Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Growlees x Walter Glassof Statement T-Shirts

Growlees x Walter Glassof Statement T-Shirts

Growlees, the British brand known for their humorous collar tags, has teamed up with French illustrator Walter Glassof to create a collection of statement t-shirts for humans! These unisex tees are available in 7 styles and 2 colorways and feature illustrations inspired by Growlees’ cheeky collar charms. Whether you choose “Best in Show” or “I Wish I Was a Labrador in an Upper Class Family“, there’s a shirt for every sense of humor — and a matching tag for every pup!

Growlees x Walter Glassof Statement T-Shirts

Growlees x Walter Glassof Statement T-Shirts

Growlees x Walter Glassof Statement T-Shirts

Shop Growlees shirts and tags on

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© 2017 Dog Milk | Posted by capree in For Humans | Permalink | No comments

Ask a Vet: How to Tell a Dog’s Age

If you purchased your dog from a breeder or acquired your dog from a litter with a known birth date, then you know your dog’s age precisely. However, plenty of dogs out there were acquired from shelters or found as strays. The age reported to you by the shelter may be inaccurate — sometimes, it seems, inexperienced volunteers are assigned the task of estimating ages of dogs and puppies when they arrive, which leaves many pet parents wondering, “How old is my puppy, really?” Here’s how to tell a dog’s age — within reason.

A puppy asleep on blankets.

This article will go through the stages of canine development and aging so that you will have some idea of how to estimate a dog’s age. But don’t forget that dogs, like humans, age at different rates. Some age well, and others don’t. The difference is based upon genetics and lifestyle. There can be very marked differences in aging between breeds — a Great Dane is elderly at seven years old, whereas a seven-year-old Chihuahua is barely middle aged.

How to estimate a dog’s age

Birth to 2 weeks of age: Newborn puppies are born toothless and with their eyes closed. These features can be used to identify puppies that are less than two weeks of age. Puppies this age spend most of their time rooting, suckling, and sleeping.

A sonogram of a pregnant dog with puppies.

2 to 5 weeks old: The eyes open at two to three weeks of age although vision is poor. There will still be no teeth present. Puppies this age become more engaged with their environment and begin to explore their surroundings.

5 to 8 weeks old: This period is marked by the eruption of deciduous (baby) teeth. Yes, that’s right: Dogs, like humans, have two sets of teeth. The first set begins to erupt at five to six weeks of age, and the full set is generally in place by eight weeks. These teeth are very sharp, and people with puppies in this age group will be painfully familiar with them. By the time a puppy is eight weeks old he or she will be in full-on puppy mode with periods of active playing, exploring, chewing mixed with periods of passed-out sleep.

8 to 16 weeks old: The deciduous teeth are in place, but the space between them will increase as the jaw and face grow. They will also begin to appear disproportionately small since they stay the same size while the puppy grows around them. This is a period of intense activity, growth, exploration, and learning for the puppy.

16 weeks to 8 months old: At around 16 weeks the baby teeth begin to fall out and be replaced by permanent teeth. This process starts at the front of the mouth with the small teeth called incisors, and then works its way back, generally in a symmetrical fashion. The puppy’s mouth may bleed slightly (or his or her breath may sometimes smell like blood) as the baby teeth fall out. The deciduous teeth are generally gone by five months, and the permanent teeth generally are fully erupted by eight to 12 months of age.

8 months to 24 months old: Most dogs have reached their full height by eight to 12 months of age (although some giant breeds continue to grow for up to two years). They are adolescents — not quite puppies, but not quite mature dogs. Like adolescents, dogs in this age group go through puberty (if they aren’t neutered or spayed). And like adolescents, they are generally clumsy and awkward and they may have skin problems (puppy mange often strikes around this time, or sometimes a bit earlier).

2 to 3 years old: Most dogs’ physical development is complete by two years of age. Alas, it often is not long after this that time to begin to take its toll. The first sign of aging usually is visible in the mouth: dental calculus and even gingivitis will be present in the majority of dogs by three years of age if their teeth aren’t brushed.

