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Advice And Information That Will Help With Your Dog

Dogs make fantastic pets. They are extremely loyal and lovable. To be a great dog owner, make an effort to educate yourself on all of the dos and don’ts of dog ownership. This article is loaded with a number of great tips guaranteed to help your properly care for your pooch.

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.

If your young dog is teething and gnawing at everything, buy him a fun chew toy and keep it in the fridge. Not only does this provide him with a good alternative to your furniture, but the cold will help to make his gums feel better. Most younger dogs gnaw out of necessity, not poor manners.

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.

Pet boarding and day-care services are a billion dollar business, so make sure you get your money’s worth if you have to leave home without your dog. Although kennels offer interesting opportunities to socialize, your dog will be happier with familiar surroundings. Thoroughly check references for a sitter-service and keep him in his own home if at all possible. Otherwise, put him in a reputable kennel and check up on him oft

If your dog is still getting used to the grooming process, only work with him or her in short bursts. Groom for about five minutes and then stop and move on to another activity. Eventually, start adding on two or three minutes to your total grooming time until your pet is able to handle a full session.

Keep your dog at a healthy weight. Plenty of dogs are overweight, and just like humans, this can lead to health issues. People tend to overfeed their dogs, and many also feed them table scraps. A dog doesn’t need as many calories as most people think; talk to your vet about how much you should feed him each day, and what food is most suitable. A vet will advise you based on his size, age and lifestyle.

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.

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.

Be prepared for natural disasters that also impact your dog. Have an emergency supply of water and food for him and know in advance if your local shelter for people will allow pets inside. Too many pets are injured or lost following storms, floods and other situations that cause chaos in a community.

If your dog gets anxious and lonely when you leave, put some music on before you head out. This will help him feel more secure and provide him with a little company. This could be the perfect fix to keep him calm until you return.

If your dog is prone to getting burs in his coat, keep a can of Crisco in your kitchen cupboard. Next time you notice a bur, put gloves on to protect yourself and work the Crisco around until you can pry the bur out. Give him a nice shampoo to get the shortening out later.

Always make sure your dog has fresh water available. Water is essential for the health of a dog. He can easily become dehydrated without it or look for unsafe water sources, such as puddles or contaminated ponds. Making sure your dog always has water is an easy way to keep him happy and safe.

Before you have your dog fitted with a microchip, be sure and check the database of the company that will store his information. Not all of them are created equal and you want to know that you’ll get a fast response if your dog is lost. Look for a large database that connects to shelters and vets near you.

If you’ve got the most well-behaved and lovable dog around, share his good nature with those less fortunate. You could bring him to visit the elderly in nursing homes or sick children in hospitals. Not only will you be improving the quality of life for those people, but your dog will love being a super-star wherever he goes!

When choosing a vet for your dog, make sure that it is a good experience for both you and your dog. You want your dog to feel comfortable so that the visit will go smoothly. It’s also important to find a vet that helps you fully with any concerns that you may have.

If you want to take good care of your dog, you need to learn to think like a dog. Does your pet seem distressed? Think about what you might want if you were a dog. Is your pet having trouble sleeping? Consider where you’d want to sleep if you’d been born with a tail. Taking your pet’s needs into account can make it easy to solve any problem.

When you are walking your dog in the wintertime, there may be rock salt or chemical ice melters that come in contact with his feet. Once you get back in the house, wash his paws and dry them gently. This will prevent these items from causing any type of infections.

While perfection is elusive, the simple ideas you have read here are easy to implement, bringing benefits immediately. When you have more questions, seek out the answers online on forums or by reading other articles. As long as you continue to try to be the best dog owner you can, you will achieve it every day.

Have Some Dog-related Questions? We Have Answers

Your dog might scratch his bowl if it wants food. If a dog wants to be let outside, they often scratch at the door. If your dog wants attention, he’s going to look at you in a longing way. Sadly, not everything he wants is to easily communicated, so read on to learn more about a dog’s needs.

