Steve Dale, author of the syndicated "My Pet World" column, is widely known as the "Ann Landers of the pet world," offering animal lovers of ...

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Steve Dale

Steve Dale

My Pet World

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Second-hand smoke is bad news for people and pets

October 23, 2014

Q: We have a friend who's started smoking cigarettes, and quite heavily. She claims to love animals. I wonder how second-hand smoke affects pets. I think I know the answer, but my friend needs a blast of reality from a professional like you. -- D.G., Henderson, NV

  • Pet owners are prepping their Halloween finery

    October 22, 2014

    "I don't know why, but people love dressing up their dogs as monkeys," says Alice Lerman, owner of Barker and Meowsky: A Paw Firm (, in Chicago. She says monkey costumes are always big sellers at Halloween -- and this season's hot item is the Fez Monkey Hoodie with a removable vest. Another winner is the Max the Monster Pullover and Hoodie Sweater.

  • Officials hope to have a protocol soon regarding pets and Ebola

    October 16, 2014

    Q: Can dogs and cats get the Ebola virus? If the answer is no, as I believe it is, why did they kill that dog from Spain? -- S.H., Chicago, IL

  • New book takes a revealing look into the world of feral cats

    October 15, 2014

    Even if you don't know it, they're out there lurking in the shadows. According to market research conducted by Anne Beall, there are nearly as many feral (wild) cats in the U.S as there are owned cats.

  • Stem cell treatments show promise for some feline health issues

    October 9, 2014

    When it comes to cats, nearly everything modern veterinary medicine knows about their health and welfare has been learned through studies funded by the non-profit Winn Feline Foundation. From the very food most cats eat to treatments for a wide range of health issues, Winn has been there to help cats for 46 years, and has now launched a new website as a resource for cat lovers:

  • Loss of prominent behaviorist, veterinarian stuns pet world

    October 8, 2014

    Dr. Sophia Yin, an applied animal behaviorist, was one of the first to join my public outcry over then-popular dog trainer Cesar Millan's emphasis on forceful, aversive dog training and misleading messages about dog behavior. In a 2005 My Pet World column, Yin said of Millan: "He seems to have found success by forcing dogs into what he calls submission. What's he's doing, though, is forcing dogs -- it's not about dominance or submission; we're forcing them because we can."

  • Declawing is, indeed, amputation -- and unnecessary

    October 2, 2014

    Q: We don't consider a declaw an amputation, as you insist it is. Our cats survive longer because we keep them indoors. We love our cats; they even sleep in our bed. Don't you believe under those conditions it's OK to declaw? -- H.T., Tampa, FL

  • America's Favorite Veterinarian a beloved James Herriot clone

    October 1, 2014

    On Sept. 30, Dr. Tim Hunt, of Marquette, Mich., was voted America's Favorite Veterinarian in a contest sponsored by the non-profit American Veterinary Medical Foundation. As it turns out, voters chose a kind of modern day James Herriot (the beloved late British country veterinarian, James Alfred "Alf" Wight, best known by his pen name).

  • Anxiety likely at the root of cat's car sickness

    September 25, 2014

    Nearly everything modern veterinary medicine knows about cat health and welfare has been learned through studies funded by the non-profit Winn Feline Foundation. From the very food most cats eat to the vaccinations they receive to treatments for a wide range of health issues, Winn has been there to help cats. The foundation is now celebrating 46 years and a new website:

  • Pet-loving celebrities support 'Remember Me Thursday'

    September 23, 2014

    "Let's also remember the orphans who are euthanized," says Mike Arms, CEO and president of the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe, CA.

  • New products good weapons against skunk smell

    September 18, 2014

    Q: We can hardly go outdoors without smelling a skunk. Moreover, our dog has now had two close encounters, which created such a terrible a stink in our home that we needed professionals to de-skunk the place. Any advice? -- B.H., Grand Rapids, MI

  • 'Remember Me Thursday' honors orphan animals euthanized around the world

    September 17, 2014

    Pet adoption in America is steadily improving, and at least some shelters boast impressive numbers of placements in some parts of the country. But Mike Arms, president and CEO of the Helen Woodward Animal Center, Rancho Santa Fe, CA, is most interested in the orphans not adopted.

  • Sporting breeds make good dogs for rambunctious children

    September 11, 2014

    Q: My 5- and 8-year-old grandchildren want a dog. Can you recommend a breed that's good with children? Do you suggest a purebred or mixed breed? And where should we get the dog? -- K.L.L, via cyberspace

  • New initiative promotes early diagnosis of Lyme disease

    September 10, 2014

    Lyme disease is an epidemic in America. Last year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated there is 10 times more Lyme disease present in people than previously thought. At least 300,000 people are diagnosed annually with Lyme in the U.S.

  • Your dog will love your car as much as you do

    September 4, 2014

    Q: Will our dog recognize that we have a shiny new car? -- T.U., Lincolnwood, IL

  • Stem-cell therapy works wonders for a dog -- and his owner

    September 3, 2014

    The same remedy that healed journalist Julia Szabo's dog wound up saving her life.

  • Dogs with a pit bull 'look' continue to get a bad rap

    August 28, 2014

    These questions don't directly relate to pet behavior or health, but instead are answers to questions regarding my opinions on timely pet-related topics.

  • Veterinarian group promotes alternatives to declawing cats

    August 27, 2014

    "Let's face it, a declaw surgery is an amputation," says Dr. Marcus Brown, president of the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) and a participant in the American Veterinary Medical Association House of Delegates, who helped craft the new AVMA position statement on declawing cats.

  • Training and TLC can help mute dog's noise sensitivity

    July 31, 2014

    Veterinarians and veterinary technicians met at the annual Animal Behavior Symposium on July 25 to share research. The event is sponsored by the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior and the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. Expert attendees answered several of your pet behavior questions this week.

  • The human-animal bond can work wonders

    July 23, 2014

    He didn't grow up with pets. His mother didn't even like pets, but psychologist Aubrey Fine sure appreciates their value.

  • Use simple protective measures to keep coyotes at bay

    July 17, 2014

    Q: I'm very concerned about coyotes; the problem is worse than ever around here. I'm especially worried about my little Bichon Frise, who has no way to defend herself. Recently, there was a coyote attack nearby on a dog who didn't survive. I don't want this to happen to my dog. Any advice? -- C.G., Schaumburg, IL

  • Preventatives could lower heartworm cases

    July 16, 2014

    Pets can run, but they can't hide from heartworm disease, which occurs in all 50 states. Without heartworm protection, even indoor cats hiding under the bed or dogs in states where heartworm isn't especially common (like California or Nebraska) aren't safe from this potentially fatal disease.

  • Researchers learning more about FIP, heart disease in cats

    July 10, 2014

    Feline heart disease (HCM) and a fatal illness called feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) are two of the most devastating diseases in cats.

  • Heart disease a bigger issue for cats than previously thought

    July 9, 2014

    The effects of heart disease in cats can be more devastating than veterinarians previously thought.

  • Safeguard your dog from heat stroke this summer

    July 2, 2014

    Dogs can die in hot cars. According to the AAA Chicago Motor Club, when it's 85 degrees outdoors, even with the car windows open for cross-circulation, the dashboard will heat up to 170 degrees in 15 minutes.

  • Licking (but not eating) magazines shouldn't hurt your cat

    July 1, 2014

    NEW ORLEANS, LA. -- These cat questions were answered by Winn Feline Foundation board members attending the 36th Annual Winn Feline Foundation Symposium here on June 26. The foundation is a non-profit that supports funding for cat health studies.

  • There are many ways to ease your dog's fear of fireworks

    June 26, 2014

    Q: Sadie is terrified of fireworks. We close our windows, but that doesn't help. Not only do we live close to our neighborhood's fireworks display, but kids also set off their own fireworks in the days leading up to the Fourth.. How can I help my dog?-- P.M., Deerfield, IL.

