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Puppies and Biting by Frank Utchen, DVM

For those of you who have adopted a puppy recently I want to convey what I think is the most important thing you can teach a puppy. Of course, there are countless things puppies can—and should learn—to help them feel comfortable with their place in the “pack” (i.e., your family). I believe dogs do best in a structured environment, and consistent training is part of maintaining that structure for them. 

So what do I think is most important? I think most trainers would agree that teaching a puppy “bite inhibition” is crucial to having a dog who is a pleasure to be around, and not a potential concern or liability when around other people and dogs. 

Wh... Read More

Tips for Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth

Items needed:

  • Special dog toothbrush or finger toothbrush
  • Pet toothpaste in a flavor your dog will enjoy (human toothpaste with fluoride is toxic for dogs)
  • Your dog!

The first step is to get your dog used to toothpaste. Using the specially formulated and flavored pet toothpaste, squeeze some onto your finger. Allow your dog to lick it off your finger. Give them enthusiastic ... Read More

Medicating your Dog


The easiest way to give your dog a liquid medication is to mix it with some canned food. To ensure that the medication is swallowed, it is best to hand feed a small amount of food containing the medication, rather than a large portion that the dog may not completely consume. Some dogs may be unwilling to eat the food or may have dietary restrictions that prevent you from using this technique. If this is the case, you will need to administer the medication directly into your dog’s mouth.

  • Place your dog in a safe and comfortable area where it can be easily handled. Have the medication prepared and easily accessible. It... Read More

Excessive Dog Barking by Frank Utchen, DVM

Dr. Utchen, my dog barks like crazy whenever the doorbell rings or someone knocks on our door and someone comes over to our house. He also barks whenever he sees another dog. Are there any tricks to stopping him from barking? 

Answer: With the holidays coming up, and the likelihood of a few visitors to your house, this is a timely question. There are a few things to try to help teach your dog not to bark so much, although this can be a challenging problem to fix. 

First, be sure there are some tasty, smelly treats handy near the door at all times (but out of reach of your dog) and carry a pocketful with you at all times du... Read More

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