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Pets

If You’re Dealing With Dogs, You Have To Know A Few Things

If you’re looking for love and affection, dogs are for you. In fact, everyone in your family can benefit from the presence of a pet. To ensure that you’re caring for your dog properly, use the tips below.

Your dog has teeth just like you, so it makes sense that he needs proper dental care. Invest in a dog toothbrush and brush his teeth often. Simply allowing the vet to do it at his regular checkups is not enough. You can also purchase treats that are specifically meant to help with your pet’s teeth.

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.

Be careful if you’re searching for a new dog on Craigslist or other classified ads. Many people exaggerate the truth in order to unload problems or challenging training issues and you could end up with an impossible situation on your hands. Only talk to people who are verifiable through vet records and demonstrate positive handling experience.

When the dog does something right, be sure to lavish praise on him or her. This communicates to your dog that he is doing just exactly what you want. Your dog will quickly understand that the praise is connected to a certain action.

Research a particular breed of dog you may be interested in before bringing him home. Lots of people make the mistake of falling in love with a type of dog, then find out later that the animal isn’t really for them. Chihuahuas, for example, are a trendy type, but very difficult to fully potty train, especially in colder climates!

Never give your dog milk! It’s not necessary for his body and he doesn’t have the proper enzymes to digest it anyway. Feeding your dog cow’s milk can lead to chronic diarrhea and leave him with an upset stomach, among other health problems. Stick with plain old water for a healthy and hydrated dog.

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!

Take care with a female dog in heat, unless you want a lot of puppies. A male is able to smell her from as much as five miles in the distance! This causes fights as well as sexual behavior.

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.

Be careful about the kind of food your dog is eating. There are many to choose from, so focus on those that are for your dog’s age and size. Also, avoid giving your pet table scraps. They are unhealthy for him.

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.

The pads of your dog’s feet can become dry and cracked, so make sure that you moisturize them regularly. Ask your veterinarian for advice on which product to use. Avoid using moisturizers that are intended for humans, because they can make the pads too soft and your dog may get hurt.

If you bathe your dog often, watch out for signs of painful earaches that can be problematic for canines. They can happen when too much water gets into the ears. Use cotton balls dabbed in baby oil while giving him a bath, and that should keep water from getting in, even if he splashes around.

If you are thinking about getting a dog, it is crucial that you choose a bread wisely. For instance, if you have children, large vicious dogs may not be a good idea. Or, if you live in an apartment, smaller breeds may be better. Pick a dog that works well with your lifestyle.

Never give someone a dog as a present. Most animals that are given as gifts eventually wind up in a shelter. This is due to the fact that many people can not handle the responsibilities that come with having a pet. If someone wants a dog bad enough they should be the one to make that purchase.

Teaching your dog to stay in a crate while you’re away is great for people that cannot be home all the time. This will prevent your puppy from damaging your home, and he will not use the bathroom anywhere he shouldn’t.

Do not expect your dog to do too much. When you train your dog, they will have a shorter attention span. Try training your dog for a few minutes each day so he doesn’t get too frustrated at first.

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.

Get Questions Answered About Dog Care Here

What is more fun that having a dog? So many dog owners know the special happiness that comes from having a canine in their lives. If you’re one of the people who know what it’s like to have a dog, you want to do your best to make sure he’s with you a long time. Here are some tips to help make sure of that.

Always, have your dog spayed or neutered. Studies have shown that this leads to the pet living a longer and much healthier life. Not only that, but neutered and spayed dogs feel less need to wander away from home, so they are not as likely to be hit by a vehicle or become lost.

Your dog needs a stimulating environment if it is going to live a long and healthy life. Providing him or her with one is not really that hard. Simply make sure you take your dog for walks each day, and purchase a few toys that you and your pet can play with together.

Always be prepared to pick up after your dog with a scoop and bag. Although most people think that this is simply a polite thing to do so that others don’t step in it, your dog’s excrement is actually hazardous!rnIt contains a bacterium that can contaminate local supplies when it washes through to ground water.

Your daily lifestyle should help guide your choice of dog breed. For instance, joggers may want dogs that can run along with them, instead of a toy breed that cannot. If you much prefer to be at home, a small dog that enjoys a lot of inside time is an ideal choice. Avoid a mismatch if you want both of you to be happy.

When clipping a puppy’s toenails, start slow. Introduce your little dog to them before you begin cutting. You may only be able to get a single nail done during a sitting. It could take some time for puppy to become comfortable with the idea of nail clipping, but soon, you will be able to get through it all at once.

To protect your dog in the event he is lost or stolen, have a microchip surgically implanted by your vet. These handy chips store data that can be retrieved by a shelter or animal officer and used to contact you. They are painless to put in and offer peace of mind for the pet lover!

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.

Respect your pet. When out on a walk, do not force your dog to interact with other people or animals if he does not want to. There is a reason why your dog may not want to get too close, and it is important that you listen to him. If you try and make him interact, your dog may begin to act out over time.

When you own a dog, you typically understand the general costs of ownership, such as food, vet visits, and grooming. A generally overlooked cost is emergency situations. Although it may not happen frequently, you should have a bit of money set aside for any emergency that may arise. It’s better to be prepared for an emergency vet visit than to wonder how you are going to pay for it.

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.

If you are training your dog, make sure the treat you are giving him really is desirable. Pets have preferences too, and if your dog does not like the treat you are providing, there is not going to be much motivation to do the right thing. Try out a few different brands, and remember that soft, chewy treats are generally the most well-received.

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.

You need to consider your own life when you are thinking about getting a dog. You might feel like you are ready to be a dog owner because you love animals but you need to carefully consider the pros and cons of having a dog.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The knowledge you have gained from this article will ensure that your dog is as happy and healthy as can be. That is what you are striving for, right? As long as you put in the effort to use this knowledge, you will benefit from it every single day. Love your dog and enjoy them!

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). If you beloved this article and you would like to get more information about how to keep cats out of a sandbox kindly pay a visit to our own web site. 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/

Pets

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