  • Once again, anti-pit bull frenzy is unwarranted

    June 25, 2014

    "The Problem with Pit Bulls" was the headline of a Time magazine story (June 20, 2014) by Charlotte Alter. My problem is with the story, not with the dogs referred to as pit bulls.

  • Cat's fascination with running water could be dangerous

    June 19, 2014

    Q: My cat seems happy, but sometimes it's like she wants to commit suicide. Whenever I take a bath, she jumps into the tub. Then she screams as if she can't get out. We've tried to keep her out of the bathroom, but she's determined. Does she have a psychological problem? -- N.P., Niagara Falls, NY

  • To win the war on fleas, don't settle for inferior OTC weapons

    June 18, 2014

    Instead of the mantra being, "Never say die," it ought to be, "Always says die."

  • Concerns still simmer about pet food products from China

    June 11, 2014

    LEXINGTON, KY. -- Pet food recalls, and pet food with ingredients imported from China are intertwined issues very much on the minds of pet owners. Mark Lyons, vice president of Corporate Affairs for nutrition giant Alltech, who is based in China, is eager to speak about these issues, and some of his responses are surprising.

  • Older dog might not welcome a new canine buddy

    June 5, 2014

    Q: I've been reading your book "Decoding Your Dog" and loving it! I'm an adult student studying psychology. It's great to read a book about animals with a psychological approach. My dog, Bailey, is a 13-year-old Maltese. His brother died last year and I'm thinking of getting another dog. In general, Bailey's not good with other dogs, however. He loves me, and I don't want him to get jealous. Any ideas? -- J.R., Florham Park, NJ

  • Algae offers green way to boost nutritional value of pet and people foods

    June 4, 2014

    LEXINGTON, KY. -- Current and future trends in food for pets and people were among topics addressed at the 30th Alltech Annual International Symposium May 18-21 in Lexington, Ky. The theme of the conference was "What If?" suggesting anything is possible through innovation and technology. Over 2,000 scientists, agriculturists, economists, nutritionists and others interested in food science from 59 countries attended.

  • Bans on pet shop sales of commercially-bred animals continue to stir debate

    May 29, 2014

    I support laws in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago and over 40 other communities around America that prohibit sales of dogs and cats (and sometimes rabbits, too) in pet stores. The presumption is that most of the animals sold at pet shops come from puppy mills or other unscrupulous sources.

  • Dog won't listen? Pet may simply not understand your 'language'

    May 29, 2014

    Q: My dog doesn't listen to me. What should I do? -- G.H., Baltimore, MD

  • Help choosing the best food for your dogs

    May 22, 2014

    Pet food is a religion to an increasing number of pet owners. These pet "parents" have strong and often uncompromising opinions about how to feed their best friends.

  • Newly adopted dog may need time to settle in before she becomes playful

    May 21, 2014

    Q: We just adopted what the shelter referred to as a "shepherd-mix," but Gracie is only about 30 pounds. We don't really know if there's any shepherd in her. Gracie is about a year old, though we're not sure about that, either. Our veterinarian says she's healthy. Gracie is very patient with our kids, ages 8 and 14, but she refuses to play with them or with us. She's just really serious. Do some dogs never play? -- K.J., Portland, ME

  • Curb cat's aggression with play, enriched environment

    May 15, 2014

    Q: Our 13-year-old indoor/outdoor cat is very affectionate, yet for seemingly no reason sometimes circles our feet and legs, sounds and looks aggressive, then bites us savagely. How do we address this? -- S.R., Atlanta, GA

  • Partners for Healthy Pets promotes preventive care, vet visits

    May 14, 2014

    A coalition of organized veterinary medicine and pet industry representatives formed Partners for Healthy Pets in 2011 to increase the health of pets by simply encouraging regular checkups. According to this consumer advertising campaign, preventive care is as important to your pet's well being as your love.

  • Ease a dog's fear of thunder and other loud noises

    May 8, 2014

    These reader questions about behavior were answered by Dr. John Ciribassi, a veterinary behaviorist and co-editor (with Dr. Debra Horwitz and myself) of "Decoding Your Dog: The Ultimate Experts Explain Common Dog Behaviors and Reveal How to Prevent or Change Unwanted Ones" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New York, NY, 2014; $27). This book is the first ever authored by members of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists.

  • Need a Mother's Day gift for a pet lover? Check out these new books

    May 7, 2014

    With Mother's Day around the corner -- and Be Kind to Animals Week coming up May 4-10 -- books featuring pets might make great gifts! If your mother happens to be a cat lover, seeks a celebrity Internet cat, enjoys books that inspire, is a fan of the TV series "Downton Abbey," relishes books with intrigue, or has recently lost a beloved pet, check out these examples:

  • Protect your dog before ticks have a chance to do their nasty work

    April 30, 2014

    Why wait for a tick bite?

  • Dog having 'accidents' on the bed may have medical problems

    April 30, 2014

    Q: My three dogs -- two Yorkshire Terriers and a Yorchon (Yorkshire Terrier/Bichon Frise mix) -- share my bed. They come in and out at night as they please through a doggy door. Recently, the smallest one started pooping and peeing on the bed. I can't think of any good reason she would be angry. What's going on? -- R.B., Las Vegas, NV

  • You can curb, but not stop pooch from barking at squirrels

    April 24, 2014

    This week, your questions are answered by renowned veterinary behaviorist Dr. Karen Overall, the Philadelphia, PA-based contributing author to "Decoding Your Dog: The Ultimate Experts Explain Common Dog Behaviors and Reveal How to Prevent or Change Unwanted Ones" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New York, NY, 2014; $27). Overall is also the author of a far more technical book for professionals, the "Manual of Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Dogs and Cats" (Elsevier, St. Louis, MO, 2013; $72.75). She is a world-renowned researcher and frequent speaker about animal behavior.

  • Pet health stats a valuable source of information

    April 23, 2014

    So, what's the state of pet health? Human health trends are monitored by the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but there's no comparable agency for pets. With 850 hospitals across America, Banfield the Pet Hospital's database is a gold mine in veterinary medicine, as scrupulous records are kept on everything from the most common dog and cat breeds to disease prevalence.

  • Training your cat to use a scratching post far better than declawing

    April 17, 2014

    Q: I want to have my 6-year-old male cat declawed. I've purchased scratching posts, but he ignores them. What else can I do? -- D.P., via cyberspace

  • Thankfully, bans on the sale of puppy mill pets are spreading

    April 16, 2014

    It's that time again to hear from readers, and you do have a lot to say! Keep those emails coming to

  • Dosing a diabetic cat with testosterone is irresponsible

    April 10, 2014

    Q: Two of my medical patients have taken the liberty of successfully using their own testosterone injectables on their cats to reverse diabetes. I thought you might want to pass this information along. -- E.L., via cyberspace

  • Dogs have a big-hearted friend in Joan Rivers

    April 9, 2014

    No question, Joan Rivers loves dogs.

  • Lots can be done to help older dogs with achy joints

    April 3, 2014

    NASHVILLE, TN -- These reader questions were answered at the American Animal Hospital Association Conference 2014, held here March 20-23. AAHA is the only organization which accredits veterinary practice for excellent standards, with over 50,000 member clinics. AAHA also oversees the creation and writing of many veterinary care guidelines. Learn more at

  • Latest slam on cats for killing songbirds is unfair

    April 2, 2014

    Dogs are man's best friends, but cats have a target on their backs. The latest to take aim was Richard Conniff in a New York Times op-ed piece March 21 headlined, "The Evil of the Outdoor Cat."

