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Dog Owners, Listen To These Solid Ideas!
Your dog might scratch his bowl if he’s hungry. If your dog needs to go potty, he may paw at your door. If your dog wants attention, he may try to climb on your lap. You might not know what your dog needs, keep reading and you might find out how to figure it out.
Be careful with your dog around Christmas season, many dangers are lurking just under the festive ambiance. For instance, electrical chords are typically strewn about during the holidays, and dogs often chew them, creating an electrical hazard. Dogs may be tempted to eat the decorations on the tree. They may also be tempted by the tree water, which can be toxic.
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.
Hot summer days are harder for dogs to handle than humans. Always make sure your pet has enough water to drink. Provide them with a shaded area to rest if they are going to be outside for any length of time. And, if your dog begins acting in an unusual manner, call the veterinarian. Heatstroke could be fatal, so it is important to get medical care as soon as possible.
When choosing a dog for your home, don’t forget to estimate the size it will be as a full grown adult. This is especially true if you have small children at home. Although a small puppy will be cute, it may grow into a large, one hundred pound dog. Do some research on the average adult size of the breeds you are considering.
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.
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.
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.
When selecting a brand of dog food for your pet, read the labels carefully and avoid the cheapest brands. It is best to invest in quality dog food. Though better brands cost more, it is worth it to know your dog is receiving the nutrients it needs.
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.
Does your dog chew a lot? This could be a sign that your dog is bored or anxious. You need to provide your dog with some toys that can be chewed and perhaps leave a shirt with your smell near your dog to avoid separation anxiety, especially if your dog is very young.
Don’t assume your toy-sized dog’s bite isn’t dangerous, just because he’s little. A lot of owners brush-off training, thinking that the smaller breed dog can get away with a little bad behavior and this isn’t true. As a responsible canine master, you’ve got to make certain your dog does not pose a threat to anyone by having him well trained.
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.
Be politically active on behalf of your pooch! Keep track of local laws which affect dog owners. These legislatures generally arise from specific breeds or random cases of bad instances. Speak up for the rights of responsible dog owners everywhere by contacting local officials.
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.
If you are trying to teach your dog some basic commands, one of your first ones should be a recall. Everyone wants their dog to return to them when called for. If you have a solid recall for your dog, you will not have to worry about chasing your dog down it manages to get outside. It should come back to you when you use your recall word.
If you are going to bring a new dog into your home you should do a lot of the preparation ahead of time. You should have a nice place for it to sleep, food, grooming products and toys all on hand before they arrive. This will make the transition easier for everyone involved.
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!
Have A Question About Dogs? We’ll Answer It
Do you think owning a dog is the best job in the world? Dogs are the number one pet in America; there is a reason for this. They are affectionate, active and love to have a good time. Dogs are wonderful companions. You must become a good companion to them by making sure they’re cared for properly. These tips will assist in your troubles.
Consider teaching your dog hand signals along with verbal commands. Consistency and practice are key to teaching a dog these non-verbal commands. Many owners get frustrated and resort back to verbal commands, but a well-trained dog should understand both. Try using only verbal commands when the dog is out of sight range, but when close up, only use the hand signals.
When giving your dog a bath, make sure that you only put on shampoo that is intended for canines. Using lukewarm water, get the entire body wet and then begin applying the shampoo to their face, working your way down their body. Wait a few minutes and then take a washcloth and wipe off the suds from your pet’s face. Wash off the rest of the shampoo as well.
Never lose your temper or punish your dog if you find that they did something wrong. Negative reinforcement will simply make your dog scared, which will make it difficult for you to train them. Use positive reinforcement at all times to get your dog to cooperate when teaching him new things.
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!
If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, he needs a dog house. Adverse weather conditions can be detrimental to your pooch, causing illnesses, anxiety and poor behaviors. Give your dog a shelter that is spacious and dry, and your dog will be protected from the hard winds and dampness.
Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise. A dog needs to play and exercise on a regular basis so that it can be happy and healthy. From a simple walk to a vigorous game of fetch, both of you will find the time well spent. In addition to providing much needed exercise, you will develop a lifelong bond with your pup.
Just like humans, dogs need to get a good amount of exercise each and every day. If your dog does not get the exercise it needs, it health will decline, and so will his attitude towards life. Take the time to exercise your dog for at least a half hour each day for the best results.
If your female dog is in heat, be very careful with her around other dogs or she may become pregnant. A male dog is able to smell her from up to five miles away. This may cause a fight or impregnation if a male dog spots her.
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.
Make sure that your dog goes to it’s vet for a checkup each year. If your dog is regularly checked out by its veterinarian, they’ll be able to catch things like diabetes or kidney problems before they grow into a major issue. It’s best to take your dog for annual physical, since that is the best way to ensure that there aren’t an problems that have gone undiagnosed for a long time. In the end, you will save money.
Invest in a separate tub if your dog gets frequent baths. Buy a large metal basin where you will have plenty of room to scrub, but won’t risk clogging the pipes in your bathroom. Giving him a bath outside and away from the slipperiness of a porcelain tub is also safer for you
Keep your dog hydrated. Similar to humans, dogs need plenty of fresh water to drink. If a dog doesn’t get enough water, they can easily get dehydrated, sick, and possibly die. Provide them with a fresh water bowl every day. Always keep it filled and clean for them. Keep the bowl in single location.
Just like people, dogs need their exercise too. Playing a game of fetch or Frisbee is a great way to get your dog to burn some calories, while having fun at the same time. Dogs should also be walked everyday. Some dogs require more exercise than others, which is why it is so important to understand your dogs needs.
Positive reinforcement is the best tool for dog training. Offer the dog plenty of praise and treats when they do well, as they will learn much faster than if you were more stern with them. Using humane training tactics will be healthier for the dog and will be much more effective. Be kind to your dog and you’ll see some great results.
If you’re considering introducing trick commands to your dog, make sure that you have first covered all of the basic commands, such as sit, lay down, stay, and come. Although trick commands are fun and entertaining, having a well mannered dog is more beneficial. Having a dog “stay” when asked will be more fulfilling than having a dog “play dead.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Good Morning from the Golden Retriever Channel. This pupper is taking-in rain. Who turned on the sprinkler in the sky? Another good day in his life, so far.
— Golden Retriever Channel (@GoldretrieverUS) August 20, 2021
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