Blog Posts by vetstreet.com

  • Why Does My Dog... Drop to the Ground when He Sees Other Dogs?

    By Linda Fiorella

    iStockphotoDropping to the ground is "a play solicitation," says Sharon Crowell-Davis, DVM, DACVB, professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia. Dogs use body language, including several play solicitations, to communicate their intentions.

    "One of [these solicitations] is to just drop to the ground, and one of them is what we call a play bow where the fore quarters go down and the hind quarters are sticking up in the air," explains Dr. Crowell-Davis. "Another is to raise one fore paw either while standing up or in the play bow, and wave it at the other dog - those are all forms of inviting the other dog to play."

    SEE ALSO: Why Does My Dog... Eat Poop?


    Learning to Socialize

    Problems can arise when another dog doesn't recognize the meaning behind the gesture. "Both dogs and cats are social species, and this means they're born with the capacity to learn the appropriate species-specific social behavior and appropriate social responses of

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  • 12 Dog Breeds Perfect for Condo & Apartment Living

    Dogs are adaptable, but some are better choices than others for life in confined quarters. Such dogs possess laid-back personalities, don't tend to bark excessively and have low-to-moderate exercise needs.

    In your quest to find an apartment- and condo-suitable breed, size is not always a factor. In fact, ideal apartment dogs come in all sizes. Vetstreet spotlights a dozen for your consideration.

    MastiffMastiff - Gentle Giant (photo credit: Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography/Vetstreet.com)
    Yes, he's a giant breed, but his gentle temperament and moderate activity level can make the adult Mastiff a fine companion for life in an apartment or condo, as long as you can provide him with a daily walk and survive the active, destructive stage of puppyhood. If you live in a building with multiple floors, you should have access to an elevator for ease in getting your dog up and down. Carrying him won't be an option. Another warning: Mastiffs drool, so keep a supply of cleaning products

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  • Keep Pets Safe from 5 Fall and Winter Hazards

    By Dr. Tina Wismer

    Potpourri can be toxic for your petsCool, crisp weather brings the potential for new toxins for your pets to encounter. Let's briefly review some of the seasonal risks you need to be aware of in order to keep your pet safe.

    See Also: 10 Dangerous Foods for Cats & Dogs


    1. Rodenticides

    As the weather cools down, vegetation dies off and crops are harvested, mice and rats will often come inside structures looking for food and warmth. This in turn leads most homeowners to look for ways to "disinvite" these unwelcome visitors! If you need to use a rodenticide, use it with extreme care and keep it as far away from your pets as possible. Many of the most commonly used rodenticides can be fatal if ingested, even in very small amounts. Rodenticides often come formulated in grain-based pellets or wax blocks and can smell enticing to pets, especially dogs. Ensure that any rodenticide is enclosed in a pet-proof bait station and is secured in a place pets can't access. Be aware, however, that some

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  • 11 Pet Names that Are Real Mouthfuls

    By Kristen Seymour

    ThinkstockWe all know that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, sure, but when it comes to cat and dog names, the unusual monikers are the ones that put smiles on all of our faces.

    We've examined Vetstreet's database of more than 89 million dogs and 49 million cats to find names that appeared just once, then picked out the long, funny names that had us tripping over our tongues.


    1. Penelope Petunia Peachtree -- We suspect this name belongs to a perfectly petite and perky pooch.

    2. Coco Chanel Divalicious -- You can't blame her for sneaking in a nap. We're a little worn out ourselves from just typing that name!

    3. Empress Snowcone Kittlesworth -- We can't think of a name better suited to feline royalty.

    4. Angus Von Wigglebottom -- He's the one with the waggly tail. Obviously.

    5. Mamacita Bonita Diablo -- She's an awfully pretty little devil, isn't she?

    See Also: 14 Unique Pet Names Inspired By Celebrities

    6. Pippa the Gangster Step Sister
    -- She's Read More »from 11 Pet Names that Are Real Mouthfuls
  • EBay Bids Flood in for Chewed Shoe

    By Susan Wagner | October 16, 2013

    Ebay user mister_nowThis may look like another case of a dog who couldn't distinguish between a chew toy and a very expensive dress shoe - but that's not how the shoe's owner is seeing it. The mauled footwear is currently up for sale on Ebay, in an auction titled "Half-Chewed Cole Haan Wingtip by Emerging Canine Artist, Left Shoe, Size 11.5 D." And as of right now, the bidding for this piece is at nearly $400.

    The artist (or, "artist") is a dog named Jack, a 2-year-old Dalmatian mix. "Jack has been active for some time in the world of artistic defacement popularized by prominent figures such as Banksy," his owner writes in the auction's description. "Some of his earlier performance and mixed-media works include Berber Carpet Removal, 400-Thread-Count Sheet Shredding No. 1, A Million Pieces of a Bluetooth Headset, Exposing the Mysterious Innards of a Couch Cushion, Urinating on My Owner's Sister's Bed, Freeing of the Garbage from the Shackles of the Glad Bag, and of

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  • Can a Feral Cat Become a House Pet?

