Blog Posts by petMD

  • 10 Healthiest Dog Breeds

    Image: Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH / via ShutterstockBy:

    Although it's nearly impossible to predict which breed of dog will live the longest or be the healthiest, there are certain breeds that seem to have lower instances of genetic diseases, bone-related injuries and conditions relating to their skin and coat. Take a look at which breeds are thought to be among the healthiest and how to help your dog live a long, healthy life.

    Australian Cattle Dog
    While there's no way to prove which breed is the healthiest, some working breeds, including Australian Cattle Dogs, may be among those with the least number of health-related issues.

    "Unfortunately, there's no hard data that provides a scientific answer," said Jennifer Coates, DVM in Fort Collins, Colorado and veterinary advisor to "In my experience, dogs that are still being bred to do a job tend to be the healthiest."

    Australian Cattle Dogs have been traditionally used for cattle herding and have remained popular working dogs because of their

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  • 15 Things No One Tells You About Being a Dog Owner

    Cairn Terrier Dog via Shutterstock By: Kelly Gartner |

    Before welcoming a dog into your home and heart, chances are, much like an expecting parent, you daydream about what having a dog in your life will be like. Visions of long walks, training your dog to do all sorts of cool tricks, and coming home to a warm and wonderful greeting every night will fill your head.

    Dream on.

    No doubt, having a dog is going to be a fulfilling and great experience, but there are a few things that you might not know about being a dog owner.

    1. Your Dog Will Introduce You to New Flavors
    Though, they may not actually be to your taste. Your new buddy may have a craving for things that just aren't up your alley, but may be found in an alley, like old banana peels, old tissues and other dog's poo.

    2. Your Dog Will Make You Feel Things You Have Never Felt Before
    And what you are feeling won't always necessarily be an outpouring of overwhelming love and pride (though you will definitely experience those feelings as well).

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  • Are You Spending Too Much on Dog Food?

    Puppy via ShutterstockHow to Find the Best Dog Food for the Right Price It's not wrong to want to save money on certain things to enjoy other luxuries, but does it really make sense to skimp on your dog's food and get the "cheap" brand? Definitely not! Your dog is a wonderful friend and deserves a meal that will help keep him or her healthy for many years to come. The question then becomes, how will you know the dog food you're considering to buy is up to snuff? Let's take a look.

    1. Is Your Dog Food Balanced with Quality Nutrients?
    "All animals need water, energy - from protein, fat, or carbohydrates - essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals," says Tony Buffington, DVM, PhD, and Professor of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center. In fact, as long as all nutrients are present in appropriate amounts for your pet - in proper balance, and available for absorption in sufficient quantities (which can't be determined from reading the label) - Dr. Buffington

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  • Cat Gives Owner Bubonic Plague

    Image: bjonesphotopgrahy / via Shutterstock Source: The Guardian

    By Vladimir Negron |

    After accidentally being bit by his cat, Paul Gaylord is lucky to be alive. His cat had infected Gaylord with the plague.

    Gaylord, who lives with his wife at the rural foothills of the Cascade mountain range in Oregon, recently told the Guardian how the incident occurred.

    Gaylord, then 59, found his cat, Charlie, choking on a mouse after being missing several days in the woods one Saturday in 2012. Immediately Gaylord attempted to clear the cat's throat but was bit on his hand. The next day the cat was seen suffering enough to cause Gaylord to have the cat put down. However, it wasn't until Gaylord returned to his job on Monday that he realized just how sick Charlie had been.

    Read More Articles About Your Pet's Symptoms

    After developing a high fever, flu-like symptoms, and large lumps in the glands under his arms, Gaylord was taken to the hospital by his wife. Doctors diagnosed him with bubonic plague.

    "I knew rodents could carry

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  • Can I Give My Dog a Cold?

    Sick dog via ShutterstockBy Valerie Trumps |

    During the winter season, you may see your canine sneezing more than usual. But can that be a sign that your dog has an actual cold? And can dogs get colds from humans or vice versa?

    Is Every Sneeze A Sign?
    It's normal for dogs to sneeze occasionally, especially if they're fond of sniffing dust bunnies or if they get a little food dust up their noses. Some pups can even be affected by what may resemble mild seasonal allergies, with a few more sneezes during springtime blooming season. These sporadic episodes are perfectly normal and as long as other cold symptoms aren't evident, just say "bless you" and carry on as before.

