Lifestyle Pets

Ask the Pet Expert | Q&A collection


Our furry friends are sweet and adorable, but sometimes they develop habits we'd like them to quit, or they have health issues that perplex us. Here's a collection of questions and answers on a variety of pet-related topics. If you have a question that you'd like answered by a veterinarian or a dog trainer, email your question to


  • Dog eats things he shouldn't

    What to do when dog eats things he shouldn't

    My lab is constantly eating stuff he shouldn't. I try very hard to keep him from doing it and he's always fine (sometimes after he vomits), but I worry about possible obstructions. What should I look for?  Pets that eat objects they shouldn't can present any number of ways. Sometimes they will...

  • Tick prevention

    Ask the Pet Expert | Tick prevention

    My dog gets a Lyme disease shot every year and takes Sentinel regularly, but I'm nervous about ticks. We look for them every time he's outside. I have never used Frontline or anything like it because I don't like the chemicals in the house. Is there anything else I can do to protect my dog from...

  • Debarking a dog

    Ask the Pet Expert | Debarking a dog

    I have a 4-year-old Yorkipoo who barks all the time — when other dogs walk by the yard, when I hug my wife, when he senses we're leaving the house, etc. He's on Prozac because he's so high-strung. His bark is so piercing that we are considering having him de-barked (the vocal cord surgery) because...

  • Cat's chewing paper

    Ask the pet expert: chewing paper

    How can I get my cat to stop tearing and eating paper? The ingestion of any nonfood item is not a normal activity for a cat and should be diagnosed by your veterinarian to assess whether this is a medical, behavioral or nutritional issue. You can assist with this diagnosis by logging and sharing...

  • Door anxiety

    Ask the pet expert: door anxiety

    Bentley, a Jack Russell, was rescued at 8 weeks old. When someone leaves my house, he races to the door and jumps against it, barking. If I go out with someone, he goes to the door agressively, like to bite or nip. He has nipped someone before. I now either crate him prior to someone coming or...

  • Adopting a cat

    Adopting a cat

  • Couch clawing

    Ask the pet expert: couch clawing

    My cat keeps going after the couch with her claws. We keep them clipped and try to redirect her attention to her scratching post, to no avail. Is there any way to keep her from destroying it? It's very frustrating when cats scratch our things, but it's a necessary behavior that relieves stress...

  • Afraid of the dark

    Ask the pet expert: afraid of the dark

    Is there anything I can do for a rescue dog that is afraid of the dark? She's fine going outside during the day but won't even go outside unless we go out first and coax her out once it's dark. We have a well-lit yard, but nothing seems to help. We literally have to stand next to her while she...

  • Fearful dog

    Ask the pet expert: fearful dog

    My daughter and son-in-law have two Austrailian shepherds — a 9-year-old male they've had since puppyhood and a 5-year-old female they recently rescued. They leave the dogs with us when they travel. The rescued female dog seems afraid of my husband. She growls and races from room to room hiding...

  • Pet's seasonal allergies

    Ask the pet expert: seasonal allergies

    What's the best way to deal with seasonal allergies? Pets react to airborne allergies just like humans do. But when they inhale these potential allergens, instead of just sneezing and sniffling, they get very inflamed and itchy skin that can become infected. It is important to treat any secondary...