Biography

Steve Dale, author of the syndicated "My Pet World" column, is widely known as the "Ann Landers of the pet world," offering animal lovers of ...

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Steve Dale

Steve Dale

My Pet World

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Pug's piddling indoors could be spiked by separation anxiety

Pug's piddling indoors could be spiked by separation anxiety

December 18, 2014

These reader questions were all answered by contributing authors of "Decoding Your Dog: The Ultimate Experts Explain Common Dog Behaviors and Reveal How to Prevent or Change Unwanted Ones" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New York, NY, 2014; $27), written by members of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. I co-edited the book with veterinary behaviorists Dr. Debra Horwitz and Dr. John Ciribassi.

  • Follow these tips for a pet-safe holiday season

    December 17, 2014

    Here are 12 safety tips to insure your pets enjoy a healthy and safe holiday:

  • What may look like a cat/dog tussle is probably just play

    December 11, 2014

    Q: I have a 10-month-old Bedlington Terrier and a Siamese cat. Our dog is intent on chasing the cat, and it's annoying. The cat is not afraid and sometimes encourages the dog. How can I stop this from happening? -- P.D., via cyberspace

  • Misinformation about dog behavior is rampant - and sad, expert says

    December 10, 2014

    TV dog trainer Victoria Stilwell is registering an official complaint: "Dogs aren't allowed to be dogs anymore," she says. "It's great they're living in our homes, but they have less freedom."

  • Recent books explore how dogs think

    December 4, 2014

    Q: I've read your column for many years, and I'm wondering if you've written anything else, say a book, that might help me understand how my three dogs think? If so, where can I buy it? -- P.F., Winchester, KY

  • Consider putting some of these books under the tree

    December 3, 2014

    Here are eight new books perfect for animal lovers this holiday season. Several are inspirational, others are funny, and still others just plain useful.

  • If barking at the TV bugs you, give your dog something else to do

    November 27, 2014

    These reader questions were answered by veterinary behaviorist Dr. Melissa Bain, Associate Professor of Clinical Animal Behavior at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

  • New pet gifts promise happy holidays for furred and feathered family members

    November 26, 2014

    More than ever before, some of those presents under the Christmas tree, as well as Hanukah gifts, are intended for barking, purring, or even squawking members of the family.

  • Feisty cat needs a 'time out' period

    November 20, 2014

    Q: Karma, our 12-year-old cat, picks on our two 15-month-old Labrador mixes. He may even jump on top of one dog and start to hiss and bite; he really carries on. Sometimes, we have to pull him away. No one's been hurt yet, but the dogs seem terrorized. Any advice? -- S.C., via cyberspace

  • National Dog Show remains popular Thanksgiving treat

    November 19, 2014

    The Thanksgiving Day "National Dog Show Presented by Purina" has been a hit with TV viewers since the first contestant walked into the ring in Philadelphia in 2002. Viewership that first year hit nearly 19 million. Last year, hosts David Frei and John O'Hurley entertained an all-time high 22 million viewers -- more than watched each of the first six games of this year's World Series, and about equal the number who tuned in for game No. 7.

  • Give your dog something else to do besides bark at cyclists

    November 13, 2014

    Q: My 4-year-old Australian Shepherd now barks at people on bicycles as they go by the house. She never did this before. What's going on? -- C.J., San Diego, CA

  • Pet travel products make it easier to take all family members on vacation

    November 12, 2014

    When families take a vacation, increasingly, it's the entire family enjoying the get-away. Nearly a third of all dog owners now take their pets along on vacation, according to the 2013-2014 American Pet Product Association National Pet Owners Survey.

  • Elderly mom should be especially careful around cat that bites

    November 6, 2014

    Q: My elderly mother adopted an 11-year-old Siamese cat 7 months ago. After three months, the cat began to bite her. The previous owners claim the cat was never aggressive. Mom tries to play with the cat and give it lots of attention, which didn't happen with the other owners. When Mom was in the hospital, I watched the cat and was also bitten. I'm at a loss about what to do, because who wants a cat that bites? -- C.S., via cyberspace

  • 'Catifying' your home adds more fun for your feline

    November 5, 2014

    A cat's mind is a terrible thing to waste.