  • Check with veterinarian about cat's sneezing

    March 27, 2014

    NASHVILLE, TN -- These reader questions were answered at the American Animal Hospital Association Conference 2014 here, March 20-23. AAHA is the only organization which accredits veterinary practices for excellence in veterinary standards. There are over 50,000 AAHA veterinary care providers. AAHA also oversees the creation and writing of many veterinary care guidelines. The AAHA website offers lots of credible information for pet owners:

  • Kathy Ireland extending her passion for fashion to pets

    March 26, 2014

    Kathy Ireland's Worldwide brand is 28th most powerful brand in the nation, according to Forbes Magazine, topping $2 billion in licensed products in 2013. When it comes to home decor, the one-time super model is a superstar and more than a tad successful. Announced at the Global Pet Expo in Orlando, FL, on March 13, Ireland has now partnered with a pet products company called Worldwise (cq).

  • Some pet problems mistakenly blamed on separation anxiety

    March 20, 2014

    Recently, Merrick Pet Foods conducted a contest via Facebook, asking readers to ask me: "Why does my dog...?" The first 20 responders received a copy of "Decoding Your Dog: The Ultimate Experts Explain Common Dog Behaviors and Reveal How to Prevent or Change Unwanted Ones" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New York, NY, 2014; $27) authored by members of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, co-edited by myself, and veterinary behaviorists Dr. Debra Horwitz and Dr. John Ciribassi.

  • Tony La Russa is pleased to see baseball go to the dogs

    March 19, 2014

    ORLANDO, FLA. -- Tony La Russa reaches down to pet a dog at the Global Pet Expo (March 12-14 at the Orange County Convention Center here), the pet industry's largest trade show with nearly 1,000 exhibitors. As he gently strokes the puppy, La Russa's three World Series rings are unmistakable.

  • Curbing your dog's attraction to cat poop may take some creativity

    March 13, 2014

    Merrick Pet Foods recently conducted a contest via Facebook, asking readers to ask me: "Why does my dog...?" The first 20 responders received a copy of "Decoding Your Dog: The Ultimate Experts Explain Common Dog Behaviors and Reveal How to Prevent or Change Unwanted Ones" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New York, NY, 2014; $27). The book was written by members of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, and co-edited by myself, and veterinary behaviorists Dr. Debra Horwitz and Dr. John Ciribassi.

  • Campaign to drive puppy mills out of business gaining momentum across the U.S.

    March 12, 2014

    The goal is to drive puppy mills out of business and discourage impulsive purchases of dogs. With the impetus of the Puppy Mill Project, a non-profit educational campaign launched in 2009, Chicago joined Los Angeles, Phoenix and over 40 other cities March 5 in banning pet stores from selling dogs, cats or rabbits. My hope is that by the end of 2015 at least 40 more cities will follow suit, including major markets like New York, Houston and San Francisco.

  • Do animals have long-term memory?

    March 6, 2014

    These reader questions were answered by Thornhill, Ontario, Canada-based veterinary behaviorist Dr. Gary Landsberg, a contributing author to "Decoding Your Dog" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New York, NY, 2014; $27), also including segments by fellow members of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. The book is co-edited by myself and veterinary behaviorists Dr. Debra Horwitz and Dr. John Ciribassi.

  • Service and assistance dogs aren't always living the good life, expert claims

    March 5, 2014

    Jennifer Arnold founded a service dog school called Canine Assistants in 1995.

  • More activity during the day might quiet squabbling cats

    February 27, 2014

    LAS VEGAS, NV -- These reader questions were answered by experts attending the Western Veterinary Conference here Feb. 16-20.

  • Looking for something different? These exotics are good choices

    February 26, 2014

    Whoever said dogs and cats should have a monopoly on our affections and the chance to share our homes? For those who like to be different, here are three ideas for unconventional pets -- all of which are also good choices for people with allergies. (Then again, so are fish!)

  • Vitamin C is not a proven 'cure' for urinary tract infections

    February 20, 2014

    LAS VEGAS, NV -- You, my readers, ask great questions, so I asked experts attending the Western Veterinary Conference here (Feb. 16-20) to answer a handful:

  • Emotion plays a big part in animal behavior, expert attests

    February 19, 2014

    "We know that even fish have emotions," says Marc Bekoff, author of "Why Dogs Hump and Bees Get Depressed: The Fascinating Science of Emotions, Friendship, and Conservation" (New World Library, New York, NY, 2013; $15.95). "We chose the (book's) title because it's an attention-getter. The title also makes the case that some explanations are not as obvious as we think."

  • Stray dogs in Sochi deserve better than extermination

    February 13, 2014

    Q: I saw on your blog ( that you've taken a stand, calling for people to boycott watching the Olympics. Do you think blogs like yours have helped the world see what's really going on in Russia, as they continue to kill stray dogs? -- A.D., via cyberspace

  • Stray dogs in Sochi deserve better than extermination

    February 13, 2014

    Q: I saw on your blog ( that you've taken a stand, calling for people to boycott watching the Olympics. Do you think blogs like yours have helped the world see what's really going on in Russia, as they continue to kill stray dogs? -- A.D., via cyberspace

  • Cats are hugely popular -- even though we don't understand them

    February 12, 2014

    If you're an accountant, and the balance sheet is what matters most, cats should be man's best friends. According to the 2012 American Veterinary Medical Association's Pet Ownership Demographic Sourcebook, there are 74.1 million pet cats in the U.S. - but only 69.9 million dogs. And it's the same elsewhere. According to the journal Nature, there are 2,037,046,000 pet cats when you add up the number of cats in the top 10 countries with the most pets. According to the same source, there are just 400 million dogs in those same countries.

  • Aging, separation anxiety could be factors behind pooch's odd behavior

    February 6, 2014

    ORLANDO, FLA. -- These questions were answered by experts who attended the North American Veterinary Conference here Jan. 18-22:

  • Labrador Retriever retains the crown as most-popular dog breed

    February 5, 2014

    If dogs are man's best friends, the Labrador Retriever is specifically man's favorite breed, at least in America. According to the newly-released American Kennel Club (AKC) breed registration data for 2013, for the 23rd consecutive year Labs are the most popular of 177 purebred dogs.

  • Yelling at your cat won't solve her litter box issues

    January 30, 2014

    ORLANDO, FLA. -- These questions were answered by experts attending the North American Veterinary Conference here Jan. 18-22.

  • Erasing the fear of veterinary visits would lead to healthier pets

    January 29, 2014

    ORLANDO, FLA. -- The annual North American Veterinary Conference, one of the largest meetings of its kind, was held here Jan. 19-22. Dr. Marty Becker, one of many featured speakers, discussed his concept of fear-free veterinary visits.

  • You can curb your dog's craving for 'poopsicles'

    January 23, 2014

    Q: What should I do about my dog who, at the age of 8, has suddenly decided that she likes to eat the frozen poop of other dogs? -- B.N., St. Paul, MN

  • Dogs are smarter than we think, and some are downright brilliant

    January 22, 2014

    "It's about time science has woken up to the fact that dogs are really smart," says evolutionary anthropologist Brian Hare, co-author (with Vanessa Woods) of "The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs Are Smarter Than You Think" (Penguin Random House, New York, NY, 2013, $17). "It's really quite remarkable that dogs ever became our buddies, since they evolved from wolves, our main competitor."

  • Readers offer their opinions on my opinions

    January 16, 2014

    Here are some reader responses to answers in recent columns. I always appreciate reader input. Email anytime with questions or answers at You can also find me on Facebook:

  • Indie band's hit song and video helping boost pet adoption

    January 15, 2014

    From a dog's perspective, "every day is the best day of my life." And when a dog is adopted, that really may be the best day of the pet's life. Therefore, it's perfectly fitting that the music video for the hit song "The Best Day of My Life," by American Authors, stars an English bulldog.

  • Careful training can solve many pet behavior problems

    January 9, 2014

    The following reader questions about dog behavior were answered by veterinary behaviorist Dr. Debra Horwitz, of St. Louis, MO, an editor (with Dr. John Ciribassi and myself) of "Decoding Your Dog" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014, $27) written by members of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. The book explains common canine behavior problems and ways to avoid them. There's also advice from experts on how to change unwanted behaviors using science-based methods.

