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Dogs

Learn What The Professionals Don't Want You To Know About Dogs




Are you looking to become a dog owner? Or do you already have a dog? Anyone with an interst in dogs should know what it takes to be a responsible owner. The following information can help you when it comes to man's best friend. Keep reading to learn more about dogs as pets.

Make sure that your dog gets neutered. Research shows that doing this can make your animal live longer and reduce their cancer risks. Additionally, dogs who undergo this procedure are much less likely to wander off and maybe get into to an accident.

When training your puppy or dog, keep the sessions short! Experts say that a dog has the attention span of a small child, sometimes less, and that longer sessions will actually cause him to forget everything you've learned together. Use positive reinforcement and limit your training sessions to no more than 15 minutes.

Take your grown dog to the vet at least once a year. The vet will check to see if the dog's vaccines up to date. In addition, the vet will check the dog's teeth and vital signs. If any major health or behavioral issues come up between annual checkups, you should see the vet earlier.

Don't go for the cheap stuff when you buy dog food. Cheap dog food contains lots of preservatives and additives that your dog doesn't need. Instead, research which brands are considered to be nutritious. Your dog will be much better off.

Check to make sure your dog's collar is adjusted properly by fitting two of your fingers comfortably underneath it and pulling gently. There should be just enough room to do this and no more, otherwise he may be able to wiggle out of it. Always keep it on, except during crate transport, as the collar can get snagged and injure.

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!

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!

Avoid impersonating a medical professional when it comes to your dog's health. In an attempt to save money, many people try to diagnose their pet's conditions or use human treatments on various elements and that can be very dangerous to the animal. If you can't afford full vet care, tell that to the doctor and ask their advice anyway or if they could arrange a payment plan for you.

Your dog needs to exercise regularly. Like humans, dogs must exercise to burn calories, remain healthy, and help their minds stay sharp. Exercising also helps them avoid boredom that can cause destructive behaviors. Keeping your dog active can curb chewing, biting, digging, and chasing urges. It can even help them avoid depression.

Bring your shelter dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible after you adopt him. Shelters expose dogs to a number of illnesses, and your pet could be ill already. Therefore, you should ensure your new dog receives its vaccinations as soon as you obtain it.

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.

Punish your dog carefully. You should never punish your dog for a mischief that happened more than fifteen minutes ago since your dog will probably not establish a connection between the punishment and the bad behavior. If you catch your dog misbehaving, say no in a firm voice and have your dog sit in a corner for a few minutes.

It is very important that you put a lot of thought into whether or not you're ready to add a dog to your family. There is a lot involved and it's too simple to fall for a cute puppy's face. Take the time to consider everything first so that you can be confident that you are capable of managing it all.


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.

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.

Conduct tick and flea inspection on your dog during the warm seasons of the year. Remove any fleas you find with a specialized comb. There are many products out there that can help you control your dog's ticks and fleas. Speak with your vet about which options are best.

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.

Puppies may be cute when biting on a slipper, but the cuteness fades when it turns into a dog who is ripping them apart. Stop these problems early. If he's doing something wrong, say "no" firmly. It is best to address this issue early.

All of these hints are now at your fingertips, so it is time to make use of them. Take them each, one by one, and start using them every day. The more you change about your dog's life, the better it will be overall. A happy dog makes for a happy owner, after all!

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. you do it yourself 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/


Pets

Here Is A Great Source Of Information And Ideas About Dogs




Dogs are extremely popular pets. If you have a dog or wish to get one, you must learn some things. In the following paragraphs, you'll find top notch advice that'll help you to care for your dog.

Never bring your dog with you while flying during the hot summer months, unless the airline provides a climate-controlled cabin for him. Most of the major carriers use the same area for pets as they do for cargo, meaning your dog will have to endure some pretty high temperatures as you travel to your destination, jeopardizing his safety.

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.

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.

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.

Don't buy your dog cheap dog food. Cheap dog food contains lots of preservatives and additives that your dog doesn't need. Check out professional recommendations from groups online. Your dog will be in better health when he has high quality food.

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.

Don't forget to trim your dog's nails regularly. Long nails can make him uncomfortable, cause injury to his feet and will ruin your floors. If he makes a "click" sound when he walks on hard wood or linoleum, that's a good indication it's time for a trim. Ask your vet to do it if necessary.

Lift your dog properly. If you have a little dog or puppy, place your one hand under their chest and use your other hand for supporting their rump and hind legs. If you're lifting a big dog, lift them from their underside supporting their chest using your one arm and using your other arm to support their rear end. Never lift a dog by their back legs, tail, or the nape of their neck.

Always use a leash when your dog or puppy is out in public. This helps you make sure your dog always stays by you and prevents them from wandering off or getting into trouble. This can also help you restrain your dog if something upsets them so that they don't hurt another animal or person.

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.

Do you have a hard time keeping your dog from barking? You might be encouraging this behavior without even realizing it. Your dog will keep barking if you acknowledge this behavior. It is best to ignore your dog until it stops barking, even if your dog wants to come inside.

Your dog needs healthy teeth and you should brush them regularly. This helps to prevent dental problems and gum disease, but also prevents other illnesses. Infections in the mouth can spread to other areas of the dog's body, like the kidneys and the heart. Pet stores sell special toothpaste for dogs.

If you have a new dog in the house, be careful with how much freedom you give him or her initially. The freedom to have access to all areas of your home needs to be earned. If you allow your pet to roam too soon, you may have to deal with damaged furniture and other issues. Use baby gates to help restrict your dog's movements, and house him in an appropriately sized crate when you cannot watch him.

No matter what kind of dog you may have, hang up a few "Beware of Dog" signs on your property. They are known deterrents to would-be burglars and can help protect you and your family. Just the sign alone indicates probable failure of any robbery attempt and a single bark will have them running away!

Before you decide to go get a dog you should think about the individual needs of different breeds of dogs. Some dogs can get enough exercise in the home, while others may need a few hours outside each day. These factors can mean a lot when it comes to meeting the needs of your new family member.

Dogs need water just as much as humans do. In fact, approximately 70% of their bodies are water! You need to be sure your dog always has fresh, clean water to drink. Keep bottled water on hand in case of emergencies. You want to make sure your pet has something safe to drink no matter what.

Never punish your dog for being curious about a new baby. Instead, allow your dog to investigate the smells and sights that come with a baby at a safe distance. If the dog is made to feel like the baby has infringed on his home, the very worst is far more likely to happen.

Now are you really ready to care for your dog in the best way possible? As long as you endeavor to use what you have learned, you should be! Take PetsRoof.com and put it to use and you'll see changes right before your eyes. Enjoy your dog and love them to bits!
Pets
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