From TV shows and recipes to selfies, the search giant Google compiles numerous lists each year of the most popular searches across an ever-expanding range of interests. Does Google’s Year in Search cover the dog-related questions and queries? Naturally! Dogster now presents the top 10 dog questions of 2016, complete with answers! Drum roll, if you please!
10. How much Benadryl can I give my dog?
9. How to get rid of fleas on my dog?
8. Can you put Neosporin on a dog?
7. How to stop a dog from barking?
6. How to get rid of skunk smell on dog?
5. What happens when a dog eats chocolate?
4. How can you tell how old a dog is?
3. Why does my dog lick me?
2. Was Goofy a dog?
1. How long are dogs pregnant?
The antihistamine Benadryl is one human medication commonly recommended by vets for dogs who suffer from environmental or insect-bite allergies, as well as off-label as a motion-sickness solution. Some pet doctors say that the appropriate dosage is 1mg per pound of body weight. This is not a hard and fast rule, though; as we know, regular Benadryl differs from maximum-strength, and often, the more high-powered a medicine is, the more likely it is to be combined with drugs that are not safe for dogs. Make sure what you have is appropriate for your particular dog before playing pet apothecary at home!
The fleas you see are only a tiny fraction of the population that’s actually there; nearly 95 percent of fleas may not even be on the dog. When they get established, the vast majority are scattered around as eggs, larvae, and pupae. Inside the home, regular vacuuming is helpful, as is cleaning or even destroying any bedding or clothes your dog uses if your dog has a flea problem. A monthly bath and fresh flea collar during problem months is good, but prevention is best. Find and administer a good, non-toxic, year-round preventative solution. Our own Dr. Barchas has recently warned against flea products that can actually be unhealthy to cats and dogs.
When recommended by a veterinarian, there are a number of human medications that can be safely used on dogs. Neosporin, used very sparingly, and only on minor cuts, wounds, and abrasions, is one of the most widely used. Where the active ingredients can be poisonous to cats, a dog has a much greater tolerance for the human triple antibiotic ointment. If you have an Elizabethan collar, also known as the cone of shame, and want to play it safe, your dog wearing it for a couple of days is a small discomfort to ensure faster healing.
Dogster has posted a couple of great pieces recently on how to quiet a barking dog without resorting to corporal punishment or excessive discipline. Annie Phenix details ways to calm or even prevent repeated dog barks from distracting you in the car. These include limiting the dog’s line of sight during the ride and training the dog to expect a treat when it would typically bark. Victoria Stilwell’s fascinating piece seems counterintuitive; she recommends encouraging the dog to bark, and gradually training them to stop on command.
Ah, the fragrant and lingering aroma of the skunk. The good news is a common skunk’s anal glands only contain enough of the foul-smelling chemical for five to six sprays before needing to produce more, a process that can take over a week. The bad news is your dog caught the full brunt of one of those sprays. Dr. Barchas has had intimate experiences with skunk spray, and recommends a simple solution of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and liquid soap.
In short, chocolate contains two things that are toxic to dogs: caffeine and theobromine. That’s even before we get to all of the other ingredients, like sugar, butter, and so on. When I drink too much coffee in a day — which happens every day — I start getting anxious and twitchy. A dog is generally much smaller than a human, so the effects of these chemicals on their nervous and digestive systems are stronger and more extreme. Given enough chocolate, a dog can suffer explosive diarrhea, seizures, and pancreatic failure. I say “can,” because these reactions are neither inevitable nor universal. Chocolatiers are not out to harm puppies; all the same, be on the safe side and keep chocolate out of your dog’s reach.
Dogs of different breeds and sizes age at different rates, so there’s no fool-proof way to determine a dog’s age. However, knowing the general stages of dog development can help you make a reasonable estimate. There are also distinct physical signs and behavioral changes that may signal the onset of a dog’s twilight years. If you were not present at the whelping box when your dog was born, or if you adopted a shelter dog of questionable origin, you may never know their precise date of birth. I adopted my dog in April 2014, and was told she was about 6 months old, so I celebrate her birthday on Thanksgiving; it’s good enough for me and easy to remember!
Dogs are licked into life! The first experience a baby puppy has upon emerging from the womb is mother’s tongue clearing their nostrils. Dogs lick people for a variety of reasons: for communication, to acknowledge their loyalty to you or to claim you as something belonging to them, or to ask for food. Dog noses and tongues work together to reveal data and information about you. They may lick you to investigate where you’ve been, what you’ve eaten, or who you’ve been spending time with! Anyone who scratches their dog in a favorite spot and received a lick can also understand that as a sign of approval and approbation.
This is easily the most bizarre, out of left-field question on Google’s “Year in Search” list, at least where dogs are concerned. Goofy has been one of Disney’s most enduring and popular characters since his debut in 1932, but is he a dog? One reason this question has continued to stick in our collective craw is that Goofy wears clothes, talks, and does other human things, while Pluto, another Disney icon is much more traditionally dog-like. The official Disney character site is no help, just referring to Goofy as “he.” The Disney fan-curated wiki states emphatically that Goofy is an “anthropomorphic dog.”
A dog pregnancy typically lasts anywhere from 60 to 65 days, or just about two months. Everything you could ever want to know about canine gestation, from going into heat to physical changes you’ll notice as the puppies inside develop, can be found right here!
I like to keep score, and I’m pleased that, even though I have only written about two of Google’s top 10 dog questions of 2016 — dog pregnancy and why they lick people — they were both among the top 3! The last time I wrote a round-up of the top dog questions for Dogster was around this time in 2014. It’s fascinating to me that the top 10 questions are completely different than they were just two years ago. This year’s list is top-heavy on queries about health and care, followed by behavior, and that one crazy outlier regarding Goofy’s species.
In 2014, the emphasis was reversed; more of the top 10 questions had to do with behavior, followed by curiosity about dog health issues, and absolutely no questions about the species designations for cartoon animals. What will 2017’s burning questions be? Whether you’re using your laptop, tablet, or cellular telephone, we at Dogster hope that your searches about dogs — no matter the topic — will continue to lead you to our door in 2017!