  • NSAIDs effective drugs to help manage pain

    October 30, 2014

    Q: My dog has bad arthritis in his knee. I've read a lot about Rimadyl and it scares me, so I'm thinking of using Zubrin. Do you have any suggestions about what might be safer? -- V.W., via cyberspace

  • Tear-stain products under fire from the FDA

    October 29, 2014

    Lots of dogs and cats cry. It's not that our pets get overly emotional watching TV soap operas; the cause is a natural overproduction of tears.

  • Second-hand smoke is bad news for people and pets

    October 23, 2014

    Q: We have a friend who's started smoking cigarettes, and quite heavily. She claims to love animals. I wonder how second-hand smoke affects pets. I think I know the answer, but my friend needs a blast of reality from a professional like you. -- D.G., Henderson, NV

  • Pet owners are prepping their Halloween finery

    October 22, 2014

    "I don't know why, but people love dressing up their dogs as monkeys," says Alice Lerman, owner of Barker and Meowsky: A Paw Firm (http://www.barkerandmeowsky.com), in Chicago. She says monkey costumes are always big sellers at Halloween -- and this season's hot item is the Fez Monkey Hoodie with a removable vest. Another winner is the Max the Monster Pullover and Hoodie Sweater.

  • Officials hope to have a protocol soon regarding pets and Ebola

    October 16, 2014

    Q: Can dogs and cats get the Ebola virus? If the answer is no, as I believe it is, why did they kill that dog from Spain? -- S.H., Chicago, IL

  • New book takes a revealing look into the world of feral cats

    October 15, 2014

    Even if you don't know it, they're out there lurking in the shadows. According to market research conducted by Anne Beall, there are nearly as many feral (wild) cats in the U.S as there are owned cats.

  • Stem cell treatments show promise for some feline health issues

    October 9, 2014

    When it comes to cats, nearly everything modern veterinary medicine knows about their health and welfare has been learned through studies funded by the non-profit Winn Feline Foundation. From the very food most cats eat to treatments for a wide range of health issues, Winn has been there to help cats for 46 years, and has now launched a new website as a resource for cat lovers: http://www.winnfelinefoundation.org.

  • Loss of prominent behaviorist, veterinarian stuns pet world

    October 8, 2014

    Dr. Sophia Yin, an applied animal behaviorist, was one of the first to join my public outcry over then-popular dog trainer Cesar Millan's emphasis on forceful, aversive dog training and misleading messages about dog behavior. In a 2005 My Pet World column, Yin said of Millan: "He seems to have found success by forcing dogs into what he calls submission. What's he's doing, though, is forcing dogs -- it's not about dominance or submission; we're forcing them because we can."

  • Declawing is, indeed, amputation -- and unnecessary

    October 2, 2014

    Q: We don't consider a declaw an amputation, as you insist it is. Our cats survive longer because we keep them indoors. We love our cats; they even sleep in our bed. Don't you believe under those conditions it's OK to declaw? -- H.T., Tampa, FL

  • America's Favorite Veterinarian a beloved James Herriot clone

    October 1, 2014

    On Sept. 30, Dr. Tim Hunt, of Marquette, Mich., was voted America's Favorite Veterinarian in a contest sponsored by the non-profit American Veterinary Medical Foundation. As it turns out, voters chose a kind of modern day James Herriot (the beloved late British country veterinarian, James Alfred "Alf" Wight, best known by his pen name).

  • Anxiety likely at the root of cat's car sickness

    September 25, 2014

    Nearly everything modern veterinary medicine knows about cat health and welfare has been learned through studies funded by the non-profit Winn Feline Foundation. From the very food most cats eat to the vaccinations they receive to treatments for a wide range of health issues, Winn has been there to help cats. The foundation is now celebrating 46 years and a new website: http://www.winnfelinefoundation.org.

  • Pet-loving celebrities support 'Remember Me Thursday'

    September 23, 2014

    "Let's also remember the orphans who are euthanized," says Mike Arms, CEO and president of the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe, CA.

  • New products good weapons against skunk smell

    September 18, 2014

    Q: We can hardly go outdoors without smelling a skunk. Moreover, our dog has now had two close encounters, which created such a terrible a stink in our home that we needed professionals to de-skunk the place. Any advice? -- B.H., Grand Rapids, MI

  • 'Remember Me Thursday' honors orphan animals euthanized around the world

    September 17, 2014

    Pet adoption in America is steadily improving, and at least some shelters boast impressive numbers of placements in some parts of the country. But Mike Arms, president and CEO of the Helen Woodward Animal Center, Rancho Santa Fe, CA, is most interested in the orphans not adopted.

