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My Pet World: Artificial sweetener can be toxic for dogs

Pets / My Pet World /

Q: You've mentioned many times in your column that dog owners can keep their pets occupied by stuffing peanut butter into toys. Recently, I read that some peanut butter contains Xylitol, an artificial sweetener you've reported is harmful to dogs. How dangerous is it? -- L.D., Buffalo Grove, IL

A: It's true that some newer peanut butter products...Read more

My Pet World: Chocolate can, indeed, be toxic for dogs and cats

Pets / My Pet World /

Q: Is it true that chocolate is really bad for dogs? My dog got into some chocolate cookies several years ago but didn't seem to suffer any ill effects. Is this chocolate thing a myth? -- G.D., Miami, FL

A: Chocolate is indeed toxic to both dogs and cats. Chocolate is made from cocoa, and cocoa beans contain caffeine and a related chemical ...Read more

My Pet World: Can Some Pets Really Predict Mother Nature's Wrath?

Pets / My Pet World /

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

A: Some dogs are anxious during any thunderstorm. They are fearful, or...Read more

My Pet World: These pedigreed cats have top billing

Pets / My Pet World /

The Exotic, for the second year in a row, is the most popular cat breed in America, according to the Cat Fanciers' Association registry of pedigreed cats. In 2014, the Exotic knocked the Persian off its long-time perch as top cat.

Despite the breed's popularity, few outside the 'cat world' even know what the Exotic is. Think 'Persian look.' The...Read more

My Pet World: With the right products, you can beat fleas and ticks

Pets / My Pet World /

Parasites are a very popular topic this time of year! Today, veterinary parasitologist Dr. Michael Dryden, of the Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, answers your questions. Dryden speaks around the globe on flea and tick issues, and is known lovingly, no doubt, as "Dr. ...Read more

My Pet World: Cats don't care what we wear -- or don't wear

Pets / My Pet World /

Q: Our cat, Martha Stewart, loves our two children, Jane, 11, and Adam, 6. After school, Adam comes home and runs around naked. I think the cat gets embarrassed. Is that possible? When Adam is fully clothed, the cat loves him, but when he's naked, Martha wants nothing to do with him. Any advice? -- T.B., Tampa, FL

A: My goodness, what's going ...Read more

My Pet World: Debunking tired stereotypes about cats

Pets / My Pet World /

Cats have an image problem.

"They've gotten a bad rap with so many stereotypes which simply aren't true," says Julie White, PetSmart director of Grants, Programs and Field Initiatives.

Here's a big part of the problem: Cats are more often relinquished to shelters than dogs, and less often adopted...Read more

My Pet World: Medication can, indeed, help fearful dogs much as it helps fearful people. You could look it up!

Pets / My Pet World /

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

COMMENT: Please, medicating a dog to deal with fears, really? Dogs are not people! -- A.P., Cyberspace

STEVE DALE: Of course dogs are not people. Strangely enough, though, some people just don't want to believe what ...Read more

My Pet World: Cat's high-velocity purring both annoying and charming

Pets / My Pet World /

NASHVILLE, TN -- These questions were answered by experts at BlogPaws 2015 in Nashville, TN, May 28-30. Hundreds of pet bloggers gather each year for continuing education with their pets, including dogs and cats, as well as ferrets, rats and even a few pot-bellied pigs.

Q: My cat always purred loudly, but now his motor seems to ...Read more

My Pet World: Include some pet books on your beach reading list

Pets / My Pet World /

As you lounge at the pool or beach this summer, be sure to use sun block and bring along a good book. Here are half a dozen reading options only a pet writer would suggest:

--"Purr Prints of the Heart: A Cat's Tale of Life, Death, and Beyond," by Deborah Barnes (ZZZP Publishing, Coral Springs, FL, 2015; $15.95). If you try to see...Read more

My Pet World: The risk of tick disease is rising

Pets / My Pet World /

Q: I'm wondering if I should vaccinate my dog for Lyme disease. My veterinarian says it's not necessary. However, a friend I often go hiking with said his veterinarian recommends the vaccine, and his dogs are vaccinated. What do you think? -- C.G., Jackson, MI

A: "We hear this a lot; the conversation over the past 10 years has changed," says Dr...Read more

My Pet World: Obese and overweight pets need our help

Pets / My Pet World /

As our love for our pets has grown, so have the pets themselves. An estimated 52.6 percent of U.S. dogs are overweight or obese, and 57.6 percent of U.S. cats are overweight or obese, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP).

Many veterinarians say the problem has become an epidemic -- just as human health health care ...Read more

My Pet World: New tactics could make taking pills fun for your pet

Pets / My Pet World /

Q: I read your recent column on pilling cats. What I need to know is how to give pills to my stubborn dog, who spits them out. I've tried rolling a pill inside peanut butter and lunch meat, to no avail. Is there a secret trick? -- D.N., Anchorage, AK

A: Cats often seem like magicians, able to determine if there's a pill within a mile of their ...Read more

My Pet World: Most dog and cat bites can be avoided!

Pets / My Pet World /

Each year, more than 800,000 people receive medical attention for dog bites. At least half of them are children, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. While that sounds like a lot of people, it's small when you consider that there are 70 million dogs in America.

What's more, according to Dr. Douglas Aspros, past president of...Read more

My Pet World: Benefits of wonder drug Rimadyl still outweigh the risks

Pets / My Pet World /

Q: One day, a cat came to my door, and from the first day he rubbed against me, we were inseparable. He eventually developed kidney stones and I had him put down in 1987. I just couldn't afford to pay the medical bill. I miss him so much and feel like I let him down big time. Is there any way to ask forgiveness? -- C.H., Highland Park, IL

A: I ...Read more

My Pet World: Microchip coding controversy could be putting pets' lives at risk

Pets / My Pet World /

Microchipping saves lives. This is an accepted fact among those in the veterinary and animal welfare community. However, some microchip companies may now be compromising a system that's reunited countless numbers of pets and their owners.

A small chip (approximately the size of a grain of rice) is injected into the pet. If a pet is lost, a ...Read more

My Pet World: Worries over dog flu continue

Pets / My Pet World /

Chicago is the Windy City, the City of Big Shoulders, the Second City, and now, apparently the dog flu city. The canine influenza virus, or dog flu, settled into the Chicago metropolitan area just over a month ago. Since dogs do travel, however, it's no surprise that the virus has popped up elsewhere. Chicago, however, remains the only hot spot....Read more

My Pet World: The threat of tick-borne diseases growing across the U.S.

Pets / My Pet World /

There are more ticks in more places than ever, and they continue to spread. Veterinary parasitologist Dr. Michael Dryden, of Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine-Manhattan, calls it a "tick explosion." And the fallout is tick disease.

Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases are likely very under-diagnosed in dogs, Dryden ...Read more

My Pet World: 'Pilling' a cat takes patience and purrsuation

Pets / My Pet World /

Q: Do you have any suggestions for giving my cat the anti-seizure meds she needs three times a day? I use Pill Pockets (flavored treats to hide pills inside) and sometimes she'll take them. I'm planning a trip in late summer and am very concerned about the pet sitter being able to give the meds. Is there anything cats can't resist that I might ...Read more

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