  • New book offers solid advice on curbing canine behavior problems

    January 8, 2014

    To this day, if you Google "dog screamer," up pops a column I wrote back in 2006 headlined, "He Ought To Call Himself the Dog Screamer." The column went viral and I received hundreds of hate-laced emails because I dared express concerns about dog-training methods advocated by then popular "Dog Whisperer," Cesar Millan.

  • These New Year's resolutions are for pets

    January 2, 2014

    Asking my Facebook fans ( about their New Year's resolutions for their pets (or all pets) has become an annual tradition. Here some responses I've received for 2014:

  • Remember these winter safety tips for pets

    January 1, 2014

    The weather outside may be frightful, so here are some tips for keeping your pets safe in the snow and cold:

  • Only a few other mammals - besides reindeer - can fly

    December 23, 2013

    Q: I was thinking about flying reindeer. Of course, I don't believe reindeer can fly, but do any other animals fly aside from birds? -- P.P., Little Rock, AK

  • Dark pigmentation in cat's mouth likely a harmless sign of aging

    December 19, 2013

    Q: Tigger, my 13-year-old cat, now has black pigment just inside the lower part of his mouth. Also, there's a clump of hair on his back; it's like gum stuck there, but I know that's not the case. I tried to wash the area, but that didn't help. What's going on? -- B.S., St. Paul, MN

  • New pet books offer everything from feline photos to poetry by dogs

    December 18, 2013

    From giant coffee table books to perfect little stocking stuffers, here are 11 choices for holiday pet book gift-giving this year:

  • Brushing is key to keeping your home free of pet hair

    December 12, 2013

    Q: How do you prevent dog hair from taking over your house? -- J.D., Cyberspace

  • Pet holiday gifts are now a must!

    December 11, 2013

    Increasingly, pets get holiday gifts, not only from their immediate families but also from friends and relatives. When attending a party, in addition to the traditional hostess gift, guests often tote a present for the resident pet(s). Here are a few ideas:

  • Guidelines outline which vaccines vets should use, and how often to vaccinate

    December 5, 2013

    Q: I've written to you before about the scoundrel veterinarians who've cheated the public. Like the veterinarian in the recent "20/20" TV segment, when we changed counties, that new vet wanted to vaccinate my dog all over again with vaccines I'd never heard of. And the "20/20" segment (broadcast Nov. 24) proved that dogs only need vaccines every three years. Don't you think vets are vaccinating our animals to death? -- V.C., Cyberspace

  • Most veterinarians, evidence indicates, are honest with pet owners

    December 4, 2013

    I am a journalist, not a veterinarian. At this moment, I'm ashamed for my profession rather than the veterinary professional targeted in an ABC-TV "20/20" story called "Is Your Veterinarian Being Honest With You?" broadcast Sunday, Nov. 24.

  • *MY PET WORLD, For release 12/03/13

    December 3, 2013


  • To much Thanksgiving turkey could give your pet a tummy ache - or worse

    November 28, 2013

    Q: Why do people go on TV every year warning against giving our pets turkey over Thanksgiving, when turkey is found in dog and cat food? C'mon, it's crazy! -- T.J., Providence, RI

  • After your Thanksgiving meal, feast your eyes on the National Dog Show

    November 27, 2013

    "God created dogs as companions to show us the principals of angelic behavior, service and love," says actor/author John O'Hurley, who will once again offer color commentary for the Thanksgiving Day National Dog Show Presented by Purina from noon to 2 p.m. (all time zones) on NBC.

  • A mix of wet and dry food seems best for most cats

    November 21, 2013

    Q: I recently discovered your radio show and listen each week from Spain. My husband and I are researching the best food possible for our cat. There is great debate over dry food vs. wet. What do you recommend? -- A.M.V., Madrid, Spain

  • If you see an abandoned or neglected dog, do something!

    November 20, 2013

    Willow, a fawn-colored pit bull-type dog, was hours away from certain death. She was literally starving.

  • Cat's stinky breath likely points to a medical problem

    November 14, 2013

    Q: My cat was never a kisser, but he's begun to kiss us. I like the affection, but not the nasty breath! You'd think there would be a mint catnip or breath mint available for cats. Do you know of any such products? -- S.J., St. Paul, MN

  • 'Zoobiquity' conference explores medical advances that could help people and animals

    November 13, 2013

    NEW YORK CITY -- It's been called "one health" or comparative medicine, and now "zoobiquity" is the in-vogue term used to describe the intersection where human and animal medicine meet.

  • Distractions an effective ploy to help curb barking

    November 7, 2013

    Q: What do you suggest I do to stop my 2-year-old Labrador mix from barking when there's someone at the door? I also have three other mixed-breed dogs, all of whom get along well. -- K.B., Granby, CT

  • Survey reveals some big misconceptions about cats

    November 6, 2013

    Cat owners think they understand their feline friends' needs, but sometimes they may not. According to a recent survey by the Kelton Global of more than 500 cat owners, its turns out the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) may be easier to understand than domestic cats.

  • Until there's an all clear on contamination, avoid jerky treats

    October 31, 2013

    Q: You've written about jerky treats being bad for pets, so what else should I give my dog as a treat? He's accustomed to getting his jerky at night before bedtime. -- C.J., Las Vegas

  • Just say "no" to jerky treats from China

    October 30, 2013

    Since 2007, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine (FDA CVM) says it has received reports of 3,600 sickened dogs and 10 cats becoming ill as a result of eating jerky treats made in China, not to mention 580 deaths reportedly caused by the tainted jerky,

  • Federal law supercedes condo association's edict on medical alert dog

    October 24, 2013

    Q: I live in a condominium complex, and the association won't allow me to have a medical alert dog without a certification from a dog trainer. I want a dog who can bark at the door when I remove my hearing aids. I have chronic pain and I believe a dog would help me.

  • Mayer Hawthorne music video has a canine connection

    October 23, 2013

    "Her Favorite Song," isn't only a catchy tune from musician/singer Mayer Hawthorne; it's also eye-catching. The music video features about a dozen dogs.

  • Costumes OK, just keep your pet away from the Halloween candy

    October 17, 2013

    Q: My husband insists that putting a Halloween costume on our little dog is a horrifying idea. What do you think? -- M.E., Henderson, NV

  • More and more pets joining the Halloween costume parade

    October 16, 2013

    Don't be surprised if you're greeted by a werewolf barking at your front door on Halloween. According to Alice Lerman, of Chicago's Barker and Meowsky: A Paw Firm, the Twilight movie series has influenced popular Halloween costumes for dogs. She adds, "Owls are also popular, and bat wings are a perennial favorite; they're easy, even for pets who don't like costumes."

  • Dog's aggression likely based on fear

    October 10, 2013

    Q: We've had our 5-year-old Great Dane since he was a puppy. I took him through puppy class, obedience call, agility class, private instruction and to my office daily. At the age of 3, he began to get protective of me, lunging and growling at other people. He stopped going to the office. Now, he's gotten worse, even lunging at a neighbor who put a hand over the fence, and he once jumped on a passerby. I'm very concerned and fear I may have to euthanize this dog. Any advice? -- D.M., Cyberspace

  • Symposium explores links between pet and human nutrition

    October 9, 2013

    PORTLAND, OR -- Issues relating to what we eat are in many cases similar to concerns about what our pets eat.

  • Simple changes can help turn shy guy into Confident Cat

    October 3, 2013

    Q: We're looking for a way to calm our cat's fears. We captured Chase at 6-weeks, and he was just under a pound. If you're sitting on the sofa, he'll come to you and you can pick him up. But you can't just pick him up from the floor. He will come when called to get to his morning turkey. Otherwise, he spends the day under the bed and disappears if we have visitors.

  • Military veterinarian gets a special high five

    October 2, 2013

    Although the Wisconsin Badgers slammed the Purdue Boilermakers 41 to 10 Saturday, Sept. 21, the 80,000 fans watching the game at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison will most remember an event that occurred during an extended time out.

