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Everything You Need To Know About Dogs




Are you looking for advice on being a better pet owner? Could you use a few tips on how to provide for your dog? You're in the perfect place. This article is bursting at the seams with tips, tricks, and suggestions, all of which will help you do right by your pet.

If there are prescription medications in your home, be sure to keep it out of your dog's reach. Even if the dog were to eat a couple of pills, it could have very life threatening effects. You should contact your vet right away if your dog swallows some medication.

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.

You should have your dog spayed or neutered. This reduces the chances of cancer and helps keep the stray animal population down. Also, dogs that get fixed won't feel the need to wander away so that may mean that they won't get into accidents like getting hit by a vehicle.

House-training your dog will be much easier if you adopt a routine. You should go for walks regularly throughout the day and come home during your lunch break if necessary. If your dog has to be home alone for long hours, do not leave a bowl full of water unless it is very hot.

If your dog is a digger, make sure to protect him and your garden. Some plants are poisonous to dogs, not to mention the damage those paws can do to your prized flowers and produce. Put up an appropriately sized fence to keep him out or consider using an electric one.

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.

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.

It is very important for you to keep your dog's ears clean. Keeping the inside of the ears clean will help prevent infections of the ear. This is also a good time for you to inspect the ear for fleas, ticks and any other pests that could have made your dog's ear home.

If you have a smaller breed dog, make sure everyone who touches him knows the proper way to hold him. Small dogs can be easily injured by inappropriate handling and many owners find this out the hard way. Gently lift at the belly from under his front legs and secure him with both hands.

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.

Control your voice to control your dog. When he is a good boy, speak in a high-pitched voice and shower him with praise. When he misbehaves, use a very low and gruff voice to indicate your displeasure. Being consistent with this will help him learn faster, making training him much easier on you and him.

Consider getting your dog from a shelter. Many of the dogs that are brought there are well behaved, yet the owners could not handle the responsibility that came with raising them. For the best results, visit the shelter a few times so that you can find the dog that is right for you and your lifestyle.

Outdoor dogs are not solitary creatures. Your dog will acquire poor habits like digging or barking if it's left isolated for too long. They could turn aggressive, too. You should play with your dog a lot to ensure it's happy.

Take a long, hard look at your lifestyle to determine whether a dog is a good fit for you. 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 you live with other people, make sure they are aware of your training "rules." It is important that everyone redirects the dog off of the furniture, for example, and that they use the same language when doing so. If everyone's rules are different, your dog is just going to get confused, which will make the training process much longer and more difficult.

You need to teach your dog a few simple commands at a very young age for its own safety. Your dog should always come when you call its name and a command such as 'give' should be used to get your dog to stop gnawing at a potentially dangerous object.

Be a firm person towards your pet. When someone owns a dog they sometimes think that they should sneak the dog a snack or allow it to break things in the home. This is often true with dogs that are particularly adorable. Be firm, and things will remain intact. If you are not firm, your dog will take advantage of you.

After reading this article, you should have a better understanding of what is involved in owning a dog. If you already own a dog, you can make use of this information to take better care of it. If you are thinking about getting a dog, this article can help you make up your mind.

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. great section on their site 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/



Dogs

Loving Your Dogs: Tips And Tricks




Dogs are wonderful companions, and owning one can be a lot of fun. If you are considering owning a dog, knowing how to properly care for him is essential. Pets Roof contains some great tips that can help you to select the perfect pet for you and also care for him properly.

Be sure your house is dog-proofed. Your entire home should be safe prior to bringing the dog inside. Do not have any pills out in the open and put all supplies in cabinets. Some plants that are usually kept in the home are poisonous to pets, so move them where your dog cannot get to them, or put them out of your home completely.

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.

If your dog has fleas, and they fall off his coat onto your floor, vacuum them up. However, remember that fleas are pretty good escape artists, so you need to throw out the bag immediately after you are finished. To be on the safe side, tape the bag completely shut before you take it out to your trash can.

If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, he or she may eventually come in contact with a skunk. If he gets sprayed, mix together one teaspoon of dish-washing detergent, a fourth a cup of baking soda and a quart of hydrogen peroxide solution (but make sure it is no more than three percent). Apply the mixture to your dog's coat and allow it to sit for five minutes. Wash your dog off well afterward.

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.

Keep your dog in comfortable housing. They should be able to rest off the floor and away from drafts. A training crate is a good choice or any covered shelter outside. Try placing a dog bed inside that has a warm blanket or a pillow inside. Wash the dog's bedding frequently.

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.

Make time for your dog. You are probably aware that your dog always has time for you, so it's time to return the favor. You might take the dog out for some exercise, or you might just set some time aside to rub his belly. Remember to spend a bit of special time with your dog, and he'll appreciate it.

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.

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.

Dogs tend to get cuts and scrapes on their paws from things they step on. If your dog gets a small cut, wash it with an antiseptic and place a bandage around the area. If the cut is deep, contact a vet.

The kind of leash you use when walking your dog is very important. A small leash that would fit a small dog, like a chihuahua, is not going to fit a Rottweiler or pit bull. Get a leash that will fit your dog comfortably but also provided them with safety.


Clean up after your dog when they go to the bathroom in public. Many dog owners let their dog do their business wherever they please whether its on a sidewalk, neighbor's lawn, etc. They can do their business in public, but you must take a bag with you to clean it up when they're done so that it doesn't cause an unsightly and smelly mess for someone else.

Rely on positive reinforcement when you train your dog. Giving your dog praise and rewarding them will teach them better and quicker than force or violence. It's just a much better solution for immediate results and for the long term relationship too. So treat your dog kindly when training and you will see better results.

If you want your dog to learn to "sit", start by holding a cookie, or other treat, above his head. This will cause him to look up. When he looks up, gently push his hind end down, and give the command to sit. Give him the treat, and praise him. Soon, he will sit just by hearing the command and seeing your hand go up, and eventually will obey to the "sit" command alone.


When you bring a new dog home, the first thing you should do is make sure they'll always be able to get back to you. Invest in a safe collar and a tag that contains both your name and phone number. Most lost dogs don't make it home, but with a good tag, you can be sure yours will.

Be sure that you're washing your dog's water and food bowls regularly. Just like for humans, it is not sanitary for your pets to continuously eat from a dirty bowl. Be sure to wash your dog's bowls daily and provide fresh, clean food and water.

You should take dog care seriously. In the same way you would care for a child, you must make sure that your dog has everything necessary to survive. It's a hefty task, but you are more than qualified to do it. This article is here for your help when it comes to caring for your dog.

I'm very curious about Dogs and I am praying you enjoyed reading the piece. Sharing is caring. You just don't know, you may just be doing someone a favor. Thanks for taking the time to read it.

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