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Learn All About Dogs In This Article




You love your dog to the ends of the world. He loves you straight up to the moon. That love is irreplaceable, which means you have to ensure your dog is happy and healthy every day of the year. This article has a ton of great advice for you, so continue through until the very end.

You may know that chocolate is dangerous for dogs, but you may not know the specifics. Chocolate is dangerous because of the stimulants caffeine and theobromine. Baking chocolate is the most dangerous, with a high amount of stimulants. White chocolate contains the least amount of stimulants. Take you dog to vet if he ingests chocolate.

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.

Keep your dog warm during winter with the latest in canine fashion and accessories. You may think it's just for show, but dogs need protection from the elements too! Keeping your dog's paw-pads dry is essential to their health in sub-freezing weather, so invest in suede or leather footwear and pick him up a coat while you're at it. Make them instead if you are creative!

Make sure your dog gets enough exercise. This is vital to the care of a happy dog. Many people don't bother to exercise their dog, thinking that walks are enough. Dogs are active creatures and need to play. Talk to your veterinarian about how much activity your dog needs, and make sure he gets it.

Be sure to praise your dog thoroughly any time it behaves correctly, such as sitting when it is time to put their leash on. This communicates to your dog that he is doing just exactly what you want. This will teach the dog that when they do what you wish, they'll get praised.

Know your dog's behavior and body rhythms well, to keep him at his healthiest. Medical issues often present themselves in slight nuances early on and if you know your dog, you'll see them. Pay attention to input and output, sleep duration, energy levels and so forth to keep on top of important issues that affect his health.

Know the basics of pet first-aid if you have a dog in your family. Being able to react quickly in an emergency, such as your pooch being bitten by a snake, can mean the difference between life and death. Read a good book on the subject or ask your vet to brief you on the basics.

Timing is key when bringing your dog home. Try to introduce him to his new home over the weekend or when you have a couple of days off. Take the time to get to know one other - this will make him feel much more comfortable when he has to spend time in the home alone. Also, if you have children, make sure that they don't overwhelm him at first. If you have other pets in the house, be extra cautious when introducing the new arrival.

Give your dog a great place to sleep. Every dog needs a bed to call his own that is temperature controlled and comfortable. If not, the dog may alternate sleeping locations between undesirable locations, such as your sofa when you're not watching. A bed also gives him a great sense of security and belonging.

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.

Always be sure that your dog understands that you are the master if you want to have a well behaved pet. This is important because if your dog believes that he is dominant over you, then you have a much smaller chance of getting it to obey your commands and behave according to your wishes.

Feed your dog dry, premium-quality dog food. This kind of dog food helps to make sure your dog gets all of their vital nutrients. Making sure that they get proper nutrition helps them live a longer life and reduces their chances of obesity, malnutrition, skeletal problems, muscular problems, and many more conditions.

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.

Groom your dog frequently. Keep them clean and reduce the amount of hair they shed by brushing them frequently. When https://petsroof.com/how-to-make-a-dogs-ears-stand-up/ warms up, start checking them for ticks and fleas daily. Dogs generally require a few baths a year. Before you give your dog a bath, make sure to cut or comb out mats and tangles. Rinse their coat thoroughly to avoid dirt sticking to any soap residue.

Naming a dog can be an absolute blast, but there are several things you should consider. Be sure that your dog's name doesn't rhyme with a word like stop or no, as this can be extremely confusing for your pet. Try and keep the name at one or two syllables in length, so that it's easy for you to call out in a hurry.

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.

Buy a good quality leash. Make sure that the leash is the proper size and strength for your dog. For example, a lightweight nylon leash would be suitable for a smaller dog but not strong enough for a larger breed such as a labrador. If your dog has a tendency to pull, a harness is a great way of correcting this instinct.

Caring for a dog can be absolutely exhausting, but that doesn't mean it has to be. If you use the tips and tricks in this article, you may find living with your dog is a breeze. Soon, others will be wondering how you make being a dog owner look so easy.
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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/



Top Training Tips From Professional Dog Trainers




When it comes to learning, we never stop. Whether it be new cooking techniques or new driving routes, we're always picking up new information. When it comes to dogs, there is always something new to learn. This article provides you with today's top tips that show you all about dogs.

If you are thinking of getting a new dog for your family, be sure you are prepared for this commitment. Smaller dogs will require at least a 14-16 year commitment, and larger dogs will require at least 10 years. If you are not prepared to own the dog for its entire life, then do not choose a dog as a pet.

Avoid letting your dog walk without a leash outside of your property, regardless of how well he behaves. A feral animal might catch their attention, causing them to pursue them, or an unplanned incitement might lead to a bad situation with other pet owners. Understand that any damage your dog causes to other people and their pets is your responsibility, so you need to always use caution when off your property.

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.

Talk to your vet about your dog's food portions. Some people feed the dog based on their food package recommendations, but these can be wrong and cause them to be overweight. Speak with your vet and work out an appropriate eating plan for your dog.

Never force a dog to do something. If your dog doesn't want it, don't force him to eat it. Keep an eye on your dog's likes and dislikes.


If you get a dog that was in a pound or shelter, you must see a vet right away. Shelter dogs have numerous opportunities to be exposed to harmful bacteria and viruses; these can result in dangerous illnesses. It is best to make sure your new puppy gets all the shots needed before you bring it home.

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.

Positive reinforcement is the best way to train your dog. You should congratulate your dog when it displays a good behavior, for instance by giving it a treat or petting it. Talk to your dog in a soft voice and make sure you praise it every time the good behavior is displayed.

Don't forget about your dog when writing your will. Many pets end up being fought over or neglected completely because specific instructions were not left regarding their care. Include a clause that clearly directs your loved ones on what to do with your dog so that he's well taken care of.

In the case your dog has separation anxiety, leave music or the television on when you leave your house. The noise will keep him company and make him feel a little more secure. It could be just what he needs to get over his anxiety while he waits for you to come home.

Always be the boss with your dog. A dog is not only much more apt to be obedient when you are in command, he'll also be much happier. Dogs need to know what's expected of them and that they are being led. This gives them a sense of security and you a more peaceful household.

If you have a dog that doesn't look like it's very happy because it's always alone, think about getting your dog a friend. Dogs like to be around their own kind. You need to match like-tempered dogs together.

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.

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.

Think about the changes your life will undergo, such as vacation and special events, before choosing to bring a dog into your life. You may really want a dog; however, you need to have both the time and patience to make the commitment that a dog requires.

Don't rely on just a wet and cold nose to determine a dog's health. There are multiple reasons a nose could be chilly and damp, and plenty of them don't involve illness. You can get a feeling about a dog's overall health by watching its demeanor, appetite, and energy levels. These are good barometers of the dog's health. A dog's temperature can be taken rectally if need be.

You need to trim your dog's nails regularly. Avoid cutting too much or you could cause bleeding. If you can see a black line inside the dog's nails, stay away from it. It is best to take your dog to the vet or to a professional groomer if you are not sure how you should cut your dog's nails.

Whatever type of dog you have, and whether or not you are a novice owner or a pro, the advice you have read here should be able to help you out. When you take the time to learn, as you have today, you really are working hard to make your dog as happy as possible. Great job!
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I stumbled upon that article on Pets while scouting around the internet. Sharing is caring. Helping people is fun. Thanks a bunch for your time. Revisit us soon.

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