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Dogs

Dog Owners, Listen To These Solid Ideas!

When your dog is well behaved and happy, you’ll have a great relationship. When your dog isn’t happy, you’ll find your pillows torn into bits of fluff. You’re not the only owner who wants to learn how to deal with their dog, so we’ve collected a bunch of advice from other owners who have been through it all before.

Your dog needs a stimulating environment if it is going to live a long and healthy life. Providing him or her with one is not really that hard. Simply make sure you take your dog for walks each day, and purchase a few toys that you and your pet can play with together.

Hugs are great, but avoid kisses. Dog kisses are adorable, but your dog’s mouth is really dirty. Keep in mind that dogs drink from toilet bowls and eat whatever is on the ground. Many people say that dogs have cleaner mouths than people. This is not true, at all!

If your dog is very rowdy or easily excitable, experts recommend that you don’t bring them along on vacation. Many times the thrill and confusion of a new area filled with strangers is too much for the hyper dog and unpleasant incidents may occur. Find a great kennel to care for your pooch instead.

Research a particular breed of dog you may be interested in before bringing him home. Lots of people make the mistake of falling in love with a type of dog, then find out later that the animal isn’t really for them. Chihuahuas, for example, are a trendy type, but very difficult to fully potty train, especially in colder climates!

Some people think that it is necessary to bath a dog often. The truth is that unless your dog gets into something to get dirty, they only need bathed once every two to four months. Bathing more often could strip their skin of the oils they need for a healthy coat and skin.

Do not allow your dog to remain outdoors all day long. It is important that your dog has interaction. If your dog is alone outside, it will quickly get lonely. In addition, if severe weather strikes, your dog needs to come inside in order to ensure its protection.

If your dog does something that you do not like, try to avoid just saying no. To your dog, no doesn’t really explain what you want your pup to do. Instead of saying no if your dog is jumping, try to get your dog to sit or lay down. By doing this, you provide your dog with an instruction of what to do.

To discourage your dog from chewing everything in the house, combine equal parts of water, white vinegar and apple-cider vinegar in a spray bottle. Gently mist things like shoes and umbrella handles and this should repel your dog. If not, dab a little minty muscle ointment on the things he’s prone to chomping and that should work for sure.

Remember that dogs are creatures of habit and anything you start with him will be expected in the future. If you’re not keen on him sleeping with you, don’t let him do it only on occasion. Likewise, if you don’t want him begging at the table, never offer him a bite of people food. He will learn and accept things if you are consistent.

Teach your dog to be trained, even if you don’t plan on devoting a lot of time to special tricks. A dog needs to understand the basic hierarchy of the home and should be prepared to listen and learn throughout his life. Practice the basics like “sit” and “down” in the beginning and introduce something new every once in a while.

Always try to do your training in an area where the dog has some distractions around them. Rarely are you going to be in a situation where you need your dog to obey and it is completely quiet. It is best for you to practice your training with the television on, kids running wild and maybe some music playing.

To make your dog happy and increase the bond between you, try learning how to give him a massage! It’s been shown in recent studies that structured massages are highly beneficial to a dog’s health and can improve their overall well-being. This activity can also be very relaxing for you as well.

Be sure your dog wears identification so it can always get back home. Keep identification on your dog’s collar. The tag needs to have your name and phone number on it. The dog could also get a micro-chip implanted in it.

If you bathe your dog often, watch out for signs of painful earaches that can be problematic for canines. They can happen when too much water gets into the ears. Use cotton balls dabbed in baby oil while giving him a bath, and that should keep water from getting in, even if he splashes around.

If you are looking for a new dog, bring your current pup to check him out. Dogs are usually social creatures, but sometimes they just won’t get along. Having dogs that get along with each other makes your life that much easier.

When it comes to choosing a leash, there’s a lot you should consider. The leash should be light and well built. A leather leash may feel expensive and look great, but it’s also something your pet will love to chew. Nylon leashes are ideal because they’re durable, easy to grip, and weigh next to nothing.