    Dog Cold Symptoms
    But when the bitter winter chill sets in, you may want to monitor your dog's sneezes a little more closely. Dr. Ira M. Zaslow of Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists advises that dog parents be on the lookout for a runny nose, watery eyes, more sleeping than usual, a general listlessness, and a low-grade fever if

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  • 5 Dangerous Gameday Party Foods for Pets


    The Big Game is Sunday, and it is a great excuse to get together with friends and family and pig out while watching football. Unfortunately, many of those same party foods can be dangerous for your pet. Here are five things you should keep far, far away from your cat or dog on Sunday.

    1. Alcohol
    Having a frosty one with your friends is quite alright (if you're of legal drinking age, that is). Allowing your pet to partake of the beer is quite another. Consumption of as little as a few ounces of beer or other alcoholic beverages can result in ethanol poisoning in dogs and cats. Signs of poisoning include involuntary urinating, hypothermia, slowed breathing, and even heart attacks.

    2. Chicken Wings
    Despite being an enshrined staple of football parties, chicken wings may prove problematic if your pet should stealthily grab one (or two!). In fact, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) recently warned pet owners not to feed their pets chicken wings

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  • Can a Veterinarian Treat His Own Pet?

    Image via Thinkstock (Dog pictured is not Cardiff)by Dr. Patrick Mahaney, VMD |

    We veterinarians are very familiar with the process of guiding our clients through the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses as a daily event in our veterinary practices. Yet, what happens when a veterinarian's animal becomes sick? Do we choose to manage the case by ourselves or do we defer to others out of our lack of experience or ability to fully diagnose and treat the issue? Or, do we emotionally struggle with the concept of treating our own pets as patients?

    In human medicine, there are restrictions surrounding the provision of care to our own family members. The American Medical Association (AMA) Opinion 8.19 - Self-Treatment or Treatment of Immediate Family Members states that "physicians generally should not treat themselves or members of their immediate families. Professional objectivity may be compromised when an immediate family member or the physician is the patient; the physician's personal feelings may unduly influence his or

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  • Who Gets to Decide when Life Has Ended?

    Thinkstockby Dr. Joanna Intile, DVM, DACVIM |

    You may be familiar with the story of the 13-year-old California girl who experienced cardiac arrest following a routine, elective surgery to remove her tonsils on December 9th. The child initially recovered from the procedure, however she developed unexpected profuse bleeding soon after, leading to the cardiac arrest. The girl was maintained on life-support at the same hospital where the surgery was performed. She was declared brain dead on December 12th.

    In the state of California, once declared brain dead, a person is considered "legally and physiologically dead." This means decisions about further care are made not by the family, but by the doctors in charge of the patients' care.

    In this case, doctors decided to remove the child from life support, as she had zero chance for recovery. The family of the girl went to court to obtain an appeal against the hospital's decision. In the meantime, several facilities have offered long

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  • Winter Weight Gain for You& Your Pet

    Image via normanack / via Flickrby petMD |

    It is common for humans to struggle with winter weight gain. Whether the struggle is in preventing it, or losing the weight after the fact, seasonal weight gain is a fact of life for a lot of animals that live in seasonal climates. With the onset of colder temperatures - a time when food items become scarce - activity levels drop, metabolism slows down, and hibernation mode sets in. This is not limited to animals in the wild, however.

    Even though we as a culture have devised ways to stay warm and active, and to stockpile plenty of food to get us through the winter months, our bodies still react with the age-old evolutionary methods for preservation. This is as true for humans as it is for our domesticized pets, and therein lies that struggle.

    When a dog that is used to getting a daily walk around the neighborhood is now only running outside for speedy breaks, or a cat that is accustomed to a romp around the yard is now reluctant to spend much time

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  • Polar Vortex or Not, Be Prepared and Protect Your Pet

    Image via Thinkstockby petMD |

    Unless you're one of the lucky ones living in one of the balmier states, you've felt the cold chill of winter arrive. For some of us, cold weather is regarded as a mere nuisance; for others, it's a fun time filled with snowboarding, skiing and other winter joys; and still others will find this time of bone-chilling weather and huge piles of snow a veritable nightmare to endure.

    Whatever your viewpoint on winter, one thing remains the same for all of us with pets: it's a time when our beloved babies need a little extra care. Luckily, PetMD has compiled a list of tips to protect your pet from the dangers of winter.

    1. In or Out?
    Does your pet spend most of the time in the backyard? You might want to keep her indoors during the freezing months, especially if you live in bitterly cold areas. No one wants an icicle for a pet -- they're simply not that cuddly.

    2. Bare Naked Truth
    If you must keep your pet outdoors, consider this: Would a fur coat alone

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