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Care For Your Dog By Following These Tips

When you own a dog, your life changes completely. Unlike a child, they never grow up and move out. You will spend their entire life caring for them, from feeding them to taking them to the doctor. That said, it is worth every second! Continue reading to find some simple tips about dogs from other owners.

Being a dog owner can be very costly. Expect to spend from $700 to as high as $1000 in a year to pay for medical attention, food and other items needed. Emergency care for animals can cost thousands of collars, so think carefully about getting pet health insurance.

Keep your dog in good shape. He can suffer with the same weight-related issues that you can, so make sure he gets plenty of healthy exercise and eats a well-balanced diet. Remember that walking will benefit you as well, so make it a part of your daily routine together to be happier and healthier.

You should never give table scraps to your dog. This will make your dog beg all of the time and also will make it not want to eat its regular food as much. Table scraps can be bad for his health as well, leading to obesity and digestive disorders. Keep the dog away from your table when you eat to avoid any temptation on both parts.

It is a great idea to put hand signals in use when you are training your pet; use them in conjunction with words. Using signals such as these, your dog may learn things more easily. Always associate the spoken command and the hand gesture at first and choose the system that works best later on.

Make sure your dog gets enough exercise. This is vital to the care of a happy dog. Many people don’t bother to exercise their dog, thinking that walks are enough. Dogs are active creatures and need to play. Talk to your veterinarian about how much activity your dog needs, and make sure he gets it.

House-training your dog will be much easier if you adopt a routine. You should go for walks regularly throughout the day and come home during your lunch break if necessary. If your dog has to be home alone for long hours, do not leave a bowl full of water unless it is very hot.

Unless you’re okay with your dog playing with your shoes and other things around your home, buy him some toys. He will enjoy having things of his own, particularly if they are interactive like pull-toys you can use together. Also buy him things he can use to occupy himself and stay out of trouble!

If you are not allowed to place a fence in your yard but want your dog to run freely there, consider an electric fence. Electric fences are easy and inexpensive to install, and they can help to keep your free roaming pet safely contained. Using them will require a little training, but they are quite effective if you put the work in.

If you are in the market for a pure bred pooch, consider checking your local shelter. Pets are abandoned due to a variety of circumstances, so you might be lucky enough to find one at the pound. Call the pound to find ask what dog breeds are in house at the time. This can help save the life of a beautiful dog.

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.

Get creative with your dog’s ongoing training. For example, teach him commands in other languages or show him how to do something that will really impress everyone he meets. He will love showing off to people and the extra learning will create a more well-behaved animal who is happier with himself.

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

If you’re going to be away from your dog for a short period of time, it might be a good idea to invest in a dog crate. A crate for your dog will provide it with a safe and secure area to go into when you aren’t able to watch it for a period of time.

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.

A dog needs plenty of love and attention. You should try spending at least a couple of hours a day with your dog. Play in your backyard or take your dog to the nearest park. You should get plenty of exercises before coming home and petting your dog for a while.

Always keep an eye on your dog’s diet. You can give a puppy a high calorie diet because this will help him grow. Adult dogs should not eat the same diet as it will cause them to gain weight, possibly resulting in health problems.

Make sure that you spend adequate time on each thing that you try to teach your dog. Even though your dog might catch on to something, for example the “sit” command, it may not be mastered. You’ll want to make sure that the command is done every time that you ask no matter what situation you are in before you move onto a new command.

As you can see by reading this article, there is a lot to know about dogs. By doing your research and learning all you can, you will find your relationship with your dog to improve. The article you just read provided you with tips to get you started on your quest.

In Hot Water About Your Dog? Climb Out With This Advice

Dogs are often regarded as man’s best friend. There is actually quite a bit of truth to that saying. If you understand how to deal with a dog, you will have a better relationship with him. This article has useful information that will help you build a friendlier relationship with your dog.

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.

If your puppy or dog is constantly chewing up your furniture, invest in some chew-toys. Scatter them around the floor, especially around the legs of the sofa and end-tables. Be enthusiastic about your offers to play with the chewies with your dog to encourage frequent use. This should eventually deter him from chomping your furniture.

Get a dog house if you have a dog that you leave outside, in case the weather gets bad. Remember that dogs exposed to cold and damp or excessive heat are far more likely to become ill. Build a shelter yourself or purchase a kit from the nearest pet store.

Take care to keep your dog cool while traveling during the summer by car. Even with your air-conditioning on, the dog may become over-heated in his pet carrier. A simple and low-cost countermeasure is freezing a few gallon jugs of water and placing them near him where he can curl up and cool off.

Let your dog have rawhide rather than bones from the meat you eat. Real bones can break into pieces that can then become dangerous due to how sharp and small they can be. Also, rawhide is better for the health of your dog’s teeth.

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). Apply the mixture to your dog’s coat and allow it to sit for five minutes. Wash your dog off well afterward.

If your dog is a digger, make sure to protect him and your garden. Some plants are poisonous to dogs, not to mention the damage those paws can do to your prized flowers and produce. Put up an appropriately sized fence to keep him out or consider using an electric one.

It is very important for you to keep your dog’s ears clean. Keeping the inside of the ears clean will help prevent infections of the ear. This is also a good time for you to inspect the ear for fleas, ticks and any other pests that could have made your dog’s ear home.

Send your dog to school! He will feel more comfortable knowing exactly what is expected of him and obedience school will help him learn that. It will also boost his self-confidence, and of course, make a more well-behaved pet of him. Call around locally and see if you can sign him up for a trial class and take it from there.

Keep your dog mentally active along with providing him plenty of opportunity to get physical exercise. Make sure he can get the paper and help you around the house. Your dog will feel like a useful member of the family, and the reinforcement will keep his training sharp.

If you are interested in adopting a pure breed, consider visiting the dog pound. Lots of dog owners will leave their dog stranded whenever they don’t want it anymore. Contact your pound and ask them what breeds are currently there. This could help you save the life of a dog.

Before adopting a dog, be sure to give the matter careful consideration. There are a lot of things you have to think about instead of just falling in love with the first dog you see. Always consider everything involved with becoming responsible for another life, and be sure you are able to handle it all.

Make sure that you’re feeding your dog a good quality food. Most dog foods available at your grocery store are mainly made up of grains or corn. Instead of this, you should try to find a dog food that is mostly made of meat. Foods that are high quality can provide you with many benefits, such as having a healthy pup, less vet visits, and your dog’s coat will shine more.

Never give your dog away for free, no matter how desperate you might feel to get rid of it quickly. Even if you can not care for the animal, it is still your responsibility to be sure that it will have a good life to come. Instead, take the time to investigate the person that you will give it to and charge a re-homing fee to ensure that they are serious about caring for the animal.

Clean up after your dog when they go to the bathroom in public. Many dog owners let their dog do their business wherever they please whether its on a sidewalk, neighbor’s lawn, etc. They can do their business in public, but you must take a bag with you to clean it up when they’re done so that it doesn’t cause an unsightly and smelly mess for someone else.

If your dog makes messes in the house or chews when you are away, consider crate training. Crate training involves providing your pet with an appropriate sized crate to,stay in while you’re out of the house. It can keep your pet and belongings safe. Just make sure to never leave him in the crate for a very lengthly period of time.

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). Here is more info about why do cats Like their bum scratched take a look at our own page. 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/

Dogs

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