Keep your dog safe from dangerous chemicals. Similar to kids, cleaning chemicals and any car maintenance substances are harmful to them. Here’s more information about how long can cat live without food check out our own web-site. These substances are poisonous, so if a dog gets any on them or ingests any, they could get burned, become very sick, or die. Store your hazardous chemicals in a place that your dog can’t get to, or keep them in a closed area using a child-proof lock.

When you are enjoying your dog’s companionship, you will be so happy you read this article and began to use the advice you read. Protecting and loving your dog begins with taking the time to learn all you can, and ends with putting that knowledge to use. Start today, for your dog’s sake!

When You Need Dog Advice, Read This Article

When you own a dog, you will understand why people consider them a part of the family instead of just a pet. As they gaze lovingly at you with their big, glistening eyes, your heart will melt. Your wallet will also become much lighter thanks to everything you need to care for them properly! This article will help you learn what dog ownership means for you and how to do it right.

Keep on top of fleas. Not only can fleas cause infection in your dog, if one is swallowed, your pet can get tapeworms as well. Speak to your veterinarian about the best prevention method, but remember that this is not a one shot deal. You will have to continue your efforts over the life of your pet.

Avoid insisting that your dog socialize nicely with every other passing dog. Experts recommend that your dog be able to tolerate introductions through sniffing and eying with another animal, but say forcing the issue can create problems. Accept your dog’s lead when meeting and greeting other animals and allow for natural interaction.

Your dog needs to be secured when in a car. Not only will it make the journey safer, as it will lead to fewer distractions for the person driving the car, but in the event of an accident, it could also save your dog’s life. Look for a seat belt harness, often sold at pet stores, that you can put in your car for your pet.

Be careful around Christmas time with a dog in your home; it’s the busiest time of year at 24/7 animal clinics! Things like hanging and tree lights pose a danger to your dog, as they could become tangled or gnaw their way down to raw wires. The loveliest of Christmas plants are also hazardous to a dog’s health, so take extra care during holidays.

If you are struggling to get your pet to behave during a grooming session, apply positive reinforcement. With your words and your tone, praise your dog for anything little thing that he or she does well during the time you are working with him. Give him a treat when you are finished, so he begins to associate grooming with something good. You should turn your dog’s behavior around in no time!

To protect your dog in the event he is lost or stolen, have a microchip surgically implanted by your vet. These handy chips store data that can be retrieved by a shelter or animal officer and used to contact you. They are painless to put in and offer peace of mind for the pet lover!

Know your dog’s behavior and body rhythms well, to keep him at his healthiest. Medical issues often present themselves in slight nuances early on and if you know your dog, you’ll see them. Pay attention to input and output, sleep duration, energy levels and so forth to keep on top of important issues that affect his health.

When training your dog, consistency is everything. You must be consistent at all times. If your dog is not allowed to jump on people as they walk in, don’t allow your dog to do it even if a person says they don’t mind being jumped on. You should also make sure that everyone that’s around your dog understands your rules and are consistent with them.

A dog should not be left outside all day. Yes, people do this too often, but dogs require interactions with people and other dogs for their well-being. When your dog is the only one you have, leaving him alone will make him sad. Keeping them out for too long also exposes them to the elements, so its best that you bring them inside so they don’t get sick being outside in really bad weather.

If your dog is undergoing a course of treatment with medication or therapy, make sure you follow your veterinarian’s instructions precisely. He may not like wearing a cone over his head, but it’s prescribed for a reason! The vet doesn’t give advice for no reason, and it can be dangerous to now do what is advised.

When you own a dog, you typically understand the general costs of ownership, such as food, vet visits, and grooming. A generally overlooked cost is emergency situations. Although it may not happen frequently, you should have a bit of money set aside for any emergency that may arise. It’s better to be prepared for an emergency vet visit than to wonder how you are going to pay for it.