    By Dr. Marty Becker

    Feral CatQ. Can a cat born feral ever really become a friendly, happy pet?

    A. Many can, especially if you catch them as young kittens and work steadily to socialize them. Adult cats can often be transformed into loving pets as well, but I suspect many of those weren't born wild but rather were lost or abandoned after being raised as pets.

    Feral cat experts say you'll need lots of patience to convert a wild thing into a purring pet - but it's worth it. You'll need it while working with your cat or kitten in your home, and you'll need it in realizing that every formerly feral animal comes around at his own speed and the process cannot be rushed. Most cats will, however, come around in time.

    See Also: Why Does My Cat... Bite Me When I Pet Her?


    As I said before, kittens are the easiest to tame, if you can get them trapped between the ages of 6 and 12 weeks. These are general guidelines, of course, because you probably won't know birth dates, and the rough

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  • Houdini the Dog Escapes Shelter and Finds New Family

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres

    Houdini, an Australian Shepherd, escaped from a Colorado shelter and found a potential forever family.A 5-year-old Australia Shepherd in Colorado apparently decided to take a search for a forever family into his own paws.

    Earning his name, Houdini managed to free himself from his kennel at the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, and then open two doors to leave the building overnight on Tuesday. "He had to actually push down the handle, push the door open and walk through it in both cases," said the shelter's Gretchen Pressley.

    Shelter staff discovered the dog was missing on Tuesday morning and checked the security cameras, where they were stunned to watch Houdini's outbreak. But the best trick was that Houdini was back at the shelter hours later - with a family that had found him on the street and wanted to adopt him.

    "We think he's wonderful and as much as I would love for his owner to come and claim him, we can't wait to welcome him into my family," said Ashley Heister. The shelter was just giving the dog's original family a little more time to find him

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  • 10 Things You Should Know About Feeding Your Pet

    By Dr. Patty Khuly

    ThinkstockIf you're like most pet people, this post should strike a chord because, at some point in your life, you'll live with a pet whose weight or appetite is problematic.

    "How much should I feed my dog?" That's one of the top questions clients ask me during well-puppy visits. It also happens to be a top Google search term, right after "How much should I weigh?"

    See Also: 6 Foods You Should NEVER Feed Your Pet

    Although Google can be a great resource for some things, it's not likely to help you much in this case. The answer, you see, is different for every pet. Sure, there are rules of thumb, but that's exactly how pet owners get into trouble. Case in point: If you assume the directions on the side of a bag of kibble are gospel, chances are you'll have a fat dog in no time.

    The good news is that the right answer for how much to feed most pets can be boiled down to 10 simple rules.

    1. Invest in a Nutritionally Balanced Diet

    Whether it's a veterinary

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  • Why "Outdoor Dogs" Are Miserable

    By Gina Spadafori

    ThinkstockWhat compels people get a dog only to keep it isolated outside, away from the family? I have often wondered this as I walk my dogs down streets lined with fences behind which lonely outdoor dogs bark as we go by.

    I don't know what they look like and can only guess their size by the deepness of their voices. But I know what the lives of these dogs are too often like. They are animals born to be part of a social structure, a pack or a family, yet this is denied them. They spend their lives on the outside, looking in.

    See Also: 10 Creatures That Are Dangerous for Your Pets


    The experts say many of these dogs will never really bond with owners who interact with them so little.When the puppy is no longer cute and the children grow tired of the care they promised to provide, when the destructiveness escalates or the neighbors complain about the noise, it's often just easier to dump the dog than solve the problem.

    I have always had difficulty understanding

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  • 7 Animal Programs the Government Shutdown is Hurting

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres

    The National Zoo's panda cub is held by a staff member in September.The closure of the National Zoo - and its Panda Cam - made for some of the splashiest headlines in the first days of the government shutdown. But the zoo is far from the only animal-related institution to suffer while lawmakers argue over funding the federal government.

    From dolphin research to therapy dogs, Vetstreet has rounded up some other programs involving animals that have been suspended during the shutdown.


    1. No Therapy Dog Visits at NIH

    One of the most heartbreaking programs to be halted has to be the therapy dog program at the Clinical Center at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland. The dogs in the program, who make visits to patients including kids with cancer, need to be seen by veterinarians on the staff at the NIH - unfortunately, those vets have been furloughed, reported NPR. As a result, the dogs aren't making their rounds for now. Abbey Whetzel, whose son Sam is being treated for leukemia at NIH, said Sam is disappointed that

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