3 to 7 years old: Humans this age would be considered in the prime of their lives. However, some signs of aging will occur during this time. Dogs whose teeth do not receive attention (either through brushing or professional dental work) will generally experience progressive dental disease. Gray hairs may develop on the muzzle. Activity levels will slow.

A senior dog plays with a stick on the beach.

7 years and beyond: As I mentioned above, different sizes of dogs age at different rates. Seven years is generally the time at which these differences become pronounced. Many larger breeds of dogs will show significant signs of arthritis (manifested by mobility problems), while smaller dogs may not exhibit these issues for another three to five years. At seven years of age most dogs’ eyes will become slightly cloudy. This natural aging phenomenon is a type of cataract, but it does not significantly compromise vision or quality of life. They may develop wart-like growths on their skin (similar to moles in people), or soft growths called lipomas underneath the skin. Their voices may change to a raspier tone. Smaller dogs may begin to show symptoms of collapsing trachea (manifested most frequently by coughing when active). Hearing and vision may fail (although the vision loss is not usually linked to the cloudiness in the eyes). Mobility may progressively deteriorate. Dental disease may become profound and if the mouth is not cared for teeth may fall out.

How to keep your dog young

As mentioned above, genetics (especially breed) plays a significant role in the rate at which dogs age. However, so does lifestyle. Two of the hallmarks of aging are dental disease and mobility concerns. Therefore, one of the simplest ways to slow the aging process is to take care of your dog’s teeth by brushing them at least daily and seeking professional dental care when needed. Another way is to keep your dog active and control his or her weight. Active dogs whose weights are ideal are less likely to experience symptoms of arthritis, collapsing trachea, and the other ravages of aging.

Does the 7-to-1 rule work for determining a dog’s age?

Conventional wisdom holds that one dog year is the equivalent of seven human years. As this article illustrates, that conventional wisdom is not exactly correct. The first two years of a dog’s life are roughly equivalent to 21 years in human. The rate of aging varies significantly thereafter, primarily based upon a dog’s size. A Great Dane may age 10 to 12 “human” years for each subsequent year, whereas a teacup Poodle may age only at a ratio of about 5-to-1.

As your dog ages I recommend that you not lose track of an important notion. Getting old may not be fun, but it generally beats the alternative.

Read more about senior dogs:

Got a question for Dr. Barchas? Ask our vet in the comments below and you might be featured in an upcoming column. (Note that if you have an emergency situation, please see your own vet immediately!)

Thumbnail: Dalmatian by Shutterstock

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How to Combat Seasonal Allergies in Dogs

Watching your dog scratch and lick herself throughout spring and summer can be heartbreaking. Unfortunately, there may be no cure for some allergies in dogs. The best we can hope for is that a combination of therapies may give them some relief and reduce the incidence of secondary infections and visits to the vet. The following ideas are some of the things that have helped many of my clients over the years and my own itchy dog. I hope that in passing them on I can give your pet some relief.

A yellow dog with fleas itching and scratching.

Puppy scratching by Shutterstock.

A brief rundown on allergies in dogs

Before we get onto the tips, here’s a rundown on what is going on with allergies and the main causes. An allergy is basically an overreaction by the immune system to something normal in the environment. Allergies usually develop in dogs more than year of age and can be hereditary. Allergies in dogs lead to foot-licking, scratching, ear infections, hair loss, anal gland problems as well as visibly inflamed skin, often with secondary infections.

Here are the main causes of allergies in dogs:

  1. Fleas. One flea bite can keep an allergic dog itching for two weeks! This is the most common allergy, and usually starts around the base of the tail.
  2. Food. Any protein can lead to an allergy. Food allergies account for around seven percent of allergies in dogs, and you may need an elimination diet to diagnose them.
  3. Contact allergies. These usually involve plants or grasses and mainly lead to irritation on the feet or hairless areas on the underside of the abdomen.
  4. Atopy. This is usually seasonal and caused by a variety of airborne allergens. Atopy can be likened to hay fever in humans, but in dogs atopy causes itchy skin.

