Blog Posts by vetstreet.com

  • Secret Lives of Outdoor Cats

    By Dr. Marty Becker, vetstreet.com

    ThinkstockDo you ever wonder what your cat does all day? Does he sit on the back of the sofa and watch the cars go by? Nap on your bed? Plot world domination?

    All of the above?

    And what if your cat is an outdoor kitty? What's he doing when he's out and about?

    I know I'd be fascinated to find out what my barn cats get up to when I'm not around. And I know I'm not alone in pondering the secret life of cats.

    See Also: Why Indoor Cats Are Happier Than Outdoor Free-Roaming Cats

    Curious as a Cat

    There's not much information out there about how cats pass their time, particularly outdoor cats; scientists know more about the movements of big cats in Africa than about the daily habits of our domestic cats.

    Researchers at Britain's University of Lincoln School of Life Sciences decided to remedy that situation. They fitted 50 cats in the village of Shamley Green with miniaturized lion GPS collars and cat-cams strapped beneath their chins so they could record the roving

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  • 10 Dog Names Gaining Popularity

    By Kristen Seymour


    ThinkstockWe've looked at the trendiest cat names of the year (as well as the least trendy), and now it's time to look into the latest trends in canine names.

    Of course, we've already shared the most popular puppy names, but trendy is a little different - while popularity is based solely on the number of puppies given a certain name during the course of the year, trendiness is based on how much a particular name has risen in popularity over the course of a decade.

    To determine which names belong on this list, we looked at our database of 925,000 names given in 2013 and compared their popularity that year to their popularity in 2004. The 10 female and male names that gained the most ground made the cut.

    SEE ALSO: Least-Trendy Dog Names of 2014


    No. 1 Luna (female) and Jax (male)

    Luna must've sunk its teeth into the No. 1 spot, because this is the name's second year in that spot. It rose 71 points in the last decade to manage that feat, and is also listed atRead More »from 10 Dog Names Gaining Popularity
  • A Last Ode to Old Man Doug Who Dies at Age 18

    By Carolyn Magner Mason


    Courtesy of Carolyn Magner MasonOld Man Doug did not go quietly into some random night. Instead, he waited until the whole family was gathered for the holidays, and then, with much less ado than I would have chosen, he took his final bow at age 18. That he chose Dec. 25 confirms my belief that he wanted to assure his place in family history, and make sure it was timed so he didn't have to be anywhere near the post-holiday decoration take-down he so despised.

    His exit was dignified and sad beyond all words. And yet, the old fellow was always happiest when we were all together, in one room, even if we were sobbing into his furry neck as we said our goodbyes.

    SEE ALSO: How to Know When It Is Time to Euthanize Your Pet

    In fact, it was because he didn't rouse himself from his bed to join all of us for the holiday festivities that I had to cross off the final criteria defining his quality of life. He already had ceased eating for pleasure, turned his old gray face away from his

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  • Why Does My Dog... Stare at Me?

    By Dr. Patty Khuly


    iStockphotoIt's not hard to imagine why a loyal dog might stare devotedly at his master. It's the stuff of Old Yeller, White Fang and Lassie -- starers, all. But some dogs take staring to extremes, following their owners around with baleful eyes as if expecting links of sausage to fly from their human's fingertips.

    Let's face it: Dogs love their owners, but when they stare expectantly, it's not usually because they're trapped in a reverie of devotion. Rather, it's because they're thinking they might get something. And usually, that "something" involves a tasty snack.

    But dogs can-and do-stare at their owners for plenty of non-food issues, too. Indeed, anything a dog might want that a human can provide could be the source of the staring behavior, from a fun game of fetch to a ride in the car or a long run.

    Then there's the possibility that a dog is simply seeking attention in any form, or perhaps she's merely waiting for praise or direction. Some dogs may just be

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  • 10 Questions Veterinarians Really Wish Pet Owners Would Ask

    By Dr. Patty Khuly


    iStockphotoIf owners only knew to ask the right questions, my patients would have it so much easier. My life would be easier, too! Here are 10 perfect examples:

    1. What kind of pet do you recommend for my family?

    When I think of how many problems I could head off by having this conversation before the new pet happens, I wonder why we don't recommend that more clients come in for pre-pet consultations.

