Dog breath

While there are several potential causes, canine halitosis might be blamed on tartar and plaque.

"Old age is not a disease, and for most pets the benefits of a dental (cleaning) may prolong your dog's life," says Chicago-based veterinary dentist Dr. Cindy Charlier. "Of course, your dog should have blood work done first, and your veterinarian will assess what's appropriate for your pet."

A dog's breath shouldn't smell stinky, and it won't following a cleaning.

"Plaque and tartar may cause changes in the liver, kidney and heart," Charlier adds. "A healthy mouth leads to a healthy body. An over-the-counter product might freshen the breath for minutes or even hours, but doesn't address the underlying problem." Also, ask your vet how to maintain your dog's teeth by brushing and/or the use of specially formulated dental chews. Even some chew toys may help such as Breath Balls, above.


Barking on the ride

A dog that loves to go for rides in the car suddenly starts barking because it saw something outside the vehicle it did not like and barked at it. As the vehicle moved, and the object was no longer in the dog's view, he probably figured the barking chased it away.

When you yell at the dog and try to correct it, it thinks you are actually joining in. The best thing to do is to limit its freedom in the car and block off a lot of what it sees. Try putting the dog in a crate. Cover the crate with a blanket so it can see out of only one side - preferably the side that does not face the window. The dog will calm down because the triggers that prompted the behavior are gone.

Selective breeding

For hundreds of years, cats had only one purpose - to catch mice. Since they were already supremely suited to doing this naturally, no selective breeding from humans was needed. As a result, mating without human intervention has been the primary method of reproduction for the domestic cat.

Now that cats are kept primarily for comfort and companionship, there has been a greater interest in the way they look. The naturally occurring mutations in color, coat or conformation that would have gone unnoticed in cat litters of the past are now appreciated by cat fanciers who preserve them through selective breeding.

Selective breeding has created more breeds in the past 40 years than existed in the last 150 years.