Dog Healthcare Headlines For Pet Parents

Fidose of Reality strives to bring you current dog healthcare and wellness use you can use. There have been quite a few stories generating interest in the dog world of late, many of them involving keeping dogs healthy, both physically and mentally. How many of these stories have you heard about? Read on, and then go hug your dog…or not…you weigh in:

Science Says Dogs Don’t Like to Be Hugged

According to one study, dogs do not like to be hugged. A dog researcher suggests dogs do not enjoy our hugs the way we do. Well, duh, I could have saved them a lot of money. Dogs are not human and to some dogs, a hug can be very threatening. The truth of the matter is this: Even the researcher admits the study is not well founded.

“This is a set of casual observations,” Stanley Coren, the retired University of British Columbia professor who penned the column, told The Post. He sharedthat his data collection wasn’t part of a peer-reviewed study.

Phooey on you science!

That said, squeezing a dog in general should be done with caution.

How well do you know the dog?

Is the dog sleeping and you wake him for a hug?

Is the dog in pain, older, and/or wanting to be left alone?

So many different nonverbal cues can stress a dog, and each dog, like each human being, is different. So if a dog isn’t that into you (or at least, your hugs), then don’t force it. He may bite. And no one wants that.

Here’s the Don’t Hug the Dog “study

pet friendly
Dexter and I hug it out: Because he likes it!

Torn Ligaments Back in the News

One of our most highly read posts deals with the rupture of a dog’s ACL/CCL (ligament). We know all about ligament tears because our active Cocker Spaniel tore two in the span of just over a year. You can read the Ultimate Guide to ACL Injuries here.

The topic is back in veterinary news. The veterinarian who penned the piece for DVM360 writes, “Keep in mind that when selecting a procedure for an individual patient you need to do what you’re comfortable with. Your experience and preferences matter. Patient attitude and activity matter. And individual patients’ anatomies matter.”

There is no one best answer for every situation. As with humans, some may need a knee repair, knee replacement, rest, meds, or a brace. The same holds true with dogs.

We tried conservative management in the form of a custom stifle brace. It did work for a short time, but with a dog who needs to form scar tissue and rest extensively, this did not bode well for us in the long run.

A word to the wise: If surgery is what your dog is facing, always seek a board certified orthopedic doctor.

acl injury

Taking Dogs to Restaurants

On the emotional side of a dog’s well-being comes this tale of eateries and whether dogs belong in them.

According to a report filed by Fox News, “As of November, Georgia restaurants may allow pet dogs in outdoor dining areas, provided they are kept on leash and have no direct contact with wait staff or customer plates and utensils. The guidelines are similar to those recently adopted in New York and California.”

Dogs dining by our side. What’s wrong with that? Apparently there is a certain contingency of naysayers to negate dining with dogs out there.

In traveling with dogs for over 20 years, I’ve seen many restaurants allowing outdoor dog-friendly seating but the dog had to remain on the rail outside the patio or beyond the actual tables. How does this make sense? Airborne is airborne, whether a dog spreads something or a person next to me sneezes.

Each week, my pooch and I head out as a family for “mommy and me night.” If the weather is nice, we start with a ball playing session at the park. We hit up the local pet supply stores (the big three around here), chain and independent variety, check out the latest merchandise, mingle with the others who are having a night out with Fido, and then head to a fast food restaurant for afterwards. The girls have gotten to known Dexter, so we order “the usual:” a sweet tea and fries for me and a hamburger plain for him. Dex gets to socialize, sniff, be in new environments and I get to enjoy being the dog mom I pride myself in being 24/7.

Dogs should be well socialized, clean, and have basic manners before pet parents should consider allowing their dog to eat al fresco with them. My dog has his Canine Good Citizen (CGC) title.

What are your thoughts? It is certainly good for the restaurant and overall economy.

Recipes for dogs

Dog Poop Epidemic

Please for the love of all things good in life, clean up your dog’s poop when he relives himself. Period.

If we all do, the problem is solved. Apparently dog waste left behind is an epidemic, and some cities are fed up. According to a report in the Washington Post, New York, a city whose dogs produce an estimated 100,000 tons of waste annually, for a while had signs that warned of a $1,000 fine for not scooping poop.

Protect dog from theft

In Madrid, Spain, a “shock plan” was recently unveiled. In it, dog parents must clean up after their pets in two district. Don’t do it and you must either spend a few days as substitute street cleaners or face a $1,700 fine. Here’s the scoop on dog poop:


Flushing dog poop down the toilet – without a bag, only the waste – is perhaps the best disposal method, says the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency and the National Resources Defense Council. Leaving pet waste on the ground increases public health risks by allowing harmful bacteria and nutrients to wash into storm drains, and eventually into local waterbodies.

But cat feces should never be flushed, as it may contain Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that can infect people and animals. Municipal water treatment systems do not always kill this parasite.