What causes seasonal itching?

Atopy and contact allergies are usually involved in seasonal itch. Dust mites, pollens, grasses, or any number of airborne allergens in the environment are the usual culprits. When atopic dogs are tested either by a blood test or skin patch testing, they are tested for up to 83 different allergens — another reason why the solution is not necessarily simple. Many dogs have multiple allergies, rather than just one.

A small dog being shampooed in a bath.

Itch threshold

One of the more interesting allergy theories, this essentially means that the triggers for scratching in allergic pets can be cumulative. For those dogs who have multiple allergies (such as a food allergy and a grass allergy), control of even one of the triggers may be enough to keep them below the threshold where they become itchy. This is why a combination of therapies works very well and also why excellent flea control is incredibly important.

Even if fleas are not the primary cause of the allergy, use the fastest-acting flea product available (Comfortis) and good environmental flea control. It may also be worthwhile doing a food trial with one novel protein source and a carbohydrate for eight weeks (for example sweet potato and rabbit/kangaroo/venison).

A golden retriever dog refuses food.

Atopy and infection

Many of the therapies for allergic dogs focus on improving skin barrier function. Often dogs with allergies have dry, scurfy skin or greasy, smelly skin. Usually the cellular layers in the skin form nice tight junctions with a matrix of lipids and keratin to keep moisture in and bacteria and yeast out. Dogs with allergies have altered barrier function, allowing allergens to get through and leaving them prone to secondary infections. If your dog has inflamed, moist, smelly, ulcerated skin or has little scabby areas, see your vet for a course of antibiotics, as often the other strategies will not help until the infection is resolved. For very mild cases, shampoos containing chlorhexidine or miconazole can help with skin infections.

A dog paw with a sign about allergies in dogs.

Tips and strategies for treating allergies in dogs

Try a combination of these things and hopefully your dog will get some relief:

  1. When your dog comes in from outside, use a damp towel to wipe him down, paying particular attention to the feet. Make sure the feet are completely dry afterwards.
  2. Use QV Bath Oil at the concentration on the bottle and allow your pet to soak in the tub for 10 minutes every three days.
  3. Use fatty acids, ideally with the correct ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 oils. You can also use fish oils or skin diets.
  4. Bathe your pet every three days or weekly with an oatmeal shampoo.
  5. If your dog gets itchy feet from walking on grass, pop on some boots.
  6. Wash any bedding, blankets, or soft toys weekly on a hot-washing cycle.
  7. Use HEPA filters in the home and either get rid of pillows or mattresses that can’t be washed or use dust-mite-resistant covers.
  8. If you have a garden, keep grasses short, particularly during periods of grass seeding or rapid growth.
  9. For moldy or damp houses, use dehumidifiers; don’t let your pet in the basement and avoid indoor plants.
  10. Use a topical steroid cream or spray for small areas such as feet.

Two dogs with itchy, allergic paws.

Sometimes it is difficult to know what to do first with a newly diagnosed pet. If you haven’t already visited your vet, this is the most important first step. Make sure your flea control is up-to-date and perhaps take this list in with you to get some advice on which therapies to try first.

Also bear in mind the other options your vet can provide, such as allergy testing, immunotherapy, corticosteroids, and cyclosporine. My hope is that some of the strategies here may give your dog a little relief from his allergies and give you both a good night’s sleep.

Does your dog have allergies? What are you tips for combatting allergies in dogs? Tell us your tips in the comments!

Read more about allergies in dogs and flea control on Dogster:

Learn more about dogs with Dogster:

About the author: With 7 years of small animal practice, Dr. Eloise Bright came to Love That Pet as animal lover and advocate for all animals from baby birds to stray kittens. With two sons in tow and hubby, Eloise mainly practices in Sydney, Australia. She has a dog, Duster, and a cat, Jimmy.

