The Sweet Spot: Why Do Dogs Kick When You Scratch Their Belly?

Have you ever noticed that when you scratch your dog’s belly, something unusual occurs? It happens every time you hit the “sweet spot.” You know the one. Suddenly, your dog starts kicking his back leg like he’s running on his side. 

Dogs are full of quirky habits, but this one is puzzling. What is it about that sweet spot that makes a dog’s leg twitch or kick? Are they ticklish or is it something else?

Oakland Veterinary Referral Services takes a look at this funny mystery of why dogs kick when you scratch their belly.

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Is Your Dog’s Shedding Related to Stress?

Shedding Pet

Your Dog’s Shedding — Normal or Excess?

This time of year, when the sun begins to shine a little longer each day and the heat index starts to rise, you may notice something… Your dog is leaving little hair tumbleweeds across the tiles. Shedding can be a major problem for some breeds, and many pet owners have the lint rollers in hand and vacuums going strong.

Shedding is a normal process of keeping your dog’s skin and coat healthy. There are times, though, when hair loss can signal a larger issue. The team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services wants to tackle the question of shedding and explore the causes and conditions of excess shedding.

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Dog Blood Donors: Save a Life with Buddies for Life!


dog blood donors

Dog Blood Donors

Most of us have given blood to help someone else. Did you know that your dog can be a blood donor to help other canines in need? Oakland Veterinary Referral Services has an in-house canine blood bank called Buddies for Life.

OVRS collects and stores blood products that are used to treat a variety of doggie problems including blood loss, immune mediated diseases, genetic disorders, and more. We successfully provide over 400 blood transfusions per year and save many canine lives in the process.

Our volunteers and dog blood donors are the true heroes who make this possible. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you and your fur friend could be one of these heroes?

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The Dog Owner’s Guide to TPLO Surgery

Dog walking in sling after TPLO surgery

Has your Veterinarian recommended Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) surgery for your dog? TPLO is one of the most widely used procedures in repairing cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) tears in dogs (and sometimes in cats). In most cases, TPLO surgery is superior to that of other orthopedic surgeries. It is particularly successful in large breeds and those with advanced joint degeneration and CCL ruptures.

Many dogs suffer injuries related to CCL tears, fractures, and other orthopedic occurrences. These injuries require a highly skilled team of veterinary surgeons. This guide explains what TPLO is, in what cases it is needed, and why it’s effective. We also provide tips to maintain your dog’s orthopedic health post-surgery.

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How to Read Your Pet’s Body Language

pets body language

You may think little Chomsky can bark out a few recognizable phrases, or that your cat talks to you, but most of us must rely on pet body language to understand them. Dogs, cats, and other companion animals don’t have the luxury of communicating in our language, so it is crucial to understand theirs.

Pets also use body language to communicate with other animals. They signal feelings like affection, fear, aggression, and so on in order to bond, avoid conflict, and establish territory. How can you read your pet’s body language for better understanding? We’re here to help decipher this important form of communication.

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Dog Breeds: Where Do They Come From?

Four dogs of various breedsFrom short to tall, furry to bald, wrinkled to smooth, and everything in between, there are a lot of dog breeds out there. Are they from the same line, or multiple species? And how did all of these adorable pups come into being?

Just walking to the park these days, you are likely to encounter a number of unique breeds, and it would seem there are new kinds of dogs every few years. If you have ever wondered why there are so many dog breeds, the team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services is here to explain the nature of our wide world of unique dogs.

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To Love Again: Adopting After Losing a Pet

loss of a petThe loss of a precious pet is one of the hardest things a pet owner can imagine, and the process of grieving and coming to acceptance takes time. This period of time is different for everyone, and the extent of the grieving process is unique to the individual. However, for most pet lovers, a house is just not a home without a loving purr or a wagging tail.

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My Doggo Sipped the Morning Joe! Is Coffee Bad for Pets?

is coffee bad for petsCoffee is the life blood of most humans, and that morning pick-me-up is a must before heading out to face the day. Coffee is something that is easily accessible, and that means that it may also be within easy reach for a curious canine or other family pet. Add cream and sugar, and what’s more of an allure to our whiskered and tailed friends?

But is coffee bad for pets? And what should you do if you catch your pet licking up the java? Your friends at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services are here to clarify why this common substance can turn into a trip to the vet.

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Quick, Cheap, and Totally Easy Pet Costumes

easy pet costumesOctober is an exciting time for kids and kids at heart. Trick-or-treaters, jack-’o-lanterns, and lots of goodies are but a few of the things that we treasure. Costumes are one of the best parts of Halloween, and who doesn’t love to see all of the ghoulish and adorable outfits?!

For pet lovers, the costume frenzy also applies. But for very busy, very frugal, last-minute or just lazy pet lovers out there, here are ideas for putting together a simple, fun costume from things lying around the house or easy to gather. No need to be crafty or spend a fortune. OVRS has scoured the Internet to help you scare up the easiest, simplest, last-minute pet costumes for the big night of BOO.

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Pupternity: What Determines Litter Size in Dogs?

litter sizeNormal puppy litter size tends to vary from one to twelve. The world record according to Guinness is a whopping twenty four puppies, birthed by a Neapolitan Mastiff in the UK in 2004. Why does litter size vary so much and what determines litter size in puppies? OVRS looks at the main factors affecting litter size.

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