Cavities in Dogs

Teeth are important. Both when it comes to functioning well on a daily basis and for long-term health, dental hygiene is as crucial to dogs as it is to humans. Yet many dogs show signs of tooth decay by the age of four. Good mouth care can’t start too early and when it comes to preventing cavities, that means feeding your dog a healthy diet, providing tooth-strengthening chew toys and treats, and brushing your dog’s teeth regularly. Also check your dog’s mouth for lesions, loose teeth, or inflamed gums weekly. If your dog is prone to plaque or tartar—and chew toys aren’t alleviating the problem sufficiently—ask your veterinarian for advice on preventing buildup. Finally, be sure to get a tooth brushing kit made for dogs as human toothpaste can irritate a dog’s stomach. Then look up brushing techniques online to ensure this ritual becomes an enjoyable one for both of

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The Basenji

This dapper little hunting dog traces her general ancestry back to ancient Africa; carvings of dogs resembling Basenjis decorate the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs. Of the many charming distinguishing characteristics a Basenji possesses, the most well known are her “barroo,” a yodel-like sound, and her habit of standing on hind legs to see better, the way Meerkats do. Another fun trait is her almost feline obsession with grooming—a pastime she can spend hours on. Despite (or perhaps because of) her acute intelligence, the Basenji is not the easiest to train, but with patience and gentle, positive methods she can be a polite and attentive family companion. In addition to gracing royal tombs and paintings throughout history, this dog’s imperial good looks and curious and independent nature has inspired movies (Good-bye My Lady) and novels (Heart of Savannah and The Basenji Revelation). To give a Basenji a home, search online for

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How Puppy Training Has Changed- and Why

Formal dog training as we know it originated during World War II. Before that, dogs had been working household members and their behavior was largely shaped through organic learning from older dogs. Only when soldiers needed to train large numbers of dogs to assist in warfare did compulsion training arise and, when the war ended, was developed into a recognized field by discharged military personnel. Back then, society as a whole accepted punishment as a valid teaching method. Typical training approaches involved physical corrections, leash jerks, and loudly yelling at the dog. This was difficult for puppies to endure, so the prevailing wisdom was to hold off on proper training until the puppy was seven months old (house-training was the exception). In some places, these outdated methods are still used. But from the 60s and 70s and on—through the work of pioneers like Bob Bailey, Karen Pryor, and Dr. Ian

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Family Activity Ideas

The kid-and-dog combo can be a winner, but often presents a number of challenges—for example keeping everyone happily occupied at the same time. One way to pull that off is to arrange games and activities that kids and dogs can enjoy together. Here are some ideas to get the fun started: Make a play date. Get together with other parents and their kids, two- and four-legged. Depending on the age and temperament of both kids and dogs, this could mean interspecies play or an opportunity for kids to play while dogs romp with each other. Team up with fellow parents to share supervisory duties. Go on an outdoor adventure. Both dogs and kids are natural explorers, so why not arrange an expedition? A hike on a nature trail or through a city park can be equally fun if you pretend to be intrepid explorers. Find and study plants, insects, or

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