  • Pets rescued after Oklahoma twister bring their owners a special joy

    September 30, 2013

    What defines losing everything? Thousands of residents of Moore, OK, lost their homes and most of their belongings following last week's deadly tornado. Those were the lucky ones, compared to 24 people who died, including seven children. When the giant EF5 tornado roared through Moore, Newcastle and Oklahoma City on May 20, many children we still in school -- and huge numbers of pets were home alone -- all with no way to know what was headed toward them, or what to do.

  • 'Hoarding' pets is quite different from loving and caring for lots of them!

    September 30, 2013

    PHOENIX, AZ -- These reader questions were answered by veterinary experts attending the annual American Animal Hospital Association Conference here March 14-17. The AAHA is the only organization that accredits small animal hospitals throughout the U.S. and Canada. AAHA-accredited hospitals are evaluated regularly on approximately 900 quality-of-care standards defining excellence in veterinary medicine. Learn more at

  • Want a well-behaved cat? Start with a socialization class

    September 30, 2013

    These questions are from readers around the globe, suggesting our world is getting smaller every day.

  • Careful training best way to curb female dog's marking habit

    September 30, 2013

    Q: My 12-year-old spayed dog used to piddle like the female she is. Then, about a year ago, she began to piddle far more often on walks, sometime lifting her leg like a male dog. She used to urinate maybe three or four times on walks, but now she lifts her leg maybe 10 times or more. The vet checked her out and she's fine. He has no idea what's going on. Does she want a sex-change operation? -- S.R., St. Paul, MN

  • Westminster dog show always a crowd and TV hit

    September 30, 2013

    Westminster is the most well-known dog show in America, standing behind only the Kentucky Derby as the nation's most long-standing sporting event. This year, the 137th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show will be held Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 11-12, at Madison Square Garden in New York City, and televised on CNBC and the USA Network.

  • Dog who pees indoors needs housetraining, not a 'time out'

    September 30, 2013

    TYSON'S CORNER, VA -- These selected questions were answered by experts attending the BlogPaws Conference 2013 here May 16-18. Over 500 pet bloggers and writers gathered to learn more about using social media to educate pet owners.

  • Abnormal behavior calls for a visit to the veterinarian

    September 30, 2013

    Q: My 6-month-old cat has not defecated for a week. I took her to the veterinarian for a second time, and she noticed the cat was backed up "up high." Anastasia now has stopped eating. When I take her to the vet, she gets traumatized. Any suggestions? A. -- B.B., Cyberspace

  • Pets are making a slow comeback in Rwanda

    September 30, 2013

    RWANDA, AFRICA -- In September, we flew into the capital city of Kigali before heading out to the Virunga Mountains to see mountain gorillas. Instantly, it was apparent how much rebuilding and growth has occurred since the Rwandan genocide of 1994, when 800,000 men, women, and children were massacred, one of the most horrific atrocities in human history.

  • Schnauzer may need a housetraining refresher course!

    September 30, 2013

    LAS VEGAS, NV -- These reader questions were answered by world-renowned experts at the 85th Annual Western Veterinary Conference held here Feb. 17-21. The conference was attended by more than 6,500 veterinarians and 2,000 veterinary technicians and practice managers.

  • Animal abuse should never be ignored

    September 30, 2013

    Q: I wonder if Adam Lanza, the killer of those babies at Sandy Hook Elementary School (Newtown, CT), ever abused animals or shot at them with all those guns his mother collected. Do you know? -- S.H., Denver, CO

  • Mr. President, veterans with PTSD deserve service dogs

    September 30, 2013

    I'd never have thought a humble pet columnist would be correcting the President of the United States. During the third presidential debate October 22, President Barack Obama maintained that his administration was "making sure that...our veterans are getting the care that they need when it comes to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury."

  • Dog's skin problems and clogged glands can be treated without breaking the bank

    September 30, 2013

    Q: When we purchased our 8-week-old German Shepherd, we were told he was very healthy. However, he's suffered from an unbelievable skin condition, constantly scratching his stomach, genitals and ears. We've taken him to a dermatologist and to our veterinarian many times, but all they say is he should undergo "scratch tests" that would cost thousands of dollars -- and that might not even help. We can't afford the tests. This dog also suffers from clogged glands. We love him enough to put him out of his misery. We know he must be uncomfortable. What would you advise? -- S.M., Cyberspace

  • Stay awake after all that Thanksgiving turkey for the National Dog Show!

    September 30, 2013

    It's as much a tradition as turkey with stuffing and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Once again, the National Dog Show, presented by Purina, will follow the parade on NBC TV at noon (in all time zones) on Turkey Day.

  • Labs still America's most popular pooches

    September 30, 2013

    Labrador Retrievers continue their hold as America's most popular dog, according to 2012 registration data from the American Kennel Club (AKC). The Labrador Retriever dynasty began back in 1990, then overtaking the American Cocker Spaniel (today ranked No. 27 on the AKC list) as top dog.

  • "Devil dog" may simply be fearful

    September 30, 2013

    Q: I adopted a Shar-Pei/Australian Cattle Dog cross from a shelter. She had been a stray. She's lovable toward us, and very smart, but when we walk her on a leash, she becomes a devil dog, going after other dogs, barking and spinning. It's very hard for me to settle her down. I want this adoption to work out. Any advice? -- S.B., Harland, WI

  • Controversy still swirling over Chinese-made dog treats

    September 30, 2013

    According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine (FDA CVM), from 2010 through Dec. 17, 2012, a reported 2,674 dogs were sickened as a result of eating chicken jerky treats made in China. A reported 501 dogs died as a result of eating the tainted treats. The FDA CVM has conceded publicly that something is clearly amiss. But what?

  • 'Comfort dogs' offered a woolly shoulder to lean on at Sandy Hook

    September 30, 2013

    NOTICE: For retransmission or other content delivery inquiries, please contact TMS Customer Service, 1-800-346-8798,

  • Complaints, concerns build over potentially tainted dog treats from China

    September 30, 2013

    Q: Why do American's have such short memories? When we went through the case of toxic melamine -- which the Chinese intentionally put in pet foods in 1997 -- animals (in the U.S.) died by the thousands. Now, according to the FDA, over 500 dogs have died over the past three years as a result of tainted chicken jerky treats from China. Are our investigators just not talking? Were they not smart enough to find a problem (with the treats)? Or are the Chinese not cooperating, but for political reasons we say they are? After all, why should they respond when we continue to buy their products? -- D.K., Las Vegas, NV

  • Preventive care starts with regular veterinary visits

    September 30, 2013

    Our pets deserve better. Overwhelmingly, Americans want to do the right thing for their pets -- or at least that's what they say. Yet, despite our love and concern for our pets, veterinary visits are on the decline, especially when it comes to preventive care. As a result, pets and their owners are paying a significant price.

  • Submit your nominations for America's Favorite Veterinarian

    September 30, 2013

    What has your veterinarian done for you lately? Perhaps through early diagnosis, the vet saved your pet's life. Perhaps your veterinarian made herself available after hours to do emergency surgery after your pet was hit by a car.

  • What is your dog really telling you, and what are you telling your dog?

    September 30, 2013

    "Because we've lived with dogs for thousands of years, and because we think we understand dogs doesn't mean we really do understand dogs," begins certified applied animal behaviorist Patricia McConnell in her talk to a mixed house of both the general public and canine professionals at a fund raiser July 11 at the Anti Cruelty Society in Chicago.

  • Leaving your dog in a hot car can be a death sentence

    September 30, 2013

    Dogs can die in hot cars. And no wonder. According to the AAA Chicago Motor Club, when it's 85 degrees outdoors, and even with windows open for cross-circulation, the dashboard of a car will heat up to 170 degrees in 15 minutes.