Puppy scratching by Shutterstock.

The post How to Combat Seasonal Allergies in Dogs appeared first on Dogster.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Dog Euthanasia: When Is the Right Time? Should You Be Present?

Euthanizing a beloved pet is heartbreaking. The decision to euthanize a dog is the most important and difficult dog-related decision a person can make. I wrote recently about how emotionally difficult euthanasias are for me, and for most vets. But I don’t fool myself: the sadness I feel during a dog euthanasia is nothing but a small fraction of that felt by the dog’s owner.

A senior dog.

Senior dog relaxing by Shutterstock.

Of course, I also believe that dog euthanasia, when performed appropriately, is a good thing. In fact, ready access to euthanasia is one of the few definitive advantages that veterinary medicine has over its human counterpart. Many people suffer intensely, often for years, before they die. They may suffer loss of dignity and chronic pain, even if they are receiving comprehensive hospice care. Special nursing homes known colloquially as “vent farms” exist; each patient in these homes is on a ventilator (a breathing machine that is a form of life support) indefinitely. The cost, in human suffering and in dollars, is astronomical.

Euthanasia, when performed appropriately, prevents pets from suffering and spares their dignity. But that doesn’t make it easy for the people who love the dog being put to sleep.

Two questions about euthanasia are frequently asked.

First, people wonder about when to perform euthanasia. How does one know when the time is right? People also wonder whether they should be present for the procedure.

Both of these questions are intensely personal in nature, and like all intensely personal issues people who have no business in the matter often offer unsolicited strong opinions, often after the fact. They may say that you should have euthanized your dog sooner so that he would have suffered less. Or they may say that you should have tried harder to save your dog before resorting to euthanasia. They may say that you should have been with your dog when he was euthanized, or that you should not have.

Here is what I say you should do: Ignore the meddlers and follow your heart. Do what you honestly believe is best for your dog and do not allow anyone — including yourself — to make you feel guilty about your decisions. Other people can only say what would have been best for them. You can only do what is best for you.

Let me also say this: remember that hindsight is 20/20.

The decision to euthanize a dog must be made in the present. After the procedure you may feel guilty for having waited too long, or not having been present for the procedure. (Conversely, some people deeply regret the decision to be present for the procedure, and wish that they had been spared the memory of seeing their pet deceased.) Do not beat yourself up. Make the best decisions you can, and remember that you cannot know with certainty in the present what you would have wanted in the future.

Two conditions must be met for dog euthanasia to be appropriate.

First and foremost, the dog must be ready. To be ready the dog will be suffering, or on the verge of suffering, with no reasonable alternative to eliminate the suffering. Second, the people who love the dog must be ready, or at least as ready as they can be. However, the second condition must be met within reason; it is not fair to a dog to allow her to suffer for weeks or months because the owners cannot bear to part with her.

Dogs have wonderful spirits, and it can be very hard to tell when a dog is suffering. I have seen dogs with terminal kidney failure smile and wag their tails at the sight of a friendly person. Their behavior can belie their suffering.

However, there are some general guidelines that can be used to determine whether the time is right. Appetite and behavior are the key things to monitor. Poor appetite is a sign that a dog does not feel well. It rarely means that she is simply “not hungry”. It more often means that she feels nauseated or too ill to eat.

Monitoring of behavior can require observation of more subtle changes. You and only you know your dog’s favorite activities; when your dog loses interest in those activities something is wrong. For instance, on the dreaded day when my pal Buster has no desire to fetch a ball I will know that we are in trouble.

Some final thoughts on the complexities of dog euthanasia.