    2. Where should I find my pet?

    A corollary to #1, this is another one of those fraught issues that I wish people would ask me about in advance of any purchase or adoption: no pet stores, no online purchases. Get breed club recommendations. And ask for references.

    VIDEO: 5 Ways to Drive Your Vet Crazy


    3. Should I sign up for pet insurance?

    I'd much rather have this discussion before the injury or illness happens than once it's way too late.

    4. Is she too old to learn?

    I love this question because it's undoubtedly true that you can teach an old dog new tricks.

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  • 7 Dogs with Gorgeous Grins

    By Megan Winter


    February is Dental Health Month! To celebrate, we're sharing some of our favorite photos of smiling dogs. From big toothy grins to brightly-beaming mugs, these dogs' happy expressions are truly contagious.


    Vetstreet.comTommy Jefferson, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, wears a big smile on his face during an afternoon trip to the park.

    The Pembroke originated in Wales some 1,000 years ago and was employed as an all-around farm dog. He herded livestock, killed rats and other vermin, and barked an alarm if strangers came by.




    Vetstreet.comSesame the Shiba Inu shows off her toothy grin as she climbs a tree.

    The Shiba is the most popular companion dog in Japan. Its appearance often leads people to ask if he is a fox. He has a compact, muscular body, a wedge-shaped head, dark-brown eyes and erect triangular ears that combine to give him a confident, good-natured expression.



    Vetstreet.comAn Australian Shepherd named Roofus poses for a picture after being groomed.

    The Australian Shepherd has

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  • Homeless Dog Adopted by Milwaukee Brewers

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres


    The Milwaukee Brewers quickly fell in love with Hank, a stray dog who wandered onto their playing field during spring training.A stray dog wandered onto the right field at the right time in Florida last week, and quickly became the unofficial spring training mascot for the Milwaukee Brewers.

    Team members named him Hank, for baseball great Hank Aaron, and a staff member brought him to the vet for shots and a bath. He's been spending time all over the organization, from the playing fields to the ticket office and the team store - where he was outfitted with Brewers gear.

    And he's been going home with different members of the Brewers organization each night to get some sleep in a warm bed. "Rest assured, Hank's stray days are over, one way or another he'll continue to be well taken care of," the team says in a blog post. - Read it at the Brewers' MLB Blog

    More on Vetstreet.com:


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  • Does Your Dog Need a Winter Coat or Boots?

    By Dr. Marty Becker

    iStockPhotoWhen winter winds come whistling through our Idaho valley, I'm the first to don a heavy overcoat, a knit hat and boots - and my dogs aren't far behind. It's a common misconception that dogs, equipped by nature with fur coats and a higher body temperature than humans, will do just fine in cold weather without accessories such as sweaters, coats and booties. That might be true for hardy sled dogs who spend their days in training for the Iditarod, but I can assure you that dogs with short or thin coats or those with certain size or health limitations need just as much protection from the cold as you or I do. Here's what you need to know about dressing your dog for winter.

    PICTURES: 13 Pets That Love Dressing Up


    Coat Check

    Dogs with short, thin or fine coats feel the cold quickly - but that doesn't mean that your pooch needs to bundle up every time he leaves the house. If your dog is going outdoors for a quick potty outing and coming right back inside, no need

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  • 13 Dog Breeds Ideal for Small Space Living

    By Vetstreet.com Staff


    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 … 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 baker's 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 to keep your walls

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  • Six Myths About Cats and Dogs

    By Dr. Marty Becker


    ThinkstockWe veterinarians trade stories about pets and pet owners the way kids used to trade baseball cards; our favorite stories are about the crazy pets - and pet owners - we encounter in our practices. It's a coping mechanism, in part; just as in human medicine, when you're dealing with sickness and death, you have to indulge in "gallows humor" now and then to release some the stress.

    SEE ALSO: 5 Pet Behavior Myths That Drive Veterinarian's Crazy

    The most interesting stories always seem to center around some form of misinformation, the stuff people "know" about pets that's out-of-date or just plain wrong. And while a lot of wrong things people think they know about pets are pretty harmless, we veterinarians know we have our work cut out for us as communicators when people base medical decisions on bad information, such as deciding if a dog has a fever by how wet or dry his nose is.

    The sheer number of myths about animals is so large that I've written two

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