7 Things Your Mom Should Have Taught You About Why Do Dogs Lay By Your Feet

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Dogs

Any Dog-related Trouble Can Be Solved With This Advice

Your dog might scratch his bowl if he’s hungry. If your dog needs to go potty, he may paw at your door. If your dog wants attention, he may try to climb on your lap. You might not know what your dog needs, keep reading and you might find out how to figure it out.

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.

Never allow your dog to ride in a car unsecured. Sitting on your lap or in the front seat is dangerous both to him and your ability to drive. Always place him in an appropriately sized pet carrier or invest in a pet seat belt that will keep him snug and safe in the middle of the back seat.

If your vet gives you medication to take home and administer to your dog, be sure and ask for ideas on getting him to swallow it. Dogs differ in their tolerance of pills and badly-flavored liquids, so have a few tricks up your sleeve in case he resists. Getting a dog to take medicine is important, but often challenging.

Do not buy the cheapest dog food. Less expensive dog foods include fillers and additives that are not beneficial to your dog’s health. You should contact an animal advocacy group or a consumer awareness program to get some recommendations for quality dog foods. You will see a difference in your dog’s activity level and general happiness when you feed him “good” food.

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.

Dogs need a great deal of attention on a daily basis. If you have a hard time making time for your dog you will soon notice that there are behavioral problems that were not there before. In the least, you should try to set aside an hour each day just to love your dog.

In order to make sure that your dog is healthy, be sure to allow it to have access to clean water at all times during the day. Just like with all living beings, water is one of the most important components. The only exception would be that you would want to keep water from a puppy for three hours before bedtime.

When preparing to groom your pet, start the session off on the right foot by helping your dog relax. Spend a few minutes simply petting him, starting with the head and then rubbing the back, paws, belly and even tail. Once you feel your dog is happy and content, begin grooming him.

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.

If you are having trouble training your dog, see a professional. A lot of people wait until their problems are enormous, but if you would see a dog trainer as soon as you start having difficulty, you will find training goes more easily. Not only that, but you will save yourself a major headache.

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.

If you live with other people, make sure they are aware of your training “rules.” It is important that everyone redirects the dog off of the furniture, for example, and that they use the same language when doing so. If everyone’s rules are different, your dog is just going to get confused, which will make the training process much longer and more difficult.

If you are a very enthusiastic owner of a pure-bred dog, join your local AKC. They are an active social group where you can share your love for your dog, learn a lot and make new friends too. The experience can also help prepare you and your dog for entering contests and winning shows!

Just like people, dogs need plenty of exercise for optimum health. Dogs are naturally hunters and love to run by instinct. Take your dog to the park, play Frisbee with him and give him a daily walk. This will help keep him physically healthy but will also make him mentally healthier.

If you are looking to get a dog but do not know where to look, turn to your local ASPCA or animal shelter. Getting a dog from one of these establishments is ideal because not only are they in need of a good home, but they have probably also been well taken care of. Most dogs are vaccinated, spayed or neutered and checked for illnesses at these places.

Give your dog love, just as you would with a child. Dogs are intended to live in groups, and in those settings they tend to be affectionate with one another throughout each day. To give your dog what it needs you must show it love through petting and snuggling. This will only strenghthen the bond that you will have through the years.

Keep your dog safe from dangerous chemicals. Similar to kids, cleaning chemicals and any car maintenance substances are harmful to them. 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.

This expert advice has now been committed to your memory so you can use it every day for your dog. This information lets you take good care of your faithful pet. Your dog will show his appreciation with his love if you use all you’ve learned here.

Frustration Free Tips On Caring For Your Dog

Dogs require much more than some food and a few pats on the head. Dogs need a lot to be as healthy and happy as possible. How can you be sure of what your dog needs? Whether you’re a first-time dog owner or a veteran of many previous canine relationships, you just might pick up a new trick or two from the handy dog advice tips this article has to offer.

If you are looking for a great family pet, but are on a budget, consider rescuing an animal.You can get one at a local shelter for minimal costs and the dog will come with a clean bill of health and all his shots. If you are interested in a specific breed, contact a rescue group specializing in only those pooches.

Much like people in the United States, many dogs are overweight. Having a few extra pounds on their frame can lead to a number of health problems, like cancer or diabetes. Many owners simply overfeed their pets. Talk to your veterinarian about how many calories your dog needs each day so you can adjust their meals accordingly.

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.

You may be tempted to use your favorite hair shampoo on your dog, but this should not be done. Human shampoo can cause dog skin to dry out. Instead, find a quality shampoo that is made for dogs. When you bath your dog, make sure to rinse all of the residue out of his fur.

Correct bad behavior the first time you see it from your dog. You should never ignore bad behaviors when they are puppies because this will make it a lot harder to correct down the road. You need to make sure your dog is happy to keep them in control and so he does not hurt anyone.

Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise. A dog needs to play and exercise on a regular basis so that it can be happy and healthy. From a simple walk to a vigorous game of fetch, both of you will find the time well spent. In addition to providing much needed exercise, you will develop a lifelong bond with your pup.

If you are not sure how often you should feed your dog, ask your vet. 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. Speak with a vet about your dog’s needs and what they should have.

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.

Keep your dog in comfortable housing. They should be able to rest off the floor and away from drafts. A training crate is a good choice or any covered shelter outside. Try placing a dog bed inside that has a warm blanket or a pillow inside. Wash the dog’s bedding frequently.

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.

Does your dog chew a lot? This could be a sign that your dog is bored or anxious. You need to provide your dog with some toys that can be chewed and perhaps leave a shirt with your smell near your dog to avoid separation anxiety, especially if your dog is very young.

Attention exercises must be practiced daily. These exercises will help you gain your dog’s attention when they are barking or being disruptive or destructive. Once you can gain your dog’s attention, you will have less to worry about when you have him out of the house or when there is company over.

Use different reward systems to find out what your dog prefers. Do what you can to learn what motivates your dog. Dogs that are driven by food may respond to small bits of hot dog used as rewards. Maybe your dog will respond better to a game of tug-of-war with a favorite toy. Some dogs will consider petting as a reward.

If training your dog is more than you can handle, you should consider sending it to obedience school. Do some research to find out more about the different obedience schools in your area and talk to other dog owners to find the best school possible. It is best to send your dog to obedience school while it is still a young pup.

If you have tried everything to get your dog to stop digging your garden to no avail, head to your kitchen. Mix up a batch of cayenne pepper (five tablespoons), hot sauce (also five tablespoons) and a quart of water in a spray bottle and spray it where he digs. It should discourage him quickly.

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.

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.

Use the tips you just read to care for your dog. Make more of an effort to attend to your dog’s health and happiness and you’ll see a big improvement very soon. You owe it to your dog to provide him with the best life possible.

Dogs

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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