Blog Posts by Webvet

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    With Valentine's Day fast approaching, we'd like to share the results of our survey in which we asked participants to give us their nominations for the "top-10" Valentine's Day pet gifts. The results surprised and delighted us and we want to share them with you.

    As you would expect, the list - see below - includes gift items that you can buy in a store and carry in your pocket (or car trunk). But as much as people want to express their love by giving their pets tangible gifts, the gift they most favor is the one that has no price tag on it. The simple truth is that when all is said and done, it is the only gift whose price cannot be measured in dollars: 'quality time.'

    Here are the results, in order:

    #10 A new sweater or coat
    #9 Enrollment in doggy daycare
    #8 A Valentine's card
    #7 A sibling (dog/cat/other)
    #6 A new dog bed
    #5 Prepare their favorite meal
    #4 More trips to the park
    #3 A stuffed animal
    #2 Special dog

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  • Does Your Cat Get Pimples? Don't Worry, It's Normal



    Cat acne is a poorly understood condition in which too much keratin (a protein found in the outer layer of skin) and sebum (the natural oily "moisturizer" produced by the skin) are produced. This excess keratin and sebum becomes trapped in the hair follicles, resulting in the formation of comedones, or "blackheads." These comedones are frequently infected with bacteria and yeast, and form pustules.

    Feline chin acne looks similar to human acne, but it is not hormonally mediated or restricted to puberty. Allergies may play a role.

    In cases of cat acne, the chin is dark and flaky, and manifests tiny black plugs. Blackheads may also appear on both the lower and upper lips. As part of feline chin acne, bacterial and yeast infections may result in red, infected pustules and pimples. In long-term cases, firm, crusty, painful nodules may develop.

    Diagnosis of cat acne is based on the history and physical examination. Diagnostic tests can include bacterial and

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  • How Much Water Should My Pet Be Drinking?

    By Steve Dale for

    How much water should my dog/cat drink a day?

    Well that depends on how thirsty your pet is. I don't mean to be sarcastic - but it's true, if your dog just came in from a jog, its different than if your dog just came in from another room.

    Also, just like us - if it's drier outside (think Minnesota winter) or, of course, if it's hot - pets will drink more.

    Also, what are you feeding your pet? If you're feeding moist food - then there's inherently a high water content in the food, so a cat, for example, on a moist food only diet, may require less water than cats on a diet of only kibble.

    Related: 8 Ways To Participate In Responsible Pet Owner Month

    In general, our cats probably don't drink enough. Here's what motivates cats to drink: Choices.

    Offer more than one water dish - even if you only have one pet. For sure, if you have several pets offer options, including one that is elevated. Cats sometimes aren't the best at sharing a slobbery water bowl used by

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  • Dog Punishment Vs Positive Reinforcement



    Punishment for your dog is applying a stimulus to decrease the chance that a behavior will be repeated. For any punishment to be effective, it must coincide with the undesirable behavior and be unpleasant enough to deter the pet from repeating the behavior. Remember that the idea is to punish the behavior, not the pet. Punishment to discourage an undesirable behavior might be acceptable, but punishment as a form of training is not appropriate and can lead to fear and avoidance in your pet. Good training uses shaping or prompting techniques, along with rewards such as food or praise. By training our pets and providing outlets for their needs, inappropriate behavior is less likely to develop, and punishment is seldom necessary.

    WebVet: How Much Water Should My Pet Be Drinking?

    Punishment should never be considered unless the pet has been provided with the means to satisfy both its nature and its needs. Problems such as chewing and other forms of destructiveness

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  • How Long Should 'Bathroom Walks' Be?

    By Steve Dale for

    Q: On a 'bathroom walk' with my dog, how long should I wait for him to go? If it's been 10 minutes or so and he hasn't done anything -- does that mean he doesn't have to?

    A: Our pets can be very skilled at training us. What I suggest to people house training a pup is the following: Take the dog out on a leash, to the same spot (so that spot and that substrate become the pet's bathroom), when the pet goes instantly reward with effusive praise and a very special treat. Everyone pretty much says that. Here's what I add - now play with your dog, even if it's only for 60 or 90 seconds.

    Here's what sometimes happens, the dog learns that when I do business - yes, all this good stuff happens, but then my person goes away (goes to work). So, the puppy, delays and delays… and also some puppies just learn to take their time outside because - well, it's more fun to sniff around.