If your dog is always drinking out of the toilet, try changing how you provide him with water. Most prefer it cold and fresh, hence the attraction to the bathroom, so buy a fountain or thermally insulated dish to keep his water at a more appealing temperature. Also, add ice-cubes when it’s hot out and he’s panting

Just like people, dogs need their exercise too. Playing a game of fetch or Frisbee is a great way to get your dog to burn some calories, while having fun at the same time. Dogs should also be walked everyday. Some dogs require more exercise than others, which is why it is so important to understand your dogs needs.

Many dogs enjoy things like fruits and vegetables, rice, eggs and cottage cheese. There is nothing wrong with letting them have these things, but they should not make up the bulk of their diets. You should feed them dog food, and implement these items around 10 percent of the time.

Outdoor doghouses are not enough to keep your furry friend comfortable in cold weather. You must also provide some sort of bedding for him. Choose from straw, hay, cedar bedding or even blankets. Make sure that you change the bedding often no matter what you choose to ensure that there no bugs move in and mold doesn’t grow.

Puppies are cute and cuddly, but remember that puppies eventually grow into dogs, and rather quickly. Make sure that you put a lot of thought in your decision to get a dog. Taking a dog into your home is a long-term commitment and comes with certain costs and responsibilities, but is ultimately rewarding.

It is natural to want to get your dog trained as quickly as possible. However, remember that there is a limit as to how fast this process is going to go. If you are not realistic, you are much more likely to get frustrated with your pet, which could damage your relationship. Your pet will learn over time, but it may not happen as fast as you would like.

All of these hints are now at your fingertips, so it is time to make use of them. Take them each, one by one, and start using them every day. The more you change about your dog’s life, the better it will be overall. A happy dog makes for a happy owner, after all!

Pets

Best Advice for Dogs with Skin Issues

I still need to publish a real post about Mr. Stix’s full backstory, but this feels more pressing. For nearly 18 months, Mr. Stix’s permanent nakey spot (from unknown injuries before he was rescued, including 15 fractures and this big patch of coat missing) has featured several inflamed, peeling areas. Initially I tried to fix it myself at home with things like aloe vera, vaseline, a veterinary ointment called animax that the shelter had give us while we fostered him most of 2019, etc. It’s sort of a combination of steroids, antibacterial, and antifungal stuff. I took him to see our main veterinarian in spring 2020, when there was a 2-month wait to get into see a board-certified veterinary dermatologist. It has been quite a journey since then, and it’s nowhere near over. Here’s my best advice for dogs with skin issues.

Before I tell the ongoing saga with Mr. Stix’s skin. Here is my best advice for dogs with skin problems.

See a board-certified veterinary dermatologist as soon as you can. Yes, your main veterinarian can probably help, but it’s honestly best to go right to the top experts.

Agree to whatever skin scrapings / cytology the veterinary dermatologist recommends. This provides information about what types of secondary infections currently grow on your dog’s damaged skin.

Do NOT assume every skin issue is allergies. It often is some sort of allergic process, but NOT always and assuming so (and acting accordingly may only delay real solutions and subject your dog to all kinds of quack advice and home remedies).

Buy the best quality fish oil and Vitamin E supplements you can afford, if it’s recommended for your particular case of a dog with skin issues.

When necessary, agree to the skin biopsies (yes, like minor surgery) and have them reviewed by a veterinary pathologist that specializes in dogs with skin issues. The one we used is at Texas A&M.

Follow your veterinary dermatologist’s advice and plans, and keep the faith. These dogs with skin problems often don’t improve quickly. (I need to take my own advise. See below.)

Mr. Stix’s Story as a Dog with Skin Problems

This is what Mr. Stix’s nakey spot looks like when it’s normal. Photo from May 2019 soon after his hip surgery. The bald patch is permanent. That’s not the issue.

This is how bad the red / peeling areas got in mid-2020 when we saw our main veterinarian, who added a low-dose of oral Vitamin E and some topical too and told me to keep using the animax.

This is how it looked when Mr. Stix first saw the board-certified veterinary dermatologist in early August 2020, but the specialist had me STOP the animax and instead use a prescription anti-bacterial ointment (mupirocin) … as well as add a better quality oral fish oil and continue both topical and oral Vitamin E (but at a higher dose twice a day). We knew from the skin scrapings / cytology they did onsite that Mr. Stix had a bacterial infection.