Leaving dog poop behind is good for the soil. Reality: In order for feces from a carnivorous animal to be used as an effective fertilizer, it has to be fully composted with other materials such as egg shells and grass clippings and allowed to break down over time.


America’s 78.2 million dogs collectively deposit 10 million tons of waste per year, according to waste clean-up service, Doody Calls. That’s enough to fill some 268,000 tractor trailers.


Dog waste cannot harm your health. Reality: Dog feces can carry a host of disease and worms — including heartworms, whipworms, hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, parvovirus, giardia, salmonella, and even E. coli. This is why it’s imperative to clean it up after Fido does his duty.


If not flushing (again only bagless dog poop, never cat waste), it’s best to use a biodegradable bag and place in the garbage.


Bagged poop can be flushed. Reality: It can clog home plumbing and stress sewer systems.

medicine versus mom

More Health News for Dog Moms and Dog Dads

For more about dog health news, check out my blogging buddy, Rachel Sheppard of My Kid Has Paws blog.



  1. Yeah, Phooey science. My dog love snuggles and hugs and I am not stopping for anything.

  2. Bentley is a hugger and will initiate them but Pierre is more of a snuggler. We discovered a beautiful new walking trail and I see other dog’s poo left behind. I don’t understand how someone can care enough about their dog to take them to a lovely place for a walk and not care enough to clean up after them. Great post!

  3. Well this packs a wallop of provocative topics! My Therapy Dog learned to love hugs from the kids – ’cause she knows they mean treats! I hate eating establishments that make your dog sit on the other side of the fence, that’s so stupid! Conversely, when one of our fave eateries allowed a group of people to bring their dog inside, sit next to them in the booth, and said nothing when the dog licked his owner’s plate it was the last time I ever stepped foot in that place. The customers took advantage of a weak server & no Manager present. On the way out I reminded them that they were in violation of state law and that they could potentially lose their license if an Inspector saw that. The customers claimed their dog was a Service Dog – B.S.! No real service dog would do that. I love the idea of people who don’t scoop the poop being both fined and forced to work as substitute street cleaners – that’s so fitting! Great Fact vs. Fiction points too!

    • The fake service dog thing drives me insane. And to let the dog lick the plate in the restaurant? Sigh sigh sigh. I am glad you said something. Together we can teach people to have dogs with good manners. The people are the ones who need the manners so many times. Who teaches them?

  4. I took my dog to a training class once and the teacher said they don’t like to be hugged! I was crushed to hear that.. because I like it. And like you said, maybe they just like it differently.
    I’m about to talk my dog. Wish I could flush the poop but I will bag it!

  5. I think the important thing is to take cues from your pet. Some are huggers, some aren’t, and they pretty clearly let you know.

  6. Dogs in stores and restaurant frighten me. I have been bite several times by dogs and having them too close scares me. I know that’s crazy but dogs scare me.

  7. We know first paw that in the US poop is a problem, but people pick up much more than in other countries. In Europe poop is everywhere! As for dining out, dogs are allowed IN restaurants in Germany and we went along a lot. It is sad it is not possible here. Hugging…remember Bailie my PR Dog, the serial huggler? I don’t believe she was ever coerced to hug anyone, but it is her favorite way to show affection. I enjoy hugs as well, but Katie does not. Know your dog people! Not all people like hugging either, but did anyone ever say stop hugging altogether?

  8. I think it should be perfectly fine for dogs to dine at restaurants in the outdoor portion. I think if more restaurants included this option it would totally boost their overall popularity and sells.

  9. Regarding cruciate injuries, I think you might be interested in looking up the new emerging procedure, Simitri Stable in Stride. Looks quite intriguing to me.

    • I have seen a few things on this. I will be curious to see how it pans out. Thanks for mentioning it, Jana.

  10. We have a few local restaurants that have an outdoor dining area that is dog friendly. People seem to enjoy spending time with their pets out on the town.

  11. Love all the information to be shared to dog owners. Some of these fact and fiction items are very interesting. As a dog owner, I had no idea about some of the things you’ve listed! Thank you for sharing them!

  12. One of our dogs LOVES to snuggle and hug. In fact she will crawl into your lap and hug you first.. The other, prefers to have her belly rubbed and that is it.

  13. Here’s the thing … that hugging study was based on looking at photographs (not studying real life interaction).

    My dog hates cameras. (He’s not fooled by phones or tablets). Apparently, that’s not uncommon. Maybe what we’re seeing are dogs who hate their photos taken, not dogs who hate being hugged.

    What does a dog do after he’s hugged? I tried this morning. After the hug, my schnoodle made a few jumps then grabbed a toy and brought it to me. Apparently, to him a hug is something similar to let’s play. Maybe because he was wrestled by young boys in previous homes, I don’t know. Be he gets enthusiastic.

    • It irks me so much that it was photographs this person used and now it has made viral headlines. grrrr.

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