  • Sporting breeds make good dogs for rambunctious children

    September 11, 2014

    Q: My 5- and 8-year-old grandchildren want a dog. Can you recommend a breed that's good with children? Do you suggest a purebred or mixed breed? And where should we get the dog? -- K.L.L, via cyberspace

  • New initiative promotes early diagnosis of Lyme disease

    September 10, 2014

    Lyme disease is an epidemic in America. Last year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated there is 10 times more Lyme disease present in people than previously thought. At least 300,000 people are diagnosed annually with Lyme in the U.S.

  • Your dog will love your car as much as you do

    September 4, 2014

    Q: Will our dog recognize that we have a shiny new car? -- T.U., Lincolnwood, IL

  • Stem-cell therapy works wonders for a dog -- and his owner

    September 3, 2014

    The same remedy that healed journalist Julia Szabo's dog wound up saving her life.

  • Dogs with a pit bull 'look' continue to get a bad rap

    August 28, 2014

    These questions don't directly relate to pet behavior or health, but instead are answers to questions regarding my opinions on timely pet-related topics.

  • Veterinarian group promotes alternatives to declawing cats

    August 27, 2014

    "Let's face it, a declaw surgery is an amputation," says Dr. Marcus Brown, president of the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) and a participant in the American Veterinary Medical Association House of Delegates, who helped craft the new AVMA position statement on declawing cats.

  • Training and TLC can help mute dog's noise sensitivity

    July 31, 2014

    Veterinarians and veterinary technicians met at the annual Animal Behavior Symposium on July 25 to share research. The event is sponsored by the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior and the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. Expert attendees answered several of your pet behavior questions this week.

  • The human-animal bond can work wonders

    July 23, 2014

    He didn't grow up with pets. His mother didn't even like pets, but psychologist Aubrey Fine sure appreciates their value.

  • Use simple protective measures to keep coyotes at bay

    July 17, 2014

    Q: I'm very concerned about coyotes; the problem is worse than ever around here. I'm especially worried about my little Bichon Frise, who has no way to defend herself. Recently, there was a coyote attack nearby on a dog who didn't survive. I don't want this to happen to my dog. Any advice? -- C.G., Schaumburg, IL

  • Preventatives could lower heartworm cases

    July 16, 2014

    Pets can run, but they can't hide from heartworm disease, which occurs in all 50 states. Without heartworm protection, even indoor cats hiding under the bed or dogs in states where heartworm isn't especially common (like California or Nebraska) aren't safe from this potentially fatal disease.

  • Researchers learning more about FIP, heart disease in cats

    July 10, 2014

    Feline heart disease (HCM) and a fatal illness called feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) are two of the most devastating diseases in cats.

  • Heart disease a bigger issue for cats than previously thought

    July 9, 2014

    The effects of heart disease in cats can be more devastating than veterinarians previously thought.

  • Safeguard your dog from heat stroke this summer

    July 2, 2014

    Dogs can die in hot cars. According to the AAA Chicago Motor Club, when it's 85 degrees outdoors, even with the car windows open for cross-circulation, the dashboard will heat up to 170 degrees in 15 minutes.

  • Licking (but not eating) magazines shouldn't hurt your cat

    July 1, 2014

    NEW ORLEANS, LA. -- These cat questions were answered by Winn Feline Foundation board members attending the 36th Annual Winn Feline Foundation Symposium here on June 26. The foundation is a non-profit that supports funding for cat health studies.

  • There are many ways to ease your dog's fear of fireworks

    June 26, 2014

    Q: Sadie is terrified of fireworks. We close our windows, but that doesn't help. Not only do we live close to our neighborhood's fireworks display, but kids also set off their own fireworks in the days leading up to the Fourth.. How can I help my dog?-- P.M., Deerfield, IL.

  • Once again, anti-pit bull frenzy is unwarranted

    June 25, 2014

    "The Problem with Pit Bulls" was the headline of a Time magazine story (June 20, 2014) by Charlotte Alter. My problem is with the story, not with the dogs referred to as pit bulls.

