Dog House Design Inspirations
When packing the car for a fun day at the beach we always remember to pack drinks and refreshment for all the humans… do you remember to pack fresh water for your dog, too? Just as we don’t want to drink the water from a lake (or ocean) it isn’t a good idea for dogs to either. Lake water can contain algae that can be harmful to dogs when ingested, and the salt content of saltwater can cause salt poisoning if too much is ingested. It can take as little as a few swallows of contaminated lake water to make a dog sick if the wrong algae is present.

The 4th of July can be a fun time for you and your pets! Family, friends, cookouts, playtime and fun in the sun. But please remember to BE SAFE with your pets during hot weather.

Heather's new puppy had a drooling problem that lead to vomiting when riding in the car. Here's her story and what her solution was.

How to get your dog to appreciate riding in the car, along with a few products that can help.

Like humans, dogs can also get stressed. Dog stress can result in undesirable behavior and can lead to health issues. Try these tips to calm your dog.

Remembering to give your cat or dog a heartworm pill is too important to forget. Prevention is easy...treatment is not. Learn about heartworm disease.

We are proud to again partner with the Marine Aquarium Societies of North America (MASNA) for the 2017-2018 MASNA Student Scholarships. There are two scholarships available: One $4,000 scholarship for a college undergraduate student One $4,000 scholarship for a college graduate student The 2017-2018 MASNA Student Scholarships are sponsored by Drs. Foster and Smith LiveAquaria.com, […]

Get tips and advice on how to care for the new puppy in your life.

Prevention is easy…treatment is not. Learn about heartworm disease so you can keep your dog and cat safe from this devastating disease.

Your relationship has been going great and now you have both decided a pet would be a perfect addition to your family. Then the unthinkable happens—a divorce or breakup. What happens to your pet? Unfortunately, that family member so loved and cared about may now only be legally seen as property, nearly the same as a car or TV.

This can be one more bone of contention in what can already be a messy situation, or it could be a moment of mutual agreement as you both take your pet’s needs into consideration ahead of your own. Unless you think about the possibility in advance, however, you may be leaving it up to a court to decide who gets your furry, finned, or feathered friend.

What does a court consider in determining the custody of a pet?

If the couple is married, it depends on the type of pet and the overall number of pets in the home, said John Slowiaczek, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML).

“The key factor will always be who provides the primary care for the pet—walking, grooming, taking to the veterinarian,” Slowiaczek said. “Something else that might be a determination could be who the animal associates to as its primary companion in the home. If...


Canine noise aversion is a common anxiety and fear-based response that affects over 1/3 of dogs.When considering if your dog has noise aversion, first determine your dog’s trigger: What sounds initiate your dog’s noise aversion? Although fireworks and thunder are the most commonly reported triggers2, there are many indoor noises that can trigger a fear response. As the holidays approach, many of these indoor triggers become more common, including ringing doorbells, the loud voices of children, the cheers for your favorite football team, or something as common as the vacuum cleaner.

Also consider how your dog reacts to the noise. Signs of noise aversion range from subtle (lip licking, holding one foreleg up, or yawning) to moderate (panting, pacing, barking, or hiding) to severe (running away, hurting themselves, or causing property damage as they try to escape from the house or their crate). Not sure if your dog has noise aversion? Click here to take a simple, online quiz.

Regardless of the sounds that cause noise aversion or the signs, your dog is reacting this way because he/she is terrified of the noise. In fact, what your dog is experiencing is similar to what a person...


Sabina Jennings had a special relationship with her cat, Gemma.

“I adopted her in 2004. The shelter said she was about a year old. I saw her markings and took her out, and she was friendly and responded to touch, and I knew she was the one,” she said.

Jennings had just moved into her first apartment and was ready for a feline companion. That companionship lasted more than 12 years, until Gemma, who Jennings refers to as her “first born,” passed away in October 2016.

“She left a big hole in my heart. She was there through so many difficult times in my life. She had a sixth sense and knew to be with me when I was breaking down,” Jennings said.

The bond between Jennings and Gemma wasn’t unlike the bond many pet owners share with their pets. And, as the human-animal bond grows stronger, more pet owners are looking for ways to make it last as long as possible.

That’s why the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) teamed up with the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (IAAHPC) to create the AAHA/IAAHPC End-of-Life Care Guidelines.

Heather Loenser, DVM, AAHA’s veterinary advisor for professional and public affairs, said these new guidelines will...


I’m lucky to have been a pet writer for nearly a decade. I regularly interview veterinarians for articles, and while I’m typically impressed by their knowledge of medicine, I’ve also been amazed by how generously they give back to their local communities. I’ve spoken with veterinary teams who give free exams to service and police dogs, offer low-cost spay/neuter surgeries to local animal shelters, lead free educational workshops, and sponsor walk-a-thons to raise money for canine cancer research.

