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Pets

Resources For Dog Training Ideas And Tips

A dog is a man’s best friend, but how do you know that you are properly taking care of your dog if your dog doesn’t speak the same language? Learning how to take care of your pet is very important. You need to consider the following helpful advice for taking care of your dog.

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.

Hugs are great, but avoid kisses. Dog kisses are adorable, but your dog’s mouth is really dirty. Keep in mind that dogs drink from toilet bowls and eat whatever is on the ground. Many people say that dogs have cleaner mouths than people. This is not true, at all!

Before deciding on what type of dog to get for your family, consider space. Even though you may love the bigger dogs that you can really wrap your arms around, you may not have adequate space for a large breed. Take your home and yard size into consideration before bringing home a new pooch.

If training has become routine and boring with your dog, consider introducing agility exercises into the mix. These will still teach your dog to obey and be challenging, but they tend to be a lot more fun than the regular commands. Get the whole family involved by making an obstacle course and working the dog through it frequently.

Dog training should be take place out in the yard, or even inside your home. It is not a good idea to train them in areas where a lot of people are present. Your dog may have trouble paying attention, and even the simplest commands could go right over their head.

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.

Know any canine laws that might affect your ownership. Be on the lookout for changes in local laws and ordinances that may restrict and regulate a dog owner’s rights. Frequently, this sort of thing is just a knee-jerk reaction based on an isolated incident. Speak up for the rights of responsible dog owners everywhere by contacting local officials.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Train your pet on how to behave correctly when leashed. He should stay by your side, not in front of or behind you, and respond to the command “heel”. This will keep him safe, and it’ll make walks more enjoyable. Even if you decide to give him additional slack on the leash from time to time, teaching your dog to heel remains an important task as a pet owner.

Attention exercises must be practiced daily. These exercises will help you gain your dog’s attention when they are barking or being disruptive or destructive. Once you can gain your dog’s attention, you will have less to worry about when you have him out of the house or when there is company over.

When you are training your dog, try to be understanding and do not get frustrated when the dog does not do what you want them to do. Training takes time. Over time, your dog will learn the proper training. You are trying to change the natural instincts of the animal, so expect that the dog will make mistakes and be patient with them.

Every dog needs to have a good amount of exercise in order to stay healthy and fit. It is a good idea for you to take your dog out for a walk at least once a day if you do not have a yard he can use to run around freely.

If you have a dog, it is your responsibility to clean up behind him or her. Keeping some plastic bags by the front door will help remind you to bring them along on your walk. It can be embarrassing when you forget your little baggie, and in some places you can also be fined.

Keep your dog safe from dangerous chemicals. Similar to kids, cleaning chemicals and any car maintenance substances are harmful to them. These substances are poisonous, so if a dog gets any on them or ingests any, they could get burned, become very sick, or die. Store your hazardous chemicals in a place that your dog can’t get to, or keep them in a closed area using a child-proof lock.

Dogs are emotional creatures. That said, reading this article will give you a greater understanding of the body language of your dog. Your dog is going to be grateful for that.

Get Questions Answered About Dog Care Here

Your dog is your best friend, for better or worse. When he chews up a box of facial tissues, all you can do is laugh. When he snuggles into the crook of your back at night, you can feel loved. To pay him back for the joy he brings you, read this article and learn all you can.

Always give your dog plenty of attention and affection. When your dog behaves properly, make sure you let the dog know you are happy and give them some affection. This will help reinforce the good behavior and the dog will try to behave in this manner for the positive attention..

Be careful with canine flea treatments. Some of them contain chemicals that can increase the risk of cancer in children, and are 1,000 times as strong as the safe levels recommended by the EPA. Discuss any concerns with your veterinarian, and see if he has more holistic treatment options that might help to keep your pet free from fleas and your family safe.

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.

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!

Dog training requires you to be consistent. Once you decide you want to establish a rule for your dog, do not make any exceptions. Make sure everyone at home helps you enforce the rule and encourage your guests not to let your dog jump on them or to not acknowledge your dog when it barks.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Try to provide your dog with plenty of opportunities to socialize. Take him on walks to the park or beach where he will be around people and other dogs. Encourage his interactions with others and praise him for good manners. He’ll be much more comfortable in any setting and generally happier too.

Be sure to keep your dog’s nails clipped in order to prevent injury. This can occur both from the dog scratching itself or also from having its nails get caught in things such as carpet. In order to be sure you are cutting the nails correctly, be sure to check with the veterinarian or groomer.

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.

It is important to train your dog as soon as you get him or her. Behavior that might seem cute as a puppy, can develop into bad habits as your dog matures. It is essential that your dog understands and obeys simple commands. Not only for your safety, but the safety of your dog as well.

If training your dog is more than you can handle, you should consider sending it to obedience school. Do some research to find out more about the different obedience schools in your area and talk to other dog owners to find the best school possible. It is best to send your dog to obedience school while it is still a young pup.

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.

Your dog should always have access to fresh water. You should always keep a bowl full of water where your dog can access it or purchase a small drinking fountain for your dog. If you have to leave your dog alone for long hours, so not leave more water than your dog needs.

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.

Dogs are emotional creatures. However, now that you’ve read this article, you have a deeper understanding beyond just facial expressions. Your dog will love that you do this!

Dogs

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/

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