  • Cat's fascination with running water could be dangerous

    June 19, 2014

    Q: My cat seems happy, but sometimes it's like she wants to commit suicide. Whenever I take a bath, she jumps into the tub. Then she screams as if she can't get out. We've tried to keep her out of the bathroom, but she's determined. Does she have a psychological problem? -- N.P., Niagara Falls, NY

  • To win the war on fleas, don't settle for inferior OTC weapons

    June 18, 2014

    Instead of the mantra being, "Never say die," it ought to be, "Always says die."

  • Concerns still simmer about pet food products from China

    June 11, 2014

    LEXINGTON, KY. -- Pet food recalls, and pet food with ingredients imported from China are intertwined issues very much on the minds of pet owners. Mark Lyons, vice president of Corporate Affairs for nutrition giant Alltech, who is based in China, is eager to speak about these issues, and some of his responses are surprising.

  • Older dog might not welcome a new canine buddy

    June 5, 2014

    Q: I've been reading your book "Decoding Your Dog" and loving it! I'm an adult student studying psychology. It's great to read a book about animals with a psychological approach. My dog, Bailey, is a 13-year-old Maltese. His brother died last year and I'm thinking of getting another dog. In general, Bailey's not good with other dogs, however. He loves me, and I don't want him to get jealous. Any ideas? -- J.R., Florham Park, NJ

  • Algae offers green way to boost nutritional value of pet and people foods

    June 4, 2014

    LEXINGTON, KY. -- Current and future trends in food for pets and people were among topics addressed at the 30th Alltech Annual International Symposium May 18-21 in Lexington, Ky. The theme of the conference was "What If?" suggesting anything is possible through innovation and technology. Over 2,000 scientists, agriculturists, economists, nutritionists and others interested in food science from 59 countries attended.

  • Bans on pet shop sales of commercially-bred animals continue to stir debate

    May 29, 2014

    I support laws in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago and over 40 other communities around America that prohibit sales of dogs and cats (and sometimes rabbits, too) in pet stores. The presumption is that most of the animals sold at pet shops come from puppy mills or other unscrupulous sources.

  • Dog won't listen? Pet may simply not understand your 'language'

    May 29, 2014

    Q: My dog doesn't listen to me. What should I do? -- G.H., Baltimore, MD

  • Help choosing the best food for your dogs

    May 22, 2014

    Pet food is a religion to an increasing number of pet owners. These pet "parents" have strong and often uncompromising opinions about how to feed their best friends.

  • Newly adopted dog may need time to settle in before she becomes playful

    May 21, 2014

    Q: We just adopted what the shelter referred to as a "shepherd-mix," but Gracie is only about 30 pounds. We don't really know if there's any shepherd in her. Gracie is about a year old, though we're not sure about that, either. Our veterinarian says she's healthy. Gracie is very patient with our kids, ages 8 and 14, but she refuses to play with them or with us. She's just really serious. Do some dogs never play? -- K.J., Portland, ME

  • Curb cat's aggression with play, enriched environment

    May 15, 2014

    Q: Our 13-year-old indoor/outdoor cat is very affectionate, yet for seemingly no reason sometimes circles our feet and legs, sounds and looks aggressive, then bites us savagely. How do we address this? -- S.R., Atlanta, GA

  • Partners for Healthy Pets promotes preventive care, vet visits

    May 14, 2014

    A coalition of organized veterinary medicine and pet industry representatives formed Partners for Healthy Pets in 2011 to increase the health of pets by simply encouraging regular checkups. According to this consumer advertising campaign, preventive care is as important to your pet's well being as your love.

  • Ease a dog's fear of thunder and other loud noises

    May 8, 2014

    These reader questions about behavior were answered by Dr. John Ciribassi, a veterinary behaviorist and co-editor (with Dr. Debra Horwitz and myself) of "Decoding Your Dog: The Ultimate Experts Explain Common Dog Behaviors and Reveal How to Prevent or Change Unwanted Ones" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New York, NY, 2014; $27). This book is the first ever authored by members of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists.