So I wasn’t surprised—although still moved—to learn about the support veterinarians give to Pets of the Homeless, a Nevada-based nonprofit that provides pet food and mobile veterinary services to low-income and homeless people across the country.

In partnership with Pets of the Homeless, veterinarians and volunteers have treated over 13,000 animals. Typically, these pop-up wellness clinics include vaccinations, physical exams, and treatment for minor injuries or illnesses. If a pet needs emergency care, such as surgery in an animal hospital, Pets of the Homeless has a program to help defray costs of that treatment, while veterinarians provide deep discounts for the procedure.

“We would...


Has your veterinarian recommended adding essential fatty acids to your dog or cat’s diet? While the idea of giving your pet additional fat may seem counterintuitive, essential fatty acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6, are energy-rich nutrients that can provide numerous benefits for humans and animals alike.

Good fat vs. bad fat

Healthy dietary fats, or unsaturated fats, are divided into two main groups: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Essential fatty acids fall into the polyunsaturated category. Commonly found in fish and plant-based foods or oils, these are the “good” fats that feed the body’s cells and promote overall health.

Julie Buzby, DVM, CAVCA, CVA, associate veterinarian at Animal Medical Center of the Lowcountry in Beaufort, South Carolina, and member of the Grey Muzzle Organization Advisory Board, is a firm believer in adding fatty acids to a pet’s diet. “The closest thing to a panacea, omega-3 supplements can positively impact every cell in your dog’s body,” she said.

The omega fatty acids family

Omega-3 and omega-6 are part of the essential fatty acids family, and both are vital to a pet’s health and wellbeing. As the name implies, these nutrients are...


It’s the most wonderful time of the year—the season of giving! During the holidays, many people decide to give dogs or cats as gifts, which can be a boon to shelter pets.

“There are millions of animals in need in the United States alone, and choosing to adopt a pet is an incredible gift to not only that animal, but also to your household, for it will never again be short of love and tail wags,” said Tiana Nelson, president and chief operating officer of PawsCo, a nonprofit animal welfare organization based in Denver, Colorado.

Of course, welcoming a new pet into your home is a big commitment—one people aren’t always ready to make. Sadly, animal shelters see an influx of pets after the holidays when people receive them as gifts but are unable or unwilling to care for them, Nelson said. Rather than surprising someone with a pet they might not keep, she recommends visiting a shelter or looking at adoption websites as a family to make the decision together about which pet to bring home.

“Wrapping a note or animal supplies and then making the gift ‘Let’s pick out a new pet together’ is another way to bring an animal in need into the family,” she said. “Consider visiting your local...


Feline medicine wasn’t the original plan for Katarina Luther, DVM. But “Dr. Kat,” as she’s affectionately called now, wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I absolutely love the mystery and uniqueness of each cat. They are truly special little beings,” said Luther, owner of AAHA-accredited Cat Care Clinic in Madison, Wisconsin.

February is National Pet Dental Health Month, and one of the biggest health concerns in feline medicine, according to Luther, is dental health.

“It affects not only their oral health and comfort, but also their overall health,” Luther said.

“Cat mouths, due to their size and the nature of cats, simply don’t get the attention that dog mouths do,” she said. “For instance, a dog will relax with his owner, often with his mouth wide open and tongue hanging out, panting. This makes his teeth more visible and his breath more noticeable. Sightings inside a cat’s mouth are few and far between unless they are very deliberate by an examiner.”

And, because many cats aren’t seeing a veterinarian as often as they should, undetected dental disease can progress and begin to affect overall health.

Brushing your cat’s teeth

“There is no doubt that brushing cats’ teeth...


January is Walk Your Pet Month, a great time to get outside and exercise with your pup. But what if your dog needs space from other dogs or people? Don’t resort to walking your dog at midnight. With patience, ongoing training, and expert advice, you can successfully manage your dog’s leash reactivity.

“It's easy to get overwhelmed with all the information circulating out there about what to do with your reactive dog and how best to help them improve,” said Scott Raymond, MS, CPDT-KA, a certified professional dog trainer with Synergy Behavior Solutions in Portland, Oregon.

Misleading information can also result in the development of even more significant behavioral issues, he said.

“Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to punish a dog to make them act better,” Raymond said. “Having a consistent management plan and a solid rewards-based approach to training can help a lot.”

According to animal behaviorist, ethologist, and adjunct professor in zoology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Patricia McConnell, PhD, CAAB, it is important to gain confidence walking your reactive dog to build resilience—the process of adapting well in the face of significant stress.

