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Dogs and Digging by Frank Utchen, DVM
Front Legs

Dr. Utchen, my dog routinely digs up my yard (she is 8). Why does she do this and will she EVER outgrow it? 


Some dogs do love to dig! This instinctive behavior is generally impossible to break, although it can be directed to appropriate places in the yard. Of course, you can restrict your dog to one area of the yard by building a fenced dog run, but chances are despite your best efforts she will still occasionally be out in the yard unsupervised.  

So try this: pick one place in the yard—behind a bush perhaps—that will be designated as “okay” for digging. Dig... Read More

Obsessive Paw Licking by Frank Utchen, DVM
Front Legs

Question: Dr. Utchen my dog is licks one paw so much she has a sore on it, and I can't get her to leave it alone. Now it is bleeding. I've tried covering it with a sock, but she tears that off and keeps licking. What can I do to stop her? She hates wearing that collar thing.


You are probably describing what we call an "Acral Lick Granuloma." These sores are frustrating to pet owners and veterinarians alike. Attempts to resolve this problem with antibiotics alone routinely fail, as do simple approaches like treatment with over-the-counter ointments and creams. The best solution we've found i... Read More

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