dog vasectomy and ovary sparing spay main photo of the published study

With increasing interest in the benefits of dogs’ longer exposure to gonadal hormones and demand for options other than traditional spay/neuter, a study published in early 2023 caught my attention. It compares health and behavior outcomes for dog vasectomy and ovary-sparing spay patients with both sexually intact dogs and those with gonads surgically removed as is the current standard practice. It’s a small sample for dogs who’ve had those surgeries, but the results look interesting. I tried to include most of the important points. The full list of health conditions compared is long, but researchers grouped them as follows:

– Orthopedic problems, including blown knees
– Cancer
– Obesity
– Endocrine disorders (thyroid disease, diabetes)
– Reproductive disorders
– Other health problems (dental, heart, kidney, and eye diseases and disorders)
– Problematic behaviors (aggression, anxiety)
– Nuisance behaviors (mounting, marking)

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itchy dog relief main photo -- shows the front page of the new 2023 AAHA allergic skin disease guidelines

With a major veterinary magazine deadline looming, I spent time reading in full the latest thinking about itchy dog relief from the new 2023 AAHA Management of Allergic Skin Diseases in Dogs and Cats Guidelines. A few things jumped out at me, including how apparently cranky and impatient we are as veterinary clients when dogs develop symptoms of allergic skin diseases.

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why puppies pee when excited or nervous main graphic - photo of smiling puppy with text in a bone-shaped graphic

Through my teen years, my family included a cocker spaniel named Brandie. My friends, however, likely thought her full name was “That’s Brandie. Don’t pet her. She’ll pee.” Ever wonder why puppies pee when excited or nervous? Well, consider my thoughts on the issue.

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mystery book series photo, books 1-10 of bought the farm mysteries

Are you sitting down? I’m going to recommend a mystery book series that repeatedly breaks my #1 rule about including debunked, outdated, and total BS dog training and behavior details. Shocker, I know. And, yet, these otherwise funny and engaging books have helped me survive a difficult year, and I adore them. FIVE STARS — Highly recommend. I traded emails with the author to share my angst over those mentions of alpha dogs and being pack leaders and other stuff, so they know where I stand. Why on earth am I writing this? Keep reading to find out what I enjoy these books in the Bought the Farm Series by Ellen Riggs (pssst … that’s a pen name).

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graphic that reads -- when your heart dog dies reflections 10 years later. It's pink with black text and a pink felt heart in the middle

When your heart dog dies, it leaves you gutted in ways words can’t truly describe. I sliced myself open to write Heart Dog: Surviving the Loss of Your Canine Soul Mate while still absolutely devastated by the death of our original canine heroine Lilly. All of this sites content between 2007 and 2013, and a little beyond, tell her stories. So, with the 10 anniversary of her death coming up this weekend, I guess it’s time to reflect. To offset the sad parts, don’t miss the photos and videos at the very end of our latest fosters.

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all new dog anxiety supplement from brave paws

hanks to our longtime leadership in the dog media world, I get to be one of the first to tell you about a dog anxiety supplement with new-to-market active ingredients from Brave Paws. Plus, for a limited time, fans and friends of Champion of My Heart are the ONLY ONES getting access to $10 off with an exclusive coupon code (HOLIDAY10), just for us. I look forward to trying Brave Paws for Tori’s stress and sickness in the car. I hope you’ll keep reading to learn more possible uses for separation anxiety, veterinary visits, thunderstorms, fireworks, car trips, or other ongoing dog stress concerns. Just in time for preventing holiday worries in dogs.

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Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex graphic main

For now, I’m not going to attempt to write extensively about the weird (and maybe new / maybe not new) Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC) cases all over the news that result in sometimes quick and dangerous pneumonia. Sure, it’s in my wheelhouse, but it’s also an fluid situation. I really do not want to add to the hype and drama. Instead, here are some recommendations on reputable places to get updated and accurate information, specifically for your community.

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pet loss guided meditation main graphic with copy of Heart Dog book and a steaming cup of cocoa that's heart-shaped

Wow! The holidays pose extra hardships on grieving hearts. I decided to create a pet loss guided meditation to help those hurting this time of year due to the loss of their beloved pets. It’s less than 10 minutes long, and I hope it helps ease the heartbreak. I plan to create more of these in the future, but this is a start. This post explains the structure of the meditation. Scroll to the bottom for the video / audio you can use to ground yourself in love.

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nw2 results illustration mind map

In September 2023, Clover attended her fifth NW2 competition. We did not earn a title that day, again. The challenge of nosework, unlike other dog sports, is that the first couple of titles require perfection all in a single day. You don’t get the build toward titles until later. For NW1, it’s 4 searches (with 1 hide each) in a single day. Clover did that on her first try. And, she *nearly did it on her first try at NW2. But, here we find ourselves, without that elusive 5 perfect searches in a single day … yet … because the searches are harder and can feature multiple hides. Here’s how things went. Don’t miss the video of us searching at the bottom of the page!

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