  • Need a Mother's Day gift for a pet lover? Check out these new books

    May 7, 2014

    With Mother's Day around the corner -- and Be Kind to Animals Week coming up May 4-10 -- books featuring pets might make great gifts! If your mother happens to be a cat lover, seeks a celebrity Internet cat, enjoys books that inspire, is a fan of the TV series "Downton Abbey," relishes books with intrigue, or has recently lost a beloved pet, check out these examples:

  • Protect your dog before ticks have a chance to do their nasty work

    April 30, 2014

    Why wait for a tick bite?

  • Dog having 'accidents' on the bed may have medical problems

    April 30, 2014

    Q: My three dogs -- two Yorkshire Terriers and a Yorchon (Yorkshire Terrier/Bichon Frise mix) -- share my bed. They come in and out at night as they please through a doggy door. Recently, the smallest one started pooping and peeing on the bed. I can't think of any good reason she would be angry. What's going on? -- R.B., Las Vegas, NV

  • You can curb, but not stop pooch from barking at squirrels

    April 24, 2014

    This week, your questions are answered by renowned veterinary behaviorist Dr. Karen Overall, the Philadelphia, PA-based contributing author to "Decoding Your Dog: The Ultimate Experts Explain Common Dog Behaviors and Reveal How to Prevent or Change Unwanted Ones" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New York, NY, 2014; $27). Overall is also the author of a far more technical book for professionals, the "Manual of Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Dogs and Cats" (Elsevier, St. Louis, MO, 2013; $72.75). She is a world-renowned researcher and frequent speaker about animal behavior.

  • Pet health stats a valuable source of information

    April 23, 2014

    So, what's the state of pet health? Human health trends are monitored by the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but there's no comparable agency for pets. With 850 hospitals across America, Banfield the Pet Hospital's database is a gold mine in veterinary medicine, as scrupulous records are kept on everything from the most common dog and cat breeds to disease prevalence.

  • Training your cat to use a scratching post far better than declawing

    April 17, 2014

    Q: I want to have my 6-year-old male cat declawed. I've purchased scratching posts, but he ignores them. What else can I do? -- D.P., via cyberspace

  • Thankfully, bans on the sale of puppy mill pets are spreading

    April 16, 2014

    It's that time again to hear from readers, and you do have a lot to say! Keep those emails coming to steve@stevedale.tv.

  • Dosing a diabetic cat with testosterone is irresponsible

    April 10, 2014

    Q: Two of my medical patients have taken the liberty of successfully using their own testosterone injectables on their cats to reverse diabetes. I thought you might want to pass this information along. -- E.L., via cyberspace

  • Dogs have a big-hearted friend in Joan Rivers

    April 9, 2014

    No question, Joan Rivers loves dogs.

  • Lots can be done to help older dogs with achy joints

    April 3, 2014

    NASHVILLE, TN -- These reader questions were answered at the American Animal Hospital Association Conference 2014, held here March 20-23. AAHA is the only organization which accredits veterinary practice for excellent standards, with over 50,000 member clinics. AAHA also oversees the creation and writing of many veterinary care guidelines. Learn more at http://www.aaha.org.

  • Latest slam on cats for killing songbirds is unfair

    April 2, 2014

    Dogs are man's best friends, but cats have a target on their backs. The latest to take aim was Richard Conniff in a New York Times op-ed piece March 21 headlined, "The Evil of the Outdoor Cat."

  • Check with veterinarian about cat's sneezing

    March 27, 2014

    NASHVILLE, TN -- These reader questions were answered at the American Animal Hospital Association Conference 2014 here, March 20-23. AAHA is the only organization which accredits veterinary practices for excellence in veterinary standards. There are over 50,000 AAHA veterinary care providers. AAHA also oversees the creation and writing of many veterinary care guidelines. The AAHA website offers lots of credible information for pet owners: http://www.aaha.org.

  • Kathy Ireland extending her passion for fashion to pets

    March 26, 2014

    Kathy Ireland's Worldwide brand is 28th most powerful brand in the nation, according to Forbes Magazine, topping $2 billion in licensed products in 2013. When it comes to home decor, the one-time super model is a superstar and more than a tad successful. Announced at the Global Pet Expo in Orlando, FL, on March 13, Ireland has now partnered with a pet products company called Worldwise (cq).