In the end, the only thing you can do is follow your heart, and try your hardest to do right by your dog. However, I will tell you that over my career I have had countless people tell me, with their 20/20 hindsight, that they felt they had waited too long to put their dog to sleep. Almost nobody has ever said they thought they did it too soon. Perhaps this signifies that people who rush to euthanize their pets aren’t prone to soul searching, but it definitely means that many people realize in hindsight that they they were keeping their dog alive for their own sake rather than their dog’s sake. All I can tell such people to console them is the truth: that they made the best decision they could with the information they had at the time.

Many people struggle with deciding whether to be present for their pet’s euthanasia. I described what to expect during euthanasia in my previously mentioned earlier article. In the comments section of that article many people voiced strong opinions that owners should always be present for euthanasias. I beg to differ.

Of course, any owner who wishes to be present should be. The reason why many people wish to be present is easy to understand: they want to be with their pet to comfort her during her final moments. But for some people being present is simply too difficult. For them the experience, or the thought of seeing their pet no longer alive, is unbearably painful.

The decision is phenomenally personal, and I have complete respect for either choice. In my experience a slight majority of owners wishes to be present; however, a very sizable minority does not.

When my pal Buster’s day comes I imagine now that I will want to be with him at the end. But in the heat of the moment it is possible that I may not be able to bear the pain of watching him go (I already know that I will not be able to be the one to perform the procedure). I hope that either way I will cut myself some slack when hindsight kicks in.

Other stories by Dr. Eric Barchas:

Got a question for Dr. Barchas? Ask our vet in the comments below and your topic might be featured in an upcoming column. (Note that if you have an emergency situation, please see your own vet immediately!)

The post Dog Euthanasia: When Is the Right Time? Should You Be Present? appeared first on Dogster.

Durable Handmade Collars and Leads from Dog + Bone

The following post is brought to you by Dog + Bone. We’re very paw-ticular about our partners and only feature those we think are top dog.

Durable Handmade Collars and Leads from Dog + Bone

What do you get when you combine modern colorways, industrial-strength materials, and a passion for helping nonprofit animal rescues? A little company named Dog + Bone! This Austin-based small business hit the ground running in 2014 with the goal to create the best dog gear possible all without sacrificing style. Using military and safety-grade materials, Dog + Bone handcrafts each and every collar and leash, ensuring that they’re built to last. In fact, they even offer a lifetime guarantee against defects! (And, just in case your dog mistakes their collar for a chew toy, Dog + Bone will repair it.)

Durable Handmade Collars and Leads from Dog + Bone

Obviously, we’re super stoked about the quality of Dog + Bone gear, but their new spring/summer color combos are what really caught our eye! From hot pink with gold to a vibrant, punchy red with silver, looking through the 15 new color options has us feeling a bit like a kid in a candy shop. Adjustable leashes are also available to mix and match with whichever collar (and color!) you choose. (We’re big on metallics and bold contrasts here, so the Dog Milk boys were extra excited about the purple/gold, punch/silver, and silver/gold combos!)

Durable Handmade Collars and Leads from Dog + Bone

In addition to looking good and being built to withstand armageddon, Dog + Bone’s gear serves a greater purpose, that of supporting nonprofit animal rescues! From fundraisers to deeply discounted merchandise, Dog + Bone partners with rescues and organizers in a wide variety of ways. Learn more about their support for animal welfare and/or get involved right here.

Durable Handmade Collars and Leads from Dog + Bone

Durable Handmade Collars and Leads from Dog + Bone

If you’re crushing on Dog + Bone as hard as we are, be sure to check out their online shop to see all the handcrafted dog goodies, and follow them on Instagram for shop updates and cute dog photos! (Oh, and if you’re not 100% sure what size collar your pup is, Dog + Bone has a handy size guide!)

SUPER RAD BONUS: From 6/27-7/4/17, enter the discount code DOGMILK to save 10% on all orders. Get shopping at

Durable Handmade Collars and Leads from Dog + Bone

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Dogs in Cars: 10 Things Not to Do

For most dogs, seeing the world from a moving vehicle is right up there with enjoying unlimited belly rubs, startling UPS drivers and being left alone with an open refrigerator. Most people think their furry friends are fantastic traveling companions. Unfortunately, few pet parents stop to consider the hazards that come into play when pooches become passengers. Here are 10 questionable things many people do when it comes to having dogs in cars:

A dog riding in the backseat of a car, wearing a harness. Photography by peplow/Thinkstock.

