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Dogs

Dog Care Advice Straight From The Experts

When you are doubting your dog ownership skills, you may feel very alone. There are many other dog owners out there who feel exactly the same! Mistakes are made, and we can learn from each other through those situations. Here are some simple tips on being a better owner for your dog.

If you are planning to take your dog on an extended car-ride, talk to your vet about motion sickness medication first. Avoid feeding him before setting out to prevent queasiness and vomiting and make sure you buy him bottled water if you are traveling to any destination that is known to have issues with water quality.

If you are in the market for a new puppy, make sure you will have enough time to devote to his training. On average, you need to take a young dog outside to do his business eight times a day and that can take a lot away from your schedule. Training takes more time and patience than most people realize.

Not everyone is good at training dogs, so quit trying if you see things are not going as well as planned. Instead of beating yourself up about it, get in touch with a trainer in your area. Since they have more experience with dogs, it may be much easier for them to train yours.

You should talk to your vet about the foods you give your dog. Following his advice on the different foods for different stages of your dog’s life can avoid sickness and stomach upset. Be careful when deciding what to feed your dog.

Your dog needs to exercise regularly. Like humans, dogs must exercise to burn calories, remain healthy, and help their minds stay sharp. Exercising also helps them avoid boredom that can cause destructive behaviors. Keeping your dog active can curb chewing, biting, digging, and chasing urges. It can even help them avoid depression.

Speak with your vet about how much food should your dog be eating each day. Although some dog owners stick to the recommended guidelines on the dog food, these guidelines can often be too much for your dog, which can lead to obesity. Talk to your vet about what is acceptable and what your dog’s particular needs are.

Brush your dog often, even if he’s got short hair. It’s good for his coat and skin and can alert you of possible issues like fleas, tics and eczema. The dog will also enjoy the attention and brushing him regularly will keep more of his fur from flying around the house and landing on your furniture and carpets.

Timing is key when bringing your dog home. Try to introduce him to his new home over the weekend or when you have a couple of days off. Take the time to get to know one other – this will make him feel much more comfortable when he has to spend time in the home alone. Also, if you have children, make sure that they don’t overwhelm him at first. If you have other pets in the house, be extra cautious when introducing the new arrival.

It is essential that you get your dog vaccinated. Vaccinations will protect your dog from different types of illness and diseases. Most vaccinations are done at your dogs yearly check-up. Your vet can explain what each vaccination is for. The rabies vaccine is required by law in many different states.

Always be the boss with your dog. A dog is not only much more apt to be obedient when you are in command, he’ll also be much happier. Dogs need to know what’s expected of them and that they are being led. This gives them a sense of security and you a more peaceful household.

Be strong when the time comes to say goodby to your beloved dog. Many owners keep the animal suffering to keep them in their lives and that’s not fair to the dog. Consult with your vet, then talk it over with family. If it’s time to part ways with your dog, do what’s best for him.

Make time for your dog. You are probably aware that your dog always has time for you, so it’s time to return the favor. You might take the dog out for some exercise, or you might just set some time aside to rub his belly. Remember to spend a bit of special time with your dog, and he’ll appreciate it.

Consider getting your dog from a shelter. Many of the dogs that are brought there are well behaved, yet the owners could not handle the responsibility that came with raising them. For the best results, visit the shelter a few times so that you can find the dog that is right for you and your lifestyle.

When training your dog, always make sure that you enter a room before allowing the dog to. This is important because it is an obvious form of dominance that your dog will understand. Establishing dominance will help with your ability to train your dog and with its overall behavior patterns.

Remember, your body language tells your dog a lot about what you want and expect. In fact, body language is often a more effective training tool than simply using your words. Therefore, if you are training your pet, have someone else observe your training sessions and give you feedback on what kind of body language you are using.

You have to keep your dog as clean as you are. Though dogs don’t need bathing every day, they ought to have one each week. This prevents skin issues and helps your home stay clean.

Dogs should understand they need to respect people of every size, even children. A dog of average size can easily knock a small child down. Even if you do not have children in your home, you should make sure your dog is socialized with people of all ages by visiting friends with children.