  • Some pet problems mistakenly blamed on separation anxiety

    March 20, 2014

    Recently, Merrick Pet Foods conducted a contest via Facebook, asking readers to ask me: "Why does my dog...?" The first 20 responders received a copy of "Decoding Your Dog: The Ultimate Experts Explain Common Dog Behaviors and Reveal How to Prevent or Change Unwanted Ones" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New York, NY, 2014; $27) authored by members of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, co-edited by myself, and veterinary behaviorists Dr. Debra Horwitz and Dr. John Ciribassi.

  • Tony La Russa is pleased to see baseball go to the dogs

    March 19, 2014

    ORLANDO, FLA. -- Tony La Russa reaches down to pet a dog at the Global Pet Expo (March 12-14 at the Orange County Convention Center here), the pet industry's largest trade show with nearly 1,000 exhibitors. As he gently strokes the puppy, La Russa's three World Series rings are unmistakable.

  • Curbing your dog's attraction to cat poop may take some creativity

    March 13, 2014

    Merrick Pet Foods recently conducted a contest via Facebook, asking readers to ask me: "Why does my dog...?" The first 20 responders received a copy of "Decoding Your Dog: The Ultimate Experts Explain Common Dog Behaviors and Reveal How to Prevent or Change Unwanted Ones" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New York, NY, 2014; $27). The book was written by members of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, and co-edited by myself, and veterinary behaviorists Dr. Debra Horwitz and Dr. John Ciribassi.

  • Campaign to drive puppy mills out of business gaining momentum across the U.S.

    March 12, 2014

    The goal is to drive puppy mills out of business and discourage impulsive purchases of dogs. With the impetus of the Puppy Mill Project, a non-profit educational campaign launched in 2009, Chicago joined Los Angeles, Phoenix and over 40 other cities March 5 in banning pet stores from selling dogs, cats or rabbits. My hope is that by the end of 2015 at least 40 more cities will follow suit, including major markets like New York, Houston and San Francisco.

  • Do animals have long-term memory?

    March 6, 2014

    These reader questions were answered by Thornhill, Ontario, Canada-based veterinary behaviorist Dr. Gary Landsberg, a contributing author to "Decoding Your Dog" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New York, NY, 2014; $27), also including segments by fellow members of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. The book is co-edited by myself and veterinary behaviorists Dr. Debra Horwitz and Dr. John Ciribassi.

  • Service and assistance dogs aren't always living the good life, expert claims

    March 5, 2014

    Jennifer Arnold founded a service dog school called Canine Assistants in 1995.

  • More activity during the day might quiet squabbling cats

    February 27, 2014

    LAS VEGAS, NV -- These reader questions were answered by experts attending the Western Veterinary Conference here Feb. 16-20.

  • Looking for something different? These exotics are good choices

    February 26, 2014

    Whoever said dogs and cats should have a monopoly on our affections and the chance to share our homes? For those who like to be different, here are three ideas for unconventional pets -- all of which are also good choices for people with allergies. (Then again, so are fish!)

  • Vitamin C is not a proven 'cure' for urinary tract infections

    February 20, 2014

    LAS VEGAS, NV -- You, my readers, ask great questions, so I asked experts attending the Western Veterinary Conference here (Feb. 16-20) to answer a handful:

  • Emotion plays a big part in animal behavior, expert attests

    February 19, 2014

    "We know that even fish have emotions," says Marc Bekoff, author of "Why Dogs Hump and Bees Get Depressed: The Fascinating Science of Emotions, Friendship, and Conservation" (New World Library, New York, NY, 2013; $15.95). "We chose the (book's) title because it's an attention-getter. The title also makes the case that some explanations are not as obvious as we think."

  • Stray dogs in Sochi deserve better than extermination

    February 13, 2014

    Q: I saw on your blog (http://www.chicagnow.com/stevedale) that you've taken a stand, calling for people to boycott watching the Olympics. Do you think blogs like yours have helped the world see what's really going on in Russia, as they continue to kill stray dogs? -- A.D., via cyberspace

  • Stray dogs in Sochi deserve better than extermination

    February 13, 2014

    Q: I saw on your blog (http://www.chicagnow.com/stevedale) that you've taken a stand, calling for people to boycott watching the Olympics. Do you think blogs like yours have helped the world see what's really going on in Russia, as they continue to kill stray dogs? -- A.D., via cyberspace

  • Cats are hugely popular -- even though we don't understand them

    February 12, 2014

    If you're an accountant, and the balance sheet is what matters most, cats should be man's best friends. According to the 2012 American Veterinary Medical Association's Pet Ownership Demographic Sourcebook, there are 74.1 million pet cats in the U.S. - but only 69.9 million dogs. And it's the same elsewhere. According to the journal Nature, there are 2,037,046,000 pet cats when you add up the number of cats in the top 10 countries with the most pets. According to the same source, there are just 400 million dogs in those same countries.