Just as you need an annual physical exam, dogs do as well. Since your dog doesn’t talk, you may have difficulty figuring out if a tooth starts hurting or where arthritis is developing. A yearly checkup will help you find any problems before they become huge issues.

Having fresh and clean water available to your dog at all times is a must. Dogs become dangerously dehydrated in a matter of days, so its very important to always have water ready. Dogs will also appreciate water that is clean. If you find it necessary to drink filtered or bottled water because of the quality of water from your tap, then be sure to provide your dog with the same high quality water.

Whenever you travel with your pet, don’t skimp on the packing. Of course you need to be well supplied with his food, water and any medications he may be on, but experts advise that you also bring his grooming supplies, vaccination paperwork, tags and an extra leash. Also, bring a flat sheet for when your dog will be on hotel furniture.

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’re on a tight budget at home, think carefully before getting a dog. They actually cost hundreds of dollars annually, but many people don’t realize this until they’ve actually forked over the money. Depending on the size and regular maintenance requirements of your new dog, you could be getting in way over your head and forced to part with him later so make sure beforehand.

Do not try to save money by choosing the cheapest dog food. Your dog will be healthier and happier if you feed it the highest quality food. It costs more, but you’ll save money on vet bills for health issues down the road.

Pet boarding and day-care services are a billion dollar business, so make sure you get your money’s worth if you have to leave home without your dog. Although kennels offer interesting opportunities to socialize, your dog will be happier with familiar surroundings. Thoroughly check references for a sitter-service and keep him in his own home if at all possible. Otherwise, put him in a reputable kennel and check up on him oft

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.

Be consistent when giving your dog commands. This is an area where a lot of dog owners have a problem, especially when you won’t feed your dog from the table but your spouse will. Make sure that everyone in your home understands what’s acceptable so that the dog will receive a clear message. That will make him more likely to obey.

Be clear with your pet during training. The word “no” does not explain anything to your dog, other than that you are unhappy with something. Instead, explain which behavior you do want to see. For example, if your dog jumps on the furniture, tell him to get down instead of just saying the word no.

Although some dogs do well on the recommended amount of food to be given each day, some dogs need more or less. Instead of just going by what your food says to feed your dog, try to keep an eye on your dog’s body. If you notice that your dog is gaining a bit of weight, cut the food intake back a bit.

Pay attention to your dog’s breath. Dogs will always have “dog breath,”u009d however, really bad breath is a sign that they need a dental check up. Plaque buildup caused by bacteria could be the culprit and that will need to be treated by a professional. After their treatments, you will need to brush their gums and teeth and feed them food that helps maintain good dental health.

Brush your dog’s teeth every week. Use a child’s toothbrush that is soft, some nylon pantyhose over your finger, or a gauze pad. Don’t use regular toothpaste. Instead, try using a baking soda and water paste or toothpaste made for dogs. Clean their teeth one to two times a week.

Keep in mind that some behavioral problems in your dog could be connected to health issues, especially if your dog is displaying a new behavior. Your dog might become aggressive when you touch it because of a pain and it might have a hard time with house-training because of an infection.

No matter what kind or length of fur your dog has, it is important that they are brushed regularly. Without regular brushing, your dog’s fur may become matted. Matted fur can cause inflammation on your dog’s skin and is very difficult to remove. Also, brushing their fur regularly gets rid of dead hair and helps distribute oils.

Your dog should always have access to fresh water. You should always keep a bowl full of water where your dog can access it or purchase a small drinking fountain for your dog. If you have to leave your dog alone for long hours, so not leave more water than your dog needs.

When choosing a vet for your dog, make sure that it is a good experience for both you and your dog. You want your dog to feel comfortable so that the visit will go smoothly. It’s also important to find a vet that helps you fully with any concerns that you may have.

For thousands of years, dogs have been man’s best friend. That is why it is easy to look into their eyes and figure out what they need. That said, reading this article will give you a greater understanding of the body language of your dog. Your dog will be happier now that you’ve learned so much!

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. If you have any inquiries with regards to exactly where and how to use why Do cats Like Their butt scratched, you can get in touch with us at our own page. 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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