A dog riding in the backseat of a car, wearing a harness. Photography by peplow/Thinkstock.

1. Letting a Dog Roam Freely in the Car

Allowing canines to wander the car freely puts them in serious jeopardy. Unrestrained dogs face the same injury risks as human passengers not wearing seatbelts. A hurtling hound also becomes a forceful projectile that can injure others. And if your pup flies out the window and onto the road, it could cause a multi-vehicle pileup — and serious injuries. Last but not least, loose dogs in cars become distractions, and distracted drivers cause accidents.

2. Using a Dog Car Harness or Dog Car Seat That Isn’t Approved by the CPS

These days, most well-stocked pet stores carry car harnesses designed expressly for dogs. Unfortunately, not all of these products are approved by the Center for Pet Safety (CPS). While the CPS Certification program is voluntary, it means a harness has been crash test-certified to rigorous standards. Approved products always carry the CPS logo. Look for dog car seats that can be tightly secured so they won’t slide around.

3. Letting a Dog Loose in the Truck’s Flatbed

Plain and simple, a dog running loose in the back of a moving pickup truck is a tragedy waiting to happen. The Humane Society of Utah has estimated that 100,000 dogs are killed annually because they either jump or get thrown from a pickup.

4. Leaving a Dog in a Hot Car

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) reminds pet owners that on a mild 72-degree Fahrenheit day, temperatures inside a car can skyrocket to 116 degrees F within an hour. On an 85-degree F day, the temperature can hit 102 degrees F in under 10 minutes. Cracking windows is useless against such a ferocious heat onslaught, which can rapidly cause brain damage or death. On the flip side, canines have also died of hypothermia when left unattended in cars during winter.

5. Allowing a Dog to Ride in Your Lap While You Drive

When you’re operating a two-ton vehicle, a pet sitting on your lap can cause dire distractions. Even a brief collar adjustment or ear scratch can have catastrophic consequences. If you need to maneuver quickly, arm movement may be restricted. Should you hit a harsh bump, your canine could be crushed by a deployed air bag.

6. Not Having Water in the Car

Dogs don’t sweat the way humans do. They only perspire through their paws and reduce body temperature by panting. So always provide a bowl of fresh, clean water in the car — regardless of the temperature outside. Water cools the mouth area and helps keep your pooch hydrated while you drive.

7. Only Allowing Your Dog in the Car to Go to the Vet

Each time you coax your furry friend into the back seat, where do you wind up? If you answered “vet’s office,” your canine will likely come to dread any car ride. Dogs in cars only work when you make road trips more enjoyable. Motor out to a local nature area — or heck, just around the block. Turn on the radio, but not too loudly. Ask a friend to tag along so he or she can offer pooch-pampering reassurance.

8. Ignoring Any Anxieties Your Dog Might Have — Like Car Sickness

Some dogs simply struggle with motion sickness. If that’s your situation, don’t feed your furry friend right before hitting the road. Always take along an emergency supply of rags, poop bags and nontoxic cleaning solutions. Also, ask your vet to prescribe anti-nausea medications to make your jaunts less jarring.

9. Letting Your Dog Hang Out the Window of Your Car

Yes, your pooch loves the fascinating sea of smells that drifts along on the open air, but hanging his head out the window can harm him and passing vehicles. Open the window just a crack for a tease of that fresh air, but be sure he can’t stick his head out (or worse, jump).