  • Aging, separation anxiety could be factors behind pooch's odd behavior

    February 6, 2014

    ORLANDO, FLA. -- These questions were answered by experts who attended the North American Veterinary Conference here Jan. 18-22:

  • Labrador Retriever retains the crown as most-popular dog breed

    February 5, 2014

    If dogs are man's best friends, the Labrador Retriever is specifically man's favorite breed, at least in America. According to the newly-released American Kennel Club (AKC) breed registration data for 2013, for the 23rd consecutive year Labs are the most popular of 177 purebred dogs.

  • Yelling at your cat won't solve her litter box issues

    January 30, 2014

    ORLANDO, FLA. -- These questions were answered by experts attending the North American Veterinary Conference here Jan. 18-22.

  • Erasing the fear of veterinary visits would lead to healthier pets

    January 29, 2014

    ORLANDO, FLA. -- The annual North American Veterinary Conference, one of the largest meetings of its kind, was held here Jan. 19-22. Dr. Marty Becker, one of many featured speakers, discussed his concept of fear-free veterinary visits.

  • You can curb your dog's craving for 'poopsicles'

    January 23, 2014

    Q: What should I do about my dog who, at the age of 8, has suddenly decided that she likes to eat the frozen poop of other dogs? -- B.N., St. Paul, MN

  • Dogs are smarter than we think, and some are downright brilliant

    January 22, 2014

    "It's about time science has woken up to the fact that dogs are really smart," says evolutionary anthropologist Brian Hare, co-author (with Vanessa Woods) of "The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs Are Smarter Than You Think" (Penguin Random House, New York, NY, 2013, $17). "It's really quite remarkable that dogs ever became our buddies, since they evolved from wolves, our main competitor."

  • Readers offer their opinions on my opinions

    January 16, 2014

    Here are some reader responses to answers in recent columns. I always appreciate reader input. Email anytime with questions or answers at steve@stevedale.tv. You can also find me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SteveDalePetWorld.

  • Indie band's hit song and video helping boost pet adoption

    January 15, 2014

    From a dog's perspective, "every day is the best day of my life." And when a dog is adopted, that really may be the best day of the pet's life. Therefore, it's perfectly fitting that the music video for the hit song "The Best Day of My Life," by American Authors, stars an English bulldog.

  • Careful training can solve many pet behavior problems

    January 9, 2014

    The following reader questions about dog behavior were answered by veterinary behaviorist Dr. Debra Horwitz, of St. Louis, MO, an editor (with Dr. John Ciribassi and myself) of "Decoding Your Dog" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014, $27) written by members of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. The book explains common canine behavior problems and ways to avoid them. There's also advice from experts on how to change unwanted behaviors using science-based methods.

  • New book offers solid advice on curbing canine behavior problems

    January 8, 2014

    To this day, if you Google "dog screamer," up pops a column I wrote back in 2006 headlined, "He Ought To Call Himself the Dog Screamer." The column went viral and I received hundreds of hate-laced emails because I dared express concerns about dog-training methods advocated by then popular "Dog Whisperer," Cesar Millan.

  • These New Year's resolutions are for pets

    January 2, 2014

    Asking my Facebook fans (https://www.facebook.com/Stevedalepets) about their New Year's resolutions for their pets (or all pets) has become an annual tradition. Here some responses I've received for 2014:

  • Remember these winter safety tips for pets

    January 1, 2014

    The weather outside may be frightful, so here are some tips for keeping your pets safe in the snow and cold:

  • Only a few other mammals - besides reindeer - can fly

    December 23, 2013

    Q: I was thinking about flying reindeer. Of course, I don't believe reindeer can fly, but do any other animals fly aside from birds? -- P.P., Little Rock, AK

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