“Exercise...


When Rosabel, an eight-year-old German shepherd, developed weakness in her rear legs, her concerned owners took her to their veterinarian. X-rays revealed she had a potential slipped disc in her lower back, so Rosabel was referred to a veterinary surgeon for an MRI and back surgery.

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance examined 215,000 claims filed between June 2015 and June 2016 to identify the most common reasons our dogs and cats visit the veterinarian.

Top accidents and illnesses for dogs
• Digestive issues
• Skin conditions
• Ear infections
• Eye conditions
• Growths/lumps
• Urinary tract infections
• Allergies
• Pain
• Limping
• Cruciate ligament injuries

Top accidents and illness for cats
• Digestive issues
• Urinary tract infections
• Skin conditions
• Cancer
• Kidney disease
• Eye conditions
• Ear infections
• Heart conditions
• Upper respiratory infections
• ADR (ain’t doin’ right)

For more information, visit healthypawspetinsurance.com.

“That dog has lived another three years, walking and comfortable, thanks to having pet insurance,” said Rosabel’s veterinarian, Al Schwartz, DVM, owner of 2016 finalist for AAHA-Accredited Practice of the Year, Moorpark Veterinary Hospital, in...


Taking into account the needs and preferences of each cat living in a multicat household will improve their individual wellbeing and promote feline harmony in the home.

Litter boxes and location

When it comes to litter boxes, the general rule is one box per cat in the household plus an extra one. This gives cats options, as some cats prefer more privacy than others and may have a preference for a particular location. Lining up all the litter boxes in a row is often perceived as one giant box and this can cause one or more of the felines in the household to do their business outside the box.  

Cats also like to be able to see who else is coming or going from the box. Therefore, open boxes are best. Stay away from placing boxes in enclosed cupboards or under staircase recesses—this will prevent a very territorial cat from trying to trap a feline housemate in this space or attempting to ambush her as she exits.

It’s OK to scratch

Scratching is an innate feline characteristic. Cats scratch to relieve stress, sharpen their claws, stretch, and exercise. Some like to scratch vertically; others, horizontally. In a multicat household, it’s a good idea to offer a variety of scratchers...


Growing up, my grandfather had a basset hound named Chloe. Chloe loved naps. She loved food. She was overweight.

My grandfather loved that dog—and his way of showing his love was to feed her. In fact, he regularly took her to McDonalds for six-piece Chicken McNuggets and always made her a hamburger when he was making them for the family.

Most of us have been guilty of similar misguided attempts at showing affection. For our pets, however, the consequences can be serious.

February 20 is Love Your Pet Day. (Yes, I know every day should be Love Your Pet Day.) Here are five ways many pet owners are hurting their pets with the wrong kinds of love.

1. Overfeeding

My grandfather certainly wasn’t alone in showing a pet love by overfeeding.

“It’s a great way for us, we think, to express our love. And we do express love with food, not only in America, but in lots of cultures all over the world,” said Steve Dale, certified animal behavior consultant, writer, and syndicated radio host of Steve Dale’s Pet World.

Dale recommends being cognizant of your pet’s size—a small amount of food for us is much more for them—and generally avoiding giving your pet human food altogether. Rather than...

Would it surprise you to learn that blood pressure can be checked in cats and dogs, too? Actually, a blood pressure reading can be an important part of monitoring your pet’s overall health.

Dog anxiety is difficult for both the dog and the dog owner. Veterinarian offers options you might consider if your dog has anxiety issues.

Dealing with allergies in dogs can be tricky. Veterinary guidance is very important in both diagnosis and treatment.

Learn about Cerenia, a nausea-controlling drug that helps dogs with motion sickness.

With a few healthy life style changes and possibly a pet med such as Rimadyl, the improvement in an arthritic dog’s quality of life can be amazing.

Pet owners will relate with many of these “tips” for spoiling your pet. No matter how we spoil our pets, it’ll all add up to happy, healthy pets!

Before you let your puppy begin to enjoy the outdoors, anticipate potential dangers and prevent your puppy from going into places that are off-limits.

Puppies are naturally curious, so puppy proofing your house is important. These puppy proofing tips will help keep your puppy out of danger.

February 23 is Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day! Here are a few fun trivia facts plus what you can do to celebrate this doggitylicious day.

Happy fall! Along with gorgeous new sights and increasingly comfortable temperatures, fall offers unique opportunities for fun with your dog. 1.) Enjoy the changing foliage – Explore a park, go hiking, or simply stroll around your neighborhood to take in nature’s handiwork. Be sure to protect your dog against fleas and ticks with a product like K9 […]