But, without the daily topical steroids (which long term are a bad idea), Mr. Stix’s skin got much, much worse — even breaking open and scabbing over.

Our veterinary dermatologist had recommended doing the skin biopsies right away in August 2020, and I *almost agreed to it then, but I was VERY worried about the cuts resulting in skin that would NOT heal. And, I figured it was at least worth a try to use the prescription antibiotic ointment and other supplements and stuff.

But, by around Thanksgiving, it was clear we had to do the biopsy. That photo is kind of gruesome, so you can see it here, if you want. I wish I had done the biopsy sooner. I feel like I wasted time from August through November.

Post-Biopsy Diagnosis

As I expected, despite all the know-it-alls trying to tell me it was an allergic issue, it turns out that Mr. Stix instead has an autoimmune condition called erythema multiforme. They believe it was triggered by the trauma of his earlier injuries. They don’t think it is life-threatening. They don’t think it will spread to other areas of his skin. Just the already damaged, permanent nakey spot.

With that information in hand, we updated the treatment plan to include a topical, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory ointment (tacrolimus — often pricey, but we used a Good RX coupon at Costco to get the cost down). They use a version of this medication orally for people who have had various kinds of transplants. It’s the smallest / safest option for treatment, and that’s where we started.

I was so hopeful it would work at the once-daily application, but the skin still didn’t heal completely.

So, in early 2021, we started applying it twice daily on the advice of our veterinary dermatologist.

But, it still hasn’t healed completely. It often improves a lot and then comes roaring back, so we had another appointment to see the specialist last week. We had to try something new.

Enter the Big Immune-Suppressing Drug

Despite my concerns and form of veterinary PTSD about major immune suppression drugs (after our experiences with Lilly), I agreed last week to add oral cyclosporine, which is also a drug that people get after various transplants. Mr. Stix would need to take it daily for life.

It smells like it’s made from skunk butts, so each gel-cap pill is individually packaged, and you keep them in the freezer because that can help with nausea it can cause (since it’s recommended you give on an empty stomach).

I found some good info on this med, and our veterinary dermatologist assured me that it has been safely used in veterinary medicine for like 20+ years, etc.

The med only comes in doses of 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg, and at his size Mr. Stix’s ideal dose is around 88 mg once a day. So we went with 75 mg (25+50) to err on the lower side.

It takes like 3-7 days for the med to build up in the blood to therapeutic levels, but it takes more like 4-6 weeks to know if it’s going to help the skin (or not).

We made it to day 4, then the barfing started.

Anxiety

I wish I could say that this is all going to be fine, but I just don’t know. I feel like I just have to accept that the skin will never fully heal, even though seeing his raw spots up close while applying the topical med twice a day and topical Vitamin E once a day causes me so much angst and anxiety.

I supposed to check in with our veterinary dermatology team next week to confirm that Mr. Stix’s weirdness and apparent suffering has improved.

It took a lot of convincing to get Mr. Champion of My Heart to agree to try the cyclosporine, so even if the specialist comes back and recommends maybe a lower dose, I doubt we’ll want to risk it … because Mr. Stix sure seemed to be having some neurologist issues to me, and after the Lilly situation, I just cannot do that again.

He is only 3 years old. I don’t want to make anything worse. It honestly felt like I’d poisoned him.

The good news is that most of the time his skin doesn’t seem to hurt or itch or anything — though I do have pain meds, if he needs them. It mostly just looks bad, and he has to wear a no-lick collar for about 20 minutes after I apply his meds so that he doesn’t lick it off.

His nakey spot is prone to sunburn anyway, and the topical tacrolimus increases the risk of burning, so I used his earlier sun-reflecting coat (which started to look ragged) as a pattern and sewed him a new / light sun protection coat. He looks very cute in it.

https://championofmyheart.com/2021/08/05/dogs-with-skin-issues/

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