10. Not Knowing What’s Illegal for Dogs in Cars in Your State

Understanding what’s dangerous to your canine is important because states have different ways of defining what’s actually illegal. Make no mistake: Depending upon where you travel, certain actions concerning dogs in cars earn anything from a citation to a felony charge. Michigan State University College of Law publishes a handy table outlining state laws designed to protect unattended animals in vehicles. Keep in mind, however, that even in states where no specific laws exist, local ordinances may be in place.

In addition, a growing number of states like Massachusetts and California are beginning to regulate how dogs can be transported in pickup beds. Hawaii prohibits motorists from driving with dogs on their laps. New Jersey police who feel that “improper pet transport” is occurring are free to cite the driver. And just in case you were thinking of leaving Rover in your running car with the A/C going full tilt, know that several municipalities may ticket unattended cars left idling.

In short, appreciate what’s illegal; but also understand what’s risky, unwise and flat-out inhumane. Dogs trust us to safeguard their welfare. We owe them conscientious care — no matter where life’s journey takes us.

What are your tips to keep in mind when traveling with dogs in cars? Tell us in the comments!

Read more on summer tips for dogs: 

Thumbnail: Photography by humonia/Thinkstock

The post Dogs in Cars: 10 Things Not to Do appeared first on Dogster.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Why Do Dogs Howl or Sing?

Dogs love to bark for numerous reasons. They bark to let you know someone is outside or at the door. They bark to let you know how the feel, whether they’re happy or not feeling well. Heck, sometimes it seems they don’t need a reason at all. After all, barking is one of the main ways they communicate with us and each other. Yes, nearly all dogs like to bark, but do all dogs howl or sing? Is it only certain breeds of dogs? Why do they sing?

A beagle puppy.

Beagle puppy by Shutterstock.

Some of the dogs in my life loved to sing. My Schnauzers always seemed to like singing. When excited or stressed my Schnauzer boy Woody would pucker his lips and let out a “Woo, woo, woo!” My Schnauzer boy Buzz would rarely sing, though he’d occasionally express himself with a low bass, “Wooo,” when he was frustrated.

My Schnauzer girl Dusty lifts her head all the way back and lets out an ear piercing siren, “Woooooooo, woooooooo, woooooooo!” She will sing when she hears a siren or if we laugh and sing with her. Each one of them had a different reason and method for singing. However, my two Pomeranians never showed the least bit of interest in singing. They would look at other dogs singing with a puzzled look as if to say, “What’s all the fuss?”

According to, certain breeds are known for their singing –- Alaskan Malamute, Beagle, Foxhound, and Coonhound, among others. However, I have seen all types of dogs sing -– Chihuahuas and Fox Terriers, to name a couple. So I am really not convinced that it depends on the breed. I believe dogs howl or sing based on their own unique personalities and reasons for singing.

Those reasons can be as unique as the breeds themselves. For my boy Woody, it all had to do with separation anxiety. If the pet sitter showed up and he knew we were leaving, he would let his dissatisfaction be known. He would sing his song over and over until we explained everything to him and calmed him down. He also showed these signs on our infamous mountain vacation family trip. We put him in his crate with his brother Buzz while we went to get a bite to eat. Though we explained we would be back in an hour, he was not thrilled at being left behind. As soon as we closed the cabin door, the singing began.

For my girl Dusty, the sounds of sirens are a sure sign the singing will begin. The sirens could be from a television or a fire engine. If a siren is in the area, she will definitely let you know and burst out in song.

Some dogs howl or sing if they are lonely, bored, or worried. Some sing to notify other dogs that they are there, and to vocally mark their territory. Some dogs sing if they aren’t feeling well and need some medical attention. If the singing goes on longer than usual and there are no other trigger indicators that you can identify, a visit to your veterinarian may be in order.

So, if your dog starts singing, you can sometimes attribute it to the breed. Or, you can attribute it to a certain reason or trigger for your dog. Better yet, if you know your dog is healthy, try singing along. Maybe you both can hit the musical stage and make it big!

Do your dogs howl or sing? Let us know in the comments!

Looking for more on why dogs howl, sing, or make other noises? 

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