    WebVet: 10 Basic Health Checks For Your Dog

    I don't know if you wait 5 minutes or 9

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  • Will and Kate Get a Puppy! 5 Facts About Cocker Spaniels


    The Royal Palace has confirmed that Will and Kate, aka the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are the proud parents of a new puppy. Handlers for the couple say that the black cocker spaniel -- name unknown -- is a "few months old" and comes from a litter "with a close family connection."

    People magazine reported that Kate's family, the Middletons are well known spaniel fans. The pup is the first dog for Prince William since his black Labrador Widgeon died about two years ago.

    The couple's new puppy could soon land the type of worldwide attention that hasn't been bestowed on an animal since the Obamas adopted Bo after settling into the White House.

    5 Facts about the Cocker Spaniel

    • The breed has won the best in show title at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on four occasions. (The most recent victory was in 1954 with the victory going to Ch. Carmor's Rise and Shine.)
    • U.S. Presidents Richard Nixon and Harry S. Truman both had cocker spaniels. A cocker spaniel named
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  • February is National Pet Dental Health Month

    1820090831143324Brushingdog'steethsmall1820090831143324Brushingdog'steethsmall When it comes to dental care for dogs and cats, prevention is the strategy, just like it is for people. That's why February -- National Pet Dental Health Month -- is the perfect time to remind animal lovers that caring for your pet's teeth is crucial to his or her overall health.

    WebVet: Caring for your pet's dental health

    Webvet is here to address the significance of oral health care for pets, and answer your burning questions about your pet's dental issues!

    Do dogs and cats get dental disease just as people do?

    Pets don't get a lot of cavities, but often develop plaque buildup that leads to the red, inflamed gums associated with gingivitis. Over time, bacterial plaque can destroy the bone that holds the tooth in place, leading to tooth loss and even blood infection.

    How do I know if my pet is having dental problems?

    Early problems show few signs, expect for bad breath and a buildup of gummy film (plaque) around the sides of the tooth. As the problem progresses,

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  • Why Do Male Dogs Lift Their Legs to Urinate?



    Dogs lifting their legs to urinate. It is a bit odd, if you think about it. After all, it isn't strictly necessary to get the job done. And female dogs don't generally do it (although some do). So what's the deal?

    The answer has to do with...well...the purpose of peeing. Yes, that's what we said. You see, for a male dog, urination is not just a way of getting rid of liquid waste. It's also a way of sending a message to other dogs. And that message is: "I'm here, guys. And I want you to know it." Dogs are territorial animals and urination marks a male dog's "claim" to a certain territory. But why the leg lift?

    Marty Becker, DVM, author of "Why Do Dogs Drink Out of the Toilet?" explains that lifting the leg enables the dog to spray his urine higher, where other dogs are more likely to notice it and a breeze can more easily disseminate it.

    Others speculate that by leaving their scent high up, a male dog makes itself appear bigger than he actually is: not just

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  • Torn Nails in Dogs



    Dog nails often crack or tear when caught on objects. Although this is a relatively minor injury, it is very painful and can bleed quite a bit.

    The canine nail consists of a central bundle of blood vessels and nerves that are informally known as the "quick," which is surrounded by a layer of horny material called keratin. The central quick is living tissue, while the brittle keratin is not. Normally, there are five nails on each front foot, and four nails on each rear foot. The front nails that are found slightly higher up the foot are called dew claws.

    Nails normally wear down as dogs walk on hard surfaces. However, in dogs that are sedentary or that walk mostly on soft surfaces, the nails tend to grow longer, placing them at greater risk of being cracked or torn. The quick tends to grow out as the nail grows, so injuries often include this living tissue, which accounts for the pain and bleeding.

    Nails can become caught on a variety of surfaces, such as

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  • Music Therapy for Dogs



    Recent studies show that music (and other sounds) can profoundly influence animal behavior. Music therapy for pets is one way to help a dog with behavioral or anxiety problems. Does your poodle whine and pace when the alarm clock goes off? Does your German shepherd bark uncontrollably when your neighbors mows their lawn? Is your boxer afraid of guests? You might want to head straight for your CD player.

    Though a dog doesn't tap his foot as a person might, their internal organs do speed up or slow down in accordance with external rhythms (a process called entrainment) and respond to the vibrations around them.

    In today's noisy world, full of sirens, motorcycles, and leaf blowers, in households with multiple TVs, computer printers and food processors, dogs might just be overloaded with sensory input.

    "Music is one way to control and mediate the sound environment," said sound researcher Joshua Leeds, who recently co-authored a new book and CD set called

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