Thoughts from the Wild

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Interpreting the Language of Pet Pain

September 7, 2018

Human babies can emit a high-decibel wail when uncomfortable. A small child can point out an owie on the elbow. But aside from the occasional whimper or yowl, most pets lack the physical or verbal skills to communicate pain. And many pets — especially those of the feline persuasion — instinctively hide evidence of pain …

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Can Dogs Help Prevent Cancer in People?

August 30, 2018

Just having a dog in your life can be good for your health. There are the obvious benefits of companionship, including the squeals of delight when you return home and unlimited snuggling on lazy Saturday mornings. But research shows that dogs can also lower your blood pressure, reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and help …

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Can Prison Inmates and Dogs Rescue Each Other?

August 23, 2018

It all started in 1975 when a state hospital inmate brought an injured bird back to the ward. Noticing that the bird improved the behavior of other inmates, the staff initiated an animal therapy program. The impact was profound: Inmates with access to animals required 50 percent less medication and were less violent than inmates …

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Left-Handed Pets: Can That Be Right?

August 9, 2018

Oh, the plight of left-handed people. It’s hard enough that they have to deal with right-handed scissors and can openers. Then there are cup holders in cars, situated inconveniently on the right side of the driver’s seat. Even writing in a 3-ring binder or spiral-bound notebook requires a certain amount of contortionism. Maybe that’s why …

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Water Rescue Dogs Take Lifeguard Duties Seriously

July 26, 2018

When the S.S. Ethie crashed into the rocky Canadian shoreline during a blizzard in 1919, a dog named Tang helped rescue everyone on board. With the ship’s rope clenched in his mouth, Tang paddled through frigid, choppy waves to the shore. All 92 passengers and crew, including a baby in a mail sack, were safely …

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13 Tips for Camping with Your Dog

July 19, 2018

Unplug your computer. Power down your phone. Disconnect from the stress of everyday life. And connect with your dog under a canopy of stars in the wilderness. What outdoor adventure is better than camping with your best friend? But before you pack up and head out, consider these tips to help make your trip safe …

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Counting Calories for Your Pet

July 12, 2018

If food is love, America’s pets are being loved to death. Veterinary professionals estimate that 60 percent of cats and 56 percent of dogs in the U.S. are overweight or obese, according to a 2017 survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. Those extra pounds can lead to diabetes, arthritis, kidney disease, high blood …

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Canine Heatstroke is Real. And Can Be Deadly.

July 5, 2018

Is it possible to have too much fun in the sun? For dogs, the answer is yes. In fact, it may not take long for a dog’s body temperature to reach dangerous levels, leading to heatstroke. What Is heatstroke? It’s a potentially life-threatening condition in which the core body temperature rises to around 105 °F …

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