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Linnet Forsyth 

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My Life, My Job, My Career: How 7 Simple can Cats Have Honey Helped Me Succeed What're your thoughts regarding Dogs?

If You Want To Learn About Dogs, We Have The Goods




A dog is a person's very best friend, as the saying goes. Millions of dog owners know that to be true. The challenge that you must be as good a friend to your dog as he is to you. If you use the tips below, you are going to be able to know you are a great friend to your dog.

Groom your dog regularly. A dog requires constant grooming to keep his coat in tip top condition. Make petsroof.com that your dog is completely relaxed before you start the grooming session; this is especially important if he is excitable. Keep the session quite short (5 to 10 minutes at most) until he is comfortable with the idea of being groomed. Most importantly - be sure to praise him and offer a treat after a successful grooming session!

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.

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.

Don't assume your toy-sized dog's bite isn't dangerous, just because he's little. A lot of owners brush-off training, thinking that the smaller breed dog can get away with a little bad behavior and this isn't true. As a responsible canine master, you've got to make certain your dog does not pose a threat to anyone by having him well trained.

Trim your dog's nails regularly. If you neglect your dog's nails, they will be in discomfort. Try trimming them with scissors you buy at the store. If you are not comfortable doing it yourself, you can take him to the groomers and have them done for very little money.

Pet-proof your home before bringing a dog into it, just as you would for a crawling toddler. You need to move anything toxic to a higher shelf and consider the danger that plants may pose if nibbled by your dog. Remember that anti-freeze is deadly and that leaving things like pennies or crayons on floors can pose a choking hazard to curious pups.

Make sure that you trim your dog's nails on a fairly regular basis. You do not want them to get too long since it will make it uncomfortable for them to walk and they may develop health issues. They should be at a length that just about touches the ground.

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.

When you own a dog, you typically understand the general costs of ownership, such as food, vet visits, and grooming. A generally overlooked cost is emergency situations. Although it may not happen frequently, you should have a bit of money set aside for any emergency that may arise. It's better to be prepared for an emergency vet visit than to wonder how you are going to pay for it.

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.

When it comes to your dog, you need to be aware of the laws in your area. Keep up with read this comprehensive article to learn about new changes that might have an effect on your situation as a dog owner. These legislatures generally arise from specific breeds or random cases of bad instances. Talk to responsible pet owners all around you by contacting your local officials.

If you are training your dog to not pull when on the leash, you should invest in a quality collar and leash. If you have a larger dog, the force of it pulling might be able to break basic collars and leashes. For this reason a good, strong collar is recommended when you are walking your pup.

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.

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.

You should not let your dog go outside without supervision. It is best to provide your dog with a safe space such as a fenced yard. Inspect your fence to make sure your dog cannot escape. If you do not have a fence, always go outside with your dog so you can keep an eye on it.

Remember, your body language tells your dog a lot about what you want and expect. In fact, body language is often a more effective training tool than simply using your words. Therefore, if you are training your pet, have someone else observe your training sessions and give you feedback on what kind of body language you are using.

Do you feel stressed out a lot? Dogs have been proven to help lower your blood pressure and help you to feel calm. People who own dogs often live longer than those who do not. Dogs can also bring you happiness and comfort if you are suffering from an illness.

There is no doubt that dog ownership offers an incredible array of benefits, and can be the foundation of an incredible friendship. To get all the benefits of owning a dog, it is best that a dog owner or soon to be owner take the time to really understand and soak in as much knowledge as possible about caring for dogs. What you have learned here is going to help you out now and well into the future.
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/



You Can Welcome A Dog Into Your Home




When you are doubting your dog ownership skills, you may feel very alone. There are many other dog owners out there who feel exactly the same! Mistakes are made, and we can learn from each other through those situations. Here are some simple tips on being a better owner for your dog.

Take care to keep your dog cool while traveling during the summer by car. Even with your air-conditioning on, the dog may become over-heated in his pet carrier. A simple and low-cost countermeasure is freezing a few gallon jugs of water and placing them near him where he can curl up and cool off.

If you take your dog with you on vacation, keep a photo of him on your phone. This way, should he get lost, you have a picture you can show others. You can also use the picture to hand our "lost" flyers.

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.

Be careful if you're searching for a new dog on Craigslist or other classified ads. Many people exaggerate the truth in order to unload problems or challenging training issues and you could end up with an impossible situation on your hands. Only talk to people who are verifiable through vet records and demonstrate positive handling experience.

Dogs need a great deal of attention on a daily basis. If you have a hard time making time for your dog you will soon notice that there are behavioral problems that were not there before. In the least, you should try to set aside an hour each day just to love your dog.

If you wish to get a dog, but don't know if you can commit to it, try getting a foster dog. Many homeless and abused animals are waiting in shelters for someone to adopt them and with over-crowding, resources are slim. Fostering will help you become adapted to the life of a pet owner, and you will be making a difference in the life of a dog at the same time!


Leaving a radio playing while you are gone will help your dog stay calm and may alleviate separation anxiety. Having noise will help your dog feel more secure and comfortable while you are away. It might help with any anxiety issues.

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.

Let your dog feel the love that you have for him. It's typical that dog owners will pay much more attention to bad behavior than good behavior. That could mean trouble later with your dog. You should mostly focus on praising and petting your dog when you notice a good behavior. Your dog will be better behaved.


Do not make training your dog seem like a chore. Dogs pick up on this negative energy and will have a difficult time learning if you are not in the right mind frame. Make it fun and try to look at it as a bonding experience with your pet. When your dog is having fun, they will learn their training quicker.

Pay attention to your dog's breath. Dogs will always have "dog breath,"u009d however, really bad breath is a sign that they need a dental check up. Plaque buildup caused by bacteria could be the culprit and that will need to be treated by a professional. After their treatments, you will need to brush their gums and teeth and feed them food that helps maintain good dental health.

It is very important for you to monitor all of the food your dog eats. A puppy is fine with eating calorie-laden food, as it helps him grow. However, if they eat the same kinds of foods when they get older they may gain a lot of weight and that isn't healthy.

If you are trying to teach your dog some basic commands, one of your first ones should be a recall. Everyone wants their dog to return to them when called for. If you have a solid recall for your dog, you will not have to worry about chasing your dog down it manages to get outside. It should come back to you when you use your recall word.

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.

If you're considering introducing trick commands to your dog, make sure that you have first covered all of the basic commands, such as sit, lay down, stay, and come. Although trick commands are fun and entertaining, having a well mannered dog is more beneficial. Having a dog "stay" when asked will be more fulfilling than having a dog "play dead."

Treat your dog like he is a member of your family and he will return the favor ten fold. Dogs are known as man's best friend for a reason. They will be loyal, loving and your protector as long as they know that they are getting the same in return.

All of the expert advice contained above should have you ready to really take good care of your dog. That said, focus on love and everything else will fall into place. As long as you continue to adore your four-legged friend, and mistakes you make will be forgotten quickly and won't be so harmful.
Dogs
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