  • Have homemade pet food recipe evaluated by a veterinary nutrition expert

    September 30, 2013

    Q: We've been making our dog's food and she's thriving. However, a large component in the recipe is brown rice. Many commercial pet foods also contain rice. I've heard in the media about unsafe levels of arsenic in rice. Should we substitute something else for the rice, and if so, what? -- D.D., Las Vegas, NV

  • *MY PET WORLD, For release 02/19/13

    September 30, 2013

  • No pet should die of heartworm disease!

    September 30, 2013

    For pet lovers, a senseless tragedy is occurring. Too many dogs and cats are dying of heartworm, a nearly 100 percent preventable illness. They don't have to die.

  • Deadly tick-born illness striking more cats

    September 30, 2013

    "Most people have never heard of it, and when they do it, it sounds like something from a science fiction movie," says Dr. Wes Gunter, of West Plains, MO. He's talking about an often deadly tick-born illness in cats called cytauxzoonosis. The disease is also known as bobcat fever because bobcats use ticks as a vector to spread the disease, particularly the Lone Star tick (and possibly other ticks species, including the American Dog tick)

  • Animals can bring out the best in us

    September 30, 2013

    LEWIS CENTER, OHIO -- The concept is positively brilliant, integrating an urban definition of animals -- living with pets, sharing our beds with them -- with the very different rural reality of animals living on the farm. The non-profit Animals For LIFE Foundation was founded in 2009 in Ohio to marry the urban world and the farm world.

  • Ferret out the cause of cat's aggressive behavior ASAP

    September 30, 2013

    These selected questions were answered by experts attending the 2013 BlogPaws Conference May 16-18 in Tysons Corner, VA. Over 500 pet bloggers and pet writers gathered to learn more about how to educate people about companion animals using social media. I was keynote speaker, and David Frei, of the Westminster and National Dog Show broadcasts, emceed an awards event for bloggers.

  • You can protect your pets from coyotes

    September 30, 2013

    Q: I opened the sliding glass door to go outside, and standing right there was a coyote. In a few seconds, he disappeared. Now, I'm worried. What can we do to protect our pets? -- T.K., Newport Beach, CA

  • Cat reluctant to use the litter box may be in pain

    September 30, 2013

    Q: I adopted a cat from the streets 19 years ago; she was about a year old at the time. She used the litter box for years, but recently stopped. I haven't changed the brand of litter. At the moment, she uses newspapers placed next to the box. What's going on? -- T.M., Caracas, Venezuela

  • Dog's odd behavior likely a simple plea for attention

    September 30, 2013


  • Don't give up on curbing cat's inappropriate urination

    September 30, 2013

    Q: Chuck Norris has been urinating inappropriately. He and our other male cat have lived together since they were littermates. Chuck Norris tends to go on our dog's little couches. We tried buying new couches, and now we pick the couches when the dogs aren't using them. I must say, Chuck Norris is an easily stressed out cat.

  • Tick-borne disease threat is growing

    September 30, 2013

    Where there are ticks, there's bound to be tick disease. According to veterinary parasitologist Dr. Michael Dryden, the tick population in America has exploded in recent years.

  • Cat's quirky behavior more about love than sex!

    September 30, 2013

    LAS VEGAS, NEV -- These reader questions were answered by world-renowned experts attending the 85th Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas, Feb.17-21:

  • With advice from a veterinarian, you can win the war on fleas!

    September 30, 2013

    Brace yourselves. With all the unseasonably cool weather and record rain across much of the country this spring, veterinary parasitologist Dr. Michael Dryden says fleas may put their bites on unprotected pets in record numbers. In fact, even before this year, flea populations have been escalating in alarming numbers.

  • 'Comfort dogs' help Newtown residents smile again

    September 30, 2013

    Families who lost children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CN, are undoubtedly going through emotional upheaval beyond imagination. Of all possible horrors, nothing is quite so awful as losing a child, particularly so tragically and unexpectedly. Still, having a pet at home might help comfort members of these grieving families, particularly children.

  • Can some pets really predict Mother Nature's wrath?

    September 30, 2013

    Q: During Hurricane Sandy, our Labrador-mix acted agitated, crying at times, too. It was really our dog who convinced us to evacuate, which turned out to be a wise decision because our street flooded. What did our dog know? Was the dog warning us? -- V.D., Rehoboth Beach, DE

  • R.K. Anderson was an icon of veterinary medicine

    September 30, 2013

    Few pet owners will recognize the name Dr. R.K. Anderson, yet your pet has benefited from his advocacy. A press release from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine called Anderson, who died Oct. 19 at age 90, a "gentle giant" in the world of veterinary medicine. Giant isn't a large enough word. Anderson was an icon. No one stood as tall.

  • Protect your pet from winter hazards

    September 30, 2013

    The weather can be frightful this time of year, even if parts of the country have enjoyed an unusually warm winter so far. Here are some tips to keep your pets safe in the cold and snow:

  • Training can curb terrier's aggression toward other dogs

    September 30, 2013

    CHICAGO, IL. -- These reader questions were answered by experts attending the Veterinary Behavior Symposium July 19, preceding the 150th Annual Convention of the American Veterinary Medical Association, held in Chicago. Members of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior and the American College of Veterinary Behavior hold this forum annually to present new research and clinical information about animal behavior.

  • Holiday safety tips for pets

    September 30, 2013

    Here are 12 safety tips to insure your pets enjoy a safe and healthy holiday season:

  • Pet ownership has dipped slightly in the U.S.

    September 30, 2013

    The American Veterinary Medical Association U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook is the closest thing there is to a census of pet ownership, and is conducted every five years. According to the recently released 2012 Sourcebook, between 2006 and 2011, pet ownership decreased by 2.4 percent in the U.S., to 56 percent of all households. Still, there are more pets than children in America!

  • Pet news briefs: Dog attack stats ranked by city

    September 30, 2013

    The U.S. Postal Service has released dog attack rankings for 2012 by city. Last year, nearly 5,900 letter carriers were attacked by dogs. Overall, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were thought to be about 4.7 million dog bites in 2012. The term 'thought to be' is used because most dog bites occur within the home, and some go unreported.

  • Dogs convey an amazing amount of information via 'pee-mail'

    September 30, 2013

    Q: I must thank you for your informative radio show and your Facebook site ( You mentioned once on the radio the information dogs gather from smelling pee. I'm wondering what that is! -- J.N., via Cyberspace

  • Dog's urgency to urinate at night points to physical problem

    September 30, 2013

    ORLANDO, FLA. -- These reader questions were answered at the North American Veterinary Conference Jan. 19-23 in Orlando, FL. Nearly 6,000 veterinarians, and a grand total of nearly 15,000 professionals -- from veterinary technicians to representatives from pharmaceutical companies and animal welfare organizations -- were on hand for one of the most well-attended veterinary conferences on the planet.

  • Pets respond differently to TV

    September 30, 2013

    Q: My cat likes to watches ice hockey on TV; he especially enjoyed the Stanley Cup playoffs. Sometimes, he'll glance at an Animal Planet show. The only other program he responds to is Piers Morgan's show on CNN. Really, when Morgan comes on, Lilly runs out of the room. Why is that? -- S.C., Chicago, IL.

  • Betty White deeply appreciates what animals 'have to teach us'

    September 30, 2013

    Betty White scoffs at the notion of being the most trusted person in America.

  • Survey indicates geography impacts pet longevity

    September 30, 2013

    There's no U.S. Centers for Disease Control for Pets. Until recently, veterinarians greatly practiced in a medical bubble, only knowing what they were seeing in their own clinics. With a database of more than 800 hospitals in 43 states, Banfield the Pet Hospital, is trying to change that. The company has been keeping tabs for several years on medical conditions and other information about pets.

