds make up the dog. (the fact is, no one can guess with good accuracy either, see Think You Know A Pit Bull When You See it, So Did We….) People like to plan and even though it usually doesn’t matter because they already love … Read more

Ask A Vet: Why Does My Dog Always Stink Like He Needs A Bath?

Anyone who cuddles a dog knows that sometimes there are unpleasant aromas associated with them. We are all familiar with the terms “dog breath” and “smell like a dog.” Not all smells will be helped by bathing. Some of them come from actual health issues and it is important to know the difference because one needs a bath (or 3) and the others will require medical intervention. Odors that will respond to bathing are things like rolling in stinky stuff … Read more

Ask A Vet: How Can I Safely Remove A Tick From My Dog?

Ticks are creepy and crawly and look enough like spiders to make me and my staff cringe. They are not just repulsive, they also carry some pretty serious diseases. That’s why we should have all pets on a tick control product that helps prevent an infestation. But even the best protected dog can get an occasional tick. If you find one, you should remove it quickly because the longer a tick remains attached to the skin, the greater the chances … Read more

From The Vet: 5 Ways To Help Your Dog Age Gracefully

It is so hard to watch your dog grow old before your very eyes. It seems like just yesterday, she was a bounding puppy! Now she is just a little stiffer and sleeps more. Wouldn’t you love to know some ways to help her age gracefully? There are things you can do. Read on.  1. Help your dog get up and down As nerves and muscles age, certain movements can become difficult. Senior dogs are more likely to suffer from … Read more

From The Vet: 5 Things You Should Know About Bathing Your Dog

All dogs need to be cleaned sometimes, and some more than others! Because humans bathe frequently and take good hygiene for granted, we may think that baths are not particularly important or difficult, but there are some things that you should know when it comes to canine cleansing. 1. All shampoos are not created equal. Consumer advocates have published blog posts that declare that the human shampoo market is just a scam and that all shampoos are the same. It … Read more

Ask A Vet: Can My Dog Get Zika Virus?

Recent headlines about the threat of Zika virus have hit the news and social media. Scary stories about people getting sick have caught people’s attention. Even though it is in the headlines now, Zika virus is not new. It has been found in monkeys and apes since the 1940s. Usually disease in nonhuman primates is mild with only a transient fever, but the humans affected by Zika virus are much more significantly affected. Since the discussion has included monkeys and apes, … Read more

Ask A Vet: What Do I Do If I Cut My Dog’s Nails Too Short?

Dog lovers know that most dogs need to have their nails trimmed. It is a matter of hygiene (and sometimes safety, if your dog steps on your toes or claws at your legs). Long nails can bruise skin and damage floors. Eventually, nail overgrowth can harm your dog, too, by forcing him to walk abnormally or growing into the skin. Ouch! But most dog owners (and their dogs) hate nail trimming. To learn more, see Why Does My Dog Hate … Read more

Ask A Vet: Why Does My Dog Eat Things He Shouldn’t?

No one can deny that dogs love to eat. They eat what we feed them and anything else that they can find that seems edible to them. Dogs can eat items that we all consider food items and then they eat things that we do not consider food items (but they do) like cat poop, their own poop, and garbage. Sometimes eating trash or poop can make dogs really sick, but many times, they get away with it completely. Some … Read more

Ask A Vet: Should I Worry About My Boxer Going Under Anesthesia?

At some point during your Boxer’s life, he/she will need some type of surgery. Because of Boxers’ genetic predisposition to skin tumors, your dog will likely require more than one mass removal during his/her adulthood. There may be other times that your Boxer needs surgery. If it is not an emergency, one can question if the procedure is worth the risk. But just how risky is anesthesia for Boxers? The definition of anesthesia is a temporary loss of feeling or … Read more

From The Vet: 3 Hacks That Could Save Your Chihuahua

Chihuahuas are popular pets the world over. What’s not to love? They are super cute, fun, portable friends! Chihuahuas have their own unique personalities and as a breed they have some unique qualities too. If you love a Chihuahua, there are some important things you can do to make sure your furry friend lives long and well. Hack #1 – Cover Me with Love: Personal Protection Equipment Some of us are familiar with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that is required … Read more