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Pets

Tips To Keep Your Dogs Healthy And Happy

Dog ownership is a special thing, but sometimes it doesn’t work out. To get the most out of your relationship with your dog, you’ll need to know a few things. You can read about some useful dog tips in the following article.

It costs a lot of money to own a dog. When you add up the medical care, food and supplies in general, your costs could run from $700-$1000 annually. A sick dog could cost you tens of thousands! Look into doggie health insurance!

If the cost of your dog’s high-quality food is a burden for your family, team up with another one and buy in bulk. The big-name pet store chains offer top rated names in pet cuisine at a significant discount when bought in the larger quantities. You can minimize the cost for you and some friends while still providing your dogs with fresh and wholesome meals.

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.

Try to always be aware of how your dog is feeling. If your dog seems to be nervous, fearful, or scared of certain things, you should take note of this and try to avoid putting your dog in a stressful situation. When a dog is stressed or afraid, you could traumatize your dog if you insist that it stays in the stressful situation.

When you get a new dog, set up an appointment for him at the vet. As soon as you bring your new dog home, make an appointment with your vet. Your vet will provide a full check up and establish vaccination dates. Remember that there is a tremendous dog overpopulation problem, so you should have your dog spayed/neutered.

Not every dog is capable of going to the dog park. Some dogs will not do well around other dogs that they do not know. Get to know how your dog does around friends’ or neighbors’ dogs before you attempt to take him to the park. This way, you will know if he will be aggressive towards other dogs.

Always follow any instructions from the vet carefully, especially if your dog requires medication or other special attention. They might not be fond of having a cone attached to their head, but your vet recommended it. The vet doesn’t give advice for no reason, and it can be dangerous to now do what is advised.

Your dog’s claws must be trimmed. When they start curling under, the dog runs the risk of experiencing pain. These can be trimmed at home if you use nail clippers from the store. If you don’t feel comfortable trimming them yourself, a groomer can do it for little money.

Dogs love to eat grass and other plants. When you’re outside, this may not be much of a problem, but if you maintain houseplants indoors, chances are they are poisonous to dogs. Before bringing a dog into the home, make sure all your houseplants are well out of reach of a dog who may be tempted by a green tasty treat.

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.

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.

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.

When taking your senior dog to the vet for an annual visit, make sure to request senior blood work. A blood panel can help your vet to identify any kidney, heart or vascular concerns. If caught early, treatment is often minimally invasive and less costly. This is a great way to keep your pet healthy for years to come.

When adopting a new dog, you’ll need to figure out where it’s going to sleep. If the plan is for the dog to be crated by night, never let the dog sleep in your bed. If your dog will be in your bed, make sure that it is something that you’re comfortable with doing every night.

Owning a new puppy is very similar to having a new baby. Puppies need a lot of attention and have to be taken care of constantly. They are not ready to be left alone for long periods of time and need to have a fair amount of attention devoted to them.

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.

Dogs of all shapes and sizes make for amazing pets, and a great owner takes the time to learn all about their care. You have done just that, so use the tips you have read here to get down to business. A few simple changes or lessons can really make your dog the happiest he can be.

Prepare Yourself For Taking Care Of A Dog

Your dog is your best friend, for better or worse. When he chews up a box of facial tissues, all you can do is laugh. When he snuggles into the crook of your back at night, you can feel loved. To pay him back for the joy he brings you, read this article and learn all you can.

Make your home safe for your dog. Create a safe area to bring a new puppy into the home. Make sure all of the medicine is put away and the cleaning supplies are up and safe. Many common household plants are poisonous, so keep them away from your dog or get rid of them.

Be careful with canine flea treatments. Some of them contain chemicals that can increase the risk of cancer in children, and are 1,000 times as strong as the safe levels recommended by the EPA. Discuss any concerns with your veterinarian, and see if he has more holistic treatment options that might help to keep your pet free from fleas and your family safe.

Pick and choose when you are going to groom your dog. You do not want to attempt grooming when your pet is in a particularly frisky mood, because the process will not go well. Instead, do so only when your dog is calm and tired, like after you have taken him for an especially long walk.

Give your dog rawhide instead of real meat bones. Real bones can splinter and can get caught in your dog’s mouth or digestive tract. Studies have shown that rawhide bones are good for your dog’s health and their teeth. Don’t give in and let your dog gnaw on real bones. Stick to rawhide.

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.

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.

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.

Although the sound may be cute, your dog’s nails shouldn’t click along the floor when it walks. That’s a sign that the nails are too long. The nails should actually just barely touch the ground. Seek the advice of a professional on what tools are the best for giving your dog a pedicure.

Getting a dog on a whim is rarely a good idea. You need to make sure you can afford to feed a dog and cover medical expenses before getting a pet. Research different breeds to figure out which dog would be best for your family, your lifestyle and the size of your home.

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.

Make sure that your dog goes to it’s vet for a checkup each year. A good vet will be able to easily spot problems with your dog way before you actually see something. In the long run, annual check-ups save the owner a lot of money and prevent the dog from a lot of unneeded suffering.

If you have younger children in the home, make sure that you try to teach them what behavior is appropriate with your dog. Let them know the rules and what they are allowed to do. Some dogs are more tolerant of being jumped on, pulled on, and played with than other dogs.

It is important to train your dog as soon as you get him or her. Behavior that might seem cute as a puppy, can develop into bad habits as your dog matures. It is essential that your dog understands and obeys simple commands. Not only for your safety, but the safety of your dog as well.

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.

Never punish your dog for their negative behaviors. This will only lead to confusion and possibly resentment as well. If you want a well behaved dog it is best to instead focus on the behaviors that you like and work from there to train them to add more positive behaviors to the list.

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.

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.

This expert advice is something that you will remember so that you may use it with your dog every day. Although there’s plenty more for you to learn, the basic principles you’ve already picked up should serve you well. Put these tips into practice, and you and your dog will be better off.

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. If you have any kind of questions pertaining to where and how you can make use of australian Shepherd English shepherd mix, you could call us at our own web site. 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/

As a reader on Dogs, I assumed sharing that excerpt was sensible. Sharing is good. One never knows, you might be helping someone out. I value your readership.

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