  • Be patient with dog who's been traumatized

    September 30, 2013

    Q: Our dog was attacked in our own driveway by another dog, and now she's afraid to set foot in the driveway to take a walk. She's excited to see the leash, but won't go out the front door. As a result, she's gaining weight. What should I do? -- M.S., Shorewood, IL

  • Wrangling cats need to start over building a good relationship

    September 30, 2013

    VANCOUVER, WA. -- These reader questions about cats were answered at a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Winn Feline Foundation during the foundation's 35th Annual Symposium on Feline Health, June 26-27. The foundation is a non-profit that funds cat health studies.

  • Nominate your favorite animal welfare hero

    September 30, 2013

    Mariah Carey, Enrique Iglesias, David Bowie and Bonnie Tyler are among many performers who've sung the praise of heroes in their songs. Carey's ballad, "Hero" (1993), written by Walter Afanasieff, includes the lyrics:

  • Anesthetic-free dentistry for pets remains controversial

    September 30, 2013

    Veterinary practices -- even dog groomers -- are now offering anesthetic-free dentistry for dogs and cats. And the procedure has caught on. However, cleaning a pet's mouth without anesthesia is not without controversy. Among the detractors are specialists in the veterinary dentistry.

  • Apple cider vinegar not quite a miracle cure

    September 30, 2013

    Q: I've read that apple cider vinegar be used as a supplement to assist with dog health. Is this true? -- H.W., Chicago

  • Multiple litter boxes could curb kitty's strange bathroom habits

    September 30, 2013

    Q: Cujo stopped using his litter box last week. He's now using kitchen counters and inside the cabinets to do his business. I've always had cats and never encountered this problem before. Please help or I'll be forced to find Cujo a new home. -- M.I., Cyberspace

  • Most owners do love their pets -- and the pets love them back

    September 30, 2013

    Once again, here are some of your comments on recent columns, even comments relating to issues I've discussed on my national radio Steve Dale's Pet World. Thanks for listening, and for writing. I enjoy hearing from you!

  • National conference explores key issues facing veterinarians

    September 30, 2013

    PHOENIX, AZ - The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) Conference, held here March 14-17, was an opportunity for over 2,100 veterinary professionals to learn the latest cutting edge news, and to advance their education. Presentations ranged from "Rapid Reversal of Fear and Aggression in Dogs and Cats" to "Infectious Disease Among Kittens in Multiple Cat Environments."

  • Conditioning can ease the shock of bathing for a cat

    September 30, 2013

    ORLANDO, FLA. -- These reader questions were answered by veterinarians attending the North American Veterinary Conference Jan. 19-23, in Orlando, FL.

  • You can ease your dog's anxiety about fireworks

    September 30, 2013

    Q: With Independence Day around the corner, is there anything I can do to help our dog, Betty, who gets really nervous about the fireworks displays held fairly close to our home? -- M.M., Deerfield, IL

  • Author champions the cause of the much-misunderstood pit bull

    September 30, 2013

    "I'm a Good Dog" is a book about pit bulls. You'd expect a book with that name to be about marvelously obedient dogs, therapy and service dogs, or dogs who heroically save lives -- about Collies (like Lassie), Golden or Labrador Retrievers, anything but pit bulls. However, author Ken Foster chimes, "Of course, pit bulls are all those things, really." He says the popular perception about dogs called pit bulls might continue to be perpetuated by the media, but the truth is another matter. "I am here to tell the truth," he adds. And that truth is the book's subtitle: "America's Most Beautiful and Misunderstood Pet."

  • The unconditional love of pet is good medicine

    September 30, 2013

    Q: I'm a 54-year-old woman with some medical issues. I've survived breast cancer and am being treated for a cancer call malignant mesothelioma. I also have a very bad knee. Right now, overall, I feel OK, and I badly want a dog. Everyone keeps telling me how much work they are, and cautions me about the expense. I live on a fixed income. But I am lonely and depressed, and feel a small dog would help me. I don't mean to cry on your shoulder, but do you know of an agency that might offer financial support? Do you think I should adopt a new friend? -- R.M., Eagan, MN

  • Neutering and careful training will curb pup's mounting behavior

    September 30, 2013

    "Behavior Problems of the Dog and Cat, 3rd Edition," by Dr. Gary Landsberg, Dr. Wayne Hunthausen and Dr. Lowell Ackerman (Elsevier Publishing, 2013; $93), is an ultimate reference on the topic. While this definitive 454-page volume is intended primarily for veterinary professionals, it can also be a valuable guide for dog trainers, professional behavior consultants and anyone with a special interest in animal behavior.

  • Traveling exhibit celebrates our pets and the dedicated veterinarians who care for them

    September 30, 2013

    It seems every kid wants to grow up to be a veterinarian.

  • Pheromones could be what's driving your cat "crazy"

    September 30, 2013

    SAN DIEGO, CA -- These reader questions were answered at the Central Veterinary Conference West, held at the San Diego Convention Center, Dec. 5-9.

  • Gassy dog definitely needs a change in diet

    September 30, 2013

    Q: Our 15-year-old Toy Poodle passes so much gas that she can clear the room. She's healthy, but was diagnosed with diabetes. I give her insulin injections. Otherwise, for her age, she's doing well. Our veterinarian suggested Beano, but that's not helping at all. Any suggestions? -- P.C., Las Vegas, NV

  • 'Green' pet gifts are big this season

    September 30, 2013

    The economy be damned, most pet owners still manage to provide holiday gifts for their four-legged friends. At the Annual H.H. Backer Annual Pet Industry Christmas Trade Show last month in Rosemont, Ill., which previewed many new products, a common theme was "being green."

  • We don't know for sure if pets 'grieve' the way we do

    September 30, 2013

    Q: We lost our Soft-Coated Wheaton Terrier, and it's still very difficult to talk about and deal with the loss. Poor Gracie, our other dog, has also had a tough time, and it's been heartbreaking. I think Gracie is still waiting for McGee to come home. There's no way to tell her that's not going to happen. How can we help Gracie through this difficult period? -- S.O., Chicago, IL.

  • Convention brings together experts on human-animal interaction

    September 30, 2013

    The magic solution for good health has four legs and a tail. It turns out that sharing your life with a pet is good for you.

  • Dogs can detect medication by its scent

    September 30, 2013

    Q: My dog is smart and sneaky. When his "mother" gives him an allergy pill inside crumbled meat or sausage, he appears to eat it. But he's fooled us. We realized this when we found three pills under the bed. Can dogs plan in advance to hide their pills? Also, our dog was once attacked by big, black dog, and now he's aggressive toward all big, black dogs. Has he become a racist? -- J.O., Cyberspace

  • Microchipping best defense against new 'dog-flipping' menace

    September 30, 2013

    Q: What is this 'dog flipping' thing in the news all about? -- S.J., Henderson, NV

  • 'America's Favorite Veterinarian' achieved his dream against the odds

    September 30, 2013

    Dr. Carlos Campos, of Spring Hill, FL, was named America's Favorite Veterinarian on July 21 during the 150th Convention of the American Veterinary Medical Association, held in Chicago. The announcement was made by Michael Cathey, executive director of the non-profit American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVF) at a breakfast attended by veterinary luminaries, as well as Joan Spitrey, one of several clients who nominated Campos.

  • Restrictions relaxed on injectable heartworm drug

    September 30, 2013

    More lives may now be potentially saved from heartworm disease using an injectable product called ProHeart 6.

  • The latest veterinary research yields fascinating data

    September 30, 2013

    CHICAGO, IL -- Do cats truly prefer covered litter boxes? Can military working dogs suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder syndrome, similar to people, and if so, are some dogs more at risk than others? Can wearing a tight-fighting garment (called a Thundershirt) alleviate stress in cats as it might in dogs?

  • Readers offer New Year's resolutions on pet care

    September 30, 2013

    Here are some 2013 New Year's resolutions from near and far, posted by fans on my Facebook page:

  • This author calls on cats as her professional "muses"

    September 30, 2013

    Justin Bieber and cat book author Gwen Cooper have at least one thing in common: They're both on tour, and keeping a grueling schedule. Bieber may be playing to more people, but Cooper will help more cats on her tour.

