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Think Like A Dog. Be A Great Pet Owner.

Dogs bring people joy, companionship and unconditional love. Their owners must provide them with food, entertainment, medical care and attention. Together, owner and dog make each other’s lives complete. If you already own a dog or are planning on adopting one, you have to understand what lies ahead. This article will guide you through some tips to make dog ownership easier and better for both parties.

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.

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.

Avoid insisting that your dog socialize nicely with every other passing dog. Experts recommend that your dog be able to tolerate introductions through sniffing and eying with another animal, but say forcing the issue can create problems. Accept your dog’s lead when meeting and greeting other animals and allow for natural interaction.

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 have a dog, make sure that you give him enough water. Water should be made available to your dog at all times of the day, particularly in the summertime. Put his water bowl somewhere where no one will trip over it, otherwise you’ll be cleaning your floors all day!

Take your dog to the vet regularly. This may seem like an added expense that you don’t need, but when you take your dog to the veterinarian, he can screen your dog for diseases and make sure he is in the best of health. This of course prevents problems 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

Be a responsible dog owner, to represent the species well. For example, Pit Bulls are feared and often even hated in most places these days, due to irresponsible ownership. People tend to blame the animals when in fact it’s the human factor influencing the dog’s behavior. Train your dog well and leave a good impression on others!

Keep the fur around your pup’s paws trimmed so that it does not get matted. A comb is a good tool to straighten the dog’s fur before trimming. If you have a hard time with this, enlist the services of a groomer.

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.

Ensure that your dog gets enough exercise. Dogs need consistent physical activity to ensure they are physically and mentally fit. From a simple walk to a vigorous game of fetch, both of you will find the time well spent. Exercise is a great way to bond with your pet.

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.

To ensure that your dog is safe, you should try to make your home as dog-proof as possibly. This includes making sure that only safe play toys are within your dogs reach. If you have a problem with your dog getting into your kitchen trash or the things on your counter, you could consider getting a baby gate to prevent your pup from entering the kitchen.

To ensure that your dog is safe, you should try to make your home as dog-proof as possibly. This includes making sure that only safe play toys are within your dogs reach. If you have a problem with your dog getting into your kitchen trash or the things on your counter, you could consider getting a baby gate to prevent your pup from entering the kitchen.

Always make an annual checkup appointment for your dog. Vets can find problems such as kidney troubles, thyroid issues and diabetes well before symptoms appear to you. An annual check-up for your pet can help to avoid future expense and needless suffering for your dog.

Make sure you and your dog are prepared for hot summer weather. It’s easy for a dog to get overheated. Provide them with a cool, shady area to hang out in during the summer months. Provide your dog with some cool water too. You should also look into doggie sunscreens, as the sun affects dogs too.

You should check your dog regularly to make sure that he does not have any ticks or fleas on him. There are combs you can purchase that can be used to help you locate them. To prevent fleas and ticks, you can purchase special collars from the pet supply store.

Now that you understand the undertaking of owning a dog, you should feel confident in the fact that you can now provide for your pet fully. When he pees on the floor, forgive him. When he barks at the moon, bark with him. And when he gives you a big kiss, return the favor!

Get Questions Answered About Dog Care Here

Dogs may make motions towards the bowl when they are ready to eat. When your dog must use the facilities, he may scratch at the back door. In case you loved this article and you wish to receive more information with regards to dog breeds that start with h please visit our own web site. A plaintive look from your dog might mean a little petting and hugging is in order. A dog cannot easily communicate all of his needs, so you need to keep reading to find out more about them.

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.

You should only try to teach your dog one new command during each training session. Even if you think your dog is good at picking up on things and will have no issues with that, it is much less confusing for you and him if you focus on just one thing at a time.

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.

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.

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.

Talk to your vet to learn which foods are appropriate for your particular dog. Sometimes, your puppy may not be developed enough to consume certain brands, as this can lead to an upset stomach or sicknesses. You should be careful when you are feeding your dog.

If you want a dog that behaves well you must take the time to properly train it. If you do not do this then you will almost surely be dealing with behavioral problems for the length of the dog’s life. Training is the only way that you can prevent this from happening.

Take your new dog to the vet. Make a vet appointment right after the dog comes home. Your dog will get a vaccination schedule and a checkup. Talk with a vet about your dog being spayed or neutered. There are lots of homeless dogs and you don’t want to make the problem worse.

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.

It is essential that you think long and hard before you decide to make a dog a part of your life. It’s one thing to fall head over heels in love with a puppy. It’s another to provide a forever home for a dog. Make a thorough, honest evaluation of your preparedness and suitability before you agree to care for a dog.

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.

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.

Don’t bathe your dog after you have applied a flea or tick medication. Some medications tout that they are waterproo, but they only mean against rain or swimming. They will largely wash away with a dog shampoo, rendering the treatment ineffective. If you must bathe the dog after a treatment, use a soap free shampoo.

Know the symptoms of dehydration in your dog, as it is a common ailment that can be dangerous. Particularly during hot dry summer months, your dog may pant excessively and experience a loss of the elasticity of his skin. If you see this, encourage him to drink water and add a little Pedialyte to rehydrate him.

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 usually gets sick during car rides, you should invest in a quality crate. Secure the crate on a seat or the floor of your car and make sure it will not shake when you drive. Place some toys and blankets inside the crate to keep your dog busy and comfortable.

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.

You should be a good friend towards your dog, and he will do the same for you. Using the tips in this article to help you, you can take even better care of your dog. With this advice, you and your dog can live happy, healthy lives together.

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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