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Wellness: Healthy Living
Fetching Germs
dog in the mud
Dogs are great at bringing nature—bits of flora, fauna, dirt—into our homes. Now studies have shown that they also fetch a treasure of bacterial diversity “nesting” in their fur. This is not a bad thing. In fact, having a diverse microbiome environment can be very good for us. North Carolina State University biologist Rob Dunn and colleagues are studying the microbes in home environments and...
Wellness: Healthy Living
Dog Washing Tips
Best practices for self-serve dog washes.
dog wrapped in towel
If you want to save money on dog grooming, learn to do it yourself. Since the groomer’s biggest task is bathing the dog, that’s a good place to start. In many areas of the country, pet stores now offer self-service dog-wash facilities. The store usually provides shampoo and towels, but to get the most out of the experience—and the most for your money—you need to have a plan. Scope out the...
Blog: Guest Posts
Bringing Home Your Rescue Dog
Every time I bring a new dog into my home, I realize I go through the same emotions: excitement, expectation, love, fear, confusion and eventually calm. It is a rollercoaster made more difficult by the fact I tend to bring home shelter dogs that often turn out to be not quite the dogs I thought they were. Few things are more rewarding than being able to adopt a rescue dog; though they often do...
Wellness: Food & Nutrition
The Gut: The Key to Health
Find the proper balance in the intestinal tract.
Gut is Key to Health
Hippocrates, the father of medicine, is quoted as saying, “bad digestion is at the root of all evil” and “death sits in the bowels.” What Hippocrates likely meant was that the GI tract, or “gut,” is responsible for much more than digesting food; it plays a vital role in creating and sustaining health. Nearly 2,500 years later, scientists are discovering that Hippocrates was right. You simply...
Wellness: Healthy Living
Hydrotherapy: Dog Walk in Water
A fast-growing rehabilitation option
Time in the pool helps dogs maintain or improve functionality and muscle tone without putting stress on their joints. At Holistic Veterinary Care’s Oakland, Calif., facility, Penny does an assisted dog paddle.
In February 2012, cheri wells adopted Duncan, a Rottweiler with lupus, from the Pasco County Animal Shelter in Land O’Lakes, Fla. Thin and frail, Duncan was almost too weak to stand up when he urinated. Wells, determined to find a way to combat Duncan’s progressive autoimmune disorder, first consulted a holistic veterinarian. The next stop was Rocky’s Retreat Canine Health and Fitness Center in...
Wellness: Food & Nutrition
Dog Food Watch: Recalls
What’s gotten into food safety?
We’re barely halfway into the year and already, there have been a flurry of pet food recalls. The sheer number of brands has been surprising, as have the names of the brands involved; we’ve seen recalls from some of the industry’s most respected companies. How and what we feed our dogs (and ourselves, for that matter) is such a fundamental issue that we’ve decided to do a series of articles on...
Blog: Shea Cox
Legislative Alert
DEA action might hinder in-home vet practices
Legislative Alert: We need your help! Please Support S. 950, the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act, to Allow Veterinarians to Continue to Transport Vital Medications for the Treatment of Animals! The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is seeking urgent modification to the current Controlled Substances Act (CSA) that was put forth by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 1970....
Wellness: Healthy Living
Time to Beware of Foxtails
Tips on keeping your dogs safe
It’s the season, in California and in other states, when foxtails are starting to rear their “ugly” and dangerous seed-heads. These days after our morning walk, and before I load the dogs into the car, I do a complete check-up on them. I need to comb Lola, because she has a shaggy, wired coat, and her high-leaping, coursing style of recreation, attracts burrs, seeds, and unfortunately the worst...
Blog: Editors
Dogs Help Bacteria Thrive
And this is a very good thing
In “The Secret Life of Germs,” a fascinating article (with a great cover) in the upcoming New York Times Magazine, Michael Pollan explores the subject of microbiome—the microbial species as he notes, “with whom I share this body.” The “gut” it seems is all the rage these days. Many writers like Pollan and Mary Roach (author of Gulp) are taking on the subject of bacterial life, many of which...
Blog: Editors
Dogs Lower the Risk of Heart Disease
The American Heart Association issued a scientific statement yesterday that yes, owning a dog may protect us from heart disease. The statement was issued by an expert panel that was convened to look at alternative approaches to combat heart disease. They were prompted to look at the benefits of pet caring because of the growing number of medical studies linking pet ownership to better health. Dr...

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