Your dog is only here for a short amount of time, so making their life the best possible is your job. This article is a great start, but continue reading advice from experts and other owners to ensure you continue to make life great for your dog. The more you learn, the better.

Learn About Caring For A Dog With This Article

Owning a dog is no simple task. They require a ton of care, from being bathed to fed to checked over by the vet. With so much to do, how can you keep track? This article will give you some simple tips to help you get the job done right.

Consider teaching your dog hand signals along with verbal commands. Consistency and practice are key to teaching a dog these non-verbal commands. Many owners get frustrated and resort back to verbal commands, but a well-trained dog should understand both. Try using only verbal commands when the dog is out of sight range, but when close up, only use the hand signals.

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.

Before deciding on what type of dog to get for your family, consider space. Even though you may love the bigger dogs that you can really wrap your arms around, you may not have adequate space for a large breed. Take your home and yard size into consideration before bringing home a new pooch.

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.

Brushing your dog’s teeth is important, but it is not easy. If your dog is resisting, once a day simply lift their lips and use your finger to rub their teeth lightly. Do it quickly at first, and then begin to draw out the time you spend performing this action. This will help them get use to the process. After that, you can begin using an actual brush and toothpaste.

If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, he or she may eventually come in contact with a skunk. If he gets sprayed, mix together one teaspoon of dish-washing detergent, a fourth a cup of baking soda and a quart of hydrogen peroxide solution (but make sure it is no more than three percent). When you adored this informative article and also you desire to be given guidance relating to what age does pitbulls stop growing i implore you to go to the web-site. Apply the mixture to your dog’s coat and allow it to sit for five minutes. Wash your dog off well afterward.

If you’re trying to break one of your dog’s unwanted habits, make sure that you understand that it will not happen overnight. Breaking a habit takes time and patience. Don’t get discouraged and give up if it seems like your pup isn’t making progress. Keep at it and maybe try changing your approach to the training. Sometimes this can be the boost that your dog needs.

Designate a family member or close friend to be responsible for your dog, should something happen to you. If you are in an accident and unable to get home, your dog will need someone to feed him and address other needs. Perhaps you trust a neighbor with your house keys and they could act for you in a time of need.

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.

Try to provide your dog with plenty of opportunities to socialize. Take him on walks to the park or beach where he will be around people and other dogs. Encourage his interactions with others and praise him for good manners. He’ll be much more comfortable in any setting and generally happier too.

Be prepared to have a lot of patience with your dog during potty-training. Much like children, dogs learn at different speeds and ages and your canine may be slow or stubborn. Have good resources at your fingertips to assist your efforts and remember not to get angry when your dog has « accidents » as that will only impede his progress.

It is essential that you get your dog vaccinated. Vaccinations will protect your dog from different types of illness and diseases. Most vaccinations are done at your dogs yearly check-up. Your vet can explain what each vaccination is for. The rabies vaccine is required by law in many different states.

It often feels right and natural to offer your faithful canine buddy a morsel of whatever treat you’re enjoying. Keep in mind that some foods are unhealthy for dogs. Dogs should never be given caffeine, grapes, or chocolate. These can be fatal if ingested.

If you are planning on getting a new puppy, plan on investing in some training classes. These classes offer a great opportunity for your puppy to socialize with other dogs and learn basic commands. These classes will provide your new puppy with a great foundation for future training and will help them get a great start in life.

Before you decide to go get a dog you should think about the individual needs of different breeds of dogs. Some dogs can get enough exercise in the home, while others may need a few hours outside each day. These factors can mean a lot when it comes to meeting the needs of your new family member.

Watch your dog’s diet carefully. When they are small, puppies can eat a lot of calories, as it helps their growth. When they reach adulthood, these same foods can lead to obesity and health problems.

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.

Your new family member, or the dog you’ve loved for many years, will be so thankful once you start changing your habits to better suit them. As you use the tips in this article, both his and your life will become better. Giving your dog what he deserves is the best feeling ever!

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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