  • 'Remember Me Thursday' honors shelter animals who never found new homes

    September 30, 2013

    "Millions of beautiful pets are euthanized every year," says Mike Arms, president and CEO of the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe, CA.

  • National veterinary conference singles out 'America's Favorite Vet'

    September 30, 2013

    One highlight of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) 150th Convention, held July 19-23 in Chicago, was the anniversary date itself. The Convention attracted more than 9,100 veterinary professionals.

  • Increasingly, cats are living longer, healthier lives

    September 30, 2013

    Q: We just had our cat put sleep; he was 20 years and four months old. How long do cats and dogs usually live? -- L.S., Bradenton, FL

  • Ebooks answer common and not-so-common pet behavior questions

    September 30, 2013

    After writing this column for 13 years, I've answered somewhere around 2,700 questions. Some have been medical, but most have focused on pet behavior, from "accidents" (inappropriate elimination in cats is the most common) to aggressive pets and cats scratching in all the wrong places.

  • Check out newer drugs for canine seizures

    September 30, 2013

    Q: Our 10-year old Australian Shepherd-mix has been treated for four years for seizures. She became overweight, largely due to all the medications: potassium bromide and phenobarbital for seizures, as well as thyroid medication and steroids for allergies. We slowly weaned her from the meds and she lost 20 pounds. She's acting like a puppy again, except that her seizures have returned. Is there anything we can do to prevent the seizures, but still not have our dog gain weight or be reduced to a zombie state? -- P.B., Las Vegas, NV

  • Controversy roils over dog shot by police in Chicago

    September 30, 2013

    "He shot the puppy!" several neighbors screamed simultaneously, shocked by the actions of one Chicago police officer.

  • Cat's yowling could point to a range of serious health issues

    September 30, 2013

    CHICAGO, IL. -- These reader pet behavior questions were answered by experts from around the world attending the Veterinary Behavior Symposium July 19 in Chicago, just prior to the 150th Convention of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

  • Preventive veterinary care will top my list of causes this year

    September 30, 2013

    Q: I know my dog is overweight and I resolve to take him on more walks. I can use the exercise, too. That's my resolution. Every year, you announce your own resolutions. Will you do that for 2013? -- S.J., Henderson, NV

  • Reported of rare canine virus concern dog owners

    September 30, 2013

    After two separate clusters of life-threatening dog illness and deaths in Ohio, some dog owners are concerned about recent reports of a rare virus in dogs, which could potentially geographically spread fast. The good news is, there appears to be no outbreak after all. The bad news is, no one knows for sure what affected the dogs, or what -- if anything -- dog owners should do.

  • Dog's quivering could be a sign of pain

    September 30, 2013

    PHOENIX, AZ -- These reader questions were answered by veterinary experts attending the annual American Animal Hospital Association Conference March 14-17, attended by over 2,100 veterinary professionals. AAHA is the only organization that accredits small animal hospitals throughout the U.S. and Canada. AAHA-accredited hospitals are evaluated regularly on approximately 900 quality-of-care standards defining excellence in veterinary medicine. Learn more at

  • Boosting your dog's confidence could curb indoor urination

    September 30, 2013

    Having a dog is all about fun. That's why New York City-based dog trainer Andrea Arden created an Apple app called "Andrea Arden's Dog Fun." The app includes lots of random dog trivia, countless images of dogs (which is the cutest?), information about presidential dogs, and tons of dog training and behavior tips. The basic app is free, though some extras are 99 cents. The app is at

  • Readers take their turn offering commentary

    September 30, 2013

    I answer your pet questions every week, but you ought to have your turn, as well. Today, I offer some of your comments on recent columns and my responses.

  • One Health Commission all about the human-animal bond

    September 30, 2013

    Dr. Roger Mahr, then president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, and Dr. Ronald Davis, late president of the American Medical Association, launched the One Health Initiative in 2007.

  • Dogs upstage singer in hit music video

    September 30, 2013

    Q: You talked on the radio recently about a music video in which dogs kissed a lady. What's the name of the song so I can look it up? -- J.A.

  • Today, the family dog really is family

    September 30, 2013

    If there's any doubt of the elevating status of dogs in America, a new Harris Interactive Poll of nearly 1,300 dog owners reveals that actually many prefer not be called "owners." Instead, 76 percent of those who live with at least one dog say they prefer to known as "dog parents" or "pet parents."

  • Positive dog training kinder, more effective than abusive methods

    September 30, 2013

    Victoria Stilwell calls electronic shock collars abusive.

  • With the right treatments, you CAN win the war on fleas

    September 30, 2013

    Some years, it seems fleas are everywhere, while other years they appear more reclusive. Mostly, the problem is all about weather conditions.

  • New pet books make ideal gifts

    September 30, 2013

    Reading about their best friends is something pet lovers crave. Here are seven new pet books, covering everything from pet portraits to a controversial approach to pet care.

  • Give your cat something better to chew on than plastic

    September 30, 2013

    Q: Our two cats are constantly chewing and eating pieces of plastic grocery bags, and sometimes they swallow other inedible objects. Thank goodness the (plastic) pieces pass after a day or two. The cats crave plastic. We haven't made a trip to the vet yet, because of this, but we worry that it's just a matter of time before we wake up to find one or both cats dead. Any suggestions? -- K.L., Cyberspace

  • Jon Provost, Lassie's young pal, still loves dogs

    September 30, 2013

    Jon Provost was about to participate in a special event in his honor at the Chicago Museum of Broadcast Communications when I asked, "What if you fell into a well on your way from the airport to the museum?" The now 63-year-old actor, who played Timmy on TV's popular "Lassie," politely chuckled, though he's likely been asked that question every day of his life. In fact, Provost pokes fun at it in his book, "Timmy's in the Well: The Jon Provost Story" (Provost and Laurie Jacobson, Cumberland House Publishing, Nashville, TN, 2007; $22.89).

  • Solid dog bite statistics are hard to come by

    September 30, 2013

    Q: On a recent podcast, you talked about a dog that killed a baby. When I was a kid, the family dog bit me, and he wasn't neutered. Do you have any statistics on how many dogs bite family members? -- S.F., via cyberspace

  • Facing the death of a pet is never easy

    September 30, 2013

    Q: My 13-year-old dog passed away last month. I'm grateful I was able to be with him when he passed away at home. My buddy did have a full checkup two months before. The veterinarian had asked about any changes in the dog's behavior. While standing in the office, it was impossible for me to ask what I should expect and how much time I'd have with my dog. There had been signs he was approaching the end of his life, but I was unable to get much information about this process from Internet searches. Could you do readers a favor by identifying stages of natural death in our pets? -- B.M., St. Petersburg, FL

  • The dangers cats face outdoors can lead to tragedy

    September 30, 2013

    Q: I know you advocate keeping pets indoors, and I'm writing to urge your readers to do so, as dangers exist that we don't even realize.

  • Medication can, indeed, help fearful dogs much as it helps fearful people. You could look it up!

    September 30, 2013

    I enjoy hearing your views -- and you're certainly not hesitant about expressing them! Here are some recent reader emails:

  • Help your cat beat the battle of the bulge

    September 30, 2013

    Loads of Americans have developed spare tires around their middles, and so have many of our pets. Cats are particularly portly; about 55 percent of tabbies are tubby, says the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. Some suggest this is a conservative number.

  • Vet's demand for blood test to identify heartworm not unreasonable

    September 30, 2013

    Q: Our dog, Gimble, has been on heartworm preventative year-round since we adopted him as a puppy. He's now 6 years old. Recently, my veterinarian refused to give us more heartworm preventative unless we did the testing. She said, "What if we missed a month?" Well, we didn't. I checked on the Internet, and even if we had, there would be no real problem. We went down the street to another veterinarian, who said the first veterinarian was right, but we're the customers -- and she'd do what we wanted. Are we wrong? -- S.C., Nashville, TN

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