7 Questions You Need To Ask About My Cat Lays Down To Eat

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Keep Your Pooch Happy With These Dog Care Tips.

Owning a dog is no simple task. They require a ton of care, from being bathed to fed to checked over by the vet. With so much to do, how can you keep track? This article will give you some simple tips to help you get the job done right.

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.

Your dog needs to be secured when in a car. Not only will it make the journey safer, as it will lead to fewer distractions for the person driving the car, but in the event of an accident, it could also save your dog’s life. Look for a seat belt harness, often sold at pet stores, that you can put in your car for your pet.

If you are interested in providing your dog with the healthiest of diets and making positive contributions to the earth’s environment, make his food from scratch. You can buy locally grown organic ingredients and provide him all the proteins, carbs and fats he needs with no preservatives while reducing the waste from packaging as well.

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.

Reward your dog for doing right things, such as sitting while you place it’s food down, with lots of praise and attention. This is to let the dog know that you want more of that behavior. This will teach the dog that when they do what you wish, they’ll get praised.

Do not try to save money by choosing the cheapest dog food. Your dog will be healthier and happier if you feed it the highest quality food. It costs more, but you’ll save money on vet bills for health issues down the road.

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.

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.

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.

Take some time to trim your dog’s paw beds during every grooming session. This can help prevent mats. A comb should be used first to straighten it before you do any cutting. If you’re too scared, take him to the groomer instead.

Be careful to not over feed your dog. Obesity is a huge problem for animals these days due to the fact that many dog owners allow the animal to determine how much it eats each day. For the best results, and health of your dog, you should follow the instructions of your vet when it comes to feeding habits.

If your dog has been playing outside, take the time to inspect its ears and neck for ticks. These parasites are very common and could make your dog sick if you do not take action right away. Take your dog to the vet if you do not know how to remove the ticks yourself.

Choosing a dog food needs to be done with great consideration. Since there are so many, you should find one that is made for your particular dog. Giving your dog leftovers may be cheap, but it may not give them a lot of health benefits.

Never give your dog away for free, no matter how desperate you might feel to get rid of it quickly. Even if you can not care for the animal, it is still your responsibility to be sure that it will have a good life to come. Instead, take the time to investigate the person that you will give it to and charge a re-homing fee to ensure that they are serious about caring for the animal.

You should talk to your veterinarian about microchip IDs. Your contact information can easily be stored inside a microchip and most veterinarians or shelters own a scanner they can use to scan the microchip. This will greatly increase your chances of getting your dog back in case it gets lost.

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.

While my dog and your dog may be polar opposites, they both need the same basic care to stay healthy and happy. This article has given you the foundation of knowledge you need to be a great owner, so make use if it when you can. Here’s to wishing you and your pup many happy years to come!

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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/

What You Need To Know If You Have A Dog

Before you own a dog, you might think they’re all fluffy fun and adorable tail wags. Unfortunately, even the cutest of pooches can be a whole lot of trouble. This article is designed to help you with all aspects of dog care. If you take this advice, life with dogs should be a lot easier.

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.

Brushing your dog’s teeth is important, but it is not easy. If your dog is resisting, once a day simply lift their lips and use your finger to rub their teeth lightly. Do it quickly at first, and then begin to draw out the time you spend performing this action. This will help them get use to the process. After that, you can begin using an actual brush and toothpaste.

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 is still getting used to the grooming process, only work with him or her in short bursts. Groom for about five minutes and then stop and move on to another activity. Eventually, start adding on two or three minutes to your total grooming time until your pet is able to handle a full session.

Demonstrate plenty of affection to your dog. As with most things, owners tend to focus more on the bad behavior instead of the good. Your dog will develop more behavioral problems if you adopt this attitude. Instead make it a habit to praise your dog much more often than any scolding. Make it five times to any one. Your dog is going to behave much more if you do that.

When your dog is good, praise him immediately. This will show your dog that the behavior he is exhibiting is just what you are looking for. Your dog will quickly understand that the praise is connected to a certain action.

Make sure you heed the vet’s instructions when it comes to medications and special care requirements. Even if your dog resists, it is important for their health that you listen to the veterinarian. Your vet will recommend things that are good for the health of your dog, so make sure that you follow his advice.

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 your dog has been playing outside, take the time to inspect its ears and neck for ticks. These parasites are very common and could make your dog sick if you do not take action right away. Take your dog to the vet if you do not know how to remove the ticks yourself.

Dogs, like humans, can develop health problems, and because of this they should be taken to see their vet at least once eat year. This can help to diagnosis any health issues early on, reducing both the extremity of the illness and the cost to fix it. Do whatever you can to follow this rule of thumb strictly.

Accept the aging process in your dog and know how to meet his changing needs. Your older dog may require dietary changes, more rest and not be as playful as he once was. This doesn’t mean he should be left to grow old in a corner. Adapt to his needs and make his golden years enjoyable!

Be prepared to have a lot of patience with your dog during potty-training. Much like children, dogs learn at different speeds and ages and your canine may be slow or stubborn. Have good resources at your fingertips to assist your efforts and remember not to get angry when your dog has “accidents” as that will only impede his progress.

Just like people, dogs need plenty of exercise for optimum health. Dogs are naturally hunters and love to run by instinct. Take your dog to the park, play Frisbee with him and give him a daily walk. This will help keep him physically healthy but will also make him mentally healthier.

Be careful about the kind of food your dog is eating. There are quite a few different types of food out there but you have to get one that works with your dog’s size and age. While feeding your dog leftover food saves you money, it doesn’t make for a healthy diet.

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.

If your dogs breath smells extremely bad, it is important to set up a vet visit to make sure this is not coming from some type of mouth problem. Such problems could be tooth decay or an infection. If untreated, more problems could arise causing further expenses down the road.

Your puppy looks cute nibbling your slippers, but when he’s full grown, it will not be cute to have him shred them into millions of pieces. The sooner you stop bad habits, the better. If your puppy engages in a behavior that you don’t like, make sure it ceases right away. Doing this can prevent you from having big troubles down the line.

Did the article above give you some great advice to consider? If you need to, spend some time rereading the tips. It will be a relief to know what to do if a problem arises. Utilize this advice, and you and your dog will have a wonderful relationship.

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