Latest Posts

How the shape of Your dog’s head Influences His Behavior!

February 27, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 4:35 pm

Pet Talk

By Dr. Norette L. Underwood



How the shape of Your dog’s head Influences His Behavior!


An Australian study suggests the shape of a dog’s head has a huge impact on his behavior.  They found that dogs with shorter noses were more affectionate and followed commands better than dogs with longer noses. Many longer nosed dogs had a tendency to be shy, cautious and less aggressive toward strangers.


Short-nosed dogs, called brachycephalic, like the Pug and English Bulldog are more affectionate, trainable and protective than dogs with longer muzzles.  Their eyesight may be more like humans, because the shorter nose allows them to follow a pointing finger better.


Their cute looks, behavior traits and trainability have made these dogs extremely popular, especially in Australia.


These cute looks have caused poor breeding practices designed to exaggerate smashed facial features.  This predisposes these dogs to numerous health problems and shorter lifespans. One example is the Chinese Pug. It has been bred to exaggerate this short-nosed trait.  Many problems include high blood pressure, heart problems, low blood oxygen levels, breathing problems, a tendency to overheat and develop heatstroke, dental problems, eye issues and skin fold dermatitis.  Another dog with many of the above problems is the English Bulldog, It often can not mate normally nor give birth without surgical intervention. All this breeding for a certain look has decreased the English bulldog’s life span to 6.25 years.


These little dogs with cute short noses are adorable but many come with severe health issues.




If you have questions about dog breeds please contact Dr Norette L. Underwood of Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile Service at

Why I Hate Retractable Leashes!

February 21, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 3:54 pm


By Dr. Norette L. Underwood


Why I Hate Retractable Leashes!


This week I want to talk about the hazards of retractable leashes.  I have heard lots of horror stories from my clients and other veterinarians about retractable leashes. So, I have created a list of seven reasons why you should not use retractable leashes.

A Retractable leash can put your dogs at risk. One of my clients wasn’t paying close attention to her dogs and didn’t notice them walking into an elevator. The door closed and the dogs went up. By the time the elevator reached the fifth floor, the leashes broke. When the dogs finally got down to ground level again, they were fine, but the owner wasn’t. She was crying hysterically. She vows to never put her dogs in danger again by using a retractable leash close to a dangerous area such as an elevator or a busy street. Not all dogs caught in an elevator are so lucky.

You have absolutely no control over your pet. As a veterinarian, I will tell you that retractable leashes provide no control of your pet. Owners of badly behaved or over-stimulated dogs can leap far away from their owners and attack people or other dogs. This has happened in my office when other animals were present and while owners were walking their dog. Many people use these leashes to let them out for eliminations. Your dog with go potty on a short leash if trained.

They are a training hazard. Retractable leashes also allow your dog to walk ahead of you, making your dog in control. With a retractable leash, you have no way to correct your dog’s bad behavior. Dogs attack other dogs, run in front of cars, and create all types of havoc on a retractable leash.

They are a danger to others. More than one person has tripped over the long retractable leash while walking a dog.  If your dog decides to run around you in a circle, you can get all tangled up and fall down. If you wrap the leash around your hand it can cause a rope burn when the pet lunges. Have you tried to go out a door with an uncontrollable dog on a retractable leash.

They are a danger to dogs. Coyotes love dogs on retractable leashes, it keeps the dogs close to them, not the owners, and it only takes one second for tragedy to strike. Also if your pet should lunge very hard it can cause damage to the dog’s neck.

You can’t use a coupler with a retractable leash. If you try to use a coupler, you have no control of two dogs. More importantly, these leashes have weight limits and the second dog could take it over that limit and snap.

They are not safe for children. The scariest is to see a little kid walking a dog on a retractable leash.  They don’t have the life experience to understand all that can happen when a dog is that far away from them with all of the obstacles that can occur.

The leashes are unreliable.  Sometimes the leash doesn’t click. It sticks or unspools suddenly at the exact wrong time (like when a stray cat is crossing your path or an oncoming car has to slam on the brakes to spare your dog’s life). Sticky situations like this serve to illustrate how the “canine lunge line” can serve to thoroughly foul up your control over the animal. I had one elderly client who had his dog on a leash on the side of a road. The dog took off at full speed to chase the car. The leash broke. The dog was hit and killed instantly by the car.

What To Do?

You should use a 4-6 foot leash. Do not wrap the leash around your hand. Take your dog to obedience school and learn how to control your pet.


If you have questions about how to safely walk your pet contact Dr. Norette L Underwood of the Trumann Animal Clinic or Best Friends Vet Mobile Service at or call 870-483-6275.

Why does my dog rub itself in the grass?

February 6, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 6:53 pm

Pet Talk

By Dr. Norette L. Underwood


Why does my dog rub itself in the grass?

Even the most peculiar dog behaviors have a logical and often fascinating explanation. Your dog may rub his head in the grass because he smells something appealing, or he may be using the ground as a natural scratching post.


Like humans, dogs are attracted to scents they find appealing. Unlike their human companions, a dog’s version of an attractive scent can range from grass and furniture to feces and even dead animals. The simple explanation for why your dog rubs his head and face on the grass is that he likes the smell and wants to carry it with him.

Getting Rid of Unwanted Smells

Does this sound familiar: After swimming or giving your dog a bath he or she immediately looks for something to roll around in (often grass or the dirtiest spot outside). Just because you think something smells wonderful doesn’t mean your dog will agree. Your dog could just be drying their fur.

Victory Dance

Wolves are known to spread the scent and blood of their prey all over their heads and bodies after they’ve killed it — a victory dance to celebrate their hunting prowess. Similarly, some dogs may rub their heads on the ground after eating, even though their “prey” is kibble rather than a wild animal. It is also possible that the dog’s action derives from the wolf’s natural instinct to mask his own scent from whatever prey he is hunting.

Nature’s Washroom

Just as cats clean themselves by licking their fur, dogs may rub their heads and faces in the grass and against other surfaces in order to remove food, dirt or debris from their face, teeth or gums after eating.

A Bad Itch

Your dog may be rubbing his head to relieve an itch caused by a health issue such as fleas, or skin allergies caused by his food, household products or the grass itself. If the rubbing is incessant, or if you can see fleas, inflammation or an infection, consult with your veterinarian about the cause and treatment.

Obsessive Behavior

A little head rubbing can be fine, but if its constant, it might be a sign of pent up energy or frustration. The remedy? You may need to play more with your dog, invest in a few new toys or bones, or walk your pal more frequently in order to channel that energy in a positive way.


If you have questions about why your pet rubs their head, please contact Dr. Norette L